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Endurance Bike

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Road Cycling ďIt 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.Ē -- Ernest Hemingway

Endurance Bike

Old 08-15-19, 06:40 AM
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am0n
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Endurance Bike

New to cycling. I bought a Specialized Sirrus Hybrid back in 2013 and after riding it four times (maybe a combined hour of ride time) hung it up until about two months ago. I took it off the hooks, watched some videos on cleaning the drive train, indexing the derailleurs, and after a few rides lifted the seat about 3 inches (long story short, when I bought it I couldn't actually sit on it with any stability, so the guy dropped the seat so I was comfortable enough to stay upright). Since I've put about 200 miles on it, which isn't a lot, but a heck of a lot more. I also started back to the gym about a year and change ago in parallel with PT for my neck and knee (non-bicycle related, but great problem areas for someone thinking about getting into cycling, right?), and so I decided cycling might be a good life change for health and hobby (went from 204 lb. in December to about 180 lb. now, which is around my target weight for 6'3). To note, my objective is not to do any racing, but I'd like to maybe be able to ride with a coworker (does 25-30 mile rides on the weekend) or maybe a club one day (probably nothing more than 50 miles). Stretch goal is maybe a Century (100 miles) one day. As a second note, I've already been told "just ride." Analysis/research is my thing, so while I appreciate (and will!) "just ride," I am looking for help understanding.


I've decided I'll continue to ride my hybrid for the rest of this season to reinforce whether or not cycling is something I might really get and stay into as well as a way to get more comfortable with cycling before investing more. I have numerous areas I need to work on over the winter (tight hams and glutes, so leaning over to get aero is rough, weak core so I put a lot of pressure on my hands and they go numb, likely also related to lack of confidence on the bike, poor thoracic spine mobility so my neck starts to hurt after about 12 miles and lingers for a few days), and jumping into a road bike with drop bars right now would probably be very unwise.


That said, I've read into the types of bikes and it seems that the classic road bike market has split, so I am trying to understand Endurance vs. Lightweight better. I understand that the big differences are a short top tube, longer head tube, less shallow fork angle, slightly wider tires and typically some kind of suspension/absorption in the endurance bike, intended to sit you a little more upright and make the ride a bit more comfortable.


However, they talk about long rides. What is a long ride in this context? Is 25-50 miles long?


How much more upright? Clearly they still have drop bars and you can still get low, so I have to imagine it would still be leagues more aerodynamic than my hybrid with flatbars.


They talk about the endurance bike not handling as well. How much of a degradation? Some of the examples I've seen are talking about being nimble in a peloton, which is not my intent, but I'd like to be able to avoid road hazards (live in the NE, so lots of patched up roads, debris on the sides, twigs to avoid, etc.). I still have to imagine the endurance bike would handle better than my hybrid (maybe I am wrong?), so if I find the hybrid nimble enough for my riding, than the endurance bike theoretically would be better?


I've gotten mixed messages on tires. Seems like the meta these days is slightly wider? So 25 mm on lightweights and 28-32 on endurance with the theory being a more comfortable ride means you can sustain higher power longer and if the road is a bit bumpy, more rubber on the road for power transfer/less slipping. But then I still see people saying to rid on 23s if you want to be fast?


How much of an impact on speed would Endurance vs. Lightweight have? I looked at a few companies, and their endurance vs. lightweight models seem to be maybe a pound delta. Obviously more upright on the endurance. I've seen people talk about slamming the post on an endurance and lifting the seat to get more aerodynamic, but if the same rider was put on an Endurance fitted like an endurance (so more upright) vs. a lightweight fitted more like a racer, what kind of impact would that be? Something like 1 mph delta? Or would it be like a 4 or 5 mph delta? Right now in my hybrid I am averaging about 14 mph on the roads I ride (not super flat and most of my descent have a stop sign at the very bottom so it's hard to really just let it go). I'm not looking to be super fast, but it'd be nice to maybe get up to around 18 mph average with a good mix of hills in there.


Thanks in advance for any insight.
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Old 08-15-19, 07:28 AM
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Speed is all in the engine. Weight is important for long climbs. Rider weight and strength is more important. Only way to get faster is to ride more.

