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  1. #1
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    Specialized @ Paris-Roubaix: no CG-Rs, no disc brakes

    At Paris-Roubaix the past few days, visited all team buses, went to presentations of Teams, etc. Weather was fantastic.

    Not one team had a rider on Specialized' infamous cobbler-gobbler (CG-R) seatpost. Not even any of the Specialized sponsored riders/teams.

    Furthermore, at the request of the two Specialized-sponsored teams, disc brakes we removed off the bikes and caliper (dura-ace) brakes put on.

    Makes one wonder.

    What and/or who is actually running Specialized? And what have they (and others in the industry) been trying to foist off on consumers all this time?? Pros don't seem to want stuff that is currently being pushed, and more than a few of them yesterday, when directly asked by people in a group as we all gawked, said the "only" reason they are using disc brakes is because of sponsor obligations. What was even more notable is more than a few of them said they wouldn't ride disc brakes if the choice was up to them. And these were young guys talking too, not just the seasoned pros.

    I guess we all can't be Sagans...Sagan forced Specialized to remove the disc brakes on his Roubaix model, and also refused to use the CG-R seatpost. Don't know if there's any truth to this, but rumors is push-back from a lot of teams (BOH included) Specialized have sponsored is what caused them to bring back threaded bottom brackets on the Roubaix & other models this year. Main reason? Riders were tired of the constant creaking, groaning, popping, etc, etc of pressfit BBs. Wow, does that sound familiar to us or what??!! Sagan's BB on his Roubaix yesterday was a Dura Ace threaded, if I saw right-----tried to get a close-up pic, but was getting jostled & trampled around by 100s of rabid Sagan fans that it was impossible


    Sure would be nice for ALL bike manufacturers to stop shoving disc brakes, pressfit BBs, and idiot-components (like the CG-R) that even Pros won't use when given to them for free.

    Quit treating us as your test guinea-pigs!

    Just my 2 cents.

  2. #2
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    How many were using the Future Shock system? My understanding is that there was a lock-out feature added to it per many pro requests.

    As for discs, I for one am a fan and find the ability to brake later and harder into a turn a very real thing. Of course, I suck and am not anywhere in the same universe as a pro, lol.

    Personally, I find the CG-R seatpost to be very comfortable to ride when compared to a standard seatpost. I know there is a study out there (Bike Radar?) that showed that it wasn't particularly compliant, but my butt discerned otherwise. I've only used it on a Diverge, but I found the setback difficult to accommodate, so maybe that's the case for pros who ride in far more aggressive positions?

    Pros make bones about sponsored crap all the time. Sagan uses Zipp Sprint stems even though they're not a sponsor. Should bike brand X go out and swap all their stems for Zipps? Of course not. Same goes for shoes, saddles, hell even computer mounts are in the mix as 'what the pros use' territory. As with all things, YMMV, so as a consumer it's up to you to discern what works best for you. I know what does for me and I purchase accordingly. I'm thankful that manufacturers give us a choice. It just so happens that I agree with them and not the pros.

    Just my buck three eighty.

  3. #3
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    regarding disc brakes, I notice that so far in the classics season, there aren't many top riders who are using them. Even in the drenching wet races, riders are just not using them. Early in the season during the races in the desert (eg, Dubai, Oman), some mainly no-name riders were using them. Then came the Classics, and disc brakes disappeared from the title contenders' equipment list. I guess nobody wants to be caught out with potential neutral service or wheel change issues.

    regarding Sagan, he can do anything he wants. He has proven yet again to be an incredible talent. I like how he ask the mechanic for an allen key and then proceed to tighten his own stem while in the breakaway. Who needs disc brakes and cobble gobbler when you have Sagan.
    Last edited by aclinjury; 1 Week Ago at 05:47 AM.

  4. #4
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    Sticking it to the Man... I like it. I think the issue with disks is more about wheel changes with the inevitable flats versus braking performance.

