Tarmac SL3 Expert vs Pinarello FP3
Hi there I'm new to road cycling, but I've been racing XC MTB on and off for years. I've been looking for a first road bike that I can use for longer training rides, group rides, and to race some local criteriums.
So I've narrowed my choices down to the Pinarello FP3 w/Ultegra or the Specialized Tarmac SL3 Expert w/Ultegra.
I can get the FP3 for about $500 less than the Specialized. Its difficult to determine which bike is 'better' overall, especially in regards to the frame's overall ride/performance (ie. stiffness, responsiveness, power transfer). I am unable to test ride them both for comparison since the local shops do not carry Pinarello, and the Tarmac is special order only with nothing in my size in stock.
Any experiences/suggestions bewtween the two?
I am an ex LBS mechanic / sales person.
Both bikes are great bikes. I don't have any personal experience with Pinarello, but one of our club members and masters racers (with very deep pockets). Has been riding a Pinarello Paris for the past couple years. He likes the comfortable ride of the Pinarello. One point to consider Pinarello frames tend to be heavier than the Specialized.
I am on my second S-Works tarmac and love the way Tarmac's ride. They are light, comfortable, and put the power to the ground. My first Tarmac SL was a 2006 which did have some flex at the bottom bracket but still surged forward on the climbs with each pedal stroke. After a misshap with a truck I had to replace my SL with an SL2. I love the way the SL2 rides. It's stiffer than the SL yet more comfortable at the same time.
Ultimately I think it comes down to fit. Which ever bike measurements more closely match your recommended fit is the one to go with.
+1. Beyond fit, because these are CF framesets, I suggest checking out the warranties offered by both companies. It's safe to say no one betters (and most don't match) Spec's warranty/ customer service.
Originally Posted by roadie01
Just looking at the specs (Assuming the FP3 is comparable to the 2010 listed on glorycycles.com)
The specialized has more ultegra on it (brakes for instance), and has nicer wheels, assuming the fulcrum series wheels are nicer as the numbers drop. The Pinarello is going to be marginally heavier.
I'm assuming the Pinarello is mail order, since none of the local shops carry it. If it were me, I'd go with a local shop that could help you with fit, and possibly swap out some of the pieces (stem etc) to fit properly. Also, it'd be easier to deal with warranty with the local shop, if issues arise. Also, if you just don't like it at all, they might be willing to work with you for a rubaix. You might see if they have an allez in stock in your size as well. I believe they use the same geometry.
This of course assumes you like your local shop and the people that work there.
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