Buying without trying - Trek 5000 or Roubaix?



m_m

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Dec 22, 2004
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I live on a little island (Isle of Man, if you're interested) and there are only a couple of LBS with limited bikes in stock. They both stock medium sized road bikes, and have to order anything else especially. Being 6'4", and having 35.5" inside leg, the bikes in stock therefore don't fit me. They'll let me try them out around the car park, but is it worth doing that? I guess I won't actually find much out that way.

So that leaves me with having to order to one and hope -A- that it fits and -B- that I like it. Once the order's made I'm committed to purchasing - they don't want large bikes sitting in the showroom cos they're harder to sell. Not ideal, but that's one of the drawbacks of living on an island - I don't really want to fly to the UK to buy a bike.

I was pretty much set on ordering a 61cm '07 Roubaix at £1,300 and keeping my fingers crossed. They seem to get good reviews and having had a few Stumpjumpers I like the brand. However, I've just noticed that I can get a '07 Trek 5000 online for £1,000 (£300 cheaper that the shop is selling it at.) Seems like a bargain to me. I guess I'd have to go for a 62cm?

Should I take the chance and order the Trek? Is the Roubaix worth the extra £300, or would I be stupid to do either, and should I get on that 'plane to do some proper shopping? (It's gonna be a couple of hundred for the flights alone)
 

67walkon

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Jul 19, 2006
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I looked at a used Trek 5000 that was, I think, 61 cm. The LBS didn't have a Roubaix in my size, but I liked the smaller one fine.

The Roubaix is more comparable to the Trek Pilot series. They both have slightly more relaxed geometry and claim to be more comfortable for long rides.

You can't go wrong with either bike. I ordered the Roubaix Comp Triple, but considered ordering the similar priced Trek Pilot and I also considered buying the used Trek 5000. Assuming you get fitted properly by the store, you should be okay.

By the way, I'm 6'3" and it seems to me that the Treks are "smaller" at the same size than is the Roubaix. The LBS concluded that I was between a 58 and a 61 on the Roubaix, but felt that the 61 might be too large. Because of a very minor warranty item on the 2007 Roubaix Comp frame, Specialized sent me a new 2006 Roubaix Pro frame, which is a more expensive frame. It is actually a 58.5 frame according to the decal. I have been extremely happy with the Roubaix.

John
 

RickF

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Jul 27, 2005
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Comparing the Trek 5000 to the Roubaix is apples to oranges. The Trek 5000 is would fall between the Specialized Allez and Tarmac. As John said, the Roubaix is more like the Trek Pilot.

Which to pick depends on how you want to ride. I have a '07 Roubaix Elite, and I love it. I am 54 years old and do not race. I do like long rides (35 to 75 miles with the occassional century) at a reasonable pace (15 to 17 mph) over rolling hills. My emphasis, though, is comfort and endurance rather than speed. For that reason, the Roubaix or Pilot were the best choices for me.

As far as size, it depends on more than just height. I am 6'0" with short legs (30" inseam) and arms (33" sleeves). I have a 56 cm Roubaix Elite and had to put on a shorter stem (110 mm instead of the stock 120 mm) to accomodate my short arms. Most riders my height have longer legs and arms and would be on a 58 cm bike. There is not much difference in geometry between the Roubaix and Pilot, but the Trek 5000 is totally different.

While it is always best to have the correct size frame, it is easier to modify the fit on a frame that is too small (by adding a longer stem and extending the seat post) than it is to modify the fit on a frame that is too large. While it is possible to shorten the stem to 90 mm, once you get below 100mm, you begin to compromise handling ability.
 

67walkon

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Jul 19, 2006
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Good advice, Rick. I just turned 57 and have no plans to race. After not riding for 20 years, I started up again last summer on my old hybrid and loved it.

I was lucky enough to find a local store that ordered a 2007 Roubaix Comp Triple for me back in August. I got the triple because North Carolina is where my wife and I hope to have a second home someday--we own a little piece of property in Waynesville.

The Roubaix has been wonderful. When I started keeping track of my rides in August, I started increasing the Saturday ride until I sort of found where my current level of bike fitness was. It was pretty high, probably due in large part to the Roubaix. I went 44+ miles last Saturday, and the humidity got to me. But, the weather finally broke.

Next year, I want to do the MS 150 from South Miami into the Keys, and then BRAG. If I can figure out how to train for NC mountains, I would love to do the Mountains to Sea ride, or some cross NC ride.

Sounds like we're both telling him to go with the Roubaix. My weekly rides range from a 16 mile ride a couple of mornings a week to anywhere from 28 to I don't know where on Saturdays. Typically, I average 15 to 17 mph, but on the nice long straight Saturday ride, most of the ride is the 17 to 18 range.

John
 

m_m

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Dec 22, 2004
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Hmmm, so the bikes are pretty different then? I'm a mountain biker, but getting a bit sick of hosing the mud off me when I finish my rides (it's getting cold this time of year) so I thought I'd get a road bike as well. I doubt I'll get into racing, just going for weekend rides of about 30 - 40 miles. But I am pretty competitive, always trying to beat my last time and prove my fitness to myself.

My bad back may mean the Roubaix is the way to go if it's more comfortable.
 

RickF

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Jul 27, 2005
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67walkon said:
Next year, I want to do the MS 150 from South Miami into the Keys, and then BRAG. If I can figure out how to train for NC mountains, I would love to do the Mountains to Sea ride, or some cross NC ride.
I live in the NC Piedmont (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill area). I have not done the Cycle North Carolina yet, but I will one day. This year the route was Banner Elk to Emerald Isle - about 355 miles over a week. I did do the MS 150 in New Bern. It was my first opportunity to ride where it is flat, and I loved it. I plan to do the Seagull Century on the Maryland Eastern Shore with my daughters and sons-in-law next fall.

For thys type of riding, the Roubaix is a wonderful bike. I felt great, even at the end of the second day on the MS 150. If I was younger and interested in racing, though, I would have considered the 5000 or the Tarmac.
 

RickF

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Jul 27, 2005
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m_m said:
My bad back may mean the Roubaix is the way to go if it's more comfortable.
Yes, for a bad back, the Roubaix would definitely be a better choice than the 5000. Not to confuse you any more, but you might also consider the Trek Pilot. I could not tell the difference between the Roubaix Elite and the Pilot 5.0, and I could get the Roubaix for about $275 less than the Pilot, so that is what I did. I have not met anyone who has either of these bikes that regretted the decision.