Specialized 2014: Roubaix and Tarmac SL4 range expands

Top-end SL4 tech spreads to entire Roubaix and Tarmac range, more disc options for Roubaix and CruX, and there's a new Allez

by David Arthur   July 23, 2013  

While there’s no brand new bikes in Specialized’s 2014 range, there’s a raft of refinements and features trickling down through the price ranges from the top. The significant change to the Tarmac and Roubaix is that now all models in the range share the SL4 platform, which includes size-specific carbon layups and frame shaping. There’s more disc brake options on the Roubaix and CruX as well.

Tarmac SL4

Both the Tarmac and Roubaix benefit from the trickle-down effect, with the SL4 technology now applying to all models in the range. While the bikes still look very similar, underneath the paint all the models share the SL4 chassis that previously was only available on the top-end models. Only the carbon fibre used changes the more you spend, from  FACT 9R carbon on entry-level bikes to pricier FACT IS 11R carbon.

A benefit of the SL4 platform is the size-specific layup. That means that now every frame has carbon fibre layups, forks and seat stay and chainstays, specific to each size, from the smallest 49cm up to the 61cm size. This specific carbon moulding for each size should ensure optimised weight and stiffness for each size to better suit the demands of different height cyclists. The lower headset bearing is even different depending on size, with a 1.125in on smaller frames and 1.375in on larger frames.

We half expected an update to the Tarmac SL4, an SL5 perhaps. It’s been around for a couple of years now but it continues for another year largely unchanged, aside from the expansion of the size-specific tubing to all price points.

Roubaix SL4

Specialized introduced a disc-equipped Roubaix last year, and for 2014 they’ve expanded the choice out to three bikes, but only two will be coming to the UK. Specialized taking the decision to not give us the SRAM Red 22 Hydro Disc model. Instead there’s two models, the Expert with an Ultegra Di2 build, complete with Shimano’s new hydraulic disc brakes, and a Sora build with mechanical discs.

The frame has been designed around the disc brakes. The rear brake caliper is mounted inside the dropout and the hose, along with the gear cables, is routed inside the frame, keeping the lines very clean. The new fork has the hose mounted externally. There’s all the usual Zertz inserts in the fork, seatstays and seatpost that are common to the regular Roubaix bikes. The inserts are specific to each size frame as well.

Don't worry if you're not sold on disc brakes on road bikes, you can still get the Roubaix with conventional caliper brakes.

Allez

We brought you news of the limited edition Allez S-Works recently, and the good news is that the frame is being offered on a couple of models. The frame uses a SmartWeld technique to join a forged head tube with hydroformed main tubes, to boost the front-end stiffness. The interface between the main tubes and the head tube creates a stronger and lighter structure. The main tubes are made from E5 alloy and are butted to the thinnest walls possible. The result is a reported frame weight of 1,200g for a 56cm frame

Venge

No major changes to Mark Cavendish’s bike of choice, the aero Venge. US customers will be treated to a model with SRAM’s new Hydro HRR hydraulic rim brakes, but that’s not being brought into the UK. The highest spec model over here is a Dura-Ace Di2 11-speed build, with the new Roval CLX60 wheels. These are a carbon clincher with either a 40mm or 60mm rim depth, ceramic bearings and S-Works Turbo tyres.

CruX

The CruX E5 Sport cyclocross model is now offered with SRAM’s new S-700 hydraulic disc brakes, along with Apex mechs and a CX non-series chainset. The E5 Premium aluminum frame has internal routing for the rear brake hose and gear cables, while the front brake hose is routed along the back edge of carbon fork.

Specialized will also offer the carbon version of the CruX with disc mounts and a disc-specific fork, painted in what can only be described as a distinctive paint job.

It does appear that Specialized won’t be bringing a fully built version of this frame into the UK, which does seem a shame. Over in the US they have a choice of three SRAM Hydro bikes.

There's still several caliper-equiped CruX models available if you aren't interested in disc brakes, with this model looking a very good race-ready package if you're new to cyclo-cross.

