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  1. #1
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    2009 Roubaix Expert SL Triple

    8/30/08 – Ordered 61cm 2009 Roubaix Expert SL triple. Expect delivery 9/10/08 and fitting 9/11/08.

    This is my first road bike in many, many years. I used to ride mountain bike on trails initially, then slowly migrated to roads mostly. Liked flexibility and versatility of mountain bike. Stopped riding completely for two or three years because of work ( simply no time ).

    Reason for purchasing Road bike:
    a. health reasons ( need to exercise, don’t like stair masters, tread-mills & need to balance life )
    b. I’ll continue to go gym, use stair-masters, tread-mills, etc… but not nearly as much
    c. will drastically reduce time off street routes previously used to ride with mountain bike
    d. didn’t like being passed by so many road bikes ( I’ll chase them down now )
    e. more suitable and fun when using on road ( mountain bike ok, but not nearly as efficient )

    Reason for purchasing Specialized Roubaix Expert SL triple:
    a. brand name and quality ( my mountain bike is specialized )
    b. history, specialized dealer has taken care of me in past
    c. wanted comfortable road bike ( carbon with zerts inserts )
    d. Roubaix was designed to ride in Paris Roubaix which has lots of cobble stones
    ( do search, on Paris Roubaix. I seen tour de france and those roads are horrible )
    e. 9r frame same as that used in pro, etc… only S-Works is higher with 11r or 10r
    f. triple for steep hills until I’m stronger rider, then maybe I’ll switch over to compact
    g. always wanted a good bike, but never felt comfortable spending this much.
    h. well, im getting up in years and its now or never
    Last edited by Roubaix_2009; 09-02-2008 at 02:59 AM.
    Roubaix Expert SL Triple - Sept 2009

  2. #2
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    This is the first " purely road " bike i have ever purchased. All bikes in past have been hybrids, mountain, etc...

    I'm very excited and cannot wait until i get it.

    I will post pictures which i hope will do justice to how good this bike really looks.

    Three biggest purchases i'm researching on web now are:
    a. Hitch Rack - Hanging vs Wheel Tray with frame contact, vs pure Wheel Tray no frame contact
    b. Computer Garmin 705 GPS, and everything else
    c. Shoes and quick release pedals
    Roubaix Expert SL Triple - Sept 2009

  3. #3
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    Congrats on the new bike. I look forward to hearing more and seeing pics.

    I was planning the exact same thing, and for many of the same reasons. Like tired of my MB not being able to catch road bikes. Want the better frame than the Comp offers, and for sure the better wheels.

    I liked the look of the Triple's blue paint better then the white, but I have seen neither. Glad to hear your positive comments. Look forward to seeing your pics.

    About 2 weeks ago my LBS thought availability was late Sept so I figured I would wait until spring and not have $4k hanging in the garage. I'm in North IL so the season ends in October.

    I have been considering gearing choices using Sheldon Brown's caluculator. I too was going for the triple as I don't feel that strong. The shipping gearing 30/39/52 12-13-14-15-16-17-19-21-24-27 goes from 30 to 117 inches. I don't like the big jumps above 21. I did ride a demo SL2 a few weeks ago from the Test the Best truck.

    Based on my current ride 39/53 x 13-14-15-16-17-19-21 I would say my sweet spot on the flats was 39x16 or x17 about 61 to 64 inches. The most I can push hard is about 53x16=87 inches. The low 39x21=49 inches is not low enough.

    I think I will change the back to 14-15-16-17-18-19-20-21-23-25 which will give me a range of 32 to 98 inches and very smooth increases that I like. The second choice is 13,14,15,16,17,18,19,21,23,25 which has a 105 inch max, but I don't see the need to go that much faster downhill. At a cost of about $100 it's not a big expense.

