Specialized Roubaix Pro v Giant TCR 0



hweissman

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Nov 16, 2003
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I'm interested in buying a full D/A bike with a CF frame. Because I am more interested in comfort than flat-out speed and performance I'm leaning towards the Specialized Roubaix Pro. Anyone familiar with both of these bikes? I'd welcome your thoughts.
 

turbo6bar

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Oct 21, 2003
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I checked on both of these bikes last month.
Roubaix Pro = earliest availability Jan 2004
TCR Composite = not available until March 2004.

If your shop has them in stock, you're lucky, because ordering one is bad news.

I never had a chance to ride either bike. Both bikes are impressive. I did not like the compact geometry of the Giant, since I really needed something between a frame size large and medium.

I ended up going with a custom bike build from Glory Cycles in Orlando, FL. This was ideal because I got exactly what I wanted, instead of what the factory thought was best.

Ride and pick the one you like best. Either bike is great.

Jürgen
 

swimjim04

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Feb 5, 2004
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Originally posted by hweissman
I'm interested in buying a full D/A bike with a CF frame. Because I am more interested in comfort than flat-out speed and performance I'm leaning towards the Specialized Roubaix Pro. Anyone familiar with both of these bikes? I'd welcome your thoughts.
:cool:
 

swimjim04

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Feb 5, 2004
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I got lucky and got the first roubaix pro in San Diego last week. Like you I wanted a cf frame and because availability was so far out for roubaix i bought the 2003 giant tcr1(great discount) in dec. Now "stuck" with both but they are both a dream. Giant is flat out fast, great climber and am satisfied with its ultegra components. For climbing I switched the cassette to a 12-27 as I just got into biking and only have a double. Not quite strong enough for the 11-23. The roubaix comes with a 12-25. If comfort is your priority, then go for the roubaix. It's like a hovercraft. Latest issue of Bicycling also has some reviews of carbon/alum and carbon/ti bikes like the Lemond Zurich and Giant tcr elite.
 

ewitz

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Dec 11, 2003
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I currently ride the Giant TCR composite and have demo'ed the Robaix Pro.

These are completely different riding bikes. The Giant has tons of feedback while the Robaix has a much more muted feel. Its not dead feeling like the Trek CF bikes, it just very smooth. So it depends on what you are looking for from your bike.
 

hweissman

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Nov 16, 2003
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Thank you for your reply. Just today I took the plunge and purchased the Roubaix Pro. Muted...smooth...civilized...it all sounds like a perfect fit. There is too much snow and ice on the ground to ride it here in St. Louis, so I bought it sight unseen and without a test ride. It looks beautiful. I am anxiously awaiting a thaw.
 

karun

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Feb 29, 2004
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>Just today I took the plunge and purchased the Roubaix Pro.

So ....have you had a chance to put some miles on it? I'm considering the same bike (but a step down....the one with 105 components) and I'm anxiously looking for some reviews. Thoughts comments from anyone??!!

Think this bike is appropriate for triathlons? Esp. the geometry and body position? Comfort is more important to me than speed.....if I need to lighten up I'll loose weight first.
 

hweissman

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Nov 16, 2003
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Originally posted by karun
>Just today I took the plunge and purchased the Roubaix Pro.

So ....have you had a chance to put some miles on it? I'm considering the same bike (but a step down....the one with 105 components) and I'm anxiously looking for some reviews. Thoughts comments from anyone??!!

Think this bike is appropriate for triathlons? Esp. the geometry and body position? Comfort is more important to me than speed.....if I need to lighten up I'll loose weight first.

I finally able to take it out for a spin this week. Put a few hours in the saddle yesterday in 30 mph crosswinds. So here's what I know:

I've never ridden a more comfortable bike. I felt glued to the pavement and the bike felt stable as a Porsche when the wind hit it. The bike ate up bumps in the road and felt like a two-wheeled limo. When I stood up in the saddle to climb it felt like the bike was just gliding up the hills with minimal effort. At the end of the ride I had no soreness in my neck or hands (two things which rides on my old bike always produced) and, despite the wind, my average speed was 3 mph faster. In short, I LOVE the bike.

