Back in the day, no one really paid much attention to bike types. In fact, the vast majority of bicycles were universal – built to satisfy everyone’s needs. However, not every cyclist is the same – some are looking for a bike that offers comfort and convenience, while others are all about performance.
Endurance road bikes are all about more comfort and a less aggressive geometry. At first sight, especially if you’re new to the game, you won’t be able to make out the difference when looking at an endurance road bike, compared to a regular road bike.
The more you get into the subject, however, the clearer the picture will become. Here’s how to find the best endurance road bike on the market.
5 Best Endurance Road Bikes
Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike
Tommaso Imola is a prime example of an entry-level, affordable bike that doesn’t look like it’s a beginner’s vehicle. The components in the Imola are inexpensive, but they’re assembled in an intelligent manner. Because of this, despite its price tag, Tommaso Imola provides a smooth, comfortable ride.
This bike comes in three different colors, orange, black, and white. The paint job has been done brilliantly – not even some high-end models can brag about a paint job of this quality. In terms of aesthetics, Tommaso Imola is among the best available.
A beginner’s bike, the Imola nevertheless remains among Tommaso’s best-selling endurance road bikes.
Still, no corners were cut during the final designing of this bike. It’s one of the soundest offers, considering the price tag. Even though the Tommaso Imola is an entry-level bicycle, it allows you to cut those corners while going downhill, just like a professional.
Matching components are always good to see on bikes. The more parts come from the same manufacturer, the better they’ll function together. Well, the Tommaso Imola features the Shimano Claris group set – yes, the entire set, including the drivetrain, the shifters, the brakes, and the derailleurs.
Thanks to the Shimano Claris calipers and the rims from Tommaso Corsa, the Imola is a very stable and safe bike, ideal for beginner cyclists. The bike works like a charm on the road; it’s very durable and easy to handle. At the price, you won’t find too many bicycles on par with the Imola. In fact, even some top-end models can’t compete with this brilliant and affordable Tommaso model.
- Remarkably built
- Shimano Claris group set
- Easy to handle
- Some shifting and wheel issues
- Wobbly wheels need occasional dealing with
Read our in-depth review of the Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike.
Schwinn Phocus 1600 Drop Bar Mens Road Bicycle
Inside the cycling community, the Schwinn Phocus is widely known as a lightweight and robust endurance road bike. It features a 58-centimeter aluminum frame and quality alloy rims, which are as resilient as they are lightweight.
Although the Phocus is convenient and smooth for long rides, it can also be very compact. This is thanks to a neat quick-release feature, which makes the bike very easy to “fold” and store.
Gearing complexity is a turn-off for most cyclists, even professionals. Complicated gearing on some models may seem unnecessary, but this is how they cut costs. The Schwinn Phocus doesn’t suffer from any significant complexity when it comes to gearing, which is a relief. Very often, this is the determining factor when it comes to the best endurance road bike shopping.
Endurance road bikes need to be comfortable. If you’re buying an endurance model, you’re probably looking at extended periods on the seat. The Schwinn Phocus offers a smooth ride and more than enough comfort. The bike’s aluminum fork is strong and capable of absorbing most of the roadside shock.
Brakes are absolutely essential when it comes to bicycles, regardless of the type. A good set of brakes can literally mean the difference between life and death. The Schwinn Phocus is equipped with caliper brakes made out of Promax alloy, emphasizing safety and quick-responsiveness at all times.
- Compact and lightweight
- Great features
- Thin tubes
Read our detailed review of the Schwinn Phocus 1600 here.
Schwinn Fastback 2 Adult Performance Road Bike
Schwinn bikes tend to be on the expensive side. This is why finding the Fastback 2 may take some time – all the expensive models keep floating up during searches. The Schwinn Fastback 2, though, is very affordable.
When it was first designed, the original Fastback model wasn’t aimed at beginners.
The Fastback 2, however, has been stripped of some original Fastback features, in order to bring the price down and cater to the beginner crowd. That said, the sacrifices made aren’t too mind-boggling, especially when you consider the new price.
Still, the Fastback 2 carries on the Fastback lineage. The ride is still brilliant and the bike doesn’t feel cheap or challenging to handle. Yes, it’s definitely much less of a race vehicle and much more of an endurance ride, but this isn’t a bad thing.
The bike also has a lot of room for accessories, which is often the pillar of long rides and commutes.
On the Fastback 2, the alloy frame alone is worth the price of the entire vehicle. In fact, many professionals buy this affordable model, strip its parts, upgrade with much better ones, and end up with a custom bike with an amazing alloy frame.
That’s not to say that you, someone who’s looking for the best endurance road bike, won’t be perfectly satisfied with the Fastback 2 – just that the alloy frame is absolutely brilliant.
The 14-gauge stainless steel wheels aren’t the best on the market – you’ll find yourself in need of replacing them. Even if you decide to swap the wheels, the Fastback 2 pays off.
This bike boasts the Shimano Sora group set and a full paddle shift. Considering the fact that you’re going to make a lot of shifts with this bike, this is a much better choice than the thumb-toggled shift.
- Excellent alloy frame
- Shimano Sora group set
- 18 speeds (9×2)
- Great handling
- Rims not ideal
Tommaso Monza Endurance Aluminum Road Bike
The Monza is one of Tommaso’s top-selling road bikes. You won’t find too many endurance road bikes that are lightweight and at this price range. Without close analysis, no one would blame you for mistaking this endurance bike for a racing bicycle, even if you were an expert on the subject. It has a very harmonious geometry, which makes it nimble on the road. This model can handle cornering at high speeds quite brilliantly.
