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  1. #1
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    Racing and endurance bikes

    Hey All,

    Quick question. I don't race but plan on doing some local rides and a century eventually. Do people race with endurance bikes like the defy or Domane ever? I know crits are mostly straight race bikes, but since many endurance bikes are still considered race bikes, do people actually race on them? If so, what do you see them in mostly?

  2. #2
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    To paraphrase Richard Sachs; any bike you race is a racing bike.

    The geometry of endurance bikes is still eminently a raceable geometry. At the absolute worst, you may find yourself wanting to lower the handlebars, not for aerodynamics but in order to put more power to the pedals you'll be bending over to get your glutes to apply force to the pedals, as well as to facilitate faster pedaling. No need to buy a bike with a lower front end; you can probably swap your stem to one with less rise such as a -17 degree model, if necessary.

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    +1 to what Peter P. wrote. In a pinch one time I used my cross bike with my road wheels of coarse. The big ring was a 46. It was an entry Ridley aluminum frame. Pedals where my Crank Bros with my mountain shoes obviously. Thankfully the course was flat. I did just fine. The bike most definitely didn't hold me back.

    Obviously fitness trumps everything else. Then tactics can play into your performance a fair amount. Unless there is something mechanically wrong with a bike it's most likely the rider who is the problem. Don't overthink this.

  4. #4
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    +2.
    My only win ever was a typical 4-corner crit on a Roubaix with a triple chain-ring and 2 full water bottles.
    As street racers say, "Run what you brung".
    In reference to the Assault on Mt Mitchell...
    Quote Originally Posted by merckx56
    The easier solution is to find a biker bar in Spartanburg the night before, go in and pick a fight. The ass-whipping you'll get will be far less painful than the one Mitchell will give you the next day!

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    Thanks guys, interesting. So it's not uncommon to see endurance bikes at racing events... even crits? I guess you could get close to a racing bike geo by messing with spacers and stems... so kinda makes sense. Also as another poster said it's still a race bike (as some manufacturers state as well) but maybe just what KIND of race it is. I'm thinking you'd see the least amount at crits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ejewels View Post
    Thanks guys, interesting. So it's not uncommon to see endurance bikes at racing events... even crits? I guess you could get close to a racing bike geo by messing with spacers and stems... so kinda makes sense. Also as another poster said it's still a race bike (as some manufacturers state as well) but maybe just what KIND of race it is. I'm thinking you'd see the least amount at crits.
    The fit is what's important. Hypothetically, I could get as aggressive a fit on say a 52 endurance frame as a 54 race frame. Yeah maybe the wheel base is a touch different. Ride it man. It's a bike.

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    I raced a crit last Sunday on my Scott Solace (Endurace road bike), and a friend raced on his Giant Defy.

    Sure you lose a bit of aero and handling with the upright position, but an endurance road bike isn't going to be the difference between keeping up and getting dropped.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ejewels View Post
    Thanks guys, interesting. So it's not uncommon to see endurance bikes at racing events... even crits? ...I'm thinking you'd see the least amount at crits.
    The reason you don't see more endurance bikes at races is because the marketing people and the magazines will have you believe there's a vast difference in performance between an endurance bike and a more "conventional" road bike. It's not as great as you are being led to believe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter P. View Post
    The reason you don't see more endurance bikes at races is because the marketing people and the magazines will have you believe there's a vast difference in performance between an endurance bike and a more "conventional" road bike. It's not as great as you are being led to believe.
    Agree. The new endurance bikes do not lose much to the road bikes. My Roubaix is no slower than my Tarmac. Granted 6 years difference.
    Now for some races aero can be a factor. My old TT bike is far faster than either of the above in the right conditions. Flat, straight, little wind, etc.

