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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After two years of riding two different flat-bars, one of which was too small, one of which was more or less fitted after the fact, I did my due diligence and purchased a Specialized Roubaix Elite from the only bike shop in my area that was as interested in correct size and fit as me. Previous postings have further ruminations on that subject.

I shopped and surfed and read reviews and visited all the likely shops, and selected on the basis of their commitment to proper size and fitting and service and willingness to talk about what I was doing now and what my goals are. Others were found wanting.

I looked at other brands and actually had my sights set on a similar model Jamis, with the second choice a Giant. No doubt, either of those bikes would have been fine also but neither of the shops carried the models I was interested in. They were more interested in selling me something they had in stock right then, and one of them was on sale! Right now! Oh, yeah.:skep:

So I selected not on the bike brand, but on the shop and it's one of the best things I ever did. The model I bought fit my requirements. If I had it to do over, I wouldn't change a thing. I even got a decent price.

This summer, I'm riding further and harder with much more comfort and less fatigue, because the bike is the correct size and it's fitted properly. Period. I pedal more efficiently with less effort. I'm flat-out enjoying riding more. The carbon frame does make a significant difference. Is it worth the extra $$? To me, yes.:thumbsup:

One quibble: The carbon frame is overlaid with a faint crosshatch decal or applique or treatment of some kind. It looks cheesy as hell if you look at it closely, which I try not to because the decal or whatever it is has obvious seams and wrinkles. Some of them are right in plain sight right on the top of the top bar. At first, I thought the intent of the cross-hatch treatment was to mask imperfections in the surface of the carbon finish. Close examination shows the flaws are in the decal, not in the frame.

Specialized, take note. And for $2+K the brakes should be a big step up from generic bargain-barrel Tektros, too.

Anyway, what the hell. I love it!:D

F.
 

· Cycling induced anoesis
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Thanks for posting this follow up. I'm of the mind that members firsthand experiences carry more weight here than some of us vets simply voicing our opinions re: the importance of fit - and working with a reputable shop to ensure the right fit is attained. I'm glad it all worked out for you, and you're now enjoying riding your new bike in relative comfort.

From your description of the wrinkled decal, I'm not sure Specialized would consider it a defect, but it may. there's a one year warranty on cosmetics (paint/ clearcoat), so if you deem it worthwhile, ask your LBS to contact their rep and relay your feelings/ concerns.

Regarding the Tektro brakes, they're standard fare on bikes in this price range nowadays. There's nothing inherently wrong with them that a set of Kool Stop salmons won't fix.
 

· old school drop out
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Re: the Tektro brakes... I have a set on a really nice bike that I own. I keep thinking that I'll replace them with a nicer set of Campy brakes. However they weigh the same as high end Campy brakes and work perfectly fine. It's hard for me to spend money replacing them for vanity's sake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
PJ352 said:
Thanks for posting this follow up. I'm of the mind that members firsthand experiences carry more weight here than some of us vets simply voicing our opinions re: the importance of fit - and working with a reputable shop to ensure the right fit is attained. I'm glad it all worked out for you, and you're now enjoying riding your new bike in relative comfort.

From your description of the wrinkled decal, I'm not sure Specialized would consider it a defect, but it may. there's a one year warranty on cosmetics (paint/ clearcoat), so if you deem it worthwhile, ask your LBS to contact their rep and relay your feelings/ concerns.

Regarding the Tektro brakes, they're standard fare on bikes in this price range nowadays. There's nothing inherently wrong with them that a set of Kool Stop salmons won't fix.
Thanks for the reply PJ.

Regarding the cosmetic thing, I'm not that worked up about it. I'll point it out to them when I go back for the adjustment, and maybe they'll spring for a freebie or something. You never know.

Kool Stop salmons. I've heard good stuff about them. Are we talking just the $8.99 pad replacements, or the whole shoe or what? Mechanically, the brakes themselves work fine.

As far as the proper size and fit subject goes, I'm a total believer having ridden two years on bikes that did NOT fit properly. I know the difference from first-hand experience. The first bike 'just happened', the second was a definite improvement. The third time's a charm, they say.

I know that comparing components and frame types is much more interesting than talking about a non-exciting subject like proper fit, but really - what's more important: the minor difference between Ultegra and 105 stuff or the proper fit?

Therefore, fellow noobs, put aside some of your budget for getting the correct size bike fitted properly by a pro who knows how to do it and wants to do it. Remember, you're not just buying a bike, you're also buying the bike shop's expertise.
 

· Cycling induced anoesis
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fupchurch said:
Thanks for the reply PJ.

Regarding the cosmetic thing, I'm not that worked up about it. I'll point it out to them when I go back for the adjustment, and maybe they'll spring for a freebie or something. You never know.

