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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok so they brought in a tarmac and roubaix both elite models for me to try, tried them both back to back, the roubaix i tried first because on paper it seemed more like my bike, first thing i noticed was it was very forgiving on a piece of bumpy road, incredibly so in fact, for a rigid bike it almost felt like it had a suspension, it could still fly along when i gave it power though

i thought the tarmac would be uncomfortable but it isnt, its very comfortable and very stable, i actually liked it a lot, very exciting ride, it felt so stiff and just seemed to beg to be ridden fast, when i got to the bumpy stretch of road though the bike nearly shook me apart, i almost wanted to get off and walk, made it though and when i got back to the shop my hands and back were a little sore

i was thinking to myself, i like the comfort of the roubaix but i love the rush of the tarmac, for an experiment i got them to put on the roubaix the same tires that were on the tarmac, straight away there was a big difference, the roubaix suddenly sprang to life and had a snappier feel, not as sharp as the tarmac but it made me appreciate that the frame is actually stiff and at the same time comfortable over bumps

it was close, the kid in me was saying tarmac but i think i made the more intelligent choice and went for the roubaix, it will suit me better, the fat avatar seat will be nice on long rides so im sticking with it, if i was to upgrade first thing id go for are the wheels, theyre heavy but ill spend some months getting to know the bike before i change anything, besides as it is with pedals its a hair over 9 kilos with plenty of places to shed weight so its fine and a lot lighter compared to what im used to,

im 5 foot 8 and the bike is a 54, i have the seat moved as far back on the post as possible, i think the fit is decent but i may have been able to go for a bigger size, i'll find out a lot more about the bike when i take it for a ride on sunday,

thanks for all the advice, ill get a pic of it up when i can figure out how to, it looks better than a lot of high end bikes with the curved stripe down the frame and the white striped tires, i like the look of it more than the quick step coloured tarmac
 

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Hurry up on that photo, pretty please :)

Personally, I just created an account on Photobucket, uploaded photos, and you can just copy/paste the image codes. Simple :)
 

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I've always liked the roubaix. From what I understand, specialized were the ones that created the whole roubaix genre. Great bike.

If your bike size is at the edge of your body and you can't return it, remember to think about either lengthening your stem or getting a more set back seatpost. However, that really depends on your center of gravity. Hopefully you can work with your bike shop on this.

Post those pics when you figure it out. Enjoy that bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
i could shoot myself when i think back on the impulse buys i made, bought an xc when i should have bought a stumpjumper, sold it for an epic WHEN I SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT A STUMPJUMPER!!! bought an 08 sx trail, no buyers remorse there that thing is unreal, finally sold the epic for a stumpjumper,

ive always liked riding on roads as well as offroad and even slicked up my SJ for a few long road rides, i realised its not the same though and putting 25 slick tires on an SJ is like putting an electric motor in a ferrari,

i was also getting tired of getting buzzed by roadies so that got me thinking to buy an 09 allez, they look better now than ever, like a fool however i started looking higher up and the new 09 roubaix frame in particular just looks amazing, the tarmac i admit was a great ride too but the roubaix after the tire change had more what i was looking for, i think i sorted the sizing too, raised the saddle a little more, i think im pretty much good to go, i wont know until i take it for a proper run tomorrow
 

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Those seatstays look... forgiving :) That's a BEAUTIFUL bike you've got there - congratulations! Get some clipless pedals on that baby and you're set! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·



i put my XTR clipless pedals on last night, one little extra that i added are the leds built into the handle bars, no more fiddling about with lights, for me the bike looks a lot more than it actually is, its not super light but i took it for a short ride last night and it flies along compared to my mountain bikes, i just have to get used to it now, the drop bars brake positions and shifters are different
 