Stack height and saddle height is all determined by a bike fit. Race bikes are stiffer where it matters and endurance bikes are compliant where it matters. More advanced carbon layups have closed this gap.

25-28mm is the sweet spot for speed and comfort. A lot of pros ride on 25s now. I find 28s better for less pristine roads.

Plenty of people out there can leave you in the dust on a flat bar. Drop bars just offer more positions for longer rides
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Old 08-15-19, 08:05 AM
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Long rides is relative really. What's long for one rider may be an average length for another rider. I consider anything over 100 miles to be a long ride, anything under 50 to be short, and 50-100 mid length. But that's me. I have friends who consider anything over 50 to be long. My wife thinks anything over 30 is long. No one is wrong, it's just a preference. Saying that, my main road bike, that I have done everything from an 8.3 mile TT to a 210 mile in a day cross country ride on a fairly lightweight carbon aero bike. My first road bike was an aluminium entry level endurance frame that I did a max of 90 miles on in a ride. Both were comfortable for longer rides, but to be honest, my aero bike is a far more comfortable ride. But it fits me better than the endurance bike. The best bike for you is going to be the one that fits you best. If your own limitations mean an all out racing bike isn't going to be comfortable for anything longer than a trip to the end of the road, then it's not the bike for you. If the endurance bike is more comfortable, you will be faster than on a bike with a more aggressive position because it won't hurt when you ride. Speed isn't everything, but more speed comes the more fit you get.
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Old 08-15-19, 08:33 AM
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I went from an older (old as in downtube shifters) race geometry bike to an endurance bike this year. The advantage to me is the shorter reach to the hoods which is where you spend a lot of time with brifter shifting. If you eventually decide to be more aerodynamic you can adjust this by flipping the stem and changing brake position on the bars. Mine is fairly neutral.

But as said above, speed is far more in your motor than the bike.

As as far as tire width, there are many recent threads here on this topic. Basically whatís important is the diameter of the tire when inflated to your preference. It varies by tire brand and by the width of the wheel. The comfort trend is towards wider tires with 26mm-30mm becoming more common. Also lower inflation. A stiff bike with 23mm tires on narrow rims inflated to 120psi is going to be brutal unless you ride perfect roads while a stiff frame with 26mm tires inflated to 80psi will make for a more pleasant ride.
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Old 08-15-19, 08:37 AM
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Thanks. I figured about as much, regarding ride length. Right now, my longest has been 18 miles and that felt long to me (78 minutes). I also ended it with pretty numb hands and a sore neck, and that's with a fairly upright Hybrid (although it may be poorly fitted). My goal, as mentioned is maybe 30-50 mile which seems long to me, mainly because that's 2-3 hours in the saddle and given my schedule carving out anything more than that once a week isn't really an option (which is why I am trying to bike once or twice a week to work when weather is permitting).


To the earlier comment about speed being about the engine, I guess my follow up is if you put that engine on an Endurance bike (fitted and equipped like an Endurance bike) and then put that same engine on a Lightweight (fitted and equipped more like a racer), how much of a delta would that be in terms of speed? Not looking for an exact, just a ballpark. Is it 1 mph? 3 mph? 5 mph? I'm asking because it may impact my plan going forward (i.e. do I suspect I ultimately want a lightweight and I invest in a cheap or used endurance for a year or two until I build up my flexibility, or do I think an endurance bike will be close enough for what I want out of it that I just invest in a slightly better endurance bike and be satisfied with it for years to come).

Edit: For tires, I have 32mm on mine right now. I was pumping them to 95, but did some reading and relaxed the front to 70 and the rear to 85. Ride is definitely more comfortable and I don't feel much of a loss in speed (although, that may also be due to me getting stronger and offsetting it). Either way, I'm thinking 28 mm might be a nice spot to shoot for on my next bike to strike a balance between comfort and speed (although, I am using gp4s and a nimbus flak right now, so they aren't exactly fast tires).

