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Is there a better endurance road bike than the Specialized 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

Is there a better endurance road bike than the Specialized Roubaix?

Old 01-02-15, 10:54 AM
  #51  
pallen 
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Originally Posted by Up North View Post
Each to his own, but the number of Domanes sold would say your opinion is minority by far.
Sales may tell you how popular an opinion is, but is a very poor indicator or which product is "best". Its more about marketing, product accessibility, pricing, etc.
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Old 01-02-15, 02:24 PM
  #52  
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Better? Probably

Just as Good? Definitely.
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Old 01-02-15, 02:30 PM
  #53  
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To answer OP's question, yes, there are quite a few bikes better than Roubaix as endurance bike, even though they may not be marketed as "endurance bike" per se. To name just a few that I have direct experience with: Cevelo R3, Cervelo S3 (the 2014 version), Cannondale EVO and Synapse hi-mod.
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Old 01-02-15, 02:31 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by alexaschwanden View Post
Felt Z5 carbon 105.
My friend has the Ultegra version and he seems to really enjoy it.
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Old 01-02-15, 02:32 PM
  #55  
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I'm surprised no one has said Defy Advanced yet.
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Old 01-02-15, 02:45 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
Is there a better endurance road bike than the Specialized Roubaix?

If so, what gets your vote?
I think my Rivendell Roadeo is a lot better...which is why I went that route.
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Old 01-02-15, 03:24 PM
  #57  
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Parlee Z0.
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Old 01-02-15, 03:45 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by RollCNY View Post
A Surly LHT is a tough bike to use as a basis for steering comparison. They are designed to be a loaded tourer, and to handle predictably loaded. Unloaded, they will be described as anything from sluggish to insanely twitchey, and it all hinges on whether a 45 mm or 50 mm rake fork was used. There is a school of thought that says touring bikes should have low trail, and twitchy steering, as pannier weight will slow it down. The only reason I say this is that your comparison, while valid for you, is not the comparison most cyclists would draw in steering comparisons. It is like saying a Chevy Tahoe feels twitchy after driving tractor trailer rig.
I would think we could all agree that the Roubaix is not a slow handling, slow turning bike, but...

Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
To me you counterdict yourself or we have a difference in opinion which is OK and what the forum is about really...to discuss our independent views.
But will say again that your comment about the Roubaix having twitchy handling is absurd. It is the opposite. Yes its a racing endurance bike and the words I would use to describe the SL3/SL4 are stable and precise...as in surgical. For a fast bike it is the most stable I have ridden. It is the easiest and least nervous or twitchy to ride. Btw, if you are a student of geometry, it almost has to be by its angles. But you brought up the LHT which you consider a stable bike. To me, it like comparing a BMW to long wheel base pick up truck. No comparison. Why is that? Its because of the carbon lay up. Specialized was one of the early adopters of the graduated head tube with large bottom head tube bearing and also a one piece front end. This is what gives the Roubaix such incredible precision...the stiffness of the front end compared to a LHT which is spaghetti in comparison. So no, there is no comparison between the LHT and the Roubaix in handling. If there is a perfect handling road bike, it is the Roubaix. I have 15K on my SL3. Twitchy? You are the only person I have ever read that stated about the Roubaix. It is the easiest of road bikes to ride and I have owned a garage full. Btw, for many including crit racers the Roubaix isn't nearly twitchy enough. The Tarmac or any of the top tier non endurance geometry bikes...pick one...Madone, TCR...any of the shorter wheel base, shorter chain stay, more upright hta, shorter head tube frames are more twitchy than the Roubaix which is more stable by its geometry.
Yeah, we can definitely disagree, I don't know what it is that causes the difference here. When you say "for a fast bike it's the most stable I have ridden", I'm just in a camp of not being sure why our opinions disagree so much. I've wondered if different body geometries or some other factor makes the difference.

The Roubaix is definitely a twitchy bike for me. If it isn't for you - I'll believe you. Clearly a lot of other people like it. I don't know what the difference is exactly. It's definitely twitchy for me, but I'm totally open to believing that it's not twitchy (for a fast bike) for other people for some reason.

(I guess to be clear I'm not saying I was necessarily open before, but I am now, I really just don't know what the difference is that would cause such a large difference of opinion, but I'm totally open to their being one. The only thing I'd say is that I would think we could agree that if you're looking for a 12 hour a day nice slow handling touring bike, the roubaix isn't the way to go.)
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Old 01-02-15, 07:20 PM
  #59  
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When I was bike shopping I test rode the Roubaix SL4, the Domane (forget which config, but the Ultegra one at the time), and the Synapse. I liked the Roubaix the best and bought that. I was riding a Sirrus (Specialized hybrid) at the time, so that might have had something to do with it - the Roubaix might have felt more comfortable. I found the Domane to be twitchy. Maybe it's the disconnect between front and rear that folks have talked about. I wasn't able to get out of the saddle, for example. I didn't feel stable enough. The Roubaix did feel stable enough.

