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New bike comes with disc brakes and thru-axles and is designed for gravel as well as tarmac

Specialized are set to launch a new model called the Diverge next month which appears to be a multi-surface bike with disc brakes and Zertz viscoelastic inserts.

Although Specialized are keeping schtum, pictures of the Diverge have been shared on Twitter and Instagram, presumably with the company’s approval in a teaser campaign.

The bike will be officially launched on 15 July, the first rest day of the Tour de France.

What can we learn from the pictures?

Well, the Diverge appears to be a carbon-fibre bike (an alloy version could be available too, for all we know, but all the bikes in the pictures seem to be carbon-fibre) designed for both tarmac and gravel. It comes with disc brakes and thru-axles (as opposed to standard quick releases) to provide extra stiffness and more security against the forces of those discs, and it’s compatible with Di2 electronic shifting.

The slick tyres are large (well over 30mm) and there looks to be plenty of clearance. There appear to be mudguard mounts too.

Specialized use Zertz inserts in the seatstays and fork, designed to provide vibration damping. These are a long-standing feature of Specialized’s Roubaix endurance road bike, although the size and location of the Zertz has varied slightly over the years.

Beyond that, things get a little hazy. At least some of the bikes pictured appear to have a dropper seatpost fitted although whether than will be a standard feature, who knows?

The top tube profile appears to be slim and the same goes for the chainstays – features usually associated with bikes designed for comfort.

According to bike adventure outfit Deux North ahead of a ride with the Diverge last week, “On June 4th, 9 [riders] meet in San Jose [California]. Coming from New York, Vienna, Tucscon, and California, together we'll make up the largest group that Deux North has ever put together.

“Over the following three days, we'll ride from Specialized's HQ in Morgan Hill together to Santa Cruz where we'll compete in the King Ridge Hopper Adventure Series on the final day. The route includes nearly 30% dirt roads and travels across some of the most beautiful landscapes this country can offer.”

That should give you some indication of the type of bike we’re talking about. We don’t know whether Specialized are going to bill up the Diverge as a gravel bike, or opt for something like ‘all-road’ bike for greater appeal.

For more details look for #SeekAndDiverge on Instagram and Twitter. We’ll have to wait until 15 July for more details.

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a youthful 45-year-old Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.

14 comments

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Bez [587 posts] 1 year ago
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Them crazy yanks are finally putting mudguard mounts on gravel racers? About time too. Looks good…

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jmaccelari [237 posts] 1 year ago
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And I see the Ride Studio Cafe are already awaiting a lawyers letter from the SSpecialized Nazis because of the naming of their Diverged Rides... https://www.facebook.com/ridestudiocafe
 20

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tomascjenkins [43 posts] 1 year ago
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Just been working on an MTB with thru axle - wheel changes will not be as quick as with a QR. Especially if the calliper pistons need pushing back in to get the disc rotor to fit! A small disadvantage maybe.

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bikeandy61 [500 posts] 1 year ago
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Can I have one with 105 triple group please? I'll settle for TRP HY/RD brakes.

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Yennings [237 posts] 1 year ago
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Forgive my ignorance but how is this different to a 'cross bike?

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Matt eaton [733 posts] 1 year ago
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Yennings wrote:

Forgive my ignorance but how is this different to a 'cross bike?

I don't think it is very different. Mud-guard and bottle cage mounts are present but the same applies to a lot of 'all-rounder' type 'cross bikes. Perhaps subtle differences in geometry and I guess mud clearance is less important on a gravel bike.

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bikeandy61 [500 posts] 1 year ago
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Different to a full on race CX bike but probably not too different to an all rounder CX bike.

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Argos74 [372 posts] 1 year ago
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Not much atall. I didn't get a protractor out, but probably a slightly racier geometry, a roadier gearing rather than the lower geared cross, and slicks or semi-knobblies rather than knobblies. And bottle mounts.

Having said that, my late lamented cross bike had bottle mounts and a 50/34 up front. It's all a bit confusing.

Anything's an audax bike if you're brave enough.

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rapid4 [43 posts] 1 year ago
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Multi-surface? Gravel bike? Sounds ideal for the roads in the UK at the moment.

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Lungsofa74yearold [278 posts] 1 year ago
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Looks lovely. Presume this is carbon, so with all those new fangled hydraulic brakes & fancy hubs it won't be cheap...  2

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antigee [279 posts] 1 year ago
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Yennings wrote:

Forgive my ignorance but how is this different to a 'cross bike?

CX bikes are designed for CX racing
Gravel Racers are designed to be marketed

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RPK [75 posts] 1 year ago
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Yennings wrote:

Forgive my ignorance but how is this different to a 'cross bike?

Cross bikes generally have a larger front triangle (horizontal top tube) to make portaging the bike easier.

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stealth [254 posts] 1 year ago
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Now all they need to do is come up with a thru axle that doesn't have any fit issues...

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bikeylikey [197 posts] 1 year ago
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SSpecialized are part of America's plot to take over the world. I just saw a big new spesh shop round the corner from me. On the evidence of the above, UK 'through' is now totally conquered by US 'thru'. Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get us.http://road.cc/sites/all/modules/smileys/packs/Yahoo!/silly.gif