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Thread: Roubaix vs. ?

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    Yen
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    Roubaix vs. ?

    The Roubaix seems to be at or near the top of the list of "comfort-geometry" road bikes for a non-racer person looking for a quality bike with good performance for long distances in a more upright position. The Cannondale Synapse, Specialized Sequoia, and Trek Pilot are common contenders.

    There must be others out there, or are there? Are these the "big 3" in terms of optimal comfort for a 50+ person with upper-body issues? Are there other lesser-known, quality bikes for around $2000.00 that can be found at local bike shops (and can therefore be test ridden)? I don't want to be ignorant of other options, but I also don't want to travel halfway around the world or order off the internet without riding it first.

    I keep going back to the Roubaix after reading reviews and users' comments and riding the bikes. I just want to be sure there aren't other doors I haven't opened yet. On the other hand, I don't want to overwhelm myself even more with yet another choice, when the Roubaix/Ruby would serve me just fine (assuming it fits).
    Last edited by Yen; 03-02-08 at 11:28 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yen View Post
    The Roubaix seems to be at or near the top of the list of "comfort-geometry" road bikes for a non-racer person looking for a quality bike with good performance for long distances in a more upright position. The Cannondale Synapse, Specialized Sequoia, and Trek Pilot are common contenders.

    There must be others out there, or are there?
    NOPE THIS IS IT in my book that is!!!!!
    I did the same thing, wanted to make sure there wasn't something else out there that worked better & I just kept coming back to the Roubaix (basic one). Sure it doesn't have the top of the line components & sure it isn't full carbon but it was in my price range & I feel it will get me plenty far away from home & hopefully get me back.

    Since I'm 6'2" 205 I went with 28cm tires, which to me didn't look that much bigger until I get them next to my buddies 23cm & they look like balloons.

    If the bike fits you I don't think you will regret your choice. I feel it is a good bike for just a weekend type rider.
    2007 Specialized Roubaix

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    Some of the Lemonds seem to fit the bill in having a more "traditional" geometry instead of the short top tube with bars 4" below the saddle and extreme short wheel-base of the race geometry stuff that fills the bike shops.

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    Several other makes about- but I think so far you have made the right choice. The roubaix seems to give a good ride and the only problem I can see is if you cannot get one to fit you.

    Going back to Giants again- but there is the Carbon form of the OCR And this does have a more relaxed geometry than the TCR range. It is in your price range aswell

    http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/...en/1246/29289/
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    Quote Originally Posted by w2brdbkr View Post
    NOPE THIS IS IT in my book that is!!!!!
    I did the same thing, wanted to make sure there wasn't something else out there that worked better & I just kept coming back to the Roubaix (basic one). Sure it doesn't have the top of the line components & sure it isn't full carbon but it was in my price range & I feel it will get me plenty far away from home & hopefully get me back.

    Since I'm 6'2" 205 I went with 28cm tires, which to me didn't look that much bigger until I get them next to my buddies 23cm & they look like balloons.

    If the bike fits you I don't think you will regret your choice. I feel it is a good bike for just a weekend type rider.
    Thanks, w2brdbkr. I are planning to do more than "just" weekend type riding. We plan to join a club, go on group rides, and start working toward doing centuries. I have no doubt the Roubaix -- any Roubaix -- can do all that. I have no doubt my Giant Cypress can to that either... it will just be a lot easier, and faster, on the Roubaix or similar bike.
    Last edited by Yen; 03-02-08 at 12:27 PM.
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    Thanks, Stapfam... and that looks like an impressive component set for the money. It has a compact double crank though and I think I may need a triple, which is still open for debate. I'm comparing the geometries with the Roubaix as we speak. I don't think our LBS-of-my-dreams sells Giant bikes though.
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    I guess I didn't mean just a weekend rider, I meant a non racer person. I already have plans for a century the first of June. Co-worker talked me into it & I figure I'm not getting any younger so I might as well get one under my belt.

    I test road the Giant bike a couple times because I liked the LBS that sold them, but I just didn't like how it felt but that was me. Everyone is different, I've had three lower back surgeries so I want something comfortable. I also like the handlebars on the Specialized, they are not round, they are a little flatter as you probably know now & I also liked that.

    I also plan on putting a lot of miles on mine this year, specially with the price of gas. The wife wasn't to crazy at first with me getting a bike, but I figure I'll be saving $50.00 a month on gas just the little I ride from her work to mine.

