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So is the Roubaix like, hands down the best endurance bike? They're everywhere!

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So is the Roubaix like, hands down the best endurance bike? They're everywhere!

Old 08-27-15, 03:47 PM
  #1  
Corbin Gross
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So is the Roubaix like, hands down the best endurance bike? They're everywhere!

Hey, everybody.

Hopefully I'm not too annoying with my newbie questions. I'm looking around on the internets about these endurance type road bikes. I like the idea of something more comfortable, but still a real road bike. I had a cyclocross bike, and it was just a bit to aggressive for me. After 45 minutes or so it wasn't such a fun ride. These endurance type bikes seem to be designed with a longer ride in mind.

I've not test driven much, and I've certainly never been fitted. The cost for that would be nearly as much as my entire bike budget for now. I'm sure different bikes are great for different people, but if I've got to start somewhere the endurance models seem as good a place as any.

So as I find lists of "Endurance Bike" reviews, there are the few models that are always there. Like the Defy, Synapse, Domane... But as I look around on the trails or shop the second hand bike market, seems like the Specialized Roubaix outnumbers the other bikes about 10/1. These must be some bikes.

What do you guys think. How many of you would say to buy a Specialized right off and how many of you think it's some kind of illusion or conspiracy. The bike does seem pretty neat. But I don't know a whole lot. I've only been in the market for a "real" bike for a few months.

Thanks in advance for any help. I appreciated the support!
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Old 08-27-15, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Corbin Gross View Post
Hey, everybody.

Hopefully I'm not too annoying with my newbie questions. I'm looking around on the internets about these endurance type road bikes. I like the idea of something more comfortable, but still a real road bike. I had a cyclocross bike, and it was just a bit to aggressive for me. After 45 minutes or so it wasn't such a fun ride. These endurance type bikes seem to be designed with a longer ride in mind.

I've not test driven much, and I've certainly never been fitted. The cost for that would be nearly as much as my entire bike budget for now. I'm sure different bikes are great for different people, but if I've got to start somewhere the endurance models seem as good a place as any.

So as I find lists of "Endurance Bike" reviews, there are the few models that are always there. Like the Defy, Synapse, Domane... But as I look around on the trails or shop the second hand bike market, seems like the Specialized Roubaix outnumbers the other bikes about 10/1. These must be some bikes.

What do you guys think. How many of you would say to buy a Specialized right off and how many of you think it's some kind of illusion or conspiracy. The bike does seem pretty neat. But I don't know a whole lot. I've only been in the market for a "real" bike for a few months.

Thanks in advance for any help. I appreciated the support!
The bikes you see in any given area tend to reflect what the local bike shops carry.

Around here, not so many specialized dealers and several Trek, so you see a lot more Trek here than Specialized.
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Old 08-27-15, 04:09 PM
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Is Mcdonalds the best food? Well they are everywhere...
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Old 08-27-15, 04:16 PM
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Specialized has a world domination dealer strongarm strategy. Lots of Specialized out there, doesn't mean it's the best.

You have to look at what your priorities are, what component packages meet your needs as well as the all important fit and geometry that feels right for you.

In short, test ride some of these bikes you are interested in. Sounds like the value is important to you - Some brands may offer better components to compete with the big S name, for similar or better prices.

If you were blind shopping, internet stores like Ribble have spectacular deals on their private brand bikes.

Good luck and have fun getting into riding more!
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Old 08-27-15, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by TheRef View Post
Is Mcdonalds the best food? Well they are everywhere...
Yeah, but the people I've observed riding the Specialized bikes don't look like the people I've observed eating McDonald's food. (Generally speaking) Ironically, I hardly see anyone on Magna bikes.

But that's a good point about the local shops. I hadn't really thought about it but I think every bike shop I've been in around here has Specialized and another brand or two. I'm not sure how the shops work out deals with the manufacturers/suppliers, but I know I've talked to several shop owners who'd like to have one line or another but can't get it.

Thanks for the replies though. Good to know it's not so cut and dry.
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Old 08-27-15, 04:40 PM
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I have ridden most of the top brand bikes and my opinion is, there isn't a lot of difference between the top brands in individual categories. As it turns out even within certain genres, like endurance there are slight differences in terms of how the bikes feel and if you dig out each model on the web, you find these characteristics. The biggest difference to me is geometry. But if you don't know a lot about bikes or what fit would work best for you, then these differences aren't going to resonate.
I ride a custom built Roubaix. I ordered the frameset from a shop who had never seen the model I wanted..an SL3 Pro. It is the best bike I have ever owned and I have owned 50 road bikes and probably ridden 500 of all different brands through many different clubs. If there was a better bike out there for me, I would be on it because life is short and you should ride the best bike you can afford if you are passionate about cycling like many are here. So I would say, you sure can't go wrong with a Roubaix, that is for sure.

