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Old 05-28-13, 03:55 PM   #1
joshuatrio
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N+1 Help !!

Alright, I've had my eyes on a new road bike now (for well over a year), and it looks like it's gonna happen in the next two-three weeks.

The deal:

My wife gave me the green light to purchase whatever road bike I wanted (several months ago), provided that the savings account is not affected. In other words, I had to sell some of my stuff laying around the house, to fund my bike purchase. Can't complain, she's being practical: sell unused items for usable items.

Anyhow, after going through and listing old gadgets, electronics, books etc on Craigslist... fielding phone calls, emails, and making transactions. There is exactly $1,312 in my bike fund. This has taken me almost a month to scrape together (and don't have much left to sell).

The bike:

I'd really like to get a Specialized Tarmac. Test rode one at the Sea Otter Classic and loved it. Also, the crew I've been commuting in with, ride a nice mixture of Italian and US Carbon and Aluminum road bikes. It's rubbed off on me, and would like to have the same aero advantage that they do (plus a second bike). I've also always wanted to ride a carbon bike (the inner geek), so this is a good opportunity.

So, which model do go for?


Tarmac Elite Mid Compact ($2100) or the Tarmac Sport Mid Compact ($1800).

Both are Shimano 105 equipped. The Elite has better wheels, bars and 105 brakes... While the Sport has Axis brakes and shallow drop bars.

Is it worth the extra $300 for the Elite?

This is a really big purchase for me, and the first new bike (always buy used) ever. Really looking forward to this, but want to make the best decision for the long term. I know many of you would prefer aluminum or steel, but this is probably the only chance that I'll have to go "all out" and get what I want.

Should have enough items sold around the house to purchase the Sport model shortly, however the Elite will take a good bit longer.

Looking forward to your input.
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Old 05-28-13, 08:22 PM   #2
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Since you mention Specialized, drop be the shop that sells them.

Trek is in the local , here .. the Aluminum Domane looks good..

2.0 Tiagra 10, 2.3 105 10.

the Iso-speed dampener at the top of the seat tube should absorb a bit of
aluminum's infamous harshness,,

4.0 is carbon frame, Tiagra 10, 4.5 is Ultegra..

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-28-13 at 08:38 PM.
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Old 05-29-13, 08:30 AM   #3
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Since you mention Specialized, drop be the shop that sells them.

Trek is in the local , here .. the Aluminum Domane looks good..

2.0 Tiagra 10, 2.3 105 10.

the Iso-speed dampener at the top of the seat tube should absorb a bit of
aluminum's infamous harshness,,

4.0 is carbon frame, Tiagra 10, 4.5 is Ultegra..
Been by the Specialized shop a few times already.

Really don't want to buy an aluminum bike - as I already own an aluminum Sirrus.

I'm asking you guys if it's really worth it to jump from the Tarmac Sport, to the Elite model.
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Old 05-29-13, 04:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuatrio View Post
I'm asking you guys if it's really worth it to jump from the Tarmac Sport, to the Elite model.
Probably. But, is that really the question you should be asking? I know you don't want to hear it but... carbon fiber, as used in the current crops of high end drool inducement is wasted potential. I can't tell the difference between the carbon Tarmac and the aluminum Allez by looking... why is that?? In the 90's they had the right idea, then some bright bike designer got the bright idea to weave the carbon into tubes and make carbon bikes look like aluminum ones... ruh? WTF? The two materials are nothing alike! So, the component essentially become much more important and, if the extra $300 is buying better wheels and brakes then that isn't money wasted. So... the higher end Tarmac is the better bike of the two, but for the same money as the lower end Tarmac you could buy a hell of a nice aluminum bike and why does it matter if you already have one? You have two cars? Are they both made out of steel? I have 5 or 6 bikes and all but two are steel. Two are aluminum. The Specialized Allez I plan to pick up tomorrow is an old school SE from the early 80's. Steel? You betcha. On another forum is a guy who finally wore his wife down and bought a $10K velomobile. He wrecked it after 3 months. I mean totalled. Is this guys marriage over? Quite possibly. A pile-up that wouldn't even scratch an aluminum or steel roadie may well be the end of a carbon bike. They simply are not ready for prime time. Someone's got to buy them of course, but why does that have to be you? The guy who really needs a Kestrel or Specialized Tarmac doesn't have to sell a legacy GPS receiver to fund it. Harsh, I'm sorry. But, well meant. Word to the wise. FWIW. YMMV and all that... ...
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Old 05-29-13, 05:01 PM   #5
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"Is it worth the extra $300 for the Elite?"

Nope.....
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Old 05-29-13, 05:04 PM   #6
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OK steel or carbon then. .. happy shopping therapy..
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Old 05-30-13, 06:56 AM   #7
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better bars = meh, not that different
better brake = meh, most brake work well enough
better wheels = even though DT axis 3.0 is better, it is not that much of an upgrade.

Spend your 300$ on after market wheel upgrade. Or even better, work out a deal with the LBS to upgrade to Ksyriums or something.

I am cheaping out with the tarmac mid-compact with sora, lol.
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Old 06-01-13, 03:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Probably. But, is that really the question you should be asking? I know you don't want to hear it but... carbon fiber, as used in the current crops of high end drool inducement is wasted potential. I can't tell the difference between the carbon Tarmac and the aluminum Allez by looking... why is that?? In the 90's they had the right idea, then some bright bike designer got the bright idea to weave the carbon into tubes and make carbon bikes look like aluminum ones... ruh? WTF? The two materials are nothing alike! So, the component essentially become much more important and, if the extra $300 is buying better wheels and brakes then that isn't money wasted. So... the higher end Tarmac is the better bike of the two, but for the same money as the lower end Tarmac you could buy a hell of a nice aluminum bike and why does it matter if you already have one? You have two cars? Are they both made out of steel? I have 5 or 6 bikes and all but two are steel. Two are aluminum. The Specialized Allez I plan to pick up tomorrow is an old school SE from the early 80's. Steel? You betcha. On another forum is a guy who finally wore his wife down and bought a $10K velomobile. He wrecked it after 3 months. I mean totalled. Is this guys marriage over? Quite possibly. A pile-up that wouldn't even scratch an aluminum or steel roadie may well be the end of a carbon bike. They simply are not ready for prime time. Someone's got to buy them of course, but why does that have to be you? The guy who really needs a Kestrel or Specialized Tarmac doesn't have to sell a legacy GPS receiver to fund it. Harsh, I'm sorry. But, well meant. Word to the wise. FWIW. YMMV and all that... ...
Leis, my wife and I have a rule: nothing new comes into the house, unless something old goes out. We don't like clutter, and rather than dip into savings for a bike I don't really need, it's nice selling unused items to fund new purchases. It's not a matter of being able to "afford" one.

Secondly, the remainder of your comment was pointless. Instead of just answering a simple question, you turned it into another carbon vs. aluminum debate - and you assumed I couldn't afford a bike.

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Old 06-01-13, 03:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CenturionIM View Post
better bars = meh, not that different
better brake = meh, most brake work well enough
better wheels = even though DT axis 3.0 is better, it is not that much of an upgrade.

Spend your 300$ on after market wheel upgrade. Or even better, work out a deal with the LBS to upgrade to Ksyriums or something.

I am cheaping out with the tarmac mid-compact with sora, lol.
Lol - I've always wanted a bike with the 105 group, so that's the starting point..

Thanks for the answer ! I think I'll end up going with the Sport model, because the wheels will most likely get upgraded in the future and the brakes probably won't make a difference.
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