Yaw angles and slower riders

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Yaw angles and slower riders

Postby bsorkin » March 16th, 2017, 11:19 am

Hey Flo Guys,

I've read virtually everything on your website and forum. It's incredibly helpful and impressive. But I've still got a couple questions about what's best for someone in my situation.

By any serious-cyclist standards, I'm a slower rider--15 - 18 MPH. I don't compete or race. But I do want to get a wheelset that gives me the most benefit.

I've read all your research on yaw angles, but wondered how the equation changes for slower riders. I'm not sure what speed you did most of your riding at when you were measuring yaw on your data logger, but it seems to me that the slower one rides, the greater the yaw would be. That said, if I'm reading your graphs right, the Flo 60s and 45s perform similarly at low yaw, but the 60s really start to shine at higher yaw angles. Does that suggest that going to the 60s would offer a greater aero benefit for slower riders than it would faster riders? That conclusion seems to run counter to all the conventional wisdom that says that aero benefits you more at faster speeds. Am I getting all of this wrong?

Also, I ride a Trek Domane 5.2...a great bike, but not a particularly aero one. In fact, it's a pretty relaxed riding position. So my second question is: are the aero benefits of a wheel set diminished by a non-aero bike and riding position or are they independent?

Thanks,
Barry
bsorkin
 
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Re: Yaw angles and slower riders

Postby Chris Thornham » March 18th, 2017, 11:01 am

bsorkin wrote:Hey Flo Guys,

I've read virtually everything on your website and forum. It's incredibly helpful and impressive. But I've still got a couple questions about what's best for someone in my situation.

Glad to hear the data has been helpful. That's always been the goal.

By any serious-cyclist standards, I'm a slower rider--15 - 18 MPH. I don't compete or race. But I do want to get a wheelset that gives me the most benefit.

I've read all your research on yaw angles, but wondered how the equation changes for slower riders. I'm not sure what speed you did most of your riding at when you were measuring yaw on your data logger, but it seems to me that the slower one rides, the greater the yaw would be. That said, if I'm reading your graphs right, the Flo 60s and 45s perform similarly at low yaw, but the 60s really start to shine at higher yaw angles. Does that suggest that going to the 60s would offer a greater aero benefit for slower riders than it would faster riders? That conclusion seems to run counter to all the conventional wisdom that says that aero benefits you more at faster speeds. Am I getting all of this wrong?

Our speed varied during our test rides but a good portion of time was in your range which means the data you are seeing is relevant to you. Most of the wind you will see is still going to be at lower yaw angles so both wheels will perform similarly as you mentioned.

The conventional wisdom that says aero wheels are only for faster riders simply isn't true. The truth is, slower riders spend more time on the course, and in turn actually save more time than faster riders. We wrote a blog article which describes all of that in detail http://flocycling.blogspot.com/2016/06/flo-cycling-how-much-time-will-flo.html


Also, I ride a Trek Domane 5.2...a great bike, but not a particularly aero one. In fact, it's a pretty relaxed riding position. So my second question is: are the aero benefits of a wheel set diminished by a non-aero bike and riding position or are they independent?

The wheels more or less exist on their own positioned very low on the bike away from most of your body. Your legs are essentially the only part of your body that gets in the way of your wheels, and even then, only your rear wheel is effected by your legs. Each bike frame will interact with the wind a little differently than other frames, but without testing every frame/rider combo it is impossible to say how much things will vary.

All in all, you should still get a great benefit using aero wheels even on a road bike.


Thanks,
Barry
Chris Thornham
FLO Cycling: http://www.flocycling.com
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Re: Yaw angles and slower riders

Postby AlathIN » March 19th, 2017, 11:44 am

bsorkin wrote:
Also, I ride a Trek Domane 5.2...a great bike, but not a particularly aero one. In fact, it's a pretty relaxed riding position. So my second question is: are the aero benefits of a wheel set diminished by a non-aero bike and riding position or are they independent?



Counting on Chris/Jon to correct me if needed - but if you're riding a Domane I am guessing that like me, you value ride quality. My main road bike is a rando/touring type - very stable, very forgiving handling, very little road noise - and it was always such a nasty surprise by comparison whenever I got out on my Tri bike. Twitchy, scary in corners, and a harsh ride on anything other than brand-new asphalt.

When I put Flo wheels on my tri bike, I was amazed how much it improved the ride quality. Maybe it is partly the carbon absorbing road noise, maybe the wide rims (which was a pretty radical idea when Chris and Jon were starting out) are creating a better tire profile. Whatever the reasons, I am SO much happier on my tri bike since I got my Flo wheels. I'll even ride my tri bike to my parents farm now, which entails the last 2.5 miles on gravel - this would have been unthinkable on my tri bike before.

For what it is worth, I am riding 25mm Conti GP4000sII tires and Vittoria latex tubes on my tri bike with my Flo wheels. I'd bet if you put that combo on your Domane you will be delighted. (PS, per Flo's data, there is no speed penalty for 25 vs 23s).

I'm waiting for Flo discs to do the same thing to my road bike ;-)
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Re: Yaw angles and slower riders

Postby Chris Thornham » March 19th, 2017, 2:51 pm

AlathIN wrote:
bsorkin wrote:
Also, I ride a Trek Domane 5.2...a great bike, but not a particularly aero one. In fact, it's a pretty relaxed riding position. So my second question is: are the aero benefits of a wheel set diminished by a non-aero bike and riding position or are they independent?



Counting on Chris/Jon to correct me if needed - but if you're riding a Domane I am guessing that like me, you value ride quality. My main road bike is a rando/touring type - very stable, very forgiving handling, very little road noise - and it was always such a nasty surprise by comparison whenever I got out on my Tri bike. Twitchy, scary in corners, and a harsh ride on anything other than brand-new asphalt.

When I put Flo wheels on my tri bike, I was amazed how much it improved the ride quality. Maybe it is partly the carbon absorbing road noise, maybe the wide rims (which was a pretty radical idea when Chris and Jon were starting out) are creating a better tire profile. Whatever the reasons, I am SO much happier on my tri bike since I got my Flo wheels. I'll even ride my tri bike to my parents farm now, which entails the last 2.5 miles on gravel - this would have been unthinkable on my tri bike before.

For what it is worth, I am riding 25mm Conti GP4000sII tires and Vittoria latex tubes on my tri bike with my Flo wheels. I'd bet if you put that combo on your Domane you will be delighted. (PS, per Flo's data, there is no speed penalty for 25 vs 23s).

I'm waiting for Flo discs to do the same thing to my road bike ;-)


All valid points. I remember the first time I rode wider wheels, I had the same confidence inspiring feeling. The bike instantly felt more stable and handled better. Couple that with the added compliance of carbon wheels and you get a really nice end result.
Chris Thornham
FLO Cycling: http://www.flocycling.com
FLO Blog: http://bit.ly/b3Zlpq | Twitter: http://bit.ly/bOQ08x | Facebook: http://bit.ly/d8KDhI
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