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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:59 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:07 pm
Posts: 18
Location: Texas
I know, I know. This topic has been beaten to death on all the forums. But I need help.

5 years ago I bought an S-Works Venge frameset for a killer deal & spec'd it out with DuraAce everything and Zipp 404's. I was coming from a Madone 5.2SL and riding about 75-125 miles a week.

The first year, I loved the Venge. It made riding fun again with it's responsiveness, but I did notice that I was more fatigued and beat up after each ride.

Fast forward a few more years, and I've found myself riding less and less due to young kids and a stressful job. Now, in my current condition and trying to build myself back up, at age (36), I feel like the Venge is beating me up.

I went to my LBS and they told me to get either a Trek Edmonda or a Roubaix. They had an S-Works Tarmac there that just looks super sweet. But I don't want to be blinded by my love and geekiness with bikes, and not get one that fits my riding style and abilities again.

So would moving to an S-Works Tarmac or Roubaix be a vastly noticeable difference in comfort? I realize one can play with tire sizes too now that can help.

I had a similar experience with choosing the wrong bike as I had an S-Works Epic MTB, and it beat me up badly, but I thought I wanted the "best" so I got the "best". After a year or two on that, I went with a 2016 Stumpjumper Expert, and have loved that transition more than anything. That bike is so much better for me. I know moving from a 26" to 650 wheel made a difference too.

I guess I'm just looking for real-life advice and experiences out there, if anyone was ever in my situation.

For the record, I'm currently riding about 10-12 miles, 2-3x a week now. I'm hopeful that throughout 2018, I get that up to 50-75 miles per week.

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Specialized Stumpjumper FSR

S-Works Venge DA build w/ 404's


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:42 pm
Posts: 19
I feel you! In the same boat here, albeit a bit older (40) and more beaten up still. I have an older Tarmac (2012 SL4) and a newer Cervelo S3. Both are great. However our roads here are the worst in all of North America. A 100 km ride frequently leaves me feeling like I've ridden Paris-Roubaix.

Problem is: I'm topped out at 25mm tires on the Cervelo and my older Tarmac dates prior to when they widened the rear stays to allow for wider wheels and tires.

Long story short, looking for a new bike and my first priority is for it to accommodate 28mm Continentals at a minimum, precisely for the reason you mention.

I think you can a bike that will look after you and still provides high performance without resorting to a Roubaix or Domane, if you have enough rubber at low enough pressure underneath you. You could similarly achieve a bike that will beat you up by choosing an endurance bike and speccing it with too narrow a tire or pumping your tires too hard.

If a performance fit is not the cause of your discomfort, then the Tarmac is a great bike and the newer ones will take tires up to a 30mm.


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Posted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:18 pm 


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:40 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:25 am
Posts: 85
Location: Cambridge UK
Why not look at something like a Scott Addict or Giant TCR aswell? ....

great prices on used Giant's on Ebay and they are quality and fast both and comfortable on flats aswell as hills

of the two you mentioned, from what I have read is that the Roubaix is better for longer distance/crap roads, will get you there but it may be boring to ride (compared to the Tarmac) plus it looks ugly :mrgreen:

The Tarmac is more fun to ride and you will want to ride fast on this bike .... if you get one that fits well, longer distances won't be a problem if you use decent tyres

I've never ridden a Tarmac or Roubaix and I'm merely commenting on what I have read on forums from previous owners

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:03 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:07 pm
Posts: 18
Location: Texas
Bordcla wrote:
I feel you! In the same boat here, albeit a bit older (40) and more beaten up still. I have an older Tarmac (2012 SL4) and a newer Cervelo S3. Both are great. However our roads here are the worst in all of North America. A 100 km ride frequently leaves me feeling like I've ridden Paris-Roubaix.

Problem is: I'm topped out at 25mm tires on the Cervelo and my older Tarmac dates prior to when they widened the rear stays to allow for wider wheels and tires.

Long story short, looking for a new bike and my first priority is for it to accommodate 28mm Continentals at a minimum, precisely for the reason you mention.

I think you can a bike that will look after you and still provides high performance without resorting to a Roubaix or Domane, if you have enough rubber at low enough pressure underneath you. You could similarly achieve a bike that will beat you up by choosing an endurance bike and speccing it with too narrow a tire or pumping your tires too hard.

If a performance fit is not the cause of your discomfort, then the Tarmac is a great bike and the newer ones will take tires up to a 30mm.
Performance fit is not the cause of discomfort for me. I got a professional bike fit and was actually able to go with no spacers on the Venge, but choose to go a couple levels up just b/c.

