Road Bike Of The Year Winner – Specialized Roubaix Comp

Road Bike Of The Year Winner – Specialized Roubaix Comp

273
48



In their search for the best road bike of the year, Cycling Plus carried out extensive testing of 25 of the most promising bikes. The best of the lot of them turned out to be the radically comfortable Specialized Roubaix Comp.

The full list of tested bikes –
Basso Venta
Giant TCR Advanced 1 Disc
Vitus Vitesse Evo Disc
Viner Maximus RS 4.0
B-Twin Ultra 720 CF Ultegra
Eastway Emitter R2 Ultegra
Fuji Gran Fondo 2.1 Disc
Genesis Zero Disc 2
Boardman Elite Endurance SLR Disc 9.2
Mekk Poggio 2.8
Ridley Fenix SL Ultegra
Sensa Giulia G2 Disc
Rose Xeon CWX 3000
Canyon Ultimate AL SLX 9.0
Focus Paralane Carbon 105
Cérvelo S2 105
Bianchi Oltre XR1 105
Merida Scultura Disc 6000
Specialized Roubaix Comp Blue
Cube Litening C:62 Disc
Cannondale Super Six Evo Disc Ultegra
BMC Roadmachine 02 105
Trek Domane SL 6
Ribble R872 Disc UDi2
Orbea Avant AVANT M20 TEAM D

48 Comments

  1. As a longtime Tarmac rider, I was pretty skeptical of this new Roubaix. I had a colleague who just purchased this exact same model, and decided to give it a try. I just bought this tonight. This thing performs exceptionally. I've never felt as confident descending fast, where I'd normally slow down, but with the Roubaix I kept pushing. Absolutely recommended.

  2. Thank you BikeRadar. Bought the Roubaix Comp and loving it. The comfort in riding is absolutely noticeable.

  3. Regor Stubrewoz

    For all the negatives on the looks I would just say try one…i did and bought it. No regrets. I have another more standard carbon bike but the roubaix wins put in all kinds of areas like handling, braking, comfort and no loss of speed at all.

  4. at 62 i'll stick with my 2009 s-works tarmac. plenty comfy still

  5. Took a test ride of one today along with a Giant Defy and Cube Attain, I was more than a little skeptical about the Future Shock concept, having now ridden it i'm a convert, as much as the Defy and Attain were great riding bikes, the Specialized Roubaix Comp just had that little extra in comfort.
    If your an out and out racer, this wont be the bike for you, but if your a sportive long day ride kind of person that has limited hip flex then try one of these out if you can find one.

    Just a note, if you think the Future Shock is like Mountain Bike suspension then think again, it's not and it's not meant to be, this more suspends you on the bike, it's an odd sensation at first, but quickly passes , it really works to isolate road buzz and takes the sting out of road bumps, I was actively seeking the biggest bumps and dings in tarmac I could to test it.
    Of course you will find potholes that it just wont soak up 20mm of travel can only do so much.

  6. Stephen Collins

    These endurance road bikes from the likes of Cannondale, Specialized, Trek, BMC etc are an absolute boon for road cycling. In the past there was only two types of main road bike: racers or tourers. Now, through the benefits of technology and R&D with the pros in races such as the Paris Roubaix, manufacturers have given us a sort of hybrid road bike that has greater comfort with speed, performance and handling for different types of road surface from rough to smooth. Brilliant bicycle invention l think. Only the die hard traditionalists may have trouble accepting the innovation.

  7. Reginald Scot

    But the year is not over, your telling me you have ridden and tested every bike for this year already and your totally sure this is the best? Best if your getting on a bit can't handle a real road bike? Tell me would a young up and coming racer feel the same? I can't wait for Cycling Weekly to do their bike of the year because they have a better review system by giving category's. Like best aero bike or best comfort bike… I must admit it is an achievement to make a carbon bike "comfortable" I find most of them to be rubbish on that side of things… maybe that's why the industry wants us to move to fatter tyres and shocks? Like let's all ride butt ugly MTBs! I just buy steel or Titanium bikes that have better frame quality and are naturally more comfortable…. and just as light and much stronger. My last carbon bike lasted 6 months before cracking… my metal bikes have lasted 10 years +.

  8. Ricardo Kirgan

    I just ordered the Roubaix Comp. I respectfully disagree with the common sentiment that the bike is ugly. I find it sexy as hell, but my tastes are admittedly unconventional. (I ordered it in gloss yellow!) My biggest beef is with the price/spec. The weird mix of 105 shifters, brakes and cassette, KMC chain, Praxis Zayante (huh?!?) crank and Ultegra derailleurs is going to mess with my OCD for the foreseeable future. For $3400 USD, Specialized should do better than a mostly 105 spec. By contrast, I could have purchased the similarly specked Giant Defy Advanced 1 AND a Giant Contend SL-2 disc for less than the price of the Roubaix comp. Not that any of the individual parts is bad, but Ultegra parts are bound to work better with other parts from the same groupset because that's how they were designed. Still, I absolutely love the ride of the Roubaix. I also love that my LBS offers 12 months free financing. As Warren points out, all of the kit will eventually have to be replaced anyway, so I went ahead pulled the trigger.

