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Specialized Roubaix Elite (2008) for commuting

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Specialized Roubaix Elite (2008) for commuting

Old 05-29-20, 02:03 AM
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viterbi
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Specialized Roubaix Elite (2008) for commuting

Hello!

with the current bike shortage it has been very challenging to find a bike at a reasonable price.
I ended up buying a Specialized Roubaix Elite for 2008 from around 500$. The bike is in great condition. My first question would be, how about that price? did I overpay or was it reasonable? Keep in mind the limitations that exist right now, I heard the bike sales have increased 120% last month, so it is not like I had much to choose from.

More importantly, I intend to use this bike for commuting. My commute is fairly short, 15mins 100% through city. I guess that one of the modifications that would be good is to put tires as thick as possible with as much grip as possible, am I correct? I mean it is not like my priority is speed.
So my main question is, can anybody with this exact bike model tell me the absolute maximum tire width I can install? I have read that it might be able to accomodate a 31mm but I would like to be sure before I purchase it.
Also, any recommendations on tire brand/model given my usage (100% city, much of it is on bike lanes which are painted with some special paint)

I am pretty new to bikes so any recommendations on how to make my bike more suitable for my use will be appreciated.
Thanks.

Last edited by viterbi; 05-29-20 at 02:14 AM.
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Old 05-29-20, 08:31 AM
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I like to buy tires that I can return (i.e. from somewhere like LBS or REI). I like 28mm or 32mm for commuting. You don't really need any tread - for your usage all tires (with good rubber compound) are going to have similar grip. Keep in mind that I have 28mm tires that measure from 27mm to 31mm (from the same mfg). So if your bike fits "28mm" tires, it may not fit all of them. Go figure.

Some good swift commuting tires: Panaracer pasela, Continental Gatorskin or 4 season.
If you want something tougher and longer lasting (but heavier and slower) Thick Slicks are kinda fun. The 28mm version of that tire is pretty thicc! (its over 30mm easily).
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Old 05-29-20, 09:53 AM
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hey, congrats, welcome, all that good message.
you'll like that bike. later on, your preferences might lead to something slightly different, but you're good to go now, so enjoy.
think about how you will carry stuff. messenger bag might be fine, existing backpack also good. depends how much stuff. keep it simple till your needs force an upgrade. panniers can wait a long time.
tires - put some gatorskin28's on there and go. don't over think it.
think more about fit. you are commuting, not racing, so filter the world of advice accordingly. more upright, right height of seat and bars.
buy a cheap cyclometer for your handlebars. yeah, I know, everyone has a phone yadayada. you'll like the little meter on the bars. spend a little money on a good floor pump, you'll use it every couple of days. practice fixing a flat if you're not already good at that. get an under-saddle bag for a tube, a co2 inflator and a mini-tool (and an emergency $20, or currency of your choice). buy some cheapo gloves. makes a world of difference when you take that first spill. headlight, taillight, not optional in my book.
so, yeah, don't worry too much about the tires - lots more fun stuff to do.
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Old 05-29-20, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by blacknbluebikes View Post
hey, congrats, welcome, all that good message.
you'll like that bike. later on, your preferences might lead to something slightly different, but you're good to go now, so enjoy.
think about how you will carry stuff. messenger bag might be fine, existing backpack also good. depends how much stuff. keep it simple till your needs force an upgrade. panniers can wait a long time.
tires - put some gatorskin28's on there and go. don't over think it.
think more about fit. you are commuting, not racing, so filter the world of advice accordingly. more upright, right height of seat and bars.
buy a cheap cyclometer for your handlebars. yeah, I know, everyone has a phone yadayada. you'll like the little meter on the bars. spend a little money on a good floor pump, you'll use it every couple of days. practice fixing a flat if you're not already good at that. get an under-saddle bag for a tube, a co2 inflator and a mini-tool (and an emergency $20, or currency of your choice). buy some cheapo gloves. makes a world of difference when you take that first spill. headlight, taillight, not optional in my book.
so, yeah, don't worry too much about the tires - lots more fun stuff to do.
Thanks for the reply, the only thing that stood out about it is the comment saying I will be using a floor pump every two days. Why would I have to pump air every two days? Do you think those tires will loose air?
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Old 05-29-20, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
I like to buy tires that I can return (i.e. from somewhere like LBS or REI). I like 28mm or 32mm for commuting. You don't really need any tread - for your usage all tires (with good rubber compound) are going to have similar grip. Keep in mind that I have 28mm tires that measure from 27mm to 31mm (from the same mfg). So if your bike fits "28mm" tires, it may not fit all of them. Go figure.

