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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 12-19-09, 09:27 AM   #1
garethzbarker
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when does the plush kick in?

I don't find my Specialized Roubaix THAT plush. I run 120 rear 110 front psi. Is it b/c I'm coming from riding a MTB on the road, b/c i'm 102 kg, or is it the crappy roads in S. Korea? I tried riding a friend's alloy road bike and it felt about the same actually :|

I'm not unhappy with the bike. It performs beautifully and looks great. Going from a 40lb hardtail to a 17lb road bike is a huge jump in performance. I'm just wondering when the 'comfy' part of the roubaix kicks in. The selling point for the bike is supposed to be comfort. I guess I also ride a little tense because I worry about crashing my new bike and I'm new to a road bike design, maybe that has something to do with it.

I tend to think my weight has something to do with it though and kind of wonder what weight I'll have to hit to benefit from the whole carbon thing?

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Old 12-19-09, 09:39 AM   #2
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Plush is relative. If you're coming from an MTB, any road bike will not be plush. If you're going from stiff aluminum to a Roubaix, it will be plush.
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Old 12-19-09, 09:44 AM   #3
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"Plush" and "comfy" are marketing speak for slightly more relaxed geometry frames. If you were looking for 1972 Lincoln Town Car plush, I'm afraid you'll be disappointed. Find someone with a pure race geometry, ride that for 4 hours, then go back to your Roubaix. You'll find the appreciation then.
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Old 12-19-09, 10:31 AM   #4
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Ride a Tarmac S-Works for a few hours in race set up and your bike will feel like a dream. There is also a lot to be said about wheels on this topic, stiff wheels equal harsh ride aswell. Plus if you are looking for more comfort go with a 25 tyre.
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Old 12-19-09, 10:53 AM   #5
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I guess I also ride a little tense because I worry about crashing my new bike and I'm new to a road bike design, maybe that has something to do with it.
That may have a lot to do with it. It did for me. It took me a little while to get comfortable with the road bike set-up.

I made the mistake of thinking "I'm just not cut out for this" and "maybe I bought the wrong bike" etc. and stopped riding . Luckily, I couldn't afford another bike and took my Cannondale out again this year, 'just to see'.

Now I find that I really can't imagine ever going back to straight bars. I'm starting to appreciate my bike, A LOT! Think of being new to road biking as you would breaking in a Brooks saddle...be patient and put in some miles!

Good luck!
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Old 12-19-09, 10:57 AM   #6
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Ride a Tarmac S-Works for a few hours in race set up and your bike will feel like a dream.
That's all down to the aggressive geometry of the S-Works Tarmac, not because the ride is more plush. In fact, from what I remember, the Tarmac's ride is just as plush as the Roubaix...

To the OP: the Roubaix's ride is plush, especially when compared to aluminum frames, but there's only so much it can do. The frame will absorb a certain amount of road "buzz", but it won't allow you to slam the front wheel into potholes or pavement ridges with impunity. No road bike will do that!
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Old 12-19-09, 12:08 PM   #7
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Run wider tires at a slightly lower pressure.
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Old 12-19-09, 12:52 PM   #8
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Plus is relative, like others have said.

My father in law has a Roubaix, and I have a Tarmac. I can't tell any difference in the way the bikes ride.
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Old 12-19-09, 01:54 PM   #9
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Run wider tires at a slightly lower pressure.
thanks for the tip. what pressure do you suggest?
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Old 12-19-09, 02:04 PM   #10
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It took me a little while to get comfortable with the road bike set-up.

I made the mistake of thinking "I'm just not cut out for this" and "maybe I bought the wrong bike" etc. and stopped riding . Luckily, I couldn't afford another bike and took my Cannondale out again this year, 'just to see'.

Now I find that I really can't imagine ever going back to straight bars. I'm starting to appreciate my bike, A LOT! Think of being new to road biking as you would breaking in a Brooks saddle...be patient and put in some miles!

Good luck!
Oh I'm not going to give up. There's no way my fiance would let me. It took me a while to convince her to let me drop that much cash on 'exercise equipment'.
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Old 12-19-09, 02:33 PM   #11
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I have 700x25 front tire 110 psi
700x23 rear 120 psi, carbon handle bar makes a difference.
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Old 12-19-09, 03:39 PM   #12
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All great points. I too have had a difficult transition from MTB riding to road riding. I rode a road bike (touring model) for 25+ years; the last decade however, I've ridden almost exclusively mountain bikes, due to injuries and subsequent weight gain.

I love my mountain bikes, and they allowed me to ride some when I thought I could not ride at all; but I long for the endurance type riding for hours that I used to do on a road bike. I feel I've been inpatient though, in that I expect to jump on the road bike and expect it to be comfortable. Of course it's not comfortable... I am not in road bike shape and I'm starting all over again. I've spent so much time in my head researching the perfect bike... size, geometry, trail, etc., that I think I've limited myself because what I really need is time on the bike.
My road bike many years ago by today's standards was 2 sizes to big for me and yet I rode seemingly endlessly. I just need to ride and trust that my body knows the difference between acute, damaging pain and newbieness discomfort ~ and learn to listen to that.
All the bike fit information out there is wonderful and definitely useful for the most part and I have learned a great deal about wheels/tires etc on BF, but what is really valuable for conditioning for me is the time on the bike.
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Old 12-19-09, 07:42 PM   #13
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thanks for the tip. what pressure do you suggest?
I use the Psimet Formula to figure out tire pressure. Seems to work well for me...
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Old 12-19-09, 09:34 PM   #14
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I use the Psimet Formula to figure out tire pressure. Seems to work well for me...
thanks, that's pretty useful!
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Old 12-19-09, 11:46 PM   #15
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thanks for the tip. what pressure do you suggest?
I'm 105Kg and I run Conti 4 seasons 700X25 at 90 PSI front and 100 rear.
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Old 12-20-09, 02:18 AM   #16
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I use the stock specialized 25s. that formula has me at 118/106, very close to the 120/110 I use. But it probably wouldn't hurt to drop them down a bit and see how it feels. A friend also suggested that I pay more attention to the terrain. I guess riding the MTB made me lazy. I should look at the ground more and try to stay on the best pavement.