Now, that being said, if I went back NOW, 5000 miles later, and re-road the Domane maybe I'd like it. I *want* to like it. I want a thru-axel disc "endurance" bike. If the "SL5" Roubaix doesn't offer that, or even worse if they do but they continue to play their "module" game, where they say that you won't have a good chain line without using their wheels/hubs (which I would kill faster than I use to kill the All Meat Marvel from Round Table) then I might have no choice but to like it.
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Old 01-02-15, 07:27 PM
  #60  
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I have a Roubaix and will give a nod to the defy. It's a bit more aggressive and I like that.
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Old 01-02-15, 07:31 PM
  #61  
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IMO, the Trek Domane has the most innovative design.
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Old 01-03-15, 07:59 AM
  #62  
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Bianchi Intenso .......

Intenso Dura Ace Mix Compact
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Old 01-03-15, 11:45 AM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by thehammerdog View Post
Bianchi Intenso .......

Intenso Dura Ace Mix Compact
I tend to put the Intenso/Infinito in a bit different category than the Roubaix/Domane. The Intenso/Infinito are basically race bikes with endurance geometry, while the Roubaix/Domane have incorporated compliant suspension designs. Personally, I liked the Infinito better, but that's largely because it felt faster with just enough damping to take the edge off.
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Old 01-03-15, 12:06 PM
  #64  
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OMG, they're road bikes, take one out for a really long ride, if it hurts, HTFU.
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Old 01-03-15, 03:34 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by cyclebycle13 View Post
OMG, they're road bikes, take one out for a really long ride, if it hurts, HTFU.
That's real funny. Thanks for the laugh.
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Old 01-03-15, 03:39 PM
  #66  
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I got my hat handed to me today on a 28 degree 26 mile loop by a guy on a 2002-2003 24 pound felt. I kept thinking when climbing that I haven't earned the right to a new bike. He was also 80 pounds lighter though

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Old 01-03-15, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Flatbroke View Post
That's real funny. Thanks for the laugh.

But really-- seems as if some people need to spend more time riding and working on bike fit and overall fitness/flexibility as opposed to analyzing bikes.
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Old 01-03-15, 06:41 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by cyclebycle13 View Post
But really-- seems as if some people need to spend more time riding and working on bike fit and overall fitness/flexibility as opposed to analyzing bikes.
It's winter.
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Old 01-03-15, 10:07 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
This stuff is subjective at the end of the day. Trek's have also been criticized about the mast sizing to the frame...excessive slop...but let's say that is a non issue. A single bolt seat clamp common on many road bikes works on pure compression. I have had them slip on me at 180#. Few things are as bothersome in the middle of an aggressive group ride. Just seems like a very poor design on a very important feature and why many pros when given the option choose 2 bolt.
In 2 years of selling and working on lots of Treks with single bolt seat clamps in a very busy shop, I got maybe 1 every 3-4 months that would have some slippage. I've put lots of miles on some harsh roads on a Domane (your favorite) with the single bolt seat clamp and it hasn't budged since day one because I used a magical torque wrench. And I'm a good 40 pounds heavier than you.

And mast sizing? Are you referring to tolerances of the fit of the seat mast onto the seat post of the frame? I take mine off and on all the time to use my interior bike rack. I tighten it up with a torque wrench every time and have never had any issues with slop or slippage of any kind. Goes on without having to shove it on and once tightened, never budges.

Does no one own a torque wrench?
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Old 01-04-15, 04:07 AM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by WalksOn2Wheels View Post
In 2 years of selling and working on lots of Treks with single bolt seat clamps in a very busy shop, I got maybe 1 every 3-4 months that would have some slippage. I've put lots of miles on some harsh roads on a Domane (your favorite) with the single bolt seat clamp and it hasn't budged since day one because I used a magical torque wrench. And I'm a good 40 pounds heavier than you.

And mast sizing? Are you referring to tolerances of the fit of the seat mast onto the seat post of the frame? I take mine off and on all the time to use my interior bike rack. I tighten it up with a torque wrench every time and have never had any issues with slop or slippage of any kind. Goes on without having to shove it on and once tightened, never budges.

Does no one own a torque wrench?
Good perspective because you see and work on so many bikes. I do own and use a torque wrench btw.
Can you give us the torque spec for the single seat bolt torque where the saddle rails are secured to the clamp on top of the mast?