As to Specialized hate there isn't any shortage of on the web, to me Specialized makes the best bikes in the world. I come from a world of R&D and Specialized R&D is second to none. They hire the best and the brightest and it shows in their bikes which are simply superb.

That said, every single top bike maker makes a great bike...from Giant to Trek to Cervelo and all the great European brands as well. For example in the race bike genre, some believe the new Giant TCR to be the best bike on the planet. Others thing the Spec Tarmac...some the Pinarello Dogma...others the Cervelo R or S5. All these brands have become famous for a reason...they all make great bikes and because of benchmarking, bikes across brands are more equivalent than they ever have. There are no Schwinn's among the top brands because they wouldn't survive...a very competitive industry.

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Old 08-27-15, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Corbin Gross View Post
Hey, everybody.

Hopefully I'm not too annoying with my newbie questions. I'm looking around on the internets about these endurance type road bikes. I like the idea of something more comfortable, but still a real road bike. I had a cyclocross bike, and it was just a bit to aggressive for me. After 45 minutes or so it wasn't such a fun ride. These endurance type bikes seem to be designed with a longer ride in mind.

I've not test driven much, and I've certainly never been fitted. The cost for that would be nearly as much as my entire bike budget for now. I'm sure different bikes are great for different people, but if I've got to start somewhere the endurance models seem as good a place as any.

So as I find lists of "Endurance Bike" reviews, there are the few models that are always there. Like the Defy, Synapse, Domane... But as I look around on the trails or shop the second hand bike market, seems like the Specialized Roubaix outnumbers the other bikes about 10/1. These must be some bikes.

What do you guys think. How many of you would say to buy a Specialized right off and how many of you think it's some kind of illusion or conspiracy. The bike does seem pretty neat. But I don't know a whole lot. I've only been in the market for a "real" bike for a few months.

Thanks in advance for any help. I appreciated the support!
Or maybe Specialized has the hands down best marketing department.

All of the major brands have roughly equal endurance bikes, especially at the intro level. Even at the CF level, comfort is going to depend upon geometry and fit, which is what you're looking for in an endurance bike. And what geometry fits one person great, may not fit another person who is the same height.

I don't say buy a Specialized or don't buy a Specialized over another brand. (Some people may due to their business practices.) I say road test all the brands that LBSs in your area carry, and choose based on which one fits you best, which one makes you want to get out and ride it, which one has your favorite color, which one has the best bang for the buck. Brand shouldn't enter the equation.

If you've been in the market for a "real" bike for a few months, how many have you taken out for road tests?

GH
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Old 08-27-15, 05:07 PM
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Yes but if and only if your LBS sells it, or you are competent enough to do your own service work then maybe. If your budget is so small that you can't afford a fit then a Roubaix is so far out of your league. Shop around you likely can find a dealer that will include a good fitting with a new bike purchase. If you develop a relationship with the shop beforehand you might even get a full BG fit included.
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Old 08-27-15, 05:18 PM
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Thanks again for all the feedback.

I haven't had a chance to do more than sit on a couple of bikes at the shop. I'm pretty strapped for time most days. I've got four kids under 9, so sneaking out for a few hours to go shopping is a tough sell. I can usually get out for a 1-2 hour ride in the evenings after all the kids are in bed. I can be on the road by 8 or so, but it's hard to get out to a bike shop during business hours. Once I'm really committed to buying a bike, and I have the money in hand, I could probably get a Saturday off from parenting.