Some good swift commuting tires: Panaracer pasela, Continental Gatorskin or 4 season.
If you want something tougher and longer lasting (but heavier and slower) Thick Slicks are kinda fun. The 28mm version of that tire is pretty thicc! (its over 30mm easily).
Thanks man, yes I guess the best option is to buy some try them one and return them if they don't fit. Why do you say I don't need any threading? isn't threading good for rainy days?
I am not gonna be racing or really don't care thattt much about half a pound more I would like to use ones which last a bit (so I don't have to change them often)
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Old 05-29-20, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by viterbi View Post
Thanks man, yes I guess the best option is to buy some try them one and return them if they don't fit. Why do you say I don't need any threading? isn't threading good for rainy days?
I am not gonna be racing or really don't care thattt much about half a pound more I would like to use ones which last a bit (so I don't have to change them often)
28mm Gatorskins are probably your best bet.



Rain: It is physically impossible to get a 28mm tire to hydroplane (well if you arenít doing triple digits). Iíve read plenty about how tread doesnít make any difference Ė even off road. Iíve mountain bike raced on what is basically a slick (if hardpacked). I will say, that if you are going to go down Ė treaded tires break away much slower than slicks. But at anything under 32mm, Iím on slicks.

I would get the biggest tire you can fit. Over the years, Iíve gotten bigger and bigger with my tires Ė from 25 to 28 to 32 to 40mm. Now that power meters are a thing Ė we can prove that bigger tires are actually faster (if you are not worried about weight or being super aero).

As for rain Ė you using fenders? I change at work, so I donít care too much, but I do use a seat post mounted fender to keep road slime off my butt when it gets wet.

+1 on what Blacknblue said.

Iíve been doing this for many decades and the invention of cell phones changed everything. I use a strobe light, hi vis shirt, and assume every car is trying to kill me Ė because no matter what Ė some cars will not see you even when they are looking right at you (funny how our brain works).

Pump Ė I check every couple of days. Maybe you could get away with a week, but on a road bike, low pressure means pinch flats, so I like to keep them where they belong. Definitely practice fixing a flat at home, so you know what to do on the road. Carrying a spare inner tube is the easiest (and a couple canisters of CO2). Always wear gloves.
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Old 05-29-20, 11:39 PM
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One good way to find the right tire width is to go to a reputable local bike shop (LBS). The sales people can tell you what will workif you explain your situation. Also helps to establish a relationship and rapport since Iím assuming you didnít buy the used bike from a LBS, and will want to get tune ups and service from there in the future.
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Old 05-30-20, 01:18 AM
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viterbi
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
28mm Gatorskins are probably your best bet.



Rain: It is physically impossible to get a 28mm tire to hydroplane (well if you arenít doing triple digits). Iíve read plenty about how tread doesnít make any difference Ė even off road. Iíve mountain bike raced on what is basically a slick (if hardpacked). I will say, that if you are going to go down Ė treaded tires break away much slower than slicks. But at anything under 32mm, Iím on slicks.

I would get the biggest tire you can fit. Over the years, Iíve gotten bigger and bigger with my tires Ė from 25 to 28 to 32 to 40mm. Now that power meters are a thing Ė we can prove that bigger tires are actually faster (if you are not worried about weight or being super aero).

