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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I generally ride mountain bikes, but due to our soil and weather the trails can be closed for quite a few days. Mix that in with work and family life and it's easy to not get enough rides in during the week. Fortunately, I live next to an inner city lake that has a 26 mile concrete trail network and is very popular with the road riders in our area.

So, I've decided to purchase a road bike to supplement my off road rides. I'm considering a Specialized Roubaix and a Felt Z5, which are both in the price range I need to stay in. I'd prefer to get a decent bike that I can grow into and won't feel like I need to start the upgrade process for awhile.

Hoping you can share some pros and/or cons of these two bikes. Also would apprciate any other suggestions you might have. Someone suggested the Trek Madone, but I've read a few negative reviews on this bike.

Thanks in advance.
 

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I have a Felt Z85 which uses the same crank and IMHO it's not that great of a crank. I'm actually taking the bike in for service today since there is now vertical play in the crank and part of the teeth are already worn down (I've only had it since April).
 

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While I don't have experience with the bikes you've mentioned, these tips may help:

-Ride as many bikes in your price range as you can. Minor differences in fit and geometry can make the difference between a great and not so great bike.

-Most brands will have an offering at each level of componentry (105/Ultegra/Dura-Ace, or the equivalent SRAM gear).

-Be aware that the Roubaix and other bikes in its class are considered a relaxed geometry bike. It would be great for riding the trail you are mentioning, or doing longer rides where comfort is a factor. However, it wouldn't be most people's choice for a race bike, if you have any intention of doing that sort of thing down the road.

-If you don't already have a local favourite, shopping for a bike store is an important part of the process. You may find two nearly identical bikes from different brands in your search, but a difference in service level from the given stores. Definitely make this a consideration.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
fsdork,

Duly noted on riding as many bikes as possible, and always my suggestion to anyone asking about mountain bikes. I'm okay with the relaxed geometry.

No racing in my future, but being able to ride comfortably on a centry ride would be really cool on a charity or training ride would be super sweet.

I'm fortunate in that there are no less than 12 shops within a 30 minute drive from my house. I do have a couple that I frequent more than others because of the personalities.
 

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I'm a noob with a Roubaix and love it! It is a very comfortable, and at least to me, responsive bike. The brakes are on the weak side, I'm thinking of upgrading from the generic brakes that came on my bike to 105's or Ultegra's. Other then that, I enjoy it. Looking forward to getting into shape so I can do some longer rides.
 

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Few of us ever really outgrow our bikes as far as our abilities go, so you don't really have to worry about upgrading because your bike's performance isn't on par with your own.

In any case, that doesn't stop us from spending big money on bikes whose properties don't make us any faster. What it boils down to is just figuring out what you think looks coolest, setting a budget, and then buying whatever you like in that price range.
 

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It's funny- there are SO many mountain bikers (ex or otherwise) who ride Roubaix's (myself included).
I'm a huuuge fan! :thumbsup:
(and yes, I test rode many many bicycles)
I confess I do drool over the Tarmac SL3's- but if I had one, I bet I'd still ride the Roubaix more.

Hell, I like mine so much, I bought a second one! (better frameset) :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
oroy38 said:
Few of us ever really outgrow our bikes as far as our abilities go, so you don't really have to worry about upgrading because your bike's performance isn't on par with your own.

In any case, that doesn't stop us from spending big money on bikes whose properties don't make us any faster. What it boils down to is just figuring out what you think looks coolest, setting a budget, and then buying whatever you like in that price range.

I'm not sure I agree with this. I'm pretty sure if I ran down and bought a $300 bike, that I would outgrow the capabilities of it pretty quick. The reason I chose the bikes I did is that thought they would provide a frame and enough quality parts to keep me from having to upgrade within a year or so. While I also agree that looks are incredibly important, my main concern is fit and feel, which is so important on a road bike.
 

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xrayjay said:
I'm not sure I agree with this. I'm pretty sure if I ran down and bought a $300 bike, that I would outgrow the capabilities of it pretty quick. The reason I chose the bikes I did is that thought they would provide a frame and enough quality parts to keep me from having to upgrade within a year or so. While I also agree that looks are incredibly important, my main concern is fit and feel, which is so important on a road bike.
Remembering that there's a big difference between want and need, if you were to buy a $300 bike you might, as you build saddle time, outgrow the bike. But IME it's safe to say that most cyclists over buy what they really need, so in those instances I think oroy38 has a point.

