Like this site? Help us to make it better.

Is this the new Specialized Roubaix frame? Plus post your Zwift videos to Strava, hand-painted Silca floor pumps, super light wheels from Princeton, a bold new Rapha collection + more

We've spotted what looks very much like the next Specialized Roubaix frame, and rounded up all the best cycling tech news from the past week

Lots of new tech news have popped up again this week, including some pretty exciting patent documents that imply we can expect a massively revamped bike coming out from Specialized. There are also some Silca hand-painted floor pumps that are very Silca indeed, plus a whole set of new products from 950g wheelset to city backpacks. There's also some quite interesting suspension thrown in... Have a look! 

Is this the new Specialized Roubaix? Answer: yes, probably

Specialized is working on a radical new bike frame that moves away from a traditional double design, the idea being to deliver increased comfort without affecting efficiency or handling. We’re almost certain that this is an update of the brand’s Roubaix (Wheelbased spotted this patent application first). 

2023 Specialized patent Roubaix - 4

A just-published patent application shows the new frame design with an innovative seat tube.

“In contrast to a conventional frame structure having a full seat tube, the seat tube does not extend to the bottom bracket but instead the lower end of the seat tube terminates at a height above the bottom bracket,” Specialized said. 

Then there’s “a strut member extending forward from the lower end of the seat tube and connecting the seat tube to the down tube.”

But can see all this for yourself. You know how pictures work.

That strut could be made from the same material as the rest of the frame – carbon fibre, aluminium or steel, for example – or from an entirely different material. One figure shows the strut as “a rounded rectangle having a substantially greater width than height”.

2023 Specialized patent Roubaix - 3

What’s the point? It’s all about our old friends: vertical compliance and lateral stiffness. 

“These modifications advantageously reduce the vertical stiffness of the bicycle while substantially maintaining or reducing to a lesser extent the horizontal (eg lateral and/or torsional) stiffness of the bicycle, thereby increasing the comfort for the rider while substantially maintaining or only slightly reducing the handling of the bicycle and/or force transfer of the rider to the bicycle,” Specialized said.

2023 Specialized patent Roubaix - 5

Okay, so it has gone off into patent speak there but you get the idea: more up/down movement at the saddle with little or no difference to the transfer of power.

Pie in the sky? Specialized goes well beyond the call of duty and provides figures from testing to back up the concept. In a vertical stiffness test with a static load of 1,200N applied, Specialized says that its frame allowed 7.9mm of vertical deflection compared with 2.9mm for an unnamed conventional frame. Horizontal deflection at the saddle was 7.2mm compared with 4.1mm for the conventional frame. In a horizontal stiffness test, where a 600N load was applied at a specific location, Specialized says that its frame deflected 5.1mm while the conventional frame deflected 6.7mm.

2023 Specialized patent Roubaix - 1

“As reflected in the test results, the [Specialized] main frame produced 172% greater vertical deflection and 75% greater horizontal deflection at the seat during the vertical stiffness test compared to the conventional frame,” says Specialized. “By increasing the vertical deflection at a greater rate than the horizontal deflection, ride comfort is increased without substantially increasing the rearward saddle tilt.

“The horizontal stiffness test showed a decrease of 24% in the horizontal deflection for the main frame compared to the conventional frame which does not substantially impact the ride characteristics (eg handling, force transfer, etc) but it provides evidence that the frame design works well to handle the loads/stresses applied during the horizontal stiffness test, which is believed to correlate to real-world riding.”

Interestingly, Trek also interrupted the seat tube in order to improve comfort – and also aerodynamics – with the IsoFlow technology that features on the Madone SLR. However, that’s very different in that the interruption is at the top rather than low down.

> Trek releases radical Madone SLR, its “fastest road race bike ever” 

Specialized last updated the Roubaix in 2019 so it’s due a revamp. Most high-end road bikes from the big brands get a redesign every three or four years, so the timing is right for a launch in 2023.

