Results 1 to 24 of 24
  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    1

    Race or endurance geometry?

    I am looking into buying my first road bike and I have narrowed it down to the felt z95 or f85. The difference is endurance or race geometry. I am 23, 5'7", 190lbs (I need to lose some weight), I raced bmx all through my teenage years and did downhill mountain biking until recently. I am not in prime condition but I would say I'm still athletic. I want to use my bike to work up to doing a century and doing fairly long weekend rides. I also live 20 miles from work (40 round trip) and would like to commute a few days a week.

    That being said it makes me lean towards an endurance style bike however speed is a huge motivation for me. Setting high goals for myself is what will keep me riding.

    So any advice on whether I should get an endurance or race geometry bike would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: trollcycle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    24

    Re: Race or endurance geometry?

    Depends how much you're willing to put up with discomfort. If being in a more aggressive position means you ride less, then go for the endurance fit. On the other hand, if you're willing to suck it up for a few weeks while your body breaks in, then go for race fit.

    You can always raise the bars a bit on a race fit bike.

    Given your use case, I'd say endurance...the less aero position probably won't make a giant difference in speed, for what you're doing.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    10,097
    Quote Originally Posted by Nuclear biker View Post
    I am looking into buying my first road bike and I have narrowed it down to the felt z95 or f85. The difference is endurance or race geometry. I am 23, 5'7", 190lbs (I need to lose some weight), I raced bmx all through my teenage years and did downhill mountain biking until recently. I am not in prime condition but I would say I'm still athletic. I want to use my bike to work up to doing a century and doing fairly long weekend rides. I also live 20 miles from work (40 round trip) and would like to commute a few days a week.

    That being said it makes me lean towards an endurance style bike however speed is a huge motivation for me. Setting high goals for myself is what will keep me riding.

    So any advice on whether I should get an endurance or race geometry bike would be much appreciated.
    Really depends on you but the fact that you are saying speed matters would make me lean towards race.

    I do not race and figured the relaxed geo would be fine. Never even tried the race geo. Then a salesman put me on a Super Six when I described what I wanted in a bike. Ended up buying a Tarmac. I love it.

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: trollcycle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    24

    Re: Race or endurance geometry?

    I was making a similar choice when I bought my road bike. I went with an older Madone, and I love it...but then, I'm willing to trade some comfort for the perception of better performance.

    I guess I figured if I bought something more comfort oriented, I could see myself peddling along thinking "gee, I wonder how much faster I could be going if I had a race bike..."...which is kinda stupid, but that's how my mind works. :what:

    Got any shops that will demo you something for an hour or two?

  5. #5
    Cycling induced anoesis
    Reputation: PJ352's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    12,469
    I say ride both (back to back), then decide. There's more to this than just a slightly more aero position which, in most cases, can be duplicated on an endurance bike. It has to do with a slightly quicker steering/ handling (race) bike or a slightly slower steering/ handling (some say more predictable) endurance bike. Which you'll prefer will depend on a number of factors.

    As far as speed/ performance is concerned, IMO at speeds us mere mortals ride at, there's no difference getting 'more aero'. If there was, Specialized Roubaix's wouldn't have racked up a number of victories on the pro circuit. Also, if you're more comfortable on a bike, you're apt to perform better. So all in all, I'd discount the speed/ performance argument.

    Just make sure when you do these test rides that the tires are inflated based on tire size, rider weight and road conditions. It'll give you a better idea of the ride characteristics of the bikes.

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: BostonG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    2,822
    Don't let the terms fool you, one can be perfectly comfortable for hrs on a race frame. Especially if that one is a 20 something.

    For me, it depends what I'm doing on the bike. For my commute I usually go with my relaxed geo but when I want to have fun I go with my Tarmac. Race geo is just more fun because it's twitchy so you can throw it around with ease. My relaxed frame feels like a large SUV when taking a turn. It has its place though.

    Ride both and see which you prefer. Get a fit done and you should be perfectly comfortable on either. Have fun.
    I ride mostly in the honorable pursuit of being kissed on both cheeks at the same time by one blond and one brunette. But not redheads, they scare me.