Prices and availability to be confirmed. More at www.specialized.com

17 user comments

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what's going on with the seatpost on the roubaix?

posted by pjt201 [97 posts]
23rd July 2013 - 13:30

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pjt201 wrote:
what's going on with the seatpost on the roubaix?

The zertz insert.

posted by Super Domestique [1591 posts]
23rd July 2013 - 13:37

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Love that Venge BTW.

posted by Super Domestique [1591 posts]
23rd July 2013 - 13:37

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pjt201 wrote:
what's going on with the seatpost on the roubaix?

Its the coble gobl-r, desinged to take the sting out.

Like the top SL4's paint job, very different from trad specialised red/white set up.

Shame we are not worthy of all the top disc models too, seems we are slower in our acceptance of discs that the US market. I wont be spending that type of money, but my next commuter/all weather bike will be drops+discs+guards, brakes is the only thing I dont like about the Equilibrium as a one-for-all solution.

posted by gw [44 posts]
23rd July 2013 - 13:48

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venge looks nice, zertz/gobl-r thing looks ridiculous imo

posted by Karbon Kev [666 posts]
23rd July 2013 - 16:17

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As always with Specialized bikes I bet they'll be Overpriced and Under Specced. I was thinking about the Tricross Disc as my next allround light touring bike, but me thinks Id be better off with Genesis Croix de fer or a Kona Sutra? Thinking

posted by CyclingDan [39 posts]
23rd July 2013 - 17:49

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If you were thinking Spesh Tri Cross disc but want more bang for the buck, have a look at Roux Conquest 3500 - saw it when I was looking at their belt drive G8.

http://www.2x2worldwide.com/ROUX/conquest3500.html

Looks good value at £780 Applause

Dick Dastardly's picture

posted by Dick Dastardly [2 posts]
23rd July 2013 - 19:30

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So a 5'4" rider weighing 80kg needs a different carbon layup to a 6'4" rider weighing 80kg.

Interesting.

posted by Nick T [749 posts]
23rd July 2013 - 21:36

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Nick T wrote:
So a 5'4" rider weighing 80kg needs a different carbon layup to a 6'4" rider weighing 80kg.

Interesting.

Who cares, most riders are sized wrongly to being with.

posted by dogcc [98 posts]
23rd July 2013 - 22:22

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So a bike is like a bra then?

Between the S and the LOW

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1172 posts]
23rd July 2013 - 22:54

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bikeboy76 wrote:
So a bike is like a bra then?

Tell us more?

posted by dogcc [98 posts]
23rd July 2013 - 23:06

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If you go to M&S/Halfords you might get something that is cheap but not fitted properly. If you get a well fitted one it is very comfortable. You can even get a really nice one for the weekend.

apparently.

Between the S and the LOW

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1172 posts]
23rd July 2013 - 23:13

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"There's still several UCI-legal CruX models available if you aren't interested in disc brakes, with this model looking a very good race-ready package if you're new to cyclo-cross."

I thought discs were UCI-legal on CX bikes already? Bugger! I spent all last season racing on disc-equipped crosser; good job I didn't win anything, might have had to give it back!!

posted by pwake [271 posts]
24th July 2013 - 3:29

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Nick T wrote:
So a 5'4" rider weighing 80kg needs a different carbon layup to a 6'4" rider weighing 80kg.

Interesting.

A 5'4" rider weighing 80kg needs a kick up the arse Surprise

Sq

Squiggle's picture

posted by Squiggle [414 posts]
24th July 2013 - 10:25

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A 6'4" rider weighing 80kg needs a good feed.

posted by theincrediblebike [41 posts]
24th July 2013 - 10:46

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6'2 at 71kg checking in. I will smash you up a hill.

posted by markh1990 [2 posts]
24th July 2013 - 11:51

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markh1990 wrote:
I will smash you up a hill.

Is that some sort of euphemism? Thinking

posted by stuartp [53 posts]
24th July 2013 - 13:10

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