> First ride: Specialized S-Works Roubaix with Shimano Dura Ace Di2 + in-depth with the tech video 

2023 Specialized patent Roubaix - 2

The last update saw the addition of the Future Shock 2.0 suspension system. Specialized doesn’t mention front suspension in this new patent, but it wouldn’t need to because it’s not new technology. It could well be intending to keep Future Shock 2.0 – or Future Shock 3.0, or whatever – in the next iteration of the Roubaix.

So there you go, the new Specialized Roubaix. Probably. Let us know your thoughts.

For the cyclist who has everything: a hand-painted Silca floor pump 

What do you buy the cyclist who has everything? Okay, they might already own the special edition Motoki Yoshio Colnago C68 road bike and the gold-plated Campagnolo corkscrew. Maybe they even have Lance Armstrong’s Damien Hirst-designed Trek Madone gathering dust at the back of the garage. But a hand-painted floor pump? No chance. Thankfully, Silca has plugged that gaping hole in the market with a limited edition of five unique pieces of its Superpista Ultimate, developed with New Zealand artist Caitlin Fielder.

2023 Silca Superpista Ultimate Caitlin Fielder - 4

Caitlin Fielder? That name rings a bell. We’ve featured the special finish that she did on a Chapter 2 Toa bike and her hand-painted shoes. She even painted the special edition pair that Tadej Pogačar wore in the Tour de France. 

2023 Silca Superpista Ultimate Caitlin Fielder - 1

“I really wanted to make the pumps have a similar theme, but also for each to be individual and be a unique stand-alone piece of artwork,” said Caitlin Fielder. “I based each pump roughly off of the four seasons, with the fifth black and white pump being a mix between all four seasons."

> Check out our review of the Silca Superpista Digital Floor Pump

2023 Silca Superpista Ultimate Caitlin Fielder - 3

You’ll obviously be wondering how you can get your hands on one. Or maybe you’re thinking about digging deep and buying the lot. Well, the price isn’t being made public. You need to contact sales [at] to enquire. Expensive, then.

Find out more here 

New integration allows you to post Zwift videos to Strava

You can now automatically upload snippets of video from your Zwift rides to Strava if you're a user of these two platforms.

2023 Zwift Strava integration - 1

Zwift is the first Strava partner to take advantage of the video API (application programming interface) since Strava launched its video functionality last June

“This integration gives Zwifters an opportunity to elevate their experience on Strava by allowing an easy way to share videos of favourite moments from their rides, runs, or races; whether it is a favourite spot in Zwift’s virtual worlds or a decisive moment in a race,” said Zwift.

“To capture a video, Zwifters click an icon on the action bar on their desktop interface, or on Zwift Companion App, to record the previous 15 seconds – no more guessing when something exciting is about to happen, or trying to start recording before launching a sprint! Zwifters can capture multiple videos in a ride.”

Video will also record automatically when notable moments occur, such as winning a segment jersey or hitting a weekly fitness goal. 

After ending your ride, you select which video to upload to Strava. All videos, whether uploaded to Strava or not, will also be downloaded to your device and you can delete anything you don't want. 

This feature is available now on iOS and MacOS devices, and it’s coming soon to TVOS, Android, and other devices.

Find out more here 

It’s funny what you see on the internet


Don’t ask us, we just report this stuff.

Princeton unveils astonishingly light Alta 3532 wheelset

Princeton CarbonWorks has released a new Alta 3532 wheelset which is the shallowest and lightest in its range, designed for climbing speed. Seeing as Princeton has brought it up, let’s deal with those stats right away. The rim depth varies between 32mm and 35mm, and the rim weighs a claimed 348g. Complete wheelset weights start at a ridiculously light 950g.

2023 Princeton Alta 3532 wheelset  - 4 (1)

“When it comes to new technologies, Alta 3532 is the first wheelset in the PCW stable to utilise our new Evolution rim design and layup,” says Princeton. “Wheels offer improved spoke tension balance and ultimately better overall performance by utilising the rim shape to balance spoke angle: steep spokes (drive side on the rear wheel and disc side on the front wheel) are attached to the deeper section of the rim. This ultimately helps balance spoke angles on the wheels for a better overall wheel build.”

Princeton also uses a variable cross-section “to aid in spoke engagement and create a more direct spoke to rim interface; the nipple bed articulates from drive side to non-drive side with each spoke to better match the spoke entry angle to the rim”.

2023 Princeton Alta 3532 wheelset  - 5 (1)

The Alta 3532 wheels have a 21mm internal width, while the external width is 28.6mm. The rims are hooked and feature a non-drilled tyre bed that’s designed to make tubeless setup fast and easy. Tubular versions are available too.

2023 Princeton Alta 3532 wheelset  - 3 (1)

The Alta 3532 wheels are available for use with both disc brakes and rim brakes.

The 950g weight quoted above is for the version for tubular tyres, built up with Tactic Racing TR01 hubs and Sapim CX-Ray spokes

A similar tubeless-ready setup has a claimed weight of 1,148g. Other builds are available. We don’t have UK prices but the wheels start at US$3,000 (around £2,480).

Find out more here 

Rapha goes wild with Brain Dead collaboration

Rapha’s latest collaboration is with Los Angeles-based international fashion collective Brain Dead and the results are some of the most off-the-wall clothing we’ve seen from the London brand.

It’s a limited edition mountain bike collection – on and off-bike apparel – so it doesn’t strictly fall within the remit, but it’s Rapha, innit, so we thought you might be interested.

2023 Brain Dead x Rapha Trail Windblock Jersey  - 1

The on-bike apparel includes the Trail Windblock Jersey (£125, men’s and women’s versions) that uses Rapha’s new Performance Merino Off Road wool blend fabric – “specially developed for enhanced durability and all-day comfort on the trail”.

2023 Brain Dead x Rapha sweatshirt - 1

The Brain Dead x Rapha Trial Logo Lock Hooded Sweatshirt (£129) is made from a heavyweight cotton-brushed fleece fabric…  

2023 Brain Dead x Rapha T-shirt - 1

…while the Brain Dead x Rapha T-shirt (£49) looks pretty cool. 

Find out more here 

What are Tao’s new shoes?

Ineos Grenadiers’ Tao Geoghegan Hart says he is “thoroughly enjoying the hundreds of questions about where the fresh white crep are from”.

2023 Tao Geoghegan Hart shoes - 1 (1)

Any ideas?

Ere Research introduces “the ultimate carbon gravel wheels” with aero expert Paul Lew

Ere Research has introduced the Tenaci GA40 which it describes as “the ultimate carbon gravel wheelset”, developed with Paul Lew.

2023 Ere Research Tenaci GA40  - 1

If you don’t know about Paul Lew, he used to be Director of Technology and Innovation at Reynold Cycling – among other positions – and is a huuuuuge expert on aerodynamics both in the cycling world and in aerospace.

> Paul Lew talks wheel dynamics 

“The Tenaci GA40 is the newest member of the Ere gravel family, a full carbon wheelset for performance-oriented adventurers,” says Ere. “The wheels are made to absorb the shocks of a gravel ride, but they also give you an absolute edge in speed.”

2023 Ere Research Tenaci GA40  - 2

The rims are 40mm deep with a 26mm internal width, and they’re hookless. The wheelset is made for tyres from 38mm to 58mm and has a claimed weight of 1,580g.

You get new Ere Research Iona SL hubs with SKF sealed bearings. The rear is equipped with a 36-tooth ratchet body for fast engagement. The Tenaci GA40 is also available with a Classified hub so you can use a Powershift system. 

> Read our review of the Classified Powershift Kit & Wheelset 

The Tenaci GA40 wheelset is available for €1,399 (about £1,240).

Find out more here  

Cyclefit introduces Landrace - the 'no-compromises mixed-terrain bike'

2023 LANDRACE cyclefit ti bike

We all agree that all-road bikes are rather difficult to define, and often they are not equally great on both road and off-road. That’s exactly what London-based Cyclefit has set to change with Landrace, starting off by saying they “don't like the way a lot of gravel bikes ride on the road”. 

With Landrace, Cyclefit has addressed this by making the chainstay and back end of the bike shorter than on every other mixed-terrain bike. The chainstay is 425mm across the sizes, except for the XL and XXL which get 430mm instead. Here, we already encounter a difficulty - what bike should we compare this to, as defining what bikes are mixed-terrain or all-road bikes is actually a bit tricky… 

That aside, the Landrace is a range of beautiful-looking titanium bikes that Cyclefit designs and Seven Cycles make in Boston. It’s the brainchild of Cyclefit pioneers Julian Wall and Phil Cavell, and the Landrace bikes and wheels are the product of their combined decades of bike-fitting and designing thousands of flawless, custom bikes for their clients.

>  Best titanium road bikes 2022 — are they worth it?

The first Landrace model Cyclefit has launched is called Tupelo. It’s made of butted 3AL-2V titanium and is fitted with a Columbus Futura Gravel Disc fork, and comes equipped with extra bottle cages, tyre clearance for 35mm rubber and stable handling. 

2023 landrace_project5 chris king

The sizing ranges from S to XXL and the frames should be available later this month for pre-orders, retailing for £2,750. You can also get a fully built bike with the groupset of your choice. The beautiful build you can see above with Chris King hubs would set you back £5,899. 

We are getting one of these in for a review, so make sure you check back in for that! 

Find out more here

Apidura expands City range with a new City Backpack


Apidura, the brand well known for its quality bikepacking bags, has released a new fully waterproof commuter bag, the City Backpack. The bag The City Backpack is a new addition to the brand's City range and offers a capacity increase of 3 litres over the existing 17-litre model.

> Best cycling backpacks 2023 — carry your stuff the easy way

The design has also been simplified, and the new version has welded seams and waterproof materials, with added reflective details and a light attachment for safety, making it a good choice for the UK weather. 


The bag holds 20 litres of cargo, which should be plenty for a change of clothes and inside the bag, there is a specific laptop sleeve for your computer, a single zipped pocket and an external zip pocket for things you might need during your commute. 

The fit has been designed to excel both on and off the bike and has a removable waist and sternum strap to add stability to the bag if you so wish. 

The asking price for the Apidura City Backpack is £130. 

Read more here

And in case you missed these earlier in the week... 

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, 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 Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

Add new comment


quiff | 1 year ago

My Strava doesn't seem to be able to receive stills from Zwift, so I don't hold much hope of getting video. 

a4th | 1 year ago

At some point soon Silca is going to be unmasked as a piece of performance art. I'm sure they make lovely stuff but the prices they charge are mind blowing 

Secret_squirrel replied to a4th | 1 year ago
a4th wrote:

At some point soon Silca is going to be unmasked as a piece of performance art. I'm sure they make lovely stuff but the prices they charge are mind blowing 

that's not entirely fair. They make reasonably priced stuff for the quality as well. I have a Silca ratchet set and it's head and shoulders above the rest of my tools.

mark1a | 1 year ago

Would have thought this frame would be more likely to appear in a Diverge than a Roubaix. 

adamrice | 1 year ago

Seems as if the Specialized frame is taking the same idea used in the Cannondale Topstone and running with it.

ShutTheFrontDawes | 1 year ago

I'd put £20 on that Specialised frame design never making it to the road. By mounting the seatstays so low on the seat tube, the rear wheel will flex like a soft-tail, and the moments the break in the seat tube will create will be massive (notice how the supports that can react force near the base of the tube are nearly horizontal, while the load from the rider's weight will be vertical - that's very bad).

ubercurmudgeon | 1 year ago
1 like

I can't see the Roubaix going exclusively 1x, unless Specialized are planning to buy Classified.

kil0ran | 1 year ago

Love the Spesh frame. Wondering if there's scope to use Futureshock or an elastomer to also decouple the strut from its junction with the downtube. What they've basically  built is a leaf spring.

I for one look forward to the inevitable product recalls.

AidanR replied to kil0ran | 1 year ago

I don't really see how it's going to achieve what they want it to achieve. They've designed a way for the wheel to move up and down a bit, but it'll take the seat tube, and therefore the rider, with it. 

Latest Comments