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How to find the most comfortable endurance frame?

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How to find the most comfortable endurance frame?

Old 11-08-22, 03:57 PM
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bikeamateur70
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How to find the most comfortable endurance frame?

I am looking for a new road bike. Being 53 years and starting road cycling at a mature age I have a few issues to struggle with on longer rides (more than 70-80 km). I get neck pain from bad posture/kyphosis/general low flexibility so I am looking for an endurance frame which is rather relaxed. I gave geometrygeeks.bike a shot My knowledge about bike geometry is not that good. Is the "stack" measurements the most important to look for when finding the most upright riding position? I compared Trek Domane, Cannondale Synapse and Canyon Endurace because those models will be the easiest to get hold of in my part of Scandinavia, please check the attached screenshot. To me there seem to be little difference between these bike frames, am I right? For the record: Height 182 cm,inseam 91 cm
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Old 11-08-22, 04:17 PM
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Tomm Willians
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I too suffer from numerous back and neck issues and need to ride a bit more upright. What can be done to virtually any bike is the addition of high angle MTB stems and riser bars. It’s pretty much mandatory for my handlebars to be parallel with my seat rather than the “upside down” sort of visual I get from a more traditional setup. For me these items mean the difference between riding all day or riding for an hour.
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Old 11-08-22, 04:24 PM
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No Specialized dealers there? Another member here just got a Specialized Diverge Expert and seems to like it. That bike will probably give you 10 to 20 mm higher stack than the bikes you picked, for a more relaxed position. As well it comes with 42mm wide tires. So you'll have plenty of room for really wide comfy tires if that ever will mean anything for you or you can go back to narrower tires if that's what you currently prefer. A Roubaix is another bike you might look at. Again if Specialized is anywhere near your area.

But yes stack is probably one of the first things to consider so you'll get a good idea of whether it's more a race fit for someone that likes a lot of drop from saddle to bars or a relaxed fit for someone that rather not feel like they are going head first everywhere they go.

Little things like seat tube angle, BB drop, stem lengths and how the shifters are positioned on the bars can make some differences also in what you feel if you were to try them out. But frame stack and frame reach will go a long way to give you a idea.

But you seem to be only looking at sexy looking road bikes. Don't discount the cruisers and other types of bikes if you aren't needing something to ride long and far like a true road bike is really made for.

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Old 11-08-22, 05:31 PM
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Those are 3 of the bike specifications (current models) I seriously looked over. I bought the Endurace because it was the only one available at the time.

The handlebars come set up relatively high and I kept them that way. It is the most comfortable bike I've ever ridden. No doubt the other 2 are also superb.

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Old 11-08-22, 05:38 PM
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I personally found the Endurace less comfortable the the Specialized Diverge and Roubaix. The Futureshock makes rides longer than 20 miles much easier on my neck. I don’t know how the other two bikes compare.
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Old 11-08-22, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by bikeamateur70 View Post
... My knowledge about bike geometry is not that good. Is the "stack" measurements the most important to look for when finding the most upright riding position? I compared Trek Domane, Cannondale Synapse and Canyon Endurace because those models will be the easiest to get hold of in my part of Scandinavia, please check the attached screenshot. To me there seem to be little difference between these bike frames, am I right?
For a more upright posture, looking for a higher stack to reach ratio. Among the 3 bikes you posted the Cannondale Synapse would have the highest stack to reach ratio. In addition, please see below ...

Originally Posted by BTinNYC View Post
Those are 3 of the bike specifications I seriously looked over. I bought the Endurace because it was the only one available at the time.

The handlebars come set up relatively high and I kept them that way. It is the most comfortable bike I've ever ridden. No doubt the other 2 are also superb.
In addition to the stack to reach ratio, we also need to consider the maximum spacer height under the stem. On my (now two generation old) Cannondale Synapse this number is 55 mm, but on a Canyon Endurace it is only 37.5 mm. This is a significant difference.
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Old 11-09-22, 01:03 AM
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Check out gravel bikes also. They tend to be more upright. You can put a wider more cushy road tire on etc.. Have easy gears for climbing etc... I loved my Cannondale Topstone.

