Bike Advice - Specialized Roubaix or alternatives?

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wandsworth
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Bike Advice - Specialized Roubaix or alternatives?

Postby wandsworth » Fri Jun 28, 2013 13:10 pm

OK, so I still love my hybrid but have been looking at road bikes. I do an inner-London commute of approx 9 miles each way - which I plan to gradually extend, and I ride to and around Richmond Park at weekends - again, planning on doing some longer trips e.g. Box Hill. I don't plan on racing. Looking at advice on here and elsewhere, it seems like a 'sportive' bike would be a good choice. My budget is around £1500.

The Specialized Roubaix looks like it might fit the bill. A couple of questions:

First, Evans have the 2013 Roubaix Sport Compact and the 2012 Sport Elite both for £1500. The Elite is reduced from £2000, persumably because it's last year's model (the 2013 equivalent is £1800). It has somewhat better components than the Sport Compact but it is the older model bike. Would I be losing much by getting the older but better specced bike, i.e. has the Sport Compact had upgrades that would take it past the Elite?

Second, are there alternatives in the same price bracket that I should consider?

Thanks for any advice.
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Various Boardmans, a Focus, a Cannondale and an ancient Trek.

oxoman
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Re: Bike Advice - Specialized Roubaix or alternatives?

Postby oxoman » Fri Jun 28, 2013 13:41 pm

Trek Domane 4.0 but its only Tiagra not 105 as per the Roubaix sport elite. I wouldn't bother with the 2013 model as its not really full 105. I personally think you get a better deal with the 2012 model.
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BigLights
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Re: Bike Advice - Specialized Roubaix or alternatives?

Postby BigLights » Fri Jun 28, 2013 14:49 pm

I had my eyes on a Roubaix last year. I like the idea of more relaxed geometry without sacrificing speed. Having done a lot of geekwork (research) I ended up with a Ribble Gran Fondo, nicely kitted out with good stuff, got it fitted properly, and I totally love it. Have a look. It is also far better value for money.

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wandsworth
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Re: Bike Advice - Specialized Roubaix or alternatives?

Postby wandsworth » Fri Jun 28, 2013 15:05 pm

Thanks for the replies. Just seen that Evans only have the 2012 Roubaix in a very small size, so I'll be looking at alternatives. The Ribble Gran Fondo looks nice, and they have a good (in fact slightly bewildering) range of options for kitting out.

Are RIbble only available online from Ribble? It would be nice to try one out. Couldn't see them anywhere else.
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MichaelW
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Re: Bike Advice - Specialized Roubaix or alternatives?

Postby MichaelW » Fri Jun 28, 2013 15:49 pm

Do you need mudguard and rear rack eyelets and mudguard clearance for winter commuting? Most winter commuter road bikes use long-drop caliper brakes for extra room.

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wandsworth
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Re: Bike Advice - Specialized Roubaix or alternatives?

Postby wandsworth » Fri Jun 28, 2013 17:17 pm

Ideally would like room to fit mudguards (don't need rack) as this will be my all-year bike. If everything other than that is perfect then I could live without.

Thanks.
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unixnerd
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Re: Bike Advice - Specialized Roubaix or alternatives?

Postby unixnerd » Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:53 pm

I bought a Roubaix SL3 Expert last year and it's the perfect bike for me, just soaks up bad road surfaces and is super comfy. I've seen some fitted with proper metal mudguards, https://www.ridepdw.com/goods/fenders/f ... s%E2%84%A2, there's a video on youtube of them fitted and them look great.

At <2k you're not going to be getting the same frame as the high end models, it uses a different type of carbon and I imagine the layout is different. I THINK the cheaper models use a version of the previous year's frame rather than the current SL4. All I can say is that my SL3 is superb. There are loads of frames in the Roubaix range, not only the carbon is different though - some have internal vs external cable routing, some are SL3 based and the expensive ones are the new SL4. You can even get a disc brake model now.

I've even seen one for sale with Sora! To me that's crazy, buy a cheaper carbon frame with Sora fitted to it, just don't get it. You'd be better getting a Synapse with 105. Even my SL3 came with fairly average wheels that I swapped for a better set I bought the year before. The lower price models will come with pretty heavy wheels (as do most bikes).

Specialized are clearly trying to market a fairly expensive frame with really low end components, it's not going to ride as well as the dearer versions. For 12-1500 I'd get a one or two year old Ultegra SL3 with the internal cable routing (there was also a cheaper one with external cables and a cheaper carbon).
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MichaelW
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Re: Bike Advice - Specialized Roubaix or alternatives?

Postby MichaelW » Sat Jun 29, 2013 13:57 pm

wandsworth wrote:Ideally would like room to fit mudguards (don't need rack) as this will be my all-year bike. If everything other than that is perfect then I could live without.

I'm sure you could make do with the velcro/rubber band clip-on half-guards like most winter roadies but why make do when you could use bolt-on, full-length SKS chromoplastic, fit and forget reliable, rattle-free.
The rack eyelets is a useful option for holidays. They should be compulsory on any bike that isn't podium-bound.

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Re: Bike Advice - Specialized Roubaix or alternatives?

Postby unixnerd » Sat Jun 29, 2013 17:21 pm

The rack eyelets is a useful option for holidays. They should be compulsory on any bike that isn't podium-bound.


Totally agree, luckily my #2 bike is a CAAD5 with proper front and rear mounts. The rear set double up for my rack and mudguards.
http://www.strathspey.co.uk - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!