I was just sharing my experience. Also how far you push the saddle back on its rails matters quite a bit in terms of leverage on the clamp. Body weight also and likely no slippage on smooth road...but many of us ride some real rough stuff. I sold the single bolt clamp post...a Pave that came with my Roubaix frameset because it slipped on me more that 2 x's when torqued to spec. Most of the big bike companies sell a single bolt post including Specialized but many of their bikes are 2 bolt as well...a dichotomy that is hard to square because they are so radically different in performance. A compression clamp is just wrong to hold a saddle in place is the bottom line. Back 30 years ago when single bolt serrated clamps were the rage...before technology moved on to better post designs, companies like Campagnolo with their notoriously pi$$ poor but elegant looking seat post that was known to slip and not be micro adjustable, knew the challenge of holding a saddle in place with a serrated compression clamp. Otherwise they would have used a pure compression and not combination of compression with serrations as an interface like modern 1 bolt clamps which have more compression and greater surface area compared to yesteryear posts.

Bottom line is this. Let's say all the frames discussed in this thread are excellent just slightly different. I have two strong riding friends who own a Domane and they both love the bike and it sure doesn't slow them down. So lets say the only difference between any of the bikes discussed is the seat post and clamp...of which on Trek's and the Synapse you can't change. You also can't on many Cervelos as well. You can't for example on the S series aero post but you can on the vaunted R series Cervelo which provides another reason to buy the R series bike over and above the great ride and performance. Look had many proprietary seatpost clamps over the years that just plained sucked on their higher end framesets. They were awful. So on some if not many frame designs you are stuck with the factory design. I will simply buy the bike that allows for any 27.2mm post I want. Any flex. Any length, Any weight. Any setback. To me the seatpost decision is critical as the bottom bracket which has been tamed in last couple of years by workarounds....but not all bikes like a Cervelo or Trek with uber wide BB shells. Some for example will avoid a Cervelo or a Trek because of the BB. So each of these bikes are different with different options. Most who buy them don't understand the tradeoffs going in and there is very little agreement in terms of riding properties in this thread in fact but the reviewers of each bike by and large get it right and their perception is correct unlike the general public reflected here.

PS: can you post a picture please of your interior bike rack? Are you saying you remove the saddle/seat mast from your Trek every time you put your Trek in your car because of vertical clearance?

Last edited by Campag4life; 01-04-15 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 01-04-15, 09:44 AM
  #71  
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The typical "endurance road bike" head tube is longer.

Among my finalists, the Rokh and GF01, however, both came with wheels I just don't want, and I prefer SRAM to Shimano. The GF01 does ride very nice tho' ...very nice indeed.

Position! Wilier GTR head tube is significantly shorter - I waited, then assembled the pieces, ending up with the wheels, groupset, and position I wanted, for le$$.

It does ride very nice - I don't regret the decisions, although I waaas anxious, having committed w/o a test ride. Test rides may be overrated...

I've relatively long arms. The bars selected for the GTR have more drop and reach than my other bike, so the drops position is almost the same, whilst the hoods are a bit higher (hence "endurance").

I like the wheels so much that my #1 ride will be getting a similar pair - Hed C2 + White T11


Then I'll have to admit that there's very little real difference between my 2013 S2 and the "endurance bike" - haha.


I may never own a Specialized, but that's just me (although the Fat Boy does speak to me) - that said, the Roubaix is awesome.
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Old 01-11-15, 08:06 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
Good perspective because you see and work on so many bikes. I do own and use a torque wrench btw.
Can you give us the torque spec for the single seat bolt torque where the saddle rails are secured to the clamp on top of the mast?

I was just sharing my experience. Also how far you push the saddle back on its rails matters quite a bit in terms of leverage on the clamp. Body weight also and likely no slippage on smooth road...but many of us ride some real rough stuff. I sold the single bolt clamp post...a Pave that came with my Roubaix frameset because it slipped on me more that 2 x's when torqued to spec. Most of the big bike companies sell a single bolt post including Specialized but many of their bikes are 2 bolt as well...a dichotomy that is hard to square because they are so radically different in performance. A compression clamp is just wrong to hold a saddle in place is the bottom line. Back 30 years ago when single bolt serrated clamps were the rage...before technology moved on to better post designs, companies like Campagnolo with their notoriously pi$$ poor but elegant looking seat post that was known to slip and not be micro adjustable, knew the challenge of holding a saddle in place with a serrated compression clamp. Otherwise they would have used a pure compression and not combination of compression with serrations as an interface like modern 1 bolt clamps which have more compression and greater surface area compared to yesteryear posts.

