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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone. I recently had an interest to get into cycling and am trying to decide on a bike to get. I looked at two LBS this past weekend and the guys there were very helpful in explaining a lot of different aspects about cycling. I've narrowed down my search to the Specialized Roubaix Sport Compact and the Cannondale CAAD 104 Rival.

The potential drawback to the the bikes is that due to my short stature (5'3) I need a small frame, specifically a 44. The LBS salesmen said they can be ordered in 44 but I do not see them on the website. Anyone know if it is in fact possible to get a 44?

Additionally, has anyone rode either/both bikes? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
 

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You're comparing two different bike styles. The CAAD is an aggressive geometry frame--one of the most aggressive alloy frames. The Roubaix is a more relaxed geometry endurance-oriented frame, although it can be raced. You really need to ride both (if someone can find a frame in your size) to see which geometry/handling you prefer. Top grade alloy vs. entry level carbon, for the frame, isn't that big a deal. In fact, the CAAD may even be lighter.

IMO the CAAD comes better equipped. Esepecially the wheels. Fulcrum 7s are a much better wheelset than the entry-level Axis 1.0s on the Roubaix. I would also say that all-Rival trumps the 105/Tiagra mix.

Just out of curiosity, and not trying to be a smart-aleck....what makes you think you need a 44 cm frame? Have you sized bikes elsewhere? Has some shop told you that you need that size? Used an online sizing guide?

But if that's your correct size, one thing you might do is test ride some women-specific designed frames, which typically have a shorter top tube/taller head tube that men's frames in the same size.

I'd hate to see you spend close to 2 grand on a bike, ordering blind, without knowing whether you'll ever be able to be fitted to it.
 

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One additional comment, if you want to do apples-to-apples comparisons among bikes of similar geometries, it's CAAD vs. Allez or Tarmac, and Roubaix vs. Synapse (either alloy or CF).

If you're new to this, I'd suggest testing as many as you can. Somewhere in that mix you'll find what you like best. Out of all of those bikes, for myself, the one I think I'd like best is the Synapse CF with 105. Very decently equipped and just a little more than the Roubaix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the response.Went to local bike shops this weekend and sat on a trek that they said was a womans 50 and it felt alright with 2 feet planted. Yesterday went to another shop and it was a 44 and it was just comfortable enough and that was a womans cannondale. both shops assured me that if i went with specialized, cannondale, or trek, i could get a mens size but i dont see any listings online about any of that.
 

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Thanks for the response.Went to local bike shops this weekend and sat on a trek that they said was a womans 50 and it felt alright with 2 feet planted. Yesterday went to another shop and it was a 44 and it was just comfortable enough and that was a womans cannondale. both shops assured me that if i went with specialized, cannondale, or trek, i could get a mens size but i dont see any listings online about any of that.
You may find this thread helpful:
http://forums.roadbikereview.com/be...et-fitted-bike-fits-not-one-stock-304736.html

I'm not going to try to size you over the internet, but the shops saying you could get a "men's" bike in their brands are probably thinking you could fit on a 49 or 50cm frame. That may or may not be true, but 44cm does seem a bit on the small side for someone 5'3", but those folks have seen you (presumably on bikes) and I haven't.

BTW, forget mens and womens bike designations. During your shopping/ test rides, focus on what fits and feels right. If it happens to be a WSD bike, so be it. Same goes for standard (men's) geo. Whatever fit/ feels best, wins.
 

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You may find this thread helpful:
http://forums.roadbikereview.com/be...et-fitted-bike-fits-not-one-stock-304736.html

I'm not going to try to size you over the internet, but the shops saying you could get a "men's" bike in their brands are probably thinking you could fit on a 49 or 50cm frame. That may or may not be true, but 44cm does seem a bit on the small side for someone 5'3", but those folks have seen you (presumably on bikes) and I haven't.

BTW, forget mens and womens bike designations. During your shopping/ test rides, focus on what fits and feels right. If it happens to be a WSD bike, so be it. Same goes for standard (men's) geo. Whatever fit/ feels best, wins.
+1

Great Advice!
 

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You're comparing two different bike styles. The CAAD is an aggressive geometry frame--one of the most aggressive alloy frames. The Roubaix is a more relaxed geometry endurance-oriented frame, although it can be raced. You really need to ride both (if someone can find a frame in your size) to see which geometry/handling you prefer. Top grade alloy vs. entry level carbon, for the frame, isn't that big a deal. In fact, the CAAD may even be lighter.

IMO the CAAD comes better equipped. Esepecially the wheels. Fulcrum 7s are a much better wheelset than the entry-level Axis 1.0s on the Roubaix. I would also say that all-Rival trumps the 105/Tiagra mix.

Just out of curiosity, and not trying to be a smart-aleck....what makes you think you need a 44 cm frame? Have you sized bikes elsewhere? Has some shop told you that you need that size? Used an online sizing guide?

But if that's your correct size, one thing you might do is test ride some women-specific designed frames, which typically have a shorter top tube/taller head tube that men's frames in the same size.

I'd hate to see you spend close to 2 grand on a bike, ordering blind, without knowing whether you'll ever be able to be fitted to it.
One additional comment, if you want to do apples-to-apples comparisons among bikes of similar geometries, it's CAAD vs. Allez or Tarmac, and Roubaix vs. Synapse (either alloy or CF).

If you're new to this, I'd suggest testing as many as you can. Somewhere in that mix you'll find what you like best. Out of all of those bikes, for myself, the one I think I'd like best is the Synapse CF with 105. Very decently equipped and just a little more than the Roubaix.
+1

Best advice eva! :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think I'm going to have to face that the roubaix is not going to be possible. The smallest Roubaix is 49cm and I don't feel comfortable dropping a couple grand on a girls bike. Same deal with cannondale. Jamis seems to have mens in 48 although I'm not sure if that would make that big of a difference.
 