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  10. #10
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    The big players market the bikes still in the race category, but only certain types of racing like cobbles or centuries. Not being a racer myself, I was just wondering what most were racing on in most events you guys go to, be it crits or centuries.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ejewels View Post
    The big players market the bikes still in the race category, but only certain types of racing like cobbles or centuries. Not being a racer myself, I was just wondering what most were racing on in most events you guys go to, be it crits or centuries.
    Also, funny enough I just bought a "race" (Scott Foil) bike after riding an endurance bike for the last 3 seasons, 3k miles.

    The geometry on both is actually very similar. The head tube is a bit shorter and top tube a bit longer. Besides the 2lb weight difference, aero tubing, and stiffness, there isn't much difference. It does look a lot cooler.

    If you're getting into cycling, get an endurance road bike, a power meter, a cycling computer, and train! An endurance road bike is going to be able to more easily have an upright position if that is what you find comfortable. As you ride more, you might find "slammed" positions more and more comfortable.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ejewels View Post
    The big players market the bikes still in the race category, but only certain types of racing like cobbles or centuries. Not being a racer myself, I was just wondering what most were racing on in most events you guys go to, be it crits or centuries.
    Marketing. Some of the players have: Aero road bike frames, traditional road, gravel, cross, endurance, etc...marketing.

    I will say this though, perhaps the different bikes do capture a larger cross section of riders which is a good thing. But, to think or market or say a road bike can not do dirt, or a gravel bike can't do road etc...is just not true. If I had one bike to buy it would probably be a cross or gravel bike. Something that could fit a 32 tire or larger so you could use it for road and off road.

    Last thing. People worried about getting more aero but don't bend their elbows need to be less worried about the frame type and more worried about why they don't bend their elbows.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodys737 View Post
    Marketing. Some of the players have: Aero road bike frames, traditional road, gravel, cross, endurance, etc...marketing.

    I will say this though, perhaps the different bikes do capture a larger cross section of riders which is a good thing. But, to think or market or say a road bike can not do dirt, or a gravel bike can't do road etc...is just not true. If I had one bike to buy it would probably be a cross or gravel bike. Something that could fit a 32 tire or larger so you could use it for road and off road.

    Last thing. People worried about getting more aero but don't bend their elbows need to be less worried about the frame type and more worried about why they don't bend their elbows.
    Agree. The biggest aero advantage is rider position. Riding in an aero position matters far more than the bike aerodynamics.

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommybike View Post
    Agree. The biggest aero advantage is rider position. Riding in an aero position matters far more than the bike aerodynamics.

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    Without a doubt. I was also trying to get the point across that one can get into the same exact position on a gravel bike as a road bike as a cross bike etc..

    The slight differences in HT length, STA, wheel base, etc...of an endurance bike v. road (while slightly change feel/perf) fitness, tactics and stupid **** like being able to get aero make the small changes in geo somewhat insignificant. Especially when you start talking about average joes like all of us. I mean to the pro who is looking to exploit that last 1% ok. But to the over worked, under recovered hungover week end warrior? Not so much.

    edit: STA's are probably nearly identical so one less variable to worry about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ejewels View Post
    Thanks guys, interesting. So it's not uncommon to see endurance bikes at racing events... even crits? .
    Actually it is uncommon. What is also uncommon is Cat 4 and 5 racers with super aggressive race bikes who don't just ride 100% on the hoods to make it work.

    Appropriate and common are not synonymous in amateur cycling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    Actually it is uncommon. What is also uncommon is Cat 4 and 5 racers with super aggressive race bikes who don't just ride 100% on the hoods to make it work.

    Appropriate and common are not synonymous in amateur cycling.
    LOL. It amazes me the number of 10k plus bikes in the Cat 5 race categories.

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommybike View Post
    LOL. It amazes me the number of 10k plus bikes in the Cat 5 race categories.

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    Do be hating...

    The saying is race what you can afford to replace... maybe they can

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommybike View Post
    LOL. It amazes me the number of 10k plus bikes in the Cat 5 race categories.

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    I get it but it is what it is and you're just opening up a can of hypocrisy once you say someone isn't deserving of something. The same could be said of cat1's to and especially masters. I certainly don't need 90% of the bling crap I ride with but, for a million reasons I justified each one and I'm happy.

