Endurance SL R & SL – What’s the difference?

Thursday, June 3, 2021

The Endurance SL R & SL both belong to the same family of endurance road bikes. So naturally one of the most frequently asked questions that we hear is; ‘I’m looking at the Endurance SL R & SL frames but am not sure of the difference between the two?’ If this is also a conundrum that you face, this in-depth guide should help you to decide which best suits your cycling needs.

Endurance & Performance

Designed to offer an exhilarating mixture of speed and efficiency, the Endurance SL R & SL road bikes are perfect for everything; from road racing to ultra-endurance road events or those epic all-day in the saddle century rides. Whether you choose to ride fast for fun, against the clock, or simply to race the group for that next signpost ahead, they deliver a clear performance advantage.

Less Drag = Free Speed

Aerodynamics has been a major consideration in the development of the Endurance SL R and these class-leading features also filter down to the Endurance SL. Consequently, both models share the same aerodynamic drag-reducing features.

  • Truncated aerofoil tube profiles generate up to 28.5% less drag when compared to the previous generation of carbon frames.
  • Internal cable routing keeps everything neat and tidy while retaining the smooth, uncluttered lines of the frameset for further aero gains.
  • Compatibility with the optional aero one-piece LEVEL 5 carbon integrated handlebar system enables all cables to be fully hidden away. Generating up to 40% less drag when compared to a conventional handlebar and stem set-up.
  • A truncated aerofoil seat post and integrated seat clamp.

Endurance SL R & SL Construction

Aesthetically, both the Endurance SL R & SL are almost identical and with good reason. Both platforms are manufactured in almost exactly the same way. Similarly, they also share most of the same cutting-edge design features. With the odd exception, of course, which we will cover in this section.

Endurance SL R Series

As befits a flagship carbon endurance road bike that both the Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling & Le Col Wahoo racing teams have ridden to great success, the Endurance SL R Series features our most advanced carbon construction. It features a bespoke blend of Toray T1000 & T800 carbon fibres. And uses more of the T1000 fibres within its construction than any other frame in our line-up. (except the Ultra SL R)

This unique carbon mixture is layered to an exacting specification over an EPS inner-core system. The EPS process eliminates any weak spots and ensures complete consistency of the structural integrity of the fibres and resin throughout the frame. But what does this represent in terms of actual performance? Well, it allows us to produce a frame with an unsurpassed strength to weight ratio.

A frameset that retains the superior strength and stiffness of one that’s constructed using much more carbon material. Yet, is much lighter and offers a featherlight ride quality that delivers dynamic power transfer, instant acceleration, and nimbleness that sets it apart from the competition.

To achieve the SL R’s superlight sub 900g weight it was necessary to forego the use of the aluminium inserts that you would normally expect to find on most carbon frames. These are normally situated within the bottom bracket shell and head tubes of most framesets.

As a consequence, the SL R requires a press-fit bottom bracket in place of the traditionally threaded bb. (More on that in the bottom bracket section below).

  • Frame Material: Toray T1000 & T800
  • Bottom Bracket: Press-fit BB86
  • Weight: 850g (rim brake), 890g (disc)
  • Colour: Stealth Black only. You can also add your own CustomColour design in BikeBuilder.
Spot the cables! When fitted with the LEVEL 5 handlebar system, every cable is fully routed away from the airflow. Generating a drag reduction of up to 40% over standard handlebars.

Click here to view the Endurance SL R Series Collection

Endurance SL

Similarly to the SL R, the Endurance SL is also manufactured from a select blend of Toray T1000 and T800 carbon fibres. Albeit with one slight difference. The ratio of T1000 to T800 is slightly less than that of its flagship sibling. However, it also takes advantage of the same EPS inner core system manufacturing process.

The end result is a frame that excels, whether that’s leading the pack in a race or setting the pace on the weekend club run. In direct contrast to the SL R, the Endurance SL does have aluminium inserts installed in the bottom bracket and head tube areas. It is these as well as the carbon layup that accounts for the slight difference in weight and bottom bracket standards.

In all other respects, the Endurance SL is identical to the SL R. Thanks to it sharing many of the class-leading design features. Drag-efficient tube shapes, fully hidden internal cable routing (when fitted with the LEVEL 5 integrated handlebar system), aero-shaped carbon seat post and more.

