Can't decide: Roubaix Sora Disc or Secteur Expert Disc?
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  1. #1
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    Can't decide: Roubaix Sora Disc or Secteur Expert Disc?

    Hey guys,

    New road biker here. I've been waiting many months, researching and trying to decide on a bike. I've narrowed my choices down (based on LBS) that I want to stick with spesh. As crazy as it sounds, I want road discs, mainly because I'm not planning to race, but I would like a nice bike to commute on (all-weather) and to get into some weekend group rides.

    The 2014 Roubaix SL4 Sora Disc and 2014 Secteur Expert Disc are both in my price range ($50 apart) and I'm having a hard time deciding between a top end alu vs low end carbon. I plan on keeping my bike for a while (i've had my last mtn bike for over 10+ yrs) and I'm not opposed to upgrading as I like playing around with my toys. Would the Roubaix be a better bike to go with thinking long-term? Or should I just stick with the Secteur and not be worried about it.

    Thanks for any replies in advance!

  2. #2
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    I prefer the ride of carbon but in the price range I'd go with the Secteur. A $2k bike with a Sora group is not something I'd personally be interested in. I don't know anything about the disc brakes on the Roubaix but if they're similar to the BB5's they probably don't work all that well. I will caution that if you think you'll want to upgrade to carbon in the future it will be cheaper in the long run to buy a more expensive bike now.

  3. #3
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    I really scratched my head when I saw these 2 bikes priced and spec'd so close to each other.
    The Roubaix....even though it's Sora 9 speed....has a nice frame....and if you're keeping it for a while...is what I'd lean towards.
    But the Sectur has a little better components
    I have ridden either frame.....so it's hard to say whether the carbon rides better than the alloy
    Both are great deals.....and make for a tough decision...
    Last edited by the mayor; 09-17-2013 at 02:36 PM.

  4. #4
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    Unless disc brakes are really that important to you...I'd shoot up to the Sport 105 Roubaix, it has better components for $150 more (150/Tiagra mix and a better seat). Again, unless disc brakea are that big of a deal, I fell you're paying quite a bit of $$ for them.

    As for the carbon of the Roubaix, It's not really a entry level frame, it's a Sl4 Roubaix frame...which is a really nice setup.

  5. #5
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    Thanks everyone for the input.

    Dunbar: I've tried but failed at finding any info on the brakes as well. However, the Roubaix specs 160mm rotors front/back over 160mm/140mm of the Secteur. I've seen it specced on another bike I looked at (new Orbea Avant). I think carbon is something I do want to get in the future, hence why I'm looking at the Roubaix now, but at the same time paying $2k for Sora seems like blasphemy. Truth be told the new sora I rode was not bad to my newbie-self, but I'd probably expect it to have a shorter lifespan.

    the mayor: I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks its a hard choice!

    typetwelve: Unfortunately I do really want discs. It rains a lot here and I'd especially like to keep my future upgrade options open (especially once hydraulic systems are more commonplace). You're right the SL4 isn't really low end...(or maybe its the new low end)

  6. #6
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    As far as the disc brakes.....the BB7s are the standard for mechanical brakes. They are a little finicky...but when set up correctly ( like just about everything else)...they work well.

    The Shimanos also work well.....but do not have all the extra adjustments of the BB7...which is probably not a bad thing.

    And $2000 isn't low end......but it is the entry level performance bike price.

    If you can....try to test ride them. If you can't...just flip a coin. Both bikes are nice.

    The new road line ups remind me of the mtb boom in the early 90s, where every manufacturer had so many bikes in their line up....all spec'd and priced so close.

  7. #7
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    Can't decide: Roubaix Sora Disc or Secteur Expert Disc?

    Just wanted to give you guys an update. After placing an order in late september, I finally received my Roubaix Sora Disc a few days ago. After a couple trips to the bike store and hardware store, I got my fenders up and running as I wanted it. We've been treated to heavy rain and wind warnings over the last couple days, but it didn't hamper the fun I've been having with it. This bike is perfect for me as I want an well-rounded bike that I won't be worried using year-round. The components aren't a big concern since I'll be upgrading slowly over the next while.

