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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone

One of my friends got me into biking. I have rented 3 bikes so far. The first one was a trek hybrid that I rode for 18 miles. I rented a trek road bike and went 48 miles on that. I rented a giant contend and re-did the 48 mile trip. Each bike I rode was better than the last.

I have decided it is time to buy a road bike. I plan on trying to do the STP (Seattle to Portland) in 1 day on it. I also want something that I could take on the John Wayne Pioneer trail.

I have been driving to all the bike shops within 100 miles of my house and trying out their bikes. One of the shops I stopped at had a full carbon specialized diverge comp carbon that was marked down $1000 because it was a 2015 bike. This bike got sold before I was able to ride it. The shop had me test ride a 2017 specialized roubaix with futureshock. This bike was amazing. The roads where I live are bad, but the like costs $2600 for a base model.

I figured a lot of the absorption was because the bike was carbon fiber and this was the first carbon fiber bike I had rode. I rode the same bike but one that did not have futureshock and found out that the futureshock was absorbing most of the bumps.

So here are my questions.
With proper tires, do you think the roubaix could do the John Wayne Pioneer Trail?
Does anyone have the 2017 Roubaix with futureshock or have rode it? If so, what's your opinion on the bike?
The roubaix was released in the second half of the year. If I buy it, should I wait for the 2018 version to release?
Should I wait for the 2018 version to release and buy the 2017 when it gets a price cut?
Should I wait for the 2018 lineup to release and see if more bikes have futureshock installed?
Should I buy a cheaper bike as this is my first one? Track down another road bike that's marked down $1000 because it's an old model?

As for budget I wanted to spend around $1500. I really like the roubaix and will be renting the bike and taking it out for a 50 mile trip before I buy a bike.

I am 5'9" and weigh 197lbs.

Thanks
 

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This Roubaix with futureshock looks like a great bike for rough pavement, but I wouldn't ride dirt roads of any length on it in its current setup. Isn't the John Wayne Pioneer Trail a dirt trail? My biggest concern for riding an extended length of a dirt trail are the narrow tires (700x26c) on the Roubaix. Regardless of that suspension, this would be a rough ride on 700x26c tires. Handling would be dicey. If you are interested in this bike, I would ask what the widest tires are that you can fit in it. I would want at least 700x35c tires for a trail like that.

The Specialized Diverge has room for 35c tires even though it comes with 28c. See if you can get the shop to swap out tires for a test ride - you will notice a difference! If I were you, I would also look at some other gravel bikes like the Jamis Renegade or the GT Grade which have room for 40c and 35c tires respectively.

The following is a good write-up of gravel/adventure bikes:

17 of the best 2017 gravel & adventure bikes — super-versatile bikes that are at home on lanes, potholed streets and dirt roads | road.cc
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
The roubaix can fit up to a 32 tire.
The John Wayne Pioneer Trail is gravel/dirt road.

I am not sure if I want to buy a second bike. Plan on doing 99% of my rides on paved road. If it came down to having to buy a new bike for something like the john wayne trail, I would probably end up renting one.

Thanks for the link about the gravel/adventure bikes.

Could you let out some of the air in a 32 tyre to simulate a 35?
 

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The roubaix can fit up to a 32 tire.
The John Wayne Pioneer Trail is gravel/dirt road.

I am not sure if I want to buy a second bike. Plan on doing 99% of my rides on paved road. If it came down to having to buy a new bike for something like the john wayne trail, I would probably end up renting one.

Thanks for the link about the gravel/adventure bikes.
No reason to get two bikes. Gravel bikes can work as road bikes. You can put narrower slick tires on gravel bikes, but if a frame can't take anything wider than a 28c, you're SOL for the John Wayne Pioneer Trail. 32c would probably be (hesitantly) OK for dirt riding, but I would go for something with more clearance. You would have more confidence with something around 38c.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It looks like the 2018 version of the diverge will have futureshock and more room for a wider tyre. Would that bike still be enough of a road bike to do something like the STP with?
 

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First step when shopping for a bike is to settle on your *primary* use and go from there, staying within budget when possible.

You've pretty much determined that the majority of your riding will be on paved roads, but I sense enough of an interest in trails that (IMO) that should be a factor in your decision.

I agree with Lombard that the Roubaix *could* be used off road, but from the casual poking around on a couple of JWP trails websites I did, they do mention sand. Hard packed sand is ride-able with the OE tires on the Roubaix, but there's no margin for error, so either the Diverge or another CX bike would be the better choice... on *that* terrain. On the road, I'd take a road bike over a CX bike, but that's just my preference.

