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Verdict: 
A phenomenally capable, tech-laden adventure bike – but it's mightily expensive
Weight: 
8,690g
Specialized S-Works Diverge 2018
8 10

A redesigned frame with space for 42mm tyres, disc brakes, 1x11 Shimano Di2 gearing, Future Shock suspension and a dropper seatpost signal a lot of changes for Specialized's Diverge, but they add up to create one of the best adventure bikes I've ridden. It's a sophisticated ride with buckets of capability for going fast and tackling big journeys over varied and challenging terrain.

  • Pros: Incredibly capable on and off-road, smooth ride, wide tyres, light build
  • Cons: Very expensive build, dropper post not entirely necessary and adds weight

The original Diverge was launched back in 2014 at a time when the hype for the gravel and adventure category was still in its infancy. Specialized was one of the first mainstream brands to take aim at this growing trend and really nailed it.

> Find your nearest dealer here

> Buy this online here

Jo tested the previous Diverge last year and really liked it; replacing it was going to be a tough act.

Revolution, not evolution

Specialized looked at the evolution of gravel and adventure bikes and decided to completely chuck out the old and start from scratch with a radical new bike. Not so much evolution as revolution.

Specialized has packed a lot of new technology into the Diverge. The key change is a move from the elastomer Zertz inserts to the Future Shock borrowed from its Roubaix endurance bike, along with the dropped rear stays, wider tyre clearance and, on this range-topping S-Works model, a height adjustable seatpost.

Specialized S-Works Diverge - saddle and dropper post.jpg

Specialized S-Works Diverge - saddle and dropper post.jpg

You can take a closer look at our unboxing video here.

All these changes have combined to create a highly capable bike that is right at home on the road – fast and comfortable – and adept on loose surfaces and technical trails. The handling leans towards surefooted stability, a bonus when travelling along gravel tracks at speed, yet with enough agility to ensure it's still engaging on road rides.

Specialized S-Works Diverge - riding 2.jpg

Specialized S-Works Diverge - riding 2.jpg

It's a comfortable, long-distance cruising bike on the road, with fantastic poise and cornering ability. Off the smooth stuff and the combination of the big tyres and Future Shock let you attack any rough paths, gravel tracks and technical descents with relish. It's a very accomplished bike and more than most manages to be master of all terrain.

This new Diverge is one of the most sophisticated adventure bikes currently available.

Future Shock

The biggest change from the previous Diverge is the Future Shock. It's a spring housed inside a cartridge sandwiched between the stem and frame. The idea is to isolate the handlebar from all the bumps and vibrations caused when riding over rough potholed roads and washboard fireroads. It works a treat on the Roubaix, and it offers similar ride-smoothing enhancements on the Diverge.

Specialized S-Works Diverge - stem.jpg

Specialized S-Works Diverge - stem.jpg

The Diverge is less bouncy over very rough ground or when honking out of the saddle than the Roubaix thanks to a firmer progressive spring inside the Future Shock. That extra progressiveness ensures that it handles big impacts well; it doesn't bottom out harshly, it doesn't dive under braking, and it does all this without upsetting the balance and geometry of the bike. Don't imagine the handlebar will bounce around uncontrollably because it doesn't. It's very well controlled and you forget it's even there after a while.

Is having 20mm of undamped suspension underneath the handlebar just a gimmick or a genuine advantage? I lean towards the latter. Even running 38mm tyres at 30-40psi (depending on terrain), the Future Shock still noticeably smooths harsher impacts and delivers a smoother ride over washboard surfaces. I noticed less wrist and arm fatigue on longer rides over rough terrain.

Specialized S-Works Diverge - riding 3.jpg

Specialized S-Works Diverge - riding 3.jpg

It's a smart way of adding comfort to an adventure bike without messing up the geometry or looks like the Fox AX or Lauf Grit CX suspension forks do, but it's a nice thing to have rather than a necessity. Jumping on a rigid adventure bike immediately afterwards you really do miss the Future Shock, then within a few miles you adjust to the firmness of a rigid front end once more.

Geometry

Specialized has also refined the Diverge's geometry, and it's this that ensures the new model is so highly capable. Specialized calls it Open Road Geometry, and what it amounts to is a lower bottom bracket, slacker head tube angle and shorter wheelbase than the old bike. The stack is higher and the reach is now shorter. (Stack and reach are the vertical and horizontal measurements from the centre of the bottom bracket to the top of the head tube.)

