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Quick and comfy for the long legged but not a Roubaix

MrTomECMrTomEC Posts: 11
edited April 2013 in Road buying advice
I'm in the market for a new bike, I'm currently riding a fairly basic Specialized Allez (2300 groupset, 58 frame) and, regularly doing 30 - 50 mile rides, occasionally pushing to 70 and working up to my 1st century. I'm finding the ride on the Allez fairly harsh and after around 3 hours I'm feeling pretty beaten up, epically in the upper back and shoulders. As well as something that is a bit less harsh to ride I'm also after overall better quality kit and I'm looking to spend around £1,500 (will push the overall outlay to £2K by adding some decent wheels at the same time).

I'm fairly happy with the fit on my Allez, however, I have had to raise the bar height with a head tube extender to get a position that is comfy for my lower back. I'm pretty tall at 6’ but I also have long legs in relation to my body length which means I need the saddle up high to get the correct knee angle, this makes the bars very low down.

So I'm looking for a carbon or titanium bike with a long Head-tube length and or long is B-B Drop.

So a Roubaix should be perfect right? Problem is that I’ve now test ridden two and I don’t like them, they felt soft, sluggish and really hard to get up to speed. Yes they were very comfortable and I'm a big fan of that long head tube, but they both felt like there was layer of treacle between me and the road.

I’ve been recommended a Van Nicholas Ventus for the forgiving ride that the Ti frame will give me, but I'm not convinced by it’s short Head Tube, I need to test ride one to formulate a proper opinion (I’ve ridden a Van Nicholas Yukon and the Ti does feel rather nice).

So I’m after some ideas of what else I should be tracking down to take for a spin.

T.

Posts

  • won't that Ventus be a little bit out of your price range? I've ridden and sold these bikes (i'm dutch) and they are everything you expect them to be. Much racier though than the yukon which of course is more like a touring bike.
    Anyways everyone I've every seen or heared about their VN is pretty happy to put their cash down as it's pretty high quality investment. However given that Ti has quite some flex it would be good to treat yourself with a stiffer wheelset to encrease power transfer. I suppose you can get the Ventus in their custom program with Ksyrium Elites, which should send you flying of.

    Other makes I'd propose is the excellent (but more casual) Scott CR1 and did you also see Linksey sportive?

    Let us know what you're considering!
  • northpolenorthpole Posts: 1,499
    I have a roubaix and a wilier. I prefer the positioning on the wilier, but it's not what you would call relaxed. A pal has a tarmac sl4 which he had the stem/ bars tweaked on and he tells me it's very comfortable. I had a short spin on it - too short to properly tell, but it felt great. I don't think the difference between roubaix and tarmac need to be as much as Spesh may market them as.

    Peter
  • canny_ladcanny_lad Posts: 329
    Scott CR1, Canondale Synapse is where I'd look first but the new Trek Domanes are getting good press as well. Might as well be the first to mention the Giant Defy as well :D
  • Was in the same boat, have a spesh Allez but finding it uncomfortable after longer rides, want to build up distance. Was thinking about the Roubaix, but ended up trying out a Giant Defy Advanced 2 (£2000), and a Trek Domane 4.3(£1800), both supposed to be more relaxed and comfortable found that I liked the Trek better out of the two, so now have one coming my way soon. Would recommend trying both out.
    Trek Domane 4.3. Merida One.forty 7.700. Merida CX 3. Voodoo Bizango
    "When the vulture flies sideways the moon has hair on his upper lip"
  • Camcycle1974Camcycle1974 Posts: 1,356
    MrTomEC wrote:
    I'm in the market for a new bike, I'm currently riding a fairly basic Specialized Allez (2300 groupset, 58 frame) and, regularly doing 30 - 50 mile rides, occasionally pushing to 70 and working up to my 1st century. I'm finding the ride on the Allez fairly harsh and after around 3 hours I'm feeling pretty beaten up, epically in the upper back and shoulders. As well as something that is a bit less harsh to ride I'm also after overall better quality kit and I'm looking to spend around £1,500 (will push the overall outlay to £2K by adding some decent wheels at the same time).