You can see how upright it is. Here's mine with road tires and gravel tires.

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Old 11-09-22, 04:33 AM
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Originally Posted by bikeamateur70 View Post
I am looking for a new road bike. Being 53 years and starting road cycling at a mature age I have a few issues to struggle with on longer rides (more than 70-80 km). I get neck pain from bad posture/kyphosis/general low flexibility so I am looking for an endurance frame which is rather relaxed. I gave geometrygeeks.bike a shot My knowledge about bike geometry is not that good. Is the "stack" measurements the most important to look for when finding the most upright riding position? I compared Trek Domane, Cannondale Synapse and Canyon Endurace because those models will be the easiest to get hold of in my part of Scandinavia, please check the attached screenshot. To me there seem to be little difference between these bike frames, am I right? For the record: Height 182 cm,inseam 91 cm
You are right in that those 3 bikes are very similar in fit, as are pretty much all endurance road bikes of this class - I've looked at them ALL very closely over the last few years since they fit my riding style perfectly.

As it happens I'm practically the same age and height as you, with a similar inseam (although you appear to have very long legs for your height. My inseam is 88 cm and I thought my legs were long). I know I could fit comfortably and be happy on any of those bikes you mentioned. I happen to ride an Endurace at the moment with no regrets. I also own a Giant Defy with a practically identical fit.

I'm not naturally very flexible myself, especially in my back, but I don't have any other issues and can ride this type of bike happily all day without any stem/bar modifications. For reference I run a modest saddle to bar drop of around 50-60 mm. But depending on the extent of your personal flexibility issues, I think it was a good suggestion to consider gravel bikes as an alternative. The other thing to note, given we are of similar height, is that I generally prefer a 58 cm frame in this type of bike. I can fit on both 56 and 58 cm, but I prefer the higher stack and longer wheelbase of the larger frames. On my size L Endurace I still run 20-30 mm of stem stack spacers. If I was on the Medium frame I would need to run all the stem spacers (max is 42.5 mm). With your 91 cm inseam you are likely to have a higher saddle than me too, which will effectively increase your saddle to bar drop. Again for reference my saddle height is around 780-785 mm (BB to top of saddle at centre point)

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Old 11-09-22, 08:01 AM
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The cannondale has a full size longer reach and would require a 10mm shorter stem. No one has mentioned stem angle. As long as integrated bars aren't used, flipping a -6 stem to +6 will add about 20mm to the bar height. A flipped stem is preferable to another 20mm of spacers. I'd want to know your saddle height and body height. Your goal should be to improve fitness and not need such a high bar height. The bars shouldn't need to be higher than the saddle, but I've seen it done.