  4. #4
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    CarlB,

    Concerning color

    I think there's been a bit of confusion which seems to originate from previous year's selection and info on BikePedia's web page link below:

    http://www.bikepedia.com/quickbike/B...L+C2&Type=bike

    If link above doesn't work, you can search for following on google and look for bikepedia
    2009 Specialized Roubaix Expert SL C2

    When i orded my 2009, back on 8/30/08, the only colors available were:

    1) WHITE - 61cm and smaller
    2) Carbon/Red - 64cm only


    I called customer service at specialized in Morgan Hill, Ca to confirm. Based on information they had, 2009 Roubaix Expert Triple came in white only. Not sure about Compact. The only 2009 catalogs available are those at bike shops. Nothing available online yet.

    I was very skeptical about getting an all white bike as i thought it would be a bit bland / boring; however, the bike looks great:

    a. Pearl White / Metal flake color ( looks really good )
    b. Black Lettering / Decals ( lots of lettering / details )
    c. Dark Gray / Bluish annodized Brakes, Cranks, Deraileurs, Hubs & Rims

    Concerning Weather

    I had similar concerns, will i be able to ride seeing fall / winter is coming. Weather here, for most part, is sunny year around and even when it rains, it's only for few days and snow is in hills only.

    Need / Urgency for riding:

    Perhaps my ambition and desire to get serious about riding again may be a bit exaggerated, but i'm going to take stab at it...

    As mentioned in previous post, spend tons of hours working ( actual work, studying or researching something related to work). Consequently, mobility and physical exercise suffers as one is sitting 99% of time. Stairmasters, Treadmills, stationary bikes, etc... are very boring for me after more than 20/30 minutes. In contrast, i enjoy riding 1/2/3 hours at a time.

    Bike Calculator

    Thanks for sharing info from Sheldon Brown's calculator. Someone at bike store mentioned there was a calculator to show overlapping gear ratios; however, i wasn't sure what to look for.


    Finally, thanks for taking time to stop by and share
    Last edited by Roubaix_2009; 09-03-2008 at 04:51 AM.
    Roubaix Expert SL Triple - Sept 2009

  5. #5
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    > a. Hitch Rack - Hanging vs Wheel Tray with frame contact, vs pure Wheel Tray no frame contact

    Was at REI and I liked the Yakima King Joe's big triangular pads better then the Thule. Some negative comments at rei.com about Yak, some lost bikes. Less negative for Thule, none for scratching car. Guess I'll go back to the store and closely examine the bike tie downs. Scary to have $1000's in bikes on a $100 rack. Need more research.

    > b. Computer Garmin 705 GPS, and everything else

    Thought about it, but did not want to be taking time messing with technology instead of riding (and I'm a computer programmer). A Cateye for speed and distance is enough. I mainly ride for time. Also a Sigma Sport PC15 HRM is a deal with lots of features. I find it very helpful to monitor effort. To see calories burned is encouraging. I would wait until the bike Garmin's have WAAS so they are much more accurate. Foretrex has it.

    > c. Shoes and quick release pedals

    Look forward to hearing your choices, there's so many. I did get to test Specialized SWorks $300 shoes. It had this little knob that tighted all the laces. I liked it. Still had 3 toes on right foot asleep.

  6. #6
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    See following post for comments on racks:
    Kuat Hitch Rack ( The Alpha )
    http://forums.roadbikereview.com/sho...38611#poststop
    Roubaix Expert SL Triple - Sept 2009

  7. #7
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    Very excited about getting Garmin. Learning curve should be quick, but benefits are numerous ( at least for me )...

    Color GPS Maps:
    *abilility to see surroundings when in an unfamiliar area
    *turn by turn directions will allow me to enjoy and concentrate on ride, not where am i and when is next turn, etc...

    Customizable computer screen shows up to eight different data fields. The user may customize the display for the size and placement of the data. ( 2 cols x 4 rows )
    R:C = Row:Col
    1:1 & 1:2 - Total Time & Elapse time
    2:1 & 2:2 - Current Distance & Remaining Distance
    3:1 & 3:2 - Speed & Cadence
    4:1 & 4:2 - Heart Beat & Calories
    Or various other configurations / options

    Ability to race against myself and previous rides:
    Courses let you race against a previously recorded workout, so you can compare your current and past performances over the same ride.


    Virtual Partner lets you race a virtual competitor over a specified distance and speed.

