What bike should I get

How many of you people are racing on a properly sized Endurance or “H2” fit bike?

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FWIW, an H2 Trek Emonda has 4mm less stack and 5mm less reach than a CAAD12.

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You can remedy a lot of the “bike fit” issues with a different stem. For example, put a -17 120mm stem on an endurance bike and you’ve got a more aggressive position.

If the Stack is too low, put a +12 on.

You can play with different bikes and adjust the stem length/angle here and see how you can make two different size frames have the same contact points: http://www.bikegeo.net


Of course! Do many reputable fitters do that for a rider that comes in with no bike and money to spend on one?

Hmm, are they websites outdated?

CAAD12 DA, stack and reach on the bottom.

Emonda SLR9 (52 & 54 cm)

Far less stack for comparable reach on the CAAD12 which I thought was more important than the manufacturer’s size number.

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Not I.
H1 Emonda SLR slammed. love it.
Allez sprint slammed. Love it.

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I looked at stack and reach on 54cm frames on Geometry Geeks. I don’t understand the pertinence on stack, though. What should people do who want to race that cannot fit on an Allez Sprint? Should they be racing or at home working on flexibility? My fitter sadly put me on a CAAD12 with 2cm of spacers under the stem, wonder if I’m wasting my time trying to race on this bike if I need so much stack. I don’t ever ride that bike, prefer the Stigmata CX bike which doesn’t need the spacers.

I’m not saying one can’t race on those bikes, just that there’s more aggressive geometries out there that hopefully allow the rider to get more aerodynamic. More aerodynamic leading to more speed at a certain effort. If the endurance style fits you better then race it proudly!

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Don’t buy one. There’s many more options with better all around geometry for most riders. Put slicks on the Stigmata and you’d be better off.

Slammed front ends and low stack frames won’t make you faster if you’re not comfortable. That’s why most frames these days have taller HTs and more stack. Spacers aren’t cool and most people can’t perform their best in an overly aggressive position.

I’m happy with my CAAD12 because I’ve tried but cannot get along with a taller front end (which is the new normal). Something about cornering just doesn’t feel right. The CAAD12 has a 175mm HT vs the Allez 180mm in my size and is within 1mm of stack and reach while costing many less $$$ so I went with it. I’m also a long limbed 6’2” and 155lbs so I need room to stretch out.

I see so many photos of hyper aggressive setups on people’s bikes that don’t seem to correspond to their actual riding style/performance out on the road, ie slammed 130mm stem, 6cm drop and saddle all the way forward on the rails and damn near pointed at the ground…

What is the point in racing if you have all that stack height? The cards are stacked against you from the start, would be better served racing MTB.

I’d argue that if someone feels that 1-2cm in stack height is keeping them from road racing competitively, they likely will never toe a start line anyway. They’ll be looking for other rationalizations to stay home and probably won’t enter an mtb event because they have too much/little travel on their bike for the course description. If you want to race, be prepared to lose.

Nobody is losing an amateur race because of their frame geometry. They’re losing because they don’t ride enough.


Let’s keep it 100. Few of us if any at all are going to be losing races solely based off of our stack height. Most of us have more gains to be made in our potential then we have in our bike choices. At the end of the day comfortable bike fit means you will ride more which means you will go faster.

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What’s the point in racing if your bike isn’t on the UCI weight limit, or if you’re not wearing a skinsuit and don’t have an aero helmet? /sarcasm

Unless you’re making a living racing your bike, use what you like, use what’s comfortable, and use what you can afford. By default, almost everyone loses in a bike race. That doesn’t mean almost everyone wasted their time.


Yes!! It was said earlier and it is something I believe deeply. Buy the bike that makes you happiest. If that is the lightest one, or the most aero, or the most pro one, or the red one. It doesn’t matter honestly, we ride for fun so your bike should make you happy.


That said, if I had 5k to spend on a disc road bike, I’d go to a handful of local bike shops and see which of last years’ models they had on sale. If I liked one of those, great! If none of those caught my eye I’d go for the canyon aeroad cf slx disc 8.0 di2 (wow that’s a long name). $4600 in the US, gets fantastic reviews, comes with a good wheelset, and di2 is hard to top.

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It takes flexibility and strength to be able to ride with a flat back, elbows at 90* and keep your head up.

But, this brings up another point about the evolution of headtube length and slammed stems. If you look at pro riders over time, the torso and head position has pretty much stayed the same over the years. In the old days, riders rode in the drops more often whereas today, they ride on the hoods. Why? Because in the old days, nearly every frame was custom made to put your elbows at 90* in the drops when your back was flat. When the compact geometry and standard frame sizes were introduced for ease of production, riders chose to ride smaller frames because they were lighter and stiffer. Instead of adding a lot of spacers on the stem, they just adopted a new riding position on the hoods instead of the drops.

The thing that has changed is hand placement, not body position.

With that said, the fastest set up for you will likely be different than what’s fastest for the pros. From an aerodynamics standpoint, you want to close the gap between your chin and your stem. The larger that cavity that you create, the more drag produced. If your flexibility is low, you’ll want your bars higher to close that gap.

From a power standpoint, if you aren’t trained in a low position, you won’t be able to produce as much power bent way over. There’s a sweet spot here of how far you can bend over and how much power you can produce. That’s what’s going to determine your bar height.

A lot of riders today ride small frames with long slammed stems and train for years riding on the hoods and are able to stay low, produce a lot of power and take advantage of that free speed. It takes time, but, if you can get there, it’s worth it.

I share the opinion of Gerard Vroomen that some (a lot of) riders today want to look pro and ride frames that are too small with a lot of drop and aren’t as fast as they could be if the rode a larger frame with a shorter stem and ride in the drops instead of the hoods.

Nevertheless, very few people on this forum are paying their mortgage with their race winnings and sponsorships and all this stuff is just a way to feel cool and be a bit of a Walter Mitty, so, just set up your bike how you want and ride the way you want because, in the end, it’s just riding a bicycle, isn’t it?


Love this!!

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I’m at a point where I can’t get much lower because I have sex organs in the way and things start going numb; my knees are already in my chest. I have a CAAD12 with the crown spacer thingy under the stem and can ride in the drops all day long, but when I go lower there is no saddle out there that works with me without rounding my back. Are there biological limits with some people or do I need to apply myself? I’d like to ride a respectable road bike but can’t currently with my lack of flexibility.

This is such a rider specific question. I love my BMC and really like Factor bikes, but pretty much anything quality is good if it fits you well, is supported locally well, and you just dig it.

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For that kind of money… definitely whichever one you think looks best!

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