Thoughts on Specialized bikes for a first roadie

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Thoughts on Specialized bikes for a first roadie

Postby marcs350z » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:18 pm

Hi All,

Been browsing bikes for the past week or so and been reading a lot of good things about Specialized. Pretty sure I will be purchasing one of their bikes, the question is which one? I don't like upgrading for the sake of it, so I will be pretty much riding it out of the box and rather fork out up front for something that can last me years, and not leaving me wanting to upgrade in 12 months time. At the moment I have my sights on the Allez Comp, with a budget of up to 2k.

I plan to ride on Eastlink, Beach rd etc to start off with, occasional 30km commute in to work/CBD, and something that I can get more adventurous with if/when the opportunity presents itself.

I know I know, I will be going in to an LBS to check them out etc, but if you were in my position, would you fork out more and reach for a carbon bike? Should I consider a Tarmac, Roubaix? Or is an Allez comp already over kill for someone like me?
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by BNA » Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:57 am

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Re: Thoughts on Specialized bikes for a first roadie

Postby malocchio » Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:57 am

Hey mate, welcome outside!

I started in the same boat as you about three years ago. I bought an Avanti Vivace (aluminium frame, carbon fork/seatpost) and put about 4,000km on it before I upgraded to a carbon Wilier Izoard, and the Avanti was relegated to commuting duties. Needless to say it's become my primary sport, I hardly run or go to the gym anymore :-)

Regarding your budget - if you can, spend that little bit extra to get something that you'd want to keep for a while. If you really get into riding I envisage that you'll be getting carbon envy pretty soon, and you'd want to upgrade form the aluminium framed Allez.

Have fun shopping around, it's a great process :-) For value-for-money you can't beat Giant, but brands like Focus, Scott and Merida all have pretty good deals if you're willing to wait/hunt around for them.

good luck!
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Re: Thoughts on Specialized bikes for a first roadie

Postby sb944 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:44 am

A $2K alloy bike is easily all you'll need for quite a while, but I think spending $2K on an alloy bike might be a mistake, as you'll probably get the urge to upgrade to a carbon bike still. Specialized seem to still have 2012 runout models available. Do a search on bikeexchange.com.au, filter by Road bike, brand Specialized, state Victoria, search word Tarmac (or Roubaix), male. Order by price and get to $2000, there are some Tarmacs reduced by $1K, SRAM Rival groupset, excellent bike. Go checkout a couple of these stores and see what they have, see if you can arrange a ride.

As for Tarmac vs Roubaix, you'll get told all this at the shop, but Roubaix is the more casual/ride all day bike, the Tarmac is the aggressive bike, but realistically either bike can go very fast or be ridden all day, it's a matter of personal preference. I have heard only good things about Specialized bikes too.

Specialized also gets a pretty good rap for most of it's gear, so look into getting a decent pair of clipin shoes and helmet if they are willing to give them at a discount, then get a 105 clipless pedal, and you'll be very well setup.
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Re: Thoughts on Specialized bikes for a first roadie

Postby Baldy » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:50 am

Thumbs up for the Tarmac Elite from me as well. I race mine, I have slowly upgraded it but its a solid bike right out of the box. It still has the 105 shifters/derailers I can't fault them. Never used it but I hear Rival is good as well.
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Re: Thoughts on Specialized bikes for a first roadie

Postby durianrider » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:58 pm

These days bikes of similar price point are very similar. What matters most IS BIKE FIT!!

You are not buying an airline ticket, you are buying what should be an extension of your body

Shop around not for price on bikes but for bicycle fitting skill and reputation. If you know your dimensions etc then fine, get an Azzuri with full sram red for 2300AUD but otherwise, focus on bike fit primarily.

Gimmie a 11kg 1000$ roady properly fitted than a 20000$ 5kg superlight ill fitted ANYDAY.

Ive never had a drivers license BTW, so Im talking thru sheer experience vs folklore. I recently put a top shelf carbon lightweight against a 2k no name. Same wattage. The super bling was literally 1second quicker (8:16 vs 8:17)than the no brand. Same wheels, same climb, same variables... (power meters keep it all legit)
Vegan since 2001.

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Re: Thoughts on Specialized bikes for a first roadie

Postby nickdos » Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:21 pm

durianrider wrote:... Shop around not for price on bikes but for bicycle fitting skill and reputation. If you know your dimensions etc then fine, get an Azzuri with full sram red for 2300AUD but otherwise, focus on bike fit primarily...


I violently agree with this but would also add that you can get a bike fit done by a fitter who is NOT employed by a bike shop (e.g. many coaches also do fittings). IMHO this is better than getting a fit done at a shop as there is no conflict of interest, you know what you are paying for and once bike shops have your money they have little incentive to follow up with a thorough fit. I got a professional fit for $70, shortly after buying my last road bike and its was money well spent. If you are getting a fit done before buying, just make sure they have the super adjustable "fit" bike - some fitters don't have them. This is just my personal opinion but unless you buy a bike that is way too big/small then a good fitter can make the bike fit you - that is why bikes have adjustable seat posts, replaceable stems and steerer tube spacers, etc. So a half decent bike shop should be able to get you in the ball park frame size - finessing the fit is the important part and a professional fitter is the way to go.
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Re: Thoughts on Specialized bikes for a first roadie

Postby marcs350z » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:11 pm

Thanks malocchio appreciate your response, its great to see where someone in my position has gotten to in a few years time. Your recommendation will add a lot of value to my decision. I do want value for money, but I don't mind paying for a more premium product as long as I am getting some sort of return on the extra $$$$.

sb944 I checked out bikeexchange and it does look like I can get some good deals if I can stretch out my budget to $2500 (some 2012 models reduced from $3500). I might still "try" to keep it under 2k, but I mean if the right bike is $2500 then that's an extension of my budget I am willing to make to get something that I am 100% happy with. I am hoping I am lucky enough to find a LBS that is willing to bundle up a special deal for me.

Baldy thanks for your input. Some very good deals on the 2012 Tarmac Elite Rival, $1999 from $2999, definitely something I am going to consider.

Hi durianrider, I agree with all of what you have said hehe. But I do need to have my mind set on something before I walk in to a LBS. Like nickdos says I should at least be able to get in to the ball park size and fit, but this isn't a topic I want to go in to detail with in this thread. I hope no one has ever gone in to a LBS and walked out with a bike that is too small/big for them, that would be poor service. I can't say I've ever heard of Azzuri, but I blame that on my own lack of exposure.

Thanks all.
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