In the used market though, I just have to keep my eyes out for what's available. I'd love to buy a new bike, most of the shops 'round here have lifetime tuneups and such. But I can find a dozen or so sub $1k Roubaix bikes within a few hours' drive on CL. I'm trying to kind of get a feel for the last 10yrs of bike tech so I know which used bikes are worth the trouble of driving and convincing the Mrs. to give me the evening off.
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Old 08-27-15, 07:35 PM
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Good to great bike, depending on build

Big distribution

Loyal following

=lots on the road, with few people regretting buying one
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Old 08-27-15, 07:45 PM
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Merida might not be know on that side of the world, but their engineering designs by the Germans are pretty good.
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Old 08-27-15, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Corbin Gross View Post
So as I find lists of "Endurance Bike" reviews, there are the few models that are always there. Like the Defy, Synapse, Domane... But as I look around on the trails or shop the second hand bike market, seems like the Specialized Roubaix outnumbers the other bikes about 10/1. These must be some bikes.
You probably see more Specialized Roubaix because they have been making them a lot longer. I think the first year was 2004. Compared, say, to the Domane who's first year was 2013.
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Old 08-27-15, 08:44 PM
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Based on recent bike of the years, the best are the Defy and Synapse
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Old 09-01-15, 10:41 AM
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You know what's funny... I actually like the Defy and the Synapse the best because of their color. The 105 Disc version of both of those come in a real nice blue color. I'm terrible about wanting a bike for looks instead of base only on ride.
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Old 09-01-15, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul W. View Post
You probably see more Specialized Roubaix because they have been making them a lot longer. I think the first year was 2004. Compared, say, to the Domane who's first year was 2013.
About half the guys I ride with ride Roubaixs, and they're all newer than 2013 models, in fact on my recent group rides 3 guys had brand new ones. All those guys are really happy with their bikes.

IMHO they're ugly, a trait shared by almost all Specialized bikes, but that's a personal taste thing obviously. I've never met anyone who didn't like a their Roubaix.
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Old 09-01-15, 11:05 AM
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Looks matter too... This is a hobby, passion-driven. Very few people buy a guitar.... or sports car... or even table saw.... that they find unattractive.

I have a 2014 Roubaix. One thing to be aware of is that they've changed quite a bit over the years. The early ones are known to have a very soft ride- with the concurrent lack of stiffness in the frame. As they've refined them they've tried to make the frame stiffer where stiffness is good while still remaining compliant where THAT is good. The current frameset, the SL4, is quite stiff. I love that about it; it climbs like a demon and tracks like its on a rail on fast descents. Then again, I have the Expert model which came with the CG/R seatpost- which is designed to flex and soak up rear-triangle bumps and road buzz. The lower-tier models with the SL4 frame (which is everything below the Expert, and every Roubaix since 2014) don't have that seatpost and several forum members have reported that the much-vaunted comfort of the bike had suffered. TOO stiff.

Campag4Life has the SL3 version and states that he thinks it's the best of the bunch. I wouldn't know. But if you are in the used market, keep that in mind, as well as the general truism that older = softer and more flexy with the Roubaix. To the point that the early ones are kinda looked down upon- not that that means it might not be the perfect bike for YOU.

Another thought if buying used- look for 10-speed 105 or Ultegra or newer. On that note, the newest Ultegra (6800, identifiable by the 11-speed cassette) is widely considered to be a big step up from the 10-speed Ultegra prior.

Good luck! Be sure to buy a bike that is the right size. How tall are you, anyway?
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Old 09-01-15, 11:14 AM
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I had an 07 Roubaix and got the jones for an upgrade, so I swapped out the frame for a 2012 SL3 I found on ebay. I wouldn't say the 07 was soft or flexy in any way, but the newer one does feel more solid AND it's noticeably superior to the older model on bad chipseal roads. Call me a fan.

They have 3 different carbon layups they use too - you could discern which model you had in prior generations by the designation (S-works was FACT 11r, SL designated models were usually FACT 10r and the un-SL models were 8r. I have no idea how the bikes are different or how differently they ride either!)

Specialized does have some unpleasantly obnoxious strong arm tactics that really turned off a ton of riders but despite a large marketing budget, they also make good bikes. So do Trek, Giant, Fuji etc. etc. I personally will probably never notice something that's a 1.1% improvement over my current bike so I don't feel a giant urge to buy the new shiny toy every other year, YMMV.

This is probably a good time to bike shop - you can find last year's models on sale at a lot of stores.

Pro parenting tip: get your older kids involved in your cycling. It's good for them and it's easier to go riding when you're not leaving your wife with all 4 kids.
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Old 09-01-15, 11:25 AM
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Do you know why they make chocolate and vanilla ice cream
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Old 09-08-15, 12:15 PM
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Thanks everybody.

Still shopping around. I think if I wind up buying new, I'm going for the GT Grade right now. It'll be several months before I save up to buy, new or used, anyway, but I really like the price and especially the looks of the GT. It's a little different than a lot of the others, and isn't covered in advertising. Some of those higher end bikes are so branded I feel like I should be getting a check every month to ride them.

