The Additional Benefit of an Aero Road Bike Frame

If you ride road bikes, there is a good chance you want to go faster. You can see those KOMs on your computer, and you want to demolish them. You want to destroy your competition. You want your name beside that crown.You can train harder, or you can train smarter. Part of training smarter would be to buy an aero bike.

Getting stiff

An aero bike will not transform you from a Cat 4 racer to a Tour De France hopeful, but it will give you a legal injection of speed. Ignoring the aerodynamic boost for a bit, one of the main reasons for the speed boast is that aero road bikes are stiff.

They are stiff as a by-product from the aero design phase. In order to sculpt tubes in aero shapes, they naturally have to be rigid to hold these shapes. Creating aero shapes helps to build stiffness into the bike frame. You will notice this on your first ride out on an aero bike. When you push your pedal down, it goes.

Efficiency and aero

What you are experiencing here is your frame’s ability to transfer your power efficiently when you pedal. There is a problem with pedalling though. When you are pressing down on your pedals you are causing a twisting motion in your frame. This lateral movement will bring the lower part of your frame out of alignment with every pedal stroke. You do not want that to happen, that is wasted watts.

Aero bikes help to stop that happening. Yah! The stiffer your frame’s bottom bracket area, the more efficiently your power is transferred. The search for aero shapes and stiffness is why you see great big bottom bracket areas on aero frames, that and that they are being shaped to give you an aero advantage.

The bottom half of your bike, the bottom bracket, chainstays, and dropouts, is where the magic happens — the area of your bike that transfers the power to your rear wheel. If these parts have any flex, you are losing power. A well-designed aero bike will have eliminated this flex in its quest to be aero.

Your new aero road bike

Now when you started thinking about an aero road bike, I bet that was not a bonus you thought about getting? Eliminating flex is why an aero road bike will help you get that KOM that you want. An aero frame will not lose you watts as push down and try and get that crown. Training smarter and not just harder will bring you massive results in your quest to be the best possible rider you can be.

We have lined you up three aero road bike frames that we feel have this bottom bracket junction. Three frames that will allow you to power your way to victory and we still have not asked about their aero credentials.

3T Exploro LTD

The 3T is a dark horse, the world’s first aero gravel bike. By being an aero gravel bike, the 3T means you can use it to hit KOMs in less contested parts of the world. This bike though still comes with a massive bottom bracket area and an interesting chainstay configuration. It is an aero road bike that can fit 40mm tyres at its heart.

This bike is still even when it is tearing it up down the bridleways of the world. You can feel the stiffness the second you step down on the pedals. You can see the DNA of Gerard Vroomen all over the frameset, is this a worthwhile successor to the glory of Cervelo? Only time will tell.

Colnago Concept

Colnago Concept frame

Colnago could have been seen to be late to the aero game. The Concept more than makes up for this late entry though. As you would expect from the Italian marque brand, this bike has road racing heritage stamped all over it.

Even though it comes with a threaded bottom bracket shell, you can still see the highly sculpted bottom bracket area. A bottom bracket area that melds into super stiff chainstays. The dropped seat stays bringing the classic Italian brand bang up to date with a modern aero road bike frameset.

ICAN A8

 Aero Road Bike Frame A8

The ICAN A8 looks fast. It is designed around getting you to the finish line as fast as possible. It has the dropped seat stays that let you know straight away that it will be stiff. Not only do dropped seat stays tell you that a frame will be stiff, but they also point to well thought out aerodynamics. The lowered seat stays are also not the only thing that is dropped.

The price tag for an ICAN frameset is lowered from where their competitors sit. This Toray T700 carbon fibre beast of a frameset comes directly to you from the factory floor, and this saves you paying a lot of middlemen for the pleasure of holding a box. 

With a massive BB86 bottom bracket joining on to huge chainstays, you can see that this frameset will be stiff. All of your power being driven along to your rear wheel. Pushing your rubber along the road and helping you reach speeds you did not think that you could reach.

All of these three frames share similar design characteristics. They are all angular compared to the old round steel profiles of road bikes of yesteryear. They all feature the latest in carbon fibre construction, meaning that not only are they all aero but that they are all light.

They all keep their cables hidden from the wind. They will all help you drive yourself forward. You do not own one of these frames and sit about and dawdle along the road. You take the race by the horns, and you subdue everyone else around you. Our pick of the bunch though is the ICAN frameset. Offering you the same high-quality ride as the other two frames. The same air cheating ability and a super stiff frameset but at about a 1/6th of the cost of the Colnago frameset and an 1/8th of the cost of the 3T. You can buy a lot of coffees with that kind of change.

  • Dec 07, 2018
  • Category: Articles
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