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The Aero Bike Shootout: New vs. Old; Rim vs. Disc; Direct to Consumer vs. Retailer; Beam vs. Double Diamond (*an update*)
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Since the original post and corresponding GoFundMe, the ambitious project to independently evaluate the aerodynamics of some of the latest and greatest triathlon bikes (alongside older but proven incumbents) has expanded -- and this is an updated thread for the revised effort.

The new slate of bikes for this testing is as follows: the Cervelo P5, the Cervelo P5-X, the Ventum One, the Premier Tactical, the Diamondback Andean, and a well-configured (but old) Felt B series (which is my own).

The medium remains the A2 Wind Tunnel in North Carolina -- now set for the full day of April 18, 2017 (next Tuesday, as of this draft). The funding for the testing is both crowd-sourced and privately raised. While I have shepherded project management over the logistics, we have obtained equipment provision/support from Dan Kennison (dkennison) of Premier; Jimmy Seear (JimmySeear) of Ventum; and Dave Luscan (Findin' Freestyle) of All3Sports Atlanta. Presiding over the protocol are Brian Stover (desert dude); Heath Dotson (ex-cyclist); and Geoff (from the A2 tunnel).

Support from manufacturers notwithstanding, this project is by athletes and for athletes. For most of us, the most fundamental question remains: which triathlon bike is fastest?

Beyond that, the ancillary questions are many: How much do these bikes differ from best to worse? Are the differences so small as to be wiped out by individualism? Dollar for dollar, are these aero gains worth our money? Should we choose a mold-breaking, UCI illegal frameset design or a traditional, time-tested double diamond -- and is there any evidence to pick one or the other, from a speed perspective? Do we want rim brakes or disc brakes, and what are the aerodynamic trade offs? Weighing performance and price value, do we buy from a direct-to-consumer provider (Premier) or should we go with a traditional retail distribution product (Cervelo)?

I hope to lend credence to these questions in the output, which will be a detailed report. This project may be the first of its kind in many ways, given the independent nature, breadth, and relevance of the testing to triathletes, especially those who are considering the purchase of a new, modern superbike; who are contemplating the pros and cons of disc brakes; and/or who are considering a Cervelo, say, from a local bike shop versus a value-loaded option from Premier (or Ventum).

To paraphrase/plagiarize Dan, we bear witness to a pivotal moment in triathlon bike design and technology. The first was in 1989, when triathlon-specific geometry was introduced. The second was in 2005, when Cervelo debuted the P3C, a product that became the best-selling platform/model in triathlon -- and may still be. And the third is now, with manufacturers divided over frame designs/structures, braking systems, and retail distribution models.

This is an exciting time, and I hope this will be an insightful and informative exercise for the community. Please use this thread to ask questions, give feedback, and engage with stakeholders.

Update: Cervelo P5-X participation confirmed
Last edited by: kileyay: Apr 13, 17 11:33
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Re: The Aero Bike Shootout: New vs. Old; Rim vs. Disc; Direct to Consumer vs. Retailer; Beam vs. Double Diamond (*an update*) [kileyay] [ In reply to ]
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Here's my untrained, eyeball guess:

1. P5
2. Premier Tactical
3. Ventum
4. Felt B
5. P5-X
6. Andean

-------------------
Madison photographer Timothy Hughes | Instagram
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Re: The Aero Bike Shootout: New vs. Old; Rim vs. Disc; Direct to Consumer vs. Retailer; Beam vs. Double Diamond (*an update*) [kileyay] [ In reply to ]
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Welcome back!
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Re: The Aero Bike Shootout: New vs. Old; Rim vs. Disc; Direct to Consumer vs. Retailer; Beam vs. Double Diamond (*an update*) [kileyay] [ In reply to ]
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This could be a dumb question but are you planning on testing the bikes with the hydration systems? Will you also make the data available to all or just those who donated? I feel bad because I didn't donate but poor college student
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Re: The Aero Bike Shootout: New vs. Old; Rim vs. Disc; Direct to Consumer vs. Retailer; Beam vs. Double Diamond (*an update*) [kileyay] [ In reply to ]
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just FYI, i may not let you post this on the forum, or anywhere on slowtwitch.

you're of course free to post this wherever you want outside of slowtwitch. but i have no confidence whatsoever that you have the knowledge and capacity to produce a proper, informed, fair, accurate test.

i've been attending wind tunnel tests since 1990, and have had my own bikes in the tunnel (when i was a manufacturer), and have spent a lot of time scrutinizing and questioning those who have run wind tunnel tests often and over long periods of time, and i don't think i would be anywhere near qualified to run a test.

accordingly, if i'm not satisfied that you produced a proper test, no way is it going to show on this site.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: The Aero Bike Shootout: New vs. Old; Rim vs. Disc; Direct to Consumer vs. Retailer; Beam vs. Double Diamond (*an update*) [kileyay] [ In reply to ]
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This is not a small undertaking. Glad you are doing it though.

