Road bikes: Aero vs. Endurance – How to choose?
Articles Blog

Road bikes: Aero vs. Endurance – How to choose?

October 31, 2019


Hey folks!! This is peter from bikes and
life. Now today we’re not going to review a
particular bike, we’re actually going to take a look at the differences between
two different frame geometries, to give you the information that you can use to
buy your next bike. So on my right we have an aero road bike the
quintessential aero road bike from giant that is the propel and on my left we
have the BMC GF 01 which is an endurance road bike. These two bikes
represent opposite ends of the road by geometry spectrum. so the propel over
here is very aggressive, lightweight designed to be as fast as possible. you know with a lot of compromise for
comfort and relaxation. On the left the BMC grand fondo the endurance geometry
and this bike is setting in a more relaxed position it’s all about comfort, compliance all
day riding and so on a bike like that you can still go really really fast but
you’re going to have to work a little bit harder because you’re buying more
comfort than you’re buying speed so now let’s take an in-depth look at
the differences between your aero road bike and your endurance road bike .The
primary difference between any aero bike versus an endurance bike is going
to be in geometry which is the same as saying body position gearing which means
how the bike is set up? According to like whether they expect
you to go super fast or they expect you to kind of be a more of a moderate pace and then lastly it’s going to be in
compliance now let’s take a look at the two different bikes and how they compare
each of these points. so firstly geometry and body position on
the propel you can see the head tube is shorter compared to the head tube on the
BMC and that’s because this is going to bring your handlebar position lower
which brings your shoulders forward and your head down. so that you make a
smaller shape to the wind when viewed from the front. so that’s all about aerodynamics if
you’re going to be sitting in a more upright position you have much more of a shape that’s
going to be creating wind resistance and you have a less streamlines kind of you
know shape in your body but then again less weight on your hands you know a little bit less strain on
your shoulders and your lower back and you don’t have to tilt your neck up as
much to still be able to see compared to when you’re in the aero position you know you’re definitely getting more
over the bike your neck is like this and you’re kind of trying to combine the
whole torso and head of your body into one streamline kind of bullet shake aside from body position another thing
that they do on aero vs endurance bikes is they change the way that the
handling is set up on aero road bike because this is more of a race machine you’re going to have a more aggressive
quick steering so what they do is they’ll actually change the angle of the
fork, the rake of it and they’ll bring it back a little bit to have a steeper
fork break angle. what that does is it’s just allowing you
to turn more quickly so you can adapt to race situations. In a faster way on an endurance
road bike you’ll have more of a rake to the port which is called a slackened
head tube angle which is allowing you to have a broader turning radius for a more
stable kind of comfortable at speed feeling and start to say that you
couldn’t be comfortable in an aero bike but it does require a little bit more
fine control compared to the forgiving handling of an endurance bike one of the
more subtle differences between an aero bike versus an endurance bike is the
gearing on an aero bike you tend to have a much bigger chain ring this is a 53-39 combination in the front
for the chain ring and a 53 tooth gear is massive. it’s the kind of thing that you’d ride
if your pro racer if you’re well if you’re racing in general because it
allows you to achieve a faster top speed without spinning out on your feet on
endurance like you have what’s called a compact road group set and that’s going
to be like a 52-34 in the chain ring in the front so that difference of three teeth
alone on the top here is a is an incredible difference to lower your gear
range, overall making it easier to climb Hills you know spin your feet faster not
have to push those heavy heart part gears. Last but definitely not least is the
compliance of the bike and that’s the feeling that you get when you’re riding
it is it harsh but fast or is it comfortable and relax right so when you’re designing a bike you kind
of have to trade off between these two different avenues and more and more
technology is coming along where you can get the compliance with the stiffness
that leads to performance but ultimately these two bikes greatly differ in their
compliance the aero road like of the propel has a
much more rigid frame which is leading to a better transfer of power from your
leg power and your arm power your whole body transferring the power through the drive
train and into the wheels that makes you go fast – everything here is tuned to use every
ounce of your muscle power as effectively as possible and there are
you know a significant number of compromises to your comfort just like
the aero position is designed to minimize the impact of wind has on you
on an endurance road bike everything is tuned to give you a balance between
performance and comfort so you have a longer seat tube that’s
also narrower so it can flex back and forth to absorb that shock you have
kinks in the frame here you have kinks in the frame here and shape changes and
junctions and pinks and even pivot points are becoming more and more part
of Road bike designs in order to tune in that compliance now there are there are different ways
with the tubes are shaped in order to maintain the stiffness and the
performance that you get but i can tell you this like is the
super comfortable all day any terrain rider this bike is the racer super fast
riding descending aggressive bike and so they both have their different qualities
and so that’s really what it comes down to how to you feel when you’re riding your bike what
are the things you’re trying to accomplish and everybody’s my store we
have in-house bit technicians that can take you through the whole process of
adjusting every little part from your seat height to your stem length the bar you may choose and those micro
adjustments smaller they maybe can make the world of difference that changes you
from you know I got the bike and I’m not so
comfortable – oh my god despite is incredible so please come by our Bikes and Life store to
learn about the different bikes we offer get fit talk to a specialist and if you
want to learn more about the giant propel we actually just published a video
review on that you can click right up here to watch our giant propel video
review if you want to learn more about just how
to cycle more in comfort regardless on the road bike you have you can check out
a video by a channel called gcn how to cycle and comfort one of my favorite channels in all of
YouTube so click right up there to watch that and of course I hope you subscribe to
our channel to get automatic updates are going to be posting more how-to use, more
knowledge help you make the right cycling decisions for you so hey click down here to subscribe
thank you so much for watching take care and have fun..

