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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for my first road bike and trying to decided which route to go. Alum bike (sectur, 2.3 trek) or a lower end carbon? The two bikes I am debating on are the Specialized Roubaix line or the Trek 4.0. Both bike shops sold it as being better then the other with the built in iso tech on the trek and zerts on the Specialized. I did a new store mini ride on the Specialized and it was a great ride but really need to wait for the weather to break to test drive longer. I really don't want to go over 2,000 bucks and the domane 4.0 will be on sale in March for 1700.00.The Roubaix is 1600.00. I am comparing sora on the Roubaix which I was told is last years 105 and the Trek 4.0 with Tegra. I just wonder how well the domane rides with its new technology in Alum like the 2.3 .I would hate to spend this kind of money and not ride it much and though that money away.
All my roadie friends are saying do carbon but I worry about the durability and price.

Thoughts?
 

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Both are fine bikes. Personally I'd go with the Roubaix because I like Specialized better than Trek. 2 factors that are important are which bike shop you like better and which paint job you like better. Good luck!
 

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I took a 2.3 and a 4.5 Domane for couple hour rides each before buying. Both are nice bikes, very comfortable endurance geometry. The carbon frame is noticeably more compliant over bumps/rough roads. I didn't ride the Specialized so can't comment on that comparison. I will say the 2.3 and 4.5 both shifted very nicely.
 

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I'd go for neither. Both brands suck. Be different. Buy a bike that 8,000,000 other people don't have.
 

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My advice is to test ride all the bikes under consideration (preferably with appropriate tire pressures for your weight/ tire size and road conditions), narrowing the field from there. Focus on fit/ feel, ride and handling along with control placement/ function.

Make these test rides real.. as in, out on the roads, ideally in similar terrain that you'll be riding, and consider which LBS's emphasize the importance of sizing (and those test rides) because IMO/E, that's what separates the better shops.

If other brands are offered in your area, I suggest branching out some and test riding those. There's nothing wrong with any of the bikes you're considering, and you may well go back to one of them, but at least take some time to check out other offerings before deciding.

Lastly, I wouldn't get too caught up in iso tech/ zertz anything. Many brands resort to techno-jargon to separate themselves with others. Use test rides to determine what really feels best to you.
 

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I am comparing sora on the Roubaix which I was told is last years 105 and the Trek 4.0 with Tegra.
Not trying to steer you away from the Roubaix (or Sora), because (IMO) it's a nice bike and a nice groupset, but Sora isn't last year's 105. Tiagra 4600 comes the closest to Shimano's (5600) 105.
 

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I have a 2013 Trek Madone 2.3 and it comes with a 105 group set as does the Domane. The only Tigara piece is the rear cassette and the main crank is an R565. I actually looked at the 3 series for the carbon frame, but the components were downgraded to Tiagra. It also wasn't that much lighter so I opted for the better components.
 

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He's claiming that last year's 105 is this year's sora? I think someone is trying to rip you off.

Roubiax Compact: MSRP $1750.00
Domane 4.0: MSRP $2099.99

Don't look at the price tag however. Ride the frames and see how you feel. I would suggest you to consider a slightly more expensive Specialized like the Roubiax Sport Compact which comes with Tiagra parts.
 

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The Domane has much better ride quality than the Roubaix. The iso-speed system allows the saddle to move up to 32mm when absorbing bumps. the zertz in the Roubaix do nothing for bump absorption. they do damp some road vibration, but it's generally accepted to be at frequencies not normally encountered on the road. The Domane is also a lot stiffer through the front end of the frame and in my opinion (yes, i've ridden both, more than once) handles better.
Yes, i work at a Trek dealer. But after riding both bikes the Domane is much, much better at doing what it's designed to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I took a 2.3 and a 4.5 Domane for couple hour rides each before buying. Both are nice bikes, very comfortable endurance geometry. The carbon frame is noticeably more compliant over bumps/rough roads. I didn't ride the Specialized so can't comment on that comparison. I will say the 2.3 and 4.5 both shifted very nicely.
Its funny you say this I stopped by the LBS today and the guy stated them might have the 4.5 for 20-25% off for one day only coming in March. That price would have me look closer at the 4.5 then the 4.0 or 2.3. He really wanted to sell me the 4.5 for alot of reasons over the 4.0. You get the race wheels, tubless ready and 105 components. If I get the 4.0 and upgrade the wheels I am looking at 600 which is the difference between the 4.0 and 4.5 2000.00 vs 2600.00 for the 4.5. At that upgraded price you are getting better components too!!! I really need to test drive these bikes hoping for a break in the weather soon before there sale. The other thing that concerns me is transport. I have top tube 5 bike yakiama rack i bought last year and now I read Trek doesn't recommend those racks for carbon. I would have to get a new rack aghhh..
 

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Its funny you say this I stopped by the LBS today and the guy stated them might have the 4.5 for 20-25% off for one day only coming in March. That price would have me look closer at the 4.5 then the 4.0 or 2.3. He really wanted to sell me the 4.5 for alot of reasons over the 4.0. You get the race wheels, tubless ready and 105 components. If I get the 4.0 and upgrade the wheels I am looking at 600 which is the difference between the 4.0 and 4.5 2000.00 vs 2600.00 for the 4.5. At that upgraded price you are getting better components too!!! I really need to test drive these bikes hoping for a break in the weather soon before there sale. The other thing that concerns me is transport. I have top tube 5 bike yakiama rack i bought last year and now I read Trek doesn't recommend those racks for carbon. I would have to get a new rack aghhh..
Actually, the 4.5 has a mix of both 105 and Ultegra, in addition to the lighter wheels.
 