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Team Sarcasm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    185
    ^ I think SUV is a bit of an exaggeration maybe a sport car v. a commuter car but to each their own

    When i chose my first bike I went with an endurance bike. My philosophy was that if I am not comfortable on a bike, I wont be as willing to ride it. I also set a goal that when i finally out ride this bike, I will get a race geo'd bike. I made my bike a bit more "racey" by flipping and lowering the stem. It fits me to the "T"and I could not be happier.

    I am 22 and if I could go back in time I would still get the same bike, only with better components.
    All my friends I ride with always criticize me for getting an "slow" endurance bike. I always remind them that bikes don't make bikes fast, riders make bikes fast

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    783
    The only problem with riding back to back is lack of adjustment period.

    I have a Tarmac, Roubaix and a Crossroads at the moment. Of the three...the Crossroads feels the most comfortable right off the bat. Give it time though and now that I am accustomed to the Tarmac, the Roubaix feels numb and sluggish....and the Crossroads is so numb, it feels like it rides itself (and gets uncomfortable in such an upright position mighty quick).

    Personally...I went with the "race" geometry and love it. I figure is pros can get on a "race" bike and ride 100's of miles...I can ride my wimpy 50 and be ok.

  9. #9
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    29
    I have a Z4 and love it.

    Like others said, ride both if you can. Make sure the tubes are inflated to similar pressures and get the seat to about the same height. If you can't decide between the two, I would choose the F85 over the Z95. The F weighs 2 pounds less and has better components.

    Now, if you were comparing the F85 to the Z85, I would be inclined to go with Z due to the better components. You really aren't going to be much faster on the F, if at all.

    That's just me. Good luck, you will enjoy either one.

  10. #10
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    29
    If you end up liking the Z more, keep in mind that you can lower your stem (or maybe flip it) for a more aggressive/aero position. Even the pros use these "endurance" geometries for certain races.

  11. #11
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    503
    You just have to ride the bikes and pick what is most comfortable for you. I ended up with more of a race style bike, but that's what felt best to me. I have been riding and racing motorcycles for 20 years so the leaned over position feels natural and I don;t put a lot of weight on my arms, holding myself up with my back and core which is how the motorcycle riding position is. Even on the race geometry I still spend most of the time in the drop bar.
    Now some other riders I ride with don't like the short head tubes and ride the Felt z series and Synaps. The point is you have to find what fits you and is comfortable for you

  12. #12
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    168
    Quote Originally Posted by Team Sarcasm View Post
    ^ I think SUV is a bit of an exaggeration maybe a sport car v. a commuter car but to each their own

    When i chose my first bike I went with an endurance bike. My philosophy was that if I am not comfortable on a bike, I wont be as willing to ride it. I also set a goal that when i finally out ride this bike, I will get a race geo'd bike. I made my bike a bit more "racey" by flipping and lowering the stem. It fits me to the "T"and I could not be happier.

    I am 22 and if I could go back in time I would still get the same bike, only with better components.
    All my friends I ride with always criticize me for getting an "slow" endurance bike. I always remind them that bikes don't make bikes fast, riders make bikes fast
    x2.......I prefer the relaxed/endurance frame. It's more important to ride than to have a race geo bike and the Specialized Roubaix (Secteur if it's aluminum frame) have won plenty races. I keep up with other riders who are on much more expensive race geo bikes, so ride what fits you and is comfortable.
    Hey you, Whitehouse, ha ha charade you are.

  13. #13
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    445
    Try a lot of bikes. Get the bike that fits you best. A lot of this "race" vs "endurance" geometry is marketing hype. Ignore it and go by fit, comfort and how you like the handling.

  14. #14
    Cycling induced anoesis
    Reputation: PJ352's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    12,469
    Quote Originally Posted by Social Climber View Post
    A lot of this "race" vs "endurance" geometry is marketing hype. Ignore it and go by fit, comfort and how you like the handling.
    While I agree that a buyer should choose based on what fits/ feels best and handles the way they like, geo differences between race and endurance aren't marketing hype.

    I bet you think that geo differences between race versus touring bikes matter. Same deal, just a clearer example.

    Increase wheelbase and trail and steering/ handling slows, requiring more rider input (but making a bike handle more predictably). Decrease both and steering/ handling quickens, requiring less rider input (but making the bike 'twitchy').
    Last edited by PJ352; 06-19-2013 at 07:38 PM. Reason: correction..

  15. #15
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    397
    With headset spacers, stems of varying angles & lengths, and seatpost with varying degrees of setback, a relaxed or racy body position can probably be achieved with both bikes. Just go with what feels best.

  16. #16
    wim
    wim is offline
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    10,382
    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352 View Post
    geo differences between race versus touring bikes matter. Same deal, just a clearer example.
    I have to disagree. Compared to the significant race-vs-touring bike differences, the differences between the F and Z Felt bikes discussed here are very small. And as others have said, they are so small that they could actually be eliminated through careful choice of frame size (e.g., largest possible vs smallest possible frame) and choice / adjustment of components.

  17. #17
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    445
    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352 View Post
    While I agree that a buyer should choose based on what fits/ feels best and handles the way they like, geo differences between race and endurance aren't marketing hype.

    I bet you think that geo differences between race versus touring bikes matter. Same deal, just a clearer example.

    Increase wheelbase and trail and steering/ handling slows, requiring more rider input (but making a bike handle more predictably). Decrease both and steering/ handling quickens, requiring less rider input (but making the bike 'twitchy').
    The geometries are different. i meant the terminology is hype. People race on endurance bikes and do centuries+ on race bikes. And all of them can be configured to some extent for more relaxed or aggressive riding position. Get the bike that fits best and don't worry about what it's called.

    While people could tour on race or endurance bikes as well, to me a touring bike implies a heavier bike with a wide range of gearing that has the capacity to accept all sorts of racks and bags and such, so it really is a different category.

  18. #18
    Cycling induced anoesis
    Reputation: PJ352's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    12,469
    Quote Originally Posted by wim View Post
    I have to disagree. Compared to the significant race-vs-touring bike differences, the differences between the F and Z Felt bikes discussed here are very small. And as others have said, they are so small that they could actually be eliminated through careful choice of frame size (e.g., largest possible vs smallest possible frame) and choice / adjustment of components.
    You may disagree, or you may not. But before addressing that, just as a FYI, I used the race/ tourer example to more clearly point up that geo differences do affect steering/ handling, generally designed for intended use.

    If you go back and reread my posts, the word 'slightly' was used more than once to describe steering/ handling differences (not to be confused with saddle to bar drop, which I also mentioned).

    So yes, unless a rider is at the min/ max extremes of the bikes limits of saddle to bar drop, the relatively small differences in race/ relaxed geo bikes can be compensated for.

    That said, geo differences DO affect fit, steering/ handling (and to some extent, ride), and aside from to what degree being somewhat subjective depending on rider preferences, they do exist. That was really my 'argument' that there are differences in the two types of bikes, and things about their character that cannot be changed.

    Of course, there are bikes like the Trek 1 and 2 series (I think) that basically split the difference between race and relaxed geo, using taller head tubes, but I'd categorize them as race bikes.

    Lastly, I'm a believer that there's an optimal geo for most riders. So moving up or down a frame size may fix or compensate in one area, but present the need for a larger compromise in another. Depending on degree, a fitter may see choosing another brand/ model as the be a better option.

  19. #19
    Cycling induced anoesis
    Reputation: PJ352's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    12,469
    Quote Originally Posted by Social Climber View Post
    The geometries are different. i meant the terminology is hype. People race on endurance bikes and do centuries+ on race bikes. And all of them can be configured to some extent for more relaxed or aggressive riding position. Get the bike that fits best and don't worry about what it's called.
    Yes, I agree with this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Social Climber View Post
    While people could tour on race or endurance bikes as well, to me a touring bike implies a heavier bike with a wide range of gearing that has the capacity to accept all sorts of racks and bags and such, so it really is a different category.
    I agree with this as well, but that wasn't my implication. As I mentioned to wim, the example was meant to show (albeit in starker contrast) that geo differences DO affect steering/ handling. In retrospect, probably not the best example to use....

