Skip to main content

Specialized Roubaix Comp: Locked, loaded and launched

Not the most flattering photo, but here's a look at master man's new ride.  This is the bike I bought off a guy near DC.  He purchased it in 2010, never rode it, and eventually sold it to me.

What I learned from this endeavor is to shop used...if you spend some time at it, you'll locate rides that never really saw road time; bikes that are waiting for riders like you and me.

I set this bike up with a dropped handlebar stem (4 position option), moved my Shimano pedals from the Felt to the Roubaix, transfered the Topeak seat bag, then adjusted the seat's height and angle to mimic my Felt.

Arrived at the start almost an hour early, as I thought several micro-adjustments would be needed to dial in the ride. I was on the thing for about two minutes and everything fit like a glove.  No modifications needed.  It was cold and sunny, so I sat in my vehicle and read a Met-RX propaganda magazine.

The ride was smooth and highly aerobic.  We had to evade a few dogs but most of the sailing was clear.  I learned a bunch about 1) riding  a carbon frame and 2) compact crank gears and Shimano 105 shifting.

Maybe I have marketing on the brain, but the Specialized offers a stiff ride, yet soaks up the vibration on secondary roads...could it be the Zertz inserts in the fork and rear chainstays?

And riding the compact crank...I've been on triples for over a decade and I now understand that's like taking a knife to a gunfight. The compact crank with 105 offers precise shifts, more gear options across one chainring, and most important less jumping across chainrings.  More efficient, better gear choices, and more power to the ground.

I coasted into the finish with the the lead pack of riders.  Then we headed into Wilkesboro for some fellowship and Mexican lunch.  Life is pretty sweet right now and I'm not taking any of it for granted.  New ride, great riding buddies, and a body that can still take the torque.  Thank you Lord.


  1. Sweet new ride! I tend to get pretty crappy shifting up front with my 105's, and I'm only 1 year into a triple chainring but I love it when I'm climbing.

  2. Jennifer5:49 PM



Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Scott Jurek ate vegan, won ultras...then got divorced

(Disclaimer:  I am a Brooks-supported athlete; as part of that relationship, I was provided a complimentary copy of "Eat & Run")

I was recently on a few flights making my way home to Wisconsin and en route was able to plow through Scott Jurek's new book "Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness."

It's a fast, enjoyable read. I've been around the ultra scene for a long time and have known some of the greats, i.e. ultra champ Eric Clifton. So it's always interesting to see how the world looks from another icon's point of view.

My thoughts in no particular order:

1) I've been vegetarian/borderline vegan for 12 years and have always been concerned with protein intake.  Jurek advocates for the protein he naturally induces through his plant-based diet.  Maybe that is enough. Maybe it's not necessary to bang down 100+ grams of protein supplement every day. Good info and good advice.

2) I'm buying on big time to Scot…

Build your low cost gravel and commuter bike

It's the saga of Craigslist. You have a great perfect condition road bicycle to market. You ask a fair price. A few calls come in, most often the caller throws out a low ball offer, maybe 50% of asking price.

You don't need to give the bike away. You may not need the cash.

Consider re-purposing. You already own an excellent commuter and gravel bike. Think your bike is too low end, not good for the purpose?

Wrong. In most cases less expensive bikes are build with heavier parts, which means they are stronger. Heavier wheels = better ability to absorb commuter bumps and gravel roads.

A few simple modifications and you'll be rolling for transportation or logging road expeditions.

Here's my 2011 model Specialized Roubaix. I rode it for several seasons as a serious piece of road equipment. A few buyers offered up a few hundred dollars, so I went in another direction.

1) Added 700 x 28 Continental Gatorskin tires. Gatorskin tires wear like iron and you can trust them in off …

Now this is better...

Hey, I don't want to dole out too many epic photos in one day...but after that fatty shot from the New York City Marathon, I had to dig a bit deeper, and found this:

Check out that attractive specimen (second from right) circa 1986...only a year earlier and Tommy Terrific was looking pretty ripped.

I'll tell you this triathlon training camp was one of the high points of my master competitor career. On the left is Mark Hinson, the best triathlete in the southeast in the mid 19890's...and far right is Frank Kohlenstein, a soccer coach from South Carolina and the dude who got me into ultrarunning...that's tanned and toned Tommy next to David Bailey, one of the greatest men who ever threw a leg over two wheels with an engine.

So, right around the time of this camp, I crewed for Frank at the Western States 100 mile endurance run in California. Hinson ran with Frank through a very tough 20 mile desert section and when he made it to the next check, he pulled me aside and told…