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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It wasn't Uncle G's contribution to the economy but the timing is right. More importantly it is a contribution to my bike quiver...I finally got to buy a new roady! WOOHOOO!!! After riding a bunch of bikes I decided on the Tarmac. WOW is it a sweet ride! I got her about 2 weeks ago and have put 200 miles on since, but waited until I got my new pedals to take pictures. I love the Gerolsteiner paint job on the bike but the Gerolsteiner team stickers were the first to go followed by the bike shop sticker. Now if I could get ride of some of the Specialized logos it would be better....but I'll learn to like those. The one marketing thing I thought was cool is that they put "Innovate or Die" on the inside of the fork in a real light grey. It took me a while to notice that. I'm going to replace the cages w/ the Specialized cages in white I think. Then start working towards putting an Ultegra SL Compact crank on it.

It's my first carbon bike and all I can say is Holy C* does she ride like a dream! :thumbsup: A friend of mine told me on our second ride after I got it that he didn't like my new bike because he's back to chasing me on the climbs. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was on the fence between a Tarmac and Roubaix, but obviously fell off on the Tarmac side. Congrats on the new bike!

I have almost 400 miles on my Tarmac now and really love riding it. A friend of mine that races offered to let me try out his Zipp's some day. :cool: Not sure I want to expose myself to a killer wheelset like that or not.
 

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tarmac vs roubaix

morryjg said:
I was on the fence between a Tarmac and Roubaix, but obviously fell off on the Tarmac side. Congrats on the new bike!

I have almost 400 miles on my Tarmac now and really love riding it. A friend of mine that races offered to let me try out his Zipp's some day. :cool: Not sure I want to expose myself to a killer wheelset like that or not.
Isn't the ride of Tarmac harsher compared to Roubaix? Why did you choose Tarmac?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
steel515 said:
Isn't the ride of Tarmac harsher compared to Roubaix? Why did you choose Tarmac?
If it is harsher I couldn't really tell. It is different though. I've been riding road bikes off and on since the mid 80s (damn that makes it sound like I'm old :( ) so I think the Tarmac felt better because it's the geometry that I've always been riding. The Tarmac was also quicker than the Roubaix which I really like. I would've been happy with either but went with the Tarmac. Going to a full carbon bike was such a huge change from my old steel bike that it's infinitely more comfortable than what I'm used too.
 

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morryjg said:
If it is harsher I couldn't really tell. It is different though. I've been riding road bikes off and on since the mid 80s (damn that makes it sound like I'm old :( ) so I think the Tarmac felt better because it's the geometry that I've always been riding. The Tarmac was also quicker than the Roubaix which I really like. I would've been happy with either but went with the Tarmac. Going to a full carbon bike was such a huge change from my old steel bike that it's infinitely more comfortable than what I'm used too.
Describing ride characteristics of bikes is very subjective. I wouldn't call the Tarmac 'harsher' or the Roubaix 'smoother'. To me, the Roubiax has a slightly plusher feel both in ride and handling. while the Tarmac felt a shade more connected to the road and a shade more responsive. More balanced, is the best way I could describe it. And yes, coming from steel (to me) the Tarmac was the closest match - lively, connected, but smooth - with a slightly more aggressive position than the Roubaix. Neither are bad by any means, but definitely different.
 

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I also would not describe the Tarmac ride harsh. Compared to my previous aluminum bike, it is much smoother. However, I chose the Tarmac because I was looking for a more responsive handling bike that I could use in Crits. I must say that I have already done several longer rides with the Tarmac and found it to be very comfortable. To me, best of both worlds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think you guys nailed it. The Tarmac is definitely more responsive than the Roubaix. The comfort is still there though when the bike is setup right.

The longest ride I've done so far on the Tarmac is just over 50 miles. We did that with one brief stop to adjust cleats and when I got off the bike I felt really good, better than when I had done the same mileage on my steel bike. I'm looking at several century+ rides this summer. I can't wait to see what those are like.
 

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morryjg said:
I think you guys nailed it. The Tarmac is definitely more responsive than the Roubaix. The comfort is still there though when the bike is setup right.

The longest ride I've done so far on the Tarmac is just over 50 miles. We did that with one brief stop to adjust cleats and when I got off the bike I felt really good, better than when I had done the same mileage on my steel bike. I'm looking at several century+ rides this summer. I can't wait to see what those are like.
Good for you, morry! And BTW, you're not old because I, too, have been riding since the mid 80's, and I'm not old!! :thumbsup:
 

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steel515 said:
How does Tarmac handle big bumps? I only test rode it for 5 minutes.
I'm not trying to be funny, but there are all kinds of big bumps. Some are raised, some are shallow (or not so shallow) holes. But, given that you used the word BIG, I'd say you're gonna feel those on any bike. If I see one coming, I raise myself a couple of inches off the saddle and coast over/ thru it - if possible. I've hit a couple on the Tarmac and felt them, for sure. But the bike is very solid and never gives me the feeling that it can't handle what's confronted. I can't compare it to the Roubaix because I've had more saddle time on the Tarmac, but I'd suspect the Roubaix would be a little more forgiving, but (to me) not worth giving up the attributes of the Tarmac all the other times (when big bumps aren't around).

Speaking of saddle time, given the potential financial outlay, IMO you should spend appreciably more time on both bikes. Only you can decide what is best for you. I spent the better part of a year riding as many bikes as I could fine. Ideally, have the bikes set up as close to perfect as you can get, because without even realizing it, your comfort on the bike is going to make you like it better - it will just inspire more confidence.

They're both nice bikes, but take your time and use your own criteria to make the decision. Then you'll end up with the bike that's right for you.
 

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For all you Spec Tarmac Comp fans, there's an article in the current Cycling Plus mag about the bike. It went up against a Raleigh, a Giant and I can't remember the other one, but it beat all of them.

It's a UK mag and goes for over $7 per issue and $96 per year, so being... umm... frugal, I loitered in the bookstore and read the article.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'll post again later this weekend and give a quick report. Today should be a 60+ maybe 70+ day. I took a half day and a friend of mine and I are going to do a long ride on some bike path here in Denver that we haven't done. Towards the end we are planning on a climb up Lookout in Golden, but we'll be 50 miles into the ride by then so it's still optional.

How does Tarmac handle big bumps?
I've taken it off some SWEET jumps!! :crazy: Oh wait....bumps...gotcha. I'd say it takes the edge off of them. But no matter what you are still riding a bike with no suspension that is super stiff so you will feel them. The piece that I really notice is the lack of the "road hum." And what I mean by that is that constant vibration that you get on a road bike. That's what all that carbon does. And I LOVE IT!!!! :D
 
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