We love when new bikes are launched, so we were especially excited with the news that Specialized were dropping two!
New for 2018 are the revamped Diverge with significant changes to the frame design and plenty of new features to improve its on and off-road capacity, and a new CruX which recommits itself as a pure cyclocross race bike.
We've broken down the top ten things you need to know about the new bikes from Specialized.
1. Best launch ever - Diverge
There are the usual ways to launch a bike, and then there's the Sagan way. To launch the new Diverge, Specialized gave two-time defending World Champion Peter Sagan the new bike, a film crew and said, 'do whatever you want!'
So before we go into details of the bike, sit back and enjoy Sagan launching the Diverge in his own unique way.
2. The aim of the Diverge and the CruX
There are so many specialty bikes available that it can sometimes be confusing and difficult to differentiate between them, especially given so many offerings blur the lines. However, the aim of the Diverge and CruX are clear and simple.
For the Diverge, it's to create one bike that is equally capable on and off road, or as Specialized puts it, "one bike that shreds gravel and dirt and crushes through road miles with equal expertise." To do this, the Diverge features plenty of compliance, huge tire clearance, inventive geometry and an impressive weight figure.
And for the CruX, it's a pure cyclocross race bike. Rather than create a versatile cyclocross bike that can also be used for adventure and gravel riding, Specialized has committed to keeping the CruX as pure to its cyclocross heritage as possible. That means a lightweight frame, agile handling, and cyclocross specific geometry.
3. Future Shock - Diverge
We first laid our eyes on Specialized's 'Future Shock' when the new Roubaix and Ruby bikes were launched in 2016. The system works via a suspension cartridge that sits inside the steerer tube that responds to vibration and impact. On the Roubaix and Ruby, the technology provides 20mm of travel (otherwise known as movement), at the front end of the bike producing exceptional shock absorption capabilities that had rarely been seen on road bikes.
Future Shock features on the Diverge too but unlike the more road-skewed bikes mentioned above, features a 'Progressive Spring' that makes this technology more suitable for mixed terrain applications and be more supportive through harder impacts. Riders will have the ability to customize the tension of the spring to best suit preferences or terrain.
4. Open-Road-Ready frame - Diverge
While the tire size (more on that in a minute) might scream off-road ready, the new look frame shares a few features with Specialized's road specific line-up indicating it should perform well on sealed roads.
For starters, the S-Works frame weighs a feathery 880g, equal to or exceeding that of the other road specific bikes, and new for the 2018 range are the dropped seatstays that feature on almost all of Specialized' road line-up. To aid the bikes handling and stability, the bottom bracket height has been dropped by 5mm compared to the previous Diverge.
Not forgetting comfort, Specialized claims the new frame increases vertical compliance by 5% and the inclusion of the CG-R seatpost (uniquely designed head to absorb impacts) makes for a plush ride.
5. Tyres: The Bigger the Better - Diverge
The second-generation Diverge will accept much larger tires than its predecessor, so there's plenty of scope for tuning the capabilities of the bike to the local terrain and favorite paths/trails. The new carbon fiber Diverges comfortably fit up to 700x42mm (700x38mm on alloy) and 650bx47mm tires, and so there's virtually no path or trail that is too tough for the Diverge assuming you have the will and ability to test it out.
6. The complete one bike - Diverge
In order for the Diverge to truly be 'one-bike', it needed to tick a number of boxes in addition to the performance characteristics and mixed terrain applications listed above.
Flat mount disc brakes come as standard to provide confidence-inspiring braking in all weather conditions, and to keep things simple, the Diverge along with the Tarmac, Roubaix, Venge and CruX, all feature 12x142mm rear axle spacing and 160mm rotors.
There is an abundance of storage options including; a 'SWAT box', a small storage system that attaches to the downtube via braze-on to store tools and accessories you'd normally tuck away in your saddle bag; 'Plug + Play' fender mounts; and three bottle mounts for long-haul adventures.
To meet the needs of both men and women, the Diverge features a shared geometry between genders but is also available in men's and women's versions with key touch points tweaked to provide a better fit.
And finally, the sub-compact (48-32) crankset returns with wide cassette ratios to provide an enormous wide-range combo for on and off road riding.
7. Race bred frame - CruX
As mentioned, the CruX stays true to its cyclocross heritage but the frame gets some significant gains (or losses depending on how you look at it). The new frameset drops 400g from the previous CruX, now weighing 900g for a 56cm, which makes it one of the lightest of Specialized bikes across the board.
The bottom bracket sits relatively low (cyclocross bikes have higher than normal bottom bracket heights to aid obstacle clearance and sharp turns), the underside of the top tube is flat to make shouldering comfortable, and Specialized describe the front end as 'sharp'.
To improve comfort, the seat collar has been dropped 20mm to allow for more seatpost 'deflection'. And as mentioned, the rear axle spacing and rotor size are consistent across the line-up to make swapping wheelsets nice and easy.
8. Mud shedding - CruX
Raced across dirt, sand, snow and grass, the ability to shed debris is crucial to maintain performance and reduce the chance of a mechanical issue, and so the new CruX features eight millimeters of clearance on all sides of a 33mm tire (UCI size limit) and S-Works models even feature a special hydrophobic, mud-shedding paint.
9. The line-up
First the Diverge:
- Diverge Men’s Comp:
- Diverge Women’s Comp:
- Diverge Men's Comp E5:
- Diverge Women’s Comp E5:
- Diverge E5 Sport:
And the CruX:
- CruX Elite X1:
- CruX S-Works Frame:
The Specialized Diverge Men's Comp Carbon and Women's Comp E5 are available now, with the other Diverge options available August 2017. The CruX Elite 1 and S-Works frame will be available July 2017.
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