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Yes, finally test rode 2014 Roubaix expert; now confused more.

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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

Yes, finally test rode 2014 Roubaix expert; now confused more.

Old 10-26-13, 01:05 PM
  #1  
Roobay_today
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Yes, finally test rode 2014 Roubaix expert; now confused more.

I found not so local lbs that had an 2014 Roubaix Expert in stock. So I drove an hour to down town Houston to test ride it today. Last night I was thinking about the Tarmac, and said to myself: self you better ride a Tarmac and not just take someones word that the Roubaix is the perfect bike for you. So I explained to the salesman that I wanted to compare both bikes, and he measured me and set up both bikes appropriately.

place: almost downtown Houston, flat terrain lots of stop signs and lights. Road construction on one side street that looked like an exploded mine field.

First the Roubaix, There was a road a block away that was tore up from the floor up (worst road in Houston) She outshines the Tarmac here, yet not by much. I was expecting a huge difference, not so much. I turned my app on to compare speeds; Roubaix was a .10 mph slower max speed on the longest straight-a-way, and that is with someone pulling out in front of me cutting me off on the Tarmac. So, it might have been even faster on the Tarmac.

The Tarmac was An Expert, yet was a 2013 with 10 speed, she was super quick getting up to speed and this was very observable. I think it has more to do with shorter wheelbase, than the 10 speeds vs 11 speed drive train. Especially considering I stayed in top gear upfront on both bikes. I like the faster hole shot on the Tarmac for sure. I think I felt more comfortable on the Tarmac also, yet it may have just been the seat was nosed up on the Roubaix causing my boys to fall to the left and they felt like they were tied around the seat. I also did not have cycling bibs on so no help there. All that to say I'm not sure which I like more, yet this go around I'm leaning Tarmac, yet feel I need substantial time in the correctly adjusted saddle to make a decision.

Rode each bike about 3 miles (not enough for me, yet its the way the salesman told me to go).

I ride 20 miles a day and 30-55 miles in a group ride at 20mph avg on weekends (hard for me to keep up sometimes in the hills on my old bike). And will do maybe two century rides a year.

Need some input on what you guys think. Knowing what I will do with the bike, which is the better option.
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Old 10-26-13, 01:10 PM
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Side note to Tom, it was the Silver Roubaix I rode, your going to love the color when it comes in. The pictures on the website do not do it justice. It really pops.
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Old 10-26-13, 01:54 PM
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I'd buy the bike that put the biggest smile on my face, felt the best, etc.
I'm not concerned regarding ten or eleven gears considering I'm on a nine speed bike and find nice quite enough.
Sounds like you already chose the Tarmac.
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Old 10-26-13, 02:33 PM
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I did like the Tarmac more, yet was this an accurate test is my concern. I'm just wanting other opinions on both bikes even if it is last years model. hopfully some one that has substantial time in both.
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Old 10-26-13, 02:42 PM
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does the gearin up front make a diff? roubaix 50-34 tarmac 52-36? I'm prejudiced, I just like the roubaix since that's what I bought but to be honest I didn't really consider any other bikes. Tarmac is sweet tho. You also wouldn't have the zertz inserts on the tarmac, these are supposed to be pretty good for road shock.

But don't think you'd go wrong with either bike in my very inexperienced opinion.



