I’m not going to try to pretend otherwise. Of the 2018 fleet update, this one had me the most excited. We trialled the Diverge last year as a more adaptable option to our road bikes. With an aluminium frame, carbon forks and 30mm tyres it’s not quite what some of our faster road bike customers are used to but as a fast-touring option it offers much more flexibility and is ideal for cycling the North Coast 500.
Specialized made a couple of major changes for 2018. The first, subtle one, is that both frame and fork will now take a wider tyre. 38mm is definitely possible and some 40mm will fit too. Both of these sizes offer increased comfort and potentially more grip with the right tyre choice. The other, more obvious, change is THAT headset.
It all looks a bit weird but the FutureShock is designed to partially isolate the rider from the vibration and action of the front wheel as it passes over the rougher ground this bike is capable of. Bounce up and down on it in the park and you can see it working. While riding, it’s much more subtle but still effective – especially on longer journeys.
The groupset is a mix of components. Shimano 11-speed 105 shifters and derailleurs offer almost top-end performance. The Praxis Alba super-compact crankset with 48T and 32T rings, together with the 11-32T cassette give a large range of gears with a lowest of 27 inches – not quite as low as our Sirrus hybrids (25″) but in keeping with this bike and the lighter loads it would usually be ridden with.
Rack mounts are built into the dropouts and the seatclamp. The latter makes seat height adjustment a little problematic but once set it’s all good (although we don’t fit them as standard, we can provide racks for load carrying).
As might be expected with this type of bike, braking duties are handled by disks front and rear. The TRP Spyre calipers are cabled up with compressionless Jagwire cables to minimise any sponginess and they certainly make a difference. Good wet weather braking is therefore assured.
Feedback from customers has been good too –
“It worked great for the diverse surfaces of the bike tour we did. The wheels handled the road, gravel, and grass well. Pretty lightweight. Seat was comfy. Shock in handlebars was nice too. ”
Specialized have done something odd with the sizing this year. At 172cm I regularly ride Medium/54cm sized bikes. Not so in this Diverge, where the 52cm is the right size for me. It’s certainly worth considering before renting or buying. Talking of which, I’m seriously thinking of buying one myself when we sell the fleet off later this year! Used Specialized Diverge for sale here.June 19, 2018 2:11 pm
Tags: review, road, specialized
Categorised in: Bikes