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Specialized Roubaix vs. Trek Madone

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
After looking at the Pedalforce site (great deal on frames by the way) and totalling up components, saddle, wheels, etc., I have come to the conclusion that buying a complete bike is the best option for me at the moment and near future. That being said . . . . I have been comparing the Specialized Roubaix vs. the Trek Madone (really doesn't matter what version of the Roubaix or Madone is being discussed since each utilizes the same geometry for the various version of each bike) and am curious to know if the Madone is considered a "plush" (i.e. comfortable road bike with a more upright riding position) like the Roubaix? I used to ride a Specialized Tarmac and felt too stretched out on the bike. If anyone on the forum has ridden one or both I would be interested in knowing your thoughts on these two bikes.

Thanks,

Oz
post #2 of 18

Re: Specialized Roubaix vs. Trek Madone

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosborn
After looking at the Pedalforce site (great deal on frames by the way) and totalling up components, saddle, wheels, etc., I have come to the conclusion that buying a complete bike is the best option for me at the moment and near future. That being said . . . . I have been comparing the Specialized Roubaix vs. the Trek Madone (really doesn't matter what version of the Roubaix or Madone is being discussed since each utilizes the same geometry for the various version of each bike) and am curious to know if the Madone is considered a "plush" (i.e. comfortable road bike with a more upright riding position) like the Roubaix? I used to ride a Specialized Tarmac and felt too stretched out on the bike. If anyone on the forum has ridden one or both I would be interested in knowing your thoughts on these two bikes.

Thanks,

Oz
I rode a loaner Roubaix for a couple of weeks last year and it was OK. Nothing to write home about. It felt just like what it is, another cookie cutter bike, but a good one. I can't compare it to a Madone as I have not had a chance to try one, at least not one in my size.
post #3 of 18

Re: Specialized Roubaix vs. Trek Madone

Madone - Depending on the model, and the fit, could definitely work for you. The upper level madones are almost exclusively racing purebreds. They offer you aggressive, stiff, and responsive frames. The frames (of the 6.9, 5.5 and 5.2 that I've ridden) are all pretty rigid feeling, though they dampen the road buzz considerably. More "get up and go" than the Roubaixs IMO... Race bikes. You can build a madone to be more "upright" simply in the choice of your stem.



Roubaix - With the zertz inserts (sort of gimmicky, but effective to a degree) a more plush ride. Still sporty, but less aggressive frame geometry (most notably in the head tube and length of the wheel base). Overall, I'd say it would take less modification to the rubaix frame to get the ride you desire.

Just remember that the fit of the bike is the most important factor in your decision. Get a good sizing and fit done. Feeling stretched out is one of the number one signs of an improper fit. You likely need a shorter effective top-tube distance.

Happy hunting!
post #4 of 18

Re: Specialized Roubaix vs. Trek Madone

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosborn
I used to ride a Specialized Tarmac and felt too stretched out on the bike. If anyone on the forum has ridden one or both I would be interested in knowing your thoughts on these two bikes.
Remember that there are two Madone geometries, "civilian" and Pro. Pro uses a longer and nearly horizontal top tube that is still not quite as long as as those on the previous "Lance" generation of Madones.

Our shop sells Trek and Specialized. Most customers who try all three say the Madone (the non-Pro version) fits and rides somewhere between a Roubaix and a Tarmac. Not as stretched out and jittery as the Tarmac, but not as upright and plush as the Roubaix. The geometry charts would confirm the fit.

Sometimes a bike just doesn't fit, but I believe that many weekend warriors who are constantly seeking a more perfect fit could become more comfortable on their current rides just by straightening their backs, using more core body strength instead of their arms, and stretching. I used to think I was too stretched out on my CF Felt, but after six months of chiropractic adjustment and losing 20 lbs I'm in bicycle fit heaven.
post #5 of 18

Re: Specialized Roubaix vs. Trek Madone

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldbobcat
Remember that there are two Madone geometries, "civilian" and Pro. Pro uses a longer and nearly horizontal top tube that is still not quite as long as as those on the previous "Lance" generation of Madones.

The "effective" top tube length on the pro and performance fit is identical for a given size. The main difference is the head tube height, which is higher on the performance fit.
post #6 of 18

Re: Specialized Roubaix vs. Trek Madone

Quote:
Originally Posted by kennf
The "effective" top tube length on the pro and performance fit is identical for a given size. The main difference is the head tube height, which is higher on the performance fit.
You're right, I'm wrong. Virtual top tubes are virtually identical.
post #7 of 18

Re: Specialized Roubaix vs. Trek Madone

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosborn
After looking at the Pedalforce site (great deal on frames by the way) and totalling up components, saddle, wheels, etc., I have come to the conclusion that buying a complete bike is the best option for me at the moment and near future. That being said . . . . I have been comparing the Specialized Roubaix vs. the Trek Madone (really doesn't matter what version of the Roubaix or Madone is being discussed since each utilizes the same geometry for the various version of each bike) and am curious to know if the Madone is considered a "plush" (i.e. comfortable road bike with a more upright riding position) like the Roubaix? I used to ride a Specialized Tarmac and felt too stretched out on the bike.
Well, don't make the SAME mistake of NOT basing your buying decision on the length of the frame's top tube ...

