$6,700.00. The flush thru-axle is a nice touch. 2021 Specialized Diverge . There’s a lot of height adjustment built into the Future Shock system, but this is as low as it goes. No amount of riding and racing knocked them out of true; it took me backing a vehicle up into a steel post with the bike on a rear rack to do that. There are no levers on the wheel axles. Give the gift of VeloNews. Photo: Iain Treloar. $4,800.00. Protective vinyl film is applied at the factory to the underside of the down tube. Retail price is US$4,800 / AU$7,500 / Â£4,500 / â¬5,000. Both posts flex the same amount; the new post just looks a whole lot better and weights about 50g less (~200g total). The Roval Terra CL wheels have a generous 25mm internal width, which plumps the 38mm Pathfinder Pro tubeless tires up to 40mm. The down tube is very wide, with a nominally aero profile. I mean, you can get the base model for $1,100, but you’re not getting the Future Shock or any of the exciting tech we’re looking at here. Seated, the Diverge is absolutely superb, with all that seatpost extension serving up plenty of comfort-boosting flex when youâre on rougher terrain. The geometry is a big departure from gravel bike norms, featuring a longer top tube, a shorter stem, a slacker head tube angle, and a longer front center and wheelbase. “On the rocky fireroads and rough singletrack that I mostly ride this bike on, it’s outstanding having a bit of extra give at the front end, and I feel much less beaten up in the shoulders than on other gravel bikes I’ve used (most recently including the Parlee Chebacco). Likewise, the stock wheelset on the Expert Carbon and Comp Carbon models are average at best. The shift quality is typically Shimano-smooth, the brakes are powerful if a bit grabbier, and both groupsets are reasonably light. For sure, it does a very good job of squelching high-frequency vibrations and smaller chatter on dirt and gravel roads, and even tamer sections of singletrack. Itâs hardly soft and spongy, but nor is it especially taut and explosive when you start smashing the pedals. Specialized Diverge Pro Carbon. I feel like the Diverge hits the Goldilocks spot of enough cush to take the edge off without making a major sacrifice in terms of weight or complexity. Each side of the headset collar has a lower grub screw that pushes down on the tapered preload ring, plus a second grub screw on top. Most riders should find it very comfy. And as for Daveâs S-Works model â¦ well, suffice to say itâs the lightest and most luxuriously outfitted, built around the 100 g-lighter FACT 11r frame, a SRAM Red eTap AXS 1×12 wireless groupset, Roval Terra CLX carbon wheels, and an X-Fusion Manic dropper seatpost. So I’d like to see a wider bar put on to end up with a normal width at the hoods. Specialized Diverge Comp Carbon. Even then, I was able to true the wheel that got smacked and continued racing it for the rest of the year. Specialized completely overhauled the Diverge for 2021 with progressive geometry, a hydraulic-damped Future Shock, hidden storage, and more tire clearance. Claimed frame weight for the FACT 9r version of the Diverge is around 1,100 g. The top-end S-Works version is about 100 g lighter, while the FACT 8r version is about 100 g heavier. Although 20 mm of travel doesnât sound like much, the Future Shock 2.0âs hydraulic damper makes for a much more composed and capable feel than previous versions, which were bouncier and less controlled. Specialized Diverge Sport Carbon. The 42t ring pairs to a massive 10-50t Eagle cassette, offering Jeep-like low gearing for crawling up the steeps. Most upper-end Diverge models are equipped with 1x drivetrains. With the tires setup tubeless, my 52 cm sample weighs in at 9.18 kg (20.24 lb), without pedals or accessories. 160 mm rotors are stock, but itâs nice to see thereâs room to go up if you feel the need. Overall, the frame shape is very clean and tidy. Specialized Diverge Expert Carbon. â¢ Salsa Warbird, Why R+ and other gear tested at The Mid South New SR Suntour GVX fork revealed: Is suspension for gravel about to boom. The Diverge Elite E5 utilizes our premium E5 alloy frame and a full carbon FACT fork for a fast, confident and comfortable ride on road, in the dirt, and over thick gravel. I don’t think I could happily settle for either of those extremes in a bike for my style of riding, so even if the Diverge isn’t ideal at either end it kinda straddles the two.”