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Race bike vs Endurance bike comfort

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Race bike vs Endurance bike comfort

Old 03-08-16, 05:03 PM
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B1KE
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Race bike vs Endurance bike comfort

Before I got my first road bike, I had a mountain bike and really enjoyed the comfort on that. I've never owned a road bike before but always heard they were very comfortable but fast. So I came into the bike shop with that stereotype in my head and wanted something really comfortable.

I settled on a 2014 Specialized Secteur Elite Disc with 30mm Espoir Sport tires. I really enjoy the comfy ride but now as I have got quicker and more flexible, I'm thinking I should get a more race frame geometry bike but I have concerns over the comfort for long distance rides.

1. What are your opinions on the comfort of race frame bikes for anywhere between 50-80 mile rides?

2. Also are race bike wheels more prone to puncturing since they are skinnier? My 30mms have been bulletproof thus far.

Looking forward to hearing your opinions.
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Old 03-08-16, 05:11 PM
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Most "race geometry" road bikes will take up to 28mm tires these days and at least 25mm. I have ridden road bikes with 700x32 and 700x38 and my current one has 700x25 sitting on 25mm rims with 80 psi and it's just as comfortable.

I know plenty of people that do 100-150 miles or more on race bikes
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Old 03-08-16, 05:31 PM
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"Endurance" is just a marketing term. If you're properly fitted and comfortable right now than that shouldn't change on a race geometry frame.
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Old 03-08-16, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
"Endurance" is just a marketing term. If you're properly fitted and comfortable right now than that shouldn't change on a race geometry frame.
Right, I'm fitted good now but I'm thinking if I get something like a Specialized tarmac it's gonna be a big upgrade from my 24lb secteur elite disc. I heard race bikes put down power more efficiently. Not sure if that's marketing hype or true. What are your thoughts?
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Old 03-08-16, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
"Endurance" is just a marketing term. If you're properly fitted and comfortable right now than that shouldn't change on a race geometry frame.
Don't know how you could possibly believe what you wrote.
Fit is the underlying reason for comfort and why many feel an endurance geometry is more comfortable...I own two such bikes and night and day compared to an aggressive race frame. More relaxed geometry of an endurance bike can't be easily replicated on a race frame. So no idea why you wrote what you did.

OP...stick with your Secteur unless you can't slam your stem low enough which I doubt is the case.
Yes, you can put light wheels on it and high thread count 25's with low rolling resistance and it will be plenty fast for aggressive group rides. Of course if you plan on organized racing, get a race bike like a Tarmac or equivalent.
I have a 2014 Secteur non disk and it keeps up with all kinds of race bikes just fine. Only hindrance is weight really but unless organized racing, it will do fine.
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Old 03-08-16, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
Don't know how you could possibly believe what you wrote.
Fit is the underlying reason for comfort and why many feel an endurance geometry is more comfortable...I own two such bikes and night and day compared to an aggressive race frame. More relaxed geometry of an endurance bike can't be easily replicated on a race frame. So no idea why you wrote what you did.

