Sunday, August 17, 2014

stack-reach comparison: Specialized, Colnago, Felt, Parlee, Cervelo

More stack-reach comparisons, retaining the tall (Cervelo R5) and long (Trek Madone H1) winners from last time:

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First, there's a new obvious "tall" winner, and that's the Parlee Z5 tall model. Of course this isn't a fair comparison, as it would make more sense to compare the Parlee tall geometry to the endurance geometries of other bikes, but I put this here for comparison since I recently test-rode a Parlee ESX. The regular Parlee Z5 geometry corresponds to around 2.5 cm less spacer height, and has more traditional road racing geometry (clearly not designed to a stack-reach spec, however, since the curve zig-zags).

Specialized is interesting, as the smallest 3 models are essentially constant reach, changing only in stack. This is because top tube length is directly canceled by seat tube angle. This keeps the reach the same as the top tube is lengthened. The bikes still fit bigger riders, however: adding spacers to the smaller frames would bring them to a shorter reach for the same stack as the larger frames (see dotted blue lines). The smallest Specialized is a good fit to riders who want a relatively low stack with what is still a moderate reach. Note for the same stack, it's 2.5 cm more reach than the small Cervelo R5.

The Canyon AeroRoad is another bike, like Cervelo and Swift, which is apparently designed to a stack-reach curve. The largest Canyon wins the "long and low" award for this comparison, beating out the Trek Madone.

Overall, though, the Felt F1 is lower than the Canyon. It covers a significantly longer reach range than Madone for essentially the same stack range, going from shorter in the small sizes to longer in the longer sizes.

Colnago has two models, a sloped top tube and a parallel "traditional" top tube, for its C60. The geometries are very similar, although the traditional model has fewer sizes. Colnago, like Specialized, is also constant-reach for part of the size range, with four having essentially the same reach. With the limited reach range, Colnago goes from Canyon-like in the small sizes to Cervelo-like in the large. Colnago's sloped model has the most sizes of any model here: a remarkable 9. Colnago's are pricey, but they want to make sure you get a good fit. They actually used to run even more sizes. Cannonondale is another range with a closely spaced size range: I showed them last time. But even Cannondale only has 8.

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