R872 vs Endurance SL- which should I choose?

Our R&D team of bike experts have been through a significant phase of road bike design, innovation, development, and testing. Taking advantage of the very latest advances in manufacturing technology and processes to produce our most exciting range of carbon road bikes to date. The Endurance SL and R872 are both high-performance frame platforms with brilliant ride and handling characteristics. But why would you choose one over the other? Read on for our R872 vs Endurance SL head to head analysis.

R872 vs Endurance SL

Firstly, we need to understand what the differences are between the two. Secondly, 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 one to the other, in terms of the R872 vs Endurance SL.

Where they sit in the range


Our latest iteration of the multi-award-winning carbon road bike. It’s lighter, stiffer, and more comfortable than comparable alloy bikes, at a great price point.  This makes the R872 a great choice for aspiring racers, fast commuters, or sportive riders. Available in disc and caliper versions, you have the option to select one of our recommended builds. However, should you have an exact build in mind, our easy-to-use BikeBuilder allows you to customise the spec to suit your cycling needs.

If you want to take this personalisation to the next level you can add your own personal paint design. CustomColour in BikeBuilder allows you the complete freedom to engage your inner artist and create your own visual masterpiece. Be bold, bright or as stealthy as you like. Your Bike. Your Way.

Click here to view the R872 range.

The R872 is available with disc or rim brakes and in a choice of colours.

Trading up from the R872, the Endurance SL is the ideal choice for the serious non-compromising endurance rider and racer. The Endurance SL sits above the R872 and is a state of the art, super-light and race-ready, endurance carbon road platform. It borrows heavily from the performance-enhancing features of our flagship SL R series platform. Sharing a similar advanced monocoque construction to that of the SL R and the same drag-efficient tube shapes.

Customisation is offered through a multitude of disc and caliper BikeBuilder options. Again, you can personalise the look of the bike by designing your own colour scheme with the CustomColour tool in BikeBuilder, for a truly unique look.

The Endurance SL is available to order with disc or rim brakes, catering for fans of both braking systems.

Click here to view the Endurance SL range.


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 slightly more upright riding position that promotes all-day-in-the-saddle comfort.  It also provides stable handling but with a hint of raciness when you want to press on or enjoy your favourite switchback descent.

‘Teal is real’. The R872 Disc in all of its teal coloured glory

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 Endurance SL doing what it does best, making climbs fast and fun.

R872 vs Endurance SL Construction

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

FeaturesR872End SL
Full Carbon Monocoque Frame
Two-Part Carbon Mold
Toray T800/T1000 Carbon
EPS Inner Core System
Drag-efficient Aerofoil Tubes
Sportive Geometry
Endurance Geometry
Full Carbon Fibre Forks
Internal Cable Routing
Dropped Seatstays
27.2mm Round Seatpost
Aero-Shaped Carbon Seatpost
External Seatpost Clamp
Internal Seatpost Wedge
Integrated Handlebar Compatible
Shimano Di2 Compatible
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, while incorporating some of the more contemporary design features, like internally routed cables. Some of the more prominent features of the R872 are;

  • A multi-part carbon mould process – This makes the frame lighter, stiffer, and stronger than comparable 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 on 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

As we alluded to earlier, the Endurance SL borrows many of the performance-enhancing features of the flagship EnduranceSL R series. So, trading up to the SL series frame offers a significant performance advantage. 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 the perfect distribution of the carbon fibres and 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 provides more vertical compliance which allows the seat post and seat tube to flex slightly. Offering enhanced protection from ‘road buzz’ 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 contributes to the overall aero gains.
  • Compatibility with carbon integrated bars and stem – The LEVEL 5  Carbon integrated handlebar system enables each cable to be fully hidden within the frame. Reducing drag by up to 43% when compared to a traditional handlebar and stem and keeping everything neat and tidy
  • Di2 Electronic integration – The Di2 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 the fully wireless shifts of SRAM’s Red eTap AXS 12-speed ecosystem. There’s also increased customisation options to help you personalise the build to fit your cycling needs and 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

We hope this blog goes some way to outlining the difference between the R872 vs Endurance SL. The R872 is a great choice for the aspiring racer, fast-paced commuter, or sportive rider looking for an accessible carbon road bike.

On the other hand, the Endurance SL offers significant performance gains over the R872. Trading up from the R872, the Endurance SL suits the serious endurance rider or racer who is looking for a performance advantage.

Ribble Weldtite’s Director of Communications, Jack Rees gives us an insight into how they plan their race season. Read it here.

Keep up to date with all of Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling’s latest race results here.

Is an electric bike right for you? Read our guide to all things e-bike related here.

  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.

  3. I’m thinking about getting the AL Endurance with 105’s with stage 3 carbon seat post, unfortunately I can’t justify the cost of a full carbon frame. How does this compare the the SL Endurance with regards to rideability, weight etc. Cheers

  4. Hi Abi,
    Thanks for getting in touch,
    In terms of weight, there will not be a massive difference if the exact specification of the bikes is identical. They are both lightweight framesets, though the alloy model is 600g heavier. In terms of ride quality, again they will be quite similar as they are both designed to do exactly the same job and the AL Disc is a direct copy of the Endurance SL albeit being alloy rather than carbon. What you gain when buying a carbon frame is a slight upgrade in stiffness, compliance, and power transfer. Carbon is stiffer than aluminium so delivers power more efficiently to the road and also absorbs vibrations from the road more effectively. That being said, if you are looking for something that is as close as can possibly be the high-end road bike performance of the Endurance SL Carbon then the Endurance AL Disc is the best option.
    Best Regards
    Team Ribble

  5. Great article on exactly the dilemma i’m facing.
    I’ve got a carbon Endurance SL disc as my “good” bike for fne weather riding, century rides & hilly group rides.
    I’m looking to get an affordable do it all commute/winter bike that climbs well, is suitable for a heavier rider & that’s still capable of managing a group ride in poorer weather. Do i go for the R872 or an aluminium Endurance SL?

  6. Hi Gary,
    Thanks for your comment. The R872 are both excellent choices for a ‘first road bike’ or backup/training bike. The biggest factor that may make up your mind may be geometry. If you ordered the Endurance AL, the geometry would match your existing Endurance SL perfectly. The R872, on the other hand, has a slightly more relaxed geometry with a taller headtube, so it may require a little more work to match your favoured riding position. In terms of ride quality, both would be very similar. However, a frame constructed from carbon will always offer a slight advantage in terms of vibration absorption. Carbon transmits less of the ‘road buzz’ to the rider, resulting in less rider fatigue on longer rides. If you need any further guidance or advice why not take advantage of excellent Live Expert service. Our knowledgeable team are always available to take your call. https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/liveinstoreexperts/
    Best Regards
    [email protected]

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