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52 y/o rider in Colorado. I've been on my Seven Axiom for ? 8 years. Never a racer - I ride training rides in the Front Range usually with lots of hill climbing, which is hard to avoid, and take two or three multiday trips a summer putting together 100+ mile days, each usually over two or so mountain passes. I could care less about descent performance, since after several bicycle and dirt bike crashes I've really cut back on downhill speed. Bike comfort and sprint/climbing responsiveness are still important.

My LBS is pushing the Spec line which looks pretty tasty in the showroom (and I won't lie, eye candy is important). I'm set to take some test rides this week FWIW.

I've never really loved the Axiom, can't really say other than despite lots of attempts the fit was never perfect for me - 6'1" with long torso.

Memorable bikes I've owned or borrowed in past:

Trek CF, early model circa 1995 ish-used for several northern New Mex rides; loved this bike, really ate up the road expansion joints and climbed great; fond memories of this ride

Cannondale - Aluminum, fat frame bike, no idea of model since borrowed for southern Colo ride after my bike stolen, somewhere around 1998. Climbed like a mother, but harsh. I was just beat up after four 100 mile days.

Merlin Extralight - first Ti bike. Everything good but nothing great for me there. Didn't have it too long, traded it for a dirt bike and then later got the Seven.

Main question is - am I expecting too much from the new bikes, esp carbon, compared to past or current Ti bikes? As noted I plan to test ride but have found in past it's like trying out a new car - you can rule out some rides right away, but it's only after lots of miles can you determine if it's going to be a love affair or not.

TIA for any help. This is my first post but I've read multiple subforums and searches before posting - one of which claimed the Tarmac is more comfy than the Roubaix on rough roads, etc...
 

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Not sure about the other frames, but I have a '04 Roubaix Elite,Columbus SLT alum with carbon down tubes. I use it for centuries and find it very comfy. I'd imagine a full carbon Roubaix would ride even nicer. I'm 48 BTW.
 

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Just bought a 2010 Roubaix elite....I am the same size as you ...a little older...the bike is
definitely striking looking...people stop to stare at it. Ride is very solid and smooth...the bike
is a little heavy...so I don't know if thats a consideration. I bought a 58mm frame and it fits
quite well...I think even a 60 would be good if you want to bring the bars higher.
The 2011's are out with Sram apex group, which might be a good idea for the mountains...the
list price is actually lower than last years...retailers are selling for 1800. I paid 1600 for my
leftover with the 105 group.
 

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Nothing wrong with the Axiom. Roubaix won't be a big difference.

Now fit is a whole nother issue. If the Axiom doesn't fit a new bike that fits will make a bigger difference. Make sure the Roubaix fits.

Jeff
 

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I've had a Roubaix Pro for 3 years and absolutely love it. Very smooth, comfortable and great for climbing. I had it spec'd with Ultegra triple which I really appreciate. I would do it all over again.
 

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specailized makes some of the best bikes in the world. the roubiax is a incredible bike, if you dont race or decend you should probly get that. but do not get any older than 08, before that they were still figuring out carbon bikes and as a result they are not stiff, AT ALL. so my advice is, go for the the roubiax! :thumbsup:
 

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if you're not doing any racing, why would you want a race-geometry frame like the tarmac? get the best roubaix model that you can afford. And also look at other companies, they make good bikes also, and some may catch your eye.
 

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Tarmac vs Seven

I am in your age bracket and ride a Seven Elium Race and Cannondale CAAD 9. Used the C-Dale for after work rides and the Seven for B level club rides on the weekend. I wanted to try something different, so I sold the CAAD 9 and purchased a 2009 S-works Tarmac SL-2 frame. Saved my $$ and built it up in April 2010 with Sram Red. It is very light and stiff, but I prefer the ride of the Seven or even the CAAD 9. I now use the Seven for my after work rides, because the wide cracks in the asphalt trail are unbearable on the Tarmac SL2.. Ksyrium SL's were on both bikes. The Tarmac SL2 is a great bike for what it was designed for...racing...As much as I like the weight and looks of the frame, I am considering replacing it with a full Ti frame or another CAAD 9.
 

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I'm about the same age and currently do fast rec rides (raced long time ago) and think you should look at a custom bike for several reasons: you have fit issues (long torso) and you've got specific wants/needs from the ride qualities. Same reason to get custom handbuilt wheels - 150lb racer and a175lb fit/recreational rider have different needs, so why should they have the same build/equipment?

A good builder can fine tune the fit and the stiffness/comfort to your needs. The cost can be about the same as buying off-the-rack.

Having owned lots of bikes of all materials, I am partial to custom steel and titanium builds. I have some question about long term durability of carbon fiber, which IMHO is just the material du jour these days - it's popularity will fade just like aluminum and titanium did.

Although I can fit most 56/57cm bikes, I am partial to bikes that have good saddle setback and lower bottom bracket heights (stable ride). I have a Seven Axiom (2001) and have found that I prefer a lower bb for more stability on descents, which I do have on my Serotta and Richard Sachs.

I recently had a cyclocross/touring bike made by Jim Kish, full custom titanium (pic here https://gallery.roadbikereview.com/data/roadbike/501/medium/Kish_Titanium_Cyclocross-6.jpg. With various tubing diameters and wall thickness/butting, you can fine tune the rides to your needs. The frame and paint were under $3000 - quite reasonable for a bike that should last a lifetime.

Besides custom fitting, steel and ti bikes can be repainted easily to restore their luster or for a different look.
 

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DuctTape said:
..................I've never really loved the Axiom, can't really say other than despite lots of attempts the fit was never perfect for me - 6'1" with long torso.......
Interesting comment "despite lots of attempts", fit was never perfect.

Once you get your fit dialed in on any bike, can't you simply replicate that on another bike with a similar sized frame? I understand why you couldn't with a frame too large or too small and maybe that's what you are saying, that you can't get the bars/saddle/bottom bracket in the perfect alignment on your Axiom.

In my mind, you need to know what these measurements are so you'll know if any new frame/bike can be properly adjusted for you.

Remember you have to be careful with the taller headtube on a Roubaix.

Now for bikes. I'm a Ti bike guy and have a Merlin Magia and a Moots Compact SL. Rode the Magia for several years and really liked it.

An organized tour in Colorado took us to Steamboat Springs and we toured the Moots factory. So I had to get a Moots. The first time I ride it, it just didn't "feel" as good as my Merlin. I made sure wheels/tires and everything were consistent and rode it all year.

Still when I went back to the Merlin, it just seemed to "go" better. I now consider it my #1 ride and will likely sell the Moots frame.

That being said, I'm seriously looking at either a Roubaix or a Cervelo RS frame to put all those components on. Two friends have 2009 model Roubaix (one an SL) and love them. One buddy has a 2009 Cervelo RS and loves it. Probably couldn't go wrong either way but who knows. I never thought two top end Ti bikes could feel so different.

I'd test ride whatever you are looking at for as long as possible. Uphill, downhill, and certainly over some rough pavement.

And maybe in the middle of your test ride, get back on your Axiom just to compare immediately.
 

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If fit is a problem then it would make sense to replace the bike with a frame that fits better. However, going from a Seven to a Specialized (regardless of what the frame is made from) sounds like a step down to me.
 

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"I've never really loved the Axiom"
"the fit was never perfect for me"

dump it and get something that excites you
 

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If you know you have a long torso, do you really expect to fit a stock OEM frame?

It sounds like you're craving carbon and I'll respect that, but I'd caution against buying a carbon frame because you love the FEEL of the ride when you may be ignoring the more important feature, fitting your long torso.

I personally think you'll find more "comfort" from a carbon fork and that may be where you should focus your search; I don't think main frames flex that much in the vertical plane to provide shock absorption.

I see no reason why you couldn't find a custom steel frame that provides the comfort and responsiveness you seek. I mention steel only because there are a load of custom builders in Colorado and you're fortunate to have access to them. I think it would be worth the road trip.

Since you're already on titanium, I could assume you prefer a maintenance-free material. Lennard Zinn, in CO by the way, specializes in frames for tall guys like you, and in titanium. I see no reason why he couldn't fine tune a titanium frame to give you the qualities you want.

I can't offer any suggestions for your carbon choices, but whichever you choose, don't place any desires for carbon lust of fitting the frame to your specific body geometry.
 

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You ever think about a HT 29er and using slicks for the type of riding you do? Specialized S-works 29er would be at the top of my list if I did the kind of riding you did. Rugged, yet rigid on the climbs, Extremely light and perfect for road riding as well, and a lot more comfortable since you got a wider range of tire size / choice options.
 
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