    New:
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1389641410.206528.jpg

    Winter mode:
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1389641593.905701.jpg

  8. #8
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    Looks good, that Sora model makes an excellent budget buy for upgrading. Wait for a good deal on Ultegra 6800 at ~$600 and spend another $400-500 on some good wheels and you'll have a nicer bike than the $2950 Roubaix Comp Compact.

    Here's a video of a guy who upgraded his rim brake SL4 Sora to 11sp Ultegra.

    Specialized 2014 Roubaix SL4 - Ultegra 6800 11 Speed Groupset Upgrade - YouTube

  9. #9
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    Can't decide: Roubaix Sora Disc or Secteur Expert Disc?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
    Looks good, that Sora model makes an excellent budget buy for upgrading. Wait for a good deal on Ultegra 6800 at ~$600 and spend another $400-500 on some good wheels and you'll have a nicer bike than the $2950 Roubaix Comp Compact.

    Here's a video of a guy who upgraded his rim brake SL4 Sora to 11sp Ultegra.

    Specialized 2014 Roubaix SL4 - Ultegra 6800 11 Speed Groupset Upgrade - YouTube
    Thanks for the video.

    That was exactly what I was planning to do. Considering I can sell the brakeset, I'll be well under <$600 for a new group - which is a steal (as long as those deals continue to show up). I must say, so far the new Sora has been very decent with some minor adjustments.

    I'll be waiting for more disc hub wheelsets to be available too.

  10. #10
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    man that's a nice frame on the Roubaix

    id jump on it, lose the group and add a 105....

  11. #11
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    Nice choice dton13.
    How much tire clearance is there?
    Could you take a photo of the tire clearance on the chain stays/ bottom bracket area?

  12. #12
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    It's odd that they use 160 mm rotor for rear.

  13. #13
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    Can't decide: Roubaix Sora Disc or Secteur Expert Disc?

    Quote Originally Posted by the mayor View Post
    Nice choice dton13.
    How much tire clearance is there?
    Could you take a photo of the tire clearance on the chain stays/ bottom bracket area?
    This is the best shot I could get. All gunky from my ride home. I'd say ~5mm to each stay and ~10mm to the BB (without fender). The lighting is poor right now, I can try and get a better shot if you'd like.
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1390624836.739481.jpgImageUploadedByTapatalk1390624889.922049.jpg

    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    It's odd that they use 160 mm rotor for rear.
    They actually came with 140mm in the rear. The kicker is it also came BB7's instead of the shimano's.

  14. #14
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    Roubaix or Secteur?

    Thanks for your posts!
    I'm in the same boat.

    Thanks, I'm torn between either one of these bikes.
    A guy a my LBS said if I was going to shell out $2000 for a bike of the top of the line Secteur, I'm better off going with the carbon framed Roubaix. 9 months out of the year I bike to work. This year I want to go on a long bike ride to visit my friend in Philly, (120 miles). For 3 years I've been using a hand me down steel frame road bike from my father in law. It's probably 20+ years old. I do like the more upright position, but like I said, I want something fast and light. I have to carry my bike up about 25 steps at my job (I'm an RN at a hospital).

    For work, I ride on the road, though there's this spot where I have to hop a curb and ride on the grass for about 20 yard. I sometimes get off the bike, and I sometimes efficiently, and inefficiently hop it. I worry about the jarring effects it has on my bike.

    Is my thinking correct regarding choosing either the Secteur or Roubaix.

    But here's my main question. Can I put size 30 tires on the Roubaix? Or is 28 as big as you can get, and am I overthinking using size 30 tires.

    Thanks

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by prcooley View Post
    But here's my main question. Can I put size 30 tires on the Roubaix? Or is 28 as big as you can get, and am I overthinking using size 30 tires.
    28's will fit no problem. I ran a 28 rear on my SL4 and it fit fine. I think 30's should work but it would be tight. 28mm GP4000S II's at 70-75psi should ride really nice. I ride 35mm Vittoria Voyager Hyper tires at 50-60psi on my utility bike and it makes for a VERY smooth ride even on a cheap aluminum frame.

    If you do want to run wider tires you should check out the new carbon fiber Trek Boone with the isospeed seat mast.