I've thought about the Tarmac with larger lower PSI tires being a possible solution, and possibly going from a 54 frame to a 56...

30mm tires... I will read more on this now!

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Specialized Stumpjumper FSR

S-Works Venge DA build w/ 404's


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:05 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:07 pm
Posts: 18
Location: Texas
dim wrote:
Why not look at something like a Scott Addict or Giant TCR aswell? ....

great prices on used Giant's on Ebay and they are quality and fast both and comfortable on flats aswell as hills

of the two you mentioned, from what I have read is that the Roubaix is better for longer distance/crap roads, will get you there but it may be boring to ride (compared to the Tarmac) plus it looks ugly :mrgreen:

The Tarmac is more fun to ride and you will want to ride fast on this bike .... if you get one that fits well, longer distances won't be a problem if you use decent tyres

I've never ridden a Tarmac or Roubaix and I'm merely commenting on what I have read on forums from previous owners
I'm pretty loyal to my LBS. I've tried to buy all my gear from them, so they know me and are willing to help ease the pain of MSRP vs online pricing one can find. So in some ways I feel stuck to those brands, but I don't mind. I've enjoyed them and also everything I own is pretty mush Specialized ; )

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Specialized Stumpjumper FSR

S-Works Venge DA build w/ 404's


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:02 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2016 9:05 pm
Posts: 15
Some thoughts for you. I'm 37 and have a 2014 Venge and an SL4 Tarmac. My thoughts:

Keep the Venge unless you really want a new bike. I'd be hard pressed to notice a difference between the fatigue derived from riding either bike. I had a 2016 Tarmac (did they ever call this the SL5?) and it felt the same as the SL4 and I ended up selling it off. The Venge w/25mm tires at slightly lower tire pressure is plenty comfortable and I ride it on some pretty beat up stretches of road. Now, the Tarmac is much stiffer in the BB than the Venge and it is noticeable.

No feedback on the Roubaix, but I'd think at most you'd gain some comfort with the taller headtube.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:04 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:07 pm
Posts: 18
Location: Texas
hack wrote:
Some thoughts for you. I'm 37 and have a 2014 Venge and an SL4 Tarmac. My thoughts:

Keep the Venge unless you really want a new bike. I'd be hard pressed to notice a difference between the fatigue derived from riding either bike. I had a 2016 Tarmac (did they ever call this the SL5?) and it felt the same as the SL4 and I ended up selling it off. The Venge w/25mm tires at slightly lower tire pressure is plenty comfortable and I ride it on some pretty beat up stretches of road. Now, the Tarmac is much stiffer in the BB than the Venge and it is noticeable.

No feedback on the Roubaix, but I'd think at most you'd gain some comfort with the taller headtube.
I can’t find any info if a 2012 frame will take 25’s or not. I’m leaning towards finding this info out and trying it first.

_________________
Specialized Stumpjumper FSR

S-Works Venge DA build w/ 404's


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2016 9:05 pm
Posts: 15
stridertexas wrote:
hack wrote:
Some thoughts for you. I'm 37 and have a 2014 Venge and an SL4 Tarmac. My thoughts:

Keep the Venge unless you really want a new bike. I'd be hard pressed to notice a difference between the fatigue derived from riding either bike. I had a 2016 Tarmac (did they ever call this the SL5?) and it felt the same as the SL4 and I ended up selling it off. The Venge w/25mm tires at slightly lower tire pressure is plenty comfortable and I ride it on some pretty beat up stretches of road. Now, the Tarmac is much stiffer in the BB than the Venge and it is noticeable.

No feedback on the Roubaix, but I'd think at most you'd gain some comfort with the taller headtube.
I can’t find any info if a 2012 frame will take 25’s or not. I’m leaning towards finding this info out and trying it first.
Correction on my Venge, it's a 2013 not 2014 and fits 25s with ease (more clearance than my SL4 Tarmac). So, unless they tweaked the chainstays between 2012 and 2013, you should be good. But, confirming is always better than assuming.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:29 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:07 pm
Posts: 18
Location: Texas
So just squeezed 28’s on there and got a new saddle.

I decided to talk with the mechanic rather than someone up front.

He felt like Spec Turbo 28’s would fit, and they do although it’s very tight. 26’s might be more appropriate. But I’m fine with trying it out.

He also mentioned that a new saddle can sometimes do wonder. My prior one was almost 5 years old.

