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Long Torso vs Race/Endurance Geometries

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Long Torso vs Race/Endurance Geometries

Old 02-19-18, 01:26 PM
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Long Torso vs Race/Endurance Geometries

I'll probably get my first road bike in the coming year. I've read a fair amount endurance bikes vs race bikes, including the rather contentious thread from last month. I have zero interest in racing, so I'm thinking I should be looking at endurance bikes. But I'm wondering whether the fact that I have a fairly long torso and shorter legs (6' tall, with 30" jean inseam, ~32" with a tape measure) means that bikes with "endurance geometries" will make me too vertical while one with a more traditional or race geometry might actually work like an endurance bike for me since my long torso makes me naturally more upright when I ride.

That said, I realize there's more to an endurance bike than geometry – it's also about handling and ride… But geometry is part of it…

And yes, I know I should probably just cough up the $400 for a proper bike fit that guides me to the right brand/model, but that's a fair amount of money. And I know, short of that, I should just test ride a bunch of bikes until I find one I really like. But even being able to know what bikes I should try (endurance or not) would be helpful.
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Old 02-19-18, 02:19 PM
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If you are buying a new bike from a bike shop, then they will fit you to the bike. Some do better jobs than others do of course so "fine tuning" might be in order after the sale. Find out if they'll do that or not.

Don't start pigeon holing yourself into one particular type of bike because of what you imagine from your reading. Try various types and just see which seem more comfortable to you and discuss that with the bike shop.
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Old 02-19-18, 02:21 PM
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You are tailor made for race geometry with your torso to leg length ratio. By contrast I am just a hint over 6' tall and have a 35.25" cycling inseam and do much better on an endurance geometry.


I have such a friend built exactly like you. We are about the same height and our bikes look completely different.


Hope that helps.
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Old 02-19-18, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
If you are buying a new bike from a bike shop, then they will fit you to the bike. Some do better jobs than others do of course so "fine tuning" might be in order after the sale. Find out if they'll do that or not.

Don't start pigeon holing yourself into one particular type of bike because of what you imagine from your reading. Try various types and just see which seem more comfortable to you and discuss that with the bike shop.
Being in Manhattan finding a bike shop that will take the time to do it right is difficult – they have salaries and rent to pay. Using the independent ($400) bike fit guy is the only way I know it will be done right.

But yeah, the more I'm reading the more I realize it's complicated and I should try stuff that may not sound like it's right based on the marketing materials.

Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
You are tailor made for race geometry with your torso to leg length ratio. By contrast I am just a hint over 6' tall and have a 35.25" cycling inseam and do much better on an endurance geometry.


I have such a friend built exactly like you. We are about the same height and our bikes look completely different.
You just confirmed what I was suspecting – that I shouldn't only be looking at endurance bikes…
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Old 02-19-18, 02:51 PM
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Component choice is your friend. Aside from the obvious issue of stem length and angle, there's also handlebar reach. The two I use have a 3cm difference and both are fairly common, meaning neither is too extreme.
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Old 02-19-18, 02:53 PM
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The 400 dollar bike fit is for once you have purchased a bike IMO. Though I think there are some that will take your money and then recommend a size bike, I don't think much of those.

When you are looking for a bike, the bike shop give you a quickie fit to that particular bike they are trying to sell you so you can try it out. Just simple things like adjusting the seat height and handlebars. Some do a little more than others. If you purchase the bike, they should go a little further in the fitting and make some recomendations. Some might cost, such as changing stems and saddle.

The net gist of what I'm trying to convey is try out any bike style that you see that interests you. Compare the comfort of all you try as well as consider the usage it's intended for. Don't disregard bikes because you thought someone or something said you shouldn't fit on them.
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Old 02-19-18, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
The 400 dollar bike fit is for once you have purchased a bike IMO. Though I think there are some that will take your money and then recommend a size bike, I don't think much of those.
With the fitter I'm considering the "before you buy" bike fit is actually $50 more than the "after you bought" fit. It's more than telling you a size, it's about saying which models in which brands are a best fit. (The guy is completely independent). Then you go back with the bike and he tweaks things as needed, but those tweaks will be less than if you picked a bike yourself without a proper fit since the fitter has made sure the general geometry is appropriate for you. At least that's my understanding…
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Old 02-19-18, 04:33 PM
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Do you own a road bike? if not, why drop a load of cash on a total unknown?

For the cost of a fitting you could get an awesome used bike and play with contact points and figure out what really works for you. Or, for under $1000 you could get a BikesDirect endurance and road bike in the same size, play until one is perfect, and sell them both and buy the bike you really want.

Also ... if you spend $400 for a fitting and don't know how you like to ride .... how can the bike really fit? How could you tell?