I'm 69 years old, 168cm tall, with an above average 72-73cm saddle height. I use a 10cm saddle to bar drop, so a total stack of 525mm, with headset top cover and 10mm of spacer works with a -7 stem on integrated handlebars. Frame stack is 505mm. I've been riding a very long time, but took 8 years off to do other things. I came back to it over 4 years ago with new knees and didn't need to change my fit. Over 21,000 more miles logged, with lots of climbing.
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Old 11-09-22, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
The cannondale has a full size longer reach and would require a 10mm shorter stem.
True. The Synapse is one of the few endurance bikes I would probably fit slightly better on 56 than 58 cm. But I know I could make either fit with little drama.
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Old 11-09-22, 11:27 AM
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SoSmellyAir
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
... flipping a -6 stem to +6 will add about 20mm to the bar height. A flipped stem is preferable to another 20mm of spacers.
Why? Not disputing, just curious. (I am using a 100 mm, -8 degrees stem with 50 mm worth of spacers.)
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Old 11-09-22, 03:17 PM
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With a carbon steerer, some brands recommend no more than 40mm of spacers, plus the headset top cover, that's up to 15mm. A shorter steerer extension is stronger. With a 100mm stem, flipping is only about 14mm, with an 8 degree angle.
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Old 11-09-22, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
No Specialized dealers there? Another member here just got a Specialized Diverge Expert and seems to like it. That bike will probably give you 10 to 20 mm higher stack than the bikes you picked, for a more relaxed position. As well it comes with 42mm wide tires. So you'll have plenty of room for really wide comfy tires if that ever will mean anything for you or you can go back to narrower tires if that's what you currently prefer. A Roubaix is another bike you might look at. Again if Specialized is anywhere near your area.
There is no Specialized dealer close to me, but like Canyon its possible to buy it online. I have earlier been looking at Specialized Roubaix, but this model doesnt have mounts on the frame for mudguards ( I am aware there be clip on-versions of the mudguard). With 240 days of rain a year its rather essential. Need to check on Diverge again, thanks!
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Old 11-09-22, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by MattTheHat View Post
I personally found the Endurace less comfortable the the Specialized Diverge and Roubaix. The Futureshock makes rides longer than 20 miles much easier on my neck. I don’t know how the other two bikes compare.
After looking at ads for Futureshock I would definitely look more into it. Could be a gamechanger when neckpain is the issue. Will check out more reviews on this, thanks! Ad for Futureshock on youtube
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Old 11-10-22, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by bikeamateur70 View Post
...but this model doesnt have mounts on the frame for mudguards
My 2022 Endurace does not have mounts for mudguards/fenders.
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Old 11-11-22, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by BTinNYC View Post
My 2022 Endurace does not have mounts for mudguards/fenders.
Important information, thanks!
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Old 11-11-22, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by sean.hwy View Post
Check out gravel bikes also. They tend to be more upright. You can put a wider more cushy road tire on etc.. Have easy gears for climbing etc... I loved my Cannondale Topstone.

You can see how upright it is. Here's mine with road tires and gravel tires.

Great photos! Just curious about the size of bike frame and your height/inseam. Your bike is looking very relaxed, exactly what I am looking at. I ride a Cannondale Caad9 56cm with flipped stem and maximum spacers. My son got a Cannondale CaadX 54 cm so could test that kind of bike as well.
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Old 11-11-22, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
For a more upright posture, looking for a higher stack to reach ratio. Among the 3 bikes you posted the Cannondale Synapse would have the highest stack to reach ratio. In addition, please see below ...

In addition to the stack to reach ratio, we also need to consider the maximum spacer height under the stem. On my (now two generation old) Cannondale Synapse this number is 55 mm, but on a Canyon Endurace it is only 37.5 mm. This is a significant difference.
The Trek has the highest stack height and shortest reach which with all else equal would lead to a more upright ride.
The Cannondale has the shortest stack height and longest reach which with all else equal would lead to a less upright ride.
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Old 11-11-22, 05:45 PM
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I'm in a similar boat in my choice of road bikes (and currently ride an older Domane partly for this reason). Another thing to consider if you're between sizes is going up a size for the increased stack and compensating with a shorter stem. This will affect handling somewhat, but not too drastically if you're near the right size for the bigger bike. In my case (6'1" 33" inseam) most fit calculators recommend a 58 cm size, but I'm right on the lower edge for a 60. While I currently ride a 58 (bought when I was younger and my neck in better shape) I think I'd take advantage of this and go for a 60 when I upgrade to a new road/gravel bike.
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Old 11-11-22, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by bikeamateur70 View Post
Great photos! Just curious about the size of bike frame and your height/inseam. Your bike is looking very relaxed, exactly what I am looking at. I ride a Cannondale Caad9 56cm with flipped stem and maximum spacers. My son got a Cannondale CaadX 54 cm so could test that kind of bike as well.
size med ( size 54 )

the only thing I changed was carbon wheel set with road tires in the top picture. Rest 100% stock. I had a systemsix at the same time as this bike. Sure the aero bike was a tad faster and all prs was on the systemsix but the times pretty close when both on the same wheel/tire combo that I ended up selling the aero bike. I was always on my more comfy gravel bike. Plus I have the added benefit of putting my gravel wheels on and hitting dirt.

I am 5’7 30 inch inseam.

I had a topstone alloy 105. Now I think they go by topstone 1 2 3 4
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