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Allez Expert, Roubaix Comp, or Tarmac Comp?

  • Allez

    Votes: 3 12.5%
  • Roubaix

    Votes: 12 50.0%
  • Tarmac

    Votes: 9 37.5%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everybody,
I think I have settled (finally, at least, for now) on getting a specialized road bike this summer, but the question is which one? I am looking in the 1800-2200 range, and unfortunately the myraid selection of speshys in that price range is rather confounding. So, for those of you who have ridden one or more, what are your impressions of the following?

1) Allez Expert
2) Roubaix Comp
3) Tarmac Comp


I think it is basically a question of frame-versus-component quality, but just how much better than the allez or roubaix is the tarmac? Also, entirely biasedly-bigot-ish opinions are more than welcome, especially opinions about the paint job(s).



Thanks for the input,
David
 

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I'm not sure it's a question of which is "better" in terms of quality, as it is other factors; if I recall, the geometries are different between the models you mentioned. I remember researching all this when we bought my wife's bike. The Allez has more of a compact geometry, whereas the Roubaix puts the rider in a more upright (and possibly less aggressive) position. A knowedgable Specialized dealer should be able to point out all of the pros and cons of each model in relation to the other.

What's your intended use for the bike? Racing? Slow, long distance rides? Club rides? While each of the bikes you mentioned might perform admirably at any road pursuit, each will lend itself better to specific types of riding. For example, you might like a certain bike for short races, but it'd leave you feeling fatigued on a 100 mile ride.

Also, is there a reason you're focusing on just Specialized? In your stated price range, there are a heck of a lot of great bikes. IMHO, you'll have a better basis for comparison if, in addition to comparing one brand's bikes, you compare models from many different companies. If after trying Treks, Felts, Cannondales, Serottas, etc. you settle on the Specialized, that's great, but I wouldn't limit yourself to one brand before riding a number of others.

Before my wife decided on her Specialized, I think she tried 5 or 6 other brands of bikes in the same price range. That being said, I hope you get to ride each of the bikes you're considering; it makes a huge difference to be able to get out on each for quite a few miles.

best of luck choosing.
 

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I agree that the 3 bikes have somewhat different characteristics. The Allez and Tarmac are the "racier" two bikes, where the Roubaix is suited a little more to the touring, long ride side.

My sister has an Allez, and while it works well for her I find it to be very harsh and too aggressive of a position for me (I'm a newly converted roadie coming from mountain bikes). For me, the positioning of the Roubaix was what helped me decide.

It was upright enough to make me feel comfortable, but it is anything but a touring bike. Its got plenty of snap, and with the right rider can be ridden quite competitively. That being said, it isn't for everyone. I love mine, but that is because it fits exactly the purpose I need it to.
 

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different, but all worthwhile

I have both an Allez and a Tarmac (purchased 2 years apart, team deals). The Allez is indeed a little snappier and quicker turn-in than the Tarmac, but the Tarmac is more nicely damped. I choose the Tarmac every time I go out.

The pros ride all 3 of them happily; there are Roubaix's in the tour used by the sprinters, climbers, and all, alive. Sometimes they use the Tarmac.

So hop on one, see which one you like best. It's not going to hurt you any, depending on which one you choose.

My only advice is I love the carbon, if price is equal or not a factor. It's nicer at the end of 50-60 miles or more, I've found.
 
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