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I know about the Roubaix, but...

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

I know about the Roubaix, but...

Old 04-22-13, 12:28 PM
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IANative
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I know about the Roubaix, but...

So, I have a friend who's wanting to get back into cycling after 20 years away. Based on what he says he wants/needs, I think he needs a Roubaix. However, he some very negative left-over impressions of Specialized from his days of yesteryear, and wants something else. A bad experience at the Specialized LBS isn't helping matters. I don't want to get into a brand war with him- it's more important to me that he's riding... even if he's on a Huffy.

Any way, an excerpt from his email to me:


With regards specifically to the Roubaix, it looks like a great bike. The article you sent me references it being race optimized. For me, I would not want the features of a stiffer frame. I do not want to feel every bump in the road, nor the body position on this type of bike. I want a fast bike that positions me more comfortably, and offers forgiveness on the road. Frankly, it doesn't seem to be the right bike for the way you ride. Occasional 50-100 mile bike events, or in town riding with wife or not could be less painful.

Now, to me, he's describing a Roubaix as the bike he wants, and I've since responded and told him as much. But, like I said, this is about him riding and not about what I think is the right bike for him. And, to be honest, I've only been in the saddle for four years and I don't know anything but Specialized. So...

What are some Roubaix-esque bikes from other manufacturers that I could recommend to him?
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Old 04-22-13, 12:32 PM
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Trek Domane, Cannondale Synapse, Giant Defy among many others.
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Old 04-22-13, 12:35 PM
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If your friend hasn't been on a bike in 20 years, this is pretty close to a first bike, and that's a lot to spend on one. Honestly, I'd suggest renting a bike a few times and making sure your friend is still into it; sometimes things sound like a really good idea, but turn out not to be. Your friend could rent a Roubaix one weekend and a different bike the next, too.

Better yet, some bike shops allow really long test rides.
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Old 04-22-13, 12:39 PM
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Sounds like a hybrid would be up his alley.
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Old 04-22-13, 12:39 PM
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Bianchi Infinito sounds right up his alley
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Old 04-22-13, 12:44 PM
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I ride Roubaix and switched to it after several seasons of bad neck and back pain.... Specialized designed a really nice bike in the Roubaix but I agree with Seattle Forrest above, that's a lot to spend on your first bike. I think the lesson everyone agrees with is that no matter what you spend, don't buy a bike that doesn't fit you correctly.
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Old 04-22-13, 12:57 PM
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Fuji has a new 'Sportif' line carried by Performance:

http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...400784__400784
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Old 04-22-13, 01:03 PM
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Thanks for the replies. Your responses remind me of some additional info...

Hybrid- he already has one, and older Trek that he got back into working shape last year. He's very hands-on and likes to wrench on his own stuff. It was the experience of riding the hybrid again that stirred the old road flame.

20-year hiatus- ... from road cycling. In his words: I was competitively road cycling in the late 1980s. The Specialized brand was considered a cheap knockoff. In the 1990sthru 2004 I did my share of mountain biking. Again, Specialized was a very average bike. Now, I don't know if that belief was shared by the masses at that time, or if he and/or his buddies were just close-minded, uber-opinionated bicyclosnobs. It doesn't really matter at this point. As I said, I'd just like to see him on the road again.

Again, thanks for the responses...
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Old 04-22-13, 01:07 PM
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To be honest, if this is someone who you think would never use the drops, and wouldn't notice the performance difference of a 23 or 25mm tire, why would recommend a road bike? If he doesn't like Specialized, go with something in Trek's FX line. I did see he mentioned wanting a "fast" bike, but a road bike with 50 mm of spacers and a stem flipped up isn't a whole lot different than a hybrid. He also said he didn't want the body position of a road bike.

