Founded in 1974, Specialized is one of the biggest and most popular bicycle brands. It produces a vast number of models covering a wide range of cycling disciplines, so to help guide you through the 2017 range and help you choose the right bike for you, here’s an overview of the US company’s latest bikes.
We've picked out highlights from the new range. You can see a list of the full range with prices here.
The Tarmac has long been the company’s go-to race bike, favoured by its many sponsorship professional cyclists and amateur racers alike. It’s been constantly updated over the years and is one of the lightest carbon race frames on the market.
Visually, the latest Tarmac looks similar to the old SL4, but there are a few key differences. The seat clamp is now integrated into the top tube, accessed by a small hole in the side of the top tube. This allows more seatpost to be extended out of the seat tube and results in a small, but measurable, increase in deflection. It does add up to a slightly smoother ride.
The big news with the new Tarmac is Specialized's Rider-First Engineered approach to developing each of the six frame sizes independently, rather than sizing up and down from the 56cm. They've essentially designed six different frames, with specific layup and tube profiles, with the aim of optimising the handling and performance for each frame size. It's less noticeable on the 56cm - the bike feels very similar to the old SL4 - but on the smaller and larger frame sizes the difference is likely to be more pronounced.
The S-Works tag is applied to the lightest Tarmac frames, which use a higher grade of FACT 11r carbon fibre. This range-topping S-Works Tarmac Dura-Ace (£6,000) is dripping in the latest kit, including Shimano’s latest mechanical groupset and Roval carbon fibre wheels.
Specialized was one of the first big brands to offer a race bike with disc brakes. The S-Works Tarmac Disc eTap (£7,500) uses a frame that shares the exact same geometry as the regular Tarmac but is modified for disc brakes, with flat mount calipers and internal hose routing. Specialized has stuck with conventional quick release axles on the Tarmac disc, though the tide is turning slowly towards thru-axles. This model gets Roval CLX 40 wheels.
The most affordable model in this range is the Tarmac SL4 Sport (£1,500). It uses the last generation Tarmac SL4 frame, which is still a high-quality lightweight carbon frame with internal cable routing and a tapered head tube It's specced with a Shimano 105 11-speed groupset with a Praxis Alba chainset and Axis Elite wheels.
Up your budget another £300 and this Tarmac SL4 Elite (£1,800) can be yours. The groupset is upgraded to Shimano Ultegra with a Praxis Zayante chainset.
Step up to Tarmac Comp (£2,400) and you upgrade to the very latest Tarmac frame, with an internal seat clamp and size-specific tube profiles and carbon fibre layup. You get a choice of two colour options, gloss red of the Peter Sagan replica pictured.
The cheapest disc-equipped model is Tarmac Comp Disc (£2,600). It gets a Shimano Ultegra mechanical groupset with matching Shimano hydraulic disc brakes.
SRAM’s wireless eTap groupset is popular in 2017, and this Tarmac Expert eTap (£4,500) comes with the new groupset but mixed with Force brake calipers and a SRAM S952 BB30 chainset. There are DT R460 wheels with S-Works Turbo 24mm tyres.
For 2017 the Roubaix has been completely redesigned. The iconic bike has been through several design changes over the years, but this is the biggest change in direction yet. Gone are the Zertz inserts and in comes a novel suspension damper housed in the top of the head tube that aims to isolate the handlebar from bumps and cobbles. It's called Future Shock and it provides up to 20mm of suspension travel, and can be adjusted to suit different rider weights. Here’s a video explaining how it works.
There’s no rear suspension. Instead, Specialized has placed the seat clamp well down in the seat tube, 65mm lower than the old bike, which allows the carbon fibre CG-R seatpost to deflect more under impacts.
The Roubaix also provides more fit adjustability, and now offers a much more aggressive setup if you want it, with a 7mm lower stack, but you can still replicate the high handlebar position of the previous model if you want. It has developed a similar ViAS handlebar setup to the Venge, with an Aerofly handlebar providing a 15mm rise compared to a regular flat handlebar.
The new Roubaix is also a disc-only bike and uses thru-axles front and rear and has space for 32mm tyres. It’s also the lightest Roubaix frame ever, with a claimed 900g for the S-Works compared to 960g of the old model, for a 56cm.
There are six models in the Roubaix range priced from £1,900 up to £5,000, and a frameset costing £2,750 . They share the same frame but the equipment differs depending on how much you want to spend.
