We’ve tested a few incarnations of Specialized’s Diverge adventure bike over the years since it was first introduced in 2014, and we’ve now got our hands on this £1,949.00 aluminium model sporting the Future Shock suspension and 42mm wide tyres.
The Diverge is the company’s adventure, gravel, call-it-what-you-want road bike. It’s designed for tackling rough roads and gravel tracks basically, with bigger tyre clearance, disc brakes and geometry that splits the difference between a road bike and a cyclocross bike.
This is the cheapest Diverge to sport the Future Shock, the two models below it make do without. The Future Shock, in case you’re not aware, is a spring inside a cartridge located between the stem and headset and provides 20mm of suspension. It aims to smooth away all the sudden impacts that can pass through the handlebars to the rider.
The frame is nicely made from Specialized’s E5 aluminium with smooth welds. There is a sensible external threaded bottom bracket and eyelets for mudguards helping to increase the versatility.
All cables are internally routed, disc brakes are flat mount with 12mm thru-axles, and the external seat clamp is a nice thing to see, being as it is very easy to adjust.
At a snip under two grand this model gets a Shimano 105 11-speed shifting and braking setup with hydraulic disc brakes and a wide range 11-34t cassette. The Praxis Alba chainset is a deviation from the Shimano theme but offers a handy 48/32t chainring setup to help you tackle steep hills.
Specialized provides all the components for the key contact points. A Body Geometry Power Sport saddle looks a comfortable shape with decent padding, and the same can be said about the S-Wrap bar tape. Nice attention to detail. A 27.2mm aluminium seatpost is clamped into the frame with a neat external seat clamp, and the Shallow Drop handlebar and stem are also made from aluminium.
Onto the wheels and we find the familiar Axis Sport Disc wheels, seen on a lot of Specialized road bikes in this price range. They’re a sturdy Wheelset and the rims are tubeless-ready, so that’s a good thing.
Onto them are a pair of Specialized Roadsport 35mm wide tyres, clearly chosen to suit the commuting and general road biking duties the Diverge is going to be bought for. Considering swapping them for some wider gravel tyres if you want to embark on more serious off-road riding.
On the scales, the size 56cm bike pictured here weighs 10.29kg (22.68lb). Stay tuned to road.cc for a full review soon.
If you want a carbon fibre Diverge, you could check out the Diverge we tested earlier this year. That model has now been replaced by the £2,199 Diverge X1 and is the cheapest carbon Diverge you can now buy.
More info at www.specialized.com/
David worked on the road.cc tech team from 2012-2020. 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, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes.