Aero bikes have come a long way in the last ten years and looking at the current crop of no holds barred wind cheating machines, there’s plenty of development left to come.
Here are five of the most technologically advanced aero bikes on the market today.
1. 3T Strada
3T used to specialise in making components, however in the last few years they’re branched out into bikes, thanks to the expertise of Cervelo wiz Gerard Vroomen (mechanical engineer and the owner of Open Cycle).
Cervelo were pioneers of aero specific road bikes, so it’s no surprise to see the 3T Strada is designed to slip through the air as quickly as possible.
It obviously has a frameset optimised for aero efficiency, but there are some subtle design tweaks, which help it to stand out from the crowd. Perhaps the most interesting being that it can only take one-by drivetrains.
This may appear to limit your gear choice somewhat, with just one chainring at the front. However, 3T have a dedicated cassette, which gives a similar gear range to a two-by set up, just with bigger jumps between the gears.
Crucially this improves the bike's aerodynamics and makes it even faster than traditional two-by setups. Professional team Aqua Blue Sport are racing the Strada in 2018, so keep an eye on their results to see if it really is as fast as 3T say.
2. Diamondback Andean
If you’re after a bike that comes straight from the future then look no further than the Diamondback Andean.
The Andean was designed for the best long course triathletes on the planet, meaning it isn’t held back by the usual restrictive UCI rules which apply to most of road cycling, hence the wacky looks.
Wacky it may be, but there are good reasons for all those shapes and lines. First off, Diamondback claim it’s more aerodynamic and second, Ironman triathletes need somewhere to store their nutrition and spares during a race, so the Andean’s frame was designed to have plenty of space to tuck everything away out of the wind.
One thing's for sure: with all those carbon fibre aerofoil shapes, we wouldn’t like to ride this bike in a nasty crosswind.
3. Specialized Venge ViAS Disc
In a more traditional road bike design, we have the Specialized Venge ViAS Disc. Specialized spent more than 1000 hours in the wind tunnel refining the Venge, which we expect was very expensive, so hopefully this means it’s as fast as the marketing claims.
It's got all the features you’d expect to find on a modern aero bike, but perhaps the most striking is the Aerofly bars, which rise dramatically from the stem.
Specialized say this is because the most aerodynamic stem angle is a super low 17 degree’s. This creates a riding position which is too extreme for most riders, so Specialized put some rise in the handlebars to accommodate for the low position.
Aero bikes often have polarising looks, but we think the Venge ViAS does a brilliant job of combining performance with a dash of style.
4. Cervelo P5X
Just like the Diamondback Andean, Cervelo’s P5X looks like it should be ridden by a character from the movie Tron, but once again it’s designed exclusively for triathletes.
Every single part of this bike is engineered with aerodynamics in mind, from the fully hidden cables, to the micro adjustability, which allows athletes to perfectly dial in their position. This is vital in an Ironman event when you’re riding the bike in one position for 112 miles.
Obviously performance like this doesn’t come cheap, with a top spec Sram Etap equipped P5X setting you back a cool £13,499. People often bemoan you can buy a car for the price of a high end bike, but in the P5X’s case we think you could probably get three.
5. Factor One
Just like the Specialized Venge ViAS, Factor’s updated One aero bike does a great job of combining speed focussed performance, with a relatively traditional and subtle design.
Some neat touches on this bike include the unique split down tube, and the Wide Stance airfoil fork legs, which are claimed to improve airflow around the forks.
Aero bikes have a reputation for being harsh and uncompromising rides, however the One has clearance for up to a relatively wide 28mm tyre, hopefully making for a more comfortable ride.
Being a top spec bike, the One is available in both rim and disc brake versions, however you can only run an electronic drivetrain as there’s no gear cable routing in this futuristic frame.