Specialized S-Works Diverge.jpg

Specialized S-Works Diverge.jpg

The lower bottom bracket ensures you sit lower on the bike in relation to the handlebar and this contributes to its great road bike manners because it feels akin to an endurance bike. Cyclo-cross-inspired adventure bikes can leave you feeling a bit high and precarious and don't inspire the same relaxed manners as a road-biased setup.

Shortening the wheelbase produces a more lively feel through corners on the road and helps to quicken up responses off-road. The Diverge snakes and darts through tree-lined singletrack and carves around tight turns with ease.

The shorter reach and higher stack places the handlebar in a good position for providing control when manhandling the Diverge through the bends. The higher front end won't be to everyone's taste, and it's exaggerated by the Hover handlebar (more on that below), but it does make the drops much more accessible which serves to increase control in the technical sections.

The low overall weight, 8.5kg for this 56cm model, certainly helps with the rapid pace the bike is capable of. That's the same weight or, in many cases, actually lighter than many carbon-framed disc-equipped endurance bikes with comparatively skinny tyres.

Wider tyres

Tyre clearance is another big upgrade on the new Diverge. There's now space for up to 42mm rubber, with the 38mm Specialized Trigger Pro tyres sitting comfortably in the frame and fork with plenty of daylight around them.

Specialized S-Works Diverge - seat stays.jpg

Specialized S-Works Diverge - seat stays.jpg

You could fit even wider tyres if you swapped the wheels for 650B units. You'd then have the choice of knobbly tyres to make the Diverge even more capable on the dirt, or really fat slicks like WTB Horizons for a configuration some are calling Road Plus. Why would you do that? Because the huge bag of the Horizon means you can run lower pressures for buckets of grip and cushioning; it's the hot set-up if you like to go downhill fast. Alternatively, you could just swap the stock 38mm Trigger tyres for fat 700C slicks if you're riding mainly roads and smooth paths.

The Trigger Pros (you can read a review here) provide a nice blend of road speed and off-road grip. They favour drier trail conditions than mud and gloop, but it's surprising what you can persuade them to crawl up with a bit of careful weight distribution and gentle application of power. There's a growing market for adventure tyres so plenty of choices if you need to tune the Diverge to suit your local trails.

Specialized S-Works Diverge - tyre.jpg

Specialized S-Works Diverge - tyre.jpg

The tyres are fitted to full-carbon fibre Roval CLX 32 wheels. This is Specialized's shallowest and lightest (1,350g claimed) carbon wheelset, normally reserved for lightweight climbing-orientated road bikes, but they are adequately tough for off-road riding while also contributing to the low overall weight. The 20mm internal width works well with wide tyres, Centerlock hubs secure the disc rotors in place and they are also thru-axle compatible.

The wheels are rather extravagant for an adventure bike perhaps, but they're up to the task of taking a hammering on rough ground, swaggering through some very hardcore trails and heavy impacts leaving no marks. The lack of mass noticeably contributes to how effortlessly the Diverge behaves on and off the road.

Saddle drop away

Another big departure from the previous Diverge on this S-Works bike is the height-adjustable Command Post XCP seatpost. Dropper posts like this are ubiquitous in mountain biking circles where getting the saddle out of the way on steep, technical descents is invaluable. Here, the post provides up to 35mm of drop. You set it anywhere between full extension and fully slammed simply by pressing a small lever mounted to the inside of the handlebar drops and using your body weight to lower the saddle.

Specialized S-Works Diverge - dropper post button.jpg

Specialized S-Works Diverge - dropper post button.jpg

On my first few rides I didn't use it. Why? Simply, I forgot about it. Doh! I'm just not in the habit of using it on my adventure rides, though I'm well used to dropper posts on my mountain bike and use it pretty much any time the trail points down.

Once I remembered it was there, I started using it more frequently. It's simple to activate but you do need to remember to deploy it before dropping into a very steep trail because you use your body weight to push the saddle down. It simply provides a little more clearance and is very useful when you're careering down very steep banks as you can get off the back of the bike more freely.