The entry-level Roubaix Elite (£1,900) has a frame made from Fact 10r carbon fibre and is specced with TRP Spyre mechanical discs, Shimano 105 drivetrain and Specialized’s own Turbo Pro 26mm tyres.
The Roubaix Expert UDi2 (£3,800) upgrades the equipment to Shimano’s UItegra Di2 groupset and is fitted with DT R470 Disc wheels with Turbo Pro 26mm tyres.
Top of the Roubaix tree is this S-Works Roubaix eTap (£7,500). A full SRAM wireless shifting groupset with hydraulic disc brakes is built onto a frame made from higher grade S-Works Fact 11r carbon fibre. There are Specialized’s own Roval CLX 32 Disc tubeless-ready wheels with S-Works Turbo tubeless tyres in 26mm width.
The Ruby has also had a makeover and essentially offers all the same tech as the Roubaix, but in a bike with a women-specific design, size range and equipment.
There are five models in the Ruby range priced from £1,900 up to £7,500 and like the Roubaix, they’re each equipped with disc brakes, thru-axles, space for up to 32mm tyres and feature the Future Shock suspension damper in the head tube
Sitting in the middle of the range is the Ruby Expert (£3,200) which has the same frame but made from a lower grade Fact 10r carbon fibre, but keeps all the other key details like thru-axles and flat mount calipers. DTR470 wheels and a Shimano Ultegra mechanical groupset round out the package.
The Amira is the women’s version of the Tarmac. Specialized has been making women’s products, bikes and components, for years and sponsors world champion Lizzie Deignan.
There are four models in the Amira range. The Amira Sport (£1,500) is the most affordable and is specced with a Shimano 105 groupset but with Tiagra brakes and a Praxis Alba chainset.
Second from top is the Amira Comp UDi2 (£2,600) which as the name suggests, packs Shimano’s Ultegra Di2 electronic groupset onto a frame made from Fact 9r carbon fibre. There are DT Swiss R460 wheels with Specialized Turbo Pro tyres.
The Venge aero platform went through a complete redesign last year, with an all-new Venge ViAS frame that really aims to maximise the aero efficiency. It shares nothing with the old Venge. Unique are the zero-drag brake calipers and S-Works Aerofly ViAS with an upswept handlebar that aims to reduce the frontal surface area of the rider as much as is possible.
For 2017 there are just two models of Venge ViAS bikes with rim brakes, the S-Works Venge ViAS Di2 (£9,000) and the Venge Pro ViAS (£6,000). The more expensive of the two is specced with a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset with Roval Rapide CLX 64 wheels with S-Works Turbo Pro 24/24mm tyres.
The Venge Pro ViAS (£6,000) also features an S-Works Fact 11r carbon fibre frame but it’s equipped with a Shimano Dura-Ace mechanical groupset with Roval CL 64 wheels and S-Works Aerofly ViAS handlebar.
However, the big news for 2017 is the disc brake version of the Venge ViAS. The company boldly claims that it offers exactly the same aerodynamic performance as the rim brake version. The new Venge features 12mm thru-axles front and rear and the frame is actually 100g lighter than the rim brake version. Such is Specialized’s commitment to disc brakes, there are three models to choose from.
The most affordable is the Venge ViAS Expert Disc Ultegra (£3,900) which provides a Shimano Ultegra groupset with matching hydraulic disc brakes and DT R470 wheels.
At the top is this S-Works Venge ViAS Disc eTap model (£8,500). It features SRAM’s brand new wireless groupset with hydraulic disc brakes and Roval Rapide CLX 64 wheels and an S-Works FACT Carbon crankset.
Specialized’s road range is propped up by the excellent Allez line-up of aluminium bikes.
It has invested some real technology into these bikes, and the range-topping Allez DSW SL Sprint Expert (£1,500) uses a unique frame construction technique that involves a forged head tube and bottom bracket with the ends of the main tubes rolled to create a lighter and stiffer frame. We’re talking just 1,150g for a 56cm frame, which is lighter than many carbon frames. The pictured bike gets a Shimano Ultegra groupset with a Praxis Zayante chainset.
The Allez DSW SL Sprint Comp (£1,300) uses the exact same frame but swaps to a Shimano 105 groupset and Praxis Alba 2D chainset.
The regular Allez uses a more familiar E5 aluminium frame and is available in three 700c versions and one 650 version for junior cyclists. The Allez E5 (£525) gets the range going with a Shimano Claris and FSA Gossamer Pro groupset.
