Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

What is the most comfortable 32C tire capable road bike?

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

What is the most comfortable 32C tire capable road bike?

Old 07-23-19, 01:43 PM
  #1  
exwhyzed
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 30
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
What is the most comfortable 32C tire capable road bike?

Hi All,

I'm looking to get a more upright-position road bike, with drop bars, and I wanted to know what the opinions out there on the most comfortable 32C tire capable bike is. I was going to get a flat bar but don't like the knuckle-numbness, so its gong to be riding the hoods on brifters from now on. No racy geometry for me, my lower back can't handle it. Let me know what you suggest!
exwhyzed is offline  
Old 07-23-19, 02:13 PM
  #2  
pdlamb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: northern Deep South
Posts: 5,355

Bikes: Fuji Touring, Novara Randonee

Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1013 Post(s)
Liked 76 Times in 50 Posts
Mine.

Seriously, this is one of the main reasons to find a local bike shop you can trust, with a selection of bikes that interest you, and go test riding.

For instance, I wanted a Cannondale T900 way back when. Nearest place that had one was 200 miles away, so I took a day and went bike shopping. The Cannondale's bars were a bit low, and REI (which had one my size in stock) wouldn't let me try different stems. So I went down the road to another shop, and another, and ended up riding 4-5 bikes that day. I brought home an Novara Randonee (the precursor to their Adv 1.1, IIRC), because it was more comfortable over 3-5 mile test rides.

Although my old (broke at the time) Fuji Touring is more comfortable, and my custom Bilenky is even nicer.

Tl;dr? Go test ride a bunch of bikes, for as long as the shop will let you ride or until you're getting fatigued, and bring home the one you want to ride.
pdlamb is offline  
Likes For pdlamb:
Old 07-23-19, 02:39 PM
  #3  
ironwood
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Boston area
Posts: 1,779

Bikes: 1984 Bridgestone 400 1985Univega nouevo sport 650b conversion 1993b'stone RBT 1985 Schwinn Tempo

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 426 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 28 Times in 16 Posts
For comfort I'd go with a bike that can take 650Bx42mm tires. Also, bikes from Rivendell are comfortable for some folks.
ironwood is offline  
Likes For ironwood:
Old 07-23-19, 02:42 PM
  #4  
Stormsedge
Senior Member
 
Stormsedge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: East Tennessee
Posts: 629

Bikes: 2017 Trek Domane SL6 Disc, 1990 Schwinn Crosscut Frankenroadbike, 2015 KHS Team 29 FS *NEW BIKE*, 2000 Gary Fisher Tassajara--gone but not forgotten

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 140 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 10 Posts
Test ride as many as you can. When I was looking, the LBS(s) nearby had Felt, Trek and Specialized as primary offerings. The Felt just didn't feel right on a short ride...rented a Roubaix for the weekend and it was good enough...the LBS closest to my house sent me out with a Domane, and I rode it over the same roads I'd ridden the Roubaix over (abt 10 miles)--for me it was a better ride. I was also looking for a more upright dropbar and the LBS recommended I go one frame size up (since I was in the middle) and later tinker with stem length if required (which we did shorten a bit over time). The Domane was spec'd with 32c tires...believe the other two were something narrower.
Stormsedge is offline  
Old 07-23-19, 02:43 PM
  #5  
delbiker1 
Senior Member
 
delbiker1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Sussex County, Delaware
Posts: 992

Bikes: 2003 Lemond Poprad, 1991 Ochsner steel frame, 2002 Airborne Zeppelin titanium, Schwinn DBX SS aluminum, Orbea MD 40 carbon fiber

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 255 Post(s)
Liked 92 Times in 64 Posts
My most comfortable bike is not compatible with tires larger than 25 mm. It is impossible for anyone to tell someone else what the most comfortable bike is for any size tires. One can only tell you what is most comfortable for them, and there is a lot more than tire size involved.
delbiker1 is offline  
Likes For delbiker1:
Old 07-23-19, 02:47 PM
  #6  
MattTheHat 
Senior Member
 
MattTheHat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Allen, TX
Posts: 796

Bikes: '20 Specialized Roubaix Expert, '18 Specialized Diverge Comp

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 248 Post(s)
Liked 127 Times in 92 Posts
Originally Posted by exwhyzed View Post
Hi All,

I'm looking to get a more upright-position road bike, with drop bars, and I wanted to know what the opinions out there on the most comfortable 32C tire capable bike is. I was going to get a flat bar but don't like the knuckle-numbness, so its gong to be riding the hoods on brifters from now on. No racy geometry for me, my lower back can't handle it. Let me know what you suggest!
I'm not sure this question can be answered, unfortunately. I think it's going to depend on which frame material you go with, how far you want to ride, and which particular flavor of "endurance" geometry you go with. I would have to ride a bike at least 40-50 miles to get a good idea of how comfortable it will be.

