AERO bikes has exploded in popularity over the past few years. It has been promoted from an exclusive, professional-only piece of equipment to a mainstream option for cyclists. What’s more, as their popularity grows, their quality – and more importantly, their speed – continues to improve. With manufacturers offering up some awesome designs that are aerodynamic and a comfortable ride, more and more people are considering the aero bike. So, to clue up anyone that’s a little behind with the times, this post hopes to look into what makes the new aero bikes so good.
The design and idea behind aero bikes is inspired by professional time trial bikes. Many of the aerodynamic features and styles from time trial bikes have been implemented into aero bikes. Every thought put into the design of aero bikes focuses on bringing a balance of aerodynamics to a durable, road-worthy bike. One of the main hurdles that aero bikes have worked at jumping is that of air resistance. Around 20 % of the air resistance that a cyclist deals with at higher speeds comes directly from their bike frame. Aero bikes shave that percentage down by making them less resistant and more ‘slippery’ in the air.
Weight is a constant battle in bike design, and there have been countless ways in the past of shedding pounds on a bike. With innovations like carbon fibre creating incredibly light frames, and a decent level of stiffness for the road, aero bikes have added to this pursuit. The next level of design for bikes was always aerodynamics, and these new bikes have integrated it perfectly. So much so that most manufacturers use air tunnels while designing their bikes. The manufacturers may opt for different priorities in shape and style, but ultimately aero bikes will have a frame designed to smoothen airflow.
Cutting edge design is the main tool that aero bikes have to beat air resistance. There are a few neat tricks employed to keep the air flow as smooth as possible for these bikes. Keeping the cables hidden within the sleek frames not only looks cool, but helps with air resistance a great deal. Although not there yet, do not be surprised if the next generation of aero bikes will hide cables within handlebars, too. Other smart moves to better the aerodynamics include shifting the rear brake on the seatstays and integrating the brakes into the frame. The end product is a sleek, streamlined aero bike, that looks amazing.