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Thread: Ruby or Amira?

  1. #1
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    Ruby or Amira?

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    I've done lots of searches trying to find comparisons of the two and terms like "relaxed" or "aggressive" are thrown around a lot but without any real explanation. I've got the geometry for both bikes in the Elite Compact model for this year pulled up and they just look so similar. We're talking in mm here, so how big of a difference can it really make? The Amira frame is FACT8r carbon and the Ruby is listed as 10r, but other than that I don't see a whole lot of difference. Can't you move spacers around to get your bars higher or lower in relation to your saddle to change the feel? And isn't a great fitter going to make the bike fit me and my body the best they can anyways?

    I think I'm getting hung up in the marketing terms. I know that I want to do at least one century ride, and honestly if my family doesn't stop talking to me because I'm trying to get them to help with my fundraising, I might like to do the Bike MS every year. But on a daily basis, I want to go out and blaze 25-30 miles, not ride a long slow 100. I don't want to suffer through this MS event if I go with the Amira because it's a "racing" bike but I don't want to sacrifice my daily riding preference either by getting something "plush" or "relaxed". Are these just adjectives they are throwing around or do they really mean anything?

    I'm doubting myself a little now to and think I need to go back and test ride again, I think all of them were worlds above current bike and I might have gotten distracted by that. Well, and a *small* case of lust over things above my price range. I want the Ultegra group, but my 105's are just fine for me and there is no justified reason for me to spend that much more right now on a slightly lighter frame, internal cable routing and a better gruppo.

  2. #2
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    Jul 2012
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    I think either would be a good choice for what you're wanting to do - both the century and the daily 25-30 miles. At this point, you're not going to see a big difference between the two speed-wise. I can zip around for short rides on my Ruby as well as someone of a similar ability can on an Amira, so you're not sacrificing either speed or endurance, at least for what you're wanting to do.

    Ride them both, and decide which one you like to ride better, because they're both good choices. Have fun!
    "Susie" - 2012 Specialized Ruby Apex, not pink/Selle SMP Lite 209

  3. #3
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    Sep 2006
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    Central Indiana
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    What size are you looking at in particular? There are some (mostly) minor differences between the two bikes' respective geometries, but how those differences would translate for you is hard to tell. I can tell you that a few millimeters here or a half a degree there can make a big difference for me. My big limiter is seat tube angle and top tube length. For someone my height and leg length, I have relatively long femurs. Thus, to make my knees happy, my seat needs to be set back quite a bit. Pushing my saddle so far back effectively makes certain bikes two long in the top tube for me. I also need a bike with a seat tube angle no greater than 74.5% (and even that is pushing it) in order to get my saddle far enough back. So, for me, minor differences can matter and there's only so much a fitter could do to make a bike with a steep steep tube angle and/or long top tube work for me.

    I don't say that to make this more complicated than it needs to be for you, but I don't want to overstate what a fitter can do to make a bike that's too big or too small work for someone. In an ideal world, we would get a full fitting before buying a bike, but short of that, try to take each bike out for a long test ride if you can and work with a shop that appreciates that fit is more complicated than simply being to stand over any given bike.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  4. #4
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    I went in to try the Ruby and the Ridley after not finding anything at the first shop at all. I liked the Ruby right away but then I liked the fit of the Liz even more. I wasn't even going to try the Amira, but he sent me out on it "on a hunch" he said and I just adore it. I can't tell you in technical terms why it felt different to me, and he had the same seat and height on it so it couldn't have been that. But it just felt like an extension on me, like I fit in it instead of on it if that makes sense. I had my mind pretty made up, but all the adjectives being used were confusing me. I'm pretty set on the Amira, I just have to decide if I want to wait and pay more for the SL4 or if the Elite will be just fine. I know I don't want to get another bike for a long long time, so part of me is being selfish and wanting to spend the extra $$ on it, but part of me keep thinking about the kids, and what I would be able to do for everyone else with that $1800 for the upgrade. I know in the end I'll probably go with the Elite and love it, but it's still fun to consider the SL4. :-)

  5. #5
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    I'm 5'3, he said in between sizes. He had me try a 48 and a 51. I didn't even get half the block on the 51 before I knew it was to big. I didn't get long rides on the others, but 20 minutes or so on each. Only flat roads with some stop signs, but it gave me a change to try out all of the hand positions and I did quite a bit of sprinting up and down one of the streets and then slower riding back to get a feel for it. I really think the Amira in a 48 will be great, I just tend to doubt things when overloaded with information.

