In April I visited Freddy at Dutch to talk about the upcoming season, what we had planned, where we were going etc..basically a visit with a friend.
We started talking about my bike, a much loved 2011 Cervelo RS. She's been through a lot, including going to Utah 3 times and Penticton five or six times. She's been raced, she's been dropped, and she's been in the trainer over five winters. She's had two or three chains, two rear cassettes and a complete drivetrain replacement from SRAM to Shimano. The handlebars have been rewrapped twice and she's had God knows how many tires.
She has been very good to me over the years but bike technology has been progressing rapidly and I was thinking about a new bike.
Theresa has been very happy with her Specialized Lululemon Amira Pro. The UDi2 shifting has been incredibly reliable and a joy for her to use. I was quite envious of her! But that wasn't enough to convince me to change ....
Until Freddy showed me the 2017 Specialized Roubaix Elite. UDi2 shifting, disc brakes and a shock absorber in the stem! All he did was push down on the handlebars and I was sold!
I picked it up the day before we went to Penticton for a week of hill climbing. I didn't know that it has a 32 tooth granny gear on the cassette but I quickly came to appreciate just how easy it made climbing some of the hills in the area ( Apex still sucked but at least I made it to the top), The disc brakes were fabulous on the descent, powerful and not affected by the wet conditions.
The gear shifting with the UDi2 is incredible, very,very smooth and predictable. I find that I'm shifting gear more often and taking some of the load off my legs. Big ring or little ring, the drive train is quiet and effective. When we did the Golden Triangle last weekend I really appreciated just how reliable the system was.
The biggest praise though, has to go to the Future shock. Mounted in the stem, this little shock absorber takes away so much of the little vibrations that it really contributes to having a stronger ride with less discomfort. Add to that the floating rear seat post, ergonomic handlebars with comfy saddle and you have a bike that really can munch the miles. At Golden Triangle we rode 105 kms per day and I was never sore, my legs were tired but that's to be expected.
So, I really like the bike. It works for me, and I like the color! One thing that I'm not keen on is the little storage box at the bottom of the frame, no, it's not a motor! It's designed to take one tube, one CO2 and one tire lever. Which is fine if all your rides are within 20KM of home but a bit useless if you're going further. Great idea, lousy execution.
I think that Specialized have come up with a bike that is a game changer. The gear shifting and disc brakes are nice but it's the comfort that will change how you ride. There's a women's version by the way, the Ruby is identical to the Roubaix, just sized to accommodate women riders.
If you're in the market for a new bike or uncomfortable with your current ride then you owe it to yourself to go to Dutch and talk to Freddy about the Roubaix/Ruby. If you take one for a test ride then you need to be prepared to buy it. It's that good.
I tend to be the noisy one, Theresa and the Ride Leaders are the real story.