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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let me start with a little info on myself. In November of 2010, I weighed 282 lbs. I started trying to get fit by completing P90X and Insanity, and then got into running. By March of 2011, I weighed in at a nice 190lbs. I really enjoy running, and I normally log 25-30 miles per week. However, I do have issues periodically with Plantar Fasciatis, so in early 2012 I began thinking of trying a bike. I went to the LBS and was fitted to a Specialized Tarmac and really liked it but just couldnt pull the trigger due to the price. I spent some time talking to firends that ride and they made it seem like if I walked away with anything less than that then I would not be happy for long. So I kinda put the idea out of my head for a while until we finished putting in our pool. At that point I started looking a little more. I still have not pulled the trigger. Last week, another friend mentioned he wanted to sell his bike to upgrade. He made put out a price that seems great to me.

The bike is a 2009 Specialized Tarmac Elite 56cm (which is what I was fitted for last year). It has a Easton EA90SLX wheelset, R4 SL Ceramic Hubs, FSA SLK Light carbon crankset, Dura-Ace rear cassette with titanium cogs, Dura-Ace lightweight chain, Shimano 105 components.

He is a very detailed, and keeps everything he owns in excellent shape. I trust him that this bike is no different!

With all that said, I am looking at less that $1k for the bike. My concern is if this could be "too much" bike for me. Or, is it a great deal that would put me on the road on a great bike for allot less money. I really like the idea of having a great bike at a great price that will allow me to see how well I enjoy riding, while not breaking the bank.

I am able to ride the bike before buying.

I look forward to the feedback of the forum.

Thanks!
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Test ride the bike to the LBS. Have it checked out.

If it passes, be quick on the trigger! :thumbsup:
 

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Cycling induced anoesis
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To date, because of the way it can fail/ hide defects and requires special equipment to detect those problems, I've never recommended someone buy used CF. However, in this case and all things considered, I'd recommend you consider it.

First off, you trust the seller to keep his bike in excellent condition. Assuming he's the only owner, that means something. Second, considering the upgrades, I think the price is good. I say "good" because upgrades don't generally add appreciably to a used bikes value, and the frameset is 4 years old.

That said, I'm with Zeet on test riding, then bringing the bike to a LBS for assessment. If you were fit to the same bike/ size previously, assuming a reliable fitter, it's likely sizing is right, but I think it should still be checked over for frameset/ mechanical issues before you commit.
 

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Cranky Old Bastard
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I'd say you buy it! But first get it checked at your LBS for an unbiased opinion, as the others have said.

You're lucky to be buying from a friend (instead of stranger on fleabay) because you can ask a lot of specific questions, and you should.

How many miles, has it ever been crashed, has he had any problems with it? If it has been crashed, how did he get it checked for damage?
Does it have any quirks; does it steer straight, make any noises?
Has he always done his own maintenance? How often? Did he install the upgrades?

If he's a good enough friend I would expect him to help you with maintenance and tuning and you can learn a lot from him; that's a big plus. Make that part of the deal.

Most of us didn't get to start riding on a CF bike (hell, I'm still on an alloy frame).
There is something to be said about learning to ride on a lower end bike because a beginner will inevitably be hard on it. But most new bikes with 105 cost close to what he wants for his, so I'd go for it.

Obviously you'll still need shoes and shorts and helmet and lubes. And I'd consider switching to rugged 25 or even 28mm tires 'cause flats spoil the fun.

Enjoy your new bike!

Edit: And congratulations on your weight loss, wow!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the info guys. I will be test riding and will have it looked over.

i am out of town now, but spending allot of time in the hotel researching equipment and parts. I am excited to get back next week and hopefully become a bike owner.
 

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If no wrecks, do it. It fits, the price is great, the bike is great, and you know the seller who seems to take great care of things. If you dont like it, you can probably sell it for that price or greater a year from now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I will be test riding it tomorrow at lunch... maybe 10 miles? I also went to my LBS today and discussed a "professional fitting" to make any fine adjustments needed. He seemed very eager to help and also made some recomendations on shoes etc.

Stay tuned! If I pick it up tomorrow, it will most likley be Saturday before I get in a "good ride".

Thanks for all the info!
 

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Cycling induced anoesis
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I will be test riding it tomorrow at lunch... maybe 10 miles? I also went to my LBS today and discussed a "professional fitting" to make any fine adjustments needed. He seemed very eager to help and also made some recomendations on shoes etc.

Stay tuned! If I pick it up tomorrow, it will most likley be Saturday before I get in a "good ride".

Thanks for all the info!
I think 10 miles is a good test ride. Just keep in mind that you haven't yet been fitted to the bike.

Re: the pro fitting, JMO, but I'd hold off on that expense. Seeing as you're just starting out, your fit will evolve as your fitness improves and you acclimate to road riding. Let that process play out, then, if needed, spring for the pro fit.

For now, go with a standard fitting. Assuming a reputable LBS, it'll do ya fine.... :wink5:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the info on the fitting. I "think" we talked about a standard fitting. They ofered two options. One was ~$100 and the other was ~$200. He recommended the ~$100 fitting for the same reasons you mentioned. I just used the term professional since it was someone other than me or a friend doing the fitting.