    I'm fairly happy with the fit on my Allez, however, I have had to raise the bar height with a head tube extender to get a position that is comfy for my lower back. I'm pretty tall at 6’ but I also have long legs in relation to my body length which means I need the saddle up high to get the correct knee angle, this makes the bars very low down.

    So I'm looking for a carbon or titanium bike with a long Head-tube length and or long is B-B Drop.

    So a Roubaix should be perfect right? Problem is that I’ve now test ridden two and I don’t like them, they felt soft, sluggish and really hard to get up to speed. Yes they were very comfortable and I'm a big fan of that long head tube, but they both felt like there was layer of treacle between me and the road.

    I’ve been recommended a Van Nicholas Ventus for the forgiving ride that the Ti frame will give me, but I'm not convinced by it’s short Head Tube, I need to test ride one to formulate a proper opinion (I’ve ridden a Van Nicholas Yukon and the Ti does feel rather nice).

    So I’m after some ideas of what else I should be tracking down to take for a spin.

    T.

    Sorry to state the boring, obvious choice but a Giant Defy Advanced is worth a look. Super comfy top end carbon frame but with a good turn of pace when needed. Search my posts if you like to see where a mate of mine got an Advanced 1 for 2k. I have an alu Defy 0 and with Continental GP4000s tyres it is very smooth. The carbon frame would enhance this further. What tyres are you running out of interest? It might be worth swapping to 25mm and reducing pressure a little to soak up some of the bumps.
  • dodgerdogdodgerdog Posts: 292
    If you can find someone local with one the Ribble Gran Fondo is a comfy mile muncher and great value to boot. The added benefit being that you can spec it to meet you needs and budget.
    Allez Triple (hairy with mudguards) - FCN 4
    Ribble Gran Fondo
  • bmxboy10bmxboy10 Posts: 1,860
    Theres a thread on here where some guys are comparing the Roubaix and Ventus. I think the Zeypher (or however you spell it) the nearest VN do to a Roubaix geo.

    viewtopic.php?f=40042&t=12903264

    I had a Mistral for about two years and loved it however I prefer my CF Cinelli now :lol: To be honest there is a censored papers difference between the Mistral and my Cinelli IMO. I bought it the Mistral as a "bike for life" then realsied i like new bikes every couple of years!

    VNs are great bikes i have to say and it will serve you well. Buy from Fat Birds Dont Fly and get one built up to your spec for not a lot more money than the off the peg version.
  • MrTomECMrTomEC Posts: 11
    Thanks for all the ideas guys, I think I need to go and find a Defy, Synaps and a Domance to take for proper test rides, I'll have a good look at the Linksey too.

    Hey friedpizzainbatter, is your Trek a h2 or h3?

    As addendum to my OP I gave the Roubaix one last test ride but changed the tyres first (why do Specialized insist on putting such nasty censored tyres on all their machines?). It rode a lot better, as it had lost most of its stickiness and was lovely and comfy, still felt rather sluggish and heavy off the mark though.

    T.
  • WheelspinnerWheelspinner Posts: 4,789
    Do Cervelo still do the RS model? That had a long head tube.

    If you can find the frameset anywhere that would be a good choice I think.
  • carrockcarrock Posts: 1,275
    I would look secondhand.

    For that money you would get something close to pro level.

    High end Defy, Domane, Tarmac would all be good.

    Tarmac Review
    http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/ ... 3-11-44236

    Defy Advanced review
    http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/ ... 1-11-43415

    The base level Roubaixs have heavy frames and kit and are sluggish, however there is a massive difference between the base level ( 7 or 8 r frames ) and the 10/11r top end bikes, both in weight and ride quality.

    You could get a Roubaix Pro for that money second hand which would tick all the boxes.
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