  6. #6
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    The carbon on the Amira is definitely a harsher ride (though only marginally so, IMO) than the Ruby. If you have decent pavement, I don't think you'll notice. (On the other hand, you're in northern OH, and if it's anything like Cleveland's pavement...) It's also going to be stiffer. I rode the entry-level model because they didn't have anything else in my size. I'm also between sizes in the Amira (51 or 54). The cornering on the Amira is also going to be better, generally speaking, than the Ruby, but it will also feel twitchier if you were to ride them one after the other.

    The Ruby would be great for a century. So would the Amira, I think, but a lot of that depends on how comfortable you are.

    FWIW, the Amira's on the short list for my next bike. My lower back much prefers a little more stretch.
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
    http://wholecog.wordpress.com/

    2009 Giant Avail 3 |Specialized Jett 143

    2013 Charge Filter Apex| Specialized Jett 143
    1996(?) Giant Iguana 630|Specialized Riva


    Saving for the next one...

  7. #7
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    May 2007
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    It's not just geometry, too, there's also the style of the carbon. I know that the Amira is designed to be SUPER stiff, so that every single twitch you make gets translated into forward motion. Think of a how a super-tight-suspension sports car goes over a speed bump and you have an idea of the difference in comfort on the road.

    I have a carbon Crux that is the stiffest thing I have ever ridden in my life. It's fast and nimble and aggressive and all those wonderful racing adjectives, but it is NOT comfortable. I personally would not ride more than an hour on it.

    My Ruby is perfect for centuries. "Plush" is not quite the right word, but that'd be my bike of choice when I'm out to enjoy the views and smell the roses. My husband, on the other hand, is quite flexible and loves the aggressive geometries; he has no problem doing Deathride on an over-built Tarmac (Amira) with deep dish rims and somehow doesn't get blown off the side of the road and never complains a word.

    So, it's back to your decision on what you want.

    -- gnat!
    Windsor: 2010 S-Works Ruby
    Pantysgawn: 2011 S-Works Stumpjumper 29er
    Whiz!: 2013 S-Works Crux (Singlespeed)
    Boucheron: 2009 S-Works Tricross
    Haloumi: 2013 Tern P7i
    Kraft: 2009 Singlecross
    Gouda: 2005 Electra Betty
    Roquefort: 1974 Stella SX-73

  8. #8
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    You can also get the "lower" Amira Elite and upgrade your wheelset instead of buying the Amira SL4.

    I chose the Amira over the Ruby because my back felt kinda hunched over on the Ruby. I felt that I had better handling with the Amira. I did not feel any difference in plush riding of the Ruby compared to the Amira. Even though I am 5ft1in with short legs, my long torso preferred the 48cm Amira.

    As to carbon stiffness of the frames, 11R has stiffer carbon than the 8R. Thus, 11R can translate your pedaling speed to your bike better than the 8R (which, of course, also means that your 11R bike will be a little "twitchier"). Although I did not test ride the more expensive Amiras (due to my lower budget), the Specialized sales representatives said that the 11R carbon is stiff laterally but still compliant vertically....which means that although the 11R is stiff for pedaling strength, it should still NOT cause a harsh ride.
    2014 Liv Lust
    2013 Specialized Fate Expert with carbon wheelset (sold)
    2012 Specialized Amira Elite
    2010 Santa Cruz Juliana with R kit and Crampon pedals (sold)

    2011 Specialized Ariel Sport,suspension post,Serfas Rx Women's Microfiber saddle (sold)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owlie View Post
    The carbon on the Amira is definitely a harsher ride (though only marginally so, IMO) than the Ruby. If you have decent pavement, I don't think you'll notice. (On the other hand, you're in northern OH, and if it's anything like Cleveland's pavement...)
    Yeah, I was in Cleveland for the test rides, I'm actually between Cleveland and Toledo so it's better here but not by much. It's Ohio, the seasons are cold and orange cone. ; ) I was really checking out the pavement on my ride today, not down right awful, but I've really only got a few super smooth rides. Nothing that will knock your fillings out though.

