SPECIALIZED ROUBAIX SL7 - Ride review

sorry no photos yet however wanted to offer first impressions and brief ride review

so background, i have had many Roubaix models over the years even before disc brakes ..had one of the first models in 2006 and how they have changed.

I purchased this model on a bit of an impulse , I had previous knowledge of the model, more recently had been riding Giant Defy’s and a 853 Steel Genesis

My wants ; I wanted something more comfortable and more plush than my standard bike but didn't want a slow cruiser.  I also wanted something fast responsive but didn’t want a race bike , I wanted it to be quicker and lighter than my 853 steel bike, basically wanted all things in one which I appreciate is a regular quest and I think I may have found it.

I pressed the button on a 2022 Roubaix sport and first impressions are very positive.

It's the SL 7 model so pre the new generation SL8 model, I have made some changes , did change the future shock unit to the new 3.3 damped model which is much better than the 1.5 version I had on the bike,  other than that aside from the Zipp 303 wheelset,  its stock.

The future shock upgrade is definitely improved as the 1.5 version whilst OK , felt a bit linear and less plush without the damping.  

I was mainly concerned about the perceived ‘gimmicky’ future shock being overkill on a road bike and affecting the response during out of the saddle efforts and impacting the overall ride.

I also was keen to cater for the potential to go onto some light tracks or off road,  so comfort was a priority,  I didn't want a specific gravel bike, just could justify buying a bike for some odd minor rough tracks once in a while.

Firstly , Its pretty responsive, I have read that it is more aero than the older Tarmac’s , either way its no slouch and a very engaging ride,  it pedals well, ( I always thought that was a strange comment regarding a bike that requires forward motion by pedalling!!!)   however, it really does,  it just glides along.

I have come from spending some time on an 853 steel Genesis CDF road bike which is a circa 4lbs + heavier ,  was comfortable but also quite stiff ,  I would say the Roubaix this less rigid unquote than my steel bike, but then comparing Carbon with Steel is not really apples v apples however I do notice the weight improvement in just the responsiveness.

This is going to sound like all Roubaix reviews but it is seriously comfortable and it also feels perfectly fast enough  bear in mind it's an endurance bike, no it's not a super six or a tarmac but perfectly acceptable for my needs

I've dialed in the fit changing the 110 mm stem for 120 as needed a longer stretch and it feels just right.  I previously had a 2016 specialized diverge some years ago and in my first ride ended up riding nearly 100 miles as it was just a very easy bike to ride and I would say the same is true of the Roubaix , it's one of those bikes that you could ride for some time. Whilst I was on the Genesis whilst steel is a lovely ride,  it felt like I had to put in more effort to get it moving, whereas this seems a lot less like that.

I'm going to be using it for pretty much everything , I do have a separate mountain bike and I'm flogging the genesis, it will be used for commuting, evening rides and some longer distant stuff and yes it is perfectly usable off road, rough tracks gravel as with the future shock adjustment you can get it pretty plush and it absorbs the rough stuff pretty well.

So in summary my worries about the suspension overkill, the perceived bob during out of the saddle efforts were unfounded as I have experienced no problems, i generally turn the future shock to the closed setting if I'm really pushing up a steep climb but otherwise I leave it fully open. I have got the medium spring currently fitted haven't tested out the lightest spring but it's perfectly plush for my needs.