Roubaix expert or Tarmac expert SL?
Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    12

    Roubaix expert or Tarmac expert SL?

    These bikes are very close on specifications and sell for the same price so why one over the other?

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: pdainsworth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    717
    That's a pretty general question, so here's a very general answer...
    The Tarmac is more of a traditional "race" bike, placing a premium on stiffness and quick handling. The Roubaix has a more upright riding position and is a bit more stable feeling. They call it their "Endurance" road bike.
    -2014 Roubaix Expert with 2014 Roval CLX40 wheels
    -2013 Stumpjumper Elite FSR 29er
    -Funner ORRB (Off Road Road Bike) with whatever we had around the shop

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by pdainsworth
    That's a pretty general question, so here's a very general answer...
    The Tarmac is more of a traditional "race" bike, placing a premium on stiffness and quick handling. The Roubaix has a more upright riding position and is a bit more stable feeling. They call it their "Endurance" road bike.
    Thanks for the response as it made me look at the geometry for both bikes and they are different. Same components but different geometry for different riding styles.
    I think for my requirements the Roubaix would be better. Thanks again.

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    2
    Just to reiterate, the Roubaix is more of a comfort bike, with a more upright geometry as well as the Zertz inserts in the forks as well as the seatpost. The Tarmac is a more aggressive bike with a more forward geometry, and only the seatpost that contains the insert.

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    190
    Quote Originally Posted by acaurora
    Just to reiterate, the Roubaix is more of a comfort bike, with a more upright geometry as well as the Zertz inserts in the forks as well as the seatpost. The Tarmac is a more aggressive bike with a more forward geometry, and only the seatpost that contains the insert.
    Maybe . . . . . I've seen the Roubaix ridden agressively. Just look at Tom Boonen in the Paris-Roubaix. I have a friend who rides a Roubaix who kicks the rear ends of guys of equal fitness levels riding Tarmacs. It's all about the engine, baby!

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    52
    You can easily make the Roubaix more aggressive, it's harder the make the Tarmac more comfortable. I went with the Roubaix because of this, swapped out the 25c tyres, took the bars down 10-15mm, position isn't very different to the Tarmac and it's certainly quick enough!

  7. #7
    Cycling induced anoesis
    Reputation: PJ352's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    13,005
    Quote Originally Posted by andyk
    You can easily make the Roubaix more aggressive, it's harder the make the Tarmac more comfortable. I went with the Roubaix because of this, swapped out the 25c tyres, took the bars down 10-15mm, position isn't very different to the Tarmac and it's certainly quick enough!
    If you can make the Roubaix more aggressive by dropping the bars and going with 23c's, why can't someone make a Tarmac less aggressive by raising the bars and going to 25c's - and dropping the PSI some. Seems to me that would bring a dose of comfort while retaining that characterisitic Tarmac handling that some prefer.

    Granted, all else being equal, the Roubaix will always be more comfortable, but all else being equal, the Tarmac will always handle slightly quicker. There are always compromises, it just depends on where a given rider places his/ her priorities.

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    52
    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352
    If you can make the Roubaix more aggressive by dropping the bars and going with 23c's, why can't someone make a Tarmac less aggressive by raising the bars and going to 25c's - and dropping the PSI some. Seems to me that would bring a dose of comfort while retaining that characterisitic Tarmac handling that some prefer.

    Granted, all else being equal, the Roubaix will always be more comfortable, but all else being equal, the Tarmac will always handle slightly quicker. There are always compromises, it just depends on where a given rider places his/ her priorities.
    I thought about that after I posted!

    Agreed, yes, bigger tyres on the Tarmac, lower psi etc will make it a more comfortable ride...

    I was referring to stem stack height... I don't think you can raise it any further without replacing the fork on the Tarmac?

    I was actually referring to the frame, general Geometry being more comfortable on the Roubaix, inserts in the rear chainstays etc, you can then tweak it to be more aggressive, even with a more aggressive setup, the Roubaix will give a more comfortable ride than a standard Tarmac.

    Sorry, hope that makes better sense.

  9. #9
    Cycling induced anoesis
    Reputation: PJ352's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    13,005
    Quote Originally Posted by andyk
    I thought about that after I posted!

    Agreed, yes, bigger tyres on the Tarmac, lower psi etc will make it a more comfortable ride...

    I was referring to stem stack height... I don't think you can raise it any further without replacing the fork on the Tarmac?

    I was actually referring to the frame, general Geometry being more comfortable on the Roubaix, inserts in the rear chainstays etc, you can then tweak it to be more aggressive, even with a more aggressive setup, the Roubaix will give a more comfortable ride than a standard Tarmac.

    Sorry, hope that makes better sense.
    You're forgetting/ ignoring a couple of things. Sure, frame stack is higher on the Roubaix given its taller HT, but that can be compensated for on the Tarmac by changing stem angle. I'm curious why you clearly see an option of dropping the bars on the Roubaix, but not raising them on the Tarmac?? Again,

    RE: differences in geo. They're obvious (as are their effects on handling), but the part you're ignoring is that while the Roubaix's offers more comfort, the Tarmacs offers quicker handling. As I said previously, it's all about compromises, and (all else being equal) just as the Tarmac will never have the comfort level of the Roubaix, the Roubaix will never have the quicker handling of the Tarmac.

    You seem to think you've set up the Roubaix to be 'better' than the Tarmac, but that's arguable, based on your priorities and opinions.

  10. #10
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    52
    lol, I never said I had it setup better... I have it setup the way I like it... and was purely giving the OP an opinion

    and yes... I accept (always have) the handling differences in the models, and would never expect a Roubaix to "out handle" a Tarmac.

    If this was the case, they'd only produce a single model right?

  11. #11
    Cycling induced anoesis
    Reputation: PJ352's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    13,005
    Quote Originally Posted by andyk
    lol, I never said I had it setup better... I have it setup the way I like it... and was purely giving the OP an opinion

    and yes... I accept (always have) the handling differences in the models, and would never expect a Roubaix to "out handle" a Tarmac.

    If this was the case, they'd only produce a single model right?
    ...and I didn't say you did. I said you seem to think you've set up the Roubaix to be 'better' than the Tarmac based on your posts. That was my impression.

    But we're in agreement that it's best to accept the differences in the two models and choose accordingly. Both are excellent bikes in their own right, IMHO, of course.

  12. #12

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    5
    I ride a roubaix pro; I made the decision to get it over the tarmac for a few very specific reasons; I'm not interested in the slightest in racing anymore, the geometry tweeks betwen the two bike a re slight on paper - huge on the road. The way a 58cm tarmac rides is VERY differant that the way a roubaix rides. the tarmac easily dives into corners and feels light and nimble. the roubaix handles like a drunken moose and needs to be handled as such (I expect learning to ride turns no-handed will take time on my new roubaix)

    The roubaix rides like a cadillac and turns like one as well, like it or hate it - that's your call. You'll never understand how different the two bikes are until you ride them. The roubaix almost feels as if your riding on an indoor trainer all the time it rides so smooth. It really does cancel out a lot of high frequency chatter associated with poorly laid asphalt. The tarmac has the handling of a race bike, but rides like a race bike - transmitting some (not nearly as much as a aluminum frame mind you) road vibrations and bumps.

    Also note that most roubaix models come with compact chainrings, while only a few Tarmac's spec that feature (a wise choice for both based on intended use)

    The only thing I don't like about my roubaix was that the wheels that came stock where Fussee SL 25's. I weigh about 220-230 and that wheelset is useless to me it's so light. I wish I would have had the option to get a 28Sl model instead - or - better yet, have Specialized stock the bike with those, what do you call them... normal wheels that don't require special tools and rim tape removal every time you want to true a wheel up. But, thats a personal gripe and a minor one because I'm a big guy and I acknowledge that most people that drop the greenbacks on a bike this nice don't eat beer and drink pizza as much as I do ^_^

    In short; tarmac's are for racing, roubaix's are for just rolling and enjoying the ride.

  13. #13
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    969
    Patrick Brady (Padraig) ran a very well written series of reviews/comparison of the Roubaix and the Tarmac on his Red Kite Prayer site recently. Two part reviews of each model and then a wrap up essay comparing them.

    Roubaix part one: http://redkiteprayer.com/?p=1313
    Roubaix part two: http://redkiteprayer.com/?p=1400

    Tarmac part one: http://redkiteprayer.com/?p=1404
    Tarmac part one: http://redkiteprayer.com/?p=1406

    Tarmac vs. Roubaix: http://redkiteprayer.com/?p=1408

  14. #14
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    190
    Quote Originally Posted by evant19d
    In short; tarmac's are for racing, roubaix's are for just rolling and enjoying the ride.
    Try telling that to Tom Boonen. I wonder if he's content just rolling along and enjoying the ride as he's racing the Paris-Roubaix spring classic?

    The point I'm trying to make is this - I know and have seen plenty of people on Roubaix's kicking the crap out of similarly fit people on Tarmacs. Yes, the Roubaix is designed with comfort in mind and, yes, it SIGNIFICANTLY smooths the ride over the Tarmac but both are racing machines.

  15. #15
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    969
    FWIW, Boonen does not ride a stock Roubaix in the Paris-Roubaix race. The frames made for him are more like a Tarmac front end with a Roubaix rear triangle and are reinforced with extra carbon, etc.

    More info here: http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/...-paris-roubaix

    and pictures of his '08 backup bike here:

    http://www.belgiumkneewarmers.com/20....html#comments

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT ROADBIKEREVIEW

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.