Endurance, Aero, Lightweight: Which one?

So you've decided to get yourself a roadbike. You've gone online and you've done a bit of research. Amongst the myriad of bike brands, models and offerings, a consistent trend is apparent. Every one of those bike brands have 2 or 3 bike models and they look slightly different from each other.... or at least that's what you think.

You're right though. Most bike manufacturers do offer 2-3 different models in their line up. Trek with the Madone, Domane and Emonda, Specialized with the Tarmac, Roubaix and Venge and Giant's Defy, Propel and TCR. And there are differences between the models.

Essentially, the three bikes belong to three distinct (or not so distinct, as we'll explain later) categories. The three categories include Aero (Aerodynamic), Endurance and Lightweight. Each of these bikes are built differently, with different geometry, tube shapes, stiffness and compliance to suit the needs of the different types of riding that they are purposed to serve. So first, we'll talk about the different categories and the needs for each category.