The Allez E5 Elite (£800) is the most expensive model with this E5 aluminium, and is specced with a Shimano Tiagra groupset.
The Dolce is a range of aluminium road bikes featuring Specialized’s “Women’s Endurance Geometry” and Zertz inserts in the frame and fork - it’s essentially the old Roubaix. It offers a more affordable endurance option if your budget doesn’t stretch to the brand new Ruby.
The top-end Dolce Comp EVO (£1,600) features an E5 aluminium frame with the same Smartweld construction process used for the pricier Allez bikes, but with Zertz inserts incorporated into the rear stays and in the carbon fibre fork. It’s specced with a Shimano 105 groupset with hydraulic disc brakes and 30/32mm tyres.
This is the cheapest Dolce (£525) in the range, and uses an A1 aluminium frame that foregoes the Zertz damper inserts but retains the same geometry and fit. It’s built up with a Shimano Claris groupset.
The Diverge is Specialized’s offering in the increasingly popular gravel and adventure bike market and is a versatile and highly capable road bike that can handle rough roads with space for up to 35mm tyres. It’s built for long days in the saddle over whatever terrain you might encounter, tarmac, rough roads, dirt tracks and gravel. It’s versatile enough for the daily commute, winter club runs, touring, Audax and, of course, gravel riding and adventuring, though wider tyres are increasingly the norm for the latter and the newer Sequoia with its 42mm tyres might be a more on-trend choice.
There are seven models in the Diverge range with a choice of aluminium or carbon frame materials, depending on your budget. Most affordable is the Diverge A1 (£650) with an aluminium frame, carbon fork and Shimano Claris groupset.
The Diverge Elite Smartweld (£1,200) uses a posher aluminium frame using the unique Smartweld technology which reduces frame weight and increases stiffness. Zertz inserts are added to the rear stays and carbon fork, the idea to provide a smoother ride. Working parts are a Shimano Tiagra groupset and Tektro Spyre mechanical discs.
If you want the Diverge in carbon, the Diverge Expert (£2,800) is the bike or you. It combines a Fact 10r carbon frame and fork with the familiar Zertz inserts, with thru-axles for increased stiffness and a Shimano Ultegra mechanical groupset with hydraulic disc brakes.
Not a new name for Specialized, the Sequoia has been reborn as a modern steel-framed adventure and touring bike. There are disc brakes and thru-axles, clearance for really wide tyres and all the eyelets you need for racks and mudguards, though it’s more likely a set of bikepacking bags will be strapped onto it.
At the top of this new range is the Sequoia Expert (£2,500) which uses SRAM’s Rival 1 groupset with an FSA SL-K Light chainset and Shimano XT 11-42t cassette. This model also gets a full carbon fibre fork, with the brake hose internally routed. There’s also routing for a dynamo hub. The bike has space for wide tyres, and comes fitted with Specialized’s new 42mm wide Sawtooth tubeless tyres - that tyre clearance is one of the key differences between the new Sequoia and older Diverge, which only goes up to 35mm.
The Sequoia Elite (£1,500) features the same frame and carbon fork, and even a similar white paint finish, as the more expensive model, but swaps to a Shimano 105 groupset with a double 48/32t FSA MegaEvo chainset. Brakes are 105 hydraulic stoppers.
The most affordable Sequoia (£950) uses the same steel frame with all its rack and mudguard eyelets and wide tyre clearance, but features a steel fork, with regular quick release axles at both ends. There’s a Shimano Sora groupset with an FSA Vero 48/32t chainset and Specialized Sawtooth tyres.