    It's not just geometry, too, there's also the style of the carbon. I know that the Amira is designed to be SUPER stiff, so that every single twitch you make gets translated into forward motion. Think of a how a super-tight-suspension sports car goes over a speed bump and you have an idea of the difference in comfort on the road.

    My Ruby is perfect for centuries. "Plush" is not quite the right word, but that'd be my bike of choice when I'm out to enjoy the views and smell the roses. My husband, on the other hand, is quite flexible and loves the aggressive geometries; he has no problem doing Deathride on an over-built Tarmac (Amira) with deep dish rims and somehow doesn't get blown off the side of the road and never complains a word.
    See and this is what has me still on the fence. I like quick fast rides during the week because I'm limited on time, on the weekends though I still don't normally ride more than three hours but I know our roads aren't the greatest and at 32, I'm only getting older and stiffer in the mornings when I get up. I just wish I could take it out for like an hour to really get a good idea, but understandably so, the shop doesn't seem to want you gone more than 20 minutes or so. I know there's just no way to tell if something that is awesome for 20 minutes will be awesome for 3 hours without of course actually riding it for three hours. I don't suppose there is anyway to compare them, theoretically anyways, to my current bike? For the "jarring" factor anyways.

    You can also get the "lower" Amira Elite and upgrade your wheelset instead of buying the Amira SL4.

    I chose the Amira over the Ruby because my back felt kinda hunched over on the Ruby. I felt that I had better handling with the Amira. I did not feel any difference in plush riding of the Ruby compared to the Amira. Even though I am 5ft1in with short legs, my long torso preferred the 48cm Amira.

    As to carbon stiffness of the frames, 11R has stiffer carbon than the 8R. Thus, 11R can translate your pedaling speed to your bike better than the 8R (which, of course, also means that your 11R bike will be a little "twitchier"). Although I did not test ride the more expensive Amiras (due to my lower budget), the Specialized sales representatives said that the 11R carbon is stiff laterally but still compliant vertically....which means that although the 11R is stiff for pedaling strength, it should still NOT cause a harsh ride.
    The guy I dealt with basically said the same thing but you are very right, upgrading the wheels on the lower of the two would be a great idea! I didn't even think of that. I felt a little squished on the Ruby, but like I had a little more room on the Amira, I guess all of the angles and the geometry are still confusing for me. I couldn't figure out why that would be if they were the same size, until I looked at all the numbers, and honestly wondered if I had imagined it.

  10. #10
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    Apr 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caren View Post
    Yeah, I was in Cleveland for the test rides, I'm actually between Cleveland and Toledo so it's better here but not by much. It's Ohio, the seasons are cold and orange cone. ; ) I was really checking out the pavement on my ride today, not down right awful, but I've really only got a few super smooth rides. Nothing that will knock your fillings out though.



    See and this is what has me still on the fence. I like quick fast rides during the week because I'm limited on time, on the weekends though I still don't normally ride more than three hours but I know our roads aren't the greatest and at 32, I'm only getting older and stiffer in the mornings when I get up. I just wish I could take it out for like an hour to really get a good idea, but understandably so, the shop doesn't seem to want you gone more than 20 minutes or so. I know there's just no way to tell if something that is awesome for 20 minutes will be awesome for 3 hours without of course actually riding it for three hours. I don't suppose there is anyway to compare them, theoretically anyways, to my current bike? For the "jarring" factor anyways.