Are you planning to do long rides on rural roads with lots of climbing? Intercity commuting? Cruises through Central Park? Do you plan to ride a couple hours or a couple hundred kilometers? What gear do you plan to bring? I know in New England the nights can get chilly even on hot days (except peak summer) and you might need to bring a jacket or something.

Do you care about being really fast? Is a "good" ride for you a ride where you are in either great discomfort or severe discomfort all the time? or would you prefer to enjoy the scenery and maybe push now and then and relax now and then?

Almost any style bike can be made to fit in different ways .... but obviously you are better off with a bike which is pretty much already where you want it to be. But ... if you have No Clue of "what you want it to be" ...

Then that $400 fitter can only tell you want He likes. Hope it suits you.

Also ... if you already ride, great ... but if not, your "prpoer fit" will change, possibly quite a bit, as you ride more.

You are like a fledgling musician who cannot choose between piano and guitar. You wouldn't buy a grand piano and a 1957 Gibson Gold-Top Les Paul to figure out which you liked better.

Last edited by Maelochs; 02-19-18 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 02-19-18, 05:41 PM
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@Maelochs Maelochs — Yeah, I do have an idea of what I want. And there’s more to my situation than the one question I posed.

Both my husband and I will be needing bikes. He’s currently rides an old mountain bike, I ride a “new” hybrid. They’ll continue to be our get-around-the-city bikes — the ones we don’t mind locking up when we go somewhere.

So the road bikes will be for distance day trips and maybe loops around Central Park. Which means a smallish bag with basics will be part of the equation. Sometimes I’ll be riding with my husband (who at 5’4” and 130#) isn’t as fast. So those are more leisurely trips (for me). So “fast” is important for his bike to let him go as fast as he can, but comfort is equally if not more important. But this thread isn’t about his bike. Other times will be club rides. And other times solo rides. There’s also the possibility we’ll do multi-day vacations. If we do that with our own bikes (not rentals) we’d probably use his road bike and my hybrid with panniers etc on my hybrid.

On the solo rides and some club rides I may be pushing myself. “Fast” is nice, but not necessary. I’d rather be comfortable than get the extra 1-2mph of speed. Hence my interest in endurance bikes. Plus, I know I just like a more upright position on a bike. I’m not cycling to be head down staring at the pavement. Yeah, it’ll be nice to go down on the drops in a headwind, but generally that’s not the position I want to be in.

The rides will generally be fair weather rides. Almost always on pavement. There is one trail we might do (the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail) that’s a gentle, well-maintained trail that’s not 100% paved, but if the road bike isn’t right for that we can revert to our hybrid/MTBs.

And also in the back of my mind is that I may look for a used bike, but that’s complicated on a few levels.

We’re doing a couple road bike rentals when we go on vacation between now and when we buy. (Some Giants this week in LA and some Cannondales in Vancouver in August). So we’ll get a better sense of our preferences after those rentals.

And yeah, I know the fit will change over time. If for no other reason than cycling is helping me lose weight. And if I drop 20-30 pounds that’s gonna make a difference to my fit. But that is what it is.

Bottom line, this isn’t a completely blind stab in the dark.

Last edited by JayNYC; 02-19-18 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 02-19-18, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by JayNYC View Post
@Maelochs Maelochs — Yeah, I do have an idea of what I want. And there’s more to my situation than the one question I posed.
Bottom line, this isn’t a completely blind stab in the dark.
Thanks. I hate giving bad advice ... but it's better than giving no advice

I guess the only thing I would suggest is watching tire clearance. I have a semi-racy and a semi-endurance Workswell .... both are very comfortable when set up right (my weight and fitness fluctuate wildly so it is a constantly moving target.)

The racier bike takes max 25-mm tires ... and I tried some sand on 23s last Sunday and tried the sand with the side of my body.

If you are ever going off-road at all, or will be riding bad pavement, 28 mm tires are the minimum I would want. They are wider and you can run them softer ... they aren't magic shock absorbers but the increased air volume really takes the edge off bad pavement, I think.

Otherwise .... You have more than a small clue and will handle things fine.

Hopefully smarter people will also respond.
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Old 02-19-18, 06:13 PM
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By the way ,.... that's a pretty fierce beard for a lady. Makes mine look scruffy.
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Old 02-19-18, 06:14 PM
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Not to start any sort of argument, but the features you get from endurance bikes are generally a softer ride, sometimes extra tire clearance, predictable handling and a tall front end.

Many "race" bikes also have less stiff rides, extra clearance and very predictable handling. So I don't think looking outside "endurance" would be a bad idea at all.