Think this might have been covered elsewhere - who all will be present for the test other than Heath, Brian, Geoff and yourself? I know too many cooks in the kitchen and all.
Last edited by: Jnags7: Apr 11, 17 19:43
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Re: The Aero Bike Shootout: New vs. Old; Rim vs. Disc; Direct to Consumer vs. Retailer; Beam vs. Double Diamond (*an update*) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Slowman wrote:
just FYI, i may not let you post this on the forum, or anywhere on slowtwitch.

you're of course free to post this wherever you want outside of slowtwitch. but i have no confidence whatsoever that you have the knowledge and capacity to produce a proper, informed, fair, accurate test.

i've been attending wind tunnel tests since 1990, and have had my own bikes in the tunnel (when i was a manufacturer), and have spent a lot of time scrutinizing and questioning those who have run wind tunnel tests often and over long periods of time, and i don't think i would be anywhere near qualified to run a test.

accordingly, if i'm not satisfied that you produced a proper test, no way is it going to show on this site.

I think that "policy" would be a massive, massive mistake for a large variety of reasons.

I raced 2019 IM Arizona as part of Team Smile Train. Contributions and donations are still extremely welcome! Donate to find out more!
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Re: The Aero Bike Shootout: New vs. Old; Rim vs. Disc; Direct to Consumer vs. Retailer; Beam vs. Double Diamond (*an update*) [kileyay] [ In reply to ]
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Someone is the poster boy for confirmation bias. Sorry.
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Re: The Aero Bike Shootout: New vs. Old; Rim vs. Disc; Direct to Consumer vs. Retailer; Beam vs. Double Diamond (*an update*) [James Haycraft] [ In reply to ]
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it is, nevertherless, the policy. best warm yourself up to it.

kiley and i have traded a number of PMs. the test is not going to be published here unless i'm convinced that the test is done correctly. there is plenty of time and opportunity to convince me of that, and what will convince me is not onerous. if the test is husbanded by somebody (or somebodys) who know what they're doing, and the protocol and process is sound, then i have no quarrel hosting its publication.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: The Aero Bike Shootout: New vs. Old; Rim vs. Disc; Direct to Consumer vs. Retailer; Beam vs. Double Diamond (*an update*) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Simmer down cowboy. We are testing at A2.
Feel free to contact me if you want the details on how we are testing

Brian Stover
Accelerate3 Coaching
Twitter
IG
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Re: The Aero Bike Shootout: New vs. Old; Rim vs. Disc; Direct to Consumer vs. Retailer; Beam vs. Double Diamond (*an update*) [desert dude] [ In reply to ]
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don't worry about me. i'm chill. kiley knows where to find me ;-)

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: The Aero Bike Shootout: New vs. Old; Rim vs. Disc; Direct to Consumer vs. Retailer; Beam vs. Double Diamond (*an update*) [James Haycraft] [ In reply to ]
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In my mind it really boils down to the objectivity and quality of the way the data is reported, the actual test protocol selected and the variation (limitations in equalizing) the bikes.

If those things are well thought out, disclosed and considered .. an individual should be able to weight the outcomes and form conclusions.

A2 employees are experts. LSWT employees are experts. But they test what they are asked to test.

It is important that athletes inform the tunnel employees - as they are not experts in what is important data for triathletes. Technically this is not easy.

I will be at the test. Based on the emails and interactions with those paying the freight on this, a lot of thought has been put into the testing. We will soon see.

No bike company owner that is participating is a wilting flower. If someone sees something out of order - no matter who's bike is affected - I think the owners will speak out.

So this is a test in many forms. A test of the bikes and a test of this particular process by athlete representatives. Those doing the testing have a lot at stake individually and as a group.

I'm an optimist but have been proven wrong before. :-) We will soon see.

*******************
Dan Kennison

facebook: @triPremierBike
http://www.PremierBike.com
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Re: The Aero Bike Shootout: New vs. Old; Rim vs. Disc; Direct to Consumer vs. Retailer; Beam vs. Double Diamond (*an update*) [James Haycraft] [ In reply to ]
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James Haycraft wrote:


I think that "policy" would be a massive, massive mistake for a large variety of reasons.


