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Going to buy a new bike - 2012 Tarmac SL4 Pro or spring for the S-Works?

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Going to buy a new bike - 2012 Tarmac SL4 Pro or spring for the S-Works?

Old 01-06-12, 10:02 PM
  #26  
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Ive got the pro and i absolutely love it, but I drool when I see s works on the down tube. The matte black s works frame is soo sick.
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Old 01-06-12, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by grwoolf
I just built up a 2012 SL4 Pro as a replacement for my 09 Tarmac comp. I'm not sure how my comp compares to a 2010 elite, but the difference was surprisingly dramatic going to the new pro. My comp was very flexy, particularly in the front end. The pro is really, really stiff, but I never tried an s-works. On some of the rougher roads I ride, it pushes the limits of comfort for me on long rides (much harsher than the comp). If the s-works is harsher, I would not be intested regardless of price.
If you aren't already running 25mm tires I would try that asap with a tire known to ride well. Lower your pressure accordingly, of course.

If you have 25s at 100psi.. rut roh.
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Old 01-07-12, 12:03 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by ColinL
Neither of them is going to be a large upgrade from your 2010 Tarmac Elite.
Ride will be totally different. It's a different bike in geometry, construction, and design.

To the OP. I own a '12 S-Works (team bike) and absolutely love it. I'm not going to lie. In fact, I didn't expect to like it this much coming from my race bike last year...'11 BMC Team Machine SLR01.

For what you describe though, I would actually go with the Pro and then grab a Quarq for the price difference for two reasons. I believe the Pro comes with a compact crank, not ideal for the TTs you want to do...secondly, using a power meter in a TT is frequently described as, "almost like cheating". If you are minimally mechanical, you can swap the crank over to your Elite for the Road Races and Crits very easily and quickly.
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Old 01-07-12, 12:13 AM
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Originally Posted by ColinL
Neither of them is going to be a large upgrade from your 2010 Tarmac Elite.

It would be far more noticeable if you installed Di2, top-notch wheels, and some kind of power meter.
actually its a huge upgrade from his elite, the SL-4 frame is absolutly completly different than the Sl3 or sl2 frame. its an absolute rocketship(I have the pro)
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Old 01-07-12, 12:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Forza
Ride will be totally different. It's a different bike in geometry, construction, and design.

To the OP. I own a '12 S-Works (team bike) and absolutely love it. I'm not going to lie. In fact, I didn't expect to like it this much coming from my race bike last year...'11 BMC Team Machine SLR01.

For what you describe though, I would actually go with the Pro and then grab a Quarq for the price difference for two reasons. I believe the Pro comes with a compact crank, not ideal for the TTs you want to do...secondly, using a power meter in a TT is frequently described as, "almost like cheating". If you are minimally mechanical, you can swap the crank over to your Elite for the Road Races and Crits very easily and quickly.
Pro comes with a standard.
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Old 01-07-12, 12:25 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by darb85
Pro comes with a standard.
Nah. They call it a "Mid Compact" and it comes with a 52/36. When we were ordering up our team bikes this year, I noticed that right away. Didn't effect me as I use a Quarq.
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Old 01-07-12, 12:28 AM
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That being said, my teammate who ordered a Pro/UI2, just had his delivered last night and we'll be riding both subjects of this thread side by side tomorrow. I'll be able to talk more first hand after.
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Old 01-07-12, 12:46 AM
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The high resale value thing doesn't make senses, yes you get higher resale value, but you have to pay $2000 more to get it.

I would take the Pro and spend the $2000 on wheels.
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Old 01-07-12, 12:53 AM
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Keep your current bike and thoroughly enjoy a perfectly good bike. Otherwise, get a customized, lugged, chromoly steel bike from Waterford and don't trifle with trivia.

Alternatively, you could just make a donation to the Salvation Army!

- Slim
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Old 01-07-12, 03:05 AM
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Old 01-07-12, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by ColinL
If you aren't already running 25mm tires I would try that asap with a tire known to ride well. Lower your pressure accordingly, of course.

If you have 25s at 100psi.. rut roh.
Thanks for the feedback. I have 25's on my everyday wheels and it does smooth things out a bit. However, I didn't buy the bike for the smooth ride and I also have a Roubaix that I use when I know I'll be doing a long ride on rough roads.

Also, I don't want to scare anyone off that this think rides like a brick. On my first couple rides (nice roads), I was thinking "this thing is as smooth as my Roubaix", but that's clearly not the case when you start getting on the crappy roads. It does not have the harsh feeling like a really stiff aluminum frame, but it's not like riding a beach cruiser either.
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Old 01-07-12, 08:07 AM
  #37  
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pro and then a $2000 training trip to one of your dream destinations
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Old 01-07-12, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Forza
That being said, my teammate who ordered a Pro/UI2, just had his delivered last night and we'll be riding both subjects of this thread side by side tomorrow. I'll be able to talk more first hand after.
Please do. I'm curious to hear some comparisons, and I'm sure others are.
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Old 01-07-12, 10:22 AM
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Thanks for all the replies and advice guys. As I was weighing my options, I also learned that I'm going to have to send out my current Quarq to get mounted on a BB30 crank to be able to use with the new bike. Not sure how it's going to effect my ability to swap cranks between the new frames ( BB30 ) and my older Tarmac Elite frame ( Standard )?