The carbon fiber fork works fantastically in combination with the well-known Tommaso SLA (Super Lightweight Aluminum) frame. You get 22.3 lbs. of endurance road bike, which is pretty amazing, even outside the affordable price range.
With the Monza, Tommaso’s aim was to make the best possible bike, at a price that’s as affordable as possible. The Shimano Tiagra 4700 group set definitely follows this spirit. Every part except the chain is included – derailleurs, shifters, the crank, the cassette, as well as the bottom bracket.
The brakes from this set are caliper-based, which isn’t too encouraging. However, they offer more than enough stopping power. This is owing to the bike’s extremely low weight. The popular disk brakes would’ve been quite the overkill here.
Comfort is a key factor– the best endurance road bike will not only take you on a long trip, it will make for a comfortable ride. The saddle on the Monza is the WTB Volt – a saddle that boasts low weight, an aluminum frame, as well as smart cushioning. The saddle is even reinforced with foam, making the ride very comfortable.
- Shimano Tiagra 4700 group set
- Aesthetically pleasing
- SLA frame
- WTB Volt saddle
- Tires could be better
Tommaso Sentiero Shimano Claris Gravel Adventure Bike
The first thing that you’ll notice upon seeing the Sentiero is its gorgeous looks. The matte black color goes hand-in-hand with the red lettering and detail. It’s definitely one of the best-looking endurance road bikes around. Don’t let looks deceive you, though; the Sentiero is widely known for its all-terrain performance in the cyclist community.
Tommaso Sentiero is designed as a performance bike. Its frame is made out of aluminum. SLA (Super Lightweight Aluminum), to be exact. The SST Steel Fork works perfectly with the frame. In fact, the two work so well, that Tommaso offers a lifetime frame and fork warranty for the buyer of this bike. The frame is also full of racks and fenders, which allow you to attach a staggering number of accessories.
So, you can take it for a spin with nothing but a pair of binoculars and some water, or you can load it up with everything you may need for your commute. This is exactly what makes the Sentiero the best endurance road bike for commutes and road trips.
You also get a WTB Volt saddle, which is immensely comfortable, the Shimano Claris group set, the disc brakes for more than enough stopping power, and many other features.
In combination with the comfortable WTB Volt saddle, the premium compact handlebars make for a very comfy, precise, and fun ride. Feel free to test it in a variety of terrains and conditions – the Sentiero will fare more than well and it won’t let you down.
Whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate cyclist, the Tommaso Setniero will stay by your side for many years to come.
- Amazingly soft and comfortable ride
- All-terrain rides
- Awesome disc brakes
A bit on the heavy side
Finding the best endurance road bike for you means carefully looking at all the important components and finding the combination that will suit you best. Here are some things that you need to pay the most attention to.
A bicycle frame is essentially the main thing that impacts the general weight of the bike. The Super Lightweight Aluminum (SLA) frames tend to be great choices in terms of their light weight and durability. However, there’s more to a bike’s frame than weight.
Think of the frame as your bike’s spine. Everything else on a bike is replaceable, but the frame is the very much the core. For one, the frame is the key factor that determines the types of brakes you can use on a bike. This goes for the maximum tire width, mounts, accessories, etc.
The frame also impacts comfort, seating position, as well as handling. However, this isn’t very straightforward, so you’re probably best off determining whether a frame feels good during your test rides.
Endurance road bikes are probably among the most all-encompassing bicycle types out there. Still, they are road bikes, not mountain bikes, which means that gear selection types don’t play a vastly important role. There are two main gear selection types on bikes: paddle shifters and thumb shifters.
Paddle shifters are much more versatile and allow you to select your desired gear more quickly. In other words, you can go from high to lower gears more quickly than with thumb shifters, which allow for gradual gear changes.
Select the gear selection option depending on how frequently you need to jump from gear to gear. Still, for endurance road bikes, neither is a deal-breaker.
Tire clearance is the gap between the tire and any other part of the bike that isn’t directly connected to the wheel. It’s the “wiggle room” that a tire has, if you will. When picking an endurance road bike, take a look at its tire clearance. Take into account every single point where the tire comes close to the frame. This includes seat stays, chain stays, brake bridges, mudguards, mounts, rack supports, seat posts, etc.
The more tire clearance a bike has when you buy it, the better – that means that you can choose between a greater variety of different wheel and tire types down the line.
The two main types of endurance road bike brakes are caliper brakes and disk brakes. Make no mistake, disk brakes are a much better choice and work better than the caliper brakes in all conditions. However, they’re a much more expensive alternative. As a rule of thumb, if a bike is very light (like many on the list above), disc brakes will do pretty much equally good as caliper brakes.
Size is pretty much up to you when it comes to endurance road bikes. Basically, if you’re looking to store the bike at home or inside the broom closet, consider getting a smaller bike. If you have a lot of room, don’t take the size as too important a factor.
Generally, it’s much more important that the bike is tweakable. That’s to say, that the seat can go to height extremes, just like the handlebar. This will make a bike easier to store, but it plays a much more important role when it comes to the vehicle’s comfort levels.
Every single bike on the list will prove more than a satisfying choice, whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate rider. In fact, some of these are often found in the home of many a professional cyclist.
Still, in the end, the Tommaso Santiero is the best endurance road bike on the list, and probably the best on the market in the price range. It won’t set you back too much, it features disk brakes, all-terrain capabilities, comfort, and perfect handling. The Santiero won’t disappoint you.