I decided to finally upgrade my road bike (2013 Allez Sport). I am ready to pull the trigger in a 2020 Roubaix Sport (comes with Shimano 105) but thought I would run it by you folks first. I’ll be using it mainly for solo training, long group and fondo-type riding, with some dabbling in crits and hopefully some road racing eventually. Lots of rough and bumpy roads around here. I pretty much have my mind made up, but have a very slight reservation due to the futureshock 1.5 not having lockout, and wondering if the slightly more upright position will rob me of watts on the aero side of things. Specialized claims this frame is more aero than the previous Tarmac, and I’m just an ordinary Joe rider (4 w/kg at my fittest, closer to 3.6 presently), so I figure it’ll be plenty good for me, especially coming off a 7-year-old bike with 9-speed Sora and cheap wheels. I would consider a Tarmac or new Allez as well, but I’m leaning towards prioritizing comfort. Any thoughts will be appreciated!
I haven’t ridden the 2020 Roubaix, but I have ridden previous models. As you rightly identify, it’s comfort orientated. I know Specialized’s slogan ‘smoother is faster’ has some truth to it, especially for fondo-type events, but it’s not going to be as fast a bike in a racing situation as a Tarmac. Most aero resistance comes from your body position, and it’s going to be more upright on the Roubaix (unless you do something very odd with the fit).
For this it will be perfect
A roubaix would not be on my list of crit bikes.
I don’t want to put you off the Roubaix - it’s a great bike - but I’m not sure you’ll kill these 2 particular birds with this one particular stone.
If it were me, and definitely wanted to do all those things with one bike, I would consider something like a Cannondale Synapse or (to bang my old drum) a Mason Definition. Both are stiff and light enough without being uncomfortable, and can do most things if you spec them right. 28 or 30 tyres, a standard stem and spacers, and a good set of alloys will have you set up for comfort, while 25s, and a slammed longer stem with some carbon hoops should see you sorted for crits. The Cervelo Caledonia could also be an option.
Since you mentioned possibly considering a new Allez and getting into Crit and Road Races I’ll throw my 2c in.
I have a Allez Sprint Disc as my only road bike. I’ve ridden it for almost 7000mi this year with dozens of 75+ mile rides and a couple 100+mi. I ride in Michigan so chip seal is super common as well as rougher roads and even hardpacked dirt/gravel roads. I have 30c tubeless tires (Vittoria Corsa Control) and they do an amazing job with mitigating road buzz and overall comfort. If you need or want a little more I’m sure you could fit a 32c road tire in there (maybe not it you have super wide rims). It’s a pretty amazing bike for the price and I don’t have any complaints about it. Unless I come into a ton of money (unfortunately unlikely) I plan on keeping it for many years and maybe upgrading along the way.
I agree with what @RecoveryRide said though. If you are going to do mostly longer or fondo-type rides (and especially so if there is going to be any gravel thrown in) with the occasional race thrown in then the Roubaix should be enough. But if you are going to be focusing more on races and if those group rides are fast and race like then I think a Tarmac or Allez with wider tires would be the way to go.
Per fit, there are always options to swap bars and stem to get a different fit. You can use greater negative angle stems to get lower than the default 6-7* stems, and swap out the hover bars (assuming it still comes with those) to get your body lower, longer or both. The Roub is a great bike and worth the money as a do-it-all bike, IMO.
There is the team edition of the Roubaix to get the same geometry as the Tarmac (i.e. lower front end) I’m trying to decide between the Tarmac and that but my post got no where 2020 Roubaix Team edition vs Tarmac SL7/SL6
That’s a good shout, actually, as long as the OP has deep pockets!
He does not
Does anyone know if the geo charts for the Roubaix include the future shock or does it measure to the frame and then you have to add the shock? Maybe OP already knows the answer but I’m asking as much for my edification as much has info for his decision.
I have had my eye in this one as well! The problem is there aren’t any available anywhere near me. I guess I should be patient, but the Roubaix is sitting there in my size, which makes it difficult… thank you for the input!
I haven’t ridden the Future Shock 1.5, but the 2.0 is pretty impressive. In the stiffest position, not a full lock out, sprinting out of the saddle is not an issue. If its set in a softer position you can feel it move a little bit. The stack numbers listed on Specialized website include the 30 or so mm for the future shock. Removing the Hover bar and going to the 15mm lower headset cap you can get those 30mm back if you choose. As stated above, you could also go with a stem that has more negative drop.
I have a 2020 Roubaix and I love it… but it does have its limitations as @RecoveryRide outlined in their post… you can do group rides that may have race like intervals embedded, but as a pure race bike, they’re better, more appropriate options… however, for doing all other types of riding, it should be ideal… I’ve thought about fine-tuning it, so to speak, with aero bars and a longer stem (so I can get even lower being 6’2), but rather than do that, I’m thinking I’ll just save my pennies and get a Tarmac S7, or something else with actual race ergonomics already built in…
Best of luck. Looking forward to hearing what you settled on.
My previous stable for road bikes was an s-works roubaix and tarmac. I’d run them with the exact same position by downsizing the roubaix frame to get a lower stack.
Both of these bikes were prior to specialized going aero for everything, so it was mostly about the different frame dynamics. I raced both and it was course dependent. We’ve got a local crit series on smooth roads and it was always the tarmac. Road races depended on the expected road surface. I raced the Roubaix for crit and road race at stage races included rough roads. I wouldn’t say either bike was generally faster, but the tarmac handled a bit “racier” and was maybe a half lb lighter. A bit more fun on a tight crit course. Roubaix was definitely smoother and more confident on rough roads and smoother = faster in my book.
I’m still a big fan of specialized, but my current stable is a Trek madone and Domane. I bought the madone because I wanted an aero bike and it was much better than the venge when I bought it a few years ago (I think they’ve improved the venge since then). The domane was bought as a gravel race bike since it takes 38mm tires, but it’s become my backup road bike as well and I just sold the roubaix. I looked at the new roubaix, but it didn’t have the tire clearance I was looking for and I just couldn’t get past the funky future shock. I work on my own stuff and I don’t need another proprietary suspension component that needs special service.
Thanks again for the feedback, friends. I picked the Roubaix up today, and my stoke level is very high. The deciding moment came last night in a conversation with my wife. I told her I wasn’t sure if it was going to be “racy” enough “if I ever want to focus more on crits and road races”
She said, “good. I don’t want you to focus on those. They’re dangerous.”
Roubaix it is for me.
Glad you’re pleased dude - that’s what it’s about.
If you haven’t already gotten rid of it, you may consider keeping the Allez for crits.
Congratulations on the Roubaix!
I like the bike too.
Last update for this topic:
I broke the cardinal rule (nothing new on race day) and rode the new Roubaix for a local unofficial Ironman event yesterday (I did the swim and bike only due to an injury, which is a whole other story). It was semi-supported, socially distanced with 14 participants. Couldn’t have been happier with the bike. There was a ton of chipseal on the hilly, 112 mile route, and it felt like blacktop. I’m sure I would have been faster on a tri bike, but this was what I had available, and I had a great ride. Very spent at the end (didn’t have to pace for a marathon to follow). Definitely pleased with the decision