Specialized Roubaix SL4
Specialized Roubaix Development Video
Posted 25th September 2012
Words by Simon Whiten
This is an interesting little video. It puts forward the argument for the Specialized Roubaix, as part of the comfort race bike category, being the best bike for everyday cyclists and it is a compelling argument.
Its a bike designed to meet all conditions and so can literally take the rough with the smooth, making the Specialized Roubaix, as they say, a ‘go to bike’.
The great thing about this Roubaix frame, and the similar Trek Domane, is that they both offer substantial vertical compliance but have huge lateral stiffness. So by choosing such a frame you really are not sacrificing anything over the traditional bone shaking race bike; you just get a more comfortable ride and should in theory be fresher at the end of that ride. Cancellara even used a Trek Domane for a substantial part of the Tour this year.
As you will see, its obvious from this video there is a huge amount of development work that has gone into this frame and you cannot argue with its palmares, both Boonen and Cancellara having won aboard it.
My own experience of these frames is limited. I rode one of the early Roubaix bikes to and from work everyday for the best part of a year, over London’s nastiest streets, and raced it a few times. Even back then, nearly 6 years ago, it was a highly capable frame.
The abiding memory of that Roubaix is, not the comfort as you might expect, but of that capability; it was a totally solid frame which could literally be used to do anything. It was certainly comfortable but the fact that I remember it mainly for being a great racing bike is shows that, even with that first model, Specialized had definitely done their job with this frame – and maybe they have a point about it being perfect for everyday cyclists…
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