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Thoughts on Specialized Roubaix future shock

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Thoughts on Specialized Roubaix future shock

Old 05-31-21, 06:57 AM
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PeteHski
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Thoughts on Specialized Roubaix future shock

After 18 months of riding my Giant Defy on rural UK roads (for those unfamiliar - think rough, broken surfaces, loose chippings, potholes and tarmac in various states of repair) I'm starting to think that a Specialized Roubaix with its 20 mm of front suspension could just be the ideal "UK" road bike. My Defy copes quite well with it's D-fuse seatpost and bars, but our local rural roads are now getting so badly worn that it really has no chance of smoothing them out. The back end of the Defy is actually quite acceptable on these roads, but the front often gets a proper hammering. Yesterday I hit a pothole at speed that jarred my wrist quite badly and can't have been good for the poor headset and wheels. A bit of front suspension would have taken the sting out of it for sure. Obviously I don't deliberately ride over potholes, but if you ride 100 miles on these roads you will inevitably hit a few of them! But apart from potholes, the road surfaces themselves are pretty rough, certainly nothing like the smooth tarmac you see on European alpine roads.

This is the kind of road I'm talking about:-



So any thoughts on the latest Roubaix with Future Shock 2.0 and Pave seatpost? Is it a noticeable improvement over a more conventional "endurance" bike? How is the bike overall? How does it compare with say a Trek Domane?

Notes:
1. Before anyone suggests a gravel bike, I don't want to go that far into off-road territory (I own plenty of full suss mtbs and not interested in riding fireroads etc) and the roads I ride are not ALL as bad as the one pictured above. What I want is a fast road bike that can cope with this kind of terrain.
2. I'm running tubeless 32c tyres, which seem like a reasonable compromise between speed/comfort. I don't want to go any wider than that
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Old 05-31-21, 08:34 AM
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I think what you are looking to get out of the future shock is exactly what it is made for, i.e. dealing with jarring kinds of bumps/potholes. I have the ver. 1.5 on mine so no rebound damping but I am very happy with how it performs on the crappy backroads around where I live.

With limited travel, it's not going to soak up those big potholes you hit but it is going to lessen the impact on your wrists/forearms somewhat and that has a significant effect over many miles. If you can get a test ride from a dealer, see if you can find one of those bad roads and see for yourself.

Here is an example of the kind of pavement I'm talking about....

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Old 05-31-21, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
So any thoughts on the latest Roubaix with Future Shock 2.0 and Pave seatpost? Is it a noticeable improvement over a more conventional "endurance" bike? How is the bike overall? How does it compare with say a Trek Domane?
I have a Roubaix 2020 with FutureShock 2.0 and a Trek Domane 2021, and much prefer the active feel of the FutureShock with Pave seatpost and geometry of the Roubaix frame. The FutureShock and Pave seatpost work very well to smooth out rough roads, while providing a great sense of control and precise steering. The Domane does a decent job at dampening road buzz, but it feels more muted and dull than the Roubaix and doesn't feel quite as effective to me. I also prefer the more race bike like geometry of the Roubaix (size 58 has a 73.5 deg seat tube and head tube - same as the Tarmac) compared to the Domane, which has slightly slacker geometry (size 58 has a 73 deg. seat tube and 72 deg. head tube).
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Old 05-31-21, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Ogsarg View Post
I think what you are looking to get out of the future shock is exactly what it is made for, i.e. dealing with jarring kinds of bumps/potholes. I have the ver. 1.5 on mine so no rebound damping but I am very happy with how it performs on the crappy backroads around where I live.

With limited travel, it's not going to soak up those big potholes you hit but it is going to lessen the impact on your wrists/forearms somewhat and that has a significant effect over many miles. If you can get a test ride from a dealer, see if you can find one of those bad roads and see for yourself.

