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  1. #1
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    Roubaix Expert Compact or Triple?

    I am about to buy my first road bike, here's the challenge: I'm pushing 60, in good shape, with mild chondromalachia in one knee that often needs icing after biking, I'm also somewhat competitive.

    The Expert has a compact option of a 50-34 compact, 12-27 cassette, or a 52-39-30 triple with the same cassette.

    I live in a hilly area, with both flats, rolling, and steep hills and have a goal of riding at least one century this summer/fall. In terms of miles and miles of low maintenance riding, which crank is preferable?

    Is the drop from the 50 to 34 a reach? Does the triple offer higher highs and lower lows? Is weight really a factor? What would Sheldon say?

    And if I find in a few years that I need to take up swimming, which one would have the greater resale appeal?.

    Need answers soon, I need to get a bike!
    Thanks for taking time.

  2. #2
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    Did I respond to this on another forum today? I'm 61, ride a triple in flatland, and still wouldn't have it any other way (more often fighting wind than hills, which is about the same thing). Yes, you get a higher high and lower low, and with the component set on that particular bike you will not have any detriments that I know of.

    And we're both at the age when we don't worry about whether we've got the latest popular setup or about what other (younger) people think.

    As for resale, if you buy the Expert triple and sell it within a couple of years, contact me and I might be in the market for it! My current bike is a Sequoia and I'm thinking of an upgrade to full carbon.

  3. #3
    MCF
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    One thing is that the paint scheme on the triple and compact are completely different...just a note.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for replies, these forums are a good way to get many points of view. I called Specialized today and had a good chat with the techie folks there. After weighing the pros and cons, etc. I decided that for this bike I needed to go with the compact, which I ordered today. Now I only wish I did it a month ago!

    Ride a Century when You are a Century!

  5. #5
    MCF
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    I think you made the correct decision...and you can always change the cassette if you need to instead of changing out the cranksets.

  6. #6
    Islander
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    Good luck with the compact double. I also faced the same dilemma and picked the triple, which came with an FSA carbon crank and a 12-27 cassette. It works great and I live in a very hilly area.

    When I was looking at the double, I thought about a adding an IRD wide-range cassette for with a 12-32 or something like that. It would have given the equivalent of 30/27 with a 34/32. If IRD made a 14-32 cassette, then a road derailleur would work for sure.

    My Expert triple weighs 18 lbs. without pedals. Not bad.

  7. #7
    2007 Vett
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    My first bike was a Roubaix 27 Triple. I now own a Roubaix Expert Compact Ultegra. I'm glad I bought the triple for my first two riding seasons (I was 50 when I started riding). My legs needed to develop strength and the triple provided the means to train in hilly areas. Also, I had surgery on my knee and I didn't want to place undue stress on it until I built up the muscles. After developing strength and endurance I purchased the Compact and it has been great.

    I don't believe there is any right answer to your question. The bottom line is you know your physical condition, you know what feels the best for you while riding and only you can answer those questions. Get the bike you feel most comfortable with. The nice thing is you can always change out the crank if it doesn't meet your expectations.

    It's only my .02 cents and sometimes it's not worth that :-)

    Regards

  8. #8
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    I am also 61 and just purchased Expert Rival w/ the 11/28 freewheel. Peddled up a 1 mile hill w/ avg grade of 9% all the way in the saddle. Next week I plan to go down the other side and come back up for back-to-back climbs. BTW, rode almost 400 miles in the first month - just can't stop riding and grinning! Only wish I didn't have work everyday!

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