A friend of mine asked me to give him my thoughts on my new Endurance Road bike compared to my Performance Road bike. I was going to put it in an email and then thought why not put it in my blog so others can read it if they’re interested.
My two bikes:
- 2007 Trek Madone 6.5 SSL OCLV Carbon Full Dura Ace. This, my first road bike, I bought in early 2016 on eBay for a really good deal. Original MRSP listed at over $5K. I’ve put a total of 13,220 miles on this bike in the past 40 months (combined indoor & outdoor). This has been a great bike for me and I believe I’ve ridden 8-9 Imperial Century rides with it. I also have a pretty good number of KOMs on Strava with it.
- 2019 Fuji Gran Fondo 1.3 – Ultegra Group-set, Disc brakes, tubeless tires. I got a real good deal on this bike and received it about 40 days ago and have 778 total miles on it so far including 2 Century rides and several KOMs up here in farm country. (Note, not many riders up here and many of the Segments I’ve created myself!)
I’ve loved my Trek, but decided I wanted to get an Endurance (Sportive) Road Bike because I’m now over 50 and my focus is not racing and short rides, but long rides like organized Century rides (getting ready for the Triple Bypass ride in Colorado on July 13!). Because I had loved my Trek and after researching the Trek Domane and the Specialized Roubaix, I found myself favoring the Domane based on a couple of different factors. I was looking for a used carbon-frame Domane that was 2016 or newer but had a hard time finding one in my price range. Then I found this new 2019 Fuji Gran Fondo 1.3 for a great deal that was too good to pass up, especially after reading this excellent review: https://www.bicycling.com/bikes-gear/a23610531/fuji-gran-fondo-2-1-review/
Prior to my first ride on the bike, I found myself disappointed in the fact that my Fuji was noticeably heavier than my Trek. My Madone is close to 16lbs and my Fuji I’m sure is over 19lbs. I figured that I didn’t have much chance for KOMs with it and would maybe ride my Trek for shorter workouts and KOM hunting and use my Fuji for longer rides. But since my Trek was still on the trainer for rainy days, I just started doing all my rides on my Fuji until today when I took my Trek out to compare the feel of the two bikes.
Here are my observations:
- I feel that my Fuji might actually be faster for me than my Trek! On a Century ride a couple weeks ago, I did the fastest pace I’ve had on a Century at 18.3mph and I rode a good chunk of that solo! Previously I had been averaging around 17mph at my best on Centuries. There is also one segment that in the Fall I tried and failed several times to get the KOM on. I tried it the other day with my Fuji for the first time and midway through, I was thinking, I don’t have it today and practically gave up, but kept riding on up and after uploading the ride, was surprised to see that I had come within one second of the KOM time at 1:36 where prior my best had been 1:45! Now, all this to say – I did work out much more regularly and fervently this past winter season on Zwift than I have in the past, so there is that consideration. But I took my Trek out to attack that same segment today in comparable wind conditions and only managed 1:53 on it. And there is also the consideration that although both bike sizes are 58cm, not all bikes are the same and the Fuji just might fit me better and provide a more efficient pedal stroke and power transfer based on how it’s geometry works with my body. There is also the consideration that the wider (and tubeless) tires might be more efficient for the not-so-smooth country roads I’m cycling on.
- I definitely noticed a difference in the smoother ride and appreciated the endurance riding position (more upright). These elements may also be contributing to a more relaxed ride which may contribute to a more efficient ride for me as well.
- I noticed that I like the stability and handling of the Fuji better and overall feel safer riding it.
All in all, I don’t see myself riding the Trek much and relegating it to mostly just a trainer bike and back-up. After writing all this, there are a couple other caveats to consider in my analysis besides what I mentioned above:
- The age difference in the two bikes is significant at 12 years apart. If I were to get a 2019 Performance bike, I’m sure I would have completely different observations with the changes (that include geometry) that a new model would provide.
- I’ve never had a formal, professional fitting with either bike. I have had a LBS owner (who does fittings) do some adjustments on my Trek after he observed and measured a couple things with me while on the trainer at his shop (shout out to Shosies Cyclery north of Rockford, IL). If I were to get a professional fitting with my Trek, I may have some different results.
- I wonder how my Trek would compare in performance if I went tubeless with it and used wider tires.
I hope this information might be helpful to somebody out there. Let me know of any comments, questions or observations. Thanks for reading! 🙂