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  1. #1
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    Tarmac Elite Apex or Allez Comp Compact M2 Apex?

    I am a mountain biker buying my first road bike. I test road some Felts and Specializes. I liked the geo on the specialized the best. They did not have the Tarmac in my size to ride. I did really like the Allez Comp Compact M2 Apex the best. Now after reading the Tarmac has the same geo as the Allez, I am wondering if I should get the full carbon frame on the Tarmac or the Aluminum with the Allez. Components are the same or close (SRAM) on both.

    Other things I noticed is the Allez Comp Compact M2 Apex is the highest (most $) in the Allez lineup and the Tarmac Elite Apex is the lowest in the Tarmac line up. The Allez had a carbon seat post and a carbon fork.

    I am 202lbs still losing weight, and 5'10" I think. Also the 52cm fit the best.

    I am not sure what to do, any thoughts?
    Last edited by tracerprix; 03-20-2011 at 03:33 PM.

  2. #2
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    It looks like the only real difference in the two is the frame. My attitude is to go for the Tarmac if you can afford it.

    If you ever decide to upgrade components, you'll be in the same boat with either choice, so some people will argue whether the ~600 dollar difference is worth it for a low-end carbon frame. So it really has to be a personal decision and whether or not YOU think it's worth it. And by the way, it's still a nice carbon frame, don't get me wrong.

    If you're able to take both (if they get a 52 Tarmac in stock) for a long ride of an hour or more (not the parking lot or around the block a few times), it might help you feel the difference between the frames, and help with your decision. Good luck.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the response. I am going to wait for other people to chime in, even though I agree with the Tarmac ;-)

    But why stop at the APEX on the Tarmac? Why not get the Rival? When does it stop?
    Last edited by tracerprix; 03-20-2011 at 04:29 PM.

  4. #4
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    Not sure if this helps but I currently have a 2009 Allez with Sora components and I am in the process of upgrading to the Tarmac SL3 with SRAM Force. I really enjoy my Allez and will continue to ride it a lot for years to come. I have almost 10K miles on it and it's treated me well. I would say the Sora shifting isn't great and I know the Apex is a lot better.

    How you spend your money obviously is your business but when I first got into road biking I wasn't sure I was going to ride this much. So I went with the entry level. If you know your going to ride a decent amount the Tarmac is the way to go. If your not sure then there is nothing wrong with the Allez. One thing to note is I do think if you get the Allez you will find yourself upgrading the wheels. I lasted about one year with them and they really aren't good at all. They feel very heavy and I was breaking spokes fairly often.

  5. #5
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    I think they both come with mavic wheels. Im not sure what yours came with. I plan on riding it a lot. But time will tell.

    Im leaning towards the Tomac.

  6. #6
    Cycling induced anoesis
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    Quote Originally Posted by tracerprix
    Thanks for the response. I am going to wait for other people to chime in, even though I agree with the Tarmac ;-)

    But why stop at the APEX on the Tarmac? Why not get the Rival? When does it stop?
    It usually stops when the money runs out.

    But to answer your question.... since both bikes are equipped with a similar group, the fundamental question becomes whether or not to upgrade to a full CF frameset. I'm of the opinion that the frameset is the heart of the bike, dictating fit, handling and to some extent ride, so that's where the money should be spent. Most of us have a frameset far longer than the OEM wheelset or components, so it does make sense to focus on the longer term.

    Since the bikes share the same geo, the question does get more muddled, but I still hold to the belief that, all else being equal, the Tarmac will be the better riding bike, and since you'll presumably have it for many years, the extra cost is spread over that time. Of course, that's an arguable rationalization.

    As far as the Tarmac being 'lower end'; that might be true presently, but a couple of years ago, that same CF grade and construction was near top of the line, so IMO it's a very nice frameset for the money.

    Lastly, if you want to weigh the more pragmatic side, the Allez is a fine choice for shorter rides. By that I mean ~50 milers. Generally speaking, I think the last leg of the longer rides do tend to wear on riders on alu bikes, simply because more vibration/ road buzz runs through the frames, but that can be countered somewhat by running 25c tires at lower pressures.

    HTH...

  7. #7
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    Well, now I need to call or stop over the LBS. I think I am going to see if they can get me a Tarmac. Now, which color? red or black? I'm thinking red, not sure why...

  8. #8
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    Well I ordered the Tarmac comp with rival components! Im excited! Should be in on wed, get fitted this weekend I hope. The weather is supposed to be cold and rainy so not much riding this week.

  9. #9
    Cycling induced anoesis
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    Quote Originally Posted by tracerprix
    Well I ordered the Tarmac comp with rival components! Im excited! Should be in on wed, get fitted this weekend I hope. The weather is supposed to be cold and rainy so not much riding this week.
    Wow, quick (but good) decision IMHO.

    Congrats, and post pics when you get the bike!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tracerprix
    Well I ordered the Tarmac comp with rival components! Im excited! Should be in on wed, get fitted this weekend I hope. The weather is supposed to be cold and rainy so not much riding this week.
    That's awesome. I guess the price jump from Allez to Tarmac wasn't a big issue since the Comp was within reach. Congrats on the sweet bike; I'm guessing you'll love it. Post pics when you can.

  11. #11
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    Well the main reason I didn't stop at the Apex components on the Tarmac was because when I bought my mountain bike by the end of the season I upgraded all the components on it. I started out with a Rockhopper with ok components. So now I started out with good components and less likely to upgrade so soon. It would be much cheaper for me to buy it on the bike to start with. I learned from my previous mistake!

  12. #12
    Have any Grey Poupon????
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    Quote Originally Posted by tracerprix View Post
    Well the main reason I didn't stop at the Apex components on the Tarmac was because when I bought my mountain bike by the end of the season I upgraded all the components on it. I started out with a Rockhopper with ok components. So now I started out with good components and less likely to upgrade so soon. It would be much cheaper for me to buy it on the bike to start with. I learned from my previous mistake!
    i like your style. Buy upper level, so you dont have to build upper level later. I just wish my dang college account would allow me to do the same.haha.
    So how are you liking the Tarmac?? i imagine its awesome
    Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself- William Faulkner


    Road: 2011 Tarmac Comp
    MTB: 2011 Epic Comp 29er
    MTB SS : 2010 Rockhopper Expert
    Trainer : Trek 1000

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeeper006 View Post
    i like your style. Buy upper level, so you dont have to build upper level later. I just wish my dang college account would allow me to do the same.haha.
    So how are you liking the Tarmac?? i imagine its awesome
    Want to hear something funny? I ended up upgrading the components to Campy Super Record 11 speed. Yeah don't ask. I didn't like Sram but love CAMPY!!!!

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