You've already test ridden the Roubaix; maybe try a couple of CX bikes (on and off road) and go from there. I wouldn't break the bank on a first bike. ~$1200-$1500 should do you fine. Just make sure it fits - very important.
 

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First step when shopping for a bike is to settle on your *primary* use and go from there, staying within budget when possible.

You've pretty much determined that the majority of your riding will be on paved roads, but I sense enough of an interest in trails that (IMO) that should be a factor in your decision.

I agree with Lombard that the Roubaix *could* be used off road, but from the casual poking around on a couple of JWP trails websites I did, they do mention sand. Hard packed sand is ride-able with the OE tires on the Roubaix, but there's no margin for error, so either the Diverge or another CX bike would be the better choice... on *that* terrain. On the road, I'd take a road bike over a CX bike, but that's just my preference.

You've already test ridden the Roubaix; maybe try a couple of CX bikes (on and off road) and go from there. I wouldn't break the bank on a first bike. ~$1200-$1500 should do you fine. Just make sure it fits - very important.
Let me just emphasize the importance of that last sentence.

A few things I would also like to add:

If parts of the trail are indeed sand and they aren't hard packed, 28c road tires will be nearly impossible to ride on. Believe me, I was taken down on a patch of loose sand on the side of a road with my 28c road tires! My take is you will want at least 38c tires for riding this trail. 40c would be ever better.

Let's also not confuse a CX bike with the bikes you have been testing. The Specialized Diverge is a gravel/adventure bike. The difference is mainly frame geometry. So far, you have been looking at bikes with a more relaxed upright geometry. Road bikes are generally classified as either endurance (more relaxed like the Roubaix) and race (lower, more aggressive geometry). The same difference exists for gravel/adventure bikes and CX bikes respectively. So you must decide which type of rider position suits you best, which I think you have already done.

Sure, most people would prefer a road bike for road riding. But if you are going to own only one bike for two purposes, a gravel bike will be perfectly adaptable to road riding while a road bike may not work very well for gravel riding - especially the way you are going to ride it. To make a good analogy, the small mouse will fit perfectly well through the big hole, but the big mouse won't fit through the small hole.
 

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You're getting some great advice. I'll chime in with some thoughts re tire size.

I bought a Trek Domane this year which came with 32mm tires. It can except fenders with 32s, which is one of the reasons I chose it over the Roubaix.

In my area there are several once-paved logging roads that are pot-holed and have the occasional gravel stretch. I've found the 32mm slicks to be just fine on the gravel if it's reasonably packed. If it's loose it's a bit hinky.

I like the Roubaix a lot. There are some 32mm tires with small knobbies that would make it perfectly suitable for hardpack gravel roads. If the surface is loose or the weather is wet it would be less good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I rode one of my friends bikes last night. He has a steel frame. I think I found out why I have not really liked many of the bikes I have tested. I think it's the seat that's causing all the discomfort.

I am going to try and find a good deal on a new bike that's a year or 2 old and see if I can have them swap out the seat before I test ride.

I think I am going to go with a road bike and rent something for the John Wayne Trail.
 

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I rode one of my friends bikes last night. He has a steel frame. I think I found out why I have not really liked many of the bikes I have tested. I think it's the seat that's causing all the discomfort.

I am going to try and find a good deal on a new bike that's a year or 2 old and see if I can have them swap out the seat before I test ride.

I think I am going to go with a road bike and rent something for the John Wayne Trail.
Bike saddles that come stock on new bikes are throwaways for most serious riders. You don't buy a bike for its saddle the same way you don't buy a bike for the tires that happen to be on it. These two items are usually chosen by bike makers for two reasons:

1) They got a super sweet deal on 10,000 identical saddles, tires, etc.

2) They are lightweight, so the bike maker can claim an outlandishly low weight for the bike.
 

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I rode one of my friends bikes last night. He has a steel frame. I think I found out why I have not really liked many of the bikes I have tested. I think it's the seat that's causing all the discomfort.

I am going to try and find a good deal on a new bike that's a year or 2 old and see if I can have them swap out the seat before I test ride.

I think I am going to go with a road bike and rent something for the John Wayne Trail.
It might be worth taking a look at the new Specialized Diverge before you pull the trigger on anything. It was just "released" today and seems to address a lot of your interests:

Specialized Diverge 2018: Future Shock, wider tyres and revised geometry | road.cc

Specialized S-Works Diverge 2018: Launch, first ride review and gallery | Cyclist
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Awesome, they have the future shock in an aluminum frame. Currently eye balling the Diverge Comp E5.