Specialized S-Works Diverge - dropper post detail.jpg

Specialized S-Works Diverge - dropper post detail.jpg

How useful the dropper post would be to you largely depends on whether you plan to chuck the Diverge down very steep tracks on a regular basis. I can't say I ever needed to use it in an event like the Dirty Reiver, but it would have been useful for Grinduro.

Personally, I'd prefer to have the company's bump-absorbing CG-R seatpost to provide a smoother seated ride to match the smoothness from the front end. That or a short travel suspension seatpost. If you want to ride very challenging trails there's no denying the dropper post provides an advantage, but for the 90 per cent of the time I don't use it, a flexible seatpost would be advantageous.

The dropper post is only offered on this range-topping S-Works model, but Specialized sells it aftermarket if you wanted to upgrade.

SWAT what?

What's that thing down by the bottom bracket? No, it's not a motor before you ask. It's the Swat Box. Yes, it's a daft name, but it's a rather neat idea so hear me out.

Specialized S-Works Diverge - tool box.jpg

Specialized S-Works Diverge - tool box.jpg

Instead of you having to stuff your pockets or a saddle bag with tools and spare tubes, Specialized has developed a small compartment that uses the empty space in the elbow of the down tube and seat tube to house all your ride essentials.

Inside it you can cram a spare tube, CO2 canister and head, tyre levers, inner tube valve extender, cash and a multi-tool. It's a tight fit – getting the inner tube to fit inside took a couple of attempts at carefully rolling it around the removable core – but once installed, it is quiet and rattle-free. The contents are suitably protected from the elements, and when you need a tool or spare tube, it's easily accessible.

Specialized S-Works Diverge - tool box 1.jpg

Specialized S-Works Diverge - tool box 1.jpg

Yes, the looks are divisive and you'll be forever fending off comments about having a motor on your bike, but functionally it's a great idea. And better than a saddlepack precariously Velcro'd to the saddle or worrying about the contents of your pockets being ejected when you hit a bumpy descent. And if you don't like it, you can just remove it; it simply bolts into the frame.

Equipment choices

This S-Works model comes with a very nice build, as you'd hope for on an £8,500 bike. It's a 1x11 drivetrain, increasingly popular on off-road bikes of all shapes and persuasions, and in this instance combines Shimano R785 Di2 road levers with an XTR Di2 Shadow+ mountain bike rear mech and XTR 11-40t cassette. Up front is an Easton EC90 SL crankset spinning on a CeramicSpeed 386 EVO bottom bracket.

Specialized S-Works Diverge - drivetrain.jpg

Specialized S-Works Diverge - drivetrain.jpg

I've ridden a few road and adventure bikes with a similar mix of components, though the combination of a mountain bike rear mech and road shifters is still unusual. This hybrid system is the only way to get a Shimano 1x11 drivetrain as the company doesn't currently offer a dedicated road-focused 1x groupset. Will it ever?

It works though, and it works really nicely. The chain shifts smoothly across the cassette, and the big gaps at the meaty end of the cassette are no problem for the electronic rear mech. Lever feel is lovely, and you can tune the shift buttons to make use of the redundant ones on the left-hand lever – so you can shift using the left or right lever, or use one for up-shifts, one for down-shifts.

Specialized S-Works Diverge - cassette.jpg

Specialized S-Works Diverge - cassette.jpg

That Shimano XT rear mech has a clutch mechanism which combines with the narrow/wide chainring teeth to eradicate dropped chains when riding over rough terrain. The chain didn't drop off once during my testing. The clutch mechanism can be disengaged to facilitate rear wheel removal.

The carbon fibre Hover handlebar provides a little extra front-end rise with its unique shape. It's a comfortable handlebar, whether you're riding on the tops or using the compact-reach drops. The S-Wrap Sticky gel bar tape is worth a mention too: it's nicely padded and very grippy when riding in the wet or dry.

Specialized S-Works Diverge - bars.jpg

Specialized S-Works Diverge - bars.jpg

One really neat detail is the new Di2 junction box that is hidden in the end of the handlebar. It's far neater than the old box strapped to the stem; it looks more elegant and is easier to use if you need to adjust the gears on the move.

Specialized S-Works Diverge - Di2 controls.jpg

Specialized S-Works Diverge - Di2 controls.jpg

An S-Works Phenom saddle with carbon rails is a pleasing shape and reasonably padded, providing no cause for discomfort.

