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Any Specialized Roubaix owners who've "switched" to a Tamarac (or other "racier" bike

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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

Any Specialized Roubaix owners who've "switched" to a Tamarac (or other "racier" bike

Old 11-01-10, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by shelleyspins

If you go on fast club rides and ride in double pacelines a lot, the cornering realities of the Roubaix might be an issue.
It's not an issue..... Trust me on this one. While the Roubaix is super stable and not as quick to turn in as a Tarmac it is no way handicapped. As noted earlier the only place where the slower steering may be a detriment to the typical rider would be in a tight crit. I find the extra stability of the Roubaix is helpful in a double paceline scenario.
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Old 11-01-10, 01:19 PM
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I think the bottom line to all of this discussion is: Test both bikes on a long ride. Then buy the one that you prefer!

Some people will prefer the Tarmac vs the Roubaix. Others, vice versa. Some people will try to qualify their decision by saying 1 bike does this and another bike does that. In the end, it matters how YOU like it. What is decent handling for some in the Roubaix may be too slow for others. Or what may be twitchy handling on the Tarmac for some may be perfect for others.

I own the Tarmac and have not had problems on long rides, comfort wise.
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Old 11-01-10, 01:39 PM
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Yeah, the critiques of the Roubaix are pretty silly -- probably written by people who have never ridden one very far. Folks, the wheelbase isn't a foot longer -- it's what? 1/2"? In pacelines and tight pelotons, both bikes work. On rides of longer than, say, 50 miles, I like the Roubaix better in that application. It doesn't require as much attention to keep running straight and tight. Also I have never, even in technical sprints, had a problem getting the Roubaix to take every turn as tightly as I wanted it to go. The two bikes just aren't that different! If you've got the skills to get the most our of the Tarmac, you've got the skills to do everything you want with the Roubaix.

I just fitted a 2011 Allez - same geometry and measurements as the 2011 Tarmac. With the same crank-to-saddle measurement and the same number of spacers under the same-length stem as my 2009 S-Works Roubaix, my ground-to-saddle height was exactly the same. Ground-to-stem was 10mm less with the Tarmac geometry and saddle-to-stem was 15mm less. In fact, I was a little disappointed that the two bikes aren't more different than they are. (I took out all the spacers from the Allez steerer in order to get a racier fit and there is still not that big a difference.)

By the way . . . I would also say that the raves about Roubaix comfort are overblown. On the same tires, the differences in ride comfort are subtle. If you want comfort (on either bike), mount 25c tires and inflate them appropriately -- THAT provides a big difference.

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Old 11-01-10, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by StalkerZERO
Why would one ditch the zertz seatpost? The only reason I would think of is that the rider enjoys pain. What slight performance advantage would you get with a tougher seatpost?
it's a really heavy seatpost. if you care about things like that, it's cheap place to save 100g.
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Old 11-01-10, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by umd
Fight, resist, whatever, it's just semantics. The bottom line is that the trail and longer wheelbase of bikes like the Roubaix make it harder to turn agressively, and easier to ride in a straight line than "twitchier" bikes like the Tarmac. How much of a difference and whether it matters I will leave to you guys to squabble over.
Not very much. Like most things cycling, it's about 99.5% attributable to the rider.
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Old 11-01-10, 04:21 PM
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I recently sold an '08 Roubaix Comp. I liked it a lot and it rode straight and smooth. I replaced it with an '11 Tarmac SWORKS SL3. The tarmac most definately transmits more road buzz and feeling to the rider, but it rewards you with instant acceleration when you stomp on it and sharp handling. It climbs like a dream and is very light. I find the geometry and steering to be more aggressive, but manageable to me. This means a bit twitchier in the fast, straight downhills but sharper turning in the more technical sections (which actually feels more natural and confidence inspiring to me). For a casual rider who doesn't bomb hills, I can't imagine that the steering differences between the two would be a deal breaker.

As previously mentioned, either bike can be setup for a more relaxed or a more aggressive fit depending on preference. If we were to make an arbitrary scale of relaxed fit to performance fit of 0 - 10, the roubaix would probably occupy 0 - 7 and the tarmac 3 - 10, or something like that. In other words, there is quite a bit of overlap in the possible fitment on both, but each also occupies a portion of the scale that would be difficult to achieve with the other. This mostly applies to handlebar height.

I'm pretty much a newb here and don't post often, but hopefully I've added something that is helpful since I own(ed) both bikes.
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Old 11-01-10, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by SpecialJohnnyG
I recently sold an '08 Roubaix Comp. I liked it a lot and it rode straight and smooth. I replaced it with an '11 Tarmac SWORKS SL3. The tarmac most definately transmits more road buzz and feeling to the rider, but it rewards you with instant acceleration when you stomp on it and sharp handling. It climbs like a dream and is very light. I find the geometry and steering to be more aggressive, but manageable to me. This means a bit twitchier in the fast, straight downhills but sharper turning in the more technical sections (which actually feels more natural and confidence inspiring to me). For a casual rider who doesn't bomb hills, I can't imagine that the steering differences between the two would be a deal breaker.