  16. #16
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    Thanks for the quick reply on this snow day. That Trek Boone looks super nice, but it's super expensive, I can't really afford much more than $2000. I guess I'd be willing to go up to $2500 or so if I was in love with it, but this is really the first bike I'm spending money on, given I got my first one for free from my father-in-law.

    So regarding your Roubaix Sora Disc, have you had any issues with the disc breaks, and do you ever ride on gravel and or grass for short spans? This bike for me is going to be 80% road, with some slightly bumpy bike paths, and grass and some curb hopping. But mostly road. I guess either way, the Roubaix or better quality aluminum Secture Expert is a great option. Thanks for the feedback!
    -Paul

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by prcooley View Post
    Thanks for your posts!
    I'm in the same boat.

    Thanks, I'm torn between either one of these bikes.
    A guy a my LBS said if I was going to shell out $2000 for a bike of the top of the line Secteur, I'm better off going with the carbon framed Roubaix. 9 months out of the year I bike to work. This year I want to go on a long bike ride to visit my friend in Philly, (120 miles). For 3 years I've been using a hand me down steel frame road bike from my father in law. It's probably 20+ years old. I do like the more upright position, but like I said, I want something fast and light. I have to carry my bike up about 25 steps at my job (I'm an RN at a hospital).

    For work, I ride on the road, though there's this spot where I have to hop a curb and ride on the grass for about 20 yard. I sometimes get off the bike, and I sometimes efficiently, and inefficiently hop it. I worry about the jarring effects it has on my bike.

    Is my thinking correct regarding choosing either the Secteur or Roubaix.

    But here's my main question. Can I put size 30 tires on the Roubaix? Or is 28 as big as you can get, and am I overthinking using size 30 tires.

    Thanks
    The 25s Specialized Espoirs that come with the bike are pretty much the same size as the 28 Conti's on my other bike. I haven't gotten a caliper out to measure but they are very close. I wouldn't go larger than a 28 if you want to put fenders on, without fenders your clearance at the front fork and rear BB area would be pretty slim (with >28).

    I decided on the Roubaix because I ride 90% road. I do have short gravel paths I take (~1km) occasionally. It handles fine but I'm used to riding 25/28s on packed gravel and I'm usually not riding hard during that section.

    Curb jumps, correct me if I'm wrong, but that might just be up to the wheelset strength.

    If you want to do some touring, the Secteur would probably be the better choice since it has eyelets for a rack. I have a hybrid for luggage carrying duties, but I'm contemplating selling that and getting a proper touring bike with drop bars.

    I haven't had any issue with the brakes, but like I mentioned I have BB7's on mine, they seem to be specced for other brakes. They squeal a little in the wet, but that's easily solved with another set of pads.

  18. #18
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    Probably the Roubaix, but which one

    Dton13!
    So my LBS guys are steering me away from the disc breaks. They say the technology is too new and the stopping power is not great.

    When you say you got the BB7s, does that mean you purchased them on Amazon and put them on yourself?
    Specialized offers a Shimano 317 disc, 160mm rotor,
    as well as a hydraulic version. It doesn't look like they offer Avid's BB7, you just got lucky, and they came with them? And from what the sales guys tell me, you have to really pull back on the Shimano's to get them to work. I'm considering getting the Roubaix SL4 Sport 105 or even splurging and getting the Elite (both non disc). Thoughts? I'm thinking of making this purchase in the next month. I'd like to bet on the future and get the Disc brakes, which will come in handy when I eventually move back to Pittsburgh, where it rains a lot.







  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by prcooley View Post
    Dton13!
    So my LBS guys are steering me away from the disc breaks. They say the technology is too new and the stopping power is not great.

    When you say you got the BB7s, does that mean you purchased them on Amazon and put them on yourself?
    Specialized offers a Shimano 317 disc, 160mm rotor,
    as well as a hydraulic version. It doesn't look like they offer Avid's BB7, you just got lucky, and they came with them? And from what the sales guys tell me, you have to really pull back on the Shimano's to get them to work. I'm considering getting the Roubaix SL4 Sport 105 or even splurging and getting the Elite (both non disc). Thoughts? I'm thinking of making this purchase in the next month. I'd like to bet on the future and get the Disc brakes, which will come in handy when I eventually move back to Pittsburgh, where it rains a lot.



