Specialised Roubaix SL4 Comp Disc - Experience / Opinions?

simon.r

Person
Location
Nottingham
I'm going for a test ride on one next week.

http://www.specialized.com/gb/gb/bikes/road/roubaix/roubaix-sl4-comp-disc

If the marketing is to be believed it would seem that it's been designed with me in mind - a comfy, light-ish, upright-ish, decently specced bike ideal for 4 or 5 hour rides.

I'm 51 and have recently found myself in a situation where longer rides are possible and I seek out slightly out of the way back roads which are often poorly surfaced. I'm not a racer, but I like to ride at a reasonably brisk pace when my legs allow:smile:

Anyone got one, or would like to offer an opinion? Things to look out for on the test ride?
 

DRHysted

Veteran
Location
New Forest
I have last years model below that (as seen in the avatar), and I am completely biased in saying it is my favourite bike. I'd advise trying one to see how well it fits.
But as I say I'm biased.
 

zak3737

Senior Member
Good choice - I have a 2013 SL2 Roubaix Sport, bought 2nd hand for £750, & which I've added the CG-R Seatpost to,- which is excellent, and upgraded a few components to Ultegra etc.
I Love it,..... I'm 52, and no lightweight @ 15st, but I've been amazed how relatively easy I can ride for a few hours, its a superb bike.
Also has 25c tyres on at present, which are comfy too, may even consider 28's .

I did have a Trek which I found too aggressively positioned for me, but once I tried a Roubaix, was sold, the higher front end position makes for far more comfort, and its an ideal 'all day' bike, or Sportive bike.
Like most, I'm always looking at new bikes, but in all honesty, when the day comes to part with cash for a new one, I'm not sure I'd look at anything else than a new Roubaix, particulary that SL4 Comp Disc, tis gorgeous.
 

ianrauk

Tattooed Beat Messiah
It will probably be one of the most comfortable bikes you will ever ride.
The bike is made for comfort and not for speed.
I have a Roubaix already and absolutely adore it.

It's pricey, no doubt, but you do pay for the name. But you do have the piece of mind of a lifetime frame warranty.

The same bike is very high on my list of N+1
 
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OP
simon.r

simon.r

Person
Location
Nottingham
Test ride today. A nice bike, but not right for me.

image.jpg




  • A bit sluggish uphill (possibly the wheels / possibly the 'suspension'?)
  • The much touted smoothness is definitely there, but seemed to only really come into play over about 20mph.
  • At lower speeds it was no more comfortable than a good Ti frame.
FWIW I'd definitely recommend a test ride before buying.

Oh, and the most horrendous noise from the front brake - though I was assured by the guys at the shop that this was very unusual and I do believe them!

View: http://youtu.be/03ZB6R3SdYM
 

spiderman2

Über Member
Location
Harrow
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I have the 2013 Roubaix SL4 ,this is my best bike and I ride it every week . 75 miles+ and still comfy, I am 58.I bought mine from their concept store and their service is excellent. highly recommended.
 
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OP
simon.r

simon.r

Person
Location
Nottingham
I have the 2013 Roubaix SL4 ,this is my best bike and I ride it every week . 75 miles+ and still comfy, I am 58.I bought mine from their concept store and their service is excellent. highly recommended.
Yes, I'm not knocking the bike, it's fantastic in many respects, just not right for me.

I think, looking at your photo, that another reason it didn't feel right is that it doesn't fit me properly. As you can see in my photo, the seatpost is at maximum extension, but the bike still felt slightly too long. The next size up would have been far too long for me.

The service I've had so far from the Nottingham concept store has also been excellent (should have mentioned that above). I'm going back for a ride on a Tarmac next week!
 
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deadeyedjacks

Active Member
Location
Essex
Disc brakes can do that when new, they do require bedding in.

I've got a 2014 Roubaix, have upgraded stock wheels from axis to Shimano RS ones with far superior freewheel hubs and stiffer rims.
 

zak3737

Senior Member
I must admit, much as I covet a new bike with Discs, purely for the increased modulation/power they give, (I know well from MTB'ing) - the thing that worries me is exactly that horrific squeel
that so often discs develop, or even the dreaded 'ting ting ting' when a pad doesnt retract properly/fully.
They do make the aesthetics of a bike much nicer imo, with black wheels and no brake track etc, but I do wonder if they will prove to be just a fad......

A friend of mine has exactly that Roubaix, picked up a week ago, and is riding with us tomorrow evening, so will see what his sounds like !
 
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Globalti

Legendary Member
I think, looking at your photo, that another reason it didn't feel right is that it doesn't fit me properly. As you can see in my photo, the seatpost is at maximum extension, but the bike still felt slightly too long. The next size up would have been far too long for me.
Definitely a couple of sizes too small. There's no way that much seatpost should be showing; a much bigger frame would have been fine and the dealer would have been more than happy to fiti a shorter stem. Bear in mind also that every few inches of height moves that saddle another inch further away from the bars so It's not surprising that you felt stretched. The Concept Store should be able to fit you with the correct bike. I notice also that the bars are canted forwards a little, which will contribute to you feeling too stretched out. Did the Concept Store set it up like that for you?

I would disagree that Roubaix is made for comfort not speed - it's a comfortable and fast bike. I graduated from a 2006 Roubaix to a 2013 Roubaix to the current 2014 Roubaix SL4 and I love it; the frame has just the right stiffness to make it an enjoyable and sprightly ride while somehow remaining extremely comfortable. The furthest I've ridden it was on last year's London 100 shortened to 86 miles and I can honestly say that at the end I had no aches and pains and felt perfectly relaxed. My only gripe is that the Ultegra shifters aren't fantastic but I understand that the latest version of Ultegra has resolved the shifting vagueness. Since I ride the bike all year, discs would be the ultimate upgrade to a very fine bike.

The standard Espoir tyres are horrible; I am currently riding Veloflex tyres with latex inners and at 110 lbs they are a delight on this bike because the shock-absorbtion of the frame combined with the supple sidewalls makes them comfortable as well as fast. I'm not keen on the matt black finish, which shows any dirt very badly but the paint is thin and shouldn't show witness cracks like the thick brittle paint did on the 2006 model.

Disc brakes should not squeal. If they do, they are probably contaminated with oil or brake fluid.

My SL4 yesterday:

20140914_111211_zpsu08vxkrs.jpg
 
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zak3737

Senior Member
Test ride today. A nice bike, but not right for me.

View attachment 88385



  • A bit sluggish uphill (possibly the wheels / possibly the 'suspension'?)
  • The much touted smoothness is definitely there, but seemed to only really come into play over about 20mph.
  • At lower speeds it was no more comfortable than a good Ti frame.
FWIW I'd definitely recommend a test ride before buying.

Oh, and the most horrendous noise from the front brake - though I was assured by the guys at the shop that this was very unusual and I do believe them!

View: http://youtu.be/03ZB6R3SdYM

Friend of mine was out on exactly the same bike on Fri night with us, and no sound at all from his brakes, so I suspect the front on your test bike was contaminated or mis-aligned,
shouldnt be making that noise at all.
 
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