Specialized Roubaix Pro / Elite vs Focus Mares

plank99
plank99 Posts: 12
edited July 2012 in Road buying advice
Slightly odd subject comparison but after some advice. My only bike for the last couple of years has been a Focus Mares 2010 but, with the aim of getting a better bike for Sportives, triathlon and Alpine day events, I purchased a Specialized Roubaix from a trade stand at a recent event. My problem is that the Roubaix feels sluggish and hard work compared to the Focus, particularly when climbing.

The bikes:
Focus Mares 2010: 58cm / XL sized aluminium frame, 105 shifters and rear mech, SRAM cranks, 48-34 compact, pro-lite como wheels.

Specialized Roubaix: This is the SL3 Pro 2012 carbon frame with the components from the Elite, being 105 throughout (inc. 50-34 compact) and Fulcrum Racing 6 wheels.

So I would expect the Roubaix to feel slightly harder on the flat due to the 50 chainring, but equally it does go slightly faster. However, the Roubaix feels heavy / sluggish when climbing on the 34 and I (perhaps mistakenly) thought it would feel 'easier' compared to the Focus. Any ideas?

Also, and perhaps related, I'd be interested to know what recommendations people would have for first upgrades for the Roubaix. I'm of the view the wheels would be top of the list and would welcome thoughts here.

Thanks

Comments

  • ShutUpLegs
    ShutUpLegs Posts: 3,522
    It may take a while for your body to adjust to a new position on the Roubaix. Specification wise there isn't much between the two bikes. Buy some decent wheels and try them on both bikes, the difference will still be very small. Maybe the Roubaix will be more comfortable on longer distance rides.
  • plank99
    plank99 Posts: 12
    I should have mentioned I'm 6'2" 80kg and the Roubaix is only a 56cm frame, although the geometry means the saddle and cranks are in basically the same place relative to each other on both. The handlebars on the Roubaix are around an inch or two higher compared to the Focus.
  • DrLex
    DrLex Posts: 2,142
    ShutUpLegs wrote:
    It may take a while for your body to adjust to a new position on the Roubaix. Specification wise there isn't much between the two bikes. Buy some decent wheels and try them on both bikes, the difference will still be very small. Maybe the Roubaix will be more comfortable on longer distance rides.

    Echo these sentiments; I'd have thought at your height (& given the frame size of your Focus), you'd have been an XL in the Roubaix- I'm 6' of regular proportions and preferred XL over L (56) on a 2011 Roubaix Expert. I tried a friend's 56 Tarmac (SL2, 105, racing 6) when deliberating, but wasn't keen on the "racier" posture. Have a fiddle with stem height, saddle position, bar reach to see if you can fine tune it.

    I don't have enough hills to test climbing; rarely off the big plate, but on the rare climb, it's the engine rather than the transmission that is the limiting feature.

    AFAIK, the 4s and 6s are made for Specialized out of hubs from the model up and the rims from the one below i.e. 6 = 5 hubs + 7 rims.
    Location: ciderspace
  • Upgrade the tyres on the Spesh - AFAIK - pretty much all their OEM tyres are not difficult to improve upon. I repalced the OEMs on my Sectuer with Vittoria Open Corsa Paves and the imporvement was staggering - much more comfortable and faster.

    Also do both bikes you are comparing here have the same cassettes and length of crank?
  • plank99
    plank99 Posts: 12
    Thanks for the input guys. Crank length and cassette size are the same on both bikes. I have tried adjusting saddle and stem and will continue to try things until I get some success, although I must admit the Roubaix feels comfortable to ride, just feels heavy. Will take a look at the tyres - for comparison the Focus has Gatorskins (I know, they are Marmite, but I love them) because it is also used for commuting.