It's early in the season and I have the bike set-up so that I'm not stretched-over very far; my position is still upright and un-aerodynamic. But this thing is comfortable as a Barcalounger and I may not even move to a more aggressive riding position as I shed the usual 5 winter pounds.

Now, bear in mind that my Roubaix Pro has a full carbon-fiber frame and full Dura-Ace (including the Dura-Ace wheelset). Fully loaded with pedals and a water bottle cage my bike weighs about 17.5 lbs. Yours will be much heavier. In fact, the basic Roubaix (the one you're considering) is not one, but is actually three-steps below mine in the Specialized line. In between us are the Roubaix Comp (carbon fiber and Ultegra) and the Roubaix Elite (aluminum and Ultegra).

That said, the geometry in the Roubaix line is designed for comfort; the bike is not set-up for speed. Contrast it with, say, the Specialized "Allez" line of bikes and you'll see a significant difference.

Bottom line: I don't know what you're riding right now, but if I were looking for a bike for racing/triathalon, I would probably look elsewhere, like to the Allez. However if you want a bike to ride for hour-after-comfortable-mile, this may be your best bet.

Good luck.
 

shokhead1

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Mar 16, 2003
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I've also looked at both and the 5200 and the R2.5 and i'll tell you,the TCR is a hell of a bike.I tested the Pro and the TCR 1 and both are great. Right now,being at 192 pounds,i would go with the Giant.
 

karun

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Feb 29, 2004
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[Wow, sounds great! Thanks for the prompt reply. Do you have the 25mm tires or something skinnier?

>In fact, the basic Roubaix (the one you're considering) is not one, but is actually three-steps below mine in the Specialized line.

Unfortunately, I can't justify spending more $$ on a bike right now. This is my first bike since I was a kid. I don't have a bike at all right now so the Roubaix seems like a luxury. I briefly looked at the Specialized Sequoia and found it to be even more relaxed and soft....and slow. The Allez was uncomfortable all around. I seem to be more comfortable on compact geometries but I'm too new to be able to tell anyone exactly why. (Female, ~145 lb, and ~5' 8" if that sheds any light on it).

Does the Roubaix seem like a good starter bike to you? A good base that I can upgrade components in time? Or will I outgrow it very quickly?

I'm thinking of having the LBS add the small/extra brake handles on the handle bar (like the Sequoia) for convenience. Cheezy?

keep on riding :)
 

hweissman

New Member
Nov 16, 2003
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Originally posted by karun
[Wow, sounds great! Thanks for the prompt reply. Do you have the 25mm tires or something skinnier?

>In fact, the basic Roubaix (the one you're considering) is not one, but is actually three-steps below mine in the Specialized line.

Unfortunately, I can't justify spending more $$ on a bike right now. This is my first bike since I was a kid. I don't have a bike at all right now so the Roubaix seems like a luxury. I briefly looked at the Specialized Sequoia and found it to be even more relaxed and soft....and slow. The Allez was uncomfortable all around. I seem to be more comfortable on compact geometries but I'm too new to be able to tell anyone exactly why. (Female, ~145 lb, and ~5' 8" if that sheds any light on it).

Does the Roubaix seem like a good starter bike to you? A good base that I can upgrade components in time? Or will I outgrow it very quickly?

I'm thinking of having the LBS add the small/extra brake handles on the handle bar (like the Sequoia) for convenience. Cheezy?

keep on riding :)

My bike, contrary to what's posted on the Specialized web site, came with standard width tires (23's). Nothing wrong with riding on 25's though; they're barely slower and a bit more comfortable.