    Program alerts to sound if the user strays outside the range of speed, heart rate or cadence values. Alerts can also indicate when a set amount of time or distance has passed.

    Auto Lap automatically starts a new lap each time you pass a specified location or travel a preset distance

    POI ( Point of Interest ): ability to locate bathrooms, gas stations, restuarants, etc... when simply roaming / riding leisurely in new city or area

    And numerous other features, options and gadgets i like ( ability to upload all that info to laptop and analyze, plan and schedule trips is simply amazing )... I'm also looking to joining community which will allow me to download other cyclist routes and compare my progress against theirs... Imagine being able to download a route from someone else and having gps alert you when you're falling behind or are ahead of person's route you downloaded... I think that is simply awesome... !!!

    http://www.amazon.com/Garmin-010-005.../dp/B000VRHPS2

    Total Cost:
    ~$450 - Garmin 705 version -30
    https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=160&pID=10885

    ~$100 - Garmin North American NT DVD ( for pc and garmin micro SD )
    http://www8.garmin.com/cartography/m.../citynavnt.jsp

    Again, once learning curve is over, this is a tool that i think will be very useful...

    Plus device can be used in car, hiking, etc...
    Last edited by Roubaix_2009; 09-03-2008 at 08:20 AM.
    Roubaix Expert SL Triple - Sept 2009

  8. #8
    Wafflekyd
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    Very coincidentally, I just ordered a 61cm Specialized Roubaix Expert SL Triple yesterday myself. I was told by my LBS that Specialized said they were out of stock, and was given an early October timeframe.

    BikePedia has it wrong on the colors. The Roubaix Expert SL comes only in carbon/white up to 61cm, with the 64cm coming only in carbon/red. This is true for both the triple and the compact.

    I thought the photos of the carbon/white bike looked great, sort of timeless, and am really glad to hear it looks great in real life as well.

    I'm really looking forward to it. I ride every day. I have a route around some finished biketrails I can access from my house that covers 12.5 miles. I work from home and take an hour at lunch to ride my route, and then sometime take another run late afternoon. Thouugh I'm a beginner, a novice, I've been logging about 125 miles a week. I'm in very good shape, but am still about ten pounds heavier than I'd like to be. Since switching from a daily gym workout to biking I've lost five pounds. Amazing how biking burns the calories!

  9. #9
    Wafflekyd
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    Thought I'd add, having reread the comments, that I have triple currently and almost never use the low gear ring. I still went for the triple rather than the compact in the new Roubaix SL because the 52/39/30 configuration is very flexible. I'm not so big on the compacts, and if I were to buy a compact I'd probably switch it to a 53/39. It just doesn't make sense to me to give up that high gear. Am I missing something?

  10. #10
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    GLBorchert,

    Guess i got lucky. When they checked on Sat 8/30, there were two bikes back east in warehouse. Guess i got one of them. I should receive my next Wed/Thu 9/10 or 9/11.

    How fortunate you are to be able to work from home and have time to ride. I'm definitely going to try and making riding a priority. Put in 8/9 hours work, go for ride, then continue working / studying remainder of evening.

    What type of bike are you riding now?

    I'm really excited as I always wanted a " really " good road bike, but until now could never justify it. And as mentioned earlier, it loooooks so good...

    You may want to call another bike shop in your area to double check. I've discovered that some stores already have stock and simply haven't put bikes together yet.
    Roubaix Expert SL Triple - Sept 2009

  11. #11
    Wafflekyd
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    Roubaix 2009:

    I'm OK with waiting. The shop I'm going through is giving me a good price, and they're the largest Specialized dealer in North Texas. The ETA of my bike may change, and it might come in earlier.

    Right now I'm riding a Specialized Sirrus - a hybrid or comfort bike. It's been a great bike for me, a great starter bike. Though it wasn't expensive, I've been impressed with the build quality. I knew when I bought it that I'd probably outgrow it quickly, and I have. I joined up with a group of guys on road bikes the other day, and even though I was pumping as many RPMs as they were, I could barely keep up. Then, they killed me on the climbs.

