Buying a New Bike

Well, I’m buying a new bike. Earlier ( I described my adventures in trying to get a cracked frame fixed (and it ain’t gonna happen).

I test rode a carbon-fiber bike Tuesday night (a 3-year old Trek 5200 OCLV) and … suh-weeeeeet. I am a convert. No more steel, I’m going carbon fiber!

After a lot of reading on the subject, I decided I liked the sound of the Trek Pilot. Built for speed, but comfy (for a road bike, anyway).

Trek Pilot:

But, every time someone talks about the Pilot it almost inevitably gets compared to the Specialized Roubaix.

Specialized Roubaix:

So, I’m liking what I’m hearing about the Roubaix. Talk about a bike that has proven it can take a beating. But the Trek OCLV carbon frames have a good reputation for long-term durability, while the Roubaix’s seem to be (relatively) new.

So, anyone have an opinion on one versus the other?

Wasn’t able to find the warranty info on Specialized’s site, but i know Trek bikes have a lifetime warranty on the frame, i’d assume Specialized is the same, they’re both solid, reputable companies

your best bet is to try them both out, put in some seat-time and see which one fits you better, that’s the most important part, brand name is irrelavent

Both good bikes.

The 2004 version of this is my bike, the “performance” version of the Pilot. If you know you aren’t going to be racing, the Pilot is probably a better option. is a pretty active review site.

Similar to the Specializeds and Treks, a lot of people are happy with Giant bikes, too, for your quality Big Brand manufacturers.

I’m going to say something that sounds a little crazy: I don’t think a test ride is going to tell you much.

For starters, even if they do a fit in the store, it usually takes months to really dial in “your” fit. What’s going to feel best to you is probably whatever is just set up closest to what you’re riding now. That’s not necessarily what’s going to feel best in the long run.

The “smoother” feel to you is going to be more of a function of air pressure in each bike than probably anything else.

What feels good on a short test ride might not feel best after 50 miles, might not feel best after you’ve ridden the bike for 6 months, might feel best bsaed on the roads around the bike store.

Basically, what I’m saying is, don’t just conclude A is better than B because of the test ride.

Here’s the best advice I can offer: buy whichever bike the bike shop you live closest to is selling. If that’s a wash, buy whichever bike you think looks the coolest.

One great thing about the carbon fibre frames is that the back end is so light, and when you jump away from a bunch you get all the power to your back wheel, no losses in the flexing.

The rattling noise on uneven roads can get tiresome but eventually you do get used to it.

My opinion, and it’s just that… an opinion, is that the Trek has a higher zoot value because of the way the frame is shaped. Other than that, I’d go with comparing the more relevant stuff you’ll have to deal with on a day to day basis - the components.

Check out the Specialized Tarmac Pro for another carbon fiber high zoot bike frame.

Personally, I like the more traditional geometry (as opposed to the compact frames you’re considering) and the livelier feel of alloy and carbon fiber mix but that’s just a personal preference.