Frame choices

The new Diverge is available in aluminium and carbon fibre options, which has enabled Specialized to offer a wide range of models and price points. The cheapest is the aluminium Diverge E5 at £799, and there are two women-specific options, both aluminium frames.

Specialized S-Works Diverge - head tube badge.jpg

Specialized S-Works Diverge - head tube badge.jpg

This S-Works model obviously gets the full carbon fibre treatment, with FACT 11r carbon fibre and a claimed sub-900g frame weight. It's a good looking bike, well proportioned and purposeful, with some nice curves, especially the line on the top tube that draws your eye along its length. It's a shame to see the redundant front mech mount on a bike costing £8,500 though.

Specialized S-Works Diverge - frame detail.jpg

Specialized S-Works Diverge - frame detail.jpg

All cables and brake hoses are routed inside the frame. As before, the new Diverge is a disc brake only platform, and it's now using the latest flat mount and 12mm thru-axles at both ends, so modern and easy compatibility.

Specialized S-Works Diverge - rear disc detail.jpg

Specialized S-Works Diverge - rear disc detail.jpg

Lastly, there are also mudguard mounts for winterising the Diverge. There are no rack mounts, but you can use Specialized's Rear Rack Seat Collar to add a rack.

Conclusion

All things considered, the new Diverge is a far more capable off-road bike than the old model while being more comfortable on the road. There's a lot of tech packed into this S-Works model but it all comes together to form a very cohesive package. I'd say it's the most forward-thinking and progressive adventure bike currently available, and shifts the category a step further away from the cyclo-cross roots of early generation adventure bikes.

The adventure bike category is awash with choice and the bikes are evolving in a really exciting way. If you're into riding mixed terrain, the evolution of these bikes makes them even more appealing than a few years ago.

> Buyer's Guide: 18 of the best gravel and adventure bikes

There's tough competition though, with the Open Up, 3T Exploro, Mason Bokeh, Kinesis Tripster ATR to name but a few all vying for the title of the best adventure bike. The Diverge is the most feature-rich of the current crop and it's hugely fun and highly capable.

What this S-Works model presents is a money-no-object showcase of the best tech and equipment. Fortunately, the underlying technology is available on the more affordable Diverge bikes. If your budget doesn't extend to this S-Works model, the Diverge Sport costs £2,000 with a carbon frame and Future Shock, while the aluminium Diverge Comp E5 also features the Future Shock in a £1,500 package.

Verdict

A phenomenally capable, tech-laden adventure bike – but it's mightily expensive

road.cc test report

Make and model: Specialized S-Works Diverge

Size tested: 56

About the bike

State the frame and fork material and method of construction. List the components used to build up the bike.

Specialized lists:

Specialized FACT 11r carbon, Open Road Geometry, 12x142mm thru-axle is lightweight and stiff

Future Shock Progressive suspension has 20mm travel, built into the frame softens terrain

Diverge disc, FACT carbon, flat-mount disc, 12x100mm thru-axle offers direct steering

SWAT Box

Shimano XTR/R785 Di2 1x11 speed drivetrain with 11-40T wide cassette gives super-fast shifts and simplified 1x gearing

Shimano RS805 disc brakes are powerful and work just as well in adverse weather

Specialized Command Post XCP dropper post offers 35mm travel for extra convenience on descents

Roval CLX 32 Disc carbon wheelset is robust and the ceramic bearings make for rapid rolling

Specialized 38c Trigger Pro 2Bliss tyres are tubeless ready and fast rolling

Sizes: 48cm, 52cm, 54cm, 56cm, 58cm, 61cm, 64cm

Colours: Satin Gloss Oil/Gloss Light Silver

Tell us what the bike is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?

Specialized says: "When the road less traveled is still too crowded, there's the Diverge. It's purpose-built for long, all-day rides over rough roads, and to make sure of it, we designed it with an endurance-focused geometry and clearance for sizable road tires. With Diverge, your rides are only limited by your imagination.

While the fun may begin where the road ends, you still need a bike that'll get you there - one bike that shreds singletrack and crushes through road miles with equal expertise. Sure, some have tried to make their 'cross bikes more "road-capable" (whatever that means), and others have made their road bikes more "adventure-ready," but we created one bike that makes no compromises between the two. The S-Works Diverge redefines the possibilities for adventure on a drop-bar-bike.