Which endurance bikes will support 32mm tires? The Trek Domane, Specialized Diverge, Specialized Roubaix, Canyon Endurace, and I think the Cannondale Synapse will handle 32mm tires. There are probably others.

I have about 3,000 miles on a 2018 Diverge Comp, and about 3,000 miles on a Canyon Endurace. Both in carbon. I did a 100 miles solo ride on the Diverge in January. I don't think I can ride 100 miles on the Endurace. At the 35 mile mark, I'm pretty beat up. I'm not sure I've managed over 45 miles on the Canyon since I got it a few month ago.

So, the Diverge is more comfortable to me, but now I've gotten used to the firmer frame on the Endurace, I don't really enjoy riding the Diverge...it feels kinda squishy. It's an interesting dilemma. The Future Shock almost certainly helps my neck and shoulders on the Diverge. I'm currently thinking of rehoming the Endurace and trying a 2020 Roubaix.


-Matt
__________________
MattTheHat is offline  
Old 07-23-19, 07:36 PM
  #7  
guachi
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 122
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 56 Post(s)
Liked 35 Times in 28 Posts
I have a Domane SL5 and I really like it. It's comfortable (aside from the seat), compliant, and the isospeed really works.
guachi is offline  
Old 07-23-19, 09:09 PM
  #8  
Wildwood 
Veteran/Pacifist/Resister
 
Wildwood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Seattle area
Posts: 8,860

Bikes: Bikes??? Thought this was social media?!?

Mentioned: 204 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1882 Post(s)
Liked 193 Times in 139 Posts
Vintage steel offers an inexpensive option.

I agree the 650b with low trail geometry opinion - if comfort is king (and it doesn't have to go 42mm wide), unless you are rather tall.
Rivendell is good (see 1st sentence).

Find a bike that has a tall headtube, so you can be fitted to ride comfortably in the drops, maintaining normal components for fit. Then, riding on the tops and hoods gives a more upright position.
__________________
70sFollis 072/71 Bottecchia Giro d Italia/72 Zeus Competition/78 Batavus Competition/80 Mondia Super/81 AustroDaimler Olympian/82 Harding(Holdsworth) Special/84 Pinarello Record/85 EM Corsa Extra/86 DeRosa Pro/88 Falcon Race/99 Pinarello Cadore/99 Calfee TetraPro/03 Macalu Cirrus/04 Tallerico: The less ridden = '97 CoMotion tandem + city bike, mtn bike, beach cruiser

Last edited by Wildwood; 07-23-19 at 09:19 PM.
Wildwood is offline  
Old 07-24-19, 04:11 AM
  #9  
jpescatore
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Ashton, MD USA
Posts: 506

Bikes: Trek Domane SL6 Disc, Trek 520

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 151 Post(s)
Liked 17 Times in 15 Posts
Agree with the test ride advice. I did that and ended up buying a carbon Trek Domane SL6 after many years on another comfortable but more stretched out bike, a steel touring-oriented. Definitely a more upright position on the Trek and the various vibration damping features also increased comfort on long rides significantly.

I recently rented a Fuji Sportif aluminum bike to do the Seattle to Portland 2 day event. It has geometry very similar to the Domane, but aluminum and none of the vibration damping plus 28mm tires vs. the 32mm I run on the Domane. It had rim brakes, so I think 30mm was the max tire size you could put on it - to get to 32mm (which I have gradually moved to over the years) on many road bikes (vs. touring bikes) you need to go to disc brakes, which I wanted to do anyway.

Anyway, the ride on the Fuji was much rougher and I definitely felt in on the 122 mile day in my upper body. If you are normally riding on smoother roads or trails, probably not a big deal - but you aren't, and comfort is high on your list, also ride a few bikes with the various vibration damping schemes that are out there.
jpescatore is offline  
Old 07-24-19, 08:27 AM
  #10  
Wilfred Laurier
Señor Member
 
Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 4,477
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 395 Post(s)
Liked 96 Times in 70 Posts
Mostly good advice here, agree with almost all of it.

My advice, which is hopefully an aggregate of the above, is to find a bike that seems close, then see if the shop will work with you to get it dialled in... it shouldn't take more than a trying a couple of stems to position the bars where you want them.