Bottom line is this. Let's say all the frames discussed in this thread are excellent just slightly different. I have two strong riding friends who own a Domane and they both love the bike and it sure doesn't slow them down. So lets say the only difference between any of the bikes discussed is the seat post and clamp...of which on Trek's and the Synapse you can't change. You also can't on many Cervelos as well. You can't for example on the S series aero post but you can on the vaunted R series Cervelo which provides another reason to buy the R series bike over and above the great ride and performance. Look had many proprietary seatpost clamps over the years that just plained sucked on their higher end framesets. They were awful. So on some if not many frame designs you are stuck with the factory design. I will simply buy the bike that allows for any 27.2mm post I want. Any flex. Any length, Any weight. Any setback. To me the seatpost decision is critical as the bottom bracket which has been tamed in last couple of years by workarounds....but not all bikes like a Cervelo or Trek with uber wide BB shells. Some for example will avoid a Cervelo or a Trek because of the BB. So each of these bikes are different with different options. Most who buy them don't understand the tradeoffs going in and there is very little agreement in terms of riding properties in this thread in fact but the reviewers of each bike by and large get it right and their perception is correct unlike the general public reflected here.

PS: can you post a picture please of your interior bike rack? Are you saying you remove the saddle/seat mast from your Trek every time you put your Trek in your car because of vertical clearance?
Sorry for the massively delayed response. I don't come here a whole lot...

Anyhow, the number one mistake I see people make with the single bolt compression style posts is to throw lots of grease it at. Usually when you want something to not budge, just put grease on it and torque the hell out of it, so that's the first idea people have. But when you have a torque spec, it makes no sense to give two pieces even more ability to slip. On my compression clamp, it's just a bit of fiber grip and the specified 16 nm and it hasn't budged since. When I did get a post that slipped in the shop, I usually opened it up and found grease all over it. I would clean it off, put in fiber grip, torque to spec and I never saw that bike come in with a slipping seat again.

I would agree with you on avoiding certain bikes because of tech "features" and I wholeheartedly understand you avoiding that type of seatpost if you've had nothing but bad luck with it.

As far as interchangeability, I had the same problem with the Synapse seatpost. The previous cut-to-fit generation was a huge pain and we had to hunt down a special alloy post we had for test rides. And now the problem with the 25.4 seatpost is that the bolt is hard to access and hard to get right without a torque wrench, further complicating test rides. And yeah, you're pretty much stuck with whatever Cannondale manages to get other companies to make for it. It will never sell enough models for other manufacturers to bother making one, and I don't see the size becoming hugely popular across many manufacturers, unless you want to rock a BMX saddle.

On the Trek, I knew I was stuck with the Treak seatpost, but it's kind of a really nice seatpost. It's a beautiful naked carbon, lightweight, and it works really, really well for me. They also sell it in 5mm and 20mm offsets.

I also understand not liking pressfit BB's but those are kind of hard to avoid these days. I had a Cannondale CX bike with the BB30, and it needed adjustment more than the Trek. And as much as I love Campy, the Shimano cranks are a thing of beauty. Super simple to adjust if needed, and nearly just as easy to pull and grease. Something to do on a weekend if you're bored and want to play with grease and waste 5 minutes.

On the interior bike rack, I think I have a picture. Let me dig it up in my phone and post it.
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Old 01-11-15, 08:31 PM
  #73  
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Well, I thought I had a picture of the car setup.

But basically, it's just what you said. I have a hatchback (Pontiac Vibe, which is basically a Toyota Matrix) and I fold one rear set down. It has channels in the cargo area and back of the seats to mount stuff on. I bolted on a fork mount so I could take off the front wheel and mount the bikes inside. But you do have to remove the seatpost to clear the top. I'm 6'2, so I have a pretty high seat height as it is.

Anyway, it's an awesome setup because I don't have to worry about it if I park the car and lock it, and it's out of the rain if it's a nasty drive for whatever reason. I just bought a used BMW X3 and will probably replicate the setup.
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Old 01-12-15, 06:41 AM
  #74  
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A randonneur bike is made for endurance, better than any bike suggested in this thread.
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Old 01-12-15, 06:49 AM
  #75  
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Roubaix vs Domaine vs Infinito vs GF01.........Are there any losers here? Of course not. That are all fantastic advanced bikes that are capable of racing or a weekend century. A big decision maker for me would be the shop. Is there a fitting included and is the fitter actually trained? Accessory discounts? Service discounts? Does the shop support the local cycling community? You are buying the bike shop just as much as your buying the bike.
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