Are you looking for a bike for competitive road racing or personal sprint training? Then, what you need is an aero road bike. The best aero bikes are designed to offer optimal power transfer and superior riding speed. These supercars of the road bike world offer the rider an aggressive riding position, responsive handling, and cutting-edge aerodynamic designs to help fight off air drag.
This design improves wind resistance to increase your speed and to achieve better control of the bike. Additionally, their lightweight build increases power transfer to deliver a streamlined performance. So, check out our compiled list below of the 6 top best aero road bikes to find your favorite supercar for your next sprint riding adventure.
How To Choose An Aero Road Bike – Buying Guide
After the frame, the wheelset is the most important feature to examine. Thus, when choosing the best aero bike to purchase, you must pay attention to this feature. This is because the wheelset affects the overall weight, stability, acceleration, deceleration, agility, and speed of your bike.
For a beginner aero bike, the ideal wheelset will have a higher spoke count and shallow rim sections. This doesn’t only improve the bike’s durability but also gives the rider more confidence and stability. The wheelset of intermediate aero bikes on the other end begins to focus on performance.
These types of aero road bikes normally bear deeper profile rims, lightweight rims, and spokes as well as improved wheel bearings. As you become an advanced rider, advanced aero bikes deliver optimal performance. These types of bikes are equipped with carbon wheels and offer deeper rim sections. This design significantly cuts down the overall weight thus, giving the bike an aerodynamic performance and more control to the rider.
The best aero road bikes are constructed from three common frame material types.
Carbon Framed Bikes
Carbon fiber is mostly used on a top range and high-end bikes due to its high cost. However, carbon fiber is also favored for its incredible advantages. This material helps to create a perfect balance between stiffness and weight.
Carbon fiber is naturally ultralightweight. Compared to materials such as aluminum and steel, carbon fiber is high tensile and stiff. The carbon fiber profile is what enhances power transfer during bike riding.
Additionally, using carbon fiber allows manufacturers to mold their high-performance bikes into whatever tube styles because it doesn’t come pre-shaped. Many intermediate and advanced level aero bikes are made from carbon fiber because these bike levels begin to focus more on performance.
Steel Framed Bikes
Steel is another type of bike frame material used. You can even refer to it as a balance between carbon and aluminum. Whilst carbon fiber is stronger than steel, steel is denser and stronger than aluminum.
This means that you can use thinner walled tubes and design vertical flex into an aero bike with steel than with aluminum. Additionally, steel frames are more durable than aluminum as they are designed to absorb more shock and vibrations during bike rides.
Because of this strong build, steel and aluminum frames are favored for beginner bikes because they focus more on riding comfort. Thus, you shouldn’t expect the same amount of riding power transfer and performance from steel-framed bikes as that from carbon fiber framed bikes.
Aluminum Framed Bikes
Aluminum is another popular material for beginner aero road bikes due to its lightweight build. It is a popular frame material option for low to mid-range bikes. Whilst it is not as stiff, light, and strong as carbon fiber, Aluminum still offers these benefits. Aluminum framed road bikes are an affordable option compared to carbon fiber framed bikes.
Aero road bikes are typically designed to counter air drag thus, giving you a faster riding speed. However, due to this design very little attention is put to riding comfort. Aero bikes mimic race bikes, thus, they tend to be stiffer to improve power transfer. The stiff design, in turn, makes aero road bikes quite uncomfortable.
Yet, if they were to include rear suspension systems similar to those you find on mountain bikes, this would affect their geometry and overall performance. Therefore, many manufacturers have begun to include smaller details that operate as trade-offs to at least improve suspension to a certain level.
For example, higher-end aero bikes are designed with frames and forks that offer a particular feel to improve comfort during your bike rides. Other bike riders even argue that pneumatic tires and cushioned saddles may be viewed as a suspension for road bikes.
The best aero bikes should be equipped with lightweight brakes to facilitate aerodynamic performance. Whilst there are two common types of brakes used, i.e. rim and disc brakes, rim brakes are favored as they are lighter than disc brakes. However, hydraulic disc brakes also boast more stopping power and function better under wet climatic conditions.
Rim brakes feature a rotating wheel rim mechanism. To work the brakes, the braking force that is actuated by the brake levers on the handlebars is applied by the friction pads to the rim. The result of this mechanism is the slowing down and eventual stopping of the bike.
Typically, the brake friction pads are normally made from rubber, leather, or cork. Rim brakes offer more edge, however, they suffer on wet and grimy road conditions. Additionally, rim brakes are not only lightweight but also less expensive and easier to maintain.
The one thing you should keep in mind is that there are two types of disc brakes, i.e. mechanical disc brakes and hydraulic disc brakes. Mechanical disc brakes use a cable pull system (similar to rim brakes but arranged differently) whilst hydraulic ones use fluid to transfer the force from levers to the calipers.
Hydraulic disc brakes are more efficient at offering increased stopping power, especially on wet and grimy road conditions. This efficient mechanism is brought about by the fluid that transfers the force rather than the pad. Hydraulic fluids experience no friction compared to the cable pull system.
Mechanical brakes on the other end almost work similarly to rim brakes. You will still experience the same issue with a high applied lever force than the resulting force at the calipers due to the cable friction or compression. Whilst rim brakes are used in many advanced aero bikes (to help cut down weight), many beginners and intermediate aero bikes are built with hydraulic disc bikes.
Q: Are Aero Road Bikes Worth It?
If you are interested in sportive riding, then, an aero road bike is worth it. Aero road bikes are ideal for sportive and spring riding, especially if overall riding time is your priority. These bikes are typically used for road racing, riding tours, and personal bike riding sports.
Q: Do Aero Road Bikes Make A Difference?
Yes, Aero bikes do make a difference. The best aero road bikes are designed to reduce a cyclist's drag by 3 to 5%. This means that aero bikes can significantly repel air turbulence thus, allowing you to ride faster and have more control of your bike. So for road races, aero bikes certainly make a difference.
Q: Are Aero Bikes Faster?
Yes, aero bikes are faster. Compared to other road bike types, aero bikes are designed to counter air resistance and turbulence, thus, making your bike rides faster. They reduce CdA (drag) by 3 to 5%, which can give you up to a 2% bump on your riding speed.
Q: Are Aero Bikes Uncomfortable?
Yes, Aero bikes can be uncomfortable. This is because these bikes are generally designed with performance rather than comfort in mind. Thus, unlike mountain bikes, aero bikes don’t have any suspension systems because they would otherwise affect their performance.
Q: How Much Faster Do Aero Wheels Make You?
It depends on the power you generate. Typically, aero wheels will improve your riding speed by up to 2% more compared to regular road wheels. This is because the wheels tend to be lighter, stiffer, and are designed to counter air drag.
Globo Surf Overview
The aero road bike reviews prove just how important these types of road bikes are to improving your competitive cycling experience. Whether you are using an aero bike for road racing or personal training, the best aero road bikes are guaranteed to improve your performance. So, take your pick of the best aero bike from the list above to achieve a faster riding time and to gain more control of your riding.
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