Alluminum frame, Shimano 105, disc brakes, and futureshock.

I can see why everyone says their paint jobs are ugly.
 

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Cycling induced anoesis
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I rode one of my friends bikes last night. He has a steel frame. I think I found out why I have not really liked many of the bikes I have tested. I think it's the seat that's causing all the discomfort.

I am going to try and find a good deal on a new bike that's a year or 2 old and see if I can have them swap out the seat before I test ride.

I think I am going to go with a road bike and rent something for the John Wayne Trail.
A couple of things to keep in mind....

Everyone goes though acclimation to road riding, so depending on the time you've already spent on the saddle(s), that may play a part. Also, padded shorts/ bibs matter... a lot. So, something to look into if you haven't already done so.

Finding a closeout/ ~2 yr old road bike is (IMO) a solid plan. You'll get a bit more for your money, a fitting and a bike that suites your primary intended use.

A last thought re: saddles. There's actually quite a lot in the cycling world that's very subjective/ personal. Saddles, shorts (versus bibs), shoes, handlebars, bar wrap... the list goes on. It'll take you some time to discover what works best. And sometimes a proper fitting solves the saddle problem.
 

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Awesome, they have the future shock in an aluminum frame. Currently eye balling the Diverge Comp E5.

Alluminum frame, Shimano 105, disc brakes, and futureshock.

I can see why everyone says their paint jobs are ugly.
Yep. I am interested in that one and the lower level carbon models as well.
 

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I don't know what sections of the Iron Horse trail (John Wayne Trail) you were planning on riding but the western side (west of the Snoqualmie tunnel) would be mostly ride-able on a road bike with 28c tires. It is mostly smoothish hardpack with sections of gravel, although the if fresh gravel has been put down it will be deep and anything norrower than 2" will sink in. I have ridden it several times on different bikes and found the best bike was a 29er hardtail, I have not however done it on a road bike and don't think it would be all that enjoyable. I have seen people do it on CX bikes several times and they always seam to be on a mission and flying down the trail.

That being said, I am assuming you are located in the greater Seattle area and yes the roads are terrible. I ride the same roads and if I was to only have 1 bike to ride it would be a Gravel bike, I wish those would have been a thing when I bought my first road bike. My first road bike was a Specialized Secteur (an aluminum Roubaix) it has been a wonderful bike but since I have been using for commuting and bad weather I have turned it into a "light" gravel bike with its limitations being tire size and rim brakes. Although the brakes are less of an issue than the tires. I know the new Roudaix is a completely different bike but don't think because a bike is labeled a "gravel bike" don't discount it for road use.

Also check out the Felt VR, BMC Grandfoundo which has been discontinued so if you can find them you should be able to get a good deal, Norco Search. I think you have the right idea in renting and riding as many different bikes as you can.

Here are a few pics of the IH/JW trail up near the west side of the tunnel:

Road cycling Travel Bicycle Arch Bicycle wheel

Tire Wheel Bicycle tire Bicycle wheel Bicycle frame

Tire Motorcycle Fuel tank Rim Automotive tire

SS-
 

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This is beautiful. I have to ride this one some day!
 

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That being said, I am assuming you are located in the greater Seattle area and yes the roads are terrible. I ride the same roads and if I was to only have 1 bike to ride it would be a Gravel bike, I wish those would have been a thing when I bought my first road bike. My first road bike was a Specialized Secteur (an aluminum Roubaix) it has been a wonderful bike but since I have been using for commuting and bad weather I have turned it into a "light" gravel bike with its limitations being tire size and rim brakes. Although the brakes are less of an issue than the tires. I know the new Roudaix is a completely different bike but don't think because a bike is labeled a "gravel bike" don't discount it for road use.
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My half cent in searching for an all around bike led me to the Pacific Northwest and a Kona.. I love my Felt but I have to say my Kona JakeTheSnake gets a lot of use due to its multi-use capabilities. If I want to travel I throw the rack and bags on and go. A little off road on the 28 knob tires and dirt's flying. If want to just go tool around on a long road ride I throw on some 25's beef up the PSI and roll. I find it a very use full multipurpose ride which can be adapted to whatever you're up that day.

Since they are in that neck of the woods I would say at least take look see.
 
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