    I plan on keeping my Sirrus for friends and family to use, as a way of encouraging some of my neighbors to give cycling a try.

    I'm curious what other bikes you looked at, and why you settled on the Roubaix. For me, I looked at dozens of bikes, everything from Calnago to Cannondale to Trek to Giant to Seven to Blue to Felt to Cervelo, plus some others that don't come to mind at the moment, and decided that the Roubaix Expert was a great next step for me compared to the others. Comfort was a big factor in my choice, but I didn't want to give up too much on the racing end as I am training to participate in some organized race and tour events. I think that the Roubaix Expert gives a lot of bang-for-the-buck.

    I wish I could afford a Colnago, as there's a great Colnago dealer just two miles from my house. But, he's quoting me $7,000 to $8,000 range minimum, and I'm afraid my wife would blow a cork. Also, as a beginner, I think it would be sort of embarrasing to ride around on something like a Colnago. I figure I've got some learning to do before I'll really know how to make use of a real high end bike, and I also know that experience will lead me to better know exactly what I want in a bike like that. I know, though, that there's a Colnago somewhere in my future. With my new Roubaix, that will be at least three years down the road.

    So - I'm pumped - and looking forward to my new arrival.

    I am also curious as to why you'd want a GPS on a bicycle?? I've got a Cateye wireless on my Sirrus, and I can't imagine I'd need anything more than a good bike computer with cadence and maybe pulse capability. GPS strikes me as overkill, but then I've got GPS capability on my Blackberry, and I carry that with me wherever I go.

    On the pedals - I went the Shimano Ultegra route, and for me the jury's still out. I switched from the float to the no-float cleats, and even at the lightest setting they still don't release as easily as I'd like them to. I'm trying to get used to them, but am looking at other options. I'm curious to know what others use and like.

  12. #12
    Wafflekyd
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    Roubaix 2009:

    Specifically on the pedals, I'm looking at Speedplay Light Action or Zero models. Also, at the Time, BeBop an Crank Bros. I want something stable but that releases quickly, easily and reliably.

    I'd appreciate anyone's input.

    Thanks.

  13. #13
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    My LBS sells a lot of the Speedplay pedals. They've recommended the light action for me but I'm leaning toward the Shimano Ultegra pedal (Dura-Ace too many $). I haven't had the opportunity to try either so for those that have I'd like to hear what you think.

  14. #14
    Wafflekyd
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    I've got the Shimano Ultegra pedals and while they are clearly great quality, I have definitely had some trouble getting them to release as easily as I had hoped. The cleats that come with them allow some foot movement, which was nice, but didn't release very easily, even at the lightest pedal setting. The fixed cleats release a bit better, but you have to get the angle right for your foot/ankle/leg or run the risk of some tendon issues.

    The thing you have to get used to as a beginner, and I am a beginner, is that you have to anticipate needing to free your foot from the pedal. It takes a second or two to release - it is not instantaneous on the Shimano design.

    I've read the Speedplay Light Action is much more instantaneous, but I've also read that some people like a pedal with a broader base like the Shimano.

    It may just be needing to adjust to the Shimano's, I don't know. I've got 150 miles on mine, and for me the jury is out.

  15. #15
    Cycling induced anoesis
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    Quote Originally Posted by sage1
    My LBS sells a lot of the Speedplay pedals. They've recommended the light action for me but I'm leaning toward the Shimano Ultegra pedal (Dura-Ace too many $). I haven't had the opportunity to try either so for those that have I'd like to hear what you think.
    I can't offer an opinion on the Speedplay's, but I've used Shimano's since 1990 with no problems. I currently use the Ultegra PD-6620's (with float) and Spec Elite road shoes. I have two problematic knees, but they feel best when I'm riding my bike!

    To those that call themselves beginners and think the Shimano's are difficult to release, I've got one word for you. Practice.