As previously mentioned, either bike can be setup for a more relaxed or a more aggressive fit depending on preference. If we were to make an arbitrary scale of relaxed fit to performance fit of 0 - 10, the roubaix would probably occupy 0 - 7 and the tarmac 3 - 10, or something like that. In other words, there is quite a bit of overlap in the possible fitment on both, but each also occupies a portion of the scale that would be difficult to achieve with the other. This mostly applies to handlebar height.

I'm pretty much a newb here and don't post often, but hopefully I've added something that is helpful since I own(ed) both bikes.
If you still had both bikes, which would you pick for a century? 50 miles?
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Old 11-01-10, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by PhotoJoe
If you still had both bikes, which would you pick for a century? 50 miles?
For a century, I'd probably pick the Tarmac since I have my Tarmac setup at about 4 or 5 on my arbitrary scale, not 10. This is about where I had my Roubaix setup too. For 50 miles, it would be even easier to pick the Tarmac. There is no doubt that the Roubaix would be slightly less "buzzy", but that sort of thing doesn't bother me much anyway. The fitment (driven largely by frame geometry) and getting the right saddle properly adjusted contribute much more to long ride comfort for me personally than dampened road vibration does. I might speak differently of an aluminum frame (which I've never owned or ridden more than a few miles), but both the Tarmac and Roubaix seem to get rid of enough road "buzz" for my purposes.

And by the way, I totally agree with you that the Tarmac kinda just eggs you on to ride faster. I find myself pushing harder (and going faster) than I had planned all the time on the Tarmac. More than any bike I've ridden before, it seems to almost mock my pathetic efforts and asks for more no matter what I give it. It knows it is a far better bike than I am a rider and it speaks to me about this regularly. haha...

This is slightly off topic, but as far as removing road buzz and generally providing a plush ride, my Titanium frame is awesome. Most definately smoother than my Roubaix or Tarmac. Seems as stiff as my Roubaix was when I stand on it (I'm about 195 lbs), but no where near as stiff as the Tarmac. Lighter than the Roubaix by about 2 lbs.
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Old 11-01-10, 09:02 PM
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Don't know if OP can swing the cost, but the SL3 Roubaix really blurs the line between comfort and performance.
I recently replaced a 2005 Roubaix Expert with a 2011 Roubaix SL3 Expert.

Massive top tube and tapered head tube really made a GIGANTIC improvement in handling. No more wet noodle. Grinding a low cadence uphill, or hard sprints...on the 2005, I could see and feel the twisting.

Larger BB area further stiffened the frame for out of the saddle climbing.
The farther north of 25mph I can push it, the faster it seems to want to go.

Still seems comfortable - albeit not as LayZboy smooth as the 2005. I've only had it since Oct 5, and had to take 10 days off (hospitalization and recovery), but already have ~350 miles on it.
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Old 11-01-10, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by garysol1
It's not an issue..... Trust me on this one. While the Roubaix is super stable and not as quick to turn in as a Tarmac it is no way handicapped. As noted earlier the only place where the slower steering may be a detriment to the typical rider would be in a tight crit. I find the extra stability of the Roubaix is helpful in a double paceline scenario.
+1 on this.

I've got a 09 Tarmac comp and a 2010 Roubaix Expert. I always take my Roubaix for group rides. Regardless of pace, I'm much more comfortable in a paceline on the Roubaix vs. the Tarmac.

As far as comfort, the Roubaix is a little smoother on chipseal, but I don't think it's a very dramatic difference. I have no problem taking the Tarmac on a long ride.

For anyone looking at a Roubaix, just make sure you can get enough saddle to bar drop. The Roubaix has a very tall head tube and you might want to consider dropping a frame size if you are borderline on fit. I don't really like a lot of drop, but I have my Roubaix set up without spacers and the stem flipped down.
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Old 11-01-10, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by umd
Fight, resist, whatever, it's just semantics. The bottom line is that the trail and longer wheelbase of bikes like the Roubaix make it harder to turn agressively, and easier to ride in a straight line than "twitchier" bikes like the Tarmac. How much of a difference and whether it matters I will leave to you guys to squabble over.
to me riding them back to back it was like night and day

the tarmac felt like you just think about steering somewhere and it goes there

on the roubaix it felt like i could ride on train rail as it was that steady

i think anyone contemplating these two bikes would owe it to themselves to ride them back to back
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Old 11-02-10, 08:29 PM
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I bought a Tarmac Expert w 10r carbon and Fulcrum Racing One wheels in September. It is comfortable on 50 mile rides and fast as blazes. I do not believe I have given up any comfort w my selection. I am age 60 and ride 3000 miles a year.
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