What makes a comfortable, good bike?

What makes a comfortable bike?

I was randomly browsing the internet today


came upon this gem-


This Almanzo.com post


Tto me it's striking how much more comfortable the Roubaix looks in profile- like it's designed to be ridden all day and not just for an hour. Thinking back I also remember my terrible back pain last fall that occured when riding my Kona

in a less aggressive position than my current gravel setup.

and yes I do know that both of those photos suck- I also know that my links shouldn't have to be copied to be used, but it seems posting from my phone I have no choice.

I've also become more interested the last couple of years in the pro peleton and particularly the Classics and the bike setups they choose to ride therein. There is a lot of similarity between those races and my favorite races here in the midwest. Of course, I'm competitive and you might argue that I view things differently through that lense. I would argue that what's comfortable is pretty independent of whether you are trying to ride 13, 20 or 25 mph. Although, maybe someone who rides slower is also influenced by their body type to need a different fit... but that is a small % of riders. There are also a ton of people out there telling you what is comfortable and "necessary" to alleviate discomfort on long rides (the Seven review above makes a brief reference to some of them).

A while back I wanted a custom steel frame with road geometry (link) because I thought it would be the fastest and most comfortable way from point A to point B. Over the time since that fell through I've gotten to ride a lot of great bikes and have steadily gotten faster myself. I've also tried the "recommended", Salsa Vaya, and the totally off the wall, Look 585, each for some very long gravel rides and races plus a lot of time on regular old aluminum and steel frames somewhere in the middle.

I don't have a conclusion here- my only point was that it's something I've been thinking about and that it's an issue in which it seems like a mistake to accept the status quo. Or is the status quo that I'm referring to only the status quo amongst a small niche of cyclist in the midwest while in most other parts of the world the status quo for an all day, classics type bike is something totally different?

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