Last edited by am0n; 08-15-19 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 08-15-19, 08:44 AM
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Letís correct one thing. An endurance bike like a Specialized Roubaix or Trek Domane can be as light as a more aggressive bike. The only real difference is the geometry. My 2017 SL4 Sport Roubaix which has a good CF frame, CF pedals, a lightweight seat but otherwise is stock weighs under 20 pounds.
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Old 08-15-19, 08:48 AM
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Absolutely. I think I mentioned that in my OP? I looked at several brands (Trek, Cannondale, Specialized) and if you compare their Lightweight vs. Endurance at similar price/package points, the Endurance was typically only about 1 lb. heavier (so 19 vs. 20, 20 vs 21, etc.). I don't believe the Endurance bike is heavy (especially compared to my Hybrid), I've just seen the classic "race" style road bike referred to as Lightweight for differentiation over Endurance.
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Old 08-15-19, 08:54 AM
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I highly recommend that you get your bike ''fitted'' to your specs from a local bicycle shop. When you buy one, they usually do it for free. I will really help you & prevent injuries long term wise.

A long ride is more around the 100+ miles. I'd say that a 30-50 miles is an average daily ride. It all depends on your ''rider level''. For a beginner, a 30 miles ride is a very long ride lol.

As for the endurance bike not handling as well, you will not notice anything unless you're a serious rider that races regularly. Don't go with how the bike looks, go with what your body can endure/handle.

I currently have a Giant Defy Advanced (endurance) and I love it. I've been thinking this year about switching to a Giant TCR Advanced (race), but the more aggressive geometry kind of steers me away from it right now since my goal is to keep my body fit, not to race. Of course I need to try one, but these are my initial thoughts after doing some research and asking questions here.

Always try it before buying.

Last edited by eduskator; 08-15-19 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 08-15-19, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by am0n View Post
The earlier comment about speed being about the engine, I guess my follow up is if you put that engine on an Endurance bike (fitted and equipped like an Endurance bike) and then put that same engine on a Lightweight (fitted and equipped more like a racer), how much of a delta would that be in terms of speed? Not looking for an exact, just a ballpark. Is it 1 mph? 3 mph? 5 mph? I'm asking because it may impact my plan going forward (i.e. do I suspect I ultimately want a lightweight and I invest in a cheap or used endurance for a year or two until I build up my flexibility, or do I think an endurance bike will be close enough for what I want out of it that I just invest in a slightly better endurance bike and be satisfied with it for years to come).
As speed increases, air resistance will be a big factor. All other things equal, the person presenting a smaller frontal surface will be faster, sometimes significantly so.... but all other things are never equal. As your position gets more aggressive, your power production will eventually suffer; you need to find a balance.

If you're one of the many mere mortals that can't realistically take advantage of a set-up more aggressive than what's available on an endurance geo, then the question is moot. If you can take advantage of it, the answer is "it depends."

Don't put the carriage in front of the horse. Buy a bike that you'd be happy to ride for the foreseeable future and make sure that it fits you now, with the possibility of a little room to grow (so to speak).
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Old 08-15-19, 04:50 PM
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I have the race bike with super quick geometry and put a lot of miles on it. Loved it. Have you looked at the gravel bikes? They tend to be stable, not twitchy, light enough for an amateur, and are comfortable for all day rides, and fast enough for the stop sign races on Saturday morning group rides.

The truth is they are designed the bikes were designed 30 or 40 years ago. What is old is new again.
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Old 08-15-19, 06:15 PM
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Keep in mind that a lot of people speak their opinions as facts. Also keep in mind that both endurance and racing bikes are broad categories, and different companies have different takes on them.