Kool Stop salmons. I've heard good stuff about them. Are we talking just the $8.99 pad replacements, or the whole shoe or what? Mechanically, the brakes themselves work fine.

As far as the proper size and fit subject goes, I'm a total believer having ridden two years on bikes that did NOT fit properly. I know the difference from first-hand experience. The first bike 'just happened', the second was a definite improvement. The third time's a charm, they say.

I know that comparing components and frame types is much more interesting than talking about a non-exciting subject like proper fit, but really - what's more important: the minor difference between Ultegra and 105 stuff or the proper fit?

Therefore, fellow noobs, put aside some of your budget for getting the correct size bike fitted properly by a pro who knows how to do it and wants to do it. Remember, you're not just buying a bike, you're also buying the bike shop's expertise.
Great thought on the importance of fit over componentry. I'd love to know how many $3K+ bikes are sitting gathering dust because someone got a 'great deal' with nary a thought to bike fit.

Re: the Kool Stops, all you need are the pads (see below). And yes, the Tektro's are mechanically sound brakes.
http://www.jensonusa.com/store/product/BR308D03-Kool-Stop+Dura-Aceultegra+Rplcmnt+Inser.aspx?sc=FRGL
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
PJ352 said:
Great thought on the importance of fit over componentry. I'd love to know how many $3K+ bikes are sitting gathering dust because someone got a 'great deal' with nary a thought to bike fit.
Probably quite a few, PJ. Plus even more less-expensive bikes that people bought to give cycling a serious try, but who gave it up after a time.

When I started, I expected to hurt until I got into shape and learned what I was doing. And my expectations were met, let me tell 'ya! But I knew that was the price to be paid in the beginning, and I was cool with that.

Ditto the bike I started with - it was something to begin with, not to keep long-term. It was a quality entry level bike (Trek 7.2 flatbar) that was there on the showroom floor on the day I was ready to buy, the right model and everything. I rode it around in the parking lot. I asked the salesguy about shifting. He said "Leave it on the second ring and don't worry about it." (It was a triple.) So I did that all summer, not knowing any better. Then I learned about the low gears! "Great! Now I can go up hills!"

It went from there to a less-ill-fitting bike to the correctly sized and properly fitted Roubaix Elite I have now. It's been an entirely predictable progression that I've enjoyed immensely. I cruise up hills I had to walk up earlier, my butt and my shoulders don't hurt a bit, I'm in the best shape in 25 years, and I love being out on the country roads with the sun in my face. What's not to like?

But it would not have happened on the wrong sized bike. Simple as that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
1st. True Road Bike - 1500 mile report

fupchurch said:
After two years of riding two different flat-bars, one of which was too small, one of which was more or less fitted after the fact, I did my due diligence and purchased a Specialized Roubaix Elite from the only bike shop in my area that was as interested in correct size and fit as me. Previous postings have further ruminations on that subject.

Anyway, what the hell. I love it!:D

F.
In my previous post (600 mile report), I sang the praises of this bike. Everything holds still true for the most part.

At 700 miles, felt an increase to a surging grinding vibration I had noticed before when spinning the front wheel with the bike on the stand. Also on the rear wheel to a lesser extent.

Took it back to the LBS, and they confirmed it. Replaced cones on the front, adjusted the rear @ no charge. Vibes went away for a while, but now beginning to creep back on the front.:rolleyes:

These are the Specialized-branded hubs that came on the bike.

Everything else is fine, no problem. Bike shop is cool. (Performance in Charlotte, NC @ Park Road Shopping Center.)
 

· What the what???
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Glad to hear the LBS has been working with you on the hub issue. If the problem is creeping back, don't wait to take the bike back in.

I can second that emotion regarding the Kool Stop salmons. They'll make a significant difference in your braking power.
 

· Cycling induced anoesis
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13,019 Posts
fupchurch said:
In my previous post (600 mile report), I sang the praises of this bike. Everything holds still true for the most part.

At 700 miles, felt an increase to a surging grinding vibration I had noticed before when spinning the front wheel with the bike on the stand. Also on the rear wheel to a lesser extent.

Took it back to the LBS, and they confirmed it. Replaced cones on the front, adjusted the rear @ no charge. Vibes went away for a while, but now beginning to creep back on the front.:rolleyes:

These are the Specialized-branded hubs that came on the bike.

Everything else is fine, no problem. Bike shop is cool. (Performance in Charlotte, NC @ Park Road Shopping Center.)
Glad you're enjoying your new bike. At 700 miles, you shouldn't be experiencing problems with the wheel hubs, so I agree with Opus not to wait to get the issue resolved. Push for a new front wheel if necessary.

Just a FYI... there's a lifetime warranty on the frameset, and one year on 'cosmetics' and all OEM parts.
 
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