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Roubaix S-Works SL2 vs. Cervelo RS

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Roubaix S-Works SL2 vs. Cervelo RS

Old 09-09-09, 10:15 PM
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Daveyboy
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Roubaix S-Works SL2 vs. Cervelo RS

I'm trying to decide between these two bikes - help!!

They both seem to provide way more stiffness than my current ride ('06 Roubaix comp). And pretty good deals can be had for both. Mid 5k's for the SL2 vs. $3k and change for the RS. However, the RS needs new wheels to replace the stock RS10's, so add at least $750 there. Plus, the SL2 is full Dura-Ace but the RS is Ultegra SL. Both would be nice, but after testing the SL2, I was really liking the snappy shifting of Dura Ace vs. the smoothness of Ultegra - but is it worth the extra $$?

The LBS would put a set of Kyserium SL's on the SL2, which are nice wheels (I guess there were issues with the Carbones that were originally spec'd). So, after considering the wheels and the components, the price difference between the two seems justified.

One thing I noticed on the RS was the rear triangle seemed kind of 'springy' at first. Do any RS owners notice this? Perhaps a stiffer seat post would change things a little.

Both bikes rode very nice, at least compared to my current ride. It's a nice dilemma to have, but for some reason I can't seem to pull the trigger for fear I'm missing something.
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Old 09-09-09, 10:23 PM
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I'd say go for the Specialized.... but I'm biased
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Old 09-09-09, 11:06 PM
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the two arn't really in the same category... depends on your needs
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Old 09-09-09, 11:18 PM
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I dunno, they seem like the same category to me: relaxed geometry race/performance bikes.
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Old 09-09-09, 11:53 PM
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That's kind of what I was thinking. They both felt pretty light and lively to me. The RS had cheap wheels, so a new set, perhaps some Fulcrums, would improve the ride even more. I don't race road (just 'cross) so I don't need or want a full on race bike - Just a little more stiffness for better power transfer.

I like to ride fast (at least as fast as my old body will go ) but I don't want to pay for it after 3-5 hours.
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Old 09-09-09, 11:56 PM
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If both bikes feel good to you and you're happy with the complete package on the Roubaix, go for it. If you plan on replacing wheels and components right away on the RS, you're probably going to end up spending similar amounts on either bike.

I had a similar decision to make earlier this year. When I was making my final decision between a Tarmac and a R3, the major reason I choose the R3 was I prefer the bike shop that sold Cervelo.
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Old 09-10-09, 12:21 AM
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They're both nice. I got an RS because I immediately felt "at home" on it during my test ride. I rode 300-400 mi / week from June thru August, mostly 50s, some 70s, a few centuries.

If you like it enough to be on the fence, but maybe want a better gruppo than ultegra, you might contact Kyle at Bothell Ski and Bike. They sell the frame at MSRP, then put on any components you want priced at almost their cost. (Hint, if you need a back-up saddle or pedals, and know what you like, order them with the bike--you won't find comparable prices aftermarket).

I decided to try Red, and it's been really nice, except I should have gone with a steel Force FD, as it's less flexy than Red's Ti FD, at a negligible weight penalty.
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Old 09-10-09, 12:29 AM
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+1 on Force FD
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Old 09-10-09, 07:52 AM
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Since I'm riding an 07 Roubaix comp, I really don't need to know how much better these bikes are....

Have you tried bringing your current wheels in and riding both bikes with the same wheels to have a better head to head comparison? Tough choice, but I am a Specialized fanboy, so would lean towards the SL2
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Old 09-10-09, 08:13 AM
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I bought the RS.
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Old 09-10-09, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Daveyboy View Post
That's kind of what I was thinking. They both felt pretty light and lively to me. The RS had cheap wheels, so a new set, perhaps some Fulcrums, would improve the ride even more.
Not really. There is very little difference in ride quality between wheelsets, unless one has the spokes too loose. Then it'll feel cushy for a couple rides, until you have to send it in for a rebuild.

Originally Posted by Daveyboy View Post
I don't race road (just 'cross) so I don't need or want a full on race bike - Just a little more stiffness for better power transfer.
That's another myth. No one has been able to show a significant difference in speed based on BB stiffness.

Originally Posted by Daveyboy View Post

I like to ride fast (at least as fast as my old body will go ) but I don't want to pay for it after 3-5 hours.
Get the bike that feels the best to you. They are both good. If you don't like the springy feel of the RS and want to change the post to get rid of it, then you would probably be happier on the Specialized.. I beleive they both have 27.2mm posts, so it's probably the seat stays, not the post.
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Old 09-10-09, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by umd View Post
I dunno, they seem like the same category to me: relaxed geometry race/performance bikes.
o wait. roubaix not tarmac. i dont knowk anything about the roubaix...
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Old 09-10-09, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Daveyboy View Post
One thing I noticed on the RS was the rear triangle seemed kind of 'springy' at first. Do any RS owners notice this? Perhaps a stiffer seat post would change things a little.

Both bikes rode very nice, at least compared to my current ride. It's a nice dilemma to have, but for some reason I can't seem to pull the trigger for fear I'm missing something.
You should compare apples to apples: the Specialized Roubaix Expert is really a closer match to the Cervelo RS than the SL2... I ended up buying an RS frame, then equipped it with SRAM Red components and Easton EA90 SL wheels. I shopped around, so I spent less than I would if I'd bought a Roubaix SL2.