Originally Posted by Roobay_today View Post
I did like the Tarmac more, yet was this an accurate test is my concern. I'm just wanting other opinions on both bikes even if it is last years model. hopfully some one that has substantial time in both.
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Old 10-26-13, 02:49 PM
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You didn't mention your age, but usually and not always, an older person will chose the Roubaix. If you like to race, you can do that with both bikes, but I think you would probably like the Tarmac better. Plus you have a different geometry with both bikes, the Tarmac being a more aggressive geometry. It sounds like you like the Tarmac better and if you think it fits what your going to do with it, have at it. Enjoy the new ride. I'm not sure if they still rent bikes, they use to. Maybe you could rent it for the weekend and then you'll have a better idea.
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Old 10-26-13, 02:56 PM
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Personally, I don't think 3 miles is enough to get a feel for a bike. Especially if it's downtown stop/go where you can't get into a good rhythm for a couple miles. I don't think it'll be for a good 20+ miles until you'll really notice each one's strengths and weakness start to appear.
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Old 10-26-13, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Element GT View Post
Personally, I don't think 3 miles is enough to get a feel for a bike. Especially if it's downtown stop/go where you can't get into a good rhythm for a couple miles. I don't think it'll be for a good 20+ miles until you'll really notice each one's strengths and weakness start to appear.
Thats what I was thinking. it was just not ideal to get more mileage in this setting.
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Old 10-26-13, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Roobay_today View Post
Thats what I was thinking. it was just not ideal to get more mileage in this setting.
Yes, it sounded like there wasn't a whole lot of options given the shop's location. Keep an eye out on the specialized website. They have demo days which travel around to different cities with a trailer full of new bikes in all sizes for people to try. You just go ride however long you want and bring it back when you're done and grab the next model you fancy. I think they call it Test the Best.
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Old 10-26-13, 03:19 PM
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Yeah I found the same thing really. I had a 2006 Roubaix and it rode a LOT different than a recently ridden 2013. The 2006 was very dead feeling and you didn't really feel the road at all. I didn't like this feeling and ended up selling it. Now I wish I had it. When I test rode the 2013, it felt just like my Orbea I have now. Just like a typical road bike. I also test rode a Tarmac and liked it but it was a little more racier than what I was wanting. I think Specialized has several different models now so if a Roubaix isn't the ride you're looking for, they have several other models that may work out for you.
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Old 10-26-13, 05:22 PM
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Whichever you choose a year from now the bicycling magazines will be pimping the latest that is stiffer, more compliant, climbs better, lighter, shifts better, etc. Pick one and don't look back.
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Old 10-26-13, 05:26 PM
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Anyones opinion on a specific bike is relatively worthless. Ride them , choose one , and then most importantly, buy it and ride it more. They all have 2 wheels, brakes seats and handlebars and we make much more out of the differences or strengths than necessary.
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Old 10-26-13, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by surgeonstone View Post
Anyones opinion on a specific bike is relatively worthless. Ride them , choose one , and then most importantly, buy it and ride it more. They all have 2 wheels, brakes seats and handlebars and we make much more out of the differences or strengths than necessary.
I'm really tired of hearing this elitist attitude. This is A forum that IMO is to gain opinions and read stories about cycling, among other things. I'm seeking opinions on a different cycle's, so please if you do not have an opinion on the topic at hand. start your own thread and share your opinion about newbs like me asking opinions on bikes I rode today that I'm still not sure about. rant off.

Last edited by Roobay_today; 10-26-13 at 06:08 PM. Reason: .
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Old 10-26-13, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Roobay_today View Post
I'm really tired of hearing this elitist attitude, this is A forum that IMO is to gain opinions and read stories about cycling, among other things. I'm seeking opinions on a different cycle's, so please if you do not have an opinion on the topic at hand, start your own thread and share your opinion about newbs like me asking opinions on bikes I rode today that I'm still not sure about. rant off
You're young and ignorant, but you'll learn, oh yes....you'll learn.
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Old 10-26-13, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Roobay_today View Post
I'm really tired of hearing this elitist attitude. This is A forum that IMO is to gain opinions and read stories about cycling, among other things. I'm seeking opinions on a different cycle's, so please if you do not have an opinion on the topic at hand. start your own thread and share your opinion about newbs like me asking opinions on bikes I rode today that I'm still not sure about. rant off.
And I'll post where and when I'd like to post. This is a free country right. Now lie in a bath of vinegar and grow some thicker skin.
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Old 10-26-13, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by surgeonstone View Post
You're young and ignorant, but you'll learn, oh yes....you'll learn.
You forgot the "young padawan" part
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Old 10-26-13, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by surgeonstone View Post
You're young and ignorant, but you'll learn, oh yes....you'll learn.
Speaking of thicker skin, uhh, look above.
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Old 10-26-13, 06:28 PM
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older doesn't necessarily mean wiser as proven by this post.