With a completely redesigned frame, the new Diverge is more capable than ever. And with the constant goal to best meet your needs, we took your number one request into account''tire clearance. The new frame will comfortably fit up to 700x42mm tires with plenty of room for mud, too. Along with tire clearance, weight was a large factor in the development, and taking some design cues from the development of the Roubaix, we developed a sub 900-gram FACT 11r carbon frame that's one of the lightest in the category. Actually, it's pretty damn light, even if your intent was more Polka Dot Jersey than hunter's plaid flannel.

Next up, we moved away from a traditional 'cross geometry, instead opting for something that hasn't been seen before''Open Road Geometry. We know what you're thinking, 'it's just another marketing term,' but for the Diverge, we truly did develop an entirely new geometry. With a touch less hyperbole, you can think of it as a road version of modern trail bike geometry. It provides playful handling and predictable steering for endless dirt skids and mid-corner drifts. The geo features a bottom bracket that's over a half-centimetre lower than the previous Diverge, a slacked-out head tube angle, short chainstays, and a short wheelbase. These changes make for a bike that's not only fun in the dirt, but also performs well on the road.

And while riding gravel and dirt roads on a road bike may add to the adventure, there's only so much that wider tires with lower pressures can absorb, in terms of bumps. With this in mind, we implemented a new version of our Future Shock into the Diverge design. It not only soaks up bumps with ease, but also adds the benefit of extremely predictable handling. That's because the wheelbase isn't lengthening when you hit a bump, so the front end of the Diverge keeps the same effective head tube angle. In other words, when you dive hard into a turn, you won't be surprised by under steer or sloppy handling. Unlike the original Future Shock, the Diverge's version features a progressive spring that makes this technology more suitable for off-road applications, where stiffer suspension is often needed to soak-up larger bumps and obstacles.

To add to its multifaceted talents, we topped it off with three water bottle mounts, mounts for racks and fenders, and our Road SWAT™ kit that fits a tube, CO2, CO2 head, valve extender, and money clip. So while it's one of the most smile-inducing bikes you'll ever ride, it's equally adept at commuting or even bikepacking.

For the S-Works Diverge, we handpicked the spec for the lightest, most unique build on an adventure bike. We left the shifting and braking up to Shimano, but did so in a non-traditional way. We paired an XTR Di2 derailleur with R785 Di2 shifters and hydraulic-disc brakes. We then added an Easton EC90 SL Carbon crankset, featherweight Roval CLX 32 Disc wheels, and topped it off with our carbon Command Post XCP that features 35mm of travel."

Frame and fork

Overall rating for frame and fork
 
9/10

Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?

It's a high-quality construction with a stunning finish.

Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?

S-Works FACT 11r carbon fibre frame and fork with 12mm thru-axles and flat mount disc brakes.

Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?

The slacker head angle, lower bottom bracket and higher front end of the new Diverge compared with the previous version provide better road handling manners and more agility in the rough.

How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?

It's higher than the old bike due to the Future Shock and Hover handlebar, but it's a comfortable stack height for long distance rides, and the drops provide a lower position for more aggressive riding.

Riding the bike

Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.

Extremely comfortable. Big tyres and the Future Shock provide a very plush ride. The company's CG-R seatpost would amp up the comfort as well instead of the dropper seatpost.

Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?

It's taut and direct when sprinting and riding hard.

How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?

Extremely positively for an adventure bike.

Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so, was it a problem?

None.

How would you describe the steering? Was it lively, neutral or unresponsive? Relaxed and stable.

Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?

The handling is fantastic and feels comfortable on the road yet agile and easy to manoeuvre off road and in the rough and loose.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?

The 1x11 Di2 drivetrain is a delight to use, with all the range you need for the steepest climbs, and the hydraulic brakes are firm and powerful. The tyres are great in most conditions but favour drier rather than squidgy trails.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?

The build level is impressive, and there's nothing I'd really change.