So hoping this makes a notable difference for now. At least then I can tell the Mrs. if it doesn’t that it’s time for a new bike ; )

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Specialized Stumpjumper FSR

S-Works Venge DA build w/ 404's


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:01 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:25 pm
Posts: 33
I got a new 2018 Tarmac 3 months ago. Prior to that, I was on a first gen Venge for 4-5 years. I ride quite a bit (~10K to ~15K miles per year, lots of 4-5 hour rides).

The new Tarmac feels livelier, lighter (it is) and a bit more comfortable. The main thing about comfort to me was the really hard hits that I could feel up my spine with the Venge. With the Tarmac, I don't feel these as much in my spine and head.

If the only reason you want to change is wanting more comfort, I'd say get larger tires, lower tire pressure, go tubeless with lower pressure, get thicker bar tape, more saddle padding, etc.

Having said that, I love my new Tarmac, but I was expecting a bigger difference in comfort. And I am normally quite sensitive to subtle bike changes.

My saddle on the Tarmac is less padded than on the Venge, so that could account for some of this.

If you want a new bike regardless, the Tarmac is a great choice!

And I rented the latest Roubaix 4 long days in the last 3 months. I did not enjoy the Roubaix as much. Part of it could have been about not replicating my setup. I was sitting much more straight up on the Roubaix. The suspension in front is not my cup of tee. I prefer to simply put larger tires at lower pressure. If you can put supple 28s at 65psi on any road bike, it should solve your comfort issues.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:57 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:10 am
Posts: 326
For what it's worth, my friend has previous gen Venge and Tarmac. He says the Venge makes him fatigued while the Tarmac is much more comfortable. Knowing him he probably has the exact same position on each bike and probably the same tires.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:34 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2015 5:47 pm
Posts: 70
Location: Near DFW Airport
stridertexas wrote:
So just squeezed 28’s on there and got a new saddle.

I decided to talk with the mechanic rather than someone up front.

He felt like Spec Turbo 28’s would fit, and they do although it’s very tight. 26’s might be more appropriate. But I’m fine with trying it out.

He also mentioned that a new saddle can sometimes do wonder. My prior one was almost 5 years old.

So hoping this makes a notable difference for now. At least then I can tell the Mrs. if it doesn’t that it’s time for a new bike ; )
This is along the lines of what I was going to suggest. Unless you have a need for a different geometry frame, there are other ways to adjust the comfort of the bike. So long as you are comfortable in your position on the bike, there area really more economical ways to take out the harshness on the road. Larger tires (or switching to road tubeless), more comfortable saddle, changing the bars, etc. I bought a Allez Sprint a few months ago after cracking the frame on my Giant Propel. By all rights, the Allez Sprint is a very stiff frame, but I was able to mititgate that with some wide rim wheels, tubeless 25s, a good saddle and carbon bars. Not quite as comfortable as my old '05 S-Works Tarmac, but I got it pretty close.

As a 43 year old with three 9-year-old boys, I definately undestand the position of not being able to ride as much due to young'ins and a streeful job. Keep in mind that might not always be the case and 3 more years down the road, you might be up to 100-150mi/wk and might prefer to be back on a more performance oriented bike. I went from riding 3-4,000 miles/year before my kids were born, down to 1-2,000 their first 5 years, but have averaged arround 6,000 the last 3; so you might get back arround to bigger miles in the future.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:03 pm
Posts: 39
I went the other way. I had a SW Tarmac and swapped out for a Venge.

Ignoring all the geometry issues for the moment the Pre Vias Venge did beat the rider up over longer rides. I found the handling of the Tarmac to be much sharper. Not necessarily better - just sharper.

It made climbing feel easier as it flicked back and forwards quickly when out of the saddle. However, when turning I felt it would turn in quicker than I wanted.

If you like Venge handling I would recommend Giant TCR or Propel, Scott Addict or any of the Trek road models. You can go for a Scott Foil but I would recommend dropping a size in frame and with a longer stem and long seatpost you will gain comfort and avoid being beat up.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:54 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:35 pm
Posts: 136
:lol:

"beating you up"

Get someone to fit you properly and let 10 psi out of your tyres.


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Posted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:54 pm 


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:56 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:28 pm
Posts: 139
I have done it the other way.. started with gravel bike, then endurance bikes and i was missing some feeling of rocket acceleration, especially going group rides. Now i am on Scott Foil disc and the desired feeling is there... comfort is superb with 28mm tubeless tyres and Pro carbon aerobars, i have not mentioned any regress, going on cobbles i am always surprised how well it goes..


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