OR, opt for a shorter stem AND/OR bars which have a shorter forward reach ...

OR, rotate the bars & remount the brake levers to fit the frame to YOU vs. the "mechanic" who set up the bike at the shop/factory.

Between the two choices, FWIW, I would opt for the Trek mainly becauase I also think those Zertz inserts are a gimmick -- one which could be a potential problem at some point down the road ... maybe, after you no longer own the bike, but at some point in time.
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 

Re: Specialized Roubaix vs. Trek Madone

Quote:
Originally Posted by alfeng
Well, don't make the SAME mistake of NOT basing your buying decision on the length of the frame's top tube ...

OR, opt for a shorter stem AND/OR bars which have a shorter forward reach ...

OR, rotate the bars & remount the brake levers to fit the frame to YOU vs. the "mechanic" who set up the bike at the shop/factory.

Between the two choices, FWIW, I would opt for the Trek mainly becauase I also think those Zertz inserts are a gimmick -- one which could be a potential problem at some point down the road ... maybe, after you no longer own the bike, but at some point in time.
Wassup, dude? I'm sorry but did anything I wrote give you any indication that I plan on making the same "mistake" I made before? And, you are assuming that I didn't try anything at all to make the Tarmac work better for me. A lot of assumptions most of which were/are incorrect. That's okay. If it were me, I would have asked if the poster tried to get the bike to fit before selling it or deciding upon a different bike.

Note to self . . . . when you ask "advice" on an internet forum you need to be prepared to get what you ask for.
post #9 of 18

Re: Specialized Roubaix vs. Trek Madone

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosborn
Note to self . . . . when you ask "advice" on an internet forum you need to be prepared to get what you ask for.
Fitting a bike to beginning or casual riders is a crazy quilt. First, many don't know what a bike is supposed to feel like when they start riding. Then many have all manner of conditions that require accommodations.

From my soapbox I tend to preach the gospel of flexibility, weight loss, core strength, and keeping an open mind. Dealing with individuals I need to listen more, but still stressing that fit may change with the fitness level.

Two fit trends that I find interesting are

- The number of people who say they are too stretched out on contemporary frames is about equal to the number of people who decry the shorter "fixed" top tube lengths of the 70s and early 80s. The old lengths weren't fixed, but in the larger sizes they tended toward more under-squareness than current designs. Maybe more people should ride old bikes.

- Just about everybody who reports getting fitting advice from Dr. Andy Pruitt says he had them raise their stems and get a shorter reach handlebar. Since he knows more than I do I've learned not to fiddle with things like a Pruitt-penned fit for a 50 year old rider's Trek 7200.
post #10 of 18

Re: Specialized Roubaix vs. Trek Madone

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosborn
Wassup, dude? I'm sorry but did anything I wrote give you any indication that I plan on making the same "mistake" I made before? And, you are assuming that I didn't try anything at all to make the Tarmac work better for me. A lot of assumptions most of which were/are incorrect. That's okay. If it were me, I would have asked if the poster tried to get the bike to fit before selling it or deciding upon a different bike.
Dude,

While I presume you are now, actually asking a rhetorical question, let me nonetheless respond to let you know that your apparently superflous remark about your Specialized Tarmac does indeed suggest that you were planning on making the SAME MISTAKE otherwise "why mention it?" You gave no indication that you made any attempts to adjust the fit -- and perhaps, you should have figured out (or, had someone figure it out for you) what the correct frame size was BEFORE you bought your Specialized Tarmac. So, yes, what you wrote (and, didn't write) did indicate you were possibly going to make the same mistake.

Besides, you were non-responsive to the earlier replies. Who knows what you know or did? Your failure to respond to earlier replies would make asking you questions about what you may-or-may-not have done seem like a meaningless exercise, n'est-çe pas?

FYI. The ORIGINAL Trek Madone was subjectively (by early test riders) considered a harsh ride ... it was originally designed as a climbing bike for real racers (vs. wannabees). Second generation (for the paying public) and subsequent Madones are not as harsh as the first TdF frames which Armstrong & Co. originally used.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosborn
Note to self . . . . when you ask "advice" on an internet forum you need to be prepared to get what you ask for.
Now, go out and buy the Specialized Roubaix (in case you haven't already) that you were always planning to buy BECAUSE if you had truly tried to re-fit your Tarmac to suit your comfort then you would probably have been able to UNLESS you are 5'1" OR 6'4" and the Tarmac frame has a 56cm (virtual) top tube ...

BTW. Make an addendum to your "note to self" to write with greater clarity when you ask a question, or otherwise.
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 

Re: Specialized Roubaix vs. Trek Madone

Quote:
Originally Posted by alfeng
Dude,

While I presume you are now, actually asking a rhetorical question, let me nonetheless respond to let you know that your apparently superflous remark about your Specialized Tarmac does indeed suggest that you were planning on making the SAME MISTAKE otherwise "why mention it?" You gave no indication that you made any attempts to adjust the fit -- and perhaps, you should have figured out (or, had someone figure it out for you) what the correct frame size was BEFORE you bought your Specialized Tarmac. So, yes, what you wrote (and, didn't write) did indicate you were possibly going to make the same mistake.

Besides, you were non-responsive to the earlier replies. Who knows what you know or did? Your failure to respond to earlier replies would make asking you questions about what you may-or-may-not have done seem like a meaningless exercise, n'est-çe pas?

FYI. The ORIGINAL Trek Madone was subjectively (by early test riders) considered a harsh ride ... it was originally designed as a climbing bike for real racers (vs. wannabees). Second generation (for the paying public) and subsequent Madones are not as harsh as the first TdF frames which Armstrong & Co. originally used.

Now, go out and buy the Specialized Roubaix (in case you haven't already) that you were always planning to buy BECAUSE if you had truly tried to re-fit your Tarmac to suit your comfort then you would probably have been able to UNLESS you are 5'1" OR 6'4" and the Tarmac frame has a 56cm (virtual) top tube ...

BTW. Make an addendum to your "note to self" to write with greater clarity when you ask a question, or otherwise.
Sorry for the testy reply. Really. The wife is sick and snoring and I am not getting even close to the amount of sleep I need - which isn't much.

Please accept my apology.
post #12 of 18

Re: Specialized Roubaix vs. Trek Madone

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosborn
Sorry for the testy reply. Really. The wife is sick and snoring and I am not getting even close to the amount of sleep I need - which isn't much.

Please accept my apology.
Yes, apology accepted by 'me' and hopefully others.

NB. In recent Forum thread, presuming your wife only has the flu or a "cold," the suggestion of VITAMIN D to prevent-or-mitigate the illness (influenza) makes sense ...

http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/newsletter/2006-oct.shtml
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/11/13/what-is-the-real-cause-of-influenza-epidemics.aspx
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 

Re: Specialized Roubaix vs. Trek Madone

Quote:
Originally Posted by alfeng
Yes, apology accepted by 'me' and hopefully others.

NB. In recent Forum thread, presuming your wife only has the flu or a "cold," the suggestion of VITAMIN D to prevent-or-mitigate the illness (influenza) makes sense ...

http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/newsletter/2006-oct.shtml
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/ar...epidemics.aspx
Thanks for the head's up on the Vitamin D. She runs a day-care from our house and is exposed to everything that the kids bring in.

Again, sorry.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

Re: Specialized Roubaix vs. Trek Madone

Quote:
Originally Posted by alfeng
Well, don't make the SAME mistake of NOT basing your buying decision on the length of the frame's top tube ...

OR, opt for a shorter stem AND/OR bars which have a shorter forward reach ...

OR, rotate the bars & remount the brake levers to fit the frame to YOU vs. the "mechanic" who set up the bike at the shop/factory.

Between the two choices, FWIW, I would opt for the Trek mainly becauase I also think those Zertz inserts are a gimmick -- one which could be a potential problem at some point down the road ... maybe, after you no longer own the bike, but at some point in time.
Responding in the manner that I should have originally . . . .

This time around I am doing plenty of research and am actually going for a fitting. One thing I have noticed though, regarding the length of the top tube, is that it can actually be just as long on some models, like the Specialized Roubaix, but that it slopes at a greater angle towards the seat tube.

I actually did try several stems - going from the original 120 mm to a 110 to a 100 and finally ending up with a 90. I even tried an adjustable stem but my pride wouldn't let me use it. Stupid. I know.

My LBS actually worked with me a lot to get it to fit properly but I was coming off a Giant OCR3, with a much different geometry, and thought the Tarmac felt great while I road it around the p-lot for the 10 minute "test" ride. This time around, even though I have basically settled on the Roubaix, I will be riding a few different bikes to see how they feel in comparison. It's kind of hard right now with all the snow and ice on not only the road but all over the p-lot.

The zerts inserts may be a gimmick but there is a marked difference between the Tarmac I rode (without the inserts) and the Roubaix a friend of mine owns. I took a spin on his at the end of the summer, riding the same route I used to ride on my Tarmac, and there really was a noticeable difference.

Thanks again for your thoughts and advice on the matter. I am a much more knowledgeable consumer this time around.

Again, sorry for the pissy attitude. As you can see from the hour that I am writing this, sleep is still eluding me.

Rob
post #15 of 18

Re: Specialized Roubaix vs. Trek Madone

The only bike I ride/race on is a 2005 Roubaix Pro w/Dura Ace. I like it enough that I hope it lasts another 10 years. Comfort was the most important factor in my buying decision. I figured that I would be mostly training on it, and only occasionally (relatively speaking) racing. I never cared about "bike performance", only my own performance on the bike. As such I chose a bike that I would not dread training on. I didn't want to hang up cycling because I was too achy from longer rides. I hope my perspective was helpful.
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