My own experience was as follows. I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy or actively pursue biking, but I was sure that I wanted to give it a whirl, so I bought an inexpensive (about $850) but solid Fuji bike with an aluminum frame and mostly 105 components (the Fuji Cross). It's a great bike and I still have it. But I so enjoyed riding it that I knew I wanted to upgrade to a pure road bike. I learned the hard way that there it makes almost no economic sense to upgrade the components on an entry-level bike. It is MUCH more sensible to buy the bike fully-assembled. So after riding the Fuji for about 4 months I fell in love with biking. It just ate me up. So I did the research, bit the bullet and went all the way to Dura-Ace. But I'm 47 years old, I have a reasonable amount of disposable income and I could afford the bike without having to skip any meals or miss any mortgage payments. Nevertheless, I did, in essence, waste the first $850 by buying a bike I replaced within a few months.

Now I'm a believer in buying the best bike you can afford. I think the Roubaix will be fine, though it won't necessarily be the fastest bike on the starting line of any local triathalons. Based on my own experiece with my Fuji I'd encourage you to look at Fuji bikes. No status or prestige, but a very solid and lightweight frame and, for the same money (or just a little more) as the Roubaix, you might be able to afford their Ultegra-equipped road bike. Check 'em out.

And incidentally, at 5'8" and 145 lbs you'll fit--and look--great on any bike.

Happy trails.
 

sbwirtz

New Member
Aug 7, 2003
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Karun,

What I have finally discovered after years of cycling is that you shouldn't worry about the "cheese factor" when it comes to comfort or safety. For years, I have been riding a tight geometry frame of Italian design that I have found highly uncomfortable for the last couple of years. I had almost forgotten what enamoured me to cycling when I test rode the Roubaix Comp 27. What a joy to ride-- you are right, it rides much differently than do the Allez (almost as bad as my Italian steel) or the Sequoia (heavier and more sluggish). I never thought I would like a sloping top tube or a stem with rise, but the ride was so enjoyable and brought back such good memories that I ordered one! Hweissman, I'll see you on the road in a week or so! Thanks for your feedback, it confirms that I didn't necessarily only feel the placebo effect of the carbon fiber beauty!

Fuji makes some great road bikes that may fit your situation. Also, look to Motobecane for value. Just make sure that what you get is a joy to ride!
 

karun

New Member
Feb 29, 2004
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>you shouldn't worry about the "cheese factor" when

It's good to be reminded of that!

Both of you really sound like you love your Roubaix's

I read somewhere that there's not a huge difference between the 105s and the Ultegra's....that the big noticeable (worthwhile?) step up is to the Dura-ace. Agree? Disagree?

Regarding Fuji or Motobecane, I'll have to see if they're available in Albuquerque. Right now I feel that I'm choosing not only a bike but also a bike shop. I want the shop to be convenient and have good service (most are offering free tune ups if you buy the bike there). Should I even let this influence my selection?

From what I've read it seems like it's worth a few extra bucks to get fitted properly and keep the bike tuned up rather than to scour the net for a deal (esp. for this first set of wheels).

Also, any problems with the zerz inserts? They really seem to do a good job yet with out the bounce of a suspension seatpost. Is Specialized the only brand doing that?

Keep any lingering thoughts coming. I'll have to wait till the weekend to make the purchase (work/travel).
Thanks!
 

hweissman

New Member
Nov 16, 2003
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I read somewhere that there's not a huge difference between the 105s and the Ultegra's....that the big noticeable (worthwhile?) step up is to the Dura-ace. Agree? Disagree?

I think there is a big, noticeable difference between Shimano components at every step up. In fact, the higher you go in the Shimano line the more subtle the weight/performance differences become so, arguably, the smallest difference is between Ultegra and DA. But I can assure you that there is a big difference between 105 and Ultegra. I would suggest that--if you intend to bike for the next several years, have the dough and can spring for it--that Ultegra is the place to spend your money. With Ultegra components and a decent frame you'll have a bike you can ride for years without a big need for upgrading. And if the biking bug bites you in a major way (as it did me) then one day you can simply upgrade your wheels and you'll have a very high-end bike for a minimal extra investment.