Originally Posted by am0n View Post
They talk about the endurance bike not handling as well. How much of a degradation? Some of the examples I've seen are talking about being nimble in a peloton, which is not my intent, but I'd like to be able to avoid road hazards (live in the NE, so lots of patched up roads, debris on the sides, twigs to avoid, etc.). I still have to imagine the endurance bike would handle better than my hybrid (maybe I am wrong?), so if I find the hybrid nimble enough for my riding, than the endurance bike theoretically would be better?
Handling is one of the most important things to me about a bike, it's most of how I choose. I ride a Cervelo C3, it's a gazelle, as nimble as any bike I've been on. A lot of people would find it too twitchy, and want something more ponderous. There are a lot of things that influence that, like the distance between the wheels, how the fork is angled. Tastes vary, there are a lot of bikes out there and one to cover any want. But as a general rule, endurance bikes slow the handling down just a little, to make them feel more stable.
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Old 08-15-19, 06:48 PM
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Just ride.
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Originally Posted by rjones28 View Post
Addiction is all about class.
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Old 08-15-19, 07:10 PM
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Seems like you've got a pretty good bead on things. Ride your hybrid until you can't stand it any more (smile), then find a shop that will set you up for a 20-30 minute test ride on a road bike with 'endurance' geometry. Given your current physical constraints, I think starting there would be a good idea.
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Old 08-15-19, 07:45 PM
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You've gotten some pretty good advice I think. I would take the advice of the bike store you choose on which frame to get. I think it would be hard for anyone to outside either frame as far as speed goes.well, I know I cant. I'm more comfortable with endurance geometry. I ride the hoods alot unless its windy or I'm getting after it. Ride and enjoy, dont clog your mind with to many numbers. It's easy to obsess over it. I did and still do from time to time. My point is if you keep it fun, you'll ride farther and faster and will look forward to the suffering.
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Old 08-15-19, 09:51 PM
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Given the physical issues you're working through, and that you have access to a gym, I think renegade rows would benefit you. Excellent for core strength, and for your upper back and shoulders, which you're using to hold yourself up on the bike.
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Old 08-15-19, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Keep in mind that a lot of people speak their opinions as facts. Also keep in mind that both endurance and racing bikes are broad categories, and different companies have different takes on them.



Handling is one of the most important things to me about a bike, it's most of how I choose. I ride a Cervelo C3, it's a gazelle, as nimble as any bike I've been on. A lot of people would find it too twitchy, and want something more ponderous. There are a lot of things that influence that, like the distance between the wheels, how the fork is angled. Tastes vary, there are a lot of bikes out there and one to cover any want. But as a general rule, endurance bikes slow the handling down just a little, to make them feel more stable.
This is a great point. In my experience, my endurance bike does not like to turn. Itís stable but tight radius turns are not itís forte. It wants to go straight not lean into a turn.
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Old 08-15-19, 10:42 PM
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"Lightweight" vs "Endurance" won't actually be that big of a difference. Depending on the specific bike, you could conceivably set up a Lightweight bike to fit like an Endurance bike, by fitting an extra couple of spacers beneath the stem (if the steerer tube is long enough), or by getting a stem that's angled upwards, and potentially shorter. As for weight, if you match component picks exactly between Lightweight and Endurance frames from the same brand, you're likely to end up within one pound of each other. Lightweight bikes are more likely to be fitted with lightweight wheels and maybe a slightly lighter cockpit (seatpost, saddle can make a bit of difference), whereas the Endurance bike might get fitted with more aero wheels and a more shock-absorbing seatpost/saddle combination.

A couple of things you could do to try different fits is to see if you can buy/borrow an adjustable stem. Some hybrids come with them, and while they're ugly and heavy, you can try tilting it up for a shorter/more upright ride, and tilting it down as far as you're comfortable with, and seeing how far below your saddle your handlebars end up being. If your handlebars are within about an inch of your saddle height, you're likely more comfortable on endurance-style geometry, if you can get your handlebars 2" or lower than your saddle (don't know if that's possible on your particular bike), then maybe something more aero or traditional racey/lightweight is more up your alley. Obviously not a perfect comparison, but could give you a general idea of what the differences could be.
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Old 08-16-19, 05:42 AM
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I absolutely understand where you are coming from with your question as I went through a similar progression. I rode a hybrid for a year, then at the encouragement of a couple road bike riding friends, I tried one out. That was the end of the hybrid. My next choice was endurance versus race type geometry. I quickly learned, however, that trying to compare two different categories was pointless, as there was simply too much variation within each category for that to be the meaningful point of differentiation. Some race bikes were stiff as hell and felt almost dangerously twitchy. Others were reasonably compliant and decently stable. Some endurance bikes felt heavy and sluggish while others were reasonably nimble and quick.