Both the Roubaix and the RS are great bikes. When I compared the Roubaix Expert to the RS in 2009, I thought the RS was a bit lighter (but it was shipping with Dura-Ace components at that point) and maintained speed a bit better than the Roubaix. The Roubaix felt like it accelerated better, probably because the Cervelo was hampered by crappy wheels. I'll never understand why Cervelo specs such low-end wheels on their complete bikes... For me both bikes were stiff and responsive, but the Roubaix was a bit more plush. The RS, in contrast, gave me a slightly better feel for the road.
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Old 09-10-09, 10:01 AM
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Old 09-10-09, 10:28 AM
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Bothell Ski & Bike isn't very far from where you live. Before you buy, go down there. They carry a lot of brands (Giant, Look, Time, Scott, Felt, Pinarello, Cervelo) and very competitive prices. Tell them the kind of riding you want to do, and take some test rides. They'll give you great advice on best-bang-for-the-buck components. For example, because I was a clyde in May (now I'm below 200), they recommended Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels, which have stayed true for 4000+ mi on crappy roads. They can special-order any components they don't normally stock.

They have close relationships with mfrs. For example, I asked about getting Speedplay Light Actions with extra-long spindles, which would be a special build. They called Speedplay and got a quick, "Yeah we can do that."

What I like about Bothell is that they do enough custom builds (1 a day in spring and summer) that they don't try to sell you a factory-built bike as my LBS did.

If you find a factory bike like the SL2 at a great price, like you have done, and if it feels "perfect", nice. But if you are willing to take a little extra time, and spec a bike to your preferences, and get unbiased advice on the pros and cons of different frames and components, and ride out with a bike that is uniquely "yours", Bothell is a super place to shop.

If you do this, then ultimately decide to go with the SL2, you'll know you've compared a wide range of excellent bikes, so you won't have buyer's remorse.
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Old 09-10-09, 10:54 AM
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I have an RS and I love it. Stiff enough to give you good power transfer but does not beat you up on long rides. Case in point: I did the 300 mile Make a Wish ride in Michigan in July and after the 3rd day (3 centuries in 3 days) I felt good in the way that if I had to ride again the next day, I could have.



Also, when I bought my RS I just bought the frameset and put 09 force on it with Ksyrium SL's. I do not think to many people buy the complete bike. Buy the frameset and ask what kind of deal you can get with the bike built to your specs. You will be suprised at the cost. Case in point, my bike cost 3800 to build up.



Here is a pic (I know the seat is tilted forward)
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Old 09-10-09, 11:22 AM
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The RS and Roubaix are made for long-distance, day-after-day comfort. Also the Giant Defy Advanced, which they say is the lightest "comfort" bike, ca. 16 pounds.

Are you planning to do a lot of long rides? Or do you just like the more upright positioning and less-twitchiness of "comfort" geometry frames?

For long-distance riding, get shorts designed for it. Gore Bikewear Ozons are unbeatable bang-for-buck bibs. They're comfy and durable.
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Old 09-10-09, 12:23 PM
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My riding style really varies through out the year. Now I'm doing short intense rides, interval trainging, hill repeats, etc... all to get up to speed for 'cross racing. Early in the year I'm laying down base miles for the centuries and one double century that I do. Next year I'd like to do RAMROD (Ride around Mt Rainier in One Day). Overall, I've been happy with my '06 Roubaix. I like the way I feel after the double century, tired, but not beat up. But I sometimes I feel it lacks in performance (I know, I know - focus on the engine, not the bike ).
I'm currently running DT Swiss RR 1.1's on D-A hubs. A nice, durable, comfortable (but heavy) wheel. I'll probably keep that bike - but the goal with the new bike is more performance (lighter wheels, stiffer frame) for those days that I really feel like hammering, or when I'm doing lot's of hills.

Eclectus - I like the idea of building up a frame to get exactly what I want. I already think I'll need to change out the wheels, seatpost, seat and crank (I want a standard vs. compact crank) on the stock RS. Maybe it would be better to just start from the frame set and build it up the way I like. The fact that the SL2 is already set up the way I'd want is appealing. By the time I build up the RS to be on par with the SL2, I don't know that I'll be saving much money, so cost isn't the #1 factor. I'm really focusing on the frame itself, all other things being equal.

Also, one thing I noticed with the SL2 (with the light wheels) is that it didn't seem to 'roll' along on the flats like my current bike. I'm guessing that's just the difference between a light vs. heavy set of wheels and not indicative of the frame.

I guess I need to ride each of them once more to really decide. It'll probably come down to whether I can get used to (or minimize) the 'soft-tail' feel of the RS. I don't need it to be stiff, just not leaf-spring like.

Thanks all for your comments.
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Old 09-10-09, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Eclectus View Post
The RS and Roubaix are made for long-distance, day-after-day comfort.
Also for those of us that have long legs and a short torso...
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Old 09-10-09, 01:05 PM
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Cervelo
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Old 09-10-09, 10:06 PM
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I got the 08 RS with DA. I sold the stock wheels for $200 on CL and bought Easton EA90 SLXs for $450. I love the bike. Much stiffer than my old Giant OCR C2, but still just as comfy.

Get the RS.
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Old 09-11-09, 05:50 AM
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The specialized SL2 if you have the money. If your concerned about spending that much then get the Pro or Expert. Doesnt carry the "WoW" factor when you tell everyone you have a Cervelo, but it is every bit, if not more, of a bike.
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Old 09-11-09, 06:00 AM
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Pcad, go!!!
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Are they talking about spectators feeding the cyclists? You know, like don't feed the bears?
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Old 09-11-09, 06:11 PM
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I'm happy with the RS responses because I'm waiting for one to ship to me. NOS 2008 Cervelo RS with full SRAM Force for $2499...can't wait!
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Old 09-11-09, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by mzeffex View Post
Pcad, go!!!
Pcad thinks that the RS is Fredilicious
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