I completely agree that you're buying a bike shop as well as a bike. Don't let the "free tune ups" sway you. Tune ups are cheap. You're looking for knowledgeable, accessible, friendly staff and, more importantly, skilled mechanics. Check out the shop. Is it clean? Well-organized? Watch the mechanics as they work on other people's bikes because one day they'll be working on yours.

My own bias is that you should, if at all possible, deal directly with the store owner. Bike shop personnel come and go all the time but the owner(s) will be there for the duration.

You should absolutely get fitted to the bike by someone who knows what they're doing. Fitting will take 15-30 minutes and a good bike shop encourages you to come back at any time to tweak the settings.

Do not buy your first bike on the Internet. Support your local bike shop.

Finally, regarding the "zertz inserts," it's too early for me to tell you how good a job they do. As noted in an earlier post, the ride of the bike is fantastic but it's hard to know how much of that is attributable to those inserts. They seem a little gimmicky to me, but, hey, I have NO COMPLAINTS. They certainly look cool. I think Specialized was the first--but not the only--bike company using elastomer inserts to dampen shock.

I'm definitely interested in hearing about how this all works out for you. Go back to your bike shop and start talking about Ultegra-equipped rides. Bear in mind that when the sticker price of the bike rises there is sometimes a little more wiggle room in the price. Try to talk to the store owner; s/he may be eager to make a customer-for-life.

Best of luck.
 

sbwirtz

New Member
Aug 7, 2003
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"Right now I feel that I'm choosing not only a bike but also a bike shop. I want the shop to be convenient and have good service (most are offering free tune ups if you buy the bike there). Should I even let this influence my selection?"

In a word, YES (in my humble opinion). I have always purchased the big ticket items from LBS after using the internet for research and to formulate my questions for the LBS employees. If they can intelligenly respond to seed questions to which I know the answer, and are willing to spend time with me in helping me make a decision, and ask appropriate questions of me they begin to earn my trust. When buying over the net, you can't touch it, feel it, test ride it, or swap out components before you make your purchase. Also, what happens when you need warrantee work done?
On that note, another consideration should be a manufacturers frame replacement policy for both warrantee work and crash replacement.
If this is your first bike since childhood, you won't notice much difference between Dura Ace/Ultegra/105-- they all shift incredibly smoothly compared to what we all rode 15 years ago. I'm not sure that I could justify the price difference between Ultegra and DA, though and that is why I chose Ultegra.
Zertz is exclusive to Specialized. They started selling bikes with Zertz last year. My LBS hasn't witnessed any problems (yet?) but also was confident that if problems arose, that Specialized would step up and replace the frame (or the fork, or the post--as the case may be)
Hope this helps. Happy shopping!
 

shokhead1

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Mar 16, 2003
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Sometimes is hard.Not all lbs carry all the brands. You might have to shop at a crappy shop because they have your bike. I would be carful about tuneup thing. I got my Fuji at performance because thats what i wanted but they give lifetime tuneups. Thats great but its a very small garage area,under tooled and not always a mech there so it doesnt look like some place i want to take my bike to.
 

sbwirtz

New Member
Aug 7, 2003
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Karun,

I think the consensus is that while free tune-ups sound good, you'd want your work done by a good mechanic that you trust. Shokhead1 is right, if you have your mind set on a particular ride this can be a problem.

Just a random thought, but most LBS owners that I have come in contact with carry particular brands for particular reasons. For instance my LBS carries almost exclusively Specialized now-- 5 years ago they were a Bianchi/Colnago/Specialized shop-- because of poor experiences with warrantees with those manufacturers. Ask the LBS owner why they carry the lines that they do... you'll find out a lot!
 

david_driscoll

New Member
Mar 28, 2004
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Hey Folks -
I just got the Roroubaix Comp ..... I looked for months. I am doing the California AIDS/Lifecycle ride and wanted a good bike. I have taken this bike out for several 50 mile rides and just did my first 100 mile training ride and I LOVE IT. I got the smallest frame made as I am only 5'5 and it works GREAT! The brakes work great at high speads - the bars are awesome - even the seat doesnt need to be changed out!