Originally Posted by surgeonstone View Post
You're young and ignorant, but you'll learn, oh yes....you'll learn.
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Old 10-26-13, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Roobay_today View Post
Speaking of thicker skin, uhh, look above.
As thick as the calluses of an 80 y. o. diabetic. An armadillo could only wish to have such armour.
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Old 10-26-13, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by zvez View Post
older doesn't necessarily mean wiser as proven by this post.
The wisdom is there, but you have to look deep.
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Old 10-26-13, 07:54 PM
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OP - I agree with the other poster that you already selected the Tarmac. I'd go with that and ignore those that feel you need a more relaxed geometry.
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Old 10-26-13, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Whizzer283 View Post
OP - I agree with the other poster that you already selected the Tarmac. I'd go with that and ignore those that feel you need a more relaxed geometry.
I think you both are right, the more I think about the Tarmac, the more I want to ride it. Thinking of dropping down to the comp instead of the Expert even though it cost more. I like the ideal of di2
https://www.specialized.com/us/en/bik...mp-ultegra-di2
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Old 10-26-13, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Roobay_today View Post
I'm really tired of hearing this elitist attitude. This is A forum that IMO is to gain opinions and read stories about cycling, among other things. I'm seeking opinions on a different cycle's, so please if you do not have an opinion on the topic at hand. start your own thread and share your opinion about newbs like me asking opinions on bikes I rode today that I'm still not sure about. rant off.
Well, you did ask what we were thinking....

3-mile test rides, 0.01 mph differences, non-cycling shorts (and shoes?), etc is essentially useless data for the test rider, and even less useful for others to give you an opinion from. The one note about the differing chainring sizes may help you, though. Maybe your thoughts and thread should center on that. I, for one, would not want a compact crank in flat Houston.
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Old 10-26-13, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by patrickgm60 View Post
Well, you did ask what we were thinking....

3-mile test rides, 0.01 mph differences, non-cycling shorts (and shoes?), etc is essentially useless data for the test rider, and even less useful for others to give you an opinion from. The one note about the differing chainring sizes may help you, though. Maybe your thoughts and thread should center on that. I, for one, would not want a compact crank in flat Houston.
he meant comp is in model comp... both comp and expert have 52/39's


let the kind of roads decide what you get.. if they are rough and you plan to do 50miles + a bit often... then roubaix... anything else maybe tarmac. I know many LBS will let you take the rental for extended periods for $$$. Better to know then not to know. Maybe you can work a deal.. for them to put a portion in credit if you purchase a bike... worth a try.

Last edited by spdntrxi; 10-26-13 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 10-26-13, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Roobay_today View Post
I did like the Tarmac more, yet was this an accurate test is my concern. I'm just wanting other opinions on both bikes even if it is last years model. hopfully some one that has substantial time in both.
Based on your apparent concern I'd say your "test" thus far is not accurate...at least for what you are hoping for. Your test methodology does not say anything at all. Jumping in "top gear"...the TV show?...may or may not tell much...did the rear wheel bounce at all during this jump? What was the max mph for each of these max efforts?
Three miles is not much of a test ride for a "good" bike and for a "rider". It is much more than the average person tries out a bike but the average person is not a "rider".

A difference of .10 says nothing reliable...

A test ride, in my opinion, should be done with the rider wearing his/her typical riding kit, including shoes and pedals, on roads that offer a riding experience to focus on the bike rather than worrying about traffic, etc. It can be a one mile loop with a reasonable climb, some rough road surface, etc. to give a good accounting of how the bike handles road vibration, stiffness while climbing, feeling light while climbing, stable and comfortable while in the drops pushing hard.

If both bikes ride and handle the same and are priced similarly you could compare the specs side by side and use the data to see if one rises above the other...perhaps the year older bike has a better drive train or better wheels, etc.
All things being equal regarding ride quality I go for the better wheel set and drive train regardless of how many gears it has...

Chain rings differences may not be a big deal. I changed to a 50 front ring a long time ago and find it a very useful ring compared to the 53 I normally used but at 58 years old and no longer racing I just don't need that big a gear and perhaps you won't need that much gear either. I can cruise along in the 50x13 at 100rpm's for a nice turn of speed...hehehe but not for long any more...sigh...
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