As I progress in my fitness level I have considered doing longer and longer rides. Currently, I ride my 2012 Specialized Sirrus Limited and it’s a great city bike. I just love cycling in it, but for longer rides my hands complain of numbness. I had bike fit recently and that helped with the leg problems tremendously and we are still working on the hand problem. What I think the problem might be is the flatbar. There are not many choices for hand placement and I think that is contributing to the problem. After doing some research on new bikes, I found that the Specialized Roubaix series of bikes are designed for endurance rides over pure racing. That sounds likes it matches my goal.
My bike shop made some tweaks to the saddle position and tilt on the Sirrus and I will ride that the rest of the week. On Friday, they will also bring in a test bike (Roubaix) for me to try out for a few days. It will be fitted to my frame and I’ll get to go out there and try it out. I stand at 5’8″ (although they disagree with that, they say I’m closer to 5’9″ or 5’10”) and weigh in at 237 lbs. I want to be sure that if I get that bike, I will not have hand problems. I see no sense in getting it if I continue to have hand numbness.
I would like to hear from Roubaix cyclists out there and give feedback on the bike, your height and size of bike you got. They plan to get a 56 cm frame and my seat height will be at 78 cm. Anyone similar? Any adjustments to the stem? Comfortable? Hand numbness problems? Preference between the Elite and the Apex models? Any advice? Drop me a comment.
Well after a week with the loaner bike and some additional tweaking of the handlebar I decided to get the bike. Problem is I’m right in the transition period between 2013 and 2014 models. Looking on line, my bike shop could not find the Elite model in stock. My choices were to go to the next model up (more $$) or go down one level to the APEX Compact. I went for the APEX model and the double-tap shifting.
The one thing I did not like from the loaner was the handlebar. It was too narrow and uncomfortable so I looked around and found the Ritchey Pro Biomax bars and order that to use with the new bike. With it’s 6 degree backward sweep, it should place my wrists in a more comfortable position when I’m on the tops of the bar. The two should arrive around the same time and hopefully get it by the weekend.
As for bar tape, I’ll probably try the Specialized Roubaix tape and or maybe the Body Geometry Bar Phat system. Later if I want or need, I can also try the Body Geometry Bar Shapers. All of them look interesting and have some endorsements from other sites.
Over all, I am happy with the buying experience I got from Bicycle World. They fitted me and they even got me a loaner in the bike I was looking for and at the right frame size. Sure I had to sign paperwork and take responsibility of the bike, but it is worth it. After one or two long rides on roads you are familiar with you can decide if the bike has all the characteristics you are looking for in a bike. That is something you can’t do from a quick spin in the parking lot. My advice, find a dealer that can either loan you a bike or rent one to you. It will be worth it.