R872 vs Endurance SL- which bike should I choose?

Our R&D team of bike experts have been through a significant phase of road bike design, innovation, development, and testing. Utilising the very latest in manufacturing technology and processes to produce our latest and best ever carbon road bike range. This has resulted in the launch of the new Endurance SL and the new updated version of the multi-award-winning R872. These are two technologically advanced, high-performance frame platforms with brilliant ride and handling characteristics. Read on for an R872 vs Endurance SL head to head comparison.

The big question is, what are the differences between the two and which one is right for you? Here, we run through the differences between the two frame platforms, detailing exactly what you get for trading up from the R872 vs Endurance SL.

Where they sit in the range

The R872 is our multi-award-winning carbon road bike. Lighter, stiffer, and more comfortable than comparable alloy bikes, at a great price point.  This makes the R872 a great choice for the aspiring racer, commuter, or sportive riders. Available in disc and caliper versions and with builds starting from £999. You have the option to select one of our recommended builds or spec a build the way you want it in BikeBuilder.

The R872 Black being put through its places in sunny Lancashire

Trading up from the R872, the Endurance SL suits the serious non-compromising endurance rider and racer. The Endurance SL sits above the R872 and is our state of the art, super-light, race-ready, endurance carbon road platform. Featuring pro-level build technology and cutting-edge frame design. Customisation is offered through a multitude of disc and caliper BikeBuilder options with prices starting from £1499.

A stunning bike deserves an equally stunning backdrop.

Geometry

The R872 has a ‘sportive’ geometry, which essentially means that it has a slightly taller front end and shorter reach than the SL.  This results in a less aggressive riding position promoting all-day-in-the-saddle comfort.  The handling offers stability but with a hint of raciness when you want to press on or enjoy your favourite switch back descent.

An R872 Red tackling a typically British short, sharp, and steep climb.

The Endurance SL has an ‘endurance’ geometry, offering the rider the ability to fine-tune their fit to achieve a more performance or race-inspired position. The handling is direct but controlled, and this bike is equally at home in a fast criterium race as it is a full day in the mountains.

The simply stunning SL grey being put through its paces by its designer.

Construction

The table below lists the features of both platforms and which apply to each frameset.

FeaturesR872Endurance SL
Internally Routed CablesYesYes
Dropped seat staysYesYes
Sportive GeometryYesNo
Two Part Carbon MoldYesNo
Full Monocoque Carbon Fibre ForksYesYes
27.2mm Round SeatpostYesNo
External Seat ClampYesNo
Endurance GeometryNoYes
Monocoque Carbon FrameNoYes
Full EPS SystemNoYes
Toray T800/1000 CarbonNoYes
Truncated Aerofoil TubingNoYes
Full Carbon Monocoque ForksYesYes
Truncated Aero Seat PostNoYes
Integrated Seat ClampNoYes
Integrated  Bar / Stem CompatibilityNoYes
Di2 CompatibilityYesYes
This graphic highlights the effects of a truncated aerofoil and its drag saving characteristics.

R872 Frame

The R872 is constructed in a more traditional way but incorporating some of the contemporary design features, such as internally routed cables. Some of the more prominent features of the R872 construction are;

  • A multi-part carbon mould process – makes the frame lighter, stiffer, and stronger than alloy frames.
  • Carefully profiled tubing – just the right combination of stiffness, weight, and comfort.
  • Seat stay profile – Dropped seat stays result in a more compact rear triangle for a more responsive rear end whilst gaining enhanced compliance and comfort over uneven roads and long-distance rides.
  • Full monocoque carbon fibre forks – Lighter, stiffer, and more comfortable than alloy.
  • Seat post and seat clamp – The R872 uses a traditional round seat post in a 27.2mm diameter and an external seat clamp.
  • Specification –  Available to order with Tiagra or 105 and with selected build options to personalise the build and fit to your own preference.
The Level 5 Carbon Integrated handlebar system enables each cable to be completely hidden for enhanced aerodynamics and a super-clean look.

Endurance SL

Trading up to the SL series frame offers a significant range of performance-enhancing upgrades.  The key features of the SL are listed below.

  • Toray T800/T1000 Carbon – The highest quality carbon fibre used in cycling frame manufacture today. Formed from a single integral piece of carbon, it helps distribute stress over a wider proportion of the frame. Making it one of the lightest and strongest frames available.
  •  A Full EPS inner core system  – This technique allows for perfect distribution of the carbon fibres which eliminates imperfections and weak spots during layup.
  • Tubing Profiles – Truncated aerofoil tubing for better aerodynamic efficiency.  This provides a drag reduction of 28% in comparison to the R872.
  • Forks –  A full monocoque carbon fibre fork, the entire fork is constructed from one piece of carbon which makes the steering stiff and precise, with greater vibration absorption.
  • Enhanced seat stay profile – Dropped seat stays provide a more compact rear triangle for a more responsive rear end and optimal power transfer. It also allows for more seat tube compliance and enhanced protection form ‘road buzzz’ for more comfort over uneven surfaces and longer rides.
  • Seatpost and Integrated Seatclamp– A wind-cheating truncated aerofoil seat post is paired with an integrated wedge-style clamp. This wedge is seamlessly hidden within the frame and this combination ensures maximum aero gains.
  • Compatibility with Carbon integrated bars and stem – The LEVEL 5  Carbon integrated handlebar system enables all of the cables to be hidden within the cockpit and frame. It also offers a drag reduction of 43% when compared to a traditional handlebar and stem.
  • Di2 Electronic integration – The junction box can be integrated within the frameset while remaining accessible. This allows for seamless integration between the frame, Di2 cables, and charging port.
  • Specification –  There is a full choice of build options ranging from Shimano 105 11-speed right through to SRAM Red eTap AXS 12-speed and the ability to personalise the build and fit to your own preference.
Left image highlights the clean lines of the integrated wedge when compared to the standard external collar.

If you are interested in the techniques of carbon construction why not take a look at our carbon frame construction blog? This offers a fascinating insight into how premium carbon framesets are constructed.

In Conclusion

The R872 is a great choice for the aspiring racer, commuter, or sportive rider looking for an accessible carbon road bike.

The Endurance SL offers significant performance-enhancing benefits over the R872. Trading up from the R872, the Endurance SL suits the serious endurance rider or racer who is looking for a serious performance advantage.


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2 Comments
  1. Still have my old Nero Corsa. Wonderful frame and the best bike I have ever owned. We have five Ribble frames in the family. all are excellent performers .

  2. Great article. I’ve already placed my order after much head scratching over the decision to go R872 Disc or Endurance SL Disc. Thankfully, this article confirms my decision that the R872 is indeed the better choice for me. Can’t wait to get it!

    These types of article are really helpful so keep them coming.

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