Did the Aethos put a nail in the Roubaix coffin (for now); forcing Specialized to redesign it in the future??

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.

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gSporco
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by gSporco

I am new to the world of Specialized... I recently built an Aethos, non Sworks Frameset. I am coming from a Cervelo Aspero as my everything bike.. I like to build bikes and try new stuff and being as I am riding 90% tarmac I decided on something more dedicated to long days in the saddle, as well as a bike that looks very traditional..

Comparing both the Aspero and the Aethos, using the same wheelset at first running 35mm Gravelking slicks I was taken back on how comfortable the Aethos is. I didnt realize how stiff "feeling" the Aspero is/ was for me.. I then picked up some supple 28mm tires for the Aethos to further my experimentation and couldn't believe how comfy this combo is.. But I digress, just setting the stage.

The topic at hand, why would you get a Roubaix, when the Aethos is so comfy and has racier geometry compared to the more relaxed Roubaix.
My back of the napkin comparison doesnt balance out between these two bikes.

Aethos: Has more tire clearance (I tested 35mm and 36mm with good clearance), is very compliant and has Specialized Tarmac Geometry, can be built lite without fancy parts.
Roubaix: Limited to 32-33mm tires, Relaxed geo, yes its more Aero in some areas, but the cockpit is probably less aero than the Aethos.

I understand the Roubaix was designed for Paris Roubaix, but it seems a bit dated now.. If I was a pro, and I am not, I think I would opt for an Aethos for Paris Roubaix. Probably build it with triple wrap bar tape and 32mm hell of the north tires.. Aero wouldnt be a concern as the Peloton would surely provide enough coverage from the wind, and the bike is damn comfy and lite.

I say all this with much appreciation for the Roubaix, I actually considered it instead of the Aethos, but it just seemed more of a compromise. I liked that I could run 35/36mm tires and still have a comfy and slightly aggressive geo bike for certain occasions.

I would think the Roubaix will get redesigned for 2022/23 with more tire clearance, tweaked geo to reduce the stack height a bit and possibly a bit lighter.

Anyway, anyone else feel the same way about my ramblings :)
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robbosmans
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by robbosmans

The Roubaix is an endurance bike, Aethos has the same race geo as a tarmac. So totally different bikes for different purposes.

Maybe we will see a new Roubaix at Roubaix, but not sure.

pmprego
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by pmprego

Paris-roubaix is flat as flat can be. Thus weight is irrelevant. Aero is relevant but even more will be the tarmac. Given what is now known regarding suspension and tire compliance and speed on rough terrain, I wonder if it would make sense to go with one of these new bikes with some type of suspension (rear and front) such the bmc URS. Especially if it's raining.

As for the aethos and as amazing as it might be I guess it cannot (will not) compete with the new generation of suspension to road that is being developed.
Last edited by pmprego on Tue Sep 28, 2021 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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pdlpsher1
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by pdlpsher1

+1 on what Robbosmans said. My preference in geometry is not a traditional 'race' geometry with short chainstays and a high BB. I like a low stack, long chainstays, and a low BB. This lead me to a custom frame. I could ride all day long and go fast when I needed to. I also use wide tires (32mm at the moment). That cancels out the low BB. Bike manufacturers really should start lowering the BB to compensate the trend for wide and fat tires.

CampagYOLO
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by CampagYOLO

I could see the next iteration of the Roubaix going for the 'all road' market. 38-40mm tyre clearence plus future shock would lead to an excellent bike for smoother gravel.

tjvirden
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by tjvirden

gSporco wrote:
Tue Sep 28, 2021 3:03 pm
I am new to the world of Specialized... I recently built an Aethos, non Sworks Frameset.......
...............

Anyway, anyone else feel the same way about my ramblings :)
Yes! :thumbup:

For me the Roubaix is a niche bike. I think Futureshock is perfect for the Diverge ("gravel"), but a compromise too far for a "road" focused bike. The Aethos doesn't have ideal geometry for me, but I think it's a superb road bike if the majority of ones Kms are on pavement.

