What a difference six years makes - 2020 Roubaix.

Globalti

Legendary Member
Some on CC know that I changed over from mountain biking to the road in 2009 when I found a new 2006 Specialized Roubaix dumped in a stream. It was a revelation after the steel bike I had been trying to like. That led me to a 2014 Roubaix SL4, which has given me great service for almost six years. More recently after the collar bone break and frozen shoulder op I had been finding lack of muscle in the shoulders had been confining me to rides no longer than 2 hours 30 so I had been thinking about a new Roubaix with the boingy stem, which I thought would help reduce fatigue.

A colleague bought a 2020 Roubaix and I was impressed so went along to a Specialized dealer to have a look and finger a few bikes. Discovered they had 15% off meaning I could get a Roubaix Comp with Ultegra cable gears for not much more than I paid for the SL4. If I had paid another £2000 I could have had Di2 and carbon wheels but I couldn't justify that.

So I became the owner of a 2020 Roubaix Comp. First ride out was an absolute revelation; they say they've made the frame faster and I though this was just marketing-speak and couldn't believe it but this bike repays effort by picking up speed and holding it in a way I've never felt. It's 1 kg heavier than the old SL4 but it feels faster and more rewarding and when I rode a 29 mile route that I'd done three days before on the old bike I took 13 minutes off the time. Admittedly it rained and I pushed harder to keep warm but the bike seemed to fly along really easily.

Today I went out after the rain and included half a mile of steep climbing up a gravel footpath near home, (alongside Lovely Hall Lane for those who know it) which the bike dealt with easily, my only small problem being lack of traction from the slick rear tyre on wet leaves. It has a huge gear range so steep hills are a breeze and the stiff frame seems to make it attack hills for fun. Down on the drops it also feels fast so maybe all the stuff about aerodynamics really is true?

So the marketing-speak seems to be true. It really is a bike for all uses, fast on tarmac and good on rough stuff and gravel. It has re-ignited my enthusiasm and I can't wait to ride it again. What a difference six years makes in bike technology!
 

tom73

Veteran
Location
Yorkshire
We need pics :rolleyes:
 

Pale Rider

Legendary Member
Down on the drops it also feels fast so maybe all the stuff about aerodynamics really is true?
My mate on his drop bar bike was freewheeling a few metres behind me, holding station.

For a giggle, he did a Chris Froome perch on the crossbar crouch.

I could see him in my mirror start to gain ground, slowly, but steadily.

At the bottom of the shallow hill, he told me he felt a slight, but noticeable, increase in speed when he took up the position.

Fast forward a few months, and the owner of a bike shop around here was showing me his flash, but well used, J.Guillem drop bar gravel bike.

It has an electric dropper seat post which he uses, in part, to crouch on descents having found it makes a small, but worthwhile, difference.

So yes, aerodynamics does work.
 
OP
Globalti

Globalti

Legendary Member
If you come up behind another rider at speed the drop in air resistance sometimes feels like a giant hand is gently pushing you forward.
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
If you come up behind another rider at speed the drop in air resistance sometimes feels like a giant hand is gently pushing you forward.
Or, in my case, when I can't stay with a faster rider any longer it feels like a giant hand is gently pushing me backwards! :laugh:

PS It sounds like a nice bike. I'm a bit surprised that it is 1 kg heavier though.
 
OP
Globalti

Globalti

Legendary Member
That's because the old SL4 has some fancy FSA carbon cranks and Ksyrium wheels.

Still haven't decided whether to sell it or keep it for spare.
 
OP
Globalti

Globalti

Legendary Member
The crankset perhaps if the BB was the same. The wheels not.

If you could afford them I reckon the Roubaix Elite or the £10,000 S Works would be absolute fliers and the closest you could come to the perfect all-round bike for British conditions.
 
OP
Globalti

Globalti

Legendary Member
Yes Shimano hydraulics... I rode quite fast down Whalley Nab yesterday then stopped to feel the brakes... wished I hadn't as they were blinkin' hot! They are excellent brakes and with the 30mm tyres they make the bike feel extremely sure-footed.

500414
 
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ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
For the non-locals... Whalley Nab is a VERY steep little lane. I rode up it with @Littgull last year, finding it steeper than expected, and I was already expecting it to be steep...

I quite like the simple black (lack of) colour scheme but I agree with vickster about the size of the 'horns'!

PS I accidentally touched a bare leg against a disk rotor on my MTB after a steep descent - I haven't made THAT mistake again! :ohmy:
 
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