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How "upgraded" are newer versions of traditional models? E.g., 2005 vs 2011 Roubaix

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

How "upgraded" are newer versions of traditional models? E.g., 2005 vs 2011 Roubaix

Old 08-11-10, 05:31 PM
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How "upgraded" are newer versions of traditional models? E.g., 2005 vs 2011 Roubaix

How much better do bikes get from year to year? I picked the Roubaix as an example since it's a popular model [and I probably want to buy one!]. How much does a rider give up by getting an older bike?

I recognize that this is made more difficult because there are so many different sub-models, which is probably a legitimate question of its own: are the frames significantly different for the different models? Or are the differences primarily components and wheels? There's a HUGE price gap between the bottom and top rung models!

But back to the title questions:
  1. There are some years (it seems to me) when major changes are made - the frame contours look very different. Is there a source that identifies the major changes in various main stream bikes?
  2. Do Shimano components steadily get better? As an example, do Ultegra components become 105's every ten years or so? Are 2010 105 components significantly better than 2005 105's?
  3. Do wheels fatigue in ways that aren't visible?
  4. Aside from wheels, how much does previous mileage matter?

I do a lot of group rides. I don't mind riding old bikes - my 35 year old Lotus would be OK if it had brakes and modern shifting - I rode it 250 miles last week while waiting for parts for my modern bike. I don't lust after the glitzy bikes I see. But my GT is a little small (58, should be 60) and if I'm going to get another bike I may as well shoot for a star.
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Old 08-11-10, 07:41 PM
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I'd like to know this as well. For example would buying a 2006 ultegra setup be worse/better or the same as 2010 105 components? Always been curious if they trickle down the technology into a gruppo under it as the years go by.
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Old 08-11-10, 08:17 PM
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Major changes have been made year to year in the Roubaix so you will have to go to the Specialized site and look at the bikes from year to year in the model you want. They have an archives section under bikes.
The base Roubaix has much different stays than the model above it in the later years.
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