  16. #16
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    They've recommended the light action for me
    Keep in mind that the Light Action pedals have unrestricted free float, where the range of float on the Zeros is adjustable from 0-15 degrees. For me, a big difference. I couldn't use the Light Actions. It might not matter to you.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by GLBorchert
    I've got the Shimano Ultegra pedals and while they are clearly great quality, I have definitely had some trouble getting them to release as easily as I had hoped. The cleats that come with them allow some foot movement, which was nice, but didn't release very easily, even at the lightest pedal setting. The fixed cleats release a bit better, but you have to get the angle right for your foot/ankle/leg or run the risk of some tendon issues.

    The thing you have to get used to as a beginner, and I am a beginner, is that you have to anticipate needing to free your foot from the pedal. It takes a second or two to release - it is not instantaneous on the Shimano design.

    I've read the Speedplay Light Action is much more instantaneous, but I've also read that some people like a pedal with a broader base like the Shimano.

    It may just be needing to adjust to the Shimano's, I don't know. I've got 150 miles on mine, and for me the jury is out.

    I believe the release tension is 100% adjustable. I know you wrote that the release tension was at it's lightest setting...it's just weird, my Shimano SPD pedals have the easiest release of all my different shoe and pedal combinations!

  18. #18
    Wafflekyd
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulRivers
    I believe the release tension is 100% adjustable. I know you wrote that the release tension was at it's lightest setting...it's just weird, my Shimano SPD pedals have the easiest release of all my different shoe and pedal combinations!
    OK - Thanks. I'll play with it some more. I have the tension adjusted so that the little indicator is all the way to the top.

    My concern is that I crashed once, nothing major, but a person literally popped out in front of me rounding a hidden corner, and I couldn't get my foot off the pedal in time to get it down. It was like slow motion - I knew I was going to crash but couldn't do anything about it. I braked, tried to free my foot, and then fell over. There was no major damage, mostly just my bruised ego, but it did make me more cautious and aware of the pedals.

    I'm told that everyone has had crashes. Hopefully it will be a long time before I have another one.

    I'll work with it more today, and see if I can make it easier. It's also possible it could have something to do with the shoes - I'm wearing some Diadoras that are sort of wide but do strap down tight. I ignored the information on the product information that came with the pedals that said you needed to wear Shimano shoes or the pedals might not work right. Seemed like a sales pitch.

    Anyway - thanks.

  19. #19
    Cycling induced anoesis
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    I may be mistaken and I don't want to readjust my pedals to test the theory, but if you have your pedals set so the indicator is at the top, I believe that's the MAX setting. You want to adjust down to a lower setting - for easier release.

    As far as what brand of shoes work best, I agree with you - Shimano's plugging for cyclists to use their products.

    Here's my experience with crashes. They happen. Period. My last one was when dog ran out from the side and nailed my front fork. I didn't even have time to reach for the brakes. Bikes aren't cars and no components (save for helmets) are designed for crashes. Brakes, pedals, nothing.

    There's a saying about cyclists. There are those who have crashed, and there are those that will. It's proved accurate in my experiences!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352
    I may be mistaken and I don't want to readjust my pedals to test the theory, but if you have your pedals set so the indicator is at the top, I believe that's the MAX setting. You want to adjust down to a lower setting - for easier release....
    I'd suggest trying it out - however you have them adjusted, try putting it completely the opposite way and see if it's looser. My shoes come off my clips like butter - I mean, seriously, if I was one of those racer/sprinter types I'd definitely have to *tighten* them because I'd be afraid they'd slip off to easily if I was really slamming on the pedals.

    I definitely agree that you don't want them tightened to much - one of the reasons I like mine rather loose. :-)

  21. #21
    Wafflekyd
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    Curious to know how the bike is working for you? Any surprises? I'm also curious on the sizing on the 61cm. I'm 6'2", 195 pounds, large frame, with fairly long arms. I wear a 36-37 shirt sleeve length. The 60cm top tube length on the bike has had me wondering a bit. I haven't ridden a Roubaix 61, but did ride a Roubaix 58 and thought I could go a bit bigger. The standover of 85cm is not a problem for me either. I've got nearly an inch from there, and then that depends on where they actually measure standover on the sloping top tube.

    Curious to know your road report.

  22. #22
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    This is really a great forum. Lot of new, exciting and valuable information.