Karvalo
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by Karvalo

gSporco wrote:
Tue Sep 28, 2021 3:03 pm
The topic at hand, why would you get a Roubaix, when the Aethos is so comfy and has racier geometry compared to the more relaxed Roubaix.
Because the Roubaix is even comfier and lots of people don't want racier geometry.
My back of the napkin comparison doesn't balance out between these two bikes.
For you. Doesn't mean there isn't a huge market for it.
Aethos: Has more tire clearance (I tested 35mm and 36mm with good clearance),
Roubaix: Limited to 32-33mm tires,
Have you tested the tyre clearance in the Roubaix? Since the Roubaix is claimed to have 1mm more tyre clearance than the Aethos, don't you think it's likely that you can actually fit the same size tyres as you have found to fit in the Aethos?

TobinHatesYou
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by TobinHatesYou

With UCI regs relaxed on aero frame shapes, they will need mechanical aids to improve vertical compliance without going with fat tires. The Venge should return with "suspension" much like the Madone SLR already has. Weight will be punted because these bikes will only be used on pan-flat or gently rolling stages. Expect 8kg aero bikes with IsoSpeed/FutureShock/what-not being raced in the World Tour.

Karvalo
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by Karvalo

tjvirden wrote:
Wed Sep 29, 2021 10:14 pm
For me the Roubaix is a niche bike.
But judging by the sales it's an absolutely massive niche.

splzd
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by splzd

The CruX is due to a redesign, too. If everything I read online is true, it will become kind of an Aethos with bigger tire clearance. No more pure bred Cyclocross race bike, but a lightweight gravel racer. So the Roubaix, the Diverge and the CruX crowd the same niche (which, arguably, is a big niche) with only slight variances, and the Aethos is capable of taking wider tires and going on rough surfaces, too. I have to say: I don't understand, what Specialized is doing here.

tjvirden
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by tjvirden

Karvalo wrote:
Thu Sep 30, 2021 7:47 am
tjvirden wrote:
Wed Sep 29, 2021 10:14 pm
For me the Roubaix is a niche bike.
But judging by the sales it's an absolutely massive niche.
Hehe, fair enough! Yeah, there aren't exactly a lot of unsold Roubaixs knocking about in store windows/LBS floors and (I assume) Specialized's storage facilities. They're all sold :)

Meanwhile, Aethos sales have apparently been lower than expected. I guess all that aero focus really has worked!

Karvalo
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by Karvalo

splzd wrote:
Thu Sep 30, 2021 8:00 am
So the Roubaix, the Diverge and the CruX crowd the same niche (which, arguably, is a big niche) with only slight variances, and the Aethos is capable of taking wider tires and going on rough surfaces, too.
Look at the geometry charts and tell me with a straight face there are only slight differences... :noidea:

Karvalo
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by Karvalo

tjvirden wrote:
Thu Sep 30, 2021 9:22 am
Meanwhile, Aethos sales have apparently been lower than expected. I guess all that aero focus really has worked!
Yep, Aethos has easily been the slowest selling bike of the Specialized range, even with it being the newest model. They could have diverted all the frame manufacturing and groupset availability to the SL7 and Roubaix and sold out easily IMO, while there are still a reasonable number of Aethos's available.

Yoln
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by Yoln

Geometry geometry geometry

Your hole post is base on "feel" of comfort only, and totally ignores actual geometry

AFAIK Aethos is same geometry as Tarmac, and not at all an endurance bike
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c50jim
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by c50jim

I keep reading on WW that Aethos isn't selling well. Perhaps that's because they just aren't making many. I've had a Red Aethos all year and decided to get a Rival one for bad weather as soon as they were announced. My LBS put in my order right away and was just told this week that I might get the bike next summer but then again they said a month ago that I'd get it in October so who knows when it will arrive.

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