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wandsworth
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Re: Bike Advice - Specialized Roubaix or alternatives?

Postby wandsworth » Sat Jun 29, 2013 17:55 pm

Thanks for the advice. I guess to get a 2 or 3 yr old SL3 we're talking eBay, right?

Still quite taken with the Ribble Gran Fondo with their various spec options.
Shut up, knees!

Various Boardmans, a Focus, a Cannondale and an ancient Trek.

BigLights
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Re: Bike Advice - Specialized Roubaix or alternatives?

Postby BigLights » Mon Jul 01, 2013 08:47 am

I love the Ribble. They also do a winter Sportive version with mudguards etc, but that's a more aggressive geometry. Unfortunately they are online only...but their sizing guide is remarkably accurate so follow it, and they're really rather helpful on the phone, too. I enjoyed spending the time narrowing down the exact spec, looking into every single option.

By the way - if you are, as your alias suggests, in Wandsworth I could let you have a look at mine if you want before you buy. I'm based near Spencer Park....

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wandsworth
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Re: Bike Advice - Specialized Roubaix or alternatives?

Postby wandsworth » Mon Jul 01, 2013 21:43 pm

Thanks BigLights. I am indeed in Wandsworth, and very near Spencer Park. I'll PM you if that's OK. Cheers.
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Various Boardmans, a Focus, a Cannondale and an ancient Trek.

BigLights
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Re: Bike Advice - Specialized Roubaix or alternatives?

Postby BigLights » Wed Jul 03, 2013 09:20 am

totally. I'm not that reliable at PMs...so perhaps email me on andrew dot thomson1 at gmail.com

InkZ
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Re: Bike Advice - Specialized Roubaix or alternatives?

Postby InkZ » Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:02 pm

I picked up a Roubaix 2012 Elite for £1500 (last October) and have been very happy with it. Using it for commuting with a Carradice saddle bag to put my clothes in.

samsbike
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Re: Bike Advice - Specialized Roubaix or alternatives?

Postby samsbike » Thu Jul 04, 2013 14:02 pm

There is also the planet x bike with full ultegra for around £1300, that may also work for you

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wandsworth
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Re: Bike Advice - Specialized Roubaix or alternatives?

Postby wandsworth » Thu Jul 04, 2013 20:54 pm

samsbike wrote:There is also the planet x bike with full ultegra for around £1300, that may also work for you


Thanks. You mean this one? http://www.planet-x-bikes.co.uk/i/q/CBP ... _road_bike

Looks good!
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Various Boardmans, a Focus, a Cannondale and an ancient Trek.

BigLights
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Re: Bike Advice - Specialized Roubaix or alternatives?

Postby BigLights » Fri Jul 05, 2013 08:41 am

2 of my colleagues have this bike (with Campagnolo groupsets) and are orgasmically happy with them. Be aware, however, that I wouldn't consider them to be directly comparable to a Roubaix/ Gran Fondo in that it is a far more aggressive setup, less relaxed geometry. So it's probably more comparable to Spesh Tarmac than Roubaix. Depends what you're looking for.

That's my understanding anyway. I could well be wrong. That said, I get the impression that PLanet X are probably the best value bikes around for the kit you get. And my colleagues' ones have not yet fallen apart despite quite a lot of hard miles put on them.

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wandsworth
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Re: Bike Advice - Specialized Roubaix or alternatives?

Postby wandsworth » Wed Jul 24, 2013 15:08 pm

Thanks to all for the replies on this, and especially to BigLights for letting me ride his Gran Fondo. I wanted to report back, in case it is helpful for anyone else considering a new road bike.

I went in to Swift Cycles in Spitalfields, who are very good indeed. I explained what I was looking for and my budget and they recommended either a Focus Cayo Evo 6.0 or a Cannondale Synapse 105. The Focus is full carbon, and has 105 shifters and rear derailleur and Tiagra cassette and front mech and costs £1375. The Synapse 105 a similar mix of components and costs a bit under £1100.

I test rode both, and also an all-carbon Synapse (the 105 is aluminium with carbon forks). The all-carbon synapse has Tiagra at around £1500 and is around £1800 for 105.The Cannondale was probably closer to the 'relaxed' geometry that I had been looking for, but the Focus just felt better, so I went for it. I picked it up on Monday and have had a couple of commutes on it. It is light and quick, and feels lovely. It is very comfortable. It looks great, too - better than the Cannondales in my opinion.

Swift include a free Retul bike fitting with their bikes. I have booked that in for next week, so it should be even better after that.
Shut up, knees!

Various Boardmans, a Focus, a Cannondale and an ancient Trek.

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unixnerd
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Re: Bike Advice - Specialized Roubaix or alternatives?

Postby unixnerd » Wed Jul 24, 2013 15:59 pm

Sounds ideal, you're so lucky to be getting a proper bike fitting! If you run SPD-SL shoes (which I wouldn't on a commuter as I think it's dangerous) by sure to have them at the fitting to get the cleats set up right.
http://www.strathspey.co.uk - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!

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wandsworth
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Re: Bike Advice - Specialized Roubaix or alternatives?

Postby wandsworth » Thu Jul 25, 2013 13:41 pm

Thanks. Will definitely be at the fitting in my normal riding kit. That includes SPD shoes but not SPD-SL. Do you consider SPD shoes dangerous too? Most people on my commute use some form of clipless pedals.
Shut up, knees!

Various Boardmans, a Focus, a Cannondale and an ancient Trek.


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