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  1. #1
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    Confusion over bicycle model "lingo"

    I wasn't sure where to post this; hopefully my question falls under "general".

    I'm considering buying a road bike in the spring as my fitness level improves. At the moment I'm riding a comfort bike with mountain bike tires, which is getting the job done for now (i.e., getting me out riding regularly).

    However, if my enthusiasm continues (I think it will, as I've always enjoyed bicycling), my rides will get longer and more intense. While I don't intend to race or do centuries, I think a road bike will be the next step for me.

    I'm baffled over some of the terms used naming levels of models: comp and compact (are these different terms for the same thing, and what does it mean?), triple and double (does this refer to the derailleur/gears? How do they differ?). Also, some models use "Elite" as part of their name-is this just a higher end model of the same bike, like "Limited" is used for cars?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rex G's Avatar
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    Triple and double refers to the chainring, the front sprocket assembly. Double = two sprockets, triple = three.

    Compact can mean the frame, or it can refer to the sprockets in the chainring, and probably other stuff as well. A compact frame tends to have a sloping top tube; a traditional frame will have a horizontal top tube. Some elitist snob roadies who don't want to be caught dead riding a triple will instead use a compact double; the largest sprocket will be notably smaller in diameter than the largest sprocket in a normal double or triple set-up. I don't see anything wrong with a triple, myself.

    If you are using mountain bike tires on the street, your comfort bike is now a discomfort bike.

    I will let others weigh in on comp and elite.

    Enjoy riding! A good road bike will seem like a rocket ship compared to what you have now, especially if you are using knobby mountain tires on pavement.
    Have Colt, will travel...

  3. #3
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    "Comp" and "Elite" are level designations used by Specialized to denote differences in componentry...and sometimes frame within the same model, such as "Roubaix Elite".

    Check the "Elite" models carefully. It has been my experience that the Big "S" focused on value for those models, mixing components for maximum impact. If you wish to have a complete gruppo, look at the other models.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post
    "Comp" and "Elite" are level designations used by Specialized to denote differences in componentry...and sometimes frame within the same model, such as "Roubaix Elite".

    Check the "Elite" models carefully. It has been my experience that the Big "S" focused on value for those models, mixing components for maximum impact. If you wish to have a complete gruppo, look at the other models.
    Thanks for the heads up...it's probably similar to those less-than-wonderful "complete packages" one gets with computer purchases, then? <LOL>

  5. #5
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    Seems like these guys have answered your questions, but in the future if you have some confusion about terminology head over to Sheldon Brown's site. He has a fairly comprehensive glossary as well as a bunch of interesting articles. Whenever I hear a term I'm not familiar with I'll check out his site first, its pretty useful

  6. #6
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    I used to have a Ford Escort LX. LX meant luxury. Sure, it was a luxury car.
    comp or elite don't give you any real information.
    Check out the sheldon brown site, as recommended above.

  7. #7
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    RE: Sheldon Brown's site

    Thanks for this hint, as well as your answers here.

    I didn't know where to start with the cycling explanations, so this was a big help.

  8. #8
    The "now retired" Old Guy Ed in GA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex G View Post
    Triple and double refers to the chainring, the front sprocket assembly. Double = two sprockets, triple = three.

    Some elitist snob roadies who don't want to be caught dead riding a triple will instead use a compact double.
    And........

    Some of us have the compact double because we are planning to neither climb the matterhorn nor race in the Indy 500.

    YMMV

    I'm confused by a lot of the terminology as well. So, I'll take the suggestion to visit Sheldon Browns site.
    "The problem with America is stupidity. I'm not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?"

  9. #9
    Senior Member Rex G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed in GA View Post
    And........

    Some of us have the compact double because we are planning to neither climb the matterhorn nor race in the Indy 500.

    YMMV

    I'm confused by a lot of the terminology as well. So, I'll take the suggestion to visit Sheldon Browns site.
    I probably should have used a winking smiley after the term "elitist snob roadies."
    Have Colt, will travel...

  10. #10
    The "now retired" Old Guy Ed in GA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex G View Post
    I probably should have used a winking smiley after the term "elitist snob roadies."
    And I probably should have seen the humor......

    I used to live around the Bellaire/Meyerland/Bagel Bend area.
    "The problem with America is stupidity. I'm not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?"

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