I agree wih you. On the one hand, I agree with part of what Slowman says. The quality may not be great.

On the other hand, such a policy seems grossly inconsistent to me. There have been the results of many, many suspect tests posted here. Largely the results of manufacturer's own tests. Many of which have obvious flaws. Accept P5x whitepaper involving some opaque methodology of taping unknown quantity of gels to the P5? Sure! Thanks, Cervelo!

Transparently conducted grassroots test...hey, whoa we can't have that, it might be not be to "industry standard!"

He's industry, I get it. Doesn't want his site to be a source of bad data that might upset industry cronies. Unfortunately there's no commensurate interest in calling out industry for the piles of crap frequently foisted up on us as data (fastest bike EVAR!)

I'd be OK as long as its transparently advertised as amateurish. And let the industry get a taste of its own medicine. Not so fun when the rabbit's got the gun!
Last edited by: trail: Apr 11, 17 20:28
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Re: The Aero Bike Shootout: New vs. Old; Rim vs. Disc; Direct to Consumer vs. Retailer; Beam vs. Double Diamond (*an update*) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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He addresses who is involved, and helping with the procedures, in his OP. Are you calling into question their experience and knowledge?

There have been a number of blog posts on here over the years from people that went to the wind tunnel, and them sharing their reports. I'm not aware of you ever censoring any of their posts. Has this been a long standing policy?

Lastly, my understanding is this will be a objective report of what happens. People can pick apart the protocols and results, and make subjective opinions, based on the objective work done.

----
@adamwfurlong
Hilltop Bicycles
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Re: The Aero Bike Shootout: New vs. Old; Rim vs. Disc; Direct to Consumer vs. Retailer; Beam vs. Double Diamond (*an update*) [trail] [ In reply to ]
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trail wrote:
James Haycraft wrote:


I think that "policy" would be a massive, massive mistake for a large variety of reasons.


I agree wih you. On the one hand, I agree with part of what Slowman says. The quality may not be great.

On the other hand, such a policy seems grossly inconsistent to me. There have been the results of many, many suspect tests posted here. Largely the results of manufacturer's own tests. Many of which have obvious flaws. Accept P5x whitepaper involving some opaque methodology of taping unknown quantity of gels to the P5? Sure! Thanks, Cervelo!

Transparently conducted grassroots test...hey, whoa we can't have that, it might be not be to "industry standard!"

He's industry, I get it. Doesn't want his site to be a source of bad data that might upset industry cronies. Unfortunately there's no commensurate interest in calling out industry for the piles of crap frequently foisted up on us as data (fastest bike EVAR!)

I'd be OK as long as its transparently advertised as amateurish. And let the industry get a taste of its own medicine. Not so fun when the rabbit's got the gun!


i participated in a well known magazine conducting an aero road bike shootout that id describe as significantly more amateurish than what this test will likely be. And, they based an entire issue of the magazine off the results.

I raced 2019 IM Arizona as part of Team Smile Train. Contributions and donations are still extremely welcome! Donate to find out more!
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Re: The Aero Bike Shootout: New vs. Old; Rim vs. Disc; Direct to Consumer vs. Retailer; Beam vs. Double Diamond (*an update*) [trail] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
Accept P5x whitepaper involving some opaque methodology of taping unknown quantity of gels to the P5? Sure! Thanks, Cervelo!

You forgot to mention they didn't make sure the behind the seat bottle was the same angle from bike to bike and the same height behind the seat from bike to bike adding in even more noise to the result.

Brian Stover
Accelerate3 Coaching
Twitter
IG
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Re: The Aero Bike Shootout: New vs. Old; Rim vs. Disc; Direct to Consumer vs. Retailer; Beam vs. Double Diamond (*an update*) [afurlong] [ In reply to ]
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afurlong wrote:
osts. Has this been a long standing policy?


The published forum policy is this, from the forum FAQ on scientific data:

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If the data is coming from you, as a private individual, simply do your best to explain your testing protocol and methodology. You should be prepared to answer questions to the best of your ability. If the data is coming from a company that you work for or are otherwise affiliated with, you need to explain your affiliation to that company.


I think that's going to have to be thrown out. I think he made a mistake in trying to justify it in terms of data quality. Much more justifiable if he'd just said, "This has to do with Pubes, and I don't want this stuff on my forum." Keep it personal - no problem, because Pubes was, in fact, pretty toxic. End of story.