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My advice is to test ride all the bikes under consideration (preferably with appropriate tire pressures for your weight/ tire size and road conditions), narrowing the field from there. Focus on fit/ feel, ride and handling along with control placement/ function.

Make these test rides real.. as in, out on the roads, ideally in similar terrain that you'll be riding, and consider which LBS's emphasize the importance of sizing (and those test rides) because IMO/E, that's what separates the better shops.

If other brands are offered in your area, I suggest branching out some and test riding those. There's nothing wrong with any of the bikes you're considering, and you may well go back to one of them, but at least take some time to check out other offerings before deciding.

Lastly, I wouldn't get too caught up in iso tech/ zertz anything. Many brands resort to techno-jargon to separate themselves with others. Use test rides to determine what really feels best to you.

This I agree with +1
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I took a 2.3 and a 4.5 Domane for couple hour rides each before buying. Both are nice bikes, very comfortable endurance geometry. The carbon frame is noticeably more compliant over bumps/rough roads. I didn't ride the Specialized so can't comment on that comparison. I will say the 2.3 and 4.5 both shifted very nicely.
I am glad you like yours. I worry about durability of the carbon at this point. I really don't want to buy another bike rack. I wonder if my lbs will let me go on a ride that long. If a beginner road rider I wonder if I will notice the compliance between the too.
 

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I am glad you like yours. I worry about durability of the carbon at this point. I really don't want to buy another bike rack. I wonder if my lbs will let me go on a ride that long. If a beginner road rider I wonder if I will notice the compliance between the too.
Honestly, I wouldn't worry about the durability of carbon fiber at this point. It's proven and capable. I remember 12-13 years ago in the dirt bike world they were making bash guards out of CF. And IMO the difference in ride is noticeable. Not night and day, but going from my aluminum Trek 2.1 to my carbon Giant Defy Composite, road noise is more muted on the carbon bike. Buzzy roads are muted to a lower frequency that doesn't seem to bother me as quickly.

Which reminds me, if you have a Giant dealer around check out the Defy line as well. You can pick up something with a bit better parts spec versus a Trek or Specialized model. Though from the reports I've read the Domane really works exactly as advertised with the flexible seat tube attachment.

Also, don't get hung up on "bike A shifted better than bike B" on a test ride. That's just parts tuning. The only real reason I test rode my new bike was because it has SRAM and I've only ever used Shimano. And it seemed expected that I would take a spin around the block on it.

Can't help with the rack situation, as I prefer a roof rack with fork mount for transporting my bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Honestly, I wouldn't worry about the durability of carbon fiber at this point. It's proven and capable. I remember 12-13 years ago in the dirt bike world they were making bash guards out of CF. And IMO the difference in ride is noticeable. Not night and day, but going from my aluminum Trek 2.1 to my carbon Giant Defy Composite, road noise is more muted on the carbon bike. Buzzy roads are muted to a lower frequency that doesn't seem to bother me as quickly.

Which reminds me, if you have a Giant dealer around check out the Defy line as well. You can pick up something with a bit better parts spec versus a Trek or Specialized model. Though from the reports I've read the Domane really works exactly as advertised with the flexible seat tube attachment.

Also, don't get hung up on "bike A shifted better than bike B" on a test ride. That's just parts tuning. The only real reason I test rode my new bike was because it has SRAM and I've only ever used Shimano. And it seemed expected that I would take a spin around the block on it.

Can't help with the rack situation, as I prefer a roof rack with fork mount for transporting my bikes.
I will check out the giant dealer in town. Not much to do but research when its snowing sideways right now. I don't think the shifting is going to bug me to bad as I don't have anything to compare it to yet. I will try to keep an open mind on that. All my friends ride Aluminum so i don't have many to ask what they think of there carbon bikes. The more looking around on the internet I do as far as reviews go the more I am leaning toward the Domane.It sounds like most like it no matter if its alum or not by design.
Talking to the bike store last night he stated they did a road trip to California to test some new 2013 bikes and one of the guys forgot to clip out at the right time and broke the rear derailer on a brand new Domane. Talk about bad luck aghhh... :mad2:
As far as the rack goes i started thinking if I put my seats down I can fit my bike in the back of my trailblazer with the front wheel is off. The front wheels come off alot easier then they did 10 years ago when I bought my last bike.:)
 

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I am glad you like yours. I worry about durability of the carbon at this point. I really don't want to buy another bike rack. I wonder if my lbs will let me go on a ride that long. If a beginner road rider I wonder if I will notice the compliance between the too.
I've been riding less than a year. When I bought the Domane in Sept last year, I had been riding a dual sport Trek since June and had not ridden before that since I was in my early teens (now 56). I can say the difference in compliance was definitely noticable for me. 2 hours was a good test of the bikes, but an hour probably would have been adequate. The last hour of each ride is when I really got a feel for the difference in sizing (the 2.3 was a 56cm, and the 4.5 was a 58cm). For a bike rack, I picked up a Thule rack that holds the bike by the tires, not the frame. I haven't had a chance to use it though as my rides start at home, no reason for transporting yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I have a buddy who suggested I look at a Surly Crosscheck. Its a simple bike but for a newbie the cromely frame is durable, bombproof for crashes. He has had carbon and alum in his past and settled on the cross check which being steel handles the road well iHHO. I just need to find a dealer that has one to look at . Thoughts on this compared to a Alum with carbon seat and fork?
 
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