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Old guy S-works question

Old 02-03-21, 09:22 PM
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patnoe
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Old guy S-works question

Okay, not old old, but 62, so old enough. I have been riding a 2009 Specialized Roubaix Comp for over a decade now. I typically ride about 2000-4000 miles a year. Last year I splurged on really nice wheels and I was blown away by how much of a difference it makes in speed and enjoyment. That got me wondering about how much difference it would make to get lighter everywhere. I noticed that although S-works Roubaix bikes cost over $10k, you can get used ones from 2019 or older significantly cheaper. So my question is, if you do not race, would an older dude just find an S-works bike too stiff and uncomfortable? Or would it be similar to my older Roubaix, but just lighter and presumably faster and more fun. Or put another way, is the S-works for a young racer, or would any avid rider enjoy it?
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Old 02-03-21, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by patnoe View Post
Okay, not old old, but 62, so old enough. I have been riding a 2009 Specialized Roubaix Comp for over a decade now. I typically ride about 2000-4000 miles a year. Last year I splurged on really nice wheels and I was blown away by how much of a difference it makes in speed and enjoyment. That got me wondering about how much difference it would make to get lighter everywhere. I noticed that although S-works Roubaix bikes cost over $10k, you can get used ones from 2019 or older significantly cheaper. So my question is, if you do not race, would an older dude just find an S-works bike too stiff and uncomfortable? Or would it be similar to my older Roubaix, but just lighter and presumably faster and more fun. Or put another way, is the S-works for a young racer, or would any avid rider enjoy it?
70yo here getting ready to head out on a ride as the temperature here in SW FL heads to 40F. Will hop on beater bike first, ride a bit, come home to watch the SpaceX launch that is visible from my yard as it rises and then head out again maybe on my 2018 Roubaix Expert. Sunday's ride was 105.48 miles on the Roubaix and if I had the $$$$ would have gotten an S.

You ain't getting any younger so get the Roubaix if $$$$ are no problem.
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Old 02-04-21, 08:21 AM
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I don’t think the S-Works will be significantly stiffer, but it will be a bit lighter and fitted with a higher level of components.
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Old 02-04-21, 09:14 AM
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IIRC the S-works frames are offset sizing, so a Medium is a 53cm vs. a 54cm in the Regular Roubaix like my 2019 Expert. I don't think the S-works are fitted with the Hover bar, either. at least not when I was in the market. So the smaller frame and lower effective stack height negated the purpose of the Roubaix for me, which was a more comfortable position than my Focus Izalco and still plenty fast. I did go from 16.8lb Izalco to 18.4lb Roubaix with carbon C38 disc wheels and Di2.. but the comfort tradeoff was more than worth it for me.

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Old 02-04-21, 09:18 AM
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You need to ride one and find out. The perfect bike is a very individual thing.
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Old 02-04-21, 09:32 AM
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If the money wouldn't be missed I'd buy one. I'd get the S-Works Tarmac or the S-Works Aethos. But that's me, not you.

If you ride rolling terrain and/or long hills, any reduction in bike weight will make you feel younger on them.
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Old 02-04-21, 10:20 AM
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Lighter weight wheels and tires are the #1 upgrade to improve ride quality and potentially your accelerations. A high TPI tire should make the sidewalls more compliant and theoretically marginally smoother.

A 'new bike day' is often the best way to improve motivation. I do it very regularly, but in a value oriented way.

I don't race, so a 21# bike with tubulars rides mighty nice and fast enough for this oldster.
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Old 02-04-21, 10:32 AM
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Stiffness of the frame is only uncomfortable on bad roads but it's doubtful the S-Works frame will be much stiffer than the regular Roubaix. How much weight difference are you talking? Probably not much in the frame itself.
I am against buying used bikes, except vintage stuff and super cheap stuff. It could work out if you know exactly what you want and get some kind of warranty.

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Old 02-04-21, 10:51 AM
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I usually recommend against buying a new bike, unless a person races or is a newbie or hates to work on a bike or needs a warranty.
50 year old wearing tubulars.

Over 40 and lookin good

Yo, Eddy.

I go Ugo.

The youngster. Indexed shifting, aero hoods

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Old 02-04-21, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
Stiffness of the frame is only uncomfortable on bad roads but it's doubtful the S-Works frame will be much stiffer than the regular Roubaix. How much weight difference are you talking? Probably not much in the frame itself.
I am against buying used bikes, except vintage stuff and super cheap stuff. It could work out if you know exactly what you want and get some kind of warranty.
Are you against used because you fear an unreported crash? Or some other reason?
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Old 02-04-21, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by patnoe View Post
Are you against used because you fear an unreported crash? Or some other reason?
Crash damage would certainly be a concern. The last bike I bought used I had to change everything to make it work for me, ( gearing, bars, stem, saddle, post,and eventually, wheels.)

Some bikes only come with warranty to the original buyer. A BF friend bought a used Trek a few years ago and when the frame failed near the bottom bracket, Trek refused to cover it. Whatever money he saved by buying used was nothing compared to the cost of a new frame.

Also, some people need the help of a shop to get their new bike set up and working for them.
Vintage bike buyers/collectors like Wildwood are a different story. He knows what he wants, probably always gets a good price, and does his own work. In fact, I think working on and building up vintage bikes is part of the hobby for him. With as many bikes as he owns, it's doubtful any of them get tens of thousands of miles put on them.