Same with upgrades. IMO most cyclists upgrade because they want to, not because they need to, most buying 'better' (read, lighter) wheelsets because the OEM's 'sucked'. But I would guess they still functioned fine with the rider rationalizing that they needed the upgraded wheelset when the fact was, they wanted them.

All that aside, kudo's to you for understanding the importance of fit/ feel. Nothing trumps fit because (long term) that's what'll motivate you to keep riding, and IME test rides are the best way to determine your preferences in fit/ feel, ride and handling. As another poster mentioned, test ride some brands/ models and whittle the field from there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Great, we're all on the same page. Now, can someone please comment on the two models I've asked about? Or possibly offer up some other models to test ride in the $2K range? Just trying to figure out what to test ride, not test ride, etc.
 

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get what feels good and doesn't have a cheap FSA crankset. not all FSA crancksetsa are cheap, but the one on the felt you noted is, as is the gossamer. otherwise I agree with the above idea that you aren't likely to buy a roadbike that you will out-ride.
 

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I just did the same thing as you and ended up with a Bianchi Vigorelli. It is steel, so heavier than the roubaix (21 lbs with pedals) but quite a bit cheaper as they are crurrently on sale.
 

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I have owned both a Felt Z series and a Specialized Roubaix. Pretty different bikes performance wise. The Z series is a little racier than the Roubaix and I know quite a few guys that do race them. The Roubaix even with its race heritage is a pretty damn comfortable bike. My wife is currently riding a 2010 Roubaix expert and I am looking at a 2011 S Works Roubaix for myself. Bikes are easy to maintain and are laid out nicely. At the Expert level I liked the Specialized components better than the Felt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
rward325 said:
I have owned both a Felt Z series and a Specialized Roubaix. Pretty different bikes performance wise. The Z series is a little racier than the Roubaix and I know quite a few guys that do race them. The Roubaix even with its race heritage is a pretty damn comfortable bike. My wife is currently riding a 2010 Roubaix expert and I am looking at a 2011 S Works Roubaix for myself. Bikes are easy to maintain and are laid out nicely. At the Expert level I liked the Specialized components better than the Felt.
Thank you for this response. Since racing isn't in my plans, I'm leaning towards comfort over speed.
 

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I just added a road bike to my MTB riding and bought a new carbon fiber bike with Shimano 105 group for under $2500. Local bike shops were out of many models because of higher then expected demand, I tried Specialized Tarmac and Roubaix, Canon Synapse Alum and Carbon, Jamis Endura and finally saw "my" bike, it was the only Gary Fisher Cronus in stock, and in my size 56cm, it fit perfect and I loved it, has 10-20 mm taller head tube for comfort but has super stiff construction, check out the reviews, you may find it works for you too.
http://fisherbikes.com/bike/model/cronus
http://bicycling.com/blogs/thisjustin/2009/07/29/2010-gary-fisher-road-preview/
http://video.bicycling.com/video/GaryFisherCronus
 

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I've got an '08 Roubaix w/ an FSA Gossamer crank/MegaExo BB and have yet to experience any issues w/ either at ~1300 miles but I might just be lucky (or not have enough miles on it yet to have experienced any problems). Figure if I have issues it will be a good excuse to upgrade.

Anyways, I really like my Roubaix for training and distance rides. Some of the other road bikes I have ridden may have offered a slightly more immediate handling feel and a lower, more aero posture by default, but the Roubaix doesn't feel particularly rubbery to me by any means and it seems like there's a fair amount of flexibility to how upright you set up the bike based on stem, bar and saddle positioning. It does feel like a pretty long wheelbase compared to others, but that can have both positive and negative implications depending on what you're looking for.

Another bike I might check out is the Giant Defy Advanced. Got a fair bit of miles on one of these last week and was pretty impressed. It's still a plush style geometry but slightly more towards the race end of the spectrum and a good deal shorter/more compact feeling.
 
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