  9. the Looks is unusual, but not bad. lookswise I would prefer the Tarmac or even my 2012 allet, but the technpöpgie of thes roubaix is great!

  10. Simon Storton

    I have a Roubaix Comp and it works very well on our very bad roads , I am very happy with it you dont feel the kilometers..

  11. Every single one of your tests is so biased it makes me sick. Either you promote some Brit company (I can see why but you should strive for at least a bit of objectivity) or an overpriced bike like Specialized Roubaix Comp. It's about time that you start using #sp in your descriptions.

  12. Well said; "The proof is in the ride"
    I own a Cervelo RS. (Carlos Sastre won the 2008 Vuelta a España in this same frame) This RS has a stiff BB, beefed up chain stays, 3T; race fork, handlebars and stem. Then mix taller head tube, longer wheel base, spaguetti thin seat stay make for more comfort and translates into higher speeds and longer rides + less aches and pains! To Me a win! win! situacion!
    This Roubaix may be a bit better than My older endurance/Stage race Cervelo. Need to test ride it as well as Treks endurance offering.

  13. I rode a (rented) previous generation Roubaix SL4 in Maui last week and it was great. I rode the bike about 23 hours during the week (7 day trip), with two loops around West Maui and a trip up the Haleakala volcano mixed into that time. The riding position was very comfortable and it was easy for me to stay in the drops for long stretches of time despite my limited flexibility. Additionally, the bike basically soaked up whatever the road had to offer, even on 700x25c tires. The compact crankset paired with a 11-32 cassette made the close to 5 hour climb up the 10,000 foot Haleakala volcano "manageable". (I say "manageable" because that was one of the most physically challenging things I've ever done, and certainly as hard or harder than trying to run a fast marathon.)

    I own a 2008 Cervelo R3 as my main road bike right now, but given my experience last week, the Roubaix Comp would definitely be on my short list given I'd be looking for an endurance bike to add to the quiver. Regardless of what people think about the looks of the bike, I think just about anyone would benefit from the combination of comfort and speed of this bike, particularly on long rides. Two thumbs up!

  14. eddy martinez

    Mine is being put together in the shop right now.  I tested the bike and fell in love. At the age of 57. Recovering from injuries. Otained from extreme sports as a youngster. Comfort and Endurance is what I am after. The Brakes are being bled right now. She will be ready by Monday. Thanks for your thoughts. She is payed for. So we shall see ? I went for the Black/Blue combo. My Colors.

  15. Great bike ,

  16. Rob Kozlowski

    I rode this bike in boulder CO. Awesome on flats, gravel, and all the rough stuff. Once I headed into the mountains, that's when the future shock showed its dark side. Constantly bobbing up and down when climbing was very annoying. I still prefer the 2017 supersix evo as the best all around bike.

  17. I wish there were more road bikes with suspension and disk brakes for wider on them, on rough roads it really just more efficient, I sick of people being so obsessed about weight and being real closed minded about mountain bike like components

  18. Given what happened to Niki Terpstra are you going to rescind this award? Its a bit of a fucking joke that your bike of the year can't complete the race its named after without catastrophic failure.

  19. I totally agree with your decision i have the new Roubaix and it's fantastic.

  20. How can they give a bike of the year award to a bike you cant ride in the rain. The future will decide the fate of this bike and the reviewers.

  21. Hamad Al-Nasr

    hmmm, a bunch of marketing. Just when the market is saturated with rim-braked bikes they decided lets spur something to induce sales. Alex dowset said it clearly "rim brakes are strong enough, and to start with you only have so much contact patch until you skid. so why make brakes even stronger?" ill only buy the non disc version roubaix(if released). A bunch of marketing administration with the strategic mindset of 'innovation is competitive advantage, so lets innovate brakes" . ill stick with my collection of bikes until i see the need.

  22. Mike Spadafora

    Very complicated solution to a problem that can be solved much easier and cheaper

  23. It's an interesting bike, pretty polarizing too. After I finish my move to Japan, I'll have to try it out. Also got the Giant Anthem and a couple others in mind to try out.

    Thing is, the Specialized is probably going to be out of my budget.

  24. Durrant Miller

    You guys all whine like children. How about you ride the bike before you say it sucks. Also, this bike is obviously not meant for nice n' smooth racing it's for comfort during rough races and if you just like a little more comfort. SMH

  25. Arthur Kingsland

    What hasn't been noticed/mentioned is the problem with riding this bike in the rain!

    I've had my 2017 Specialized Roubaix Elite since mid-Nov 2016 from my LBS Specialized dealer, and have completed almost 7500 km. Some of this has been in pouring rain. 1/3rd of my riding is on good quality roads, the rest is on really good quality, bitumen cycleways. Virtually no rough stuff except, on most rides, for a 4 x 300 m section of concrete "planks" on a wetlands cycleway bridge.