|Allez 650||Race||Aluminium||Shimano Claris||£400|
|Allez E5||Race||Aluminium||Shimano Claris||£525|
|Allez E5 Sport||Race||Aluminium||Shimano Sora||£675|
|Allez E5 Elite||Race||Aluminium||Shimano Tiagra||£800|
|Allez DSW SL Sprint Comp||Race||Aluminium||Shimano 105||£1,300|
|Allez DSW SL Sprint Expert||Race||Aluminium||Shimano Ultegra||£1,500|
|Amira Sport||Race||Carbon fibre||Shimano Tiagra||£1,500|
|Amira Comp||Race||Carbon fibre||Shimano Ultegra||£2,100|
|Amira Comp - Torch Edition||Race||Carbon fibre||Shimano Ultegra||£2,100|
|Amira Comp UDi2||Race||Carbon fibre||Shimano Ultegra Di2||£2,600|
|S-Works Amira eTap||Race||Carbon fibre||SRAM Red E-Tap||£6,500|
|AWOL||Adventure||Chromoly steel||Shimano Sora||£1,000|
|AWOL Comp||Adventure||Chromoly steel||SRAM Rival||£1,700|
|CruX E5||Cyclocross||Aluminium||Shimano Tiagra||£1,100|
|CruX Sport E5||Cyclocross||Aluminium||Shimano 105||£1,600|
|CruX Elite X1||Cyclocross||Carbon fibre||SRAM Rival||£2,300|
|CruX Expert X1||Cyclocross||Carbon fibre||SRAM Force CX 1||£2,900|
|Diverge A1||Adventure||Aluminium||Shimano Claris||£650|
|Diverge Sport A1||Adventure||Aluminium||Shimano Sora||£800|
|Diverge Elite DSW||Adventure||Aluminium||Shimano Tiagra||£1,100|
|Diverge Comp||Adventure||Carbon fibre||Shimano 105||£2,400|
|Diverge Expert||Adventure||Carbon fibre||Shimano Ultegra||£2,800|
|Dolce Sport||Adventure||Aluminium||Shimano Sora||£675|
|Dolce Elite E5||Adventure||Aluminium||Shimano Tiagra||£900|
|Dolce EVO||Adventure||Aluminium||Shimano Tiagra||£1,100|
|Dolce Comp EVO||Adventure||Aluminium||Shimano 105||£1,600|
|Roubaix Elite||Endurance||Carbon fibre||Shimano 105||£1,900|
|Roubaix Comp||Endurance||Carbon fibre||Shimano Ultegra||£2,400|
|Roubaix Expert||Endurance||Carbon fibre||Shimano Ultegra||£3,200|
|Roubaix Expert UDi2||Endurance||Carbon fibre||Shimano Ultegra Di2||£3,800|
|Roubaix Pro UDi2||Endurance||Carbon fibre||Shimano Ultegra Di2||£5,500|
|S-Works Roubaix eTap||Endurance||Carbon fibre||SRAM Red E-Tap||£7,500|
|Ruby Elite||Endurance||Carbon fibre||Shimano 105||£1,900|
|Ruby Comp||Endurance||Carbon fibre||Shimano Ultegra||£2,400|
|Ruby Expert||Endurance||Carbon fibre||Shimano Ultegra||£3,200|
|Ruby Expert Ultegra Di2||Endurance||Carbon fibre||Shimano Ultegra Di2||£3,800|
|S-Works Ruby eTap||Endurance||Carbon fibre||SRAM Red E-Tap||£7,500|
|Sequoia||Adventure||Chromoly steel||Shimano Mix||£950|
|Sequoia Elite||Adventure||Chromoly steel||Shimano 105||£1,500|
|Sequoia Expert||Adventure||Chromoly steel||SRAM Force CX 1||£2,500|
|Tarmac SL4 Sport||Race||Carbon fibre||Shimano 105||£1,500|
|Tarmac SL4 Elite||Race||Carbon fibre||Shimano Ultegra||£1,800|
|Tarmac Comp||Race||Carbon fibre||Shimano Ultegra||£2,400|
|Tarmac Comp Disc||Race||Carbon fibre||Shimano Ultegra||£2,600|
|Tarmac Expert Disc||Race||Carbon fibre||Shimano Ultegra||£3,000|
|Tarmac Expert eTAP||Race||Carbon fibre||SRAM Red E-Tap||£4,500|
|Tarmac Pro Disc Ultegra Di2||Race||Carbon fibre||Shimano Ultegra Di2||£5,000|
|S-Works Tarmac Dura-Ace||Race||Carbon fibre||Shimano Dura-Ace||£6,000|
|S-Works Tarmac eTap||Race||Carbon fibre||SRAM Red E-Tap||£7,000|
|S-Works Tarmac Disc eTap||Race||Carbon fibre||SRAM Red E-Tap||£7,500|
|Venge ViAS Expert Disc Ultegra||Aero||Carbon fibre||Shimano Ultegra||£3,900|
|Venge ViAS Pro Disc UDi2||Aero||Carbon fibre||Shimano Ultegra Di2||£6,000|
|Venge ViAS Pro||Aero||Carbon fibre||Shimano Dura-Ace||£6,000|
|S-Works Venge ViAS Disc eTap||Aero||Carbon fibre||SRAM Red E-Tap||£8,500|
|S-Works Venge ViAS Di2||Aero||Carbon fibre||Shimano Dura-Ace Di2||£9,000|
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.