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Thank you bikes and life! I am 18 and I just got my first job to save up for a new bicycle
    Since I was thirteen Ive been very into bicycling and going long distance
    But Ive been riding a trek 4300 alpha mountain bike with hybrid tires(You can guess the issue here)
    So I am really looking forward to upgrading to a road bike
    I cant wait to challenge myself trying to ride further and further and eventually work my way into riding across my home state!

  2. Realistically, the difference in these two bikes' geometry are negligible. You could certainly get in an equally aero position on the so-called enduro BMC bike. The fork angles are also very, very similar. I am not saying there is no reason to get an aero bike, but between these two babies, I'd definitely go with the superior disc braking and a hill-friendly gear setup of the BMC. That way, you'd get the best of both worlds; it's likely cheaper too.

  3. Can you still legitimately compete in crit races with an endurance bike or would you be at a huge disadvantage?

  4. Great video Bikes and Life. Suggestion though, I think the background music could possibly be turned down just a bit during your explanations, was just a tad to loud. But again great explanations with the cycling terminology.

  5. I use an endurance road bike. I've got a giant defy 3 and a specialized roubaix sl4 sport. Very comfortable bikes but I prefer the geometry on the aero race bikes.

  6. Excellent video!! Peter I see you are located in the tri-state new jersey area. What club or shop are you affiliated with? Looking to make a purchase and you seem to be a good source. I live in the new york area!! thanks!!

  7. this video made me a subscriber. poor musical choice (and 2 loud) other than that, top noch for the noobs like myself.
    regards.

  8. nice video. But when showing "agressive and up right positions" in order to show the bike geometry difference, keep hands on the same part of the handlebar for both bikes.

  9. I know an endurance bike would be right for me – but a bike you find cooler and enjoy looking at more you ride more often, so aero bike it is. I can still put more spacers under the stem and completely ruin the aerodynamics to get some comfort back 😉

  10. Good explanation. Thank you for the vid. I would have preferred it though without the distracting music while talking which makes you difficult to understand.

  11. Your bike knowledge and captivating voice are superb….the music not so much, it reminds me of the new videos by the new kids on the block at NYCeWheels. Keep up the great videos Peter!

  12. arfghmh cant concentrate on what youre saying with that crap music! someome needs to either learn sidechaining or lower the volume or better still delete the music altogether. so annoying.

  13. The Propel's aero concept is ridicolous. Giant hides the front brake behind the fork "for less frontal area/wind resistance" and then they have an extra foot of brake cable flapping around. Guess the BMC's hidden cable disc brakes are more aero than that.

  14. This video makes no lies, truely true 🙂 ive got sportive bike and my friend have race bike.. thing is i can ride much much longer then he rides.. no neck , arms pain at all. way more confortible. But unfortunately he rides faster, if we raceing. he wins.. ofc its realy depends or your hard work, how strong you are :).. and this is the point.. for me i choseing a litle more confort, becouse – when you rides, feal beter, less pain . more you enyoying. and beter thing is about i like sportive more – hills, mountains. you ride much much easyer then with race one. ( ofc its depends on your gear set, weight etc.)

  15. Hey this was a really helpful video, thanks for showing the side by side comparison of the two bikes,I found that really helpful

  16. Thank you for the excellent explanations!

    I prefer the endurance bicycles. I don't want to right all bent over, with a sore back and shoulders.

    The music is too loud, and, as music goes, it's not music. A high school student would not use it for his video game project. You can improve the video by deleting the low quality music.
    .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *