Specialized Roubaix Elite SL2 Road Bike Review
The Specialized Roubaix Elite SL2 is an all-carbon bike that manages to bring you the added comfort and flexibility of this desirable material at a price point which may be surprisingly low. It has a hard earned racing reputation passed down from its more expensive siblings and while there are some entry level features which show where money has been saved, it is far from a bog standard bike. The bike is quick paced, responsive and well equipped with Shimano 105 components, so let us take a closer look and see whether it is the right choice for you.
The Specialized Roubaix Elite SL2 features the FACT 8r carbon frame, which is not the most expensive weave offered by the manufacturer. However, it is significantly lighter than the alloy-framed alternatives at this price point. This will let you wind it up to speed quickly and tackle long climbs without burning through your energy as you lug a metal frame bike around with you. There is an accompanying carbon fork to complement the frame and this enhances the handling capabilities of the bike, letting you feel confident enough to go faster than ever on downhill sections and showing you that it is possible to take corners at high speed without jamming on the brakes beforehand.
Comfort is a word which is regularly used in the description of the Specialized Roubaix Elite SL2 and there is no doubt that its carbon frame and fork help to live up to this promise. While alloy bikes might give you a little bit too much feedback from the road, this model keeps you feeling connected while still softening the rougher surfaces and compensating for the points when you hit divots or potholes that you did not see in time. The cumulative effect is one that ensures you want to keep on riding for longer, rather than feeling increasingly fatigued as a result of the annoying road rumble.
Specialized has equipped the bike with its own in-house All Condition tyres fitted to Shimano WHR 500 rims. This is a good partnership, as while the tyres provide plenty of grip in the dry or wet they are also able to roll quickly and take advantage of the ample frame stiffness to get you up to speed in a matter of moments. Shimano 105 gears ensure longevity, slick changing and lightness to go hand in hand with the design ethos which powers the bike.
The Specialized Roubaix Elite SL2 is a very attractive bike, showing off its carbon frame and fork with an appropriate colour scheme that lets you see the weave and marvel at this space-age substance. The gentle curve of the top tube is appealing and functional, while the bright red of the Specialized branding gives it a hint of aggression, enhancing the otherwise minimalist approach to style. This is a road bike that has many positive qualities and should be a welcome partner for training, exercise or racing.