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best endurance bike for vibration sensitive wrists. Roubaix vs. Synapse vs. Grand Fon

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best endurance bike for vibration sensitive wrists. Roubaix vs. Synapse vs. Grand Fon

Old 09-21-14, 12:17 PM
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Stomper
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best endurance bike for vibration sensitive wrists. Roubaix vs. Synapse vs. Grand Fon

I am considering purchasing a new endurance bike and want a frame that reduces road buzz well so that my wrists won't suffer. The Specialized Roubaix has Zertz inserts, the Cannondale Synapse has the Save Plus fork and Rear Triangle. The Fuji Grand Fondo has thin seat stays and a tapered carbon steerer. I intend to get a professional bike fit, and to upgrade the wheels, seat, and bar tape to improve the ride, also. Each of these bike's frames fit me well but I am unable to take any of them on an extended ride before purchasing it. Let the discussion begin!
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Old 09-21-14, 12:26 PM
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$3k Endurance Bike Shootout: And the winners are? | Road Bike News, Reviews, and Photos

$3k Endurance Bike Shootout: Cannondale Synapse Carbon 3 Review | Road Bike News, Reviews, and Photos

$3k Endurance Bike Shootout: 2014 Specialized Roubaix SL4 Review | Road Bike News, Reviews, and Photos
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Old 09-21-14, 12:27 PM
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I'd pay attention to how fat a tire you can fit on these bikes. A little fatter tire run at a little lower pressure than a skinnier tire goes a long ways to helping with road vibration. That's not very high tech but it works.
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Old 09-21-14, 12:54 PM
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I recommend:

• Giro gloves (maybe the Strate Dure)
• Bar gels underneath the tape (most endurance bikes come with these now)
• Good bar tape
• Slightly wider rims (23mm) which can take wider tires at a slightly lower PSI
• Good tires

Keep in mind that endurance bikes are not going to be as smooth as, say, a bike with front suspension. Don't expect any endurance bike to offer the equivalent of 100mm of travel.
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Old 09-21-14, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
I'd pay attention to how fat a tire you can fit on these bikes. A little fatter tire run at a little lower pressure than a skinnier tire goes a long ways to helping with road vibration. That's not very high tech but it works.
+1 my experience as well.
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Old 09-21-14, 01:00 PM
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Dunbar
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I agree on a wider tire on a wider rim. A 28mm front tire on a wider rim @ 60-70psi will go a long ways to smoothing out the ride of the front end.
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Old 09-21-14, 03:22 PM
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I test rode around 15 bikes this summer, and the Trek Emonda (in 500 level carbon, so the "SL" models, they start around $2,600) is better than all of those.

The Roubaix was surprisingly stiff for an "endurance" bike. The Synapse was fine, better than many bikes, but nothing amazing.

The Emonda was rather amazing. I specifically ran over bigger and bigger potholes, and the bike just floated over them. It both remained stable, and your hands weren't jarred. You should check it out. Like I said, ride the 500 level carbon models (the "SL" frames, not the "S" frames).

Another possiblity is the new Specialized Diverge - it's not out yet, don't know how it's ride compares to the Emonda. It does take bigger tires (more cyclocross level clearance) though.
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Old 09-21-14, 03:33 PM
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Don't forget the bianchi Infinito CV. They have decided to enter the vibration control game too. They officially support 28c tyres, but I have boyd 60s which are already 23.5 wide and have 25c on them; they measure out to 27.5 and have tons of room... Right now I can ride the chip seal like it's glass at 100psi. It's a dream.
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Old 09-21-14, 04:12 PM
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I plan to purchase the Giro Strate Dure when they become available and I intend to use cushioned bar tape.
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Old 09-21-14, 04:14 PM
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The Bike Shootout contained a wealth of information. It seems that I have several bikes to test ride. I should wait until after I purchase the bike to purchase wheels, since some of the bikes in the Endurance category have disc brake setups that require non-standard wheels.
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Old 09-21-14, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Stomper View Post
The Bike Shootout contained a wealth of information. It seems that I have several bikes to test ride. I should wait until after I purchase the bike to purchase wheels, since some of the bikes in the Endurance category have disc brake setups that require non-standard wheels.
These bikes come with wheels and they're probably pretty expensive too boot. You might want to take a shot at getting the wheels you want with the bike as the dealer might take the original wheels in trade in.
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Old 09-21-14, 04:24 PM
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Work on holding the bars properly to reduce fatigue and injury. Core work will also alleviate the loads on your arms, wrists, hands.
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Old 09-21-14, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Stomper View Post
The Bike Shootout contained a wealth of information. It seems that I have several bikes to test ride. I should wait until after I purchase the bike to purchase wheels, since some of the bikes in the Endurance category have disc brake setups that require non-standard wheels.
Or one could just stick with the wheels the bike comes with as well.

