What is the one thing everyone is talking about in the world of road cycling, aero gains. Deeper wheels, aero frames, aero clothing and all the accessories you can get your hands on. But do the bold claims that all these companies make actually make a difference?
We think yes and no more prominent was last week when our team rider Tom Temple coming second at a TT Event on his Road bike! Only 8 seconds off the winning time who was on bigger gears and also a TT Bike! Specialized give us the areo figures on the Specialized S-Works Tarmac, S-Works Evade Helmet and the all new S-Works Road Shoes. Tom set about racing in his full road set up with no aero shoe covers or skinsuit to see how fast he could go. 24mm tyres with 85 psi and no aero bars fitted. Did it feel fast? Certainly did!
Let's take a look at the kit he had on as you can ride all day in this stuff there is nothing custom or super rare it's all off the shelf kit.
Shoes and helmets are taken care of from Specialized they are the brand new S-works sub 7 shoes and Evade helmet. Helmets have gone through massive transformations in the past years with aero being the main goal. The new S-Works evade is one of the fastest helmets around. Here is what specialized went through to create the fastest helmet ever.
"we basically lived in our Win Tunnel to create this Evade. Having our own wind tunnel allows us to develop our products with aero at the forefront of the design, rather than merely testing them there. With this, we carefully analyzed every aspect of helmet performance in the Wind Tunnel, and with real-world testing, to ensure that we left no stone unturned in the quest for performance. This makes for a helmet that has countless testing hours and years of development, and ultimately, this adds up to the fastest road helmet we've ever tested"
The S-Works 7 road shoes are equally as impressive in helping you gain every advantage possible. The all-new powerline sole is lighter and stiffer than previous models and the new Padlock Heel keeps comfort to the maximum whilst putting the power down. This shoe was developed with the motto " Every watt is sacred ". The Dyneema upper of this shoe is supple yet does not stretch when pulled making sure your foot stays were it should when it matters.
Now on to the clothing, Our team uses endura clothing because of the technology they have and also the quality of their custom kit. Under all the logos and prints the jersey is an Endura Pro SL Race jersey. It is the top of the range model they produce with a close form-fitting cut that reduces drag from unnecessary flapping fabrics take a look at them here.
Bib shorts are also equally as important and the ones that Tom was using are the matching SL Pro bibs found here.
Clothing is the most cost-effective way to improve your aero gains, Other than the cheapest option changing your position.
Toms bike is also an aero marvel for a standard road bike. It is a custom built Specialized Tarmac SL6. The SL6 offers aero capabilities as well as comfort for those all day efforts. The course that Tom was racing on is renowned for being rough! it has the nickname of the "rumble strip".
Here is what specialized say about the bike.
"we know that aerodynamics are the most important thing we can do to make you faster. Both our Bora-Hansgrohe and Team Quick Step Floors Pro Tour riders, after all, are demanding aero improvements on every bike. With this, the aero goal was to discover where we could essentially 'add aero for free,' by not taking anything away from the hallmarks of the Tarmac design. During the six-month iterative process, three areas were discovered where we could do this—a new fork shape, dropped seatstays with aero tubes, and a d-shaped seatpost and seat tube. The result? A bike that's approximately 45 seconds faster over 40km compared to other lightweight bikes in the same category. Speed savings that you'll feel when you're attacking off the front of the peloton"
The main other components that will give you a huge aero advantage is wheels and there are many to chose from. The cycling world has come to the conclusion that wider and deeper are faster. This is more than evident with the wheels that tom was running the Roval CLX 50. The internal width of these wheels are 20.7mm and a depth of 50mm add up to a perfect blend of aero but also remaining a usable wheel in winds. Internal width creates a flatter tyre profile, therefore, reducing rolling resistance and the depth of the wheel offers an aero advantage when up to speed.
All in all, we can see from the results and what all these companies say it does make a difference as tom was able to compete and nearly beat full TT setups on a road bike proving that it's not just marketing.
If you want to get the aero gains for yourself we have all the parts in stock and our team will be able to get the best parts so you can be the fastest in your group sprint or when you go out Strava hunting on the weekend.