Road Bike Of The Year – Comfort – Specialized Roubaix Vs.Trek Domane

In their search for the very best road bike of 2017, Cycling Plus collected a few arch rivals in five different categories and pitted them against each other. The best of those will eventually be crowned overall Bike of the Year.

Comfort doesn’t have to be a dirty word, as being more comfortable can allow you to push the pedals harder, and for longer. Senior technical editor Warren Rossiter gives the low down on two of the best comfort bikes of the moment.


Hamish Roake says:

domane over roubaix purely based on the fact that the roubaix is ugly as sin.

Geeios1 says:

Your opinion is based on the size bike you ride. Different sizes have different geometries as well as having different frame layup. Different geometries ride different . So your opinion is just on the bike you ride and cannot be cross referenced to any other frame sizes, geometries with certitude. What size are you riding, is it custom fitted to you? Do you know positively it is correct? Price is usually asymetrical to comfort, the lighter the bike the stiffer it is, the stiffer it is the more road vibration you get.

Comfort depends on rider position, rider position depends on frame geometry. Frame geometry depends on size of the frame because manufacturers design smaller bikes, less than 56cm for safety (toe overlap) not human physiology. The more upright the seat tube the more road surface transfer, the more the weight is on the saddle and bars instead of the pedals. Check the geometry specs of the manufacturers, tube lengths, seat and head tube angles are different. An aluminum frame of the right geometry and rider fit can out-comfort bad geometry and fit of any carbon road frame.

Clobber 66 says:

Why didn’t you compare disc brake domaine rather than a canti lever ? Not really a fair comparison.

john smith says:

so wait, a bike with suspension fork allows lock out , right? necessary when climbing or sprinting , so what about this suspension thats inside the head tube? no need for lock out?

Dave F says:

Thanks for the video, I’m considering both bikes. I have a 2008 Cannondale Synapse 5 that needs replacing, which also puts me in a more upright position. I haven’t ridden the Domane and Rubaix because no shop near me has them in stock now. Which is the fastest of the 2, Domane, or Rubaix ?

Roger Lecocq says:

These bikes are losing the purity of a road bike but they have a market. Perhaps they represent a sub- genre of road bikes. I definitely don’t think the Roubaix is a pure road bike.

Hajime Kuma says:

Ugly bikes both of them imo

Mark T says:

Unfair comparison.

ajussiwannabe says:

Just the review I’ve been waiting for… For weeks I’ve been debating between Roubaix and Domane for purchase. Given that Domane can take wider tires (32mm I think) and all other things being “equal but different”, I think I’ll go for Domane.

Al Duarte says:

On the lower end and $400 bucks cheaper that it’s equal competitors range models, the winner is: Giant Defy Advance 3 just a cheaper bad ass winter/commuter/do it all machine!!

Phil Weatherley says:

The suspension elements here – clever tho they are – could all be replaced by the simple expedient of fatter tyres. Less absurd macho suffering seen as virtue, less vibration too.

wasabi1m says:

I cannot watch that guy ride…like he’s on some sort of step machine

Siclmn Cyclerider says:

I rode the two bikes and the ride quality of the Specialized won me over. The Trek deals with vibration only but the Roubaix has a real shock absorber for your front wheel.

thechosendude says:

They put the Headshok on the wrong end of the headtube….

Nick Humphrey says:

I wonder if they’ll sell more of these bikes in the UK? Because British roads are shit, every time I go for a ride theres a million potholes everywhere trying to knock my fillings out.

Robert Schulz says:

The Roubaix only helps smooth the bumps in the front does nothing for the bumps in the rear. If you have any back problems don’t waste your money.

NewbArchitect says:

wow 28mm tires on trek sweet

FroopieLoopies says:

I bought a Domane SL but I didn’t like it. I couldn’t get over the HUGE tire. It felt like riding a Harley.

gamecat says:

How does the Roubaix ‘hit the right notes’ on kit level? You are getting 1/2 mechanical ultegra, 105 level brakes, a cheapo crankset and bargain basement wheels, for £2,650?

jaspal singh says:

How do these bikes compare to Orro Gold STC Disc Di2?

Jeff Cirelli says:

Im so glad that the road bike industry is completely and utterly giving zero fucks about breaking “tradition” or conventions that, for a very long time and until very recently, were here to stay.

It used to be that if you said your bike was uncomfortable on rough roads, the roadie answer was, “Harden the fuck up and ride pussy”

Or if you tried to put a saddle that was anything more than mere millimeters of carbon fiber and barely wider than your top tube, the response was “Why dont you just put a cruiser seat on it pussy”

But, finally, this shit is becoming less and less the norm, and rather becoming the exception. Now, the only type of people you get these comments from, are people that think we should still be riding steel frames with downtube shifters, nothing but campagnolo groupsets and 17c wide tires, and CALIPER BRAKES. Finally, its only the people stuck in their ways, grasping at the word tradition as if they think the use of disc brakes and a spring on the seattube is going to ruin the sport of cycling. Dont worry about the springs guys, EPO has already damaged cycling more than any “traditions” being ruined ever could.

Hydraulic Disc brakes are better, a saddle that is comfortable will allow you to ride longer, wide tires are faster and more aero, not to mention more comfortable, and bikes that are labeled “endurance”, 100%, unequivocally, are ROAD bikes.

fujitsubo says:

“comfort is just gonna make u stronger for longer…”

AndySingh58 says:

What if you had to buy aluminum due to budget constraints? Roubaix is only available in carbon fiber, Domane has aluminum versions too

kingsmeadow says:

bikeradar “review” = repeat press copy product sheet + cut and paste commentary of component choice.

Gustavo Oliveira Cavalcanti says:

How lovely sun marks

Helicase21 says:

These bikes with a 25mm tire will probably not be significantly more comfortable than a frame without fancy comfort features and a 28mm or 30mm tire. Tires are more important for comfort than frame.

adriboff1 says:

The specialized is the ugliest bike I think I’ve ever seen and not just the handlebars! Comfort isn’t an ugly word, but the specialized is simply too ugly for me to ever consider it. Thanks for the vids though, very enjoyable!

They Live We See says:

does lower seatstay increase comfort??

Sinan Şenkul says:

roubaix is a masterwork and a smart choice for any ride or race… considering many granfondos have awful surfaces roubaix can do the trick

Clark S says:

I just can’t get past the look of the Roubaix. It reminds me of a quill stem and I understand the bars are about fit but eww.

Kingsoupturbo says:

The specialized looks fantastic! Just the thing for city riding, or anything with bumps. I’ve been waiting to replace my current road bike with something like this for a long while, something legit different in the comfort arena, great review!

Michal Maly says:

Anybody knows which sunglasses the rider of S-Roubaix wears? Looking for some like these! Thanks a lot!

Reggie Peters says:

Why didn’t you compare the Domane SL6 Disc yo the Roubaix disc? Not a fair comparison.

Rex Horrell says:

Those monster looking brake levers on the Specialized are reason enough to wait another season for a new bike. Hopefully new Ultegra level hydro levers are on the way……

MTB_MIKE says:

Both bikes are pretty close. I’d go for the trek solely for appearance.

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