I also agree with the advice that Rivendell makes very good 'comfort' oriented road bikes, but you certainly pay handsomely for the privilege of owning one.
Wilfred Laurier is offline  
Old 07-24-19, 09:23 AM
  #11  
wgscott
Occam's Rotor
 
wgscott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 4,917
Mentioned: 61 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2366 Post(s)
Liked 232 Times in 145 Posts
Originally Posted by exwhyzed View Post
Hi All,

I'm looking to get a more upright-position road bike, with drop bars, and I wanted to know what the opinions out there on the most comfortable 32C tire capable bike is. I was going to get a flat bar but don't like the knuckle-numbness, so its gong to be riding the hoods on brifters from now on. No racy geometry for me, my lower back can't handle it. Let me know what you suggest!
Have you considered getting a custom bike? It can be made however you require it, and it will be designed to fit perfectly. My only regret is I waited until I was 50 and recovering from an orthopedic injury before I got mine. I also find the combination of a steel frame and Compass (now Rene Herse) tires ideal.
wgscott is offline  
Old 07-25-19, 10:33 AM
  #12  
TGlide
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Colorado
Posts: 18

Bikes: Trek Pilot 2.1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by guachi View Post
I have a Domane SL5 and I really like it. It's comfortable (aside from the seat), compliant, and the isospeed really works.
I also just got a Domane SL5 and am very happy with it. My brothers ride and one has a Specialize Diverge he likes the other a Trek Checkpoint SL5 he is using now at RAGBRAI that he likes.
TGlide is offline  
Likes For TGlide:
Old 07-25-19, 10:17 PM
  #13  
veganbikes
Clark W. Griswold
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: ,location, location
Posts: 5,196

Bikes: Foundry Chilkoot Ti W/Ultegra Di2, Salsa Timberjack Ti, Cinelli Mash Work RandoCross Fun Time Machine, 1x9 XT Parts Hybrid, Co-Motion Cascadia, Specialized Langster, Pink Klein MTB, Phil Wood VeloXS Frame (w/DA 7400), Cilo Road Frame, Proteus frame

Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1186 Post(s)
Liked 48 Times in 33 Posts
Custom is a great way to go if you are looking for comfort. Then I would look at steel and Ti options. If you don't want custom then the Specialized Sequoia is pretty comfortable. I just recently got the Pro Module which is a frame/fork and some other bits and bobs and I am super excited to build it out to my specs after having ridden the pre built versions and loving them.

If you don't mind a touch of weight the Kinekt Body Float isolation seat posts are excellent and if weight is more the issue the eeSilk post from Cane Creek is stupid light and will give a little bit of thud-busting. Also I highly recommend flat top bars not necessarily the super aero ones but ones like my favorite the Zipp Service Course SL-70 Ergos. I am not a fan of round bars after trying the Zipps years ago and now they are my most used bar having them on 4 bikes and my two other drop bar bikes have a Nitto STI bar with a semi similar profile in a narrower 26.0 clamp and the other has a Cinelli bar with a similar top section but the drops aren't as nice and that one will probably switch to Zipps in the very near future (but I haven't bother to change them out because I have so many bike projects going)
veganbikes is offline  
Old 07-27-19, 07:06 PM
  #14  
martianone
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northern VT
Posts: 2,121

Bikes: recumbent & upright

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 53 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Suggest a Surly Crosscheck or pacer (if available).
also to smooth out the ride, reduce the tire pressure,
60-65 psi with a 32 mm tire usually is good.
martianone is offline  
Old 07-28-19, 10:02 AM
  #15  
mstateglfr 
Sunshine
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 8,824

Bikes: '18 class built steel roadbike, '19 Fairlight Secan, '87 Schwinn Prelude, Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara Trionfo, '18 Diamondback Syncr

Mentioned: 78 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3250 Post(s)
Liked 315 Times in 220 Posts
Originally Posted by exwhyzed View Post
Hi All,

I'm looking to get a more upright-position road bike, with drop bars, and I wanted to know what the opinions out there on the most comfortable 32C tire capable bike is. I was going to get a flat bar but don't like the knuckle-numbness, so its gong to be riding the hoods on brifters from now on. No racy geometry for me, my lower back can't handle it. Let me know what you suggest!
Starting from a position of knowing nothing, it's best to go to shops and ask them to try out bikes that they think fit your wants and budget.

