Sunday, May 02, 2010

Specialized Roubaix Expert

It's here! It's here! I finely got the bike of my dreams, and so far it seems to ride like a dream. From the first short test up a really beat up Antioch street to today's descent down Mt. Diablo it's been even nicer than I'd hoped for.

Details: Specialized Roubaix Expert. Full Ultegra 6700. Triple (52-39-30 with 12-28)

I changed out the stock Avatar saddle after a 30-second test and put a Specialized Toupe 130 on it, which fits me better, is lighter and as a bonus, just looks swell.

As much as I like the package, I do have a few quibbles. Why they put 42 cm bars on a 52 cm bike is beyond me. It seems like a mismatch. I've got 40s on order at the shop. Other than the width, though, the bars feel great. I really like the shallow drop.

I wish they'd have shipped reach spacers with the bike. The new Ultegra 6700 has reach adjust with inserts. I have small hands and like pretty compact shifters. I'd ordered the inserts online. They're only a couple of bucks, but it seems like they should have been included.

The wheels are very nice looking. Perhaps a bit more weighty than my American Classic 420s, but they look sharp. I'm already looking forward to the tires wearing out so I'll have an excuse to put on something I like more than the stock Specialized All Terrain extra-heavy-seeming tires.

But the darn bike looks so sharp I haven't added the second water bottle cage, the GPS, seat bag or pump yet. I know I need to so the bike will be really practical, but it's hard to hang all that junk on it when it looks so clean now. I'll just have to ride with Tricia a while and steal her tube and pump if I flat.

It may be uncool, but I am enjoying the triple thus far. The 52-39-30 chain rings seem to fit my riding more than the compact 50-34 on my other bike. And I have no ego about dropping into the granny. It just works for me.

Tricia and I went up Diablo's South Gate with's RoboChem (Cliff) to shake out adjustment details and try it on a hill. He said he's never been in anyone's blog before, so here he is. The ride up was easy, and the ride down, even in the wind, was very stable. The way the bike sucks up vibration and bumps is confidence inspiring.

My sweet daughter has been in Italy in a study abroad program. She said she saw this jersey through a window in the back of a shop as she walked past and thought I'd love it. She was so very right. And it's even better because it came from her. Here's a photo of it.


  1. Nice bike Curtis. I can't wait to upgrade my bike when I finish school. I have to ask, why the Roubaix and not the Tarmac? Comfort seems like the obvious choice.

  2. Diegomayra, I got the Roubaix for several reasons: I wanted lower gears than I have on my Kestrel, so I git a triple. I'm not young-racer flexible, so I thought getting a non-race bike made more sense. I've been doing doubles and centuries, so I wanted something forgiving.

  3. I thought I left a message in here before (about the jersey)... this is just a test.

  4. OK, the message said "saw a guy on Diablo with your jersey tonight - see photo on my blog".

    Must have misclicked or something.

  5. Who knew there were so many folks blogging about cycling in the bay area! I have followed Diablo Scott for awhile, which led me to you and to "Call Me Pokey". All 3 are very cool blogs.

    I imagine the upright seating position is nice. I have pondered the more upright seating position too, although I am ok with the compact double. always hard to "pull the trigger" on an expensive purchase, so I guess I will kick tires via the net for awhile longer.

    See you on the road!

  6. I'm thinking about a roubaix...good to see an enabler on the blogs. I have a Cannondale Aluminum Synapse but I'm looking to getting a Carbon Fiber and it's down to the Roubaix CF or Synapse CF. Decisions, decisions...:)


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