Upgrading from MTB to road aero helmet

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Simon Masterson
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Re: Upgrading from MTB to road aero helmet

Postby Simon Masterson » Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:07 am

NewTTer wrote:
DaxPlusPlus wrote:Hi Andrew .. sounds like your in a similar positon to me. I ride an approx 50 mile round trip commute three times a week. I too am using an old MTB lid and looking to replace it with an aero one .. some time in the new year.

Ignore the speed fascists - I knew exactly what you meant and I'm guessing a lot of others did too. It wasn't like you were claiming to have done a stage of the TdF at 22 mph. I travel for miles at a time at 20mph+ and I'm just cruising along .. no effort, just turning the pedals .. but then I have fitted some aero bars, the road surface tends to be as smooth as and I know a lot of the time there's a very, very slight downward slant on those routes were this happens but that doesn't make my desire for aero benefits any less real.

Anyway there was a study published here on bike radar that showed that aero bars/position helped a rider to a large degree and that an aero helmet was the next best thing on the list that would improve a riders speed/time and that, I think, the effect of the lid was approx half off that offered by the aero bars/position.

Well my experience with clip on aero bars was pretty awesome so if I get half the effect with an aero lid again I'll be one happy bunny. The only problem is they are bl**dy expensive so hence my wait.

If you do go down the aero route please tell us how it goes - cos I, for one, love the idea of getting speed for free.

This nonsense really doesnt warrant a response however in the name of common sense, here is a brief reply.
How many commuters have you seen decked out in skinsuits and aero helmets riding TT bike to work?
The aero gains you are alluding to in the study you read, it was about gains per £, are aimed at competing tine trialists who may benefit on a competitive front from saving a few seconds over a 25 mile time trial.


Bingo! Thank you.

andyeb
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Re: Upgrading from MTB to road aero helmet

Postby andyeb » Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:47 am

Yes there is a need to keep aerodynamics in perspective.

But on longer commutes, it is worthwhile paying attention to how easily you slice through the air; for example I can easily feel the extra effort required to ride with a waterproof jacket on (vs. riding in a slim fitting cycling jersey), even though it isn't one that flaps around in the wind. It's not a subjective difference either - if I'm dressed in full waterproof kit, my heart rate monitor clocks the number of calories burned as 10% higher than if I'm riding in normal cycling kit.

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DaxPlusPlus
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Re: Upgrading from MTB to road aero helmet

Postby DaxPlusPlus » Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:12 am

The report is here http://www.bikeradar.com/road/gear/article/how-aero-is-aero-19273/.

That text from the report that interested me is:

The difference between the Specialized road helmet and the TT2 was 8.6W or 9.4W, depending on which set of protocols we chose.

[cut]

Finally, the difference between a road frame and one with a set of clip-ons on it was a whopping 29.4 watts. This difference is due to rider position (in the drops vs. in the aero bars).


Which tends to point out that the power savings for the full on aero helmet is approx 1/3 rd of that from the clip on aero bars.

My experience of clip on aero bars was that they gave me a large increase in speed for no extra effort. I am quite willing to investigate the use of an aero helmet if I get anything like a 1/3 again improvement over the aero bars.
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DaxPlusPlus
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Re: Upgrading from MTB to road aero helmet

Postby DaxPlusPlus » Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:24 am

I love the way that some people that don't know me, don't know the road surfaces I ride, don't know my local prevailing wind conditions, the route profiles, my fitness levels, the kit I use, my cycling goals or indeed just about anything else about me .. can somehow know more about my experiences of riding than me :roll:
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NewTTer
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Re: Upgrading from MTB to road aero helmet

Postby NewTTer » Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:32 am

DaxPlusPlus wrote:I love the way that some people that don't know me, don't know the road surfaces I ride, don't know my local prevailing wind conditions, the route profiles, my fitness levels, the kit I use, my cycling goals or indeed just about anything else about me .. can somehow know more about my experiences of riding than me :roll:

Oh Dear a time trialling commuter whatever next

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LegendLust
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Re: Upgrading from MTB to road aero helmet

Postby LegendLust » Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:56 am

DaxPlusPlus wrote:Hi Andrew .. sounds like your in a similar positon to me. I ride an approx 50 mile round trip commute three times a week. I too am using an old MTB lid and looking to replace it with an aero one .. some time in the new year.

Ignore the speed fascists - I knew exactly what you meant and I'm guessing a lot of others did too. It wasn't like you were claiming to have done a stage of the TdF at 22 mph. I travel for miles at a time at 20mph+ and I'm just cruising along .. no effort, just turning the pedals .. but then I have fitted some aero bars, the road surface tends to be as smooth as and I know a lot of the time there's a very, very slight downward slant on those routes were this happens but that doesn't make my desire for aero benefits any less real.