OP...stick with your Secteur unless you can't slam your stem low enough which I doubt is the case.
Yes, you can put light wheels on it and high thread count 25's with low rolling resistance and it will be plenty fast for aggressive group rides. Of course if you plan on organized racing, get a race bike like a Tarmac or equivalent.
I have a 2014 Secteur non disk and it keeps up with all kinds of race bikes just fine. Only hindrance is weight really but unless organized racing, it will do fine.
Campag4life thanks for your detailed reply. Right now running 1 half inch spacer on the Secteur. I mostly use it for group social rides but I also like riding solo and beating my personal bests on Strava. Looks like the next move I'll make is probably getting more flexible to drop the stem and getting some 25mm tires and see how that goes.
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Old 03-08-16, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by B1KE View Post
Campag4life thanks for your detailed reply. Right now running 1 half inch spacer on the Secteur. I mostly use it for group social rides but I also like riding solo and beating my personal bests on Strava. Looks like the next move I'll make is probably getting more flexible to drop the stem and getting some 25mm tires and see how that goes.
I also own a Roubaix SL3 Pro with Campy. Actually both my new Secteur and Roubaix are built with Campy and Fulcrum wheels. The Roubaix SL3 is a true race bike but a bit more upright of course than a Tarmac. I have ridden both bikes in A group rides. The Roubaix generally has a slightly faster average speed on the same route but honestly, not by much. The Roubaix accelerates faster and feels more racey and the Secteur once spooled up to speed feels like a Cadillac with a big V8...its a fast bike once rolling.
Yes, a Tarmac will be a faster bike. But honestly, weight matters most if climbing...or doing a lot of accelerating like competing in Crits. For pacelining even at high speeds its fine with good tires.
Put some Conti GP 25mm tires on it...drop a spacer off under your stem and work on getting your back flatter in the drops.
Position on the bike in my opinion trumps what kind of bike you choose unless racing from say CAT 5 or faster.
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Old 03-08-16, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by B1KE View Post
Right, I'm fitted good now but I'm thinking if I get something like a Specialized tarmac it's gonna be a big upgrade from my 24lb secteur elite disc. I heard race bikes put down power more efficiently. Not sure if that's marketing hype or true. What are your thoughts?
I love my Tarmac. It is incredibly comfortable. You'll certainly feel the difference between it and the Secteur. The Tarmac is lively without being punishing.
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Old 03-08-16, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by B1KE View Post
Right, I'm fitted good now but I'm thinking if I get something like a Specialized tarmac it's gonna be a big upgrade from my 24lb secteur elite disc. I heard race bikes put down power more efficiently. Not sure if that's marketing hype or true. What are your thoughts?
Yeah, it'll be more efficient and quicker handling, but as far as comfort over long rides that shouldn't change if your fit doesn't change. Rough roads may beat you up more with smaller tires and tighter geometry but some are more sensitive to that than others it seems.
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Old 03-08-16, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
I love my Tarmac. It is incredibly comfortable. You'll certainly feel the difference between it and the Secteur. The Tarmac is lively without being punishing.
Agree that a Tarmac is the gold standard for race bikes...fantastic bike that has gone thru several design iterations from several years ago to current day.
That said, for me...the reason why I ride a Roubaix which is about as stiff or very close and btw with similar ride...is a Tarmac's short head tube is too aggressive for me...causes pain for even moderate length rides. That is why I am on a Roubaix. If I could ride more slammed in a Tarmac position, I would be on one...
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Old 03-08-16, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
I love my Tarmac. It is incredibly comfortable. You'll certainly feel the difference between it and the Secteur. The Tarmac is lively without being punishing.
I think the Tarmac is quite a bit better than the CAAD10 I own. It is a bike I much rather take up a lot of hills on. I have the stem flipped up, its not too bad for being comfortable. I will say that neither bikes I own are great for hours on the road unless its glass smooth. I live in the ghetto part of Seattle with hardly any great roads.
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Old 03-08-16, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
Agree that a Tarmac is the gold standard for race bikes...fantastic bike that has gone thru several design iterations from several years ago to current day.
That said, for me...the reason why I ride a Roubaix which is about as stiff or very close and btw with similar ride...is a Tarmac's short head tube is too aggressive for me...causes pain for even moderate length rides. That is why I am on a Roubaix. If I could ride more slammed in a Tarmac position, I would be on one...
My Tarmac is a 2008. I have my stem angled up. I don't do the distances on it that I do my more comfort oriented bikes, but after 40 miles or so I feel just as good on the Tarmac as I do the others. I got my Tarmac for a way cheap price though. If I were to go out and buy a new carbon bike, I'd get an endurance geometry bike. There's really not much reason for anyone to get a standard geometry over a comfort geometry unless they have their sights set on serious racing. Or unless they get a slammin' good deal on a standard geometry.
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Old 03-08-16, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
Can you adjust the head tube angle, chainstay length or wheelbase on your race bike?
Well we all know head tube angles, chain stay length and wheelbase are just marketing terms.
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Old 03-08-16, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
Can you adjust the head tube angle, chainstay length or wheelbase on your race bike?
I think the point is you can typically get the same contact points.

My position isn't that aggressive, but more aggressive than the typical weekend warrior. I am 6'1" and I have a tarmac 56 and roubaix 56 and I race both. The fit is set up identical on both. The Tarmac has some spacers under the stem. I could also ride a 58 tarmac with identical fit.

