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Older Orca or the new S-Works Tarmac...need some inputs.

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

Older Orca or the new S-Works Tarmac...need some inputs.

Old 08-03-11, 07:35 PM
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Wkend_Warrior
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Older Orca or the new S-Works Tarmac...need some inputs.

I wanted to ask if you guys can share you experience with your Orca and Tarmac.
Currently, I'm riding the 07' Madone 5.2SL and have the itch to up grade.

I'm looking into the NEW 2010 54cm S-Works Tarmac setup with SRAM Red groupset for $4000+Tax from a bike shop (basically minus the wheels only)..Ironically about the same time, I got a reply from a seller who is willing to sell a USED 08' 54cm Orca bike with SRAM Force compo and some Kysium wheels (not the high end wheelset) for $2000+SH.

So my question is if you can share your experience with me on these two bikes.
I'm about 5'10" w/ 30inseam and 165lb. The reason I'm leaving Madone is I didn't like the feel of the Madone when I'm climbing or putting the hammer down. Versus( I tried the 09 S-Workds Tarmac SL2 and 11' SL3) I "feel" their is more of a feel on the road and more like I can transfer more paddle stroke to the wheels.

I'm not going to race or turn pro. At 43yrs I just want to enjoy a good ride and be able to afford something....something...kinda venture into my hubbies.
At the price difference, do you guys feel there will be a different in the "feel" of the bike?
I also read that the new Orca is better and stiffer at BB, etc...was the older Orca really that bad to begin with? compare to the 09' S-works Tarmac?

I really really appreciate your time and inputs.
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Old 08-03-11, 09:03 PM
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igknighted
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The Tarmac is probably the better bike overall, but the Orca is one of the prettiest bikes out there. That said, I've heard way too many stories of Orbeas cracking to ever buy one used (read: without warranty). If $4000 is more than you really want to spend, the '11 Tarmac Expert is still the SL3 frame and could probably be found with Ultegra for about $3000 right now.
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Old 08-03-11, 09:08 PM
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i love my orca...I got an 09 all dura-ace with ksyrium SL wheels for 2500...I think the tarmac is veryyyy nice as well..although I'm not sure i'd pay that price, especially now considering the 12's just dropped on the market...for 4k you could be in a 12 sl4 with force...i think...im pretty sure that's what my friend is doing...i think he said its around 4500ish...so 4k for a 10 with red...pass...if you have 4k to spend you definitely could get something a bit newer. If you like the orca I'd say try to get an 09 and up...if you shop around you can find it with a good group set and wheels...

if you're spending that kind of money a good set of wheels should be included.
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Old 08-03-11, 09:16 PM
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I have over 12000 miles on my 07 Orca. Stories about cracking can be found about just about any bike frame. My 04 Specialized Roubaix frame cracked in 09 so now my rain bike rolls with an 09 frame.

If I remember correctly the 09 Orca frame had the first significant changes over the 07. The Tarmac is a good bike. Sounds like your current bike is good too. Some of the feel could be the wheels flexing when you put the power down? Upgrading you wheels could bring back that old loving feeling?
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Old 08-03-11, 09:49 PM
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real question is....do you have pics?
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Old 08-03-11, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by DropDeadFred View Post
real question is....do you have pics?
I don't have the tarmac, basically it is the same bike as web with the Roval 50mm wheels.
The orca is this: (noy sure it will show)
http://i53.tinypic.com/301myh2.jpg

Always appreciate the feedback. As far as the change of wheels, I have given some thought too. Do any one of you try novatec hubs by Bdop cycling?
Under 1400g and very reasonable price.
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Old 08-03-11, 10:26 PM
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The Tarmac is a great riding bike. Nice and stiff and had a great feel. Admittedly, I ride a MUCH less expensive Trek with the Tiagra/Soro compy, and in that alone was a world of difference to his with Ultegra...the CF was another ( I ride Aluminum), so I cannot say that I have an unbiased and neutral opinion about its characteristics. It was likely the nicest bike that anyone is just going to let me ride around unless I buy one.
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Old 08-03-11, 10:35 PM
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I had an (I believe) '04 Orca. I think it was the first or second year they were out. Can't remember. It was a pretty awesome bike. I was probably too heavy for it (@260) but rode it everywhere. Being that it was my first carbon bike, I don't have much to compare it to. I do remember the vibrations being bad if you got on a badly paved road. My aluminum Cervelo Soloist that I got the next year had a smoother ride. Never had a problem with cracks. Sold it last year for $2k with a Chorus grouppo.
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Old 08-03-11, 10:40 PM
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I just put an 11 Tarmac together with Force and Eastons for about $2500
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Old 08-04-11, 08:40 AM
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I was debating between a Specialized Tarmac and a Trek Madone 6.6 both with SRAM Red. The cost was pretty high. I saw an Orbea Orca for sale. Bought it. No regrets. I'd recommend the 09 model if possible.
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Old 08-04-11, 09:16 AM
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at the time i'd say the orca is the better deal, and I'm sure you could offer 1700 and still get it...if the guy with the tarmac is set on 4k walk away...
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Old 08-04-11, 09:26 AM
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Voice of reason: What is wrong with the Madone? What are you missing with that bike?
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Old 08-04-11, 10:36 AM
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That Orca is gorgeous and a great deal. As far as price goes, my LBS sold a '08 last summer w/ a full red kit for 5K. I guess I should also say that the chainstay cracked about a year later. The rider was musclebound and put out huge amounts of power, but still... Orbea did warranty it, but you'd be getting a new one. If you're not worried about BB30 (seeing as you are considering the Orca), why not order the Tarmac Pro and save some dough? Then again 4K for an Sworks w/ Red is also a great deal, so nevermind.
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Old 08-04-11, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Hunt-man View Post
Voice of reason: What is wrong with the Madone? What are you missing with that bike?
I can't explain or give a good reason.
I do however feel the Madone does not give me the same "feel" of a ride compare to Specialized.

I have an old 92' Specialized carbon w/lugs and even that "feel" better on the flat to indurated hills. ( I say flat b/c the old alley will flex when I tried to hammer it standing upright)

I appreciate all the suggestions. Part of me I telling myself to resist the temptation and perhaps just change a wheelset, and the other part of me is saying that now I know better and should be able to pick the "right" bike for good.

Btw, anyone have the specification the different between SL3 vs SL4????
Thx
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Old 08-04-11, 01:50 PM
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Can't comment on the Orbea, but my Tarmac SL3 Pro frameset built up Ultegra with Stan's Alpha Comp wheels is plenty light, stiff, and comfortable for my 148 pounds.
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Old 08-04-11, 08:36 PM
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And I can't comment on the Specialized. I ride a 2009 Orca with Chorus 11. It is a very good bike, climbs really well, and is super stable descending. No cracks. I am 6.2" and 200 lbs.
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