Here is an example of the kind of pavement I'm talking about....
Thanks. That's exactly the sort of feedback I was looking for. That road looks very typical of what I often ride on too. I try to avoid riding through potholes, but sometimes I get caught out and also the road surfaces are generally quite rough and buzzy anyway. I think 20 mm of suspension seems like a good compromise. I once had a Cannondale Scalpel with a head-shock damper with about 50 mm travel and that was pretty effective on mtb trails. The D-fuse bars on my Defy help a fair bit with the road buzz, but I fear they are fighting a losing battle!
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Old 05-31-21, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Kabuto View Post
I have a Roubaix 2020 with FutureShock 2.0 and a Trek Domane 2021, and much prefer the active feel of the FutureShock with Pave seatpost and geometry of the Roubaix frame. The FutureShock and Pave seatpost work very well to smooth out rough roads, while providing a great sense of control and precise steering. The Domane does a decent job at dampening road buzz, but it feels more muted and dull than the Roubaix and doesn't feel quite as effective to me. I also prefer the more race bike like geometry of the Roubaix (size 58 has a 73.5 deg seat tube and head tube - same as the Tarmac) compared to the Domane, which has slightly slacker geometry (size 58 has a 73 deg. seat tube and 72 deg. head tube).
Thanks, that's great first hand info. I have a feeling the Domane would offer little advantage over my current Defy in terms of ironing out rough roads. It's interesting what you say about the race geometry. That is actually my only slight concern with the Roubaix, as I quite like a more laid back ride and don't want something overly twitchy. I value high speed stability more than agility. I'm looking at a size 58 Roubaix, which would be steeper and shorter wheelbase than my Defy or the Domane. Hopefully not an issue, but I'd have to ride one to confirm. All I can say is that I love the geometry on my Defy. It's rock solid on descents and just goes where you point it. It was a revelation compared to previous race bikes I owned from the late '90s to mid '00s.
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Old 05-31-21, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
It's interesting what you say about the race geometry. That is actually my only slight concern with the Roubaix, as I quite like a more laid back ride and don't want something overly twitchy. I value high speed stability more than agility. I'm looking at a size 58 Roubaix, which would be steeper and shorter wheelbase than my Defy or the Domane. Hopefully not an issue, but I'd have to ride one to confirm.
The Roubaix definitely doesn't feel twitchy. The Roubaix and Domane both feel very stable, with the steering giving plenty of confidence for descending at speed (again, I prefer the Roubaix but the Domane is no slouch). Testing riding to confirm for yourself is the way to go though.

Last edited by Kabuto; 05-31-21 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 05-31-21, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Kabuto View Post
The Roubaix definitely doesn't feel twitchy. The Roubaix and Domane both feel very stable, with the steering giving plenty of confidence for descending at speed (again, I prefer the Roubaix but the Domane is no slouch). Testing riding to confirm for yourself is the way to go though.
Sounds good. But finding one to test is a bit of a challenge right now. Even finding one to buy is all but impossible! Everything in my size appears to be sold out. So this is really for next year when new stock eventually arrives. Hopefully then I can arrange a test of a 2022 demo bike.
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Old 05-31-21, 11:57 AM
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Maybe a less expensive option would be changing the stem to a Redshift Shockstop. 20 mm of travel with replaceable elastomer inserts to adjust for rider weight or preferences. I have used one for two years. Just about transparent in use but has eliminated wrist and elbow discomfort

https://redshiftsports.com/products/...uspension-stem

Last edited by 1Lieutenant; 05-31-21 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 05-31-21, 12:34 PM
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Maybe a different have it now solution >>>

https://www.modernbike.com/product-2...SABEgLZiPD_BwE
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Old 05-31-21, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by 1Lieutenant View Post
Maybe a less expensive option would be changing the stem to a Redshift Shockstop. 20 mm of travel with replaceable elastomer inserts to adjust for rider weight or preferences. I have used one for two years. Just about transparent in use but has eliminated wrist and elbow discomfort

https://redshiftsports.com/products/...uspension-stem
Originally Posted by OldTryGuy View Post
Maybe a different have it now solution >>>

https://www.modernbike.com/product-2...SABEgLZiPD_BwE
Great lateral thinking. But my current bike has an integrated proprietary stem, so not easy to change. It does sound like these stems should provide a similar effect.
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Old 05-31-21, 02:17 PM
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I have a 2020 Roubaix with the 1.5 version and the medium spring installed. For Ogsarg 's road it would be perfect at the medium dampening level, all of that would be absorbed by the spring. For PeteHski 's road it would bottom out if moving fast. That said, even when it bottoms out you get some dampening. Even with the 2.0, you don't want to be fiddling with the dial too much and sometimes it will be perfect, for some bumps you want more firmness, for other sections you want less. But, its always better than having no spring at all.

So, if you are not expecting perfection but at least a nice improvement, the Roubaix is awesome.
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Old 05-31-21, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by scottfsmith View Post
I have a 2020 Roubaix with the 1.5 version and the medium spring installed. For Ogsarg 's road it would be perfect at the medium dampening level, all of that would be absorbed by the spring. For PeteHski 's road it would bottom out if moving fast. That said, even when it bottoms out you get some dampening. Even with the 2.0, you don't want to be fiddling with the dial too much and sometimes it will be perfect, for some bumps you want more firmness, for other sections you want less. But, its always better than having no spring at all.

