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  1. #1
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    Specialized Roubaix Sl-2 vs Giant Defy Advanced

    Has anyone been able to test ride these bikes to form an objective opinion of their strengths and which is better than the other and for what reason

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    Not the SL2 but I did rent a 2009 Roubaix Pro and ended up buying a 09 Giant Advanced Defy 2/Ultegra. I found the Giant to be more compliant on a rough surface, yet still stiff when and where you want it and also the handling is not twitchey but yet not sluggish either. I had the opportunity to ride the 2 bikes back to back and for me the Giant was a clear choice as a century bike. So far I have no regrets and have done a several 3-4 hour rides since my purchase in early January. I recomend you ride both bikes although the Giant maybe hard to find at present. BTW I'm 6'2'' 200lbs and the LG fits me fine.

  3. #3
    gh1
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    I rode them both and to me the Giant was much, much better in every way that matters.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ticmxman
    Not the SL2 but I did rent a 2009 Roubaix Pro and ended up buying a 09 Giant Advanced Defy 2/Ultegra. I found the Giant to be more compliant on a rough surface, yet still stiff when and where you want it and also the handling is not twitchey but yet not sluggish either. I had the opportunity to ride the 2 bikes back to back and for me the Giant was a clear choice as a century bike. So far I have no regrets and have done a several 3-4 hour rides since my purchase in early January. I recomend you ride both bikes although the Giant maybe hard to find at present. BTW I'm 6'2'' 200lbs and the LG fits me fine.
    I will add the roubaix will have the taller headtube if that matters for your fit. The Giant won the Bicycling Mags Plush catagory last year and I pretty much agree with their review.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ticmxman
    I will add the roubaix will have the taller headtube if that matters for your fit. ...
    I don't think so; at least in my size (54 or M), they're both 165 HT. I don't have info for other sizes though.

    OP: here's my current list of bikes with taller head tubes, many/most also have other geometry factors that put them in the comfort style:

    Serotta Fierte, Felt Z, Look 585 Optimum, Look 566, Spec. Roubaix, Cannondale Synapse, Giant Defy (or older type OCR), Scott CR1 or Speedster, Cervelo Rs. There's others.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camilo
    I don't think so; at least in my size (54 or M), they're both 165 HT. I don't have info for other sizes though.

    OP: here's my current list of bikes with taller head tubes, many/most also have other geometry factors that put them in the comfort style:

    Serotta Fierte, Felt Z, Look 585 Optimum, Look 566, Spec. Roubaix, Cannondale Synapse, Giant Defy (or older type OCR), Scott CR1 or Speedster, Cervelo Rs. There's others.
    The Roubaix in my size 58cm has a 215 mm headtube, the LG (57.5 ttube) Defy headtube is205mm so it may depend on what size frame the OP requires. Test riding the bikes and the frame sizes that will fit is the best bet. Sometimes you can be the size rider where you could fit a M/L or LG etc... and a test ride is the only way to tell as the Larger frame will fit and handle differently from the smaller size. Wheels will greatly effect the way the bike feels, at the very least make sure the tire pressure is the same

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gh1
    I rode them both and to me the Giant was much, much better in every way that matters.
    i did not really like the feel of Giant. it just feel not fit with me. weird.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by desmond88
    i did not really like the feel of Giant. it just feel not fit with me. weird.
    There are a lot of good bikes out there,getiing one that fits you is the main thing. Test rides is the best way. Weird tells us nothing. What felt weird?

  9. #9
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    I just bought a 2009 Roubaix pro (frame and fork) to get a better fit than the race bikes I've ridden before (I'm long legged and short reached.) The Pro, is very close to the S-Works Roubaix. It's front end is very beefy, with a over-sized lower head set for stiffness. It is very stiff up front, and more flexy in the rear end with it's thin curvy seat stays. The bottom bracket area is also huge, with tall chain stays. I would not necessarily call the Pro a comfort bike, and I was almost disappointed that it wasn't significantly more cushy than my last carbon race bike. But a more comfortable bike will flex when you are pushing it on descents, which I really don't want.
    The expert and the level below it are much more comfort oriented, and have very different frame construction. If you are an entry level rider, I would not recommend the Pro.
    On the other hand, the Pro is a great bike, and I'm really, really happy with it, and it is definitely race ready. I love that it is very sure in descents, and stiff and fast, even if I'm not.

