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Thread: SL3 or SL4?

  1. #1
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    SL3 or SL4?

    Hi all.

    Relatively new to this forum stuff but I need some advice. I currently ride a 2009 S-Works Roubaix SL2. Looking to purchase either a project black S-Works Tarmac SL3 or the new S-Works SL4 frame when this comes out. I can get a great deal on the SL3 and love the project Black. My issue is will I really notice the difference between the SL3 and SL4?? the way i see it going form the Roubaix SL2 to the Tarmac SL3 will be like chalk and cheese. How much stiffer does one need with the SL4? SL4 does not come in project black either hence the relevance of this post. Any ideas or feedback would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Reputation: goaliecyclist's Avatar
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    I went through the same thought process - grab a deal on the SL3 frame, or wait for the latest and greatest SL4 at full price? I was riding an 07 Roubaix Pro.

    I decided to go with the SL3 frame for a couple of reasons. Price was the first reason - picked up a beautiful Andy Schleck SL3 at an amazing price. Granted, it was gently used, but came with a full warranty from the LBS. This LBS is very reputable in Toronto. Second, was more of an evaluation of my skillset. Would I notice the performance difference between the SL3 and the SL4? Probably not at my level. Even if I was to notice a marginal differernce, would I be able to justify the massive price tag associated with it? Again, probably not.

    In a nutshell, I picked up an amzing SL3 frame, built up a fantastic bike, and it has a wicked paintjob to boot. It absolutely demolishes my 07 Roubaix in every respect.....

    I don't regret my decision to go with the SL3 at all.....

    Good luck!
    stoppin pucks, mashin pedals

  3. #3
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    pics please!

  4. #4
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    I think the biggest difference between the SL3 and SL4 is the claimed 18% increase in torsional stiffness. Laterally and vertically they are essentially the same if memory serves correct.
    I sold my 5-year old frameset and now ride a 2011, 62cm SL3 Pro. If a frame is going to flex, it's a tall one that will do it first. I weigh 200 lbs and have descended downhill corners so fast that my Michelin Pro 3 tires began to lose edge grip. The frame remained billet stiff. If it's not flexing under these conditions I don't know how an additional 18% is going to be noticeable.
    The point is, for me anyway, it comes down to value. What are you getting for the additional cash outlay? When they come out with something that I can notice or feel then I'll buy, but until then I'll hang onto my money and wait for technology to evolve a better bicycle. However...., it's your money so only you can decide. Buy what makes you happy.

  5. #5
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    That's true about lateral stiffness but remember, even the SL3 is laterally stiffer than just about every other high zoot bike on the market. So it could well be that the extra stiffness is beyond the point of diminishing returns for all but the most elite level cyclists who thrive on fast crits and tactical descents.

    The SL3 Tarmac rides almost as good as the SL2 Roubaix (I have both of them) with regards to smoothness. But I use 25mm tires pumped to 80# and this tends to dominate the ride characteristics. The Roubaix does exude an "ease" of handling that accompanies the longer wheelbase. It doesn't have the agile and nimble feel of the SL3. Nor does it have the direct road feel that the SL3 has. But I like them both.

    If you can get a deal on the SL3, that would be my recommendation. The SL4 has a shorter head tube, for better or worse depending on your particular fit.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the tips all. I think I will go the SL3. Besides I think the Project Black with the bits from my Roubaix will look sick. I have attached a pic of my current bike. Still a great bike but the SL3 with more road feel will be even more fun.

    Thanks again. I will post the new bike when all is done.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails SL3 or SL4?-img00073-20110909-1124-4-.jpg  

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    is your frame for sale ? what size. thanks

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    A slight hijack, but can someone please confirm about Di2 routing on the SL4?

    Are all SL4's (frame only) the same, in that they can run cable setups or wires? (in a nice looking way, not taped to the outside).

  9. #9
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    Yes I would consider selling it. Bought new in 2010 and I could sell with SRAM red crank. S-works seat post and 110mm S-works stem if required. I also have a toupe gel 143 seat in white.

  10. #10
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    Frame size is 56

  11. #11
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    im interested , thats my size dont really need cranks , you can email me some pics and pricing with and without cranks . is it bb30 or threaded.. to armand1@comcast.net

  12. #12
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    Reputation: joshs's Avatar
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    If you are riding a Roubaix now, I would go with the SL4. The SL3 has allot more reverb in the frame and is allot harsher then the SL4. The SL4 is more responsive while being more comfortable.
    12 S-Works Tarmac SL4
    12 S-Works Stumpjumper HT 29er
    12 S-Works Epic 29er
    12 Demo 8
    10 Steel Langster

  13. #13
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    Coming from an SL3 to SL4 the only real difference other than cosmetic that i can really notice is the sound difference of harmonics between the two. Both are super stiff and smooth great rides.

    Yes the SL4 is set up with the internal Di set up. Im guess is the big push for internal is due to Di. Frame also has little rubber bumpers etc for your battery pack, etc.

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