  5. #5
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    It is too bad they don't sell a rim brake roubaix and only the pros get to use them. I guess that rule the uci has doesn't include braking systems.

  6. #6
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    This thread will now turn into a disc brake thread as the disc brake armada rolls in with opinions in a highly charged topic. Expect to see words such as "luddites" used.

  7. #7
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    I'm definitely bothered by the industry's agenda of pushing new technologies that offer plenty of financial gain for the bike company with questionable benefits to the consumer. At least give the consumer more choice.

    Regarding disc brakes at Paris-Roubaix, at least in the press teams and riders were pretty diplomatic about using rim brakes. Reasons cited include faster wheel changes and more random wheels available on side of road, and that even if discs brake better you don't brake in this race...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by taodemon View Post
    It is too bad they don't sell a rim brake roubaix and only the pros get to use them. I guess that rule the uci has doesn't include braking systems.
    I think part of this depends on market. In the USA they have been pushing disc brakes hard by making them the only option in a lot of cases, which really bothers me. But in at least 2017 models if not 2018, I noticed high end rim brake versions of many endurance bikes still exist elsewhere like Europe.

  9. #9
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    Interesting. Musing as to your question who's running Specialized...While Specialized and every other manufacturer makes some really nice products, they do a good job creating a solution a problem that doesn't exist. I just looked at the Roubaix for a possible bike for my Dad and it's just gimmicky IMO. I'm sure it's a nice ride and all but, with a crazy shocker seat posts, lockout stem/bar system, compartments here and there etc...I kept thinking the marketing department guys must sit around and brain storm what they think people want. And boom! They make a full suspension hybrid that weighs more than a 29r!

    As to the disc brake issue I read the pros didn't want them at PR because wheel changes take longer. Did you get a chance to chat with some pros or mechanics and get their opinion (off the record of coarse)?

  10. #10
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    IMO, you're talking two different worlds.

    The consumer world is driven by new, shiny things. If they're not moving new bikes, they're not making money. I'm ancient history in the MTB world with my 26" rim-braked bike, since the MTB world has EXPLODED in technology since I bought my bike...29ers were pushed, HARD, then they cooled off to 27.5". Discs were already being pushed when I bought my bike (in 2006), but for all practical purposes, rim brakes work good enough. So, viewing things through that lens, I can certainly see why Specialized et. al. want to push new, fancy, shiny things on the consumer market...without generating hype, they're not selling new bikes.

    The race world is about what works. These professionals are putting out maximum power, 100% of the time, and anything that doesn't work for them is hindering their chances. There's a reason Olympic Swimmers, even though they may be sponsored by Nike or Speedo, might wear a TYR suit or goggles and cross out or cover up the logo: It works for them. I'm not entirely surprised by pros that don't use the new, shiny gear.

    Having said that, I've thoroughly enjoyed the ride of every Spec Roubaix I've ridden...once upon a time, that bike was on my short list of bikes I wanted to buy.
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  11. #11
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    OP,
    As you are almost blatantly saying, that is where the industry has gone. Specialized is selling out and pandering to profit. Yes, they have industry leading technology. There have been more than a few threads about the lack of reliability aka rattle of the Roubaix Future shock as well. Of course a slightly larger volume tire is a simpler and more reliable alternative to Future Shock...not to mention, easier to control the bike.

    The Cobl Gobl seat post has been out for a few years now. I have never seen Boonen ride it either and I know he has tested it. Better riders don't want the BS. As mentioned for the Roubaix race, disc brakes aren't needed for braking performance due to lack of climbing and of course not desired due to more seamless wheel changes.

    Of course threaded BB's make more sense than the myriad of Press Fit BB's on the market but that would negate the exclusivity of each brand wouldn't it?

    So the industry running out of good innovation to sell bikes has turned to the shilling of features many better riders don't want.