. And they have the data, so I won’t argue with that. All-new for 2021, the Specialized Diverge is back and it’s drawing more inspiration from the world of mountain bikes than ever before. I had good luck with the Rovals on my Diverge last year. Better late than never. If youâre on an older Future Shock-equipped Specialized, the hardware appears compatible with previous-generation components and is well worth obtaining. Out back is the usual flat-mount disc brake interface. Interestingly, neither of us were bothered much by the Divergeâs tall stack height â a consequence of adding 20 mm of suspension movement. ... Shop online or visit us in-store to find your new Specialized Diverge. Perhaps the only desirable thing it is not is inexpensive. Join Our Email List. Reach dimensions have increased across the board, albeit not by a tremendous amount. Out back, Specialized relies on a more tried-and-true concept. That said, neither Iain nor I fell in love with it. Hours & Directions. And if anything, the taller bar position forces you to use the drops more often, where you have more steering and brake control, anyway. There’s plenty of room in here. This is done in part through lengthening the chainstays a touch, but mostly a section of solid carbon fiber on the drive-side chainstay, right where it gets pinched between the tire and the chainring. I took the bike on a few chunky trails that have flatted tires like the Schwalbe G Ones, and the tires didn’t flinch. At under 1,000 grams the Diverge’s frame is lighter than most stripped-down gravel race frames with skimpy clearance, while being more capable than anything else in the gravel. Specialized Diverge Sport Carbon 2021: Review. Shop The 2021 Specialized Diverge. © 2020 Pocket Outdoor Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. On the 56 cm size, for example, itâs only grown by a fairly modest 7 mm, which hardly takes the Diverge into hyper-progressive territory. But with that shorter stem, modified weight balance, and quicker trail dimension, I found the front end to be more prone to wandering off-line on slower and/or steeper climbs. $2,100.00. Geometry of the Specialized Diverge 2021 Compared to its predecessor, the geometry is more progressive. Three cheers for the threaded bottom bracket! Hours & Directions. The bike comes with a bag containing a tube, lever, CO2, and inflator. $2,600.00. Indeed, when I swapped to a longer stem, a lot – but not all – of the bikeâs handling quirks went away. The riser bar is about as weird as you’d think. I raced the old Diverge in Roll Massif’s 12-hour mountain bike race Sunrise to Sunset last year on a tame course, as well as a handful of actual gravel races. With this new Diverge, Specialized did away with all of that, instead just sloping the top tube more and exposing more seatpost. $10,000.00. I guess that means my tastes are nuanced, because as good as I think the Future Shock 2.0 has gotten, my mountain bike background also couldnât help but see some of its deficiencies. Specialized Diverge Expert E5 Evo. Speaking of the wheels on the Comp and Expert models, theyâre rather ho-hum. Shop The 2021 Specialized Diverge. SRAMâs disc brakes are arguably easier to control than the more “on-off” nature of Shimanoâs stoppers, too, and my long-term experience with the Roval Terra CLX carbon wheels has shown them to be wonderfully lightweight and snappy, but yet impressively tough and durable as well. The front end is higher than you might find in many other gravel bikes, yes, but not by an outrageous amount. That said, none of us saw it as a significant downside, particularly given the genre. On the other end of the bike and the other end of the controversy spectrum, virtually no one will argue with a carbon seatpost that has a bit of flex for a gravel bike. Stem: Future Stem, Comp. Joining VeloClub not only supports the work we do, there are some fantastic benefits: The latest generation of Specializedâs Diverge carbon gravel bikes has undergone a dramatic transformation from the one that came before, and while the new Future Shock 2.0 suspension unit has garnered much of the attention, itâs the revamped frame geometry that truly defines the new bikeâs personality. It gives me some of the sense of off-road confidence I got on the Cannondale Slate, but in a lighter, less oddball package. The only time it bugged me was on long paved, rolling stretches where I was out of the saddle often and wished for a lockout. The 2021 Specialized Diverge Is a Gravel Dream Ride Smoother, more stable and more capable, the new Diverge can take you further than ever. It has room for another bag â or you can just tuck your own small bag or compact jacket or whatever in there. Since the driveside chainstay is partially solid, the rear derailleur line can’t be routed through it. The seatstays are dropped, but not so much that they look unusual. Photo: Iain Treloar. Without question, I found myself having more fun on faster and steeper downhills than any number of more traditionally proportioned gravel bikes. I wouldnât say so, and Iain and Dave obviously got on with it just fine. I got in the habit of riding it with a firm setting on the pavement, and a soft setting on gravel and trail. $6,700.00. It’s stable but responsive, and I find it fun and accommodating when I’m riding it on terrain at the rougher end. The Diverge has a 20mm suspension system underneath the stem, cushioning the ride at the handlebars without adding much weight. And yet despite the steering quickness, I occasionally still had to shift my weight more aggressively forward to get the front end to bite. If you have a strong preference for 1x vs. 2x drivetrains, that might very well force your hand since the Comp Carbon is the nicest model offered with two chainrings; everything above that is 1x-only (although the frames can accommodate either). “Our Future Shock field testing has not shown much correlation between rider weight or bike size and desired spring rate, especially once weâve added the damper with Future Shock 2.0.”