Simon’s Aero Road

For Simon’s second bike, he asked me to build him an aero road, along similar lines to this bike. I made custom forming tools to ovalise the headtube in the middle to reduce the frontal area. We settled on using a tapered Columbus fork, with a Cane Creek headset mating the two together.

The rear of the bike is similar to a TT build, with an ovalised seatmast (with custom adjustable cap), rear wheel cutout and dropped seatstays. There are direct mount bosses under the chainstay for the EE brake. The Paragon rear dropouts are angled slightly rearward to make it easier to drop the rear wheel out without having the tire jam against the brake.

SRAM eTap means no gear cable routing required, so we just have the rear brake cable running internally through the downtube. An FSA Plasma stem/bar combo keeps the aero theme up front.

Simon was keen to try out ceramic coating for this frame, which in theory should provide a very robust finish. This was applied by Custom Powderworks, with the accent blue color being matched by Colorworks who painted the fork and bar/stem. Final complete weight as shown is a hair under 17lbs.

My first experience with the bike was pretty much the deep end.  It arrived mid February and I drove to South Carolina the end of a month for a solid week of training in the SC hills.  There wasn’t much of a learning curve.  The bike felt right from the start.  Going uphill was a joy and there was no lack of power while hammering.  I was just getting the hang of what this bike could handle in the corners and going downhill so I’ll touch on those points later. From the very start I could see this bike was a joy to ride on.  The best way to describe the comfort level of this frame is that it feels just the right level of stiff.  I don’t feel any give when stomping on the pedals but it doesn’t beat me up riding for hours and hours.
Right after I came back from SC I was in the first big race of the year.  The Grant’s Tomb Criterium in Northern Manhattan.  Again no complaints about handling on a criterium course.  There is nothing about the bike that I feel holds me back from cornering and hard sprinting.
The bike’s feel works just as well in a tight criterium and a long hilly course.  I can’t attest how aero this frame is but looks do help.  The bike just looks fast and I can’t explain why but it feels fast.
I was apprehensive to put the rear brake on the bottom of the chain stays but it’s been a pleasant surprise how well they work there.  It also doesn’t pick up any more dirt than in the normal location.  The EE brakes are superb.  Truly a worthy upgrade.  They’re so easy to open and swap out different wheels.  I just love them.  Can’t go back to any other brakes now.

The DT Swiss wheels are rock solid.  I’ve abused the heck out them and they’re still running smooth.  They’re just fun to train and race on.  Braking performance is comparable to aluminum rims.

I finished my race season at the Green Mountain Stage Race.  It was my strongest finish in the race ever and the bike performed flawlessly.  I had my best time in the TT and had my best finish in the road course and the criterium.  Couldn’t ask more from the bike especially in the criterium which is one of the hardest around.  It’s a six corner course all 90 degree turns and very sharp off camber turn from a fast downhill into an uphill.  This bike can corner!  I was riding at my limit and taking a super tight line.  We hit the downhills pretty hard on the climbing stage and again the bike didn’t hold me back.
This bike is the true all-arounder I always wanted.

One Comment

  1. A work of art. Stunning.

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