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In market for first REAL road bike...Roubaix or Tarmac???

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

In market for first REAL road bike...Roubaix or Tarmac???

Old 07-27-17, 11:57 AM
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FBHarcourt7
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In market for first REAL road bike...Roubaix or Tarmac???

I have been riding a Specialized Sirrus for a few months now and really need to upgrade now that I know that i Love to ride. I have been looking at a million bikes, and have narrowed down to Tarmac or Roubaix. I am looking around the $2k price range, what should I get? I am obviously a newbie, just looking for some pro advice!

Having said all that, I want to ride further, have a lighter bike, comfy for longer rides etc etc.
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Old 07-27-17, 12:00 PM
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You should also look at Giant Defy. They usually offer more value for the $$$$. There is nothing wrong with the Roubaix or Tarmac. 2 excellent choice. I only wanted to give you another alternative in the endurance geometry.
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Old 07-27-17, 12:04 PM
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I own a Tarmac. It's an excellent race bike. I've ridden a Roubaix on rental, it's also very nice, a bit more relaxed for longer rides and will probably fit a 28mm tire, if that's a consideration for you.
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Old 07-27-17, 12:08 PM
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lotsa great endurance bikes out there now. Roubaix, Domane, Defy, Synapse and all worthy of consideration and all distinctly different characteristics. I have an older Synapse, and the new ones intrigue me a lot, my next bike needs to be capable of 28-32 tires so all the latest disc bikes will be on the menu and get solid looks.

best bet, go ride them and see which you prefer. I like the tarmac, thing is a rocketship for me, but i doubt in my condition i could do longer rides on it.
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Old 07-27-17, 12:22 PM
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This is the most advice I have received in over a week, and it only took minutes! Thank you very much for the advice. I will go test drive a few at my local shop (Ride On Bikes, Columbus, Ga). I have been on a Roubaix and it was comfy, ill test the others out. Any other advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks again
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Old 07-27-17, 01:23 PM
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The 2017+ Roubaix rides on very similar geometry as the Tarmac, with the Future Shock stuck on top of a taller headset. It's a surprisingly agile, racy bike, which always feels like it's riding on roads made of feathers and foam. It's amazing. If I had to have only one bike for riding and racing, I would much rather have the Roubaix.

There are plenty of other great bikes out there, but ride a Roubaix on some cobbles, or over a few railroad crossings, and I think you'll see what I'm saying.

Also, it's not a "maybe" — the Roubaix has room for 28c tires easily.
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Old 07-27-17, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Masque View Post
The 2017+ Roubaix rides on very similar geometry as the Tarmac, with the Future Shock stuck on top of a taller headset. It's a surprisingly agile, racy bike, which always feels like it's riding on roads made of feathers and foam. It's amazing. If I had to have only one bike for riding and racing, I would much rather have the Roubaix.

There are plenty of other great bikes out there, but ride a Roubaix on some cobbles, or over a few railroad crossings, and I think you'll see what I'm saying.

Also, it's not a "maybe" — the Roubaix has room for 28c tires easily.
X 10

If you haven't taken a test ride on a 2017 Roubaix, the ride description given by Masque might seem an impossibility. Specialized has got a true winner in the new Roubaix design specs for the rider looking to feel comfortable and racy on long rides or even short fast rides.

BTW-2018 Red Roubaix Expert on order and due in in Oct.
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Old 07-27-17, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Masque View Post
Also, it's not a "maybe" — the Roubaix has room for 28c tires easily.
By the way, the 2018 Tarmac is supposed to have tire clearance up to 30mm, according to this first-look article, which is pretty surprising given its target use!

https://cyclingtips.com/2017/07/2018...l6-first-look/

Geoff
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Old 07-27-17, 07:05 PM
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I'd seriously consider waiting to test ride the new Tarmac.
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Old 07-27-17, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by FBHarcourt7 View Post
I have been riding a Specialized Sirrus for a few months now and really need to upgrade now that I know that i Love to ride. I have been looking at a million bikes, and have narrowed down to Tarmac or Roubaix. I am looking around the $2k price range, what should I get? I am obviously a newbie, just looking for some pro advice!

Having said all that, I want to ride further, have a lighter bike, comfy for longer rides etc etc.
If you ride on relatively decent roads under 4 hours a go - Tarmac.
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Old 07-27-17, 08:18 PM
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Don't worry about the 2018 Tarmac, you only get the SL6 frame on the Pro level and above, which is about triple your budget.

I test rode both extensively when I was choosing, I decided on the Tarmac because I found it to be more lively and fun to ride. However, if comfort is your priority, the Roubaix is very difficult to beat.

I don't regret going with my Tarmac, fantastic bike, and I considered a lot of brands.

Best advice is to just go test ride them, it should become pretty clear which bike you truly want.
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Old 07-27-17, 09:10 PM
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Have the LBS air up the tires to the same pressures (if they are the same size). Overly hard or soft tires can greatly affect the ride characteristics. The newer wide rims on some bikes make the tire a little wider, and effectively act like a larger tire.

The larger tires, 25mm and now 28mm, allow fast, efficient riding on lower air pressure. And good tires with flexible sidewalls at those lower pressures really soak up the rough roads. It's often a bigger comfort effect than the difference in frames.

Shallow drop bars
Most bikes now have "compact" bars, with a shorter reach, and less drop. I have my bars set fairly high, and I can comfortably ride in the drops for long periods. It's very nice to use either the hoods or the drops, so my hands aren't in one position for a long time.

Riding in the drops is less jarring for me on very rough roads, and there's more control on steep downhills, bad road surfaces, or gusty winds.

10 years ago, many riders had the drops way too low for comfort, and only used them in strong headwinds, on fast downhills, or on finish line sprints.

