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  1. #1
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    Felt Z4 vs Roubaix SL4 Sport

    Trading in my beloved 06 Tarmac (loved by heart and mind, hated by neck, back and shoulders) for something more comfy. Just flat getting older and never was very flexible. Tried to get the Tarmac fitted, but just can't get it upright enough without insulting it's virtue. Bad discs in my neck flare on every long ride. Narrowed it down to two for a variety of reasons (LBS about 2 miles from my house has both in my size and will take my 06 Tarmac in trade, have rode both bikes and love them both):

    Roubaix SL4 Sport
    Specialized Bicycle Components

    Felt Z4
    Z4 - Felt Bicycles


    Went for long spin on both bikes over the weekend. Will be out of pocked about $1000 either way. Roubaix is 105/Tiagra mix and Felt is SRAM Rival/Apex mix. Both frames same as higher end models. I will sell either wheelset as a I have a custom wheelset.

    Can't go wrong either way right? Really struggling as both bikes I have dialed in with identical fits with my wheelset and feel I could ride either all day long. Both bikes are amazingly stiff given that I weigh about 260.

    Thoughts??

    Thanks a bunch for your input.

  2. #2
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Pick the one that fits you the best, with the least adjustment.

  3. #3
    Senior Member fstshrk's Avatar
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    FYI, Specialized is pulling a switcheroo with the Roubaix "SL4" s. It used to be that to be called an SL4, a Roubaix had to be using FACT10 carbon fiber construction. SL2 bikes (which what I have) were using FACT8r. Now, they are selling SL4 bikes with FACT8r carbon. There is nothing wrong with FACT8r, but I still think it is cheesy for Specialized to confuse marketing like this. I note that they may be doing the same thing for Tarmac as well.
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    Senior Member nastystang's Avatar
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    Personally I would go with the Felt. I have experienced first hand the support Felt has for its customer and I felt as though I was royalty. When I tried to buy an F4 and none were available and I waited for a long time, Felt and the bike shop worked it out and I got a F2 for the same money. Not to mention the trouble free service my F75 has given me it would be a no brainer for me. I really can not speak of Specialized as I have never owned one of their bikes. I know that when I get home after a ride I never once thought I should have bought another bike. I do see your point about being able to ride either one all day long and if they are that close I do not envy having to make that decision. I will say the Roubaix looks a little better appearance wise.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by fstshrk View Post
    FYI, Specialized is pulling a switcheroo with the Roubaix "SL4" s. It used to be that to be called an SL4, a Roubaix had to be using FACT10 carbon fiber construction. SL2 bikes (which what I have) were using FACT8r. Now, they are selling SL4 bikes with FACT8r carbon. There is nothing wrong with FACT8r, but I still think it is cheesy for Specialized to confuse marketing like this. I note that they may be doing the same thing for Tarmac as well.
    SL2 refers to the generation of the frame design, not the carbon modulus.

    My S-works SL2 is 10r, but is two frame design iterations old.

  6. #6
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    Thanks all. Going for one more spin on each on Wednesday. Hope to have a decision by thurs. I will let you guys know!

  7. #7
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    Always fun shopping vicariously I have a 2011 Felt F5 and have been extremely happy with the bike (frame/fork, really...everything else has been upgraded). They make thoughtfully designed bikes and execute those designs well. Felt customer support and the manner in which they stand behind their products is also outstanding, definitively some of the best I've come across.

    Good luck with the test rides

  8. #8
    Senior Member vwchad's Avatar
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    I'm a Felt fan.

  9. #9
    Senior Member zvez's Avatar
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    the crg seat post on the new sl4 experts is very nice in terms of comfort, I can ride my s-works roubaix for hours and hours and hours.
    Quote Originally Posted by vwchad View Post
    I'm a Felt fan.

  10. #10
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    I have been thinking that I am going to try to pimp them for one of those posts even if I choose the Felt! I actually passed a bike store today that carries both brands (its a sister store to my LBS, there are three of them in Dallas) and weighed a stock 58 in both models. Roubaix weighed right under 20 lbs and Felt was 17.5. I was a bit surprised by the disparity. The sales guy said his bet is that the wheelset was a bit part of the difference. That seems like a pretty big diff to me. Of course I am selling the wheel set and using my CXP 33/Ultegra 32/36 wheels from Colo Cyclist.

    On a side bar, the Roubaix Expert, which is 10r and is full ultegra with a lighter wheel set, weighed right above 17.5 lbs.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soonerinfrisco View Post
    The sales guy said his bet is that the wheelset was a bit part of the difference. That seems like a pretty big diff to me. Of course I am selling the wheel set and using my CXP 33/Ultegra 32/36 wheels from Colo Cyclist.

    On a side bar, the Roubaix Expert, which is 10r and is full ultegra with a lighter wheel set, weighed right above 17.5 lbs.
    The stock Roubaix wheels are boat anchors. The Axis 2.0 wheelset is like 2200g (with skewers).

  12. #12
    Senior Member fstshrk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsa103 View Post
    The stock Roubaix wheels are boat anchors. The Axis 2.0 wheelset is like 2200g (with skewers).
    I can confirm this as well. Those were the first to go when I got my roubaix.
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  13. #13
    has a Large Member Campag4life's Avatar
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    biggest discriminator for you OP is geometry. Study the geometry of both and compare them to you Tarmac. You will find the geometry to be quite different between the Roubaix and Z4...different top tube to head tube length ratio for a given size.
    I too suffer from the same neck issue...although no discernible vertebra issue. The Roubaix will be more friendly to your neck because of taller head tube relative to top tube length.

