BG Lexus of Blackburn Team Bike Profile×

Part 1 – Frame Choice - by Ken Ballhause

What is the ultimate road bike? 

The Bike Gallery – Lexus of Blackburn cycling team races a mixture of road and criterium events, from the Tour of Bright, to the Mitchelton Bay Classic (AKA Bay Crits). Thus, by virtue of the array of courses we race on, there are a variety of demands that our equipment must cater for.

Most of the riders on the team choose the Specialized Tarmac, due to the ability to for fill these variety of demands. Weight wise it is amongst the lightest in respective class, frame stiffness surpasses all expectations, and compliance is more than adequate for the job at hand. Most importantly the Specialized geometry is absolutely dialled, which in my opinion is the most important factor in determining what the ultimate road bike is for you.

Interestingly the Specialized Venge shares near-identical geometry to that of the Tarmac. The aero seat post design of the Venge caters for both 0 and 20mm saddle offset positions, allowing the experienced fitter to optimize saddle offset through the bike fit process. With the key metrics falling into line, what can be achieved setup wise on a Tarmac can be easily replicated on a Venge.

If the teams commitments were more oriented toward the criterium events, the Venge would be the bike of choice. With speeds averaging anywhere from mid 30’s to high 40’s, the aero advantage of the Venge trumps the weight advantage of the Tarmac. To give you more evidence based perspective on the matter, at speeds above 12.9 km/h wind resistance exceeds rolling friction, and at 32.2 km/h 90% of resistance opposing motion is in the form of aerodynamic drag (Lukes, et al, 2005). Of this, between 31 and 39% of aerodynamic drag can be attributed to the bike, with the remaining 61 to 69% being attributed to the rider (Lukes, et al, 2005). In plain English – the bike and rider positioning contribute to saving precious watts, especially as speed increases.  

 

References: 

Lukes, R.A., Chin, S.B. & Haake, S.J. (2005) The understanding and development of cycling aerodynamics. Sports Engineering. Vol:8, 59-74.