So, if you are not expecting perfection but at least a nice improvement, the Roubaix is awesome.
As I understand it the 1.5 version doesn't actually have any damping circuit, just an undamped spring (3 spring options). The 2.0 has a fixed spring (no options) and a simple damper. Reviews seem to suggest that there is no variable damping, just a lockout, despite the dial adjuster hinting at some form of damper tuning.
I wouldn't expect it to plough effortlessly through large potholes like a full suss mtb. I can usually avoid 99% of the actual potholes, but the road surfaces themselves are generally pretty rough and that cannot be avoided. So it's more the smoothness of the ride on rough surfaces I'm looking to improve, plus a little extra protection against the odd unexpected pothole strike.
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Old 05-31-21, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
As I understand it the 1.5 version doesn't actually have any damping circuit, just an undamped spring (3 spring options).
Sorry I meant dampening the vibration like any spring does, not as in having a hydraulic damper. Dampening vs damping.

My wife has the 2.0 on her bike; with the dial all open it is nearly the same as my 1.5 medium spring. The damped setting would be better for consistent rough stretches if you remember to switch it, otherwise you want it all open for the normal kind of bumps on roads.
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Old 05-31-21, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by scottfsmith View Post
Sorry I meant dampening the vibration like any spring does, not as in having a hydraulic damper. Dampening vs damping.

My wife has the 2.0 on her bike; with the dial all open it is nearly the same as my 1.5 medium spring. The damped setting would be better for consistent rough stretches if you remember to switch it, otherwise you want it all open for the normal kind of bumps on roads.
That's interesting, but still a little confusing. From what I've read the hydraulic damper on the 2.0 works in parallel with the spring when fully open (a conventional spring/damper system) and acts as a simple lockout when closed. I thought the idea was to use the lockout when sprinting hard in the drops to prevent the bar from moving around too much and open it up when riding on rough roads. I don't believe there are any intermediate damper settings, just open or locked, although the locked setting still apparently allows some limited movement. As I rarely do any hard sprints, I would imagine simply running it open all the time for the smoothest ride. I would probably be happy with the 1.5 version, but I was looking at a high end build (Pro most likely) so it would come with the 2.0 anyway.
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Old 05-31-21, 04:35 PM
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Oops yes I had it backwards. I looked into the 2.0 when I bought my bike but seem to have forgotten most of the details..

My 1.5 occasionally bobbles a bit too much but it is not in the sprints (I probably am not putting out enough watts to matter there), it is at rare times at higher speeds when the road bumps happen to synchronize with the spring oscillation and you are gently going up-down-up-down. Fortunately that happens very rarely and is only mildly annoying.
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Old 05-31-21, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by scottfsmith View Post
Oops yes I had it backwards. I looked into the 2.0 when I bought my bike but seem to have forgotten most of the details..

My 1.5 occasionally bobbles a bit too much but it is not in the sprints (I probably am not putting out enough watts to matter there), it is at rare times at higher speeds when the road bumps happen to synchronize with the spring oscillation and you are gently going up-down-up-down. Fortunately that happens very rarely and is only mildly annoying.
Thanks for clarifying. That makes sense now. I think the minor issue you describe here is a limitation of having an undamped spring and where the 2.0 version with its hydraulic damper should be an improvement - damping out the unwanted spring oscillation.

I'm pretty sold on the Roubaix now, just need to wait patiently for a demo bike to become available. I'm a little surprised other manufacturers have not attempted something similar (maybe due to patents) as it's such an obvious solution. For example Cannondale could have easily adapted their mtb headshock design for road bikes. But it seems like everyone else has gone down the route of just building in a bit more frame compliance, which doesn't quite seem enough for the worst of UK roads! The Roubaix is pretty much out there on its own.
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Old 06-01-21, 09:31 AM
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I rented a 2018 Roubaix Comp back in spring of 2019, with FutureShock 1.0. All I have to say is... if you can get a good test ride on it, do it. At least that first gen FutureShock wasn't for me. Going up a 6% climb, the front bobbed whenever I got out of the saddle, which isn't an experience I was used to (or desired). I definitely wouldn't want that feeling going up a 10% grade.