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    I'm with AlexCad5, if you are looking for cushy opt for a Roubaix below the Pro level. I have a 2010 Pro which I bought as a frame kit and couldn't be happier. I rode the Defy, and while it is a great bike, it didn't fit me as well as the Specialized. I'd imagine that with some stem/bar changes I would have been fine, but the Roubaix just felt perfect to me during my initial test ride. I rode the Tarmac Pro as well, and enjoyed the quick handling and acceleration, but for me the Roubaix offered proved to be just as nimble and fast while providing a slightly more comfortable riding position. It is very stiff and has no trouble holding a line under demanding conditions. I couldn't say the same for the Roubaix Comp or the Defy I rode; however, I will be the first to admit that the build spec on all the bikes was not equal. I wanted Campy, therefore the framekit purchase. .
    I will say though, that I still have my trusty custom-built steel bike and it'll probably be my go-to for long club rides and events.

  11. #11
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    A lot of good info. I think a lot of the challenges in evaluating the bikes is how they are set up with some of the following: Bar height and stem length are significant they totaly change the way a bike handles and effect the power delivery quiet a bit by altering the torso angle, Wheels and tires and tire pressure also have an effect as well as they greatly effect the ride quality, compliance and snappieness. The correct size frame- Sometimes you can be inbetween sizes, it is best to ride both sizes as they will frequently feel total different.

    I know that when I bought my bike one shop wanted $100 for the test ride as part of this they did a complete bike fit, you got to ride in an office park as long as you wanted and the $100 went towards the purchase price of the bike if you bought it... at the time I thought $100 you gotta be kidding but upon further evaluation it does make since.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexCad5
    I just bought a 2009 Roubaix pro (frame and fork) to get a better fit than the race bikes I've ridden before (I'm long legged and short reached.) The Pro, is very close to the S-Works Roubaix. It's front end is very beefy, with a over-sized lower head set for stiffness. It is very stiff up front, and more flexy in the rear end with it's thin curvy seat stays. The bottom bracket area is also huge, with tall chain stays. I would not necessarily call the Pro a comfort bike, and I was almost disappointed that it wasn't significantly more cushy than my last carbon race bike. But a more comfortable bike will flex when you are pushing it on descents, which I really don't want.
    The expert and the level below it are much more comfort oriented, and have very different frame construction. If you are an entry level rider, I would not recommend the Pro.
    On the other hand, the Pro is a great bike, and I'm really, really happy with it, and it is definitely race ready. I love that it is very sure in descents, and stiff and fast, even if I'm not.
    I hate to tell you this, but for 2009 and 2010, the Roubaix Expert bike and Roubaix Pro Framesets are identical except for color. Specialized's website shows this and I have previously confirmed this with a call to Specialized's customer service depart.

    The S-Works SL2 is different, but your 2009 Pro frameset and the 2009 Expert use the exact same FACT 9r materials and manufaturing techniques.

  13. #13
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    That is good to know. But Alexcad5 It doesn't matter as long as YOU like your new bike!
    Life is too short not to enjoy a new bike.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtpharr
    I hate to tell you this, but for 2009 and 2010, the Roubaix Expert bike and Roubaix Pro Framesets are identical except for color. Specialized's website shows this and I have previously confirmed this with a call to Specialized's customer service depart.

    The S-Works SL2 is different, but your 2009 Pro frameset and the 2009 Expert use the exact same FACT 9r materials and manufaturing techniques.
    I stand corrected. If you don't want a stiff bike, don't buy and expert or a pro.

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