I have close to 80,000 miles between my 2 road bikes. Thinking about shopping for a new one. I'd love to own that blue Merckx he posted above, but I'd probably only ride it occasionally.
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Old 02-04-21, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by redcon1 View Post
IIRC the S-works frames are offset sizing, so a Medium is a 53cm vs. a 54cm in the Regular Roubaix like my 2019 Expert. I don't think the S-works are fitted with the Hover bar, either. at least not when I was in the market. So the smaller frame and lower effective stack height negated the purpose of the Roubaix for me, which was a more comfortable position than my Focus Izalco and still plenty fast. I did go from 16.8lb Izalco to 18.4lb Roubaix with carbon C36 disc wheels and Di2.. but the comfort tradeoff was more than worth it for me.
It looks like with 2021 models from Expert through S-works Dura-Ace, the handle bars are the same though alloy in the expert and carbon in Pro and S-Works.
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Old 02-04-21, 07:54 PM
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I also ride 'modern' brifter bikes.
They are just harder to keep tuned.




Not my favorite bars pictured here, but the best driveside I have handy.
Ti, with triple. Go anywhere roadie w/ 28s.
Can be fast on a good day, too.

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Old 02-05-21, 12:00 PM
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It is doubtful you will notice a performance difference between an Sworks frame or the Roubaix frame you currently ride. The wheel upgrade will show up right away, almost immediately, but losing 8oz in frame weight will likely never be felt or realized in time advantages. Frame stiffness is again up for debate. The wheels and tires flex before the frame flexes and is more quickly felt than flex in the frame. It is doubtful frame stiffness will show its face until the bike is put into a high stress environment. Example: High wattage sprints. 200 watts won't do it, 400-700 watts is the territory to be in for frame flex to become meaningful.

One comment on the Hover Bar. If a rider needs the added height of that bar, why not simply change the stem and save quite a ew bucks? Vanity?
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Old 02-05-21, 12:35 PM
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A bit of counterpoint to the opinion above. I have always had steel bikes except for aluminum mtn bikes. Moving from my steel racing frame to carbon was eye opening in terms of responsiveness and climbing. Then I bought tubeless more aero rims and was shocked again. Just a little first hand experience.

The advice to test ride bikes of interest is spot on.
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Old 02-05-21, 12:48 PM
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I am building up a Roubaix Pro frame with R11 carbon. I asked a Roubaix group on Facebook what the difference was between R11 and R10 frame, they said it was about a pound. A pound may not sound like a lot, but when you're climbing a hill, every ounce counts. A higher grade carbon is stiffer and yet more compliant than a lower grade carbon. The biggest difference you will notice with the new Roubaix is the Future Shock that has some flex just below the stem.

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Old 02-05-21, 01:00 PM
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I don't know how one can make any performance judgements based on what the OP has said here about the bike or bikes they ride.

Likely, if the OP currently rides a 20 plus pound bike or bikes, they will find virtually any of the 2021 Roubaix's at any tier level an improvement. The difference between the top tier Specialized Roubaix and the S-Works Roubaix is probably only a pound or piece of a pound. As well the S-Works has what's considered the best of the best components offered by Specialized/S-Works.
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Old 02-05-21, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I don't know how one can make any performance judgements based on what the OP has said here about the bike or bikes they ride.

Likely, if the OP currently rides a 20 plus pound bike or bikes, they will find virtually any of the 2021 Roubaix's at any tier level an improvement. The difference between the top tier Specialized Roubaix and the S-Works Roubaix is probably only a pound or piece of a pound. As well the S-Works has what's considered the best of the best components offered by Specialized/S-Works.
Yes, I don't know exactly what my 2009 mid-level 9r carbon Roubaix with 105 components weighs, but I have to think that a 2018ish 11r carbon bike with Dura-Ace components has to be significantly lighter. Wheel wise, I am currently pretty light with Dura-Ace c24 wheels (less than 1400g).
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Old 02-05-21, 03:41 PM
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The other thing to consider is that the new Roubaix should be able to take fatter tires than your 2009. Always an advantage.
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Old 02-05-21, 05:43 PM
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Us older guys with the necessary bucks to spare, should buy the bike we want. What else are you going to spend it on, hookers and blow?
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Old 02-05-21, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by BCAC View Post
Us older guys with the necessary bucks to spare, should buy the bike we want. What else are you going to spend it on, hookers and blow?
If you have enough , why not have it all?
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Old 02-05-21, 07:18 PM
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So about that Roubaix! I looked at the site the other day and noticed the Roubaix had that inner suspension thing a ma jig. I honestly don't think I would go for that being a bigger rider. My thoughts is some day it fails, the parts are not available then you're out a frame. I keep my bikes for long periods of time so I that would not interest me. Like the Cannondale Silk road bikes that had the head tube shock. Give me a solid frame, no gadgets.
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Old 02-05-21, 07:45 PM
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I’m only 37 and while I do always enjoy test riding my buddies’ modern carbon road race bikes (especially the sub-15lbs climbing bikes), my body is so much happier on a flimsy, springy antique steel race frame on fresh tight semi-light (right now I have a couple sets built with different hubs and DT Aerolites and Archetypes) wheels with 32-35mm tires.


If you can afford multiple bikes, Get whatever carbon rig that boats your goat (personally, I’d be looking hard at the Canyon Ultimate CFR rather than any of the S-Works), but then also get something pre-1986 that’ll at least fit 32mm tires and build it up with fresh gear. See which one you ride more. Sell the one that gets the least miles.
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Old 02-14-21, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
You need to ride one and find out. The perfect bike is a very individual thing.
yes
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Old 02-17-21, 09:46 PM
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As an older rider recently coming to Roubaix what matters to me is the more comfortable geometry, the future shock for a little less getting banged around, and running 30mm tires at the modern lower pressures for even less banging around. Put all three together and riding is a whole lot more fun for those old joints.

So the reasons I would say to upgrade your 2009 are the future shock and the ability to run larger tires. No need for the fanciest frame or components, but nice wheels and, especially, nice tires are well worth it. I am running the S-Works Turbo Rapidair 30mm tires.
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