Astute observers may have noticed that yesterday’s Zwift update included a slight spec change to the Canyon Aeroad 2021 frame.
A Bit of Recent History
Released in the September 28th update, the new Aeroad turned in amazing climbing performance, ascending the Alpe faster than any other frame on Zwift. And it did all this while turning in very fast times on flat routes, which made it a standout frame in terms of all-around performance.
Zwift changed three things about the Canyon Aeroad 2021 in yesterday’s update:
- Weight rating went from 4 to 3 stars (so it got heavier)
- Price increased from 532,500 to 568,000 Drops
- Level requirement dropped from 23+ to 10+
New Performance Numbers
Zwift added a bit of weight to the Aeroad 2021, which didn’t slow its performance in our flat tests, but added 9 seconds to our Alpe test results.
The real question is, how did the Aeroad 2021’s performance change in relation to other frames? Here’s how it charted before the yesterday’s update (mouse over points for details – the black points are the Aeroad 2021):
And here’s how it charts now:
So the Tarmac Pro is a stronger climber than the Aeroad 2021, thanks to yesterday’s change. (Little-known fact: the Cannondale EVO actually performs precisely the same as the Tarmac Pro.)
Who Should Use It?
If you don’t have the Tron bike (or don’t want to use it for some reason), the Aeroad 2021 is an excellent choice for flat or rolling routes, since it’s a bit lighter than the other aero frames, without sacrificing much in terms of speed on flats. Especially now that it’s available at level 10, it’s become the fastest frame for beginning Zwifters!
In fact, even though its gained a little weight, the Aeroad 2021 is still the best all-around frame in terms of percentile rankings, if you leave the Tron bike out of the equation (which we have to do, since the Tron bike can’t be separated into testable frame and wheel components):
If you have the Tron bike, there’s really no situation where using the Aeroad 2021 makes sense in terms of speed gains. To beat the Tron on our flat test (by just 1 second!) you have to run the disc wheel with the Aeroad 2021, which makes it climb much worse than the Tron. And beating the Tron in a climbing test requires you to use a much less aero wheel than the Tron, so you’ll lose speed on flat or downhills.
We’ve updated various posts today to reflect the Aeroad 2021’s new performance numbers:
- Tron vs Top Performers Scatter Plot
- Fastest Zwift Frames for Flat/Rolling Routes
- Fastest Zwift Climbing Frames
- Fastest Beginner Frames
- Fastest Frames/Wheels for Level 30 and Below
- Frame Performance Charts
- Fastest Setup for Climbing the Alpe
- Shopping Guide: What To Buy at Each Zwift Level
- Fastest Bikes at Each Zwift Level
Racers weren’t too happy to hear that their brand-new Aeroad frame had been slowed by ZHQ, and that’s understandable. The good news is, it’s still a useful frame, particularly for riders who haven’t yet unlocked the Tron bike. (Zwiftcast Simon, we’re talking to you!)