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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is going to seriosly cause some "meh" reactions...

I switched from a 09 Prince with SR11 to Tarmac SL2 with R10 and prefer the later.

I think it is mostly because I picked a race geometry bike with a fairly small frame, and paid the price with neck and back issues.

So I went from



to



and find myself comfortable on 5 hour rides while anything beyond 3 hours on the Prince used to make me want to stretch my back and shoulders every 5 minutes.

The last 2 months, I have been riding the Specialized, and before selling off the Pinarello, I thought I would give it another chance next week to see if the long distance discomfort was more a result of an early season lack of being in shape, or if the frame geometry simply is too small for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
onefour02 said:
what is the size of the prince?

what is the size of the sl2?

what are the geometry differences?
The Prince is a 53cm frame.

The SL2 is a 56cm frame.

The Prince has a 54,5cm top tube

The SL2 has a 56,5cm top tube.

The Prince has a 14,4cm head tube.

The SL2 has 17cm head tube.

The Prince was equipped with a 120mm stem, while the SL2 has a 110mm stem.

With that subtle difference in stem-length, I get the same reach on both bikes.

I am 178cm with a 83cm inseam. My preferred reach is 55-56cm, depending on handlebars.
 

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Looking at the pictures, it looked like you accounted for the difference in saddle to bar drop with the spacers on the Prince - is this about the same between the 2 bikes? On your reach preference, is that measurement to the end of the stem or to end of the hoods, i.e., is the handlebar reach between the 2 bikes roughly the same?

I just got a Prince and went out for my first long ride yesterday. It's great on good roads but on rougher roads, like chip seal, it was pretty rough.

I've not ridden a Tarmac but they have a great reputation - got to enjoy what you ride and not force yourself to ride something because of perception or investment. Good luck - guess we will be seeing you on the Specialized forum from now on :) .
 

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cycleboyco said:
I just got a Prince and went out for my first long ride yesterday. It's great on good roads but on rougher roads, like chip seal, it was pretty rough.
how's that in comparison to your other/previous rides?
 

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:confused:...meh...:confused:

enjoy it and ride the heck out of it.
 

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I got a 53cm prince and I'm 171cm or 5'11" and it is the best and most comfortable bike I ever ridden. I think your problem might be your stem length. I use a 100mm one, shorter so I don't have to over extend. If in all doubt, get yourself fitted into the prince by a professional fitter before giving up. Might cost around $200 but well forward it. Just ask around whom people recommend around your area. Moving your seat or stem by 10mm makes a big difference.

I used to have a 56cm specialized roubaix. Not even comfortable in terms of ride quality to the prince.
 

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tjjm36m3 said:
I got a 53cm prince and I'm 171cm or 5'11" and it is the best and most comfortable bike I ever ridden. I think your problem might be your stem length. I use a 100mm one, shorter so I don't have to over extend. If in all doubt, get yourself fitted into the prince by a professional fitter before giving up. Might cost around $200 but well forward it. Just ask around whom people recommend around your area. Moving your seat or stem by 10mm makes a big difference.

I used to have a 56cm specialized roubaix. Not even comfortable in terms of ride quality to the prince.
your prince sounds a little big for you, i'm 170cm and i would ride either a 46.5s or 50. but since you found it ok, that's great!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
cycleboyco said:
Looking at the pictures, it looked like you accounted for the difference in saddle to bar drop with the spacers on the Prince - is this about the same between the 2 bikes? On your reach preference, is that measurement to the end of the stem or to end of the hoods, i.e., is the handlebar reach between the 2 bikes roughly the same?
.
The measure is taken to the end of the stem. There is not a big difference in drop as pictured.

One of the things with the Specialized that differs a lot from the Prince is how it feels comfortable even in slow speeds. The Prince is really smooth when going fast! :arf:

The difference is that (the way I feel it) on the Prince, more weight is on the arms, while on the Specialized weight is more on the butt. What it means in practice is that when my core muscles get tired after a long ride, more weight is supported by arms and hands.

When switching back to the Prince, I am going to switch the handlebars and put the Easton handlebars on the Prince. That way the longer reach issue with the Zipp-bars will be eliminated. At the same time, I am going to swap the SLR kit carbonio for the Prologo Scratch TR saddle.

We'll see... it could be that the question is not about the frame, but about the accessories.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
tjjm36m3 said:
I got a 53cm prince and I'm 171cm or 5'11" and it is the best and most comfortable bike I ever ridden. I think your problem might be your stem length. I use a 100mm one, shorter so I don't have to over extend. If in all doubt, get yourself fitted into the prince by a professional fitter before giving up. Might cost around $200 but well forward it. Just ask around whom people recommend around your area. Moving your seat or stem by 10mm makes a big difference.