    Quite a dilemma for Specialized when the features they promote are rejected by guys who ride bikes for living. OP, you picked up on it but the average Joe with $3-4K will still walk into a bike shop and try to 'buy game' with a ginned up gimmicky bike like the Roubaix. More knowledgable riders however will save $2K and purchase an Aluminum Allez, Emonda or Synapse however with the same if not better performance and much greater reliability...2018 Allez...not the Sprint...having coveted Roubaix geometry as well to help the average rider and a threaded BB. I own what I consider the last great Roubaix...a SL3 Pro with threaded BB. Specialized screwed the pooch with the SL4 Roubaix by making the back end too stiff. The SL5 aka Future Shock version literally speaks for itself as it rattles in front over bumps.

    There is an auto industry parallel. I am reminded of fat cats who buy the BMW 7 series with every imaginable techno gadget under the sun. Where do they spend most of their time? At the dealer fixing all the stuff that constantly goes wrong. What happens to resale out of warranty? Can't give one away because they are cost prohibitive if one has to pay for maintenance. Most loved cars in history? Minimalist pure driving machines with no BS.

    Ultimately it comes down to the consumer. If people are too stupid to know better and pay exorbitant prices for tarted up machines which includes cars, bicycles and iPhone that cost $1K, they get their just desserts and they do.
    Last edited by 11spd; 1 Week Ago at 06:50 AM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wetworks View Post
    How many were using the Future Shock system? My understanding is that there was a lock-out feature added to it per many pro requests.

    As for discs, I for one am a fan and find the ability to brake later and harder into a turn a very real thing. Of course, I suck and am not anywhere in the same universe as a pro, lol.

    Personally, I find the CG-R seatpost to be very comfortable to ride when compared to a standard seatpost. I know there is a study out there (Bike Radar?) that showed that it wasn't particularly compliant, but my butt discerned otherwise. I've only used it on a Diverge, but I found the setback difficult to accommodate, so maybe that's the case for pros who ride in far more aggressive positions?

    Pros make bones about sponsored crap all the time. Sagan uses Zipp Sprint stems even though they're not a sponsor. Should bike brand X go out and swap all their stems for Zipps? Of course not. Same goes for shoes, saddles, hell even computer mounts are in the mix as 'what the pros use' territory. As with all things, YMMV, so as a consumer it's up to you to discern what works best for you. I know what does for me and I purchase accordingly. I'm thankful that manufacturers give us a choice. It just so happens that I agree with them and not the pros.

    Just my buck three eighty.
    I believe Sagan, at a minimum, was using it.

    At one point during PR he grabbed an Allen spanner from the car and torqued his stem a bit.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    I believe Sagan, at a minimum, was using it.

    At one point during PR he grabbed an Allen spanner from the car and torqued his stem a bit.
    He maybe using a facsimile and not what is available to the consumer just like the Roubaixes in the race its named after. 'Solid' shock Roubaixes have been raced before. Further, Sagan could have a spring rate in that shock which renders it all but solid. He isn't the type of guy to want it. Most pros aren't. Last year's winning bike at the Roubaix race was an 'aero' bike...the Scott Foil, not known for its frame compliancy. Many know that most compliancy to any bicycle is in the tires which they run wide and with low pressure in the Roubaix race because the cobbles are so brutal.

  14. #14
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    Disc brakes are gonna be a long slow crawl into the road bike consumer scene, not the overnight mega profit all the corporate vampires were banking on!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 11spd View Post
    He maybe using a facsimile and not what is available to the consumer just like the Roubaixes in the race its named after. 'Solid' shock Roubaixes have been raced before. Further, Sagan could have a spring rate in that shock which renders it all but solid. He isn't the type of guy to want it. Most pros aren't. Last year's winning bike at the Roubaix race was an 'aero' bike...the Scott Foil, not known for its frame compliancy. Many know that most compliancy to any bicycle is in the tires which they run wide and with low pressure in the Roubaix race because the cobbles are so brutal.
    The thing to remember ofc...Only a minority of P-R is actually cobbles. 4/5 of the course, this year, was nicely paved roads as nice as the peloton demands for GTs.
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  16. #16
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    While I like tapered head tubes and would like to give eTap a try one day, the vast majority of "advances" have been anything but. Hydraulic disc brakes are pretty great, but not in mixed packs (I've been on the wrong end of that one before). Internal routing looks clean, but it's a pain in the butt to work on a lot of the time. Suspension devices on road bikes usually just are one more part to wear out and make noise. Press fit bottom brackets...