Where you really see the difference in having a road bike is when you start to put on big mileage and use the benefits of aggressive position/drops.
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Old 04-22-13, 01:27 PM
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Why not suggest the Secteur? It's the aluminum vesrion of the Roubaix and at half the price. will leave him plenty for gear funds.
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Old 04-22-13, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by pihb View Post
Why not suggest the Secteur? It's the aluminum vesrion of the Roubaix and at half the price. will leave him plenty for gear funds.
OP said his guy didn't want a Specialized.
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Old 04-22-13, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by pihb View Post
Why not suggest the Secteur? It's the aluminum vesrion of the Roubaix and at half the price. will leave him plenty for gear funds.
^^^
+ 1 on this! If he's getting into riding after a 20 year hiatus, he should go with something more at the mid-entry level max ($1,000 - $1,600.) If he's not into Specialized, suggest something from Cannondale (e.g., Synapse Alloy), Trek, Giant, Bianchi. Again, he needs to test drive several bikes from different manufacturers until he finds the one that suits him best.
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Old 04-22-13, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris Pringle View Post
^^^
+ 1 on this! If he's getting into riding after a 20 year hiatus, he should go with something more at the mid-entry level max ($1,000 - $1,600.)
Making a lot of assumptions here. We have no idea of his budget. $1600 may be chump change to him, or it may be a major expenditure.

Also, there seems to be the assumption that because he hasn't ridden in the last 20 years he won't use this bike much. It may be a change in family or work responsibilities is leading him to get back into cycling in a big way.

We do know that he appears to like high end bikes (given his disdain for early Specialized bikes) and that he's ridden competitively. If he can afford it, I don't see any reason he wouldn't want to consider a higher end bike.

He should test ride a Domane, Synapse, and Defy.

Given the "road forgiveness" he's after, the Domane's design may offer the most compliant ride.
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Old 04-22-13, 02:30 PM
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he should go to a lbs and decide himself, seems like the kind of guy that needs others to blame later...
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Old 04-22-13, 02:35 PM
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Felt Z series, my personal recommendation.

Go to the LBS with him and ride what they've got. In fact, go to a few shops if there are more around that carry different brands. Like someone else said, after 20 years of not riding, this is like a first bike all over again.
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Old 04-22-13, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Pistard View Post
he should go to a lbs and decide himself, seems like the kind of guy that needs others to blame later...
+1.

He certainly also has the propensity to form strong opinions based on incorrect "facts". But who cares, it's his money!

There are 11ty million different kinds of bikes out there. If he used to be a strong rider, chances are he'll be a strong rider again soon enough, so he may as well splurge a little. Competitive cyclist has bikes o-plenty and he can do all the wrenchin himself without having to rely on a local dealer. The BMC gran fondo bike may suit his fancy too.
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Old 04-22-13, 03:53 PM
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For me being a Scott fan, I would say for him to get a Scott CR1. They are nice bikes that are priced well.
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Old 04-22-13, 03:53 PM
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Old 04-22-13, 04:02 PM
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I was "out" of riding for 20+ years like this guy. Wanting to go fast and have performance does not change with being older or away from riding for an extended period of time... Giant Defy is a good place to start, one thing about being older is not wanting such an aggressive riding position - at least for me anyway. Flipped and slammed does not work for this old man's back.
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Old 04-22-13, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by IANative View Post
In his words: I was competitively road cycling in the late 1980s. The Specialized brand was considered a cheap knockoff. In the 1990sthru 2004 I did my share of mountain biking. Again, Specialized was a very average bike. Now, I don't know if that belief was shared by the masses at that time, or if he and/or his buddies were just close-minded, uber-opinionated bicyclosnobs.
Tell him Specialized got sold in 1998 and is a completely different company now. I dunno. I do know that if you're buying something expensive, it's good to evaluate a bunch of options.
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Old 04-22-13, 04:24 PM
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Roubaix vs Domane

http://www.roadbikeaction.com/tech--...f-Comfort.html
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Old 04-22-13, 04:35 PM
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Comfort, you say? Definitely check out Pinarello's FPDue or Rokh (depending on your budget).
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Old 04-22-13, 07:15 PM
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Yeah, Specialized is now one of the top bike manufacturers, and the Roubaix is "best in class." (e.g. http://velonews.competitor.com/2012/...-stones_225827)

That said, and as already noted, there's lots of options:
• Cdale Synapse
• Trek Domane
• Giant Defy
• Jamis Enduro
• Felt Z

He could also go for classic / randonneur type bikes:
• Salsa Colossal or Warbird (steel or ti)
• Surly Pacer
• Soma Smoothie or ES
• Masi Gran Criterium (note: Masi was bought out years ago)
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Old 04-22-13, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by eddiepliers View Post
For me being a Scott fan, I would say for him to get a Scott CR1. They are nice bikes that are priced well.
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Old 04-23-13, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike F View Post
Affirmative
I test-rode a CR 1 a few years ago, and it was a harsh ride!
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