I used to have a 56cm specialized roubaix. Not even comfortable in terms of ride quality to the prince.
Your height, 171cm, is closer to 5'7"-5'8" than 5'11". In any case...

I was once reading about a modern fit, and a classic fit. In the old days, even pros were riding on bigger frames with less saddle to bar drop. The trend at the moment is to have a small frame with extremely long stems and huge saddle to bars drop. Good for the really fit, unpractical for 80% of riders.

I thought I belonged to the "really fit" crew, spending at least 10-12 hours in the saddle per week. More, if duties (and wife :blush2: ) allow for it...

In any case, I have found myself really searching for the right fit, being very sensitive to very small changes. The Tarmac and a previous Colnago Extreme C have been the only bikes that fit like a glove from scratch.

As mentioned, next week will prove if the Prince would be a good fit with the right saddle and handlebars.
 

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The Prince 53 is much much smaller than the size 56 Tarmac.
You can't compare these bikes because of the huge difference in size. You have to get a 55 or 56 Prince to have a similar sized frame.
An I also say the 56 Tarmac is one size too big for you.
I am 183cm and the 56 Tarmac is on the large size for me. For you the size 54 one would have been better I think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Mirra said:
The Prince 53 is much much smaller than the size 56 Tarmac.
You can't compare these bikes because of the huge difference in size. You have to get a 55 or 56 Prince to have a similar sized frame.
An I also say the 56 Tarmac is one size too big for you.
I am 183cm and the 56 Tarmac is on the large size for me. For you the size 54 one would have been better I think.
Well, that is what I thought too, until I actually went for a test ride and noticed that the Tarmac was spot on...

Both bikes in the pictures are set up to have the saddle at 74cm height, and the reach at 56cm.

A small difference in drop, but nothing substantial.

The first time I was looking at Tarmacs, the salesman said that a 52cm would be good for me. 52!!! Now I am riding on a 56cm and I am more comfortable than in a long, long time.

"Something is rotten in the state of Denmark"
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Just to make my point... below you can see a set-up that is very comfortable for me. The Specialized is very, very close to the same fit.

 

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Just to mention, one measurement that was omitted (if the same between the 2 bikes) is the relative fore-aft position of the saddle (which could be a factor of having too much forward weight).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
jwp75 said:
Just to mention, one measurement that was omitted (if the same between the 2 bikes) is the relative fore-aft position of the saddle (which could be a factor of having too much forward weight).
You are right about that... I didn't measure that on the Prince yet, but on the SL2, the tip of the saddle is more or less 5cm behind the bottom bracket center. This is, as far as I know, a correct and recommended fore-aft position?
 

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5cm too little??

The 5cm behind BB is a UCI minimum requirement for saddles(unless you can prove that your knee is behind the pedal spindle with a smaller amount). In reality unless you are 5'4" or thereabouts you will have it much further behind depending on leg length and saddle type. I am 5'8", and I have 6.5cm with a SLR saddle. I would guess, unless you've been professionally fitted at that position, that you are too far forward and are not making full use of all your leg muscles. If you had a larger seat-H/bar drop on the prince c/w the speccy then I'm not surprised you felt neck soreness
 

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Like I said before, get yourself professionally fitted in your prince. If you are so comfortable with the tarmac then bring it with you and tell them these are the measurements you want replicated on the prince. You pay so much $$ for the prince but don't want to spend couple hundred dollars for professional bike fit? I'm not talking about a bike fit you would normally get for free buying a specialized or trek at an authorized dealer. Find someone that uses lasers for measurement and has been doing it for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well... The decision has been made.

Last Thursday, I was out for a ride with a colleague. We rode 133km with about 1700m elevation gain. That ride was done on the Tarmac.

Yesterday, I went out for a ride with the same colleague, with the same preparation. The aim was to prolong the ride to ride over 140km, just to extend the long ride of the week little by little every week.

Since I had my Prince again, I put my Prologo saddle on the bike and adjusted the position to be as identical to the Tarmac as possible.

60km into the ride, about 40 miles, I was done. I don't know what it is, but the ITB problems that I have had before started to feel in the right knee, my lower back was aching, I was going slower and getting more tired.

The saddle set-back on the Pinarello is shorter and the angles are a bit different. However, I am sad to say that the most beautiful bike in the market, is not the bike for me. I am definitely keeping the Specialized and selling off the Prince for 6700 €, with everything... That will cover my costs for the Specialized and allow me to pimp it up a little to compensate for the loss in beauty.

As I am writing this, my neck is aching and I can't help feeling a little bitter about not fitting the bike. A riding buddy smiled when I told him what happened and just calmly replied (being a Prince rider himself) that the Prince is a bike for real men. :)
 
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