    The guy I dealt with basically said the same thing but you are very right, upgrading the wheels on the lower of the two would be a great idea! I didn't even think of that. I felt a little squished on the Ruby, but like I had a little more room on the Amira, I guess all of the angles and the geometry are still confusing for me. I couldn't figure out why that would be if they were the same size, until I looked at all the numbers, and honestly wondered if I had imagined it.
    Same size Ruby and Amira have different top tube lengths which is why they say that Ruby is more of an endurance bike and the Amira is more of a race bike. But, since I have a long torso, feeling hunched over on the Ruby was kinda uncomfortable (yes, you can feel the those few mm differences in top tube lengths which is why a good bike fitter is important ). In fact, my short legs should have led me to a 44cm Amira, but my long torso preferred the 48cm Amira which is what I ultimately bought and rode a century on. Since you are spending so much money, you might want to rent the Amira and then ask the shop to put your rental credit amount towards the Amira bike if you end up buying (that's what my Specialized bike shop does).

    Also, I don't know if it is true or not, but people say that upgrading your wheelset makes you feel like you upgraded your bike.
    2014 Liv Lust
    2013 Specialized Fate Expert with carbon wheelset (sold)
    2012 Specialized Amira Elite
    2010 Santa Cruz Juliana with R kit and Crampon pedals (sold)

    2011 Specialized Ariel Sport,suspension post,Serfas Rx Women's Microfiber saddle (sold)

  11. #11
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    That's genius!! I didn't know you could do that! That just solved all of my nagging little problems and I've already sent an email to the guy at the shop that was helping me. I'd hug you through the computer if that was possible and wouldn't be really awkward.

  12. #12
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    I lived in Cleveland for 4 years (and I bought my Avail up there). I'm all too familiar with the pavement!

    Yes, the TT on the Amira is longer. I'm short-torsoed, but I have longish arm and my back prefers a little more stretch. The Amira felt better to me.

    See if you have a Specialized dealer with a well-developed trail network nearby. There's a better chance to be able to rent bikes at those places.
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
    http://wholecog.wordpress.com/

    2009 Giant Avail 3 |Specialized Jett 143

    2013 Charge Filter Apex| Specialized Jett 143
    1996(?) Giant Iguana 630|Specialized Riva


    Saving for the next one...

  13. #13
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    Jul 2011
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    247
    Quote Originally Posted by Caren View Post
    I wasn't even going to try the Amira, but he sent me out on it "on a hunch" he said and I just adore it.
    There's your answer!

    Go back, ride them both again, then go with your gut.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owlie View Post
    I lived in Cleveland for 4 years (and I bought my Avail up there). I'm all too familiar with the pavement!

    Yes, the TT on the Amira is longer. I'm short-torsoed, but I have longish arm and my back prefers a little more stretch. The Amira felt better to me.

    See if you have a Specialized dealer with a well-developed trail network nearby. There's a better chance to be able to rent bikes at those places.
    I could have sworn that the Ruby has a longer TT than the Amira in a size 48 (522 mm on the Ruby compared to to 506 mm on the Amira), but the Amira has a shorter headtube, so I assume that's where you're feeling the extra stretch.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  15. #15
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    Apr 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by indysteel View Post
    I could have sworn that the Ruby has a longer TT than the Amira in a size 48 (522 mm on the Ruby compared to to 506 mm on the Amira), but the Amira has a shorter headtube, so I assume that's where you're feeling the extra stretch.
    Weird! I called Specialized to confirm this and they do agree that the Ruby has a longer top tube but the Amira has the racing geometry for a more stretched out (less upright position...which is why I thought that the Amira had the longer toptube length).

    All I can say is that I felt hunched on the Ruby, but that I am wrong about the top tube length.
    2014 Liv Lust
    2013 Specialized Fate Expert with carbon wheelset (sold)
    2012 Specialized Amira Elite
    2010 Santa Cruz Juliana with R kit and Crampon pedals (sold)

    2011 Specialized Ariel Sport,suspension post,Serfas Rx Women's Microfiber saddle (sold)

 

 

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