My wife will kill me I am sure, but this morning I dropped by the bike shop. I had a few minutes and if I go in the morning I can work with the shop manager which is always a better experience. My intention was to drop in really quick, lust, get a few prices and be on my way.
They had a Specialized S-Works Roubiax ($7400) in the shop. I rode that and was not impressed at all. It had SRAM Red on it which gave me a chance to try out that component group, but other than than that I didn’t care much for it.
Then I rode a Madone 5.5. The difference was amazing. The 5.5 felt smooth and responsive. It was lite but not skittish like the Roubiax. The last bike I rode was a Madone 6.5. It felt slightly lighter than the 5.5, but what surprised me was that the ride quality was a bit better. Given that both bikes have a similar geometry I expected the ride quality to be equal or for the 6.5 to have a slightly harsher feel do to the higher modulus carbon. The opposite was true and the ‘Red’ carbon on the 6.5 seem to be just a bit smoother than the ‘Black’ carbon on the 5.5. Of course the difference could also be attributed to the wheels. It is hard to say, but the overall package on the 6.5 offered a slightly sweeter ride.
There are currently a couple of 6.9 Madones available. I could have one here in a week. The retail price is $7700. The shop will give me a bit of a deal, but I am still left debating whether the 6.9 is worth twice what the 5.2 costs.
I basically have a few days to decide before the 6.9s run out or I will have to wait a couple of months until the stock builds back up.