And great info about the older Roubaix bikes. There're tons of them used around here. Probably 10 for every 1 of any other endurance bike. If I wind up going that route, I'll try to ride several of them and see what kind of ride I like best. Really though, anything will be an improvement over the 20 year old Raleigh MTB I drug out of the garage.

And thanks for the parenting tip, I can certainly use the help. I've already gotten the kids out a bit, with mostly positive results. My oldest has some delays, but not so much that he needs an adaptive type bike. We got him a recumbent trike that he really enjoys, but it's a single speed with the pedals hooked right to the front wheel. It's fun, but he gets frustrated with the speed (very slow), and if he ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. I'm hoping to get him on a regular bike or get him a better trike for next year.

Kevin? What the heck are you talking about?
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Old 09-08-15, 06:40 PM
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why would you need a specialized bike shop close by, group sets and such are the same across all brands, you need a competent bike shop to tune your bike regardless of what brand they sell.

As to all the haters of specialized, that's all just meaningless noise that tends to propagate on the net.

I have a cervelo R5 and an S-Works Roubaix(6k miles in a bit over a year), hands down I ride my Roubaix significantly more, for me it's a far better bike.

Is it the greatest bike in the world? Dunno. It works for me.

Originally Posted by Black wallnut View Post
Yes but if and only if your LBS sells it, or you are competent enough to do your own service work then maybe. If your budget is so small that you can't afford a fit then a Roubaix is so far out of your league. Shop around you likely can find a dealer that will include a good fitting with a new bike purchase. If you develop a relationship with the shop beforehand you might even get a full BG fit included.
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Old 09-08-15, 06:50 PM
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Yes, yes it is
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Old 09-08-15, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
I have ridden most of the top brand bikes and my opinion is, there isn't a lot of difference between the top brands in individual categories. As it turns out even within certain genres, like endurance there are slight differences in terms of how the bikes feel and if you dig out each model on the web, you find these characteristics. The biggest difference to me is geometry. But if you don't know a lot about bikes or what fit would work best for you, then these differences aren't going to resonate.
I ride a custom built Roubaix. I ordered the frameset from a shop who had never seen the model I wanted..an SL3 Pro. It is the best bike I have ever owned and I have owned 50 road bikes and probably ridden 500 of all different brands through many different clubs. If there was a better bike out there for me, I would be on it because life is short and you should ride the best bike you can afford if you are passionate about cycling like many are here. So I would say, you sure can't go wrong with a Roubaix, that is for sure.

As to Specialized hate there isn't any shortage of on the web, to me Specialized makes the best bikes in the world. I come from a world of R&D and Specialized R&D is second to none. They hire the best and the brightest and it shows in their bikes which are simply superb.

That said, every single top bike maker makes a great bike...from Giant to Trek to Cervelo and all the great European brands as well. For example in the race bike genre, some believe the new Giant TCR to be the best bike on the planet. Others thing the Spec Tarmac...some the Pinarello Dogma...others the Cervelo R or S5. All these brands have become famous for a reason...they all make great bikes and because of benchmarking, bikes across brands are more equivalent than they ever have. There are no Schwinn's among the top brands because they wouldn't survive...a very competitive industry.
In my opinion, Mike Sinyard is out for himself. Case in point, the Canadian shop he sued, then had to go and apologize, not because it was tne right thing to do. Because a lot of his customers were pointing out he was behaving like a ******bag.
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Old 09-08-15, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by zvez View Post
why would you need a specialized bike shop close by, group sets and such are the same across all brands, you need a competent bike shop to tune your bike regardless of what brand they sell.

As to all the haters of specialized, that's all just meaningless noise that tends to propagate on the net.

I have a cervelo R5 and an S-Works Roubaix(6k miles in a bit over a year), hands down I ride my Roubaix significantly more, for me it's a far better bike.

Is it the greatest bike in the world? Dunno. It works for me.
Personally I do not think you can "hate" an inantimate object. The owner, however....don't hate him (I hate no one), but business practices.....

I'd ride his stuff if I was getting a paycheck to do so.
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Old 09-08-15, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by floridamtb View Post
Do you know why they make chocolate and vanilla ice cream
Because they can.
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Old 09-08-15, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by floridamtb View Post
Do you know why they make chocolate and vanilla ice cream
Bad example. Everyone knows that no one likes vanilla ice cream.
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