Last edited by: trail: Apr 11, 17 20:37
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Re: The Aero Bike Shootout: New vs. Old; Rim vs. Disc; Direct to Consumer vs. Retailer; Beam vs. Double Diamond (*an update*) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
the test is not going to be published here unless i'm convinced that the test is done correctly.

Then why don't you lay out what you think makes a test fair. Or email me if you don't want to post it. You've got my email ;-)

The P5x test was less controlled then it should have been with gels taped everywhere, behind the seat bottles not controlled for angle, height and using different BTS carriers etc, yet you still published it.

There's no way to identically standardize from one bike to the other as you well know from when you went to the LSWT with the P4, Scott Plasma 3 etc.

What's the target we're shooting for to convince you?

Brian Stover
Accelerate3 Coaching
Twitter
IG
Last edited by: desert dude: Apr 11, 17 20:47
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Re: The Aero Bike Shootout: New vs. Old; Rim vs. Disc; Direct to Consumer vs. Retailer; Beam vs. Double Diamond (*an update*) [kileyay] [ In reply to ]
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pitty you couldnt get a trek SC in there somewhere! i understand however time would be very short.
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Re: The Aero Bike Shootout: New vs. Old; Rim vs. Disc; Direct to Consumer vs. Retailer; Beam vs. Double Diamond (*an update*) [kileyay] [ In reply to ]
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Any ETA of when results will be available?
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Re: The Aero Bike Shootout: New vs. Old; Rim vs. Disc; Direct to Consumer vs. Retailer; Beam vs. Double Diamond (*an update*) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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This (and many more like it...) was kosher but an independent test overseen by Brian and Heath (and Geoff) at one of the more reputable tunnels is under heavy scrutiny?
What qualifies something posted? That it has a major brands label plastered to it? I'm normally with you Dan, but this is kind of out of left field it seems. Maybe you could expand the reasoning for us that don't follow?

April 1st was almost two weeks ago.

My Blog - http://leegoocrap.blogspot.com
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Re: The Aero Bike Shootout: New vs. Old; Rim vs. Disc; Direct to Consumer vs. Retailer; Beam vs. Double Diamond (*an update*) [kileyay] [ In reply to ]
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Is this a rider on bike test?
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Re: The Aero Bike Shootout: New vs. Old; Rim vs. Disc; Direct to Consumer vs. Retailer; Beam vs. Double Diamond (*an update*) [kileyay] [ In reply to ]
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Re: The Aero Bike Shootout: New vs. Old; Rim vs. Disc; Direct to Consumer vs. Retailer; Beam vs. Double Diamond (*an update*) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Just gonna say that I'm on Kiley's side on this one.

If he Posts the data and answers questions without drawing conclusions and throwing out wild accusations.

I believe as the current policy states that should totally be acceptable.

That being said I was under the assumption the data was only available to contributors?
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Re: The Aero Bike Shootout: New vs. Old; Rim vs. Disc; Direct to Consumer vs. Retailer; Beam vs. Double Diamond (*an update*) [desert dude] [ In reply to ]
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"Then why don't you lay out what you think makes a test fair. Or email me if you don't want to post it. You've got my email ;-)"

i don't see it as my duty to give you a list. i see it as your duty to do what everybody else in academia does: present your methods and your qualifications (or the qualifications of the person overseeing the test can present to me his or her qualifications).

look, the personalities behind this test have chosen sides. i don't think i have to remind you what kiley said about certain of the bikes he's testing? that's rather unprecedented. i don't know that i've ever seen the folks at cervelo, specialized, et al, be that strident to that degree. that invites an extra bit of scrutiny. sometimes you find out into the future that being an asshole in the past has consequences attached to it.

i was happy, and am happy, to let this test be announced, to let the fundraising take place, and so on, here on the forum. i'd like the person with requisite wind tunnel experience to describe to me methods and protocol. if i see that this is a straight up test conducted properly by someone who knows what he's doing, i'm satisfied, you can present the results here.

otherwise, i'm not satisfied. and to anyone else, no, this isn't something we're voting on.

if you can't present to me what i'm asking for this tells me you haven't figured out in advance what it is you're going to do to make sure this test is straight-up and proper. maybe by going through this exercise you'll thank me for it in the end. if you choose not to go through the exercise, and publish elsewhere instead, then i will have proved (at least to myself) that my instincts were sound.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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