Point is this - you are buying a single bike, not a category of bikes. Get out and sample a number of offerings from both categories and you will very quickly come to understand what is the best bike for you. For me, absolute speed was not my main concern - I'm not racing anyone. Comfort on the bike and stability were my concerns. I wanted to do longer and longer rides, and as with most, I don't ride on billiard-smooth pavement. And I wanted to be able to take a fast descent without fearing for my life and white-knuckling the brakes the entire time. I must have sampled a dozen different bikes. And it was worth the effort. 4 years later I'm still completely happy with my choice. I suggest you do the same.

Last edited by Jaeger99; 08-16-19 at 05:47 AM.
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Old 08-16-19, 06:56 AM
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Lots of responses. Thank you everyone for your time.

Originally Posted by eduskator View Post
I highly recommend that you get your bike ''fitted'' to your specs from a local bicycle shop. When you buy one, they usually do it for free. I will really help you & prevent injuries long term wise.
The bike was purchased in 2013, so I highly doubt the shop I bought it from will give me a courtesy re-fit. That said, since I am anticipating a new bike in the Spring, and this season will be over in a couple months (I really only intend to ride outside when the weather is nice), I am reluctant to pay for a professional fit of my bike. I understand that may mean less comfort in the near term, but it's still more comfortable than the stationary at the gym! (those fat stationary seats are not comfortable after an hour)

Originally Posted by aliasfox View Post
If your handlebars are within about an inch of your saddle height, you're likely more comfortable on endurance-style geometry, if you can get your handlebars 2" or lower than your saddle (don't know if that's possible on your particular bike), then maybe something more aero or traditional racey/lightweight is more up your alley.
Don't have an adjustable stem, but after lifting my seat post (used the heel on pedal and knee locked out when crank is in line with seat tube), my seat is above my handle bars. Don't have the bike next to me, but when I get home I'll check to see how much. That said, the fit may not be good. As mentioned, when I bought it the fitter had to intentionally drop the seat something like 3 inches so that I could even remain upright, so it's very possible that things like the handle bars, etc., are not in the correct position. That said, see above about getting fit for this bike.

Originally Posted by eduskator View Post
A long ride is more around the 100+ miles. I'd say that a 30-50 miles is an average daily ride. It all depends on your ''rider level''. For a beginner, a 30 miles ride is a very long ride lol.
This is what I figured. Given my conditioning, an 8 mile ride to work gets my heart rate up and my 15-18 mile rides are good workouts. As mentioned, 25-30 miles sounds long to me, with 50 miles probably being a limit (that's 3ish hours of riding, which even for a Saturday morning is a lot of time for me to set aside given other responsibilities). That's part of my confusion, because while 50 seems extra long to me, it's short for others, so the question I am trying to answer is (in my head, I understand no one else can answer it for me), can I get conditioned well enough that 30-50 miles is comfortable enough on a Lightweight.

Originally Posted by eduskator View Post
As for the endurance bike not handling as well, you will not notice anything unless you're a serious rider that races regularly.
Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
But as a general rule, endurance bikes slow the handling down just a little, to make them feel more stable.
Originally Posted by MSchott View Post
This is a great point. In my experience, my endurance bike does not like to turn. It’s stable but tight radius turns are not it’s forte. It wants to go straight not lean into a turn.
This confuses me. So I get that the endurance geometry doesn't handle as well, but does it handle better than a hybrid? What is considered a tight turn (90į at some speed?)? I'd imagine at this point in time that my comfort on the bike would be a greater limitation to my turning/handling than the bike (I'm fairly sure my Hybrid can turn better than I do, but it's me that isn't comfortable leaning that much and so I slow down into turns more than I probably need to).

Originally Posted by eduskator View Post
Don't go with how the bike looks, go with what your body can endure/handle.
Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
If you're one of the many mere mortals that can't realistically take advantage of a set-up more aggressive than what's available on an endurance geo, then the question is moot. If you can take advantage of it, the answer is "it depends."
Originally Posted by eduskator View Post
Always try it before buying.
Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Don't put the carriage in front of the horse. Buy a bike that you'd be happy to ride for the foreseeable future and make sure that it fits you now, with the possibility of a little room to grow (so to speak).
Originally Posted by GuitarBob View Post
Seems like you've got a pretty good bead on things. Ride your hybrid until you can't stand it any more (smile), then find a shop that will set you up for a 20-30 minute test ride on a road bike with 'endurance' geometry. Given your current physical constraints, I think starting there would be a good idea.
Originally Posted by Jaeger99 View Post
I absolutely understand where you are coming from with your question as I went through a similar progression. I rode a hybrid for a year, then at the encouragement of a couple road bike riding friends, I tried one out. That was the end of the hybrid. My next choice was endurance versus race type geometry. I quickly learned, however, that trying to compare two different categories was pointless, as there was simply too much variation within each category for that to be the meaningful point of differentiation. Some race bikes were stiff as hell and felt almost dangerously twitchy. Others were reasonably compliant and decently stable. Some endurance bikes felt heavy and sluggish while others were reasonably nimble and quick.