This forum could list 500 bikes for you, but it's pointless if they are all either too expensive or not the right geometry for you.
Don't ask the forum to be pointless because it will oblige.
mstateglfr is offline  
Old 07-28-19, 02:04 PM
  #16  
Mmassey338
Old guy on a bike
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Central FL/ DownEast ME
Posts: 40

Bikes: Fuji “mountain” bike, Lynskey GR260

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
When I read this: “I'm looking to get a more upright-position road bike, with drop bars, and I wanted to know what the opinions out there on the most comfortable 32C tire capable bike is.” my first thought is gravel or all road bike.
I have a Lynskey GR260 with 38mm tires and it is VERY comfortable.
Good luck.
Mmassey338 is offline  
Old 07-29-19, 10:27 PM
  #17  
drcollie
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 2 Posts
Specialized bikes have the Future Shock in certain models (Roubaix, Diverge) that gives you 2" of travel on the bars - and also a flexing seat post. Super comfortable, especially on bumps.
drcollie is offline  
Old 07-30-19, 12:58 PM
  #18  
Phil_gretz
Journeyman Bike Commuter
 
Phil_gretz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 5,186

Bikes: '71 Jeunet 630, '79 Peugeot PXN10LE, '88 Fuji Saratoga, '13 Motobecane Fantom29 HT, '16 Motobecane Turino Pro Disc, '16 Motobecane Gran Premio Elite, '18 Velobuild VB-R-022

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 633 Post(s)
Liked 143 Times in 88 Posts

Mine. I wish that the OP had given his budget, so we'd not have to propose answers between $700 and $2500 to meet his needs. This one was ~$1300 net after selling off the OEM wheelset. I've since switched the saddle to a laced, cut-skirted B-17 variant, which is very comfortable. I run Marathon Plus 35s that measure closer to 37s. Comfortable? You betcha.

Of course, you can't walk into a bike store to find one of these. I guess that we walk by faith and not by sight...
Phil_gretz is offline  
Old 07-30-19, 01:24 PM
  #19  
rumrunn6
Senior Member
 
rumrunn6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 25 miles northwest of Boston
Posts: 23,287

Bikes: Bottecchia Sprint, GT Timberline 29r

Mentioned: 93 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3190 Post(s)
Liked 215 Times in 167 Posts
& "gravel" bikes can go wider
rumrunn6 is offline  
Old 07-30-19, 02:04 PM
  #20  
sarhog
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Greer, SC
Posts: 36

Bikes: Specialized Roubaix, Kona Jake, Santa Cruz Tallboy

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Liked 10 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by drcollie View Post
Specialized bikes have the Future Shock in certain models (Roubaix, Diverge) that gives you 2" of travel on the bars - and also a flexing seat post. Super comfortable, especially on bumps.
Mine must be defective, it only has 20mm (.79”) of travel.
sarhog is offline  
Old 07-30-19, 02:10 PM
  #21  
Notso_fastLane
Senior Member
 
Notso_fastLane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Layton, UT
Posts: 951

Bikes: 2011 Bent TW Elegance 2014 Carbon Strada Velomobile

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 148 Post(s)
Liked 47 Times in 38 Posts
Probably one of these:

https://www.lightningbikes.com/_asse...rbon-forks.jpg
Notso_fastLane is offline  
Old 07-31-19, 09:41 PM
  #22  
drcollie
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by sarhog View Post
Mine must be defective, it only has 20mm (.79”) of travel.
You are correct, my mistake. I confused 20mm of travel with 2.0 inches.
drcollie is offline  
Old 08-01-19, 09:22 AM
  #23  
pdlamb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: northern Deep South
Posts: 5,355

Bikes: Fuji Touring, Novara Randonee

Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1013 Post(s)
Liked 76 Times in 50 Posts
Originally Posted by drcollie View Post
You are correct, my mistake. I confused 20mm of travel with 2.0 inches.
Metric, English. At least you didn't crash a billion dollar spacecraft!
pdlamb is offline  
Old 08-02-19, 04:42 AM
  #24  
Brocephus
Professional amateur
 
Brocephus's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Ga.
Posts: 600

Bikes: Does a Big Wheel count ?

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 273 Post(s)
Liked 103 Times in 68 Posts
I'm always reading advice to go test ride a bunch of bikes , and see what's the most comfortable, as if immediate comfort is the end-all to the decision making process. This can result in the perfect bike being dismissed, when something as simple and cheap as a $15 stem replacement is all that's needed to dial that bike in.
Brocephus is offline  
Old 08-02-19, 07:29 AM
  #25  
pdlamb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: northern Deep South
Posts: 5,355

Bikes: Fuji Touring, Novara Randonee

Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1013 Post(s)
Liked 76 Times in 50 Posts
Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
I'm always reading advice to go test ride a bunch of bikes , and see what's the most comfortable, as if immediate comfort is the end-all to the decision making process. This can result in the perfect bike being dismissed, when something as simple and cheap as a $15 stem replacement is all that's needed to dial that bike in.
This is why I started with the recommendation to go to a bike shop you trust for your test rides. If it's not a good bike shop, they won't go to the trouble of switching the stem. And if a bike needs a stem swap, it's not the "perfect bike" without it.
pdlamb is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.