Be sure to try the Emonda. In my opinion, it was the best bike for vibration reduction of the 15 or so that I tried.
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Old 09-22-14, 02:20 AM
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I would test ride the Domane, and the Emonda from trek.
I test rode a Domane, Secteur, and Madone.
The Domane felt smoother than the other bikes.
I did not ride a Synapse, Defy, or Emonda.
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Old 09-22-14, 02:23 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
I'd pay attention to how fat a tire you can fit on these bikes. A little fatter tire run at a little lower pressure than a skinnier tire goes a long ways to helping with road vibration. That's not very high tech but it works.
Winner for dinner...lower the PSI
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Old 09-22-14, 03:40 AM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Winner for dinner...lower the PSI
The myth about even discussing this is...this can be done on any road bike. Lowering PSI is additive to what the bike's structure brings in terms of compliancy. So out of the 15 bikes that Paul tested for example, there is one or a couple of bikes, if you lower the tire pressure will ride better than than the other bikes if you lower the tire pressure by the same amount. Lowering the PSI for a heavier rider isn't a great idea if at a lower level to begin with because it can cause pinch flats. A bike that can fit 28c rubber, and many of the endurance bikes can will allow a lower tire pressure without pinch flatting for a given rider's weight, but there will still be one frame that tends to ride the best. As to the Domane, many say that the Emonda rides better overall because the Domane has a split personality of very stiff front end and more compliant rear due to the seat tube pivot. I don't like that particular combination. To me its the hands that always need more help for ride compared to the rear of the bike.
OP, to me the Roubaix is a fantastic bike but the new Roubaix has a very stiff rear end you may not appreciate. To me the previous version which I own is perfect however. I would love to spend a couple of weeks on an Emonda SL 500 series frame to see if has overall better ride quality than the Roubaix SL3 but maybe it does.

Last edited by Campag4life; 09-22-14 at 05:12 AM.
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Old 09-22-14, 04:31 AM
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Check out the Ergoride if you have a dealer near you. Focus Izalco Ergoride 2.0 review - BikeRadar
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Old 09-22-14, 04:52 AM
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Have you had a bike fit with your current bike? Might help with the wrist problem more than a new bike.
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Old 09-22-14, 07:54 AM
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I have a 2014 Roubaix and would say it's worth a test ride for sure, but don't expect a ride like someone says about the Emonda, up above. It is a stiff frame. I find road buzz to be fine on it. As others say, tire pressure up front is a huge factor; run that tire at ~85 psi and it'll make a big difference. You can do that with a 25mm tire- don't need to go to a 28.

I love my Roubaix; it's a great combo of stiff but comfortable. That WITH the CG-R seatpost, which I'd rate as pretty much a necessity if you want comfort. But I do think that if "eating the road" is the goal, the Roubaix has evolved into a bike that isn't really like that anymore. Again- I LIKE that about it; the handling and perceived power transmission are excellent, and it's comfortable, but buttery smooth it is not.
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Old 09-22-14, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Long Tom View Post
I have a 2014 Roubaix and would say it's worth a test ride for sure, but don't expect a ride like someone says about the Emonda, up above. It is a stiff frame. I find road buzz to be fine on it. As others say, tire pressure up front is a huge factor; run that tire at ~85 psi and it'll make a big difference. You can do that with a 25mm tire- don't need to go to a 28.

I love my Roubaix; it's a great combo of stiff but comfortable. That WITH the CG-R seatpost, which I'd rate as pretty much a necessity if you want comfort. But I do think that if "eating the road" is the goal, the Roubaix has evolved into a bike that isn't really like that anymore. Again- I LIKE that about it; the handling and perceived power transmission are excellent, and it's comfortable, but buttery smooth it is not.
I think what you described well about the new Roubaix SL4 is exactly what Specialized intended. They took the Roubaix to different performance level subtracting some of the isolation from the road in back in particular. Many will prefer this and was no doubt the calculated risk that Spesh took. I would have to see if this tradeoff is worth it but may choose the Emonda. I will tell you I am not a fan of the single bolt COBL post...not only for aesthetics but also because of crappy single bolt.
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Old 09-22-14, 08:27 AM
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Try what I have if you can, a Look 675. Great handling and a very nice ride_ I run 25mm tires on mine and I think you could go up to a 28c.
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Old 09-22-14, 08:57 AM
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I had a similar issue - palms going numb. I installed aerobars - end of problem, and lots of other benefits as well. I am 68 and was a little apprehensive about whether there would be any stability or control issues, but have experienced absolutely no problems - just happy hands!
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Old 09-22-14, 10:22 AM
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I ride an inexpensive Specialized aluminum frame Secteur. The rims are Velocity 23mm wide and are mounted with a 25 mm tire on the front at 65 pounds pressure and a 28 mm tire aft at 80 pounds. I'm at 160 pounds myself and add another 25 pounds for a light, weekend tour and just a bit more air in the tires. There is never more than 190 pounds on the bike. The bike rides quite smoothly. For a smoother ride, use fatter tires and a bit less pressure. But if you just want a new carbon bike, you have my permission and my best wishes.
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Old 09-22-14, 10:56 AM
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Tires. But make sure you have clearance in the frame for larger tires.

Listed by smoothest ride first:
I weigh 170 lbs.
These were all GP4000 tires, and the same wheels. The tires have very flexible sidewalls to help soak up bumpy roads.

1. Carbon Orbea frame.
25c at 80-85 psi front, 100-105 rear. I could probably lower the rear pressure, but it's very comfortable here.
These tires barely fit in the frame, with just a couple of mm clearance at the brake bridge and at the top of the fork.

2. My older aluminum bike with carbon stays, GP4000 tires
25c tires 80-85 front, 100-105 rear.
Yes, a little more plush ride than my new carbon bike with 23c.

3. The Orbea carbon frame
23c tires at 90 psi front, 105-110 rear.

4. The older aluminum bike
23c tires at 90 psi front, 105-110 rear.

5. My older aluminum bike with the stock 23c tires. The GP4000 replacement tires made an immediate improvement.

Last edited by rm -rf; 09-22-14 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 09-22-14, 12:14 PM
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I bought a Volagi Liscio a few months ago and it's easily the smoothest bike of my four previous carbon frame bikes. I can't tell whether it is due to the frame design or because it allows for 28 mm tires, which I run at 80 psig (I weigh 158 lbs). Of course it could be a combination of both, but the end result of a very smooth ride is very nice. The disc brakes are also great for long descents since it allows me to do them on the hoods, which really alleviates neck pain.
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