    What I have a problem with is guys who think that 10k bike or 2k wheels etc...will make THE difference and then blame their lack of results on said equipment. I think it takes a while to realize what is important as far as increasing performance goes. Buy what makes you happy though. It's for a good cause imo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodys737 View Post
    I get it but it is what it is and you're just opening up a can of hypocrisy once you say someone isn't deserving of something. The same could be said of cat1's to and especially masters. I certainly don't need 90% of the bling crap I ride with but, for a million reasons I justified each one and I'm happy.

    What I have a problem with is guys who think that 10k bike or 2k wheels etc...will make THE difference and then blame their lack of results on said equipment. I think it takes a while to realize what is important as far as increasing performance goes. Buy what makes you happy though. It's for a good cause imo.

    I think you took his response to my comment out of context.

    I think the point was that the typical $10k race bike just isn't a good choice for a cat 5 racer not because of cost but just because it isn't.

    If someone can afford an F1 car that doesn't mean it would be a smart choice for someone's first ten races at the country fairgrounds on Sunday. Not the perfect analogy but you get the point.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    I think you took his response to my comment out of context.

    I think the point was that the typical $10k race bike just isn't a good choice for a cat 5 racer not because of cost but just because it isn't.

    If someone can afford an F1 car that doesn't mean it would be a smart choice for someone's first ten races at the country fairgrounds on Sunday. Not the perfect analogy but you get the point.
    ok yep I think I did take it out of context. Carry on.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    Actually it is uncommon. What is also uncommon is Cat 4 and 5 racers with super aggressive race bikes who don't just ride 100% on the hoods to make it work.

    Appropriate and common are not synonymous in amateur cycling.
    I'd pretty much agree with this 100%. It really depends on which category you're looking at. If you're looking at cat 5, you'll see a range of bikes that you wouldn't imagine... from bikes set up just for crits, to bikes that look like they're set up for a 100 mile fondo with saddle bag and lights attached. As you move further up the Categories, the bikes will be more and more focused to that discipline. I don't entirely agree with people that are saying the differences between bikes is all marketing and hype. There are differences... for sure, fitness, technique and experience will trump the difference, but you'll rarely see a a cat 1 racing a crit on an endurance geo bike and there IS a reason for that.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by spdntrxi View Post
    Do be hating...

    The saying is race what you can afford to replace... maybe they can
    No disagreement there. My opinion is once If I become competitive enough that a couple of seconds will make the difference then I will consider an upgrade. On the other hand my $800 used wheelset came in second in cyclingtils aerotest.

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    First off, I am not a racer and never will be. But I just bought a new Roubaix SL for some of the reasons as the OP. Now if I was 40 years younger I would consider racing that bike.

    So now I just gotta find me a gran fondo

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    Thanks all. So it sounds like in the higher cat 4/5 you'll see some endurance rigs, but the more serious, heading to pro levels they get more critical. However one could slam a stem and a size on an endurance bike and still rock out.

    Also, on the marketing topic anyone notice how the geometries of the endurance, cx and gravel bikes are very similar... where some of the only differences are tire clearance and disc brakes? If you look at Treks site, you'll find the Boone and Crockett under road bikes (towards the end, but still) and the Domane disc versions under gravel bikes. Marketing will take one bike and make it a unicorn.
    Last edited by ejewels; 1 Week Ago at 06:03 PM.

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    One thing to keep in mind is that there is more to endurance bikes than slightly tweaked geometry. In a lot of cases they are designed to dampen road vibration which can include designed flex in certain elements of the frame. Things like the way the carbon is layed up or where the weld joints are located can factor into this. The geometry difference for endurance frames is just part of the story. Even "race" bikes with identical geometry can feel and handle noticeably different based on some of these other factors.

    But like others have mentioned the engine is the most important part and you can race on any type of frame you want or feel comfortable and efficient on.

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