  20. #20
    Idiot at large
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    4,451
    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352 View Post

    Of course, there are bikes like the Trek 1 and 2 series (I think) that basically split the difference between race and relaxed geo, using taller head tubes, but I'd categorize them as race bikes.
    For 2013.... Trek now offers the Madone series (CF or aluminum) and Domane series (CF or aluminum).... as in race & endurance geometry bikes.....
    2010 Specialized Secteur Elite upgraded with 32T cassette and does not have Stan's (yet)
    2009 Specialized Rockhopper Comp 29er upgraded with 36T cassette and Stan's Arch EX rims and tubeless. Considering a 1x10 upgrade
    2013 Cannondale CAADX-6 Tiagra upgraded to 32T cassette and Stan's Alpha 400 rims and tubeless
    2008/2009 Burton T6 156cm with Burton Triad Bindings & DC Judge boots

  21. #21
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    87
    Rode both of these Trek models back to back at one of the Factory Demo Days at a LBS.

    Loved riding the Madone - the bike just responded with whatever I want to do - cornering, accelerating, etc... The Domane just want to be a big truck and plow forward. Didn't handle nearly as well. I was surprised by how different the two bikes were.

    To the original poster, you really need to ride both bikes. Heck, if you can rent the bikes (or at least bikes with similar geometries) from the same LBS and use them for a longer rides, that would be ideal (on 2 different weekends). Most LBS will apply rental fees to a purchase.

  22. #22
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    168
    Quote Originally Posted by irish View Post
    Rode both of these Trek models back to back at one of the Factory Demo Days at a LBS.

    Loved riding the Madone - the bike just responded with whatever I want to do - cornering, accelerating, etc... The Domane just want to be a big truck and plow forward. Didn't handle nearly as well. I was surprised by how different the two bikes were.

    To the original poster, you really need to ride both bikes. Heck, if you can rent the bikes (or at least bikes with similar geometries) from the same LBS and use them for a longer rides, that would be ideal (on 2 different weekends). Most LBS will apply rental fees to a purchase.
    The rental and longer rides are a great idea.
    Hey you, Whitehouse, ha ha charade you are.

  23. #23
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    1,386
    IMO - At your current weight and height, endurance will most likely suit you best. However, like others have stated, try both geometries and make your selection based upon optimal comfort.
    A chromoly steel bicycle will last just as long as titanium, if kept dry.

  24. #24
    Noob
    Reputation: rayej68's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    107

    Race or endurance geometry?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nuclear biker View Post
    I am looking into buying my first road bike and I have narrowed it down to the felt z95 or f85.
    The real question is which color bike do you like better? I'm baffled no one has brought this up yet.

    Bikes are adjustable, color is forever.

Similar Threads

  1. Anyone usedMichelinPro Race 4 Endurance tire?
    By steel515 in forum Wheels and Tires
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-27-2013, 07:52 PM
  2. Is there an intended way to ride a endurance geometry bike?
    By jrm in forum Bikes, Frames and Forks
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-11-2011, 07:32 AM
  3. Goining 'Ultra'..beginner's Endurance race report
    By Gnarly 928 in forum Racing, Training, Nutrition, Triathlons
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-17-2008, 09:09 PM
  4. Fort Yargo 12 hour Endurance race pics
    By Duckman in forum The Lounge
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 05-07-2007, 07:58 AM
  5. What is mean't by 'Full Race geometry'?
    By Woolly Bugger in forum Bikes, Frames and Forks
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 06-21-2006, 09:59 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

EUROBIKE

Hot Deals

Latest RoadBike Articles


Latest Videos

RoadbikeReview on Facebook