    I still run 10 speed stuff, because I had a lot of it and saw no compelling reason to abandon thousands of dollars of components. I have enough drive train parts in my garage at the moment to build three bikes, with plenty of spares for the other eight. My two disc brake bikes are both 10 speed. Electronic shifting and one extra cog just didn't move me, and the new 12 speed stuff isn't doing anything for me either. What I have is good enough until I can't maintain it anymore.

    I just added two Moots to the collection. Both ten speed, threaded bottom bracket, external routing. One has hydraulic discs and is more endurance-oriented. The other has caliper brakes and is more performance-oriented. I expect I'll like them very much.

    If not, the industry will always have something new to sell me.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wetworks View Post
    How many were using the Future Shock system? My understanding is that there was a lock-out feature added to it per many pro requests.

    As for discs, I for one am a fan and find the ability to brake later and harder into a turn a very real thing. Of course, I suck and am not anywhere in the same universe as a pro, lol.

    Personally, I find the CG-R seatpost to be very comfortable to ride when compared to a standard seatpost. I know there is a study out there (Bike Radar?) that showed that it wasn't particularly compliant, but my butt discerned otherwise. I've only used it on a Diverge, but I found the setback difficult to accommodate, so maybe that's the case for pros who ride in far more aggressive positions?

    Pros make bones about sponsored crap all the time. Sagan uses Zipp Sprint stems even though they're not a sponsor. Should bike brand X go out and swap all their stems for Zipps? Of course not. Same goes for shoes, saddles, hell even computer mounts are in the mix as 'what the pros use' territory. As with all things, YMMV, so as a consumer it's up to you to discern what works best for you. I know what does for me and I purchase accordingly. I'm thankful that manufacturers give us a choice. It just so happens that I agree with them and not the pros.

    Just my buck three eighty.
    Sagan and others had that Future Shock on, couldn't tell about which setting they were using, but I am pretty sure it was on all the Specialized bikes.

    Keep forgetting about the "wheel changing during a race' worry that you all are mentioning here. For sure, if there's a problem on the pave sections, no way a Team car is getting to them quickly (or even the Shimano motorcycle service bikes roaming the course) if there are various little groups of riders threaded out over the cobbles. Maybe that's the only reason for disc-brake reluctance. I have to remember this

    Big thing, as always, was the 28mm-30mm tires. I don't feel so bad when I see those guys using 55-60 psi up front and only 75-80 rear. Quit a few bean pole pros may have been even lower than this as they laughed about how low they've used before.


    Oh, regarding the CG-R and possible setback.....if you ever walked around pros bikes, one thing that strikes you immediately is these guys mostly are all at maximum setback, usually on 25mm setback posts (which is what the CG-R is). Pros always seem to ride a size or two small er bike than you'd expect them, and when asked, it's always the same response: smaller, tighter frame equals less weight plus the supposed stiffer factor when they go through one of the massive accelerations and/or (if lucky) end up sprinting in the V-dome.

  18. #18
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    I think Specialized should sue Sagan for breach of contract and the town of Roubaix for trademark infringement

  19. #19
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    look like thread-on. however I have a Praxis prob-solver BB in one of my bikes that looks just like this, in a press fit shell

    cyclingnews has all the pics of the bike http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/...ubaix-gallery/

    Last edited by BCSaltchucker; 1 Week Ago at 09:56 AM.
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    If you guys read the article that BC kindly posted for us, you will see the Future Shock Roubaix that Sagan rode has a 'lock out' feature which currently is NOT offered on the 2018 Roubaix. No doubt it will be forthcoming which should mitigate the often reported rattle...lol.