Rate the bike for efficiency of power transfer:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for acceleration:
 
7/10
Rate the bike for sprinting:
 
7/10
Rate the bike for high speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for cruising speed stability:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for low speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for flat cornering:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for cornering on descents:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for climbing:
 
8/10

The drivetrain

Rate the drivetrain for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the drivetrain for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the drivetrain for weight:
 
9/10
Rate the drivetrain for value:
 
7/10

Wheels and tyres

Rate the wheels for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels for weight:
 
9/10
Rate the wheels for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels for value:
 
7/10
Rate the tyres for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the tyres for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the tyres for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the tyres for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the tyres for value:
 
8/10

Controls

Rate the controls for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the controls for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for comfort:
 
9/10
Rate the controls for value:
 
7/10

Your summary

Did you enjoy riding the bike? Oh yes.

Would you consider buying the bike? Oh yes.

Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Oh yes.

Rate the bike overall for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the bike overall for value:
 
7/10

Use this box to explain your score

A phenomenal bike. Without question one of the best adventure bikes currently available, but this S-Works model is mightily expensive, better as a showcase of the best equipment currently available. Look to the lower rung Diverge models for a more affordable slice of this latest tech.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180cm  Weight: 67kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking

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.

25 comments

Avatar
Thump [14 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes

Fabulous machine if you have the bucks. I have a high end Diverge that's a year or two old and after riding lots of miles on it, this model is everything I'd like mine to be.

Avatar
drosco [428 posts] 9 months ago
1 like

Cool bike, but the price! I paid less for my car.

Avatar
Christopher TR1 [202 posts] 9 months ago
1 like

"Light build"?! Nearly 9 kg, light?!

I bought a discounted alu road bike for less than a tenth of that price and it weighs half a kilo less. Plus I recently put 25mm rubber on it which makes a big difference on the rough stuff.

Sure the Spesh will be a better all-road bike, but nearly 8 grand better? Of course you pays your money and you makes your choice, but if I was paying that sort of dosh I would be eyeing up an Open U.P.

Avatar
macrophotofly [317 posts] 9 months ago
1 like

It does seem an expensive heavy bike. Guessing the dropper post and Future Shock adds a chunk of that extra weight, can't work where the rest of it is going. Maybe the wide tyres add 200g. At some point it seems to me that instead of adding the gadgets, it would be better having a steel frame that naturally flexes for this type of activity

Avatar
ChetManley [95 posts] 9 months ago
2 likes

Looks cool, but strikes me as a gravel race bike. It's for the one day events, like the Crusher in the Tusher, not hauling you and your camping gear over days and days. Doesn't have enough bosses, plus you can't use a seatpack with a dropper post.

And yes, it is light for a gravel bike. Comparing it to a road bike isn't a fair comparison.

Avatar
multimodal [56 posts] 9 months ago
1 like

Looking at the models further down the range, I'm unimpressed that you can spend £2k on the Diverge Sport and still only get mechanical disc brakes. I'm sure they've improved over the years, but hydraulics are far easier to maintain and, in my experience, are far better.

Avatar
Kadinkski [777 posts] 9 months ago
1 like
multimodal wrote:

Looking at the models further down the range, I'm unimpressed that you can spend £2k on the Diverge Sport and still only get mechanical disc brakes. I'm sure they've improved over the years, but hydraulics are far easier to maintain and, in my experience, are far better.

Yeah, £2k for tiagra and mechanical disc brakes seems...well, overpriced.

Avatar
BehindTheBikesheds [2154 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes

8.7kg with a 1390g wheelset and still have the gaul to call this 'lightweight', hilarious.

I've just built up an airbourne Ti tourer as an 'adventure' bike with a std double chainset (FSA vero with a steel 48 ring to boot) Easton stem/bar, campag carbon post, Fizik Rondine saddle, LX rear D and a pair of SLR440 shifters, add in 1800g wheels, a lowly tiagra cassette and a pair of beefy Sintema 'mud' forks that would withstand a nuclear explosion and it builds up to sub 9kg including a pair of heavy wellgo double sided pedals.

Having the wider tyres and lower pressures will make vastly more difference than the future shock, you did ride the Roubaix on 26mm tyres didn't you so hardly surprising the comfort factor is better, riding with gloves helps too but then newbies tend not to bother these days with safety equipment ...

Avatar
jterrier [209 posts] 9 months ago
4 likes
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

8.7kg with a 1390g wheelset and still have the gaul to call this 'lightweight', hilarious.

