Despite the big price tag when this Specialized S-Works Diverge rolled through the door we knew we had to show you!
One of the most advanced and, we think, one of the best looking gravel bikes out there, the Diverge is pretty special, it is taking gravel bikes boldly into the territory of front suspension and dropper posts. For a good look at the bikes details, scroll through the gallery at the top of the page.
First things first, suspension you say? The all-new Specialized S-Works Diverge and this latest model gets the Future Shock from the company's road bike the Roubaix, providing 20mm of handlebar movement which Spesh says will soak up the bumps of gravel roads with ease. The shock is a small spring mounted in the head tube between the stem and the frame, it's there to reduce vibrations and to smooth out bumps in the road, as it were. Specialized say that the spring used in the Diverge is more progressive than the one specified on the raod based Roubaix to deal with 'larger obstacles'.
The other big thing? This gravel bike is one of a new breed of adventures bikes that is specified from the factory with a dropper post. This model of the Diverge comes with Specialized's own Command post with 35mm of travel. All of the other bikes in this Diverge range come with standard posts. Specialized say "To be able to run a Command post in other models of the Diverge requires a free gear cable/ outer routing stop on the down tube. This means you would need to be running a 1x gear system or an electronic Di2 or eTap system. If all of these stars align, then you are good to fit the Command Post with the cable running down the down tube and up the seat tube."
Next up in Specialized's box of tricks is the novel, Swat Box. This plastic box is placed at the junction of the seat tube and down tube and for storing a spare tube, multi tool and other essentials. Taking a look inside and all items can be well secured so they'll be no annoying rattling from the box, it's a look that will take a bit of getting used to though! Wait for the onslaught of questions "So, is that a motor then?" when you are out riding one of these.
This S-Works model here gets the highest grade FACT 11r carbon so the frame is the lightest in the range. You also get some very nice parts: our S-Works Diverge uses a 1x11 drivetrain with a Shimano XTR Di2 rear mech, XTR 11-40t cassette and an Easton EC90 SL Carbon crankset fitted with a 42t chainring spinning on a CeramicSpeed 386 EVO bottom bracket.
Roval CLX 32 Disc wheels (32mm deep and 21mm internal width) are fitted with 38mm Trigger Pro tyres and a full complement of S-Works contact points, including the carbon Hover bar and Toupe saddle.
This isn't just a version of Specialized cyclocross bike the CruX either, the Diverge has its own geometry which Spesh say has been designed with the purpose of crushing road miles and eating up singletrack with equal ease. Whilst we expect the Diverge to be fly along it looks like it will do this and keep you comfortable on the road mile after mile, rather than being an all out race machine.
The Diverge is also available at a price that is more suitable to most people's pockets, starting price of £1,500 for the Diverge Comp E5 which features an alloy frame, Future Shock, Shimano 105 kit and Tektro Spyre mechanical disc brakes. £800 will get you an aluminum Diverge but without the Future Shock.
Check out the whole range here and check back soon to see how our man Dave gets on.