FWIW, I do think my Conti UltraSport 28mm (real size: 32mm inflated) at ~80psi is a lot more comfortable than my GP5k 25mm (real size 26mm) at ~95psi. If the roads around here were worse, I wouldn't hesitate to drop that UltraSport down another 5-10psi.
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Old 06-01-21, 10:13 AM
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I think there is an element of technique to avoid the bobbing.. I had a couple bobs when out of the saddle right after I got the bike but switched to a bit more even stroke and a bit more side-to-side motion on the bike and no more bobs since then. The form actually feels a bit more efficient that way as well, smoother transitions waste less.

For a pro putting down 1500 watts in a sprint I imagine it would be harder to avoid though.
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Old 06-01-21, 10:19 AM
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I agree, technique played a huge factor - a seated spin kept the bobbing at bay, but it's hard not to get out of the saddle and mash for those sections where the road pitches up for a couple hundred feet before settling back down again - and it's those times where I couldn't tame the FutureShock.

But again, this was 1.0, no damping or lockout. I'd be willing to try a 2.0 to see how different it is.
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Old 06-01-21, 10:28 AM
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Maybe I wasn't completely clear but I didn't stop getting out of the saddle, I just changed my form a bit when I did.

The 2.0 has very little damping when all open. So you might need turn the knob to add more dampening if you were doing those hills with the 2.0.
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Old 06-01-21, 10:46 AM
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For the road in the OP's first post, I would rather just have a bike that takes decently wide tires, like 700cx40. Then I'd run 'em tubeless at low psi. That's gonna get you a smoother ride on both ends of the bike - not just the front.

Or you could go all the way, and get a Diverge -- you could have the Futureshock and wide tires.
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Old 06-01-21, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by scottfsmith View Post
The 2.0 has very little damping when all open. So you might need turn the knob to add more dampening if you were doing those hills with the 2.0.
This is incorrect. I just counted 9 click positions on my FutureShock 2.0. It certainly feels like you're adjusting something as you rotate the dial, but click positions 1 to 8 have the exact same amount of dampening. Click position 9 is the lockout. This matches what Specialized writes on their official Japan blog (section 21 on the page linked below).

https://www.specialized-onlinestore....log/detail/483

Google translation (edited slightly)
21. How many steps can Future Shock 2.0 be adjusted?
Adjustment is a two-stage design of open / closed. In reality, the dial turns with a click mechanism, which seems like a multi-step adjustment mechanism, but there is a reason for this. Actually, there was a three setting prototype at the development stage. However, test rider feedback showed that it wouldn't be adjusted to the middle setting during races and would be set to either full dampening or full lockout. Taking advantage of this, we made two step adjustment, but when adjusting the dial, if it is only the open / closed position, the rider does not have the feeling that they have adjusted it. For example, as you tighten a tap, you get a feeling of tightening with sensory feedback due to resistance. Therefore, Future Shock 2.0 also has a physical click feeling. This gives the rider a sense of adjustment.
As for bobbing during hard efforts, nope I hardly feel any with the FutureShock 2.0 set to dampening and feel none when its locked out.

Last edited by Kabuto; 06-01-21 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 06-01-21, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Kabuto View Post
This is incorrect. I just counted 9 click positions on my FutureShock 2.0. It certainly feels like you're adjusting something as you rotate the dial, but click positions 1 to 8 have the exact same amount of dampening. Click position 9 is the lockout.
Yes, that's what I've read too in various reviews. I can see how having 9 click positions on the dial would confuse things when it is really just an on/off switch. I wonder if they will revise this in future versions.
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Old 06-01-21, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
For the road in the OP's first post, I would rather just have a bike that takes decently wide tires, like 700cx40. Then I'd run 'em tubeless at low psi. That's gonna get you a smoother ride on both ends of the bike - not just the front.
My Domane with 28s handled choppy roads with more grace and comfort than my gravel bike with 38s.
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Old 06-01-21, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
For the road in the OP's first post, I would rather just have a bike that takes decently wide tires, like 700cx40. Then I'd run 'em tubeless at low psi. That's gonna get you a smoother ride on both ends of the bike - not just the front.

Or you could go all the way, and get a Diverge -- you could have the Futureshock and wide tires.
That's not what I'm looking for with this bike. For sure it would make those particular roads much more comfortable, but this is going to be my "race" bike for fast Sportives. So it's bikes like the Roubaix, Domane and other fast endurance road bikes that interest me. The Roubaix just seems best able to cope with the worst of roads, while essentially remaining a competitive race bike. My current Defy is plenty capable of coping, but I'm hoping the Roubaix will add another level of smoothness without sacrificing speed - actually I would expect it to be a bit quicker.
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