Point is this - you are buying a single bike, not a category of bikes. Get out and sample a number of offerings from both categories and you will very quickly come to understand what is the best bike for you. For me, absolute speed was not my main concern - I'm not racing anyone. Comfort on the bike and stability were my concerns. I wanted to do longer and longer rides, and as with most, I don't ride on billiard-smooth pavement. And I wanted to be able to take a fast descent without fearing for my life and white-knuckling the brakes the entire time. I must have sampled a dozen different bikes. And it was worth the effort. 4 years later I'm still completely happy with my choice. I suggest you do the same.
All of these are good points. I've recognized that physically I have some limitations, but assuming I can spend the winter working on them a bit, I think I'd feel comfortable taking the plunge and buying a road bike, but one that I can ride for the length of rides I'd like to do and preferably with any limitations the bike may impose above my ability (so the bike isn't limiting me in the near term). I've considered the endurance geometry after reading a bit about comfort and comments about how the endurance geometry is probably a better fit for *most* riders. Obviously comments like the endurance geometry not being able to turn, or a colleague telling me to either go all in or don't bother, make me more indecisive (my short coming).

I definitely plan to ride before I buy. I've read that some places may let you "rent" a bike for a long period of time (like a week) so you can try it out. Not sure if mine would do that, but if so, that'd give me a chance to get a few rides in instead of a short 20 minute ride. I definitely didn't ride my current one very long before I bought it, but I also hadn't ridden a bike in about 15 years prior to that (and it was a bmx, so not even close to the same thing), so I had no real idea what I was expecting to feel or get from trying it out. I know a lot more now. I'd likely want to try out a number of different bikes (manufacturers and endurance vs. lightweight with tires, etc., that I would actually end up riding with) to see how each feels for me.

As for the style, I think that is a good point. Find the bike that fits me well and I am comfortable on, as opposed to limiting myself to a single style. Obviously the caveat to this is that some features are more likely to be on one style over the other (i.e. the suspension of endurance bikes). I will also be limited to my LBS. Looks like one carries Surly, All-City, Cannondale, Trek, Specialized and Jamis [some more than others] and the other carries Trek, Specialized, Surly and All-City. Those are the closest. Where I bought my original bike (>1 hour drive) seems to carry Specialized, BMC, Surly, Pinarello, Cervello and Bianchi. A fourth that is in the middle seems to carry Giant, Cannondale and Liv.

I think where I sit right now is to spend the rest of the season and winter working on my flexibility, ride for the season, set up the trainer for the winter and then look into a bike for the Spring. Question becomes do I start out small with a $1000 bike (I'd likely want a minimum of a 2x9) or do I invest a little more ($2000 for a 2x11) with the plan that it'll last me longer. Issue I see with the cheaper bike is less "room to grow," but obviously if I don't stick with it the $2000 is a larger drop in the bucket. But that's part of why I won't buy until Spring. If I can't keep on the gym stationary/my trainer at least 3ish times a week, then it likely doesn't make sense to drop the bigger dollars.

Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Given the physical issues you're working through, and that you have access to a gym, I think renegade rows would benefit you. Excellent for core strength, and for your upper back and shoulders, which you're using to hold yourself up on the bike.
Thanks. I'll look into this. Right now I do a lot of high and mid rows, pull ups, a bunch of rotator/shoulder exercises, serratus punches, etc., along with a number of thoracic mobility stretches for the top and a lineup of extensions, side bends, weighted push situps for core and several band/single leg/bosu ball exercises for ankle/knee stability. Trying to figure out some good ham/hip flexor/glute streches since I know I am very tight there, too, and that will limit my ability to be comfortable/deliver power when in a more aero position.
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Old 08-16-19, 07:21 AM
  #20  
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I think where I sit right now is to spend the rest of the season and winter working on my flexibility, ride for the season, set up the trainer for the winter and then look into a bike for the Spring. Question becomes do I start out small with a $1000 bike (I'd likely want a minimum of a 2x9) or do I invest a little more ($2000 for a 2x11) with the plan that it'll last me longer. Issue I see with the cheaper bike is less "room to grow," but obviously if I don't stick with it the $2000 is a larger drop in the bucket. But that's part of why I won't buy until Spring. If I can't keep on the gym stationary/my trainer at least 3ish times a week, then it likely doesn't make sense to drop the bigger dollars.
If you're thinking about a new bike in spring, you're putting the cart before the horse a bit, but it's always fun to think about getting new toys - sometimes more fun than getting them. Regarding entry level vs midrange: go on youtube and search "gcn midrange vs superbike," and watch that first video. My takeaway was that while the more expensive bike is faster, the differences are marginal for someone who isn't truly racing against the clock. GCN even has an episode where they take a 20yr old Trek and upgrade it to the level of a modern, $1500-ish bike - and again, while the difference with the newer, more expensive bike is there, you're already at the point of severely diminishing returns once you have a bike that fits well, has proper gearing, and is already relatively lightweight.

That said, you are unlikely to find any material outside of aluminium in the $1k price range, but you'll start seeing some entry level carbon bikes around $2k. While the difference isn't as dramatic as it was in prior decades, carbon is known to to have a more 'muted' ride quality that dampens road vibration (think: chipseal), whereas aluminium has more of a reputation for beating up riders a bit more. Of course, that is by reputation only - people who have ridden Cannondale's CAAD12 alu frame swear that it's incredibly compliant, and I can see something like a carbon Colnago CR-S feeling quite rough after a while (granted, my experience on that bike was limited to a 10 minute test ride). When you're ready, go out and start test riding/renting different bikes - it'll tell you a lot.

TL;DR version: You're not likely to be much faster on a $2k bike vs a $1k bike, but spending more opens you up to more options, some of which may be carbon, which often rides more comfortably than aluminium.

Lastly, given that you're 6'3" and thinking about getting out there in spring, you may be able to find last year's leftovers for a song - probably harder to do if you were looking for common sizes in the 52-56cm range, but in the ~60cm range you're looking at, someone might have a 2018 or 2019 beauty going for a song.
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Old 08-16-19, 07:53 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by aliasfox View Post
If you're thinking about a new bike in spring, you're putting the cart before the horse a bit, but it's always fun to think about getting new toys - sometimes more fun than getting them. Regarding entry level vs midrange: go on youtube and search "gcn midrange vs superbike," and watch that first video. My takeaway was that while the more expensive bike is faster, the differences are marginal for someone who isn't truly racing against the clock. GCN even has an episode where they take a 20yr old Trek and upgrade it to the level of a modern, $1500-ish bike - and again, while the difference with the newer, more expensive bike is there, you're already at the point of severely diminishing returns once you have a bike that fits well, has proper gearing, and is already relatively lightweight.

That said, you are unlikely to find any material outside of aluminium in the $1k price range, but you'll start seeing some entry level carbon bikes around $2k. While the difference isn't as dramatic as it was in prior decades, carbon is known to to have a more 'muted' ride quality that dampens road vibration (think: chipseal), whereas aluminium has more of a reputation for beating up riders a bit more. Of course, that is by reputation only - people who have ridden Cannondale's CAAD12 alu frame swear that it's incredibly compliant, and I can see something like a carbon Colnago CR-S feeling quite rough after a while (granted, my experience on that bike was limited to a 10 minute test ride). When you're ready, go out and start test riding/renting different bikes - it'll tell you a lot.

TL;DR version: You're not likely to be much faster on a $2k bike vs a $1k bike, but spending more opens you up to more options, some of which may be carbon, which often rides more comfortably than aluminium.