    Concerning Bike:
    LBS gave me fedex tracking # and i'm monitoring progress, should be here tue 9/9

    I'm 6'3" and also have long arms. 61cm Roubaix Elite seemed ok when test riding so i suspect 61cm Expert will be fine.

    LBS where bike is purchased has full fitting setup with videos, etc... to ensure bike is tuned to me and my body geometry... so i feel pretty confident everything will be ok. They sized me up on 61cm Elite 08 before ordering 09 Expert

    Concerning pedals:
    I've requested cheapo plastic pedals, without toe clips, be installed initally until i get comfortable with bike and break in seat. I haven't riden for awhile and i suspect it'll take couple of weeks to get used to the hard seat.

    I've looked at both pedals mentioned in this thread and i was leaning towards the speedplay light action initally; however, i'm considering Ultegra SL PD-6620G's . The Ultegra's color blends well with color scheme of components already on bike, appear to be better quality and more rigid / appropriate once i become more experienced and can ride harder. Speedplay also seem good because there's plenty of float ( uninhibited motion ).

    Although i don't have any problems with my knees, i don't want to develop any issues either...

    Speedplay specificially states:
    http://www.speedplay.com/index.cfm?f...me.lightaction
    15 DEGREE RANGE OF NON SPRING-RECENTERED FREE FLOAT: Free float without spring recentering tension allows feet to find their natural float range during the pedal stroke and eliminates knee strain.

    The Light Action Pedal System is for you if you are a:
    • Serious enthusiast seeking the easiest entry and easiest release of any pedal system
    • Competitive cyclist who seeks a pedal for use in training and non-competition
    • Rider who is new to clipless pedals
    PJ352's comments are pretty convincing that ultegra's don't aggravate knees
    I can't offer an opinion on the Speedplay's, but I've used Shimano's since 1990 with no problems. I currently use the Ultegra PD-6620's (with float) and Spec Elite road shoes. I have two problematic knees, but they feel best when I'm riding my bike!
    Last edited by Roubaix_2009; 09-06-2008 at 01:49 PM.
    Roubaix Expert SL Triple - Sept 2009

  23. #23
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    Speedplay also seem good because there's plenty of float ( uninhibited motion ).

    Although though i don't have any problems with my knees, i don't want to develop any issues either...
    Again, a lot of float is not necessarily a good thing for the knee. I found out the hard way. Fortunately I use Zeros, so I was able to reduce the float and adjust the angle. I would not have been able to do this with Light Actions.

    Personally, regardless of what Speedplay says, I don't see the purpose of their Light Actions. I've only ever used Zeros and if properly installed, I've never found them hard to get into or out of. For complete free float, they've got the X's.

  24. #24
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    Thanks Dr John.

    Why would freedom / more motion ( float ) be bad for one's knee's as opposed to a more rigid / restrictive setup?
    Roubaix Expert SL Triple - Sept 2009

  25. #25
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    Why would freedom / more motion ( float ) be bad for one's knee's as opposed to a more rigid / restrictive setup?
    No idea. I guess my natural pedal stroke puts my knee in bad alignment. By removing that area in the float, I avoid the bad alignment. But for me it was definitely the problem. I was having knee problems, and had gotten to the point where I had open my float all the way to 15 degrees, thinking a lot of float was best for knee pain. I had a fit by a pretty good fitter, and told him my knee issues. He responded that a lot of float isn't necessarily always good for a knee. I road for a few more weeks on my new fit, and my knee was still killing me. To the point where I almost quit. Then I took his suggestion and started clamping down the float. It was amazing. My knee started feeling better during a ride. Now I have no knee pain at all when I use reduced float. Occasionally I'll get some pain; I learned it was due to my cleat slipping laterally just a few millimeters. So now, any pain, I know my cleat has slipped. My knee seems to be very sensitive to alignment. A few more degrees float or a few millimeters lateral shift of the cleat and I'm hurting. With everything aligned, I'm fine.

    I suspect my situation might be unique, but I have seen others report here that a lot of float doesn't work for them either. We're in the minority.
    Last edited by Dr_John; 09-06-2008 at 02:10 PM.

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