Another bike. A black one. Specialized Roubaix Comp Disc 2016
The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
While the minimum number of bikes one should own is three, the correct number is n+1, where n is the number of bikes currently owned. This equation may also be re-written as s-1, where s is the number of bikes owned that would result in separation from your partner.
I have 3 bikes. A road bike, a touring bike and a mountain bike. My road bike is a Specialized Roubaix Elite SL2 2011 road bike.
This is the bike I have used for everything except touring and most Audax It has done the best part of 20,000 miles over the last 4 years and I felt it was time for an upgrade.
The one thing that bugs me about my bike is that the drive-train does not always run smoothly and the gears do not like changing under pressure. So an upgrade in components from 105 to Ultegra seemed like a good idea. I also knew that a couple of extra climbing gears would come in handy! So an 11 speed compact cassette was on the desirable list.
The other upgrade I decided I ‘needed’ was disc brakes. Everybody who has disc brakes on their road bike swears by them and ‘will never go back’. I am quite timid on descents especially when its wet so having brakes that I know are definitely going to work will give me confidence.
I looked at lots of bikes but in the end I decided to go with what I know. So I’ve bought another Specialized, but with upgrades to address the things that bug me about the 2011 model.
I went to the Bike Shed in Exeter to try out bikes. I’ve always had excellent service from the Bike Shed. Most notably, one day in 2012 I was on one of my epic rides form home to Bude. I got close to Crediton and my front shifter stopped working I dropped into the Bike Shed at Credition and they were brilliant. Fixed it – no charge and I was able to continue.
The Roubaix SL4 Comp Disc is marketed as an all-day endurance beast with a FACT 8r carbon frame and fork that feature their vibration damping Zertz inserts, along with the reliable performance of Shimano Ultegra components and disc brakes, The frame geometry is a bit more aggressive than the 2011 Roubaix and Specialized have upgraded and tweaked the frame and fork.
I took the SL4 out for a spin from the Exeter shop and I could tell immediately that this bike had a much better steering response and just handled nicely. The drive train was silent. The gears all changed beautifully and immediately, even under pressure going uphill. The 54cm frame felt pretty comfortable even with the slightly more aggressive geometry but the handling was much improved.
The bike is black – satin . I think it is understated and cool. Some might think it’s a bit boring. (on a practical note it won’t show up oil like my white bike does).
I’ve been riding around on my new bike for a week now. I like it. It seems to go a bit faster – marginal gains. I’m not sure if it climbs hills any better – they are still tough!
I do like the brakes – I have confidence in them. They will work when I need them too. But the best thing is the handling. I found myself whooping and laughing out loud on familiar bends which I would have braked into and wobbled round on the 2011 version and now I can just lean into them.
Strava knows I am cornering quicker!
I’m off to Bike Science for a 3D Dynamic fit using Retul motion tracking system. I’ll let you know how I get on – and if it’s worth £150!