As for rain Ė you using fenders? I change at work, so I donít care too much, but I do use a seat post mounted fender to keep road slime off my butt when it gets wet.

+1 on what Blacknblue said.

Iíve been doing this for many decades and the invention of cell phones changed everything. I use a strobe light, hi vis shirt, and assume every car is trying to kill me Ė because no matter what Ė some cars will not see you even when they are looking right at you (funny how our brain works).

Pump Ė I check every couple of days. Maybe you could get away with a week, but on a road bike, low pressure means pinch flats, so I like to keep them where they belong. Definitely practice fixing a flat at home, so you know what to do on the road. Carrying a spare inner tube is the easiest (and a couple canisters of CO2). Always wear gloves.
Ok sorry but I am a newbie and there are a few things I did not get from your cooment:
1. You say "if I am going to go down - threaded tires break away slower". What do you mean? go down = fall? Are you saying threaded tires might help not fall down so hard?
2. I don't use fenders, I am considering getting one though.
3. What do you mean the invention of chell phones changed everything about lights? Do you use your phone as a light? I'd definately like to avoid that
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Old 05-30-20, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by viterbi View Post
Thanks for the reply, the only thing that stood out about it is the comment saying I will be using a floor pump every two days. Why would I have to pump air every two days? Do you think those tires will loose air?
Tires don't loose pressure, inner tubes do. Lighter tubes sometimes leak more. It is good just to check them once in a while (maybe weekly). .
I am sure the tires that came with the bike are more than adequate for your short commute.

And congrats, enjoy the ride! Love my Roubaix, it is a good choice regardless of the circumstances.

Last edited by GeneO; 05-30-20 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 05-30-20, 09:29 PM
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Hi again!

My bike was acting up a bit while riding (gears not changing properly, chain jumping etc). I am sure it is gonna need some maitenance at some point but I would prefer waiting until I have some more time.
Anyway, i noticed my casset seemed odd, as if some of the gears were missing a tooth. I have been looking at cassets since and I have seen "similar things" in some but not quiet like mine... I am attaching a picture, it is hard to see but hopefully it is clear enough. So is my casset effed up?

Apparently I can't post pictures/links until I have 10 posts... I will have to paste some rubish I guess...


Also another question. This bike is supposed to have shimao's 105. while many parts are definatelly shimao 105 (the handles for breaking/shifting, the shiftres themselves, etc) some others are not, like the casset, which is "RAM". The front casset and pedals are not either, they are labeled "FSA".
Is this normal? or have I been ripped off?
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Old 05-30-20, 09:30 PM
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Old 05-30-20, 09:31 PM
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Old 05-30-20, 09:32 PM
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Old 05-31-20, 02:01 AM
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FSA is a brand of crank found on many bikes. Itís fine.

The ďmissing teethĒ are called Hyperglide. They aid shifting and you can find they repeat and the pattern they make aligns with the stamped ďrampsĒ on the side of each cog.

The problems you describe could be simple or not too bad, I think. Just needing methodical troubleshooting

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Old 06-04-20, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by viterbi View Post
Ok sorry but I am a newbie and there are a few things I did not get from your cooment:
1. You say "if I am going to go down - threaded tires break away slower". What do you mean? go down = fall? Are you saying threaded tires might help not fall down so hard?
2. I don't use fenders, I am considering getting one though.
3. What do you mean the invention of chell phones changed everything about lights? Do you use your phone as a light? I'd definately like to avoid that
1) When slick tires lose traction, they do it suddenly - like you are on ice. When tires with a lot of tread loose traction - they tend to slide a bit before letting go, giving you a chance to catch the slide before you fall (maybe). So, tires with tread tend to fall a little slower. Its probably not an issue unless you are riding off road.
3) Drivers are often looking at their cell phones - and not aware of what is around them. Drivers were very aware of the road 20+ years ago, not so much today. So, I use a strobe light (small LED light) on my bike and bright clothing to make myself more visible when commuting.
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