Aerodynamic drag is the environmental ghost that humbles even the most robust road rider.
As speeds increase, so does drag, and if you are a South African coastal road rider based in Cape Town or the Eastern Cape, the issue of side winds becomes an additional complexity – when choosing that aero road bike.
Balancing the need for low aerodynamic drag and stability are tricky design objectives. Carbon-fibre has allowed engineers and industrial designers to create oversized tube shapes that are more aerodynamic. Managing the flow of air across a frame and its constituent components with the least disruption is crucial to a smoother ride, with less energy wasted overcoming aerodynamic drag.
But what if those oversized aero tubes become a problem regarding sidewind stability? Wind gusts easily influence deep-section wheels and huge frame tubes, requiring very alert steering interventions to keep rider and bike tracking along instead of crashing.
For inexperienced or nervous riders, a traditional aero road bike can be unnerving to ride in windy conditions.