Anyway there was a study published here on bike radar that showed that aero bars/position helped a rider to a large degree and that an aero helmet was the next best thing on the list that would improve a riders speed/time and that, I think, the effect of the lid was approx half off that offered by the aero bars/position.

Well my experience with clip on aero bars was pretty awesome so if I get half the effect with an aero lid again I'll be one happy bunny. The only problem is they are bl**dy expensive so hence my wait.

If you do go down the aero route please tell us how it goes - cos I, for one, love the idea of getting speed for free.


Bloody hell. If I were you I'd give Dave Brailsford a ring.

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DaxPlusPlus
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Re: Upgrading from MTB to road aero helmet

Postby DaxPlusPlus » Sat Nov 10, 2012 13:49 pm

LegendLust wrote:Bloody hell. If I were you I'd give Dave Brailsford a ring.


You know that bit where I said that you know nothing about me or my cycling?

Well look up the geology of the Cotswolds Enscarpment.

Then realise that my shortist return journey home is 23 miles of mostly slowly descending roads with hardly any hills. In a lot of places the road surface is old and worn so has much reduced rolling resistance. So cruising at 18 mph for 50% of my journey is the norm and nothing to write home about .. and with aero bars that speed ups to 20 mph.

I've cycled these particular roads maybe 300 times on the same bike .. so I reckon I have a pretty good feel for their characteristics and understand very clealy why I'm going at those speeds (they are false flats and very slowly descending).

The fact that the profile of the route is helping me reach these speeds is irrelevant to whether or not I acquire any benefits from being more aero.
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LegendLust
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Re: Upgrading from MTB to road aero helmet

Postby LegendLust » Sat Nov 10, 2012 14:52 pm

DaxPlusPlus wrote:
LegendLust wrote:Bloody hell. If I were you I'd give Dave Brailsford a ring.


You know that bit where I said that you know nothing about me or my cycling?

Well look up the geology of the Cotswolds Enscarpment.

Then realise that my shortist return journey home is 23 miles of mostly slowly descending roads with hardly any hills. In a lot of places the road surface is old and worn so has much reduced rolling resistance. So cruising at 18 mph for 50% of my journey is the norm and nothing to write home about .. and with aero bars that speed ups to 20 mph.

I've cycled these particular roads maybe 300 times on the same bike .. so I reckon I have a pretty good feel for their characteristics and understand very clealy why I'm going at those speeds (they are false flats and very slowly descending).

The fact that the profile of the route is helping me reach these speeds is irrelevant to whether or not I acquire any benefits from being more aero.


I better get some of these aerobars if they add on 2mph

Simon Masterson
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Re: Upgrading from MTB to road aero helmet

Postby Simon Masterson » Sat Nov 10, 2012 15:12 pm

andyeb wrote:Yes there is a need to keep aerodynamics in perspective.

But on longer commutes, it is worthwhile paying attention to how easily you slice through the air; for example I can easily feel the extra effort required to ride with a waterproof jacket on (vs. riding in a slim fitting cycling jersey), even though it isn't one that flaps around in the wind. It's not a subjective difference either - if I'm dressed in full waterproof kit, my heart rate monitor clocks the number of calories burned as 10% higher than if I'm riding in normal cycling kit.


What's a 'longer commute'? I'd class nothing under 25 miles each way to qualify, unless you live amongst the sort of mountains that we don't have in Britain.

But all this is reliant on your commute: is it a competition? If not, put in the extra effort and get (negligibly) fitter. Saving effort is of great importance in a competitive event, but not in a ride to work. Do you also have a support vehicle with additional bikes and a plethora of spares, to equip you for the cols that you aren't going to climb? ;)

Another problem with all of these wattage measurements of course is that most amateurs will not put out power consistently enough for the savings to be consequential, let alone useful. However, the main issue I have with 'time trial commuters' is that I do not want to be in traffic with people who think it is a good idea to be using aero bars.

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cyco2
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Re: Upgrading from MTB to road aero helmet

Postby cyco2 » Sat Nov 10, 2012 21:31 pm

It looks like Cavendish has his helmet covered in cling film. If it works for him then you ought to try it too.
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diy
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Re: Upgrading from MTB to road aero helmet

Postby diy » Sun Nov 11, 2012 08:04 am

First thing the "rules" are what gives cycling its nerdy reputation, if you want to ride in your baggies, MTB lid and hydration pack then do it. However the difference is quite noticeable at high speeds, between MTB lids and road lids.

I have a giro hex as my MTB lid and the vents are forward facing for max air intake. At faster speeds e.g 30mph it's like a parachute on the head compared to my road lid. I also find it harder to see in the drops. I bought a Specialized Echelon, fairly cheap and it made a big difference.

I do find it funny that roadies assume mtbers are less capable of sustaining higher cruising speeds. I guess it's because they pass us so easily usually due to more bike mass and much larger contact area. For me a challenging hill is 30% over tree roots and flint and fast is 50mph on dirt or grass.


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