Any fitter worth going to should be able to make a recommendation sheet for a bike purchase. If you find a good fitter that is attached to a shop, you might get the fit cost partially subtracted from the bike purchase.




I would agree with the suggestion of buying something used - one of the most comfortable bikes I've ever owned is a 2000 Lemond I bought recently. The used market is a buyers market right now. You may learn something valuable about how you like to ride with a modest used purchase while still getting the majority of the features you would get with a new bike. Get a tune up, swap the stem as needed and ride it for 6 months, then spend the big money on something that fits your new found predilections.
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Old 02-19-18, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by JayNYC View Post
You just confirmed what I was suspecting – that I shouldn't only be looking at endurance bikes…
I have almost identical proportions and get along just fine with most endurance/gravel geometry, but between a couple spacers and adjusting the stem length, there are plenty of bikes that would work. One problem that I have, and that I suspect that you might have, too, is that of standover - for most people, it's not a concern, but things can get a little tight with models that have a horizontal top tube that is appropriately long.

Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
By the way ,.... that's a pretty fierce beard for a lady. Makes mine look scruffy.
Having a husband doesn't make one a lady, FYI.
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Old 02-20-18, 03:21 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Having a husband doesn't make one a lady, FYI.
Sorry, i am a survivor from the Jurassic. No offense intended.
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Old 02-20-18, 03:40 AM
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Why say it at all if you intend no offense?
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Old 02-20-18, 03:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Fiery View Post
Why say it at all if you intend no offense?
Are you asking why someone who made an erroneous assumption? Or why they are apologizing for any accidental offense from that assumption?

Think about that.
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Old 02-20-18, 04:11 AM
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I'm asking why say something that can hardly be anything but offensive. "I made an erroneous assumption" is one possible answer, but it's hardly the only one.
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Old 02-20-18, 04:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Fiery View Post
I'm asking why say something that can hardly be anything but offensive. "I made an erroneous assumption" is one possible answer, but it's hardly the only one.
Are you offended by the comment about the bearded cartoon character, or that he assumed someone with a husband is female? It's hard to see why the first is offensive or the second intentional.


Do we really need to jump people for apologizing?
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Old 02-20-18, 04:58 AM
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Why do you think that I am offended, and why do you think that the insinuation of someone with a husband being female can only be unintentional?
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Old 02-20-18, 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
By the way ,.... that's a pretty fierce beard for a lady. Makes mine look scruffy.
I’m not a woman. I’m gay.
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Old 02-20-18, 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted by JayNYC View Post
You just confirmed what I was suspecting – that I shouldn't only be looking at endurance bikes…
Yes, top tube length (torso analog) to head tube length (leg length analog) is exact opposite of an endurance geometry. For guys built like you, a race fit is much friendlier to the body in terms of aggressiveness whereas for a long legged rider like me, a race fit is more aggressive due to great drop.


Above said there are two different geometry considerations for purchasing a bicycle you may even know about which was touched up by others. There is the fit of the rider to the bike, for those average of proportion, endurance bikes tend to be less aggressive aka torso angle to the horizon on the hoods..and...they they tend to attenuate road shock better as a general rule with slacker angles which result in a longer wheelbase which takes the bumps better and slows steering a bit. So considerations are two fold really. I like the solid and steady road manners of an endurance bike but others prefer a more nervous, crit like response. You can set up an endurance bike to fit but you will tend to be a bit more upright with your opposite proportions.

Last edited by Campag4life; 02-20-18 at 05:31 AM.
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Old 02-20-18, 06:29 AM
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Okay, ONE TIME for all you losers just spoiling for a fight.

I assumed that this person was the wife using her husband's account, and was teasing her about having a mascukline avatar.

I did not realize nor did I stop to think that this person might be gay.

I made a joke because I like to make jokes. People who have a problem with that need to solve their problem ... or not. That is not My problem.

I apologized because I know a lot of gay men get flak from some folks, and I did not want the OP to think that I was making any judgments about his gender or sexuality.

I do not feel I said or did anything offensive ... but I wanted the OP to know that he wasn't going to get any disapproval from me for being himself.

In return, i got a bunch of disapproval from some of you ... which matters to me about as much as my opinion matters to the OP.

Some people only come to forums to put other people down ... as this thread shows clearly. I wanted the OP to know I was not one of you.

I think the OP understood my mistake.

As far as frame geometry .... my thing nowadays is tire clearance. Different stems, bars, and seat posts can go a long way towards fitting any frame which is about the right size and shape to any person ... a "racy" frame can get an up-angled stem or short-reach bars, and "endurance" frame can have the stem flipped ... the seat can be moved forward or back with seat post offset.

