Need a voice of reason! Specialized SL6 or SL7

I am looking at a used SL6 Expert with Udi2 thru my LBS (demo bike) for 4500 or going with an SL7. The only SL7 available is the Rival AXS and my shop will be getting them in in about 2 months.

My issue is I currently have a 2018 Cervelo R3 with UDi2, a stages left side power meter and DT Swiss 1400 spline wheels and I love the Di2. The SL6 has Di2 so I could keep my power meter and just swap my wheels on to it. I would need to get the Aerofly II bar installed. Not crazy about the paint scheme on it. It’s the blue and purple camo. There is a part of me that likes the simplicity of the SL6 over the integration of the SL7.

The SL7 has Rival which I am really interested in trying plus it’s something new to try. It’s heavier and a new “ecosystem” yet I’m already within Shimano. I would need to get the Aerofly II bar installed and want a new cassette and a new crank to take some of the weight off which increases the overall cost. I really like the white paint.

The SL6 is 4500 and the SL7 is 4800.

Not sure what to do here.

I usually vote for doing nothing when there is no perfect choice. Is the R3 not working for you in any way?

If you don’t love the purple camo, then I wouldn’t get the SL6 unless you really just need a bike to ride and train on right now. To me, you always want to love the way your bike looks.

I had been wanting an SL6 rim brake for a long time but then covid hit, bike prices went crazy, supplies dried up, and I could never find the right size/color. I love the clean looks of the SL7 but I fear the integrated cables would drive me insane and I’m not quite sure I’m ready to switch to disc brakes. I’d want Campagnolo mechanical on it but I’m not sure it’d even work with the twists and bends on an SL7. Switching to etap wireless does make a lot of sense for these fully integrated cockpits. I have Red/Force 1 on my cross bike and while it works fine, I can’t say I’m in love with SRAM. Aesthetically the AXS stuff looks horrible to me.

Anyway, no perfect choices so I’m still riding my Colnago. :slight_smile:

In your case, since you like the white paint I’d go SL7 as long as SRAM isn’t the deal breaker for you and you could live with the integrated brake cables.

I would not underestimate the power of having a bike that you REALLY want to ride… I have done that mistake 2 times now. Buying bike thinking “no worries, won’t be bothered by the color”, then 2 weeks later I hate the color and don’t want to ride the bike.

So for me, color is VERY important.

With that said, the white paint on the SL7 is dope. And as long as you don’t mind having the SRAM, then its a nice bike :slight_smile:

To make it even more clean, I would buy the Future Stem so you can run the integrated computer mount from Specialized :slight_smile:

Also, the handlebars actually tilt up A LITTLE on the Venge, so they actually aren’t perfectly flat.

Did you install the STIs on their highest point possible on the handlebars?

No I don’t NEED a bike. When I bought the R3 it was between the that and an SL6. I got the R3 because I worked at a Cervelo dealer for a period of time and after which they were willing to give me a good discount on the bike. Plus it came with Di2 and Dt Swiss wheels all for the price of mechanical Ultegra on the SL6. In the back of my head I always wanted the SL6 and have since always lusted after it.

My R3 is perfectly fine. But I get ideas in my head and it’s hard to let go of them. I sold my gravel bike ( which I was not happy with and my justification was to finally get a Tarmac) so now I have a burning hole in my wallet.

I generally don’t keep bikes for more than 3 years. After that the diminishing returns on a used bike increase significantly. So I try to strike while the iron is hot. I feel now is a good time. Except new bike supply is not great!

Just on the Sram ecosystem and having to change, I have one AXS bike and one shimano, and whilst I don’t have a huge preference for one or the other, introducing another set of proprietary parts and limiting wheel swapping/turbo swapping capability has been a bit of a PITA. Having everything in one ecosystem is definitely better

My SL6 is posted above yours. I like the bike a lot. I had anxiety over whether to return bike to shop and get the SL7 (gray). I eventually kept the SL6 and am very happy with it. It is my first Di2 bike. Love it.

If I was to do it over again, I would buy the SL7. I just like the look more. But, that is me. I personally really like the blue and purple SL6. I think it is nice.

FYI. $4500 for a demo bike is too much in my opinion. I paid $3500 for my comp version and added the aerofly II bars. Glad I did. I love them.

I would offer 4k. Hopefully you can get your hands on the aerofly 2 bars. I am pretty sure they are not making them anymore-or, if they are, they added an updated version.

I agree with a previous poster. Pick the bike you like the look of more. The SL6 rides wonderfully, but I like the profile of the bike more of the SL7 (even though I am not looking at it while riding :))

Good luck. Keep us posted!

Another thought. If money isn’t super tight ask if they can hook you up and buy the SL7 and have them swap the sram with the demo SL6 shimano.

It might cost a little more, but it would be a new(er) bike with Shimano Di2, which is what you want.

I love my SL6, and as someone who in non-covid times flies with my bike alot I love that the non-integrated cockpit is easy to take apart and travel with. I see the appeal of aero, but if I were buying a new bike now, I’d probably go for another sl6 or a TCR for the ease of de/reconstruction.

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Very important thing to consider. I have travelled with my Venge, and I never will again…

Have travelled with both SL6 as well as Roubaix, and they are perfect without the integration up front.