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Old 07-28-17, 08:39 AM
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like everyone already pointed out, Roubaix for a more relaxed ride (also for rougher roads) If you are flexible Tarmac should be just fine.

BMC Gran Fondo is another model you might want to look into if you want to see more rigs in the same category as Roubaix.

BTW are you going for Disc or Rim brakes?
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Old 07-28-17, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by FBHarcourt7 View Post
In market for first REAL road bike...Roubaix or Tarmac???
Wait - I thought you said you wanted a REAL bike?



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Old 07-28-17, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by whyfi View Post
wait - i thought you said you wanted a real bike?



lol +1
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Old 07-31-17, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by SSRI View Post
like everyone already pointed out, Roubaix for a more relaxed ride (also for rougher roads) If you are flexible Tarmac should be just fine.

BMC Gran Fondo is another model you might want to look into if you want to see more rigs in the same category as Roubaix.

BTW are you going for Disc or Rim brakes?
I am open to either. Pros and/or cons to either?
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Old 07-31-17, 08:22 AM
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friend has a BMC GF02 with disc brakes, really damn nice bike. he also has a Synapse carbon3 with zipp 303's, he rides the BMC 10:1 over his synpase
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Old 07-31-17, 11:06 AM
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since this is a new venture for you and you have not invested in wheels

I would go Disc.

the weight penalty compare to a rim bike is marginal. Disc brakes stops so much better especially in wet conditions.
In order to appreciate it you should test ride both.
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Old 07-31-17, 02:11 PM
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No one here can tell you which bike to get. It's like asking if an apple or an orange tastes better.

If you want a more comfortable riding position, get the Roubaix. If you want a more aggressive riding position, get the Tarmac. If you don't know what you want, ride the bikes and make your choice.

On the other hand, it doesn't matter which bike you buy. They're both great bikes.
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Old 07-31-17, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by FBHarcourt7 View Post
I have been riding a Specialized Sirrus for a few months now and really need to upgrade now that I know that i Love to ride. I have been looking at a million bikes, and have narrowed down to Tarmac or Roubaix. I am looking around the $2k price range, what should I get? I am obviously a newbie, just looking for some pro advice!

Having said all that, I want to ride further, have a lighter bike, comfy for longer rides etc etc.
What kind of rides will you be doing?

Flat? Hilly? Mountains?

Good pavement? Mediocre pavement? Urban? Gravel and dirt roads?

Solo efforts? Social group rides? Performance focused hammerfest group rides?

Also, Age? Height? Weight?

Anwering the above will help us guess whether you are likely better served by:

a) Tarmac type
b) Roubaix type
c) Venge type
or
d) Diverge type

Each of these will have corresponding models available from multiple brands.
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Old 08-01-17, 04:15 AM
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Originally Posted by FBHarcourt7 View Post
I have been riding a Specialized Sirrus for a few months now and really need to upgrade now that I know that i Love to ride. I have been looking at a million bikes, and have narrowed down to Tarmac or Roubaix. I am looking around the $2k price range, what should I get? I am obviously a newbie, just looking for some pro advice!

Having said all that, I want to ride further, have a lighter bike, comfy for longer rides etc etc.
Of the two, trust me - Tarmac all day.
That being said, if I were you, I'd look at the Allez Sprint also.

The Roubaix is a great bike - but from whta you say, you want light weight - you want to feel like a ninja, agile, quick, responsive steering. That screams Tarmac. It also screams Allez Sprint - and you can get a full on Ultegra for the 2k price tag - whereas whatever carbon frame you're getting isn't the higher-end one. Good luck either way. Ride all three before you tell me I'm wrong.
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Old 08-02-17, 07:41 AM
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I had a Sirrus and moved to the Roubaix, which is great. While I know people with the Tarmac, the fact that you say comfy on longer rides seems to speak to the Roubaix style. Even so, go to a dealer and ride both.
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Old 08-02-17, 10:08 AM
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Mine are a bit older- 2015 Tarmac S-Work and 2013 Roubaix SL4. I'd recommend the Roubaix for one bike or a newer rider. It has more relaxed (less twitchy) geometry and the frame flexes more vertically, so it is far more comfy over longer rides. It is more stable as well and can fit fatter tires. My first few rides on the Tarmac were a surprise. The sharp head angle was a bit of a shock actually. I am used to it now though, it really revealed how stable the Roubaix is. I recently bought a BMC which is more compliant (and less twitchy) than my Tarmac (not as comfy as the Roubaix) so I'mm selling my Roubaix (I have several mtn bikes too and can't ride them all) but if I did not have so many bikes and only had to have one, I'd keep the Roubaix for sure.
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Old 08-02-17, 09:53 PM
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I'm now riding a RoubIx SL4 Comp, my prior bike was Defy 1. Before buying the Roubaix I test rode the equivalent Defy based on recommendation of my LBS who serves as dealer for both Specialized and Giant and several other brands. I took both bikes over the same 20 mile route which included some rough roads. In short there was no comparison between the two. The Roubaix was head and shoulders over the Defy. The Roubaix felt more solid, and with tires at 100 psi much smoother and better handling than the Defy and faster when you push it. I now have had the Roubaix for one year and about 1500 miles, and would not give it up. Just a note my past 3 bikes were all Giants. My vote/opinion is go for the Roubaix.
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Old 08-03-17, 06:49 AM
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I wouldn't limit myself to Specialized. Each of the manufacturers size and shape their frames differently.

But you want to go from a touring Sirrus to an all out race frame Tarmac? How is your flexibility? If you're an athletic, flexible rider, try it. Otherwise, I'd consider other frames.

I'd consider the Giant Defy over both Roubaix and Tarmac.
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