The chainstay length, HT and ST angles are typically more about handling than fit. Stack and Reach are usually the primary things that limit fit. Stack is where you don't want to screw up. I bought a size 58 roubaix once and eventually realized the stack was just too tall for me. You can add spacers and get longer stems to make a small bike larger, but don't ever get a bike that is too tall because it's tough to make a large bike smaller.
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Old 03-08-16, 09:39 PM
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Both my road bikes are endurance fits and I ride right along with the race bikes. Endurance has a longer head tube than race but as long as you can get the handlebar low enough, it's ok. The head tube on one of my bikes is so long that I had to get a +25 degree stem and run it upside down.

I find that tires make a much bigger difference in speed than the type of fit, race or endurance.
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Old 03-08-16, 09:43 PM
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Please keep things civil.
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Appreciate the old bikes more than the new.
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Old 03-08-16, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by GeoKrpan View Post
Both my road bikes are endurance fits and I ride right along with the race bikes. Endurance has a longer head tube than race but as long as you can get the handlebar low enough, it's ok. The head tube on one of my bikes is so long that I had to get a +25 degree stem and run it upside down.

I find that tires make a much bigger difference in speed than the type of fit, race or endurance.
There isn't anything that will make as much difference in speed as your position on the bike. OK, maybe a motor in the downtube... I'm not saying you need a race geometry bike to get into a fast aero position, but you can't be sitting up in the wind.
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Old 03-08-16, 09:49 PM
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Thanks for your opinions everyone so far. Good discussion here. Let's keep it going.
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Old 03-08-16, 09:59 PM
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Ridley Fenix Force 22 Featured Road Bike - 2015 | Competitive Cyclist

My first road bike was a Specialize Allez Comp which is an aluminum race frame. I sold it and got a carbon fiber Ridley Force 22 which is an endurance frame and there was a huge difference. Climbing was much more comfortable, my lower back stopped hurting, and it was easier to accelerate. The difference was even more noticeable on rides over 25 miles.
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Old 03-08-16, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by grwoolf View Post
There isn't anything that will make as much difference in speed as your position on the bike. OK, maybe a motor in the downtube... I'm not saying you need a race geometry bike to get into a fast aero position, but you can't be sitting up in the wind.
If you're sitting up in the wind, you're (a) not aerodynamic and (b) not using your gluts which is probably even more important.
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Old 03-09-16, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
"Endurance" is just a marketing term. If you're properly fitted and comfortable right now than that shouldn't change on a race geometry frame.
There is more to the endurance category than fit. The geometry of the bike with respect to handling is often different with more trail, longer chain stays and longer wheel base, which make the handling less fast. Also, endurance bikes tend to be optimized to provide smoother ride qualities at the expense of some weight or stiffness.
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Old 03-09-16, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by B1KE View Post
Thanks for your opinions everyone so far. Good discussion here. Let's keep it going.
It just depends on how you see yourself riding. There's comfort in most every type of riding except for racing. So do you want to race? That seems to be your tipping point.
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Old 03-09-16, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by B1KE View Post
1. What are your opinions on the comfort of race frame bikes for anywhere between 50-80 mile rides?

2. Also are race bike wheels more prone to puncturing since they are skinnier? My 30mms have been bulletproof thus far.
For 50-80 miles, you can get away with a lot.

As far as comfort goes, that's all about setup and how your body works. I find race bikes to be very comfortable. In fact, I find my race bike more comfortable than either of my recumbents and have been on many 10+hr rides over the years. Keep in mind that what you think of as comfortable might well evolve as your riding habits and fitness change.

I can't imagine why tires would be more puncture prone just because they are skinnier -- that's a matter of tire construction. It's not like a glass shard or wire tire is going to check the width of the tire before penetrating. If you're worried about punctures, get a tire that's more resistant to them.
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Old 03-09-16, 03:04 PM
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The real difference is that race bikes take the corners a little snappier (or they are able to, supposedly. I'm so far the limiting factor on my Synapse). Plenty of people race distances longer than 80 miles on race bikes. I wouldn't worry about getting a race bike unless you are going to start racing...and if you want to, try it out on what you have first. Except for climbing, weight has little to do with anything - and unless you don't have a few pounds on yourself to spare, it's a lot easier to ride the weight off than spend a bunch of money on a lighter bike.
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Old 03-09-16, 03:09 PM
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