    Plus I'll have to get the old hybrid out once in a while to do the grocery shopping but that is another story.

    I only have 48 miles (couldn't ride today, weather) but so far I really like mine & it sounds like others on the board that have them also like theres. The biggest thing I guess is if you think there might be another one out there to test ride it as well, just to set your mind at ease.
    2007 Specialized Roubaix

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    w2brdbkr: I like the bars too... almost like built-in ergo grips, don't you think? Oh, and the smooth ride ..... I have nicknamed it the "Smooooothbaix". Just keeping my mind open to other possibilities.... but I'd like to stick with this LBS if possible with their 5-star service and fitter who is also a coach and is available via email after the fitting if we ever have questions or problems.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yen View Post
    I'd like to stick with this LBS if possible with their 5-star service and fitter who is also a coach and is available via email after the fitting if we ever have questions or problems.
    To me this is very important, that is why I didn't buy my bike here locally or on line. I feel it is the customer service after you get the bike that is just as important as buying it in the first place.

    When you find someone that really does care how well your bike fits or how well you like the bike afterwards then those are the shops you stay with.
    The first thing Steve told me was he is paid by the hour so it didn't matter if he was spending the time with me or someone else. At first I really felt bad having people spend so much time with me & then I didn't buy there bike but that is there job.
    2007 Specialized Roubaix

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yen View Post
    Thanks, Stapfam... and that looks like an impressive component set for the money. It has a compact double crank though and I think I may need a triple, which is still open for debate. I'm comparing the geometries with the Roubaix as we speak. I don't think our LBS-of-my-dreams sells Giant bikes though.
    Several of us keep saying it----But there is not a great deal of difference between the Compact double and a Triple. I have always used triple on the MTB's- even on the road rides and I did use the lowest gears on the bike. When I got the OCR as my first road bike- I opted for the triple as that was what I am used to and we have hills in our area. I still used that lowest gear. Boreas and I got a Compact double. Made certain I got a 27t on the cassette though. Those local hills I used to struggle up with the triple- I struggled up with the compact. BUT no harder a struggle and I was faster up the hills. This was confirmed with the heart monitor aswell as I was not putting more effort in with the double. Or if I was- the heart monitor was not showing it.

    Your bike strength is increasing all the time-And you have confirmed that with the distance you ride and the length of time.Only thing is that- You know your legs- and your stamina- and your capabilities. And you also know what your Brain is telling you to get.

    My opinion only but several will confirm what I have said.
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    Marin has some, called their "Natural Fit" road bikes, but they don't make a full carbon. Their top WSD model is the Treviso, at $1140, with carbon fork and seat stays.

    Schwinn promotes a comfort line of road bikes, but only within the $500-$1000 price range.

    Felt has a number of WSD bikes, up to the FW2 which is carbon w/Dura Ace components.

    Once you've covered Trek, Specialized, Cannondale, Giant, and Marin, you've covered much of the mainstream market. Most of the other brands tend to cater to performance buyers or speciality niches. I haven't seen many of the others focusing on comfort road bikes. Raleigh tried in '06 & '07 with their Cadent bikes, but changed those to flat-bar designs in '08.

    As to Trek, they've flowed some of the comfort geometry out of their Pilot series into other bikes. It is kind of hard to follow it across their line. Even some of the Madones have touches of it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    Several of us keep saying it----But there is not a great deal of difference between the Compact double and a Triple.

    My LBS that sells the Giants suggested I go with a compact double, my co-worker told me once I get stronger that I should take off my little front sprocket, he said that is for wimps.

    He said; by the time June comes around I should be more then fit to be able to ride without going to the lower gears. Now that is coming from a 40 yr. old that has ridden bikes since he was 18.

    The LBS said; a compact double has less maintainance and they didn't see any difference. My buddy yesterday didn't have trouble keeping up with his compact double but then he was drafting me.

    The only reason I went with the triple is because that is what my bike came with but time will tell because we have some crazy arse hills planned in our future. Nice thing living so close to the mountains.
    2007 Specialized Roubaix

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    Quote Originally Posted by w2brdbkr View Post

    My LBS that sells the Giants suggested I go with a compact double, my co-worker told me once I get stronger that I should take off my little front sprocket, he said that is for wimps.

    He said; by the time June comes around I should be more then fit to be able to ride without going to the lower gears. Now that is coming from a 40 yr. old that has ridden bikes since he was 18.