I've just built up an airbourne Ti tourer as an 'adventure' bike with a std double chainset (FSA vero with a steel 48 ring to boot) Easton stem/bar, campag carbon post, Fizik Rondine saddle, LX rear D and a pair of SLR440 shifters, add in 1800g wheels, a lowly tiagra cassette and a pair of beefy Sintema 'mud' forks that would withstand a nuclear explosion and it builds up to sub 9kg including a pair of heavy wellgo double sided pedals.

Having the wider tyres and lower pressures will make vastly more difference than the future shock, you did ride the Roubaix on 26mm tyres didn't you so hardly surprising the comfort factor is better, riding with gloves helps too but then newbies tend not to bother these days with safety equipment ...

 

 

....dont buy one then.

Avatar
BehindTheBikesheds [2154 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes

i won't but the point is reviewers making statements that don't tally up with reality (using the term 'lightweight' for instance) or making very subjective claims about x which have no evidence to support them.

Comparing two bikes when one has 26mm slicks on it and the other 38mm tyres on it and then saying the tech of the future shock smooths things out etc ignores that tyre differential which whilst they make to mention it don't say how big a difference that makes to the experience nor even compared to other high end road cum adventure bikes with very wide tyres that don't have the 'future shock' system.

It's a spendy bike but that's not the point of mine and others criticism.

Avatar
fukawitribe [2511 posts] 9 months ago
2 likes
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

i won't but the point is reviewers making statements that don't tally up with reality (using the term 'lightweight' for instance)

 

I'd say that roughly eight and half kilos for a hydraulic disc braked bike with a beefed-up frame, front-end shock, dropper post and 38mm off-road tyres isn't exactly portly. Sodding pricey, but reasonably light-weight IMO.

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jterrier [209 posts] 9 months ago
3 likes
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

i won't but the point is reviewers making statements that don't tally up with reality (using the term 'lightweight' for instance) or making very subjective claims about x which have no evidence to support them.

 

 

It is easy to sit in the comments section critiquing someone else's hard written review. Think about what you are saying - everything is subjective, how do you realistically expect someone with a deadline to actually take the time to quantify the term 'lightweight' with mathematical evidence just for your benefit? When you say these statements dont tally with reality - whose? 

I would find it pretty demoralising, trying to write decent informative reviews for a website, only for someone to come along and suck all the joy out of it in the comments section. The comments section and its more nerdy denizens must be the biggest downside to a writers job. I'd kill for one of these bikes and ride the sh*t out of it just for the joy, without worrying about whether it was arbitrarily lighter or scientifically more this-and-that.

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David Arthur @d... [874 posts] 9 months ago
6 likes

BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

i won't but the point is reviewers making statements that don't tally up with reality (using the term 'lightweight' for instance) or making very subjective claims about x which have no evidence to support them.

Comparing two bikes when one has 26mm slicks on it and the other 38mm tyres on it and then saying the tech of the future shock smooths things out etc ignores that tyre differential which whilst they make to mention it don't say how big a difference that makes to the experience nor even compared to other high end road cum adventure bikes with very wide tyres that don't have the 'future shock' system.

It's a spendy bike but that's not the point of mine and others criticism.

What's the problem exactly? I make statements based on my actual testing of these bikes and products, and comparing them to rival products. Hence my statement about it being lightweight is relative to other bikes in this category - we can all name loads of race bikes that will be lighter, but that's missing the point. 

 

I wasn't comparing the Diverge to the Roubaix. They're different bikes designed for different applications. I was comparing the Diverge to a host of other adventure bikes I've ridden, like the Mason Bokeh, Parlee, Open UP, Raleigh Roker and others I can't remember off the top of my head. When you remove tyre size and pressure from the equation, yes the Future Shock delivers more comfort. It makes a noticeable difference when riding off-road

 

" not the point of mine and others criticism." No, just your criticism I think

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Rapha Nadal [861 posts] 9 months ago
2 likes

David, I seem to remember you offering to go with a ride with BehindTheBikesheds when you reviewed the 3T bike and he wrote off the entire bike based upon his own ideas as to what a bike should & shouldn't be.  Did he take you up on that offer?

Assuming that BTBS is male here, apologies if not.

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Kadinkski [777 posts] 9 months ago
4 likes

@David - This is a really informative review - I've been looking forward to it since I saw the unboxing video a couple of months ago. I'm seriously considering the comp version as a winter bike, and this has given me much food for thought. Thank you.