    Mine came with BB7's. I wasn't going to question it so I'm not sure if it was a one-off. I know they were supposed to come with Shimanos so I was prepared to switch them out with BB7's or TRP Hyrd. I've been happy with the performance of the Avids. I wouldn't say they're as good as ultegra/DA level caliper brakes (when dry), but they're more than good enough for me now, with the potential for being a lot better with hydraulics.

    I wouldn't let a set of crappy brakes (disc or other) sway you from getting a certain model as they're easy to switch out and not very expensive. I may have mentioned before, I commute on my bike (often in the rain), I use fenders most of the time, and weight isn't an issue. It was a no-brainer for me.

    Good luck!

  20. #20
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    Your LBS guys are wrong. The disc brakes provide better and safer braking, especially under wet conditions. I've descended 3,300 hitting puddles on a wet road, riding the disc brakes all the way down with strong braking power and confidence. No issues and I weigh 245 lbs.

    Quote Originally Posted by prcooley View Post
    Dton13!
    So my LBS guys are steering me away from the disc breaks. They say the technology is too new and the stopping power is not great.

    When you say you got the BB7s, does that mean you purchased them on Amazon and put them on yourself?
    Specialized offers a Shimano 317 disc, 160mm rotor,
    as well as a hydraulic version. It doesn't look like they offer Avid's BB7, you just got lucky, and they came with them? And from what the sales guys tell me, you have to really pull back on the Shimano's to get them to work. I'm considering getting the Roubaix SL4 Sport 105 or even splurging and getting the Elite (both non disc). Thoughts? I'm thinking of making this purchase in the next month. I'd like to bet on the future and get the Disc brakes, which will come in handy when I eventually move back to Pittsburgh, where it rains a lot.






    2010 Pinarello Dogma 60.1
    2013 Pinarello Dogma 65.1

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by prcooley View Post
    Thanks for your posts!
    I'm in the same boat.

    Thanks, I'm torn between either one of these bikes.
    A guy a my LBS said if I was going to shell out $2000 for a bike of the top of the line Secteur, I'm better off going with the carbon framed Roubaix. 9 months out of the year I bike to work. This year I want to go on a long bike ride to visit my friend in Philly, (120 miles). For 3 years I've been using a hand me down steel frame road bike from my father in law. It's probably 20+ years old. I do like the more upright position, but like I said, I want something fast and light. I have to carry my bike up about 25 steps at my job (I'm an RN at a hospital).

    For work, I ride on the road, though there's this spot where I have to hop a curb and ride on the grass for about 20 yard. I sometimes get off the bike, and I sometimes efficiently, and inefficiently hop it. I worry about the jarring effects it has on my bike.

    Is my thinking correct regarding choosing either the Secteur or Roubaix.

    But here's my main question. Can I put size 30 tires on the Roubaix? Or is 28 as big as you can get, and am I overthinking using size 30 tires.

    Thanks
    Have you looked at the TriCross line? I have a Specialized Tricross Elite disc and I think it may serve your needs as well... It is still every bit of a road bike, but it has Disc brakes (avid BB7's) and it has 35C tires with a little tread on them perfectly suited for trails/ grass etc.

    Regarding some people getting different brakes on their Roubaix's and Secteur's... I think that Spesh must be making changes to lines mid-run depending on what supplier's have and what they can get more cheaply. My bike came with Avid BB7's which are spec'd, but I also picked up a set of Axis 4.0 discs from someone with a Roubaix and they had Tektro rotors on them...

    In terms of performance, my discs have performed amazingly well in a variety of conditions.... keep in mind it is hard to find wheels sets for a road bike with discs at this point if you're looking to upgrade. There are some very expensive options like the Roval's or Zipps, but not a whole lot of choice in the mid-range to more affordable market.... yet!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by prcooley View Post
    Dton13!
    So my LBS guys are steering me away from the disc breaks. They say the technology is too new and the stopping power is not great....
    I'm hoping your LBS was referring to the recalled SRAM hydraulic road disc brakes. Otherwise, discs are a proven solution - particularly traditional mechanical brakes like the Avid BB7's.

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