Another option: Keep Elite frame, and upgrade pretty much this:

1. SRAM Red Group
2. 50cm Carbon tubulars/CXRay spokes/Alchemy Hubs
3. 3T Handlebar/Stem/Seat post
4. Selle Italia seat
5. Lool Keo Max Carbon pedals
6. Carbon bottle cages

This would cost about $3000 buying the new stuff, and selling the old stuff off. Plus, I can still race the frame/bike and not be so worried about thrashing it. The Pro is going to wind up costing me $5600 after sending the crank out and taxes. The S-Works will cost me $7600 after the crank and taxes.

So, I guess I need to see if a $2600 or $4600 spending increase is going to be noticeable. I've had a few people tell me that if I build up my current frame with the above, the difference will be pretty minor. Hmm, would like to decide by Tuesday....
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Old 01-07-12, 12:09 PM
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My personal opinion is...go with the SL4 Pro. Diminishing return with the S-works. If you are an elite racer or if somebody sponsors you, then get the Sworks. The Pro is for a good amateur. If you want a bike you can ride 'anywhere' and you don't have to deflate your tires for ride comfort and the bike is still super stiff...get the SL3 Pro Roubaix...I just built one. The bike is a freak in that power transfer is immediate and yet the thing rides like a Cadillac...even with tires aired up to 140 psi. Specialized to me makes the best bikes in the world and you can't go wrong with either the Tarmac or Roubaix Pro. S-works if you are made out of money or its given to you to ride. But...I would sell your Elite and get the Pro...the SL4 is fantastic.
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Old 01-07-12, 12:26 PM
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The S-Works has the bling! It must be hard to pass up if it's within your means, but the Specialized rep at my LBS told me the weight difference is a mere 60 grams or so. It doesn't seem like a particularly wise upgrade to me, but they're yours bucks!
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Old 01-07-12, 04:36 PM
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I just got an S-Works SL4 and I absolutely love it. Never rode the Pro though, so I can't compare. Previous bike was a Roubaix SL2 Elite. The difference between the two is astronomical. I got a killer deal too! For what I paid I didn't even consider anything else.
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Old 01-07-12, 05:28 PM
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You won't notice the difference.

That said, you won't notice the difference from your current bike either.

If you're dead set on spending it on bike stuff, I'd either get wheels, or put it in the bank for a couple years until you can get a noticeably better bike than your current one for the same price, like Ultegra Di2 on an SL4 with killer wheels for $4K.
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Old 02-03-12, 10:51 AM
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I have an SL4 pro. I think it absolutely is an upgrade from a sl2 (i think thats what you said you were on).
The jump to s-works other than it saying Sworks on the tube, I don't think is worth the money for someone sub CAT1-2 racer. My sl4 is SUPER stiff and light- and in true tarmac form smooth as well.
Get the sl4 pro. maybe get a custom wheelset built, and still save some money!
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Old 02-03-12, 10:56 AM
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I'd get a different brand personally, but I hate Specialized. And in your shoes, if I was looking at S's bikes, I'd get the pro. S-works is just a way to let everyone know you have a high credit score (if that's what you are after, then go for it, I really doubt you'll regret it).
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Old 02-03-12, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by garciawork
I'd get a different brand personally, but I hate Specialized. And in your shoes, if I was looking at S's bikes, I'd get the pro. S-works is just a way to let everyone know you have a high credit score (if that's what you are after, then go for it, I really doubt you'll regret it).
Hahah I half agree with you on the Sworks...although they do have their place like I said if you are a Cat1 level racer.

Why do you hate Specialized if you dont mind my asking? Ive been on various Felt's, a Trek, a Giant and a Cannondale and I LOOOVE my specialized...
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Old 02-03-12, 02:14 PM
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Hmm, you didn't list this as an option but I'd go for a 2011 S Works and then with the $ saved over new get an awesome wheelset.

The 2011 matte black looks amazing in person.
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Old 02-03-12, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by corybb
Why do you hate Specialized if you dont mind my asking? Ive been on various Felt's, a Trek, a Giant and a Cannondale and I LOOOVE my specialized...
Bet you a dollar it's because of the way the company behaves, such as their recent court battles with Giro and Volagi.

Their bikes are generally good or great.
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Old 02-03-12, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by ColinL
Neither of them is going to be a large upgrade from your 2010 Tarmac Elite.
Actually, it will be a huge upgrade. I upgraded from a 2010 Comp (same as the Elite) to a 2011 Pro and was astounded by how much nicer it rode. The SL4 will be even that much nicer. I say no need for the Sworks because as someone said, you'll just feel more stiffness and the SL3 and SL4 are plenty stiff already.
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Old 02-03-12, 05:29 PM
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I'd get the Sworks...The sticker is way cooler!
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