    The LBS said; a compact double has less maintainance and they didn't see any difference. My buddy yesterday didn't have trouble keeping up with his compact double but then he was drafting me.

    The only reason I went with the triple is because that is what my bike came with but time will tell because we have some crazy arse hills planned in our future. Nice thing living so close to the mountains.
    He's right. For example, I rode in my middle ring for months because I thought the large ring would be too hard. Then I tried it and haven't looked back. So he's right in thinking you'll be in fine shape in a few months.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee View Post
    He's right. For example, I rode in my middle ring for months because I thought the large ring would be too hard. Then I tried it and haven't looked back. So he's right in thinking you'll be in fine shape in a few months.
    Bl**dy hell. You did better than me- Took me months before I started using the Big Ring. I Used to do most of the riding in the middle 42t and Rarely got into the 52 except downhills. Even now- If I ride the Triple- that big ring rarely gets used- Wheras on the compact double- I use both rings equally. Those 2 extra teeth on the Triple big ring do take some getting used to.
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    Got to put a good word out for the Lemond min-max frames. The geometry looks pretty much the same as the Trek Pilot series, but they're sexier I think, and in the same price range as the others mentioned above. Of course, they are owned by Trek.

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    No argument from me that a compact double 50/34 isn't that much different than a 50/39/30 triple. Especially if one isn't going to take on really tough hills (or even then if you have strong legs). You are only giving up 1 low gear. The 2nd lowest gear on a triple is going to be near identical to the lowest gear on a compact double.

    Now if the double is 50/36 it's a little tougher. And the round doubles 53/39 or 53/42 are very different.

    And if one can't quite make it with a compact double, they could go with a 29t or 30t cog on the cassette, which makes the lowest gears on both very close.

    OTOH if one is coming off of a hybrid which had a small front ring of 26 or 28 with a rear cog of 32, then they had better be careful jumping all the way to a compact double. For they just dropped several of their lowest gears.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Weak Link View Post
    Got to put a good word out for the Lemond min-max frames. The geometry looks pretty much the same as the Trek Pilot series, but they're sexier I think, and in the same price range as the others mentioned above. Of course, they are owned by Trek.
    The Lemonds don't feel like riding a Pilot. I've ridden Pilots and the equivalent Lemonds twice back to back and the Lemonds had a more aggressive riding position. But it isn't a lot different, if you ride the Lemond that is 1cm "smaller' than the Trek, i.e. the 53 Lemond vs the 54 Trek.

    Lemonds and Treks WSD bikes do have altered geometries from their men's bikes, unlike Specialized.

    For example a 53W vs a 51M in the Lemond Versailles shows that while the top tubes are very close to the same, they do have different seat tube, standover, and head tube lengths. Also different seat tube angle, head tube angle, and handlebar width. It is definitely a tweaked frame.

    As far as the companies go, Lemond has been pretty much completely absorbed by Trek. It's just a Trek with a different badge on it. Looking at the Women's Versaille, it comes with the following Trek/Bontrager parts:
    Fork, tires, wheels, handlebar, stem, saddle, and seatpost.

    The rest of the bike is nearly all Shimano. The only part with a Lemond name is the frame, which is built in a Chinese factory under a Trek contract.
    Last edited by Tom Bombadil; 03-02-08 at 05:15 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yen View Post
    There must be others out there, or are there? Are these the "big 3" in terms of optimal comfort for a 50+ person with upper-body issues? Are there other lesser-known, quality bikes for around $2000.00 that can be found at local bike shops (and can therefore be test ridden)?
    Another bike that competes in this price range/feature set is the Bianchi 928 Coast-to-Coast (C2C).

    http://www.bianchiusa.com/08_c2c.html

    I ran across it because of a review in Bicycling magazine that named it the "plush" bike of the year.