    So Peter Sagan wins the grueling Roubaix race on a completely non production bicycle with custom geometry and designed for rim brakes when the production bike is only available in disc.

    Think about what this bike truly is...its a Tarmac with mechanical shifting and a threaded BB...has about the same geometry as a Tarmac with shortened head tube...maybe slightly longer wheelbase.

    This 'new' 'prototype' Roubaix is effectively a throw back retro tech bike that is little different than a Tarmac SL4 of 5 years ago.

    Have to laugh.

    A word on a threaded BB most of us prefer. Sagan wins the race probably pumping out in excessive of 1000 watts in spots or certainly north of 500 watts, he is powerful guy for a bike rider...and wins on a BSA BB. Just how much value does a wide shell Press Fit BB bring? Nothing...or rather, nothing but a PITA. A 24mm spindle diameter DA crank is all that is required to sustain the prodigious power of Sagan. I am 185 lbs and have never been able to feel any give in a 25mm Campy or 24mm Shimano crank out of the saddle with threaded outboard bearings.

    So, we all have to take a good hard look at what the big brands are trying to sell us with the latest iterations of the new bikes with just more farkles to go wrong and when they do, off to the bike shop to order the proprietary parts exclusive to the big bike brands to create more profit for them. I am no luddite and embrace modern carbon bike tech, but see the diminishing return on what a waste a $10K bike really is.
    Last edited by 11spd; 1 Week Ago at 10:09 AM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by BelgianHammer View Post

    Furthermore, at the request of the two Specialized-sponsored teams, disc brakes we removed off the bikes and caliper (dura-ace) brakes put on.


    Just to clarify...it's impossible to 'remove disc brakes and install rim brakes'...they used different bikes.
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  22. #22
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    I imagine it is the mechanics who insist on the thread-on (or conversion kit? or Glue-in BSA sleeve?) bottom bracket. Just so so so much easier to maintain, quickly and easily, with basic tools. and of course low risk of BB creaks

    edit - just took the wheel off my wife's 2017 Roubaix. Seems it has a thread-on BB
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Just to clarify...it's impossible to 'remove disc brakes and install rim brakes'...they used different bikes.
    That's right. Effectively a redesigned bike. Fork and rear triangle force/deflection aka stiffness is completely different with a rim brake bike compared to a bike with braking forces much lower on the frame/fork aka disc brake bike.
    The Roubaix that Sagan raced isn't anything like a production Roubaix...closer in name than anything else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BCSaltchucker View Post
    I imagine it is the mechanics who insist on the thread-on (or conversion kit? or Glue-in BSA sleeve?) bottom bracket. Just so so so much easier to maintain, quickly and easily, with basic tools. and of course low risk of BB creaks

    edit - just took the wheel off my wife's 2017 Roubaix. Seems it has a thread-on BB
    The carbon molds that Specialized uses on their 68mm shell race bikes for BB30 are virtually the same as their BSA bike. The alloy cylinder that creates BB30 versus the alloy cylinder that creates a BSA interface are virtually identical...maybe slight variance in outside diameter of the cylinder...but cylinders bonded to the carbon BB shell in both cases. Only difference is a BB30 cylinder has press fit 30mm inside diameter bores with snap ring grooves and a BSA cylinder has threaded bores with a lightly different inside diameter. Molding of the carbon and creating the bike in either case is virtually identical down to outside dimensions of the ball shaped BB shell which is what really gives the BB its stiffness and not a threaded versus press fit interface.

  25. #25
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    yes it's the monocoque large exterior shell that creates teh stiffness, not the BB insert structure. I had n 07 S Works Tarmac, with a small monocoque exterior shell in the BB area, and it was not very stiff at all. almost the shape of alu tubing instead of a CF monocoque we see today
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