  • Frame Material: Toray T800 & T1000
  • Bottom Bracket: Threaded 68mm BSA
  • Weight: 1150g (rim brake), 1190g (disc)
  • Colours: Gloss Black (rim brake) – Black, Red, or Teal (disc). CustomColour in BikeBuilder is also available.
Endurance SL Disc with Shimano Ultegra Di2 12-Speed and LEVEL DB40 Carbon wheels and LEVEL 5 handlebars.

Click here to view the Endurance SL Collection

Bottom Bracket

As we alluded to earlier in the blog, the two frames have different bottom bracket standards. With the SL R not having a threaded alloy insert in the bottom bracket shell, it’s not possible to use a threaded bottom bracket. Subsequently, a press-fit system is used.

This is to say that the bb shell of the frame and bottom bracket cups are completely smooth. In short, the cups are pressed into the frame to create a perfect seal. This is achieved through the use of a bottom bracket or headset press. The press-fit system allows the bottom shell to be manufactured in larger diameters. Thereby stiffening up the bottom bracket area for improved power transfer.

On the other hand, the Endurance SL does have a threaded alloy insert in the bb shell. Therefore a threaded bottom bracket is required. You can see the difference between the two bottom bracket standards in the images above. On the left is a press-fit bb with completely smooth cups. On the right, are the threaded cups of a traditional ‘BSA’ bottom bracket.

The advantage of the threaded style of bb is that it is easier to maintain as the cups can be simply unscrewed and removed. The press-fit system will require a specific bb press-fit tool to extract the cups.

Looking for a relaxed bike to explore the city streets and beyond in comfort and style? Check out our Hybrid Collection.

Keep up to date with the latest race results of the Drops – Le Col racing team here.

Thinking of commuting to work by bike? Check out our guide to avoid the most common pitfalls.


Martin says:

Hi Alan,
Thanks for the great article. I am thinking of buying the SL R but am a bit worried about the bottom bracket. I’ve been reading about how they tend to end up creaking more than threaded. I hope to keep this bike for several years and would be really disappointed if it ended up creaking.

Have you had any feedback from customers relating to this? Is there a warranty on this kind of issue?

Thanks a lot

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Alan Gray says:

Hi Martin,
Thanks for getting in touch, it’s a commonly held belief that press-fit systems are more prone to creaks than a threaded style of bb. However, if the frame’s bb shell is made to the correct tolerance this should not be an issue. That said creaks can occur on any bike and to our knowledge, we have had no more of the SL R frames returned for creaks than any other percentage-wise. if this causes you concern there is the Endurance Sl which is almost identical albeit with a slightly different carbon layup.
Best Regards
Team Ribble

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Allan says:

What is the lead time for an endurance SL r (disks) with di2 or SRAM electronic gears . I’m 171cm tall



Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Alan Gray says:

Hi Allan, Thanks for getting in touch,
Estimated build times will depend upon what specification you choose so it is not something I can confirm with certainty. The easiest and best way to find out the lead time of a bike is to click on the ‘learn more’ button for the bike you are interested in, followed by ‘choose size’. You are then transferred to the BikeBuilder and once you select the size the estimated build time will be displayed. By clicking on the view full specification button directly below where you select the frame size you can see exactly when out of stock components are expected back into stock.
You are probably aware that Shimano has completely redesigned Di2 and the new groupsets are not expected to arrive until the spring. Currently, we are displaying a June build date for an Endurance SLR with Ultegra for this very reason. SRAM Force eTap is currently displaying an April build date.
I hope this helps.
Best Regards
[email protected] Ribble

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Charles Wilson says:

Are you selling these models in the US it says not available in my area.?

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Alan Gray says:

Hi Charles,
All models of bikes (excluding e-bikes) are available for delivery to the US. If you are experiencing any issue with a bike saying it is not available, please let me know which model and specification it is and what browser you are using and I will investigate.
Best Regards
[email protected]

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Desmond Cass says:

I want to buy a bike at Bluewater & had your bike fit but they refused to take cash ,we don’t use cards ,so the question is can I travel from London to Preston HQ & pay in cash?

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Alan Gray says:

Hi Desmond,
Thanks for getting in touch,
We are purely an online retailer that happens to have showrooms where people can view our bikes and receive sizing/spec advice. As such, we do not have any facility to accept cash transactions we’re sorry to say. This is true of the entire business, the only way of making a payment is via Bank Transfer, Credit/debit card, Finance, PayPal or Cycle to Work.
Best Regards
Team Ribble

Friday, June 11, 2021

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