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FINALLY, someone else who thinks the Tarmac Elite on rough road is pretty harsh! :)

fyi, for "just" another $1,700 (lol - $3700) you can also get the Tarmac Expert which has a noticeably smoother ride than the Elite. Different carbon "level" - don't know what it means, except it was a notably nicer ride. Or you can just save that money and stick with the Roubaix. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
nah i have enough bike with the roubaix elite, took it for its maiden voyage today, 20 mile road ride that would normally take me around 2 hours on the mountain bike, did it on the roubaix in an hour and 15 including a little break,

the roads are mostly good here but its very hilly and on the steeper ones i ran out of gears on the compact and it was a real effort to get up there, made it with a lot of huffing and puffing but this is why i bought the bike, for training and to push my legs that bit more, i have no aches in my body apart from a little in my hands and forearms, my guess is my hands have to adapt to the grip on the curved bars,

the tarmac wouldve been too hardcore for me, the roubaix is a good transition from my mountain bikes, i cant wait to get out on it again
 

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darkest_fugue said:
i have no aches in my body apart from a little in my hands and forearms, my guess is my hands have to adapt to the grip on the curved bars,
A couple of tips (and you may already be aware of them). Changing hand position frequently can help. Also, don't keep too tight a grip on the bars. Keep hands/ forearms as relaxed as possible.
 

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darkest_fugue said:
thanks PJ, ill do that, i also have to make an adjustment or 2 to my seat
Excellent point (that I neglected to mention in my previous post). Adjusting fore/ aft and tilt can also take some weight off the hands. I prefer a slight setback (from KOPS) and a slight tilt (tip up), but everyone's different.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
same as me, i like to have the wide part of the saddle to be sitting completely flat, this tilts the nose up a little but it suits me fine, my worries about fit were also premature, the bike seems to fit great, i took it for about 45 miles today, my legs are burning but i have no aches and pains anywhere, and this is only my second ride, i thought my body would have to adapt but it doesnt seem to mind,

the frame feels stiff to me i dont notice any flex, im usually an in the saddle guy but i got out of the seat on a few hills to see if id notice anything, its lower down the pile but this is one serious piece of kit, i dont seem to see reviews of this bike so if anyone has a question let me know
 

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darkest_fugue: I am facing the same dilemma at present, but between the experts of both of these bikes. I have been fitted on both and both feel fantastic, however, my LBS don't seem to give the option of a long ride on either.

I am in the same position as you, i.e. have preference for the roubaix for general look and comfort, would you mind me asking... how did the bikes compare for general speed on a your test rides?
 

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darkest_fugue said:
...its lower down the pile but this is one serious piece of kit...
Yup, like I've said before, this years low end CF was '06's top end. People forget that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
i can only give you my opinion on the elite models, the roubaix is kind of like a sporty car with all the creature comforts, mercedes SLR maybe, the tarmac is like a ferrari F40, just built to go fast everything else is secondary, i actually found the geometrys quite similar, more time on each bike and i probably wouldve notice bigger differences, both bikes were very comfortable to ride position wise

the tarmac is hard stiff sharp racy definately a rush, after i changed the tires though a lot of that was also true with the roubaix, not as much as the tarmac but the comfort factor outweighed this

i think as far as general speed goes its actually pretty close, the tarmac felt racier doesnt mean that it is though it just gives that fast feeling, a bike only goes as fast as the legs pedaling it and lets face neither bike is going to hold you back in that respect,


the deciding factor for me was when i hit a bump in the road on the tarmac my teeth would chatter, you felt it on the roubaix but not half as much, i know after 50 miles id be beat up tired and irritable on the tarmac, i did a long ride today and even at the end of it i still had the power to muscle the roubaix up the hills

if your a tough hardcore racer type youll probably appreciate what the tarmac has to offter more, if your anyone else youll probably prefer, i also think the roubaix has the edge looks wise

the expert tarmac apparently has better dampening qualities and the expert roubaix is apparently stiffer yet just as comfortable, i dont feel any lack of stiffness in mine so i feel like a winner
 
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