Once again, I appreciate all the info and feedback. I am looking forward to getting some miles in.
 

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Wow. Nice price on a sweet bike!:thumbsup: A well kept bike, with relatively new components for a ridiculous discount is the best possible combo, somebody else takes the depreciation hit..and you get 90% of bike nirvana.

The Tarmac is a relatively stiff riding frame though. My friend has this and he's been known to complain about feeling beat up at the end of our rides. I ride a LOOK 566 and we swap bikes for a few miles at times. Indeed, I found the Tarmac to be significantly more responsive at the expense of comfort. The price is just too nice to pass up... get it.
 

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Cycling induced anoesis
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Wow. Nice price on a sweet bike!:thumbsup: A well kept bike, with relatively new components for a ridiculous discount is the best possible combo, somebody else takes the depreciation hit..and you get 90% of bike nirvana.

The Tarmac is a relatively stiff riding frame though. My friend has this and he's been known to complain about feeling beat up at the end of our rides. I ride a LOOK 566 and we swap bikes for a few miles at times. Indeed, I found the Tarmac to be significantly more responsive at the expense of comfort. The price is just too nice to pass up... get it.
Not doubting your friends perceptions, but they don't mirror mine. I have two Tarmacs and both are nice riding bikes. One runs 25c's and the other 23c's - both have tire pressures tailored to my weight/ riding conditions. That's a biggie in regards to ride comfort, IMO/E.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Got my test ride in this morning, and it felt great. I was riding in my running shoes which made it difficult to stay on the pedals but otherwise all was good. Looking forward to many more miles!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well.... The plot thickens.

I had some discussions around maintenance on the bike this afternoon, and he said that he plans to replace the bearings in the rear in the next couple of months, as well as cables and the derailer. No major, gotta replace now things but they factor in.

With that info in mind, added with the fitting cost and possible needed changes for best fit, I went by the LBS again to review some options on buying new. I tested the Roubaix, and it seemed to be even more comfortable than the Tarmac. It is $1400 plus the expense of pedals. It comes with a free (the expensive one) fitting and even different saddle options for no fee. Tuneups for a year as well as 15% discount on accessories (pedals included). It is not the level of components, or upgrades, but it felt even better, and is brand new with warranty.

Would I be stupid to go with the brand new Roubaix over the Used Tarmac? Will a beginner even notice the difference in components? If I really enjoy this and want to upgrade in a year or two, will I be stuck with what I have, or do they sell pretty easily (without giving it away)?

I know I am doing a 180 here, so that is why I turn to you guys.

Thanks
 

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Lots to consider here, but I think the bottom line should be which bike you like better. One being race, the other being relaxed, matters - I think more than the other 'incidentals'.

If you buy new, even considering the perks, I think you'll end up paying more. That's generally the case, because (among other things), you'll get a warranty. And yes, even being a noob, you'll perceive the difference in refinement between 105 and Sora (assuming it's the base Roubaix).

Re: the used Tarmac, it's essentially the same frameset and (minus the upgrades) the same components as my '08 Tarmac. I have around 20K on the bike and have replaced the cables, but the RD is fine. And even the hubs/ bearings are in fine shape. This despite the fact that they're lower end Shimano RS-10's.

What I'm getting at is... this seller seems like he's very diligent on his upkeep - to the point of maybe unnecessarily replacing things. If correct, you may not really need to invest all that much in the used bike.

As for comparing the two bikes on paper, since there have been some advances in CF technology from '09, the Roubaix has a slightly upgraded frameset. That said, I think any differences you'll perceive between the bikes will be due more because of the geo and tires than the CF make-up.

Tough choice, but if you do find yourself leaning towards the Roubaix, I wouldn't let a potential future upgrade dissuade you. With the addition of shifters, a cassette and chain, you'll be at 10 speed, and the frameset is certainly worthy of upgrades, so no need to sell if/ when that time comes.
 

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Well.... The plot thickens.

I had some discussions around maintenance on the bike this afternoon, and he said that he plans to replace the bearings in the rear in the next couple of months, as well as cables and the derailer. No major, gotta replace now things but they factor in.

With that info in mind, added with the fitting cost and possible needed changes for best fit, I went by the LBS again to review some options on buying new. I tested the Roubaix, and it seemed to be even more comfortable than the Tarmac. It is $1400 plus the expense of pedals. It comes with a free (the expensive one) fitting and even different saddle options for no fee. Tuneups for a year as well as 15% discount on accessories (pedals included). It is not the level of components, or upgrades, but it felt even better, and is brand new with warranty.

Would I be stupid to go with the brand new Roubaix over the Used Tarmac? Will a beginner even notice the difference in components? If I really enjoy this and want to upgrade in a year or two, will I be stuck with what I have, or do they sell pretty easily (without giving it away)?

I know I am doing a 180 here, so that is why I turn to you guys.

Thanks
Which Roubaix is it and with what components does it come?

105?...Tiagra?....Sora?
 
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