Specialized Roubaix Hotness!

Review: Specialized Roubaix Hotness!

I don’t put out many posts about bikes themselves, because if truth be told most bikes don’t interest me that much. I like what can be done with a bike, and on a bike. And if a bike stretches boundaries and blurs lines, then I’m excited by it.

Photo: Jim Fryer / BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com
Photo: Jim Fryer / BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com

Specialized have just relaunched their Roubaix, and it excites me!

Photo: Jim Fryer / BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com
Photo: Jim Fryer / BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com

Originally a pro race-bike, with added Zertz gubbins for shock absorption, it was a frequent winner in the Flandrian races, with Tom Boonen displaying some righteous riding over the cobbles on it!

Photo: Jim Fryer / BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com
Photo: Jim Fryer / BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com

But it’s been tweaked, and it’s those tweaks that excite me.

Integrated front suspension via FutureShock, a cartridge damper that is located above the head tube allowing the stem and handlebars a range of 17mm of downward travel and 3mm of upward travel.

Photo: Jim Fryer / BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com
Photo: Jim Fryer / BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com

Tyre clearance has been upped significantly (up to 32mm).

Photo: Jim Fryer / BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com
Photo: Jim Fryer / BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com
Photo: Jim Fryer / BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com
Photo: Jim Fryer / BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com

With disc brakes, and internalised storage above the bottom bracket, the new Specialized Roubaix clearly appears to be exceedingly capable as a Transcontinental racing bike….

Photo: Jim Fryer / BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com
Photo: Jim Fryer / BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com

UPDATE: 9th September.But can it be loaded for an Epic Adventure™?

Q). Can it be rider-tuned? In particular, the whole bike looks to be ideal for a rough race like the transcontinental or trans-am, but would adding luggage or aero-bars alter the damping effect, or effectively pre-load the suspension

“The tuning is a simple one to answers, but requires some more information on the bike as a whole as opposed to the shock independently. By placing the shock at the top of the head tube, as opposed to the more familiar solution for longer travel platforms below the head tube, we effectively only suspend the rider, not the bike, or any of the forces and power that you put through the bike by the rider, or any weight on the bike. It literally is completely independent. As such, the shock can be much simpler; and lower maintenance no damping, no preload..super simple. There are three spring weight options, but these are purely terrain dependent as opposed to rider weight or bike weight dependent. The geometry is closer to the (Specialized) Tarmac for racing Classics, but the bike can take 700x 32c tyres so you can go bike packing as well.”

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