I really didn't think about carbon bars but after I read that I took a ride and noticed a lot of the vibration was in the bars. But I wonder what makes the most difference: a carbon stem or carbon bars? Might try changing those out next spring when I start longer rides and I'm more used to the bike.

ecovelo is probably right though. The most useful thing will be more time on the bike and getting used to it.
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Old 12-20-09, 02:48 AM   #17
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That's all down to the aggressive geometry of the S-Works Tarmac, not because the ride is more plush. In fact, from what I remember, the Tarmac's ride is just as plush as the Roubaix...

To the OP: the Roubaix's ride is plush, especially when compared to aluminum frames, but there's only so much it can do. The frame will absorb a certain amount of road "buzz", but it won't allow you to slam the front wheel into potholes or pavement ridges with impunity. No road bike will do that!
While I agree with you wholeheartedly, try telling that to the marketing guys. All they ever do is bend the truth. Wait, I guess they're doing their jobs properly then.
OP: I ride a low-end AL frame. When I was in NY I hired out a cheap mtb with front suspension. That was THE plushest bike I've EVER ridden. Anyway, relax and enjoy the Roubaix.
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Old 12-20-09, 03:07 AM   #18
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I can ride my 85 Bridgestone 400 for 5 hours with no problems. Brooks Saddle, long quill Nitto stem, Noodle Bars, 28mm Paselas just at 100psi... Doesn't get much comfier on a road bike than that.
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Old 12-20-09, 03:23 AM   #19
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If you are experiencing vibration or hand fatigue try some of the gel pads under your bar wrap or even consider using cork wrap or double wrapping with thinner tape. Your gloves will play a major role in how you dampen road vibes.

If your bike is relatively new you are still adjusting. It may be that you are too extended or are putting too much pressure on your hands. Talk to your LBS and see if they have stems that you can try switching out. Go in 10mm increments and see if you can find a more comfortable fit. As you progress, you may very well need/want to change stems again. It takes some time to adjust to a road bike's position, but it's well worth it.
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Old 12-20-09, 05:24 AM   #20
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I am around 210lb and have an 09 roubaix comp. It rides pretty smooth when the roads are. The only vibration i get is when in highest gears and putting in a decent effort. It feels almost like the chain rubbing on the front derailer but its not and the vibration is through the frame.
As far as comfort, the toupe gel is able to be flexed quite a bit more easily when compared to my selle italia signo on the Douglas. I can manage on the toupe but the signo is ALOT more posterior friendly for me. I will most likely get another signo for the roubaix.
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Old 12-20-09, 08:22 PM   #21
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If you are experiencing vibration or hand fatigue try some of the gel pads under your bar wrap or even consider using cork wrap or double wrapping with thinner tape. Your gloves will play a major role in how you dampen road vibes.
Good point here! I find that new road riders tend to put a death grip on the handlebars, tighten up neck and shoulders, etc. Relaxing and "riding light" can make a big difference. Learning to "bunny hop" over obstacles that can't be avoided can also help.
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Old 12-20-09, 08:32 PM   #22
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I really didn't think about carbon bars but after I read that I took a ride and noticed a lot of the vibration was in the bars. But I wonder what makes the most difference: a carbon stem or carbon bars?
Neither one makes a big difference. A carbon fiber stem is probably more over-priced than carbon fiber handlebars. FWIW, I've ridden 5000 miles this year on a Cervelo RS equipped with aluminum bars, aluminum stem, and aluminum seatpost. For my money, fit, saddle, and tires make a bigger difference and cost less than carbon fiber bars or stems. Wheels also make a big difference, but they're a bit more pricey...
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Old 12-20-09, 08:32 PM   #23
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Plush is a marketing ploy! I swear!
Actually, I think that with all the different geometries,tire widths, air pressures, carbonfiber and the list goes on and on, I think "plush" really kicks in when you are used to your bike. Think about getting a professional fitting, or, just put in some miles!
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Old 12-20-09, 09:47 PM   #24
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I ride an aluminum cyclocross for the versatility. I've been strongly considering adding a Roubaix
for more dedicated road and longer rides. I test rode one on some nasty SE Portland roads and
liked it very much. Back at the LBS I mentioned to the salesperson that I liked it very much but
I thought the tires may be a little low on air as the ride was smooth. He checked the tires and they
were up to pressure. I want one !
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Old 12-21-09, 11:55 AM   #25
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I could not tell the difference in ride quality between the Robaix and any other carbon bike either. I know people that claim that they can tell the difference, especially on rides longer than 50 miles. I've never taken a "plush" bike on that long a ride though.

I concur with others, that the main things that make a road bike less punishing are the tires, saddle, and handlebars. Places where you contact the bike, and where the bike contacts the road. Besides, you can just raise the stem a little bit on a Tarmac or Allez, if you want a "more upright" ride.


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