Top Road Bicycle Innovations of the Past Twenty Years – Endurance Road Frame Geometry
Old Frame Geometry Meets New Bike Technology
Custom bikes enjoyed a boom in the early ‘00’s. “The Lance Effect” was in full swing. Thousands, if not millions, of people bought their first real road bike. Meanwhile, stock road bike geometry of the day was a disaster for most riders. Most road bikes of the era were exactly the same geometry as Pro Tour riders were riding. Some even lacked fundamental geometry updates to accommodate for the newer technology employed. For example, Trek equipped their road frames with Aheadset headsets, but the geometry of their carbon road race frames remained pinned in ancient threaded headset technology. From a fit perspective, this meant the handlebar height on bikes dropped 3cm due to regressive frame geometry. The production road bikes of the day were long and low and not very versatile. The number of riders who could ride these bikes comfortably was limited.
Part of this reality was why Fit Werx was started. It was clear that there was a lot of need for bike fitting based simply on how bikes were being designed and leaving bike shops.
Serotta Introduces the First Endurance Road Geometry
I don’t recall the exact year (somewhere around 2001/2002), but things started to change when Serotta introduced the Fierte. The Fierte took the most common custom geometry characteristics Serotta was seeing in their custom program and turned them into a stock frame geometry concept. From this logical start, “Endurance Geometry” was born. Stock bikes suddenly started fitting a lot more people well. In 2004, Specialized introduced the Roubaix, which had a very similar geometry to the Fierte. The Roubaix brought Endurance Geometry mainstream and quickly became Specialized’s best selling road bike. The rest is history. The endurance road bike quickly took the industry by storm.
Endurance geometry was a huge step forward. Few things have improved the comfort and enjoyment for many road riders more. Today, the Endurance geometry concept has spread into gravel and remains the most influential fit related change made to the modern road bicycle. Thank you, Ben Serotta and Company.