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I think I'm going to have to face that the roubaix is not going to be possible. The smallest Roubaix is 49cm and I don't feel comfortable dropping a couple grand on a girls bike. Same deal with cannondale. Jamis seems to have mens in 48 although I'm not sure if that would make that big of a difference.
What's wrong with a girl's bike? Maybe some of your cycling frames will poke fun at you.... but a properly fitted bike makes a worlds of difference in enjoying the ride.

Many of their paint jobs, you can't tell it was painted with a palette for the women.
 

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Did you look at your stats on the CC fit table? I am 5'3 but female and did not want WSD, but my legs are 32 inseam so I am probably differently proportioned than a guy. Do trek have smaller options? I got my bikes from BD so I don't know anything about branded bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm a 28 inseam. And I think Trek is measured a bit smaller as I sat on a 50 and both feet comfortably touched the ground. I just have a lot of testing out to do. But I really like the specialized roubaix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Went back to the shop after work yesterdya and sat on a cannondale. The store manager said he has rode numerous cannondales and the one he put me on, which I believe was a 51, was (size was) between a specialized roubaix and tarmac fit. he said the roubaix 49 might actually be a bit too small for arm length but it's worth looking at.

So now I'm trying to find a store in the country that has it in a 49cm since they're out of that bike in that size in this sales reps area. Should be an interesting adventure
 

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Went back to the shop after work yesterdya and sat on a cannondale. The store manager said he has rode numerous cannondales and the one he put me on, which I believe was a 51, was (size was) between a specialized roubaix and tarmac fit. he said the roubaix 49 might actually be a bit too small for arm length but it's worth looking at.

So now I'm trying to find a store in the country that has it in a 49cm since they're out of that bike in that size in this sales reps area. Should be an interesting adventure
You're making progress, and your post brings up an important point. That being, the proof of how well (or not so well) a bike fits is in the riding. 'Sitting' on a bike is a start, but that'll just tell you what the static fit feels like. Out on the road, you'll get a sense of the dynamic fit, because we tend to adjust/ settle into a position on those 'real' rides.

That said, while the ideal would be to find a 49CM Roubaix, in lieu of that (and since you can now use the C'dale as a baseline for comparison), post the year, model and frame size of the C'dale and we can compare it's geo to the 49cm Roubaix. This method is second best to finding the Roubaix, but will give you an idea of how viable the 49cm will be in terms of fit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
it was a '13 Cannondale Synapse. I don't know specific model of synapse. It was a 51cm. I would have rode it yesterday but i was in my work clothes so I brought shorts and a t shirt today and am going to test it off if I get off in time. Will update you as to how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
it was a '13 Cannondale Synapse. I don't know specific model of synapse. It was a 51cm. I would have rode it yesterday but i was in my work clothes so I brought shorts and a t shirt today and am going to test it off if I get off in time. Will update you as to how it goes.
 

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it was a '13 Cannondale Synapse. I don't know specific model of synapse. It was a 51cm. I would have rode it yesterday but i was in my work clothes so I brought shorts and a t shirt today and am going to test it off if I get off in time. Will update you as to how it goes.
From what I can tell, reach on the 49cm Roubaix is ~1.4cm's longer than the C'dale, so (assuming you were comfortable on the C'dale) you'd probably run a 1cm shorter stem on the Roubaix.

Frame stack, which affects saddle to bar drop, is 2cm's lower on the Roubaix, so you may find it necessary to use a stem angled up to make up for the 2cm's. This, of course, depends on rider preferences.

Something to consider here... the 52cm Roubaix is only 1mm longer in reach and has essentially the same stack height as the C'dale, so you may want to hunt down a 52 to try out.

One observation. You mentioned having an inseam of 28 inches. That equates to 711mm's, but the 51cm C'dales stand over is 756mm's. Assuming you stood flat footed and weren't wearing thick soled shoes, that inseam measurement probably isn't your cycling inseam.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
From what I can tell, reach on the 49cm Roubaix is ~1.4cm's longer than the C'dale, so (assuming you were comfortable on the C'dale) you'd probably run a 1cm shorter stem on the Roubaix.

Frame stack, which affects saddle to bar drop, is 2cm's lower on the Roubaix, so you may find it necessary to use a stem angled up to make up for the 2cm's. This, of course, depends on rider preferences.

Something to consider here... the 52cm Roubaix is only 1mm longer in reach and has essentially the same stack height as the C'dale, so you may want to hunt down a 52 to try out.

One observation. You mentioned having an inseam of 28 inches. That equates to 711mm's, but the 51cm C'dales stand over is 756mm's. Assuming you stood flat footed and weren't wearing thick soled shoes, that inseam measurement probably isn't your cycling inseam.
I actually found out that my lbs can get a 49cm Roubaix Elite Compact. Might order it after work. The shop said if we get it in and it isn't a good fit, full money back within 30 days, no questions. They're just trying to find a ride I like and am a good fit for.
 

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I actually found out that my lbs can get a 49cm Roubaix Elite Compact. Might order it after work. The shop said if we get it in and it isn't a good fit, full money back within 30 days, no questions. They're just trying to find a ride I like and am a good fit for.
Can't do better than that. Sounds like a good shop.

Just a FYI (and this may be the model the shop is referring to), Specialized has the Roubaix Elite Apex on sale for $1900 thru May 31.

Specialized Bicycle Components
 
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