Lastly, given that you're 6'3" and thinking about getting out there in spring, you may be able to find last year's leftovers for a song - probably harder to do if you were looking for common sizes in the 52-56cm range, but in the ~60cm range you're looking at, someone might have a 2018 or 2019 beauty going for a song.
Understood about the price point. I don't (personally) see value above around $2k because at that point a carbon frame and a 2x11 seems common place. I've also read that, much like you said, good aluminum can be a more comfortable ride than bad carbon. Plus, coming from an aluminum bike, it only has to be more comfortable than what I am used to. Hence the "starter" bike vs. something that I have room to grow into.

I've tried to look around for used (don't think I'd want to buy used, mainly due to lack of support/fitting), and finding a bike for 6'3 (oh, and most of my height is in my legs) is damn near impossible. See a lot in the 52-54 cm range, which lends credence to your statement that they are more standard sizes. I've read Fall is the best time to buy discount, but I just don't feel comfortable enough to spend that kind of money right now.

I've also watched a lot of those GCN videos. I particularly enjoyed the 10k calorie challenge and when they did the first leg of the TdF on hundred year old bikes (also a lot of good videos on bike maintenance, which is what I've watched a lot of).
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Old 08-16-19, 08:04 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by eduskator View Post
I highly recommend that you get your bike ''fitted'' to your specs from a local bicycle shop. When you buy one, they usually do it for free. I will really help you & prevent injuries long term wise.

A long ride is more around the 100+ miles. I'd say that a 30-50 miles is an average daily ride. It all depends on your ''rider level''. For a beginner, a 30 miles ride is a very long ride lol.

As for the endurance bike not handling as well, you will not notice anything unless you're a serious rider that races regularly. Don't go with how the bike looks, go with what your body can endure/handle.

I currently have a Giant Defy Advanced (endurance) and I love it. I've been thinking this year about switching to a Giant TCR Advanced (race), but the more aggressive geometry kind of steers me away from it right now since my goal is to keep my body fit, not to race. Of course I need to try one, but these are my initial thoughts after doing some research and asking questions here.

Always try it before buying.
Lol a long ride is 100+ miles. First off most of us with lives donít have time to do 100 plus miles in a day. Second, 30 miles is better than average. 20 miles takes me about an hour or less and thatís about as much time as I have some days. Heck I really find riding more than 2 hours a bit boring at times unless itís a new route I havenít ridden before. Intensity level and how many watts you put down matters. A pro track cyclist is a testament to this.

A 20 mile ride at your max effort can be a lot more excruciating than a leisurely 50 mile ride.

Distance is actually a small parT of the equation and has no real bearing on what level of a cyclist you are. Itís really about how many watts you can average and your weight to power ratio or watts per kilo.

But the op seems like a beginner and just needs to ride more.

Anyway in regards to endurance vs traditional I find a more aggressive and aero position can yield a significant speed gain. Aero wheels can also help. An aero frame I wouldnít worry about.
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Old 08-16-19, 08:06 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by am0n View Post
Obviously comments like the endurance geometry not being able to turn, or a colleague telling me to either go all in or don't bother, make me more indecisive (my short coming).
Keep in mind that comments about a bike's attributes is often enthusiast hair-splitting. Comments like that from your colleague aren't at all helpful without a ton of context.
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Old 08-16-19, 08:14 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Keep in mind that comments about a bike's attributes is often enthusiast hair-splitting. Comments like that from your colleague aren't at all helpful without a ton of context.
The comment came when discussing endurance vs. lightweight when I already have a hybrid. They felt that going endurance was only going halfway. However, their bike is >10 years old and I don't think they are aware of the "split" in geometry, just that the few rides they've gone on with others ride on 23 mm tires and are super low and that's what they think a road bike is all about. I tried to show them an endurance bike to show them that it's still an low riding road bike, just not *as* low and with slightly wider tires. I view the endurance geometry a lot closer to a lightweight than to a hybrid (i.e. it's not going half-way), but again, I may be wrong.
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Old 08-16-19, 08:18 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by am0n View Post
I view the endurance geometry a lot closer to a lightweight than to a hybrid (i.e. it's not going half-way), but again, I may be wrong.
You're not wrong - it's much, much closer.
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