What to Look for When Buying a New Aero Road Bike

What to Look for When Buying a New Aero Road Bike



When looking at buying a new aero road bike, there are two obvious things that we never seem to talk about regarding purchasing a new bike. We always talk about spec? The two main things to concentrate on do it fit, and can I afford it?

Quick Guidance

  • The Two Basics of Buying an Aero Road Bike

  • Road Bike Fit

  • Wheels on a New Road Bike

  • Fully Integrated Cables and Hoses

  • Aero Bike Frame Construction

  • Aero Road Bike Frame Shapes

The Two Basics of Buying an Aero Road Bike

Affordability should be high on your list of reasons for buying a bike. It is not just a matter of buying a bike that you can afford this month. Can you afford to keep it running? You don’t want to buy a high-end bike and then at every service have to downgrade parts of your bike.


That is where bikes like the ICAN A9 come in. ICAN uses a direct to consumer model, and that means you save money. You are not paying for intermediaries to get their profit. You get a great bike at a great price, which means you should have budget left over to keep the bike running. You will easily be looking at double the price for a similar model from a mainstream brand.


If you look at the Cannondale Super Six Evo Hi-Mod, a very similar model, you only get a frameset for the same price as an ICAN A9 with Shimano Ultegra DI2, including the handlebar charging port and deep-section wheels. The handlebar charging port is a great feature to allow you to quickly and easily charge your DI2 battery. You’ll also not find many other bikes available off the shelf with this port.

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ICAN A9 Bike

Cannondale Super Six Evo Hi-Mod

Road Bike Fit

You want to know a bike will fit you when your order a bike online. If you already have a bike and you know it fits you. Find its geometry and look for its stack and reach. Use these numbers to compare with the bike you’re now thinking about and determine if they match up. They don’t have to be exact as you can change stem length and number of spacers above or below the stem to get a similar position.


If you don’t have a bike and are starting road cycling, we recommend the Greg Lemond system as a great place to begin. You’ll need to measure your inseam, and no, that is not what size your jeans are. You then want to take that number and take 67% of it, and you’ll have your frame size. The frame size here is a race position, so if you want a less racy position add 2 cm to the frame size.


If you don’t have a bike and are starting road cycling, we recommend the Greg Lemond system as a great place to begin. You’ll need to measure your inseam, and no, that is not what size your jeans are. You then want to take that number and take 67% of it, and you’ll have your frame size. The frame size here is a race position, so if you want a less racy position add 2 cm to the frame size.


As a rule, if your saddle height is too high, you’ll develop pain at the back of your knee. IF your saddle is too low, you’ll develop pain at the front of your knee. Remember that no matter how cheap a road bike is, it is not a bargain if it doesn’t fit you.

Wheels on a New Road Bike

Wheels are generally considered the first upgrade you need to make to a new bike. It is the place where many manufacturers will skip on quality and go for a cheaper model. The ICAN A9 is an excellent example of a cycle that goes against that trend.


Most bikes in the same category as the A9 come with box-section wheels or a carbon fairing on aluminum rims. Box section rims will not be as aero as deeper depth wheels, and a carbon fairing on aluminum rims will add to the weight of the bike. Do you want box section rims on an aero bike? They take away from all of the other aero features of the bike and lower your investment


The ICAN A9 comes out of the box with deep-section carbon aero wheels. The A9 features 40 mm deep and 25 mm wide wheels. Bang up to date technology, and a step above everything in its price category. The aero disc wheels can also be set up tubeless. To keep you safe from punctures and rolling along with both speed and comfort. 

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ICAN AERO 40C 

Fully Integrated Cables and Hoses

The most significant trend in aero road bikes just now is fully integrated cables and hoses. The Specialized Venge Vias can be seen as the bike that led the way here. Most other manufacturers now offer fully integrated cables and hoses, the major exception being the 3T Strada.


Hidden cables and hoses are a great feature and will help to save you a few watts. They can be a problem to set up, though, and can take a bike build into being a full-day job. The ICAN A9 was designed to make cabling easy and straight forward. You’ll want to be getting out on your new aero bike as soon as it arrives, and with straightforward routing, you’ll be rubber down on the tarmac faster.

Aero Bike Frame Construction

The modern aero bike is a descendent of the aluminum Cervelo Soloist. The Soloist changed the way many people looked at their race bikes. The oversized aero tubes made the Soloist heavier than other bikes on the market at a similar price. People put up with the weight as the Soloist quite simply made you faster.


Now, nearly 20 years later, aero bikes have become more refined. You’ll be hard-pressed to find an aluminum aero bike. Aero shapes have been revolutionized by carbon fiber. Carbon fiber has allowed forms to become highly manipulated. Thanks to UCI rules, you’ll see that many aero bikes look pretty similar.

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That is because manufacturers now know what works within the UCI rules. It also has allowed manufacturers to look at other areas to improve their design. Many brands now use high modulus carbon fiber to help lose weight on their framesets. Most brands, though, use fancy marketing terms to obfuscate from exactly what carbon fiber they use.

Aero Road Bike Frame Shapes

As we mentioned above, many aero frames are similar in shape thanks to the UCI rules. One of the things that you see on many aero frames is dropped seat stays. BMC brought dropped seat stays to the road bike market. Originally it was to help save weight and get extra stiffness


Dropped stays are now used to help bring comfort and improved aerodynamics. The lower seat stays allow more of the seat tube to flex, which helps to bring comfort on poor surfaces. The ICAN A9 also uses a carefully designed dropped stays to help guide air around the bike and to the rear wheel. That is why it is essential that the A9 also came with a deep section rear wheel. Otherwise, we would be losing aerodynamic flow.


The rear end has also been allowed to allow the top of the seat post to flex for comfort and maintain stiffness for power transfer slightly—the best of both worlds approach. Using Toray T700 and T800 carbon fiber has allowed the ICAN engineers to design this layup to make sure you lose no power but don’t get rattled about by bad roads.

  • Oct 10, 2020
  • Category: News
  • Comments: 0
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