Two things affect comfort most (i think) those being frame stiffness, and tire width. Some bikes (Pinarello F8, F10, a couple other aero frames) have a reputation for being Very stiff, unforgivingly stiff. On rough pavement the rider will feel every pebble.

Some bikes are designed with more resilience.

Also--and this is the biggest thing I think---Tire Width. Some frames don't have clearance for much more than 25s, but a nice wide 28 at lower pressure can make any bike a lot more comfortable. Before I chose a frame I would ask about tire clearance, in case the OP planned to ride bad pavement---or chipseal, which I don't consider to be pavement, but instead, a form of torture for riders on skinny-tired bikes.

I hope no one is offended by my mention of cycling here.
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Old 02-20-18, 06:42 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by JayNYC View Post
@Maelochs Maelochs — Yeah, I do have an idea of what I want. And there’s more to my situation than the one question I posed.

Both my husband and I will be needing bikes. He’s currently rides an old mountain bike, I ride a “new” hybrid. They’ll continue to be our get-around-the-city bikes — the ones we don’t mind locking up when we go somewhere.

So the road bikes will be for distance day trips and maybe loops around Central Park. Which means a smallish bag with basics will be part of the equation. Sometimes I’ll be riding with my husband (who at 5’4” and 130#) isn’t as fast. So those are more leisurely trips (for me). So “fast” is important for his bike to let him go as fast as he can, but comfort is equally if not more important. But this thread isn’t about his bike.
Other times will be club rides. And other times solo rides. There’s also the possibility we’ll do multi-day vacations. If we do that with our own bikes (not rentals) we’d probably use his road bike and my hybrid with panniers etc on my hybrid.

On the solo rides and some club rides I may be pushing myself. “Fast” is nice, but not necessary. I’d rather be comfortable than get the extra 1-2mph of speed. Hence my interest in endurance bikes. Plus, I know I just like a more upright position on a bike. I’m not cycling to be head down staring at the pavement. Yeah, it’ll be nice to go down on the drops in a headwind, but generally that’s not the position I want to be in.

The rides will generally be fair weather rides. Almost always on pavement. There is one trail we might do (the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail) that’s a gentle, well-maintained trail that’s not 100% paved, but if the road bike isn’t right for that we can revert to our hybrid/MTBs.

And also in the back of my mind is that I may look for a used bike, but that’s complicated on a few levels.

We’re doing a couple road bike rentals when we go on vacation between now and when we buy. (Some Giants this week in LA and some Cannondales in Vancouver in August). So we’ll get a better sense of our preferences after those rentals.

And yeah, I know the fit will change over time. If for no other reason than cycling is helping me lose weight. And if I drop 20-30 pounds that’s gonna make a difference to my fit. But that is what it is.

Bottom line, this isn’t a completely blind stab in the dark.
Speed
I have an "endurance" bike fit. The handlebars are high enough that I can comfortably stay in the drops or the hoods. Many riders, including me on my old bike, only go to the drops for strong headwinds or steep downhills.

The drops are just another hand position for me, and there's a few advantages:
More aero, of course. And I can bend my elbows more to get even more aero, but for a shorter time span.
Hand and arm/shoulder comfort -- changing hand positions during a ride is always good.
Rough roads -- the bump impacts are spread out over my palm.
Control -- I'm more stable on downhills and on very rough roads.

So, you might not give up any speed at all if you can use the drops more often. Usable drops are great for fast group rides, or for long solo rides.

Fit
I had a fitting, for fine tuning my existing bike, with a bike shop fitter that used minimal tools, just a leg angle gauge and a laser level. He did most of the fitting just watching me pedal. The bike was on a trainer sitting on a platform where he could watch from any angle.

The high tech computerized fittings aren't always necessary. And I'd want to do one after I was on a new bike for a season -- I think that riders adjust to riding road bikes, and a fitting at the start might need modifications later. (But those changes will likely be minor.)
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Old 02-20-18, 07:03 AM
  #24  
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Problem I have here is I am short torso-long legs--and I have issues finding frames that fit my weird proportions. I find that every "sizing chart" and every system recommends for me a 58 cm frame at least---except Competitive Cyclist. But I seem to be most comfortable on a 56 with a normal (100-120 mm) stem. (Warning: this device can be really helpful or completley useless---works for me but other have said it led them the wrong way. https://www.competitivecyclist.com/S...ulatorBike.jsp)

Hard for me to help someone built the opposite way.

OP will definitely benefit from bike rentals, and sitting on several bikes. He might fit on a "race" frame the way I fit on an "endurance" frame.
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Old 02-20-18, 07:26 AM
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Fiery
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
I assumed that this person was the wife using her husband's account, and was teasing her about having a mascukline avatar.
Oh, OK. I totally did not get that from your previous posts, thus the question.
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