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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to road biking and am not sure which bike to get.

I have been Mountain biking for many years

Looking at Specialized Carbon fiber. Roubaix and Tarmac elites are in my price range (~$1500 for some 05 closeouts).

The Tarmac is more of a traditional racing geometry with a double up front. It felt like it really carved turns. I don't think I am good enough shape for a double in the CA bay area hills.

The Roubaix has pretty laid back geometry and felt really comfy. It comes with a tripple. I tried the roubaix first and thought it felt fine. Then I tried the Tarmac around the same corner, I immediately thought "Wow! This thing loves to corner". It was night and day in the cornering department. It reacted better to leaning then much turning of the bars. But I am told the Roubaix would be more comfy.

Both were much smoother of a ride than I expected out of a road bike. They say it's a combo of the carbon and these things called Zertz inserts in the forks, seat stays and seatpost. The shop said the Tarmac would be good for anything under 40 miles. Above that, or for rough roads, they recommend the Roubaix.

I don't get it... Does the geometry have more to with what is comfy? or is it setup? including stem length, etc?

Seems like I could play with setup on the Tarmac so it is comfy for recreational riding and then set it up for a more aggressive stance if I felt like it.

Really not sure which way to go... Both are the same price with the same componentry level.

Any advice?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the thoughtful response...

Though I'll probably never enter a race; in my mind, every ride is a race! Whether it's with myself (time) or with friends (Where I end up in the pack at the top of a hill). I want to go on the weekly group road-ride with people from work. Mtb for that 12mph leisurely ride with the family. The MTB is fun for riding over obstacles, but it's NO fun on the street. I kinda feel like part of the fun of a road bike is going fast!

I just love to ride and getting into Road riding increases my opportunities to ride. I can't stand the thought of sitting on a stationary bike in a gym to keep my fitness up. I work long hours but usually get done at 6:00 PM, but often work until 7:00 PM. With a road bike, I don't have to drive out to the trailhead to get a ride in during the week, which increases my chances of being able to ride. Sorry, the Mtb is just no fun on the street.

I'd like to have a very fast bike that I can just maybe swap out (or flip) a stem to go from upright to lower.

The main drawback I see with the Tarmac is the double up front. Sure, I love to go fast, but having that third smaller chainring for taming a steep uphill would be great.

On the MTb, I have the 22t ring up front and a 34-tooth in the cog in the back. There's not much I can't ride up with that. I can see me running out of steam on a steep grade with only a double. I hate nothing more than to have to get off the bike and walk! OOF! The shop owner said I would have to swap out the entire crankset if I maybe wated to go with a double-compact. That kinda sucks. How often do you use the tallest gears on a road bike? Maybe going wide open on a downhill?

As far as my fitness level, I'd say on a scale of 1 (totally unfit) to 10 (Totally fit), I am Probably a 6 or 7. I am 5'-5"and weigh about 175.

If the Tarmac had a tripple off the floor, I think it' be an easier decision...

Any suggestions/advice on gearing?
 
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