    After 5500 km I took it in for the free 90 day service, then soon after it developed a weird problem in the headset. I kept snapping/locking into the straight ahead position requiring some effort to pull it out of that alignment. When trying to avoid sticks, stones, pot-holes, etc. this small yank to get it to move almost always meant the change in direction was far greater that I intended.

    When I took it back the service person unpacked the headset, re-greased the bearings and re-assembled it, but stated that the bearings were rusted and should be replaced. I was told I must have been riding the bike in extreme conditions. Extreme? Surely riding in the rain is not extreme! After all isn't Paris-Roubaix sometimes wet-muddy-gritty, etc.!

    I complained that needing to replace the headset bearing after only 3 months was really un-expected. Was I going to need to continually replace these bearings several times a year? Haven't had an answer to that question.

    I've now seen a couple of other critiques mentioning the same problem, i.e. the bearings are a mess after just a few months.

    Beware!

  26. Wild Outdoor Living

    I do not want my fit to be constantly changing while I'm riding down the road. That old soft ride was stem was terrible for the same reason. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for comfort, but A) Simplicity is also king and B) Bigger tires are pretty easy to put on.

  27. But it's ugly :)… Besides, fancy-schmantzy shock schmuck will come and go, people will buy and then buy another fancy schlitz – buy a light stiff diamond frame will be here forever, because it's best.

  28. as our UK roads become worse and worse these will come into their own

  29. I wonder what mark cavendish would say about this bike since he yanks on the handle bar really hard

  30. i've ridden it. meh.

  31. Worth noting that bikeradar seem to cater for the slower, more comfort focused rider. After the Synapse won their bike of the year I bought one and found it far too flexible to ride fast descents and the odd crit. A suggestion for them would be to highlight what each bike is good at ie. rank them out of 10 for comfort, stiffness, weight, handling, descending, climbing etc. the problem with this review of the winner is I have no real idea if it will suit my riding routes or style of riding.

  32. Test rode it two weekends ago during Specialized demo even there in DFW. Bike rides extremely well. Chameleon color was really nice, other graphics could be worked on to improve the looks. Bike really takes a lot of road buzz out – especially chip seal. Bottom bracket is very stiff, but with seat post moving inside seat tube and front suspension it was fantastic. I don't have the money for one right now, but when I do, I will get one. You have to ride it to understand it.

  33. I'm keeping my 1992 Girvin Flexstem.

  34. Nathanial Brookes

    I live in England and the roads are horrible so this is a fantastic idea also look at that awesome paint job

  35. EczemaHealing.org

    If the bike fits, ride it.

  36. quite a contrast from the 2016 "back to basics" and super Caad12….advancement in tech is obviously dominant these days but clearly a bit confusing/unsettling for enthusiasts….I don't like the look of this bike but I'd be open to trying it…I can imagine it rides well….good challenge from Cycling Plus!

  37. Meh, was never a fan of specialized bikes.

  38. Benjamin Prevost

    If Sagan and Boonen have no problem riding it, why are you amateurs bitching about slamming the stem. It's a Roubaix; made for endurance. I've got and S-Works Venge, and of course the stem is slammed, but the Roubaix is engineered for a totally different job, and it's fantastic at it. I'm and mechanic at a bike shop, and I've ridden the new Roubaix Expert, and it's exactly as they say in the video. Buttery smooth ride + intense precision and control.
    And, I'll agree, the headshock isn't the prettiest thing, but the frame is pretty gorgeous, and if it does the job better and faster than every other like-minded bike, I could care less. You can't hear complaints about how ugly it is when everyone else is miles behind.

  39. horseshit

  40. Christian Humphrey

    54cm Tarmac Headtube length 140mm
    54cm Roubaix Headtube length 125mm (+20mm for Future Shock = 145mm)5mm difference when unloaded, which will mostly disappear when you're riding it. Bars are personal preference. Just sayin'…It rides awesome… If you can ride faster than me on mine over 100 miles, it's not because of the bike.

  41. Aero bike of the year?

  42. Man, how ugly road bikes started to be! I hate this "mtb" look of the top tube!

  43. How would the bike rate if it was rim brake like the offering to the pros??

  44. It's such an ugly frame. It should receive points deduction just because of the looks.

    Insanely high head tube, even higher handlebars. Ugh. 😭🤢

  45. I love specialized bikes.. but this bike is just plain ugly. It almost looks like they released an alpha model by accident instead of the production model. Very disappointed.

  46. great explanation. I have an aversion to Specialized, thanks to Cosmo (back with his HTRWW again, yey) but there are so many awesome frame out there, I daydream about upgrading and fitting the awesome components I got on my Merida XCross bike and i'd be a happy camper / adventurer.

  47. Tomas Saldana

    Road bike for old men of the year award!! I waited months for this one!!!

  48. Can't think of a modern high end bike that looks as ugly as this thing. Modern high end road bikes all perform at such an extraordinary level it really comes down to looks for a lot of people. As shallow as that sounds, who would you rather date, A supermodel that is a 10 in the looks department but is a 9.5 in bed or a not so attractive 3 that performs 9.8 in bed? With the lights off, I would take the 3 but with the lights on, I'll take the supermodel thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *