Specialized have taken the Roubaix, with its already exception palmares, and redesigned it specifically for the racer. With the company’s own Diverge closing the gap between cyclo-cross and endurance racing, the Roubaix was free to chase wins at its namesake. The result is an aerodynamically optimised frame. They claim it’s as fast as the new Tarmac, which is as fast as the old Venge.
The new Roubaix’s raison D’etre, however, is comfort, as comfort = speed. Specialized have revised their Futureshock fork-mounted elastomer to offer a more progressive dampening effect at the front of the bike and to build in full customisability for the rider – at least on the top end S-Works and Expert models. The system – fitted under the stem – offers 20mm of travel when fully open and can be dialled back to almost solid at the other end, for that race winning sprint or the rare section of unblemished tarmac.
The rear end has been looked after too, with a lighter, more aesthetically pleasing d-shaped seat post. It’s reminiscent of the one belonging to the Tarmac SL6 with improved rear-end compliance.
Combine these improvements together and the result is a much more purposeful looking bike. Specialized have also paid special attention of the colours it offers, and once again come to the table with some stunning and unique liveries.
With a claimed frame weight of 900 grams – without the fork we should mention – it’s no slouch. Can Sagan race it to victory this weekend and notch up and early win? That remains to be seen, but his special edition frameset sure is pretty.
For more information on the new Roubaix, head over to www.specialized.com
We got our hands on the S-Works Roubaix eTap recently for an upcoming issue of Desire – stay tuned for the fun we had with that one.