Help me decide between a carbon or an aluminum roubaix



grethor

New Member
Jul 26, 2007
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Hello

I've made up my mind on a Specialized Roubaix for my first road bike. It's frame geometry fits me the best. My LBS has the aluminum framed roubaix for around $1300 to $1400 and the carbon fiber framed one for around $1600. I'm willing to pay extra for the carbon fiber roubaix but I've heard bad things about carbon fiber longevity. Has carbon fiber manufacturing techniques progressed to a point where I shouldn't worry about it? If not, am I any better off with an aluminum framed roubaix?

Thanks in advance for any input.
 

capwater

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Sep 15, 2003
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grethor said:
Hello

I've made up my mind on a Specialized Roubaix for my first road bike. It's frame geometry fits me the best. My LBS has the aluminum framed roubaix for around $1300 to $1400 and the carbon fiber framed one for around $1600. I'm willing to pay extra for the carbon fiber roubaix but I've heard bad things about carbon fiber longevity. Has carbon fiber manufacturing techniques progressed to a point where I shouldn't worry about it? If not, am I any better off with an aluminum framed roubaix?

Thanks in advance for any input.

First tell us more about yourself. weight, riding style, etc. Nothing wrong with cf, have a couple of them myself. That frame most likely was made by Giant, one of the top makers in the industry. What are the components on each bike? $1600 is pretty cheap for cf framed rides.
 

grethor

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Jul 26, 2007
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capwater said:
First tell us more about yourself. weight, riding style, etc. Nothing wrong with cf, have a couple of them myself. That frame most likely was made by Giant, one of the top makers in the industry. What are the components on each bike? $1600 is pretty cheap for cf framed rides.
I'm 6'2" and weigh 240lbs. My pickup truck is paid off and is starting to show it's age and I don't want another car payment. There is an awesome paved bike trail that goes from my home straight to where I work. My commute is about 10mi one way and I commute on a mid-90's Bianchi Nyala mountain bike. The Bianchi Nyala is a great mtn bike but it's wayyyy too heavy for commuting. Between the knobbies and the fact the bike has steel everything tires me out after 5 miles.

As for riding style, I want to do some sport riding on a bike with a relaxed geometry. I want somthing that's commutable but also somthing that I can take to some local riding events as my physical conditioning improves.

Here's the links for the two bikes I'm interested in. I know $1600 is cheap for a CF framed bike but the MSRP for it is around $1900. Both bikes are full Shimano 105.

The carbon framed roubaix: http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=22192

The aluminum framed roubaix: http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=22199
 

mongooseboy

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Jul 25, 2005
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Might I reccomend a flat-handled road bike for your needs? Flat handled bikes are going give more of an upright riding position than drop bars, as well as better brakes (i believe most flat-bar road bikes use v-brakes which stop a LOT faster than road calipers).

Since you seem to like specialized (as do I), ill reccommend the Specialized Sirrus Pro. MSRP: 1300 seems to be a nice bike as well.

http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=22263

If your really into the drop-bar idea the the roubaix in either carbon fiber or aluminum should be a good place to start. Personally i find flat bars (like MTB bars) much easier to handle, but drop bars give you a lot of hand positions when you start to tire.
Just thought id offer an idea :)
 

grethor

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Jul 26, 2007
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I definately want drop bars. I want the different hand positions. The main thing is that I want somthing that I can grow into. The roubaix seems like a great bike to do just that.
 

kdelong

Well-Known Member
Dec 14, 2006
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grethor said:
I definately want drop bars. I want the different hand positions. The main thing is that I want somthing that I can grow into. The roubaix seems like a great bike to do just that.
If you are going to use this bike mainly for commuting and recreational riding, I would suggest that you go with the aluminum bike and use the extra $200.00 for better components or whatnot. For your riding, you will not notice much difference between the CF and Aluminum. Additionally, if your CF frame gets damaged, it will be much more difficult to get repaired than the Aluminum.

Good for you for going with the drop bars. I agree that being able to change hand position is a good thing, but I also prefer the lower riding position rather than a more upright position.:rolleyes:
 

mongooseboy

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Jul 25, 2005
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Dont get me wrong, i LOVE my drop bars on my Allez triple, i was just offering a suggestion...

i weigh 220 and my allez is holding up good, wheels are even still pretty true. Im sure the Roubaix will be fine, I saw the Roubaix comp at my dealer of choice, and oooo if i had 2200 i didnt know what to do with it would be in my "stash" of bikes :)
 

Phill P

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Jul 9, 2006
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At 240lb dropping a few lb off the bike isn't going to make you feel any fresher after 10mile commutes. Even if its hilly terrian loosing 60lb off you will make more difference than loosing 4lb off the bike. Riding will help you loose the 40lb.

What will help you go faster is loose the knobbies and get some high pressure slicks. Get bar ends if you want different hand positions. Get the hubs serviced, keep the chain lubed and you'll fly to work on your old steel MTB.

Upside is you won't worry as much about scratching the paint or weather damage, and it won't hurt your pocket as much if the bike gets stollen.

When your condition does improve and you want to start pushing yourself, then get the bike. It will then be a newer model and you will likely get the same quality of today at a lower price, and probably better features.
 

kdelong

Well-Known Member
Dec 14, 2006
3,477
134
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Phill P said:
At 240lb dropping a few lb off the bike isn't going to make you feel any fresher after 10mile commutes. Even if its hilly terrian loosing 60lb off you will make more difference than loosing 4lb off the bike. Riding will help you loose the 40lb.

What will help you go faster is loose the knobbies and get some high pressure slicks. Get bar ends if you want different hand positions. Get the hubs serviced, keep the chain lubed and you'll fly to work on your old steel MTB.

Upside is you won't worry as much about scratching the paint or weather damage, and it won't hurt your pocket as much if the bike gets stollen.

When your condition does improve and you want to start pushing yourself, then get the bike. It will then be a newer model and you will likely get the same quality of today at a lower price, and probably better features.
Aw Phil, you take all the fun out of discretionary spending!:)
 

Phill P

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Jul 9, 2006
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Hey I didn't say don't buy a road bike, I'm sure you'll love either roubaix. I weight 220 and put about 10K into my road bike and had to resist getting something newer lighter and fancier. But lets face it, I didn't NEED a new bike when the old one did the job and it was me slowing the bike down not the other way around :p

I think Specialized bikes are great, I'll be looking to get a roubaix for my next bike as well. But I won't be riding thousands of $$s to work when I have an older bike to take the abuse and risks with ;)

But that won't be for a while.....just bought my first house so have more important things to do with the spare money these days.
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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mongooseboy said:
...as well as better brakes (i believe most flat-bar road bikes use v-brakes which stop a LOT faster than road calipers).

This is absolutely not the case. The limit on braking on a road bike is not the power in the brakes but the point at which the bike pitches over the front wheel. And any properly setup cantilever brake will do that.