Goodbye Six13 – Hello Tarmac

I’ve been riding my Cannondale Six13 for a few years now and I’ve really loved it.  It was really sad to see the little mark in the paint I discovered last year had become a full blown crack.  It appears that these bikes have a tendency to snap around the rear drop outs and my Six13 is just about ready to go.  A couple months ago I stopped riding it and switched back to my CAAD9.  Now the CAAD9 is a fine bike, but its a 58 and I’ve to find that 56cm fits me better.


For years I’ve been telling my Dad that he would benefit from a more compliant bike, something like a Roubaix or Domane.  The frame he’s been looking for finally became available at a price he couldn’t turn down.  Now he’s the proud owner of a very sharp Roubaix SL4.  The Tarmac frame he’s been riding was dismantled and allocated to me as an early Christmas Gift.


The Six13 may have had some carbon in it but I could never really tell it from any other bike I rode.  In fact I rarely can tell a difference between bikes other then simple saddle and handlebar positions.  They generally all feel alike to me.   I got a chance to test out my new bike on ride with Mom and Dad this morning. The Tarmac Expert is the first all Carbon bike I’ve ever ridden but early in the ride I really couldn’t tell any difference, seemed like any other bike to me.


Dad was riding  faster on his new Roubaix, which I attributed to new bike syndrome, and I was struggling to keep up with them.  I realized a few miles in that my seatpost was about about a centimeter to low and a too far back.  Fixing that got me feeling much better on the Tarmac.  We were cruising down Walnut Grove road, which we ride alot. its rough oil and chip and it causes me to search the smoothest sections of pavement.  I realized I was riding through the rough areas and that the entire road felt much smoother.  Now this of course could be in my head, but I tried to pay close attention to road surfaces as the ride continued and I was sold that the carbon Tarmac had a more compliant ride then the bikes I’m used to.


Eventually I traded bikes for a test ride of the Roubaix SL4.  Just rolling down the road I couldn’t feel anything different.  Eventually  I took off at a full sprint down a rough oil and chip road.  I settled into a big gear, put my weight back and churned out a fast pace.  I rolled right through a rough section of road without unweighting the saddle and the sensation was much like blasting through a rough section of trail on a full suspension bike.  A jarring shock that would have cause my wheels to skip felt as if it was absorbed at least enough to keep the bike firmly planted.  Again this could have been in my head, but it seemed to work.

It was a fantastic maiden voyage for me and I’m pumped to get in shape and see what this bike can do next season.


About Matt Gholson

Cycling, school teaching, husband.
This entry was posted in Barn Door Cycling, Bikes and components, lifestyle, Reviews, Rides and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Goodbye Six13 – Hello Tarmac

  1. mrhargis says:

    Nice ride! Tarmacs are seriously great bikes/frames. It will just be strange to see you on something besides a Cannondale!

  2. Moe says:

    That is a sweet new ride. Is it a SL3? You need to get your dad into mountain biking so he can give you some slightly used high end MTBs.

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