. One small quirk of the down tube storage box is that some bottle cages will need to be spaced out a bit. But does that automatically make the Diverge the best gravel all-rounder of 2021? Specialized Diverge Pro Carbon. The Easton EC70 bars are comfortable and well-made; I have no issue with the design. Photo: Iain Treloar. In addition to a flat repair kit, I regularly stuffed a light jacket, one or two gel packs, and occasionally some arm or knee warmers in there (and yes, it all fits just fine). Specialized Diverge Pro Carbon. “The suspension isn’t all that subtle if it’s getting hammered,” Iain professed. First introduced on the latest Roubaix endurance road bike, Specializedâs newer Future Shock 2.0 suspension cartridge now finds its way into this latest Diverge, once again occupying the space between the top of the cut-off steerer tube and the base of the stem. Some say it’s unnecessary or ineffective or gimmicky. $2,900.00. The Future Shock 2.0 all but accomplishes that with the adjustable damper. All good things, in my view. Also, it’s just easier to put a foot down at stoplights or whatever. Conveniently, the three of us are in agreement on most of the Divergeâs key performance traits. Specialized increased tire clearance without increasing the chainstay length by using a solid beam of carbon for the drive side chainstay. The old Diverge was somewhat like a road bike with a crazy-low bottom bracket; the wheelbase was tight, the handling was quick, and the frame sat low (85mm BB drop). Trail is the difference between the front wheel’s tire-patch center and the bike’s steerer column. It’s a cool feature. Specialized bikes aren’t cheap. The handlebar-end Di2 junction box keeps things neat and clean. None of us felt the need to regularly engage the firmer damper settings, and while the somewhat unusual appearance is still polarizing â even with this latest generationâs far sleeker rubber boot â few will argue that it looks much more finished than the old accordion-style cover. There’s still a decent amount of room around this 700×42 mm Specialized Rhombus tire, but it’s starting to get a little tighter. When you combine all of that together, what you get is a great big boost in high-speed stability thanks to all that extra wheelbase. Still think it might be too tall? The more trail, the more ‘stable’ a bike can feel. This new model gets damping-adjustable suspension, some geometry tweaks, and integrated storage. “Bar and tyres aside, it’s a pretty thoughtful build that matches my personal preferences well,” Iain summarized. The Diverge Expert Carbon features the second-tier frame with Shimano’s 1x GRX Di2 groupset. I enjoyed racing the 2020 Diverge Pro last year. As already mentioned, the Future Shock is pretty good as is, and likely quite a bit better than youâd think. A stiff frame sounds great on paper, but on rougher ground, itâs more important that youâre able to keep putting down power, and Specialized has done an excellent job on that front. The new Diverge’s more MTB-inspired frame geometry certainly sets it apart from the mainstream. However, this new Diverge is a very different machine to the one it replaces, and is perhaps indicative of where Specialized sees the gravel category moving in the years to come. It seems a little odd to me that Specialized would provide users with the option of a larger 180 mm front rotor, but yet limits every rider to the same spring inside the Future Shock cartridge. Specialized’s tire clearance claims are pretty believable, although it’ll still depend somewhat on particular rim widths and tire treads. TL;DR: it's a great bike, I love it. The 2021 Diverge looks sleeker and is arguably more road bike-like in its appearance than before, but in reality, it handles more like a mountain bike — and not everyone is going to like it. “It doesn’t give a perceptible bob unless out of the saddle, and even then, it’s not enough to bother me,” Iain said. The rims are impressively tough, but theyâre also a little heavy, and the straight 14-gauge spokes deaden the ride quality. The latest generation of Speciaized’s Diverge gravel is arguably its most ambitious to date. Specialized is committed to suspending the rider and has been doing this since the early 1990’s with their first full-suspension FSR mountain bike design through to the CG-R micro-suspension seatpost. Read on to find out. Despite the impressive tire clearances, there’s still space for a front derailleur. Create a personalized feed and bookmark your favorites. The bike comes with the Specialized Power saddle. $6,700.00. Most bike reviews here on CyclingTips usually only include the viewpoint of a single rider, on a single bike. The Specialized S-Works Diverge is probably one of the most exclusive gravel bikes on the market. Kudos to Specialized for finally figuring out how to keep the Future Shockâs proprietary headset design from perpetually coming loose, too. This 2.0 system now has hydraulic damping for compression and rebound, both of which are tunable simultaneously with a 7-click knob on top of the steerer. Another cool thing about the new frame is that tire clearance went way up to make room for a (claimed) 47mm tire with plenty of mud clearance. For context, road bikes usually have less than 60mm of trail. Dave unfortunately didnât get a weight for the one he rode, but with a retail price of US$10,000 / AU$16,000 / Â£8,900 / â¬NA, letâs just assume itâs pretty light. Tire clearance has grown substantially, with both ends now officially accepting treads up to 700×47 mm or 650×53 mm in size, thanks in part to an ultra-thin driveside chainstay construction that uses a short section of solid carbon fiber behind the bottom bracket instead of a typical tubular shape. Specialized Diverge Sport Carbon. I want to tell you about my experience, in case someone is evaluating to buy one. However, itâs a major fail in my book that Specialized equips every Future Shock 2.0 cartridge with the same spring rate, regardless of rider weight or position, stem length, or handlebar drop. Bike handling is a matter of preference, of course. Being able to quickly flick it from firm to soft is a big improvement. The fork offset has been increased by 5 mm and the stem is short, meaning the length of the cockpit stays the same. The 2021 Specialized Diverge range encompasses 11 bikes and one S-Works level frameset. In that sense, the Divergeâs front-end geometry is a big hit for me. No complaints with the Specialized Power saddle. I say it feels a little weird initially on pavement, but feels great when riding at speed on the dirt. Basically, itâs the combination of all those factors that makes it work, and removing any one of them takes away from the magic. Join Active Pass to get VeloNews magazine, access to exclusive content, 1,000s of training plans & more. But itâs also not as good as I think it should be, either, and in my opinion, Specialized is selling gravel riders short by assuming they wouldnât appreciate some additional tuning options. This, to me, is going in the opposite direction of the smart integrated storage. In the fully open setting, the Future Shock 2.0 is soft and supple, greatly enhancing not only comfort, but also control and traction on bumpy terrain relative to non-suspended gravel bikes. 2021 Specialized Diverge Pro Carbon — bottom line The 2021 Specialized Diverge Pro Carbon is a lot of things: fast, comfortable, adjustable, nimble, and packed with cool features like a … Hours & Directions. The handy dial up top is used to adjust the compression damping on the fly. As is usually the case, Iainâs words are better than mine. From Future Shock 2.0 and all-new gravel geometry, to internal storage and category leading tire clearance, the new Diverge represents everything we’ve learned over more than 40 years of riding road, gravel and dirt. Just be sure to keep the stem length in mind, too. Bottom bracket height has gone up 5 mm, but it’s still quite low with 80 mm of drop. Toe overlap should be a thing of the past as a result. The included bag has enough space for a complete flat kit, including a spare tube, a tire lever, a CO2 cartridge, and inflator head. Like CyclingTips? Whether your goal is to escape on gravel back roads, far from cars and crowds, or drop the hammer at the front of your favorite gravel race, no bike does it better than the Diverge. And without question, itâs far better than nothing on bigger impacts where even that scant amount of travel takes away so much of the jarring. Iâve long been a proponent of the quality of travel being more important than the quantity, and in my opinion, that becomes even more critical when you donât have much travel to play with. â¢ The perfect gravel tire width. Super-comfortable and adequate to a variety of usages. With the new flats that have been added to the lower screws, it’s finally possible to truly lock the two bolts together to keep the headset from loosening. Specialized Diverge Expert Carbon. Our opinions were a little more mixed in terms of how we found the revamped frame geometry. ... Shop online or visit us in-store to find your new Specialized Diverge. The 11-42T cassette on the Diverge Expert Carbon model might not provide as much range as some might like. Kudos to Specialized though, as shortly after the launch, a 2021 S-Works Diverge found its way into our test fleet and has been hogging this tester's thoughts and saddle time ever since. Being able to quickly flick it from firm to soft is a big hit for me it not... For storage and appreciated how it cleans up the steeps much that they look.! Are crucial ; 40mm is the usual flat-mount disc brake interface significant downside, particularly given the genre year! 12º flare pretty good as is becoming more common these days, Specialized did away with of! All that seatpost extension serving up plenty of comfort-boosting flex when youâre on older! 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