    If you wanted to spend more, you could look at Rodriguez of Seattle...they are a semi-custom builder, and are very focused on fit and on building bikes for women. Great people to deal with; they will ship you a bike and work with you to get it right (see their "long range test ride policy." Complete bikes start at around $2400.

    www.rodcycle.com

    One thing that kept me from buying a Pilot/Roubaix/C2C when I was shopping was I didn't think I could get larger tires plus fenders on any of them (that I can recall). Fenders are critical for riding year round in Seattle; maybe not so much where you live.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    Another bike that competes in this price range/feature set is the Bianchi 928 Coast-to-Coast (C2C).

    http://www.bianchiusa.com/08_c2c.html

    I ran across it because of a review in Bicycling magazine that named it the "plush" bike of the year.
    Bianchi describes those bikes as being both "Long Distance" and "Race Performance" oriented. Which doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I've seen them and they sure didn't look like a comfort road bike to me. Perhaps a comfort racing bike???
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
    Bianchi describes those bikes as being both "Long Distance" and "Race Performance" oriented. Which doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I've seen them and they sure didn't look like a comfort road bike to me. Perhaps a comfort racing bike???
    And how is that different from the Roubaix? Without comparing frame geometries, etc., it strikes me that all of these bikes -- the Roubaix, the Pilot, the C2C are basically racing-style frames w/more upright geometry. They are "comfort" only in the sense that you aren't as bent over as much on a racing bike. It's my understanding that the Roubaix was the first in this particular market; the others followed.

    But they still favor speed vs. comfort; if they were really "comfortable" bikes, for example, I think they'd be spec'd w/wider tires. Compared w/other bikes on the market, they are still sunny-day, go-fast bikes for when you don't need to carry a load.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
    OTOH if one is coming off of a hybrid which had a small front ring of 26 or 28 with a rear cog of 32, then they had better be careful jumping all the way to a compact double. For they just dropped several of their lowest gears.
    My Cypress has small front ring of 26 but a rear cog of 30. It may be a stretch for me, but the lightness of the Roubaix may make up for it.

    Thanks to everyone for the additional suggestions -- I'll check 'em out!
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    And how is that different from the Roubaix? Without comparing frame geometries, etc., it strikes me that all of these bikes -- the Roubaix, the Pilot, the C2C are basically racing-style frames w/more upright geometry. They are "comfort" only in the sense that you aren't as bent over as much on a racing bike. It's my understanding that the Roubaix was the first in this particular market; the others followed.

    But they still favor speed vs. comfort; if they were really "comfortable" bikes, for example, I think they'd be spec'd w/wider tires. Compared w/other bikes on the market, they are still sunny-day, go-fast bikes for when you don't need to carry a load.
    The C2C is not as upright as a Roubaix or a Pilot. Note that Trek now offers Madones in a "pro" fit and a "performance" fit with performance being more upright. The Madone 4.5 is in the $2K range too. Despite the similar geometries and specs, these bikes all feel different on the road. I could never get myself to like the Roubaix even though it seemed on paper to be the perfect bike for me. You have to ride them to decide.

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    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    For what it's worth, Bicycling Magazine calls these bikes "plush"

    here's their recent overview of the "plush" market.

    http://www.bicycling.com/article/0,6...1441-1,00.html

    They've always seemed to like the Roubaix and the Pilot.

    they also put the LeMond Versailles in this class:
    http://www.bicycling.com/article/0,6...1449-1,00.html

    and the Giant OCR:
    http://www.bicycling.com/article/0,6...1448-1,00.html

    their overview of the Ruby Elite, Pilot and the Giant:
    http://www.bicycling.com/article/0,6...1987-1,00.html


    Another bike they put in this class is the Cannondale Synapse, but I can't find their review now.


    To be honest, I don't really put much faith in Bicycling Magazine these days, but this is roughly the list I started with when I was shopping for bikes in this class. Would love to own one, but I ended up going a different route...

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    Their "plush" bike category seems about right (they are the exact bikes we've been discussing in this thread) with the possible exception of the Bianchi C2C bikes. I did not get on one, but it didn't to have as upright a riding position in person or in their on-line photos. The Lemond would be borderline in my book, but I could see including it.

    I would not consider the Trek Pilot to be a performance / racing bike at all. Nor the Giant OCR series. You'd have a hard time keeping up with the increased wind resistance from the more upright position. Although they could be faster than a traditional geometry for a particular rider, because they are more comfortable and they can ride longer and push harder because of it. But I doubt that rider would be a race/performance type rider.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

  25. #25
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yen View Post
    My Cypress has small front ring of 26 but a rear cog of 30. It may be a stretch for me, but the lightness of the Roubaix may make up for it.
    It might, but going from a 26:30 to a 34:27 is a BIG difference!

    That is if you ever use the lowest gears on the Cypress. It would be a more apples to apples comparison to compare the lowest gear you use vs the Triple or Compact Double. The lowest gear you *have* isn't important if you don't use it.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

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