Ignore the joyless, pinicky old man in the comments section - I do. 

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jterrier [209 posts] 9 months ago
6 likes
Rapha Nadal wrote:

David, I seem to remember you offering to go with a ride with BehindTheBikesheds when you reviewed the 3T bike and he wrote off the entire bike based upon his own ideas as to what a bike should & shouldn't be.  Did he take you up on that offer?

Assuming that BTBS is male here, apologies if not.

 

prb best to assume he is male, yes - women are generally too busy having a sense of perspective to write weird stuff in comments sections.

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ChetManley [95 posts] 9 months ago
2 likes
Kadinkski wrote:

@David - This is a really informative review - I've been looking forward to it since I saw the unboxing video a couple of months ago. I'm seriously considering the comp version as a winter bike, and this has given me much food for thought. Thank you.

Ignore the joyless, pinicky old man in the comments section - I do. 

Ignore them everywhere.

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barbarus [535 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes

Is there a motor in that box?

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David Arthur @d... [874 posts] 9 months ago
3 likes

Rapha Nadal wrote:

David, I seem to remember you offering to go with a ride with BehindTheBikesheds when you reviewed the 3T bike and he wrote off the entire bike based upon his own ideas as to what a bike should & shouldn't be.  Did he take you up on that offer?

Assuming that BTBS is male here, apologies if not.

No he never did take me up on the offer. Shame, could have been interesting

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davecochrane [148 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes
Thump wrote:

Fabulous machine if you have the bucks. I have a high end Diverge that's a year or two old and after riding lots of miles on it, this model is everything I'd like mine to be.

 

Likewise. I have the Pro Carbon model of the last version, and it’s been superb. An early snag with my rear donk saw it come back from Specialized NZ with the S-Works carbon crank, stem, and seatpost on it too. It’s an S-Works level bike in all but the paint job. I would definitely consider changing it over to 1x11 though. The simplicity and lower maintenance are very appealing. 

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davecochrane [148 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes
drosco wrote:

Cool bike, but the price! I paid less for my car.

You’re new here, aren’t you?

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davecochrane [148 posts] 9 months ago
1 like
Kadinkski wrote:

@David - This is a really informative review - I've been looking forward to it since I saw the unboxing video a couple of months ago. I'm seriously considering the comp version as a winter bike, and this has given me much food for thought. Thank you.

Ignore the joyless, pinicky old man in the comments section - I do. 

Well said. Go for it - I have the last version and it’s been fantastic. The new one looks even better. Enjoy!

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Disfunctional_T... [314 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes

The Ibis Hakka MX with Ultegra Di2 is the same weight and just under £5,000. Or you could buy the Hakka MX frameset and build it up for much cheaper.

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cm2white [2 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes

I have oner of these bikes and truly love it for multi-surface riding. I took one of the cheaper carbon versions and then added an Ultegra Di2 group that I already owned. On the S-Works version reviewed, I'm wondering where they've put the Di2 battery. It won't go inside the dropper seatpost, but it is internal. So, is there a battery support inside the downtube, or is it somewhere else?

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moonigan [3 posts] 6 months ago
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macrophotofly wrote:

It does seem an expensive heavy bike. Guessing the dropper post and Future Shock adds a chunk of that extra weight, can't work where the rest of it is going. Maybe the wide tyres add 200g. At some point it seems to me that instead of adding the gadgets, it would be better having a steel frame that naturally flexes for this type of activity

I've just built one of these up using custom carbon wheels with DT Swiss hubs and the Trigger Pro tyres, FSA 48/32 adventure cranks, Duraace Shifters, rotors and brakes, Specialized alloy cockpit, 11-34 cassette and XT Pedals.

The bike weighs 9.4KG which was a little more than I expected so I spent some time finding out where the additional weight is. 

The frameset including throughbolts is exactly 2KG

The  fully populated SWAT box is just over 400g. The tyres are 500g each compared to 230g for a GP4000. The cassette is 335g compared to 230g for a similar Ultegra. The XT pedals are 350g compared to 250g for Ultegra.  There is almost kilo there. I havent removed the future shock cartridge yet but I bet thats an easy 500g (edit: Actual weight is 310g)

So yes on the face of it appears to be a heavy bike but I now have so much more flexibility on where I ride which is a small price to pay.