Side by side comparison of riding positions

Cineroo Posts: 3
edited July 2013 in Road beginners

I'm looking to buy my first road bike since having a fairly scary accident 20 years ago.

I'm trying to narrow down the huge array of possible road bikes and keep coming across the race vs endurance options. I know the endurance ones are supposed to have a more upright riding position but looking at the frames it's not immediately apparent how much of a difference there is. Of course, I'll be looking to test ride before purchase.

My question is this: is there anywhere on the web that shows a side by side comparison of the different riding positions to illustrate the difference? Had a long look and been unable to find anything.



  • nferrar
    nferrar Posts: 2,511
    It will vary per manufacturer and model, hence why most post geometry info but these aren't much help for newcomers to cycling. For the same reason if you test ride say a size 56 from one manufacturer that doesn't mean it will be same as a size 56 from another.
    In your situation I'd play it safe and look at more relaxed/sportive/endurance geometry bikes (unless you're planning to race), it's not like the position it sit-up-and-beg shopping bike style, it's mostly just the head tube is a bit longer to raise your hand height up a bit.
    Try and test ride for 20+ miles to give you a proper idea on the fit, although if you're just getting back into cycling you'll probably have various aches anyway until your body adapts.
    If you start doing a lot of miles it's worth getting a bike fit, as long as the base bike is the right size it's usually possible to get it to fit properly with minor adjustments
  • Cineroo
    Cineroo Posts: 3
    Thanks. It does seem to only be a couple of inches difference!

    I'm not planning to race but am planning multi day sportives (includes route des grandes alpes next year, gulp) so comfort over long distance is important. My LBS seems helpful though they don't stock much beyond Specialized and Cannondale this year (which is probably plenty of choice).
  • Mr Will
    Mr Will Posts: 216
    Simplest way is to put the two bikes side by side. Stand a Secteur next to an Allez or a Synapse next to a CAAD8 and the (small) difference should be pretty obvious. Then ride them back to back and see which feels better.

    Personally, if you don't have any injuries or massive inflexibility, I'd suggest going for race geometry. As long as it fits you well it shouldn't be an uncomfortable position at all - they are designed for long hours in the saddle after all!
    2010 Cannondale CAAD9 Tiagra
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    It's not much. Reach out whilst sat at your desk and put your hands flat on the desk. Now bring your fingers back so they are perpendicular to the desk with your palm parallel to the desk and finger height above it. That's the difference between so called racy and sportive geometry; it isn't that much. Your own personal geometric quirks are a bigger variable. I have long legs so a sportive frame is a racy geometry for me. Forget the descriptions and just focus on fit. A good shop will get you to the right bike.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • mechanism
    mechanism Posts: 891
    Stack and reach can help to show the difference e.g.
    Tarmac 56   Roubaix 56
    Stack   564         589
    Reach   395         387

    In this size the Roubaix is 25mm taller at the front and 8mm shorter.