  14. #14
    has a Large Member Campag4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fstshrk View Post
    FYI, Specialized is pulling a switcheroo with the Roubaix "SL4" s. It used to be that to be called an SL4, a Roubaix had to be using FACT10 carbon fiber construction. SL2 bikes (which what I have) were using FACT8r. Now, they are selling SL4 bikes with FACT8r carbon. There is nothing wrong with FACT8r, but I still think it is cheesy for Specialized to confuse marketing like this. I note that they may be doing the same thing for Tarmac as well.
    I believe you are conflating 3D geometry with carbon modulus. The SL4 pertains to the 3 D geometry of the frameset...not the carbon modulus. The SL4 is a complete redesign from the SL3 Roubaix..what I ride...which is a complete redesign from the SL2.

  15. #15
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    Campag, if I wanted the voice of reason I would have asked my wife! LOL. You however are correct. The Felt is incredibly stiff and responsive yet rides very nice. I think it is a better value considering the components and the wheelset, CXP22s, which I could probably actually ride. In person it looks good too, better than on the web. It's actually pretty sharp. But it is not overly upright without quite a bit of work. I think a longer stem might get me there but the Roubaix was a very nice fit as it sets. I think the first time I rode them, I rode the Roubaix first then a Trek Domane and then the F4. Compared to the Domane it is a fairly upright position, but not as much as the Roubaix. Now comes the tricky part....

    I decided that I really want the Expert. Definitely feels different in the saddle. Full Ultegra, FACT10, better wheels and carbon crankset. Of course it is stickered at 3600 vs 2000. I'm getting 1000 for my Tarmac, minus my wheelset and they will credit me the Fulcrum wheel set at their cost. So about 2250 OOP. If I were my wife, I know I could negotiate the Expert because, as we all know, marriage is a series of bartering. Trying to figure out how I can pull this one off.....

    Either way it will be a Roubaix.

  16. #16
    Senior Member fstshrk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
    I believe you are conflating 3D geometry with carbon modulus. The SL4 pertains to the 3 D geometry of the frameset...not the carbon modulus. The SL4 is a complete redesign from the SL3 Roubaix..what I ride...which is a complete redesign from the SL2.
    And that is the story specialized is feeding everyone now. Keep your SL3. I think it is a better bike compared to the SL3.

    It is unlikely that my next bike is going to be from Specialized. Going custom Ti.
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  17. #17
    has a Large Member Campag4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fstshrk View Post
    And that is the story specialized is feeding everyone now. Keep your SL3. I think it is a better bike compared to the SL3.

    It is unlikely that my next bike is going to be from Specialized. Going custom Ti.
    fst...no plan to replace my Roubaix SL3 Pro. Simply love the bike. Changing to DA 9000 and new carbon handlebar shortly to see how I like it as a break from Campy. Unsure if I would prefer the SL4 Roubaix to my SL3 which has a slightly softer rear end. Reason I say that is I like a stiff frame for responsiveness...but the rear of the bike has never been an issue on any road bike I have ridden. I am more dialed into the front end stiffness of the bike in terms of hand comfort over rough roads. So I may even prefer the SL4. I am not a fan of the Cobl post either.
    I will say whether its Roubaix, Felt, Domane, Cervelo etc...its all good at this level. I personally would never go custom Ti over a carbon bike but I like Ti as well. I just prefer the rawer edge and energy response of carbon and the lighter weight.

  18. #18
    has a Large Member Campag4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soonerinfrisco View Post
    Campag, if I wanted the voice of reason I would have asked my wife! LOL. You however are correct. The Felt is incredibly stiff and responsive yet rides very nice. I think it is a better value considering the components and the wheelset, CXP22s, which I could probably actually ride. In person it looks good too, better than on the web. It's actually pretty sharp. But it is not overly upright without quite a bit of work. I think a longer stem might get me there but the Roubaix was a very nice fit as it sets. I think the first time I rode them, I rode the Roubaix first then a Trek Domane and then the F4. Compared to the Domane it is a fairly upright position, but not as much as the Roubaix. Now comes the tricky part....

    I decided that I really want the Expert. Definitely feels different in the saddle. Full Ultegra, FACT10, better wheels and carbon crankset. Of course it is stickered at 3600 vs 2000. I'm getting 1000 for my Tarmac, minus my wheelset and they will credit me the Fulcrum wheel set at their cost. So about 2250 OOP. If I were my wife, I know I could negotiate the Expert because, as we all know, marriage is a series of bartering. Trying to figure out how I can pull this one off.....

    Either way it will be a Roubaix.
    The Expert is a very nice bike because of the 10r carbon and Ultegra 11s driveline. Try to figure out how to swing it would be my advice...even if you have to save up for a while.

  19. #19
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    Damn the virtue and save the money and *gasp* just get an upright stem. You're talking about trading in a BWM for a Benz just to get a more comfortable steering wheel.

    But it is only money I suppose....don't listen to me.

  20. #20
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    Man I wish I could get it to work. I do have a 30 degree stem on her and have lowered the seat some but hate not being able to stretch my legs. Still seems like a huge difference in handlebar height. Back in 06 when I was picking my new ride, the Roubaix were really mushy and the Cdale Synapse was closer to the Tarmac than the Roubaix. Now the Roubaix feels about as stiff as my Tarmac but much more comfy geometry. I got college funds going for my girls so to spend that much on a new bike is hard to swallow. Going to ride the Sport version tomorrow in the correct size, hopefully I cant tell much difference.....

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