Specialized Diverge 2018 Range Guide

Words by David Hicks

on 15/12/2017 14:24:45


The Diverge is Specialized's all-road platform - designed to fill the gap between their road-specific models like the Allez, Tarmac and Venge, and their out-and-out cyclo-cross bikes like the CruX. However, with the redesigned platform Specialized have stepped away from making a �road-capable� 'cross bike or an �adventure ready� road bike, and pitched the Diverge as a bespoke model that makes no compromises between two other styles of bike but instead aims to redefine the possibilities of a drop-bar machine.

Price: From £798.99

Discipline: Road

Usage: Mixed terrain & adventure riding

  • + Future Shock suspension
  • + Wide tyre clearances
  • + New Open Road Geometry

Frame   Groupset   Wheels 

Frame and Forks

The new Diverge comes in a number of guises to suit most budgets, as well as female specific models. At the entry level you'll find Specialized's E5 Premium Aluminium making up the frame, with its fully manipulated tubing and smooth welds increasing stiffness and efficiency as well as providing a more premium look than you might find on other aluminium frames. On the aluminium models - the E5, E5 Sport and E5 Comp - the frame is paired with a FACT carbon fibre fork. As you progress up the range carbon fibre takes over, with lightweight FACT 9r carbon fibre used or the frame on the carbon Comp and Sport models. At the very top end of the range, the S-Works model uses Specialized's highest grade FACT 11r carbon, with a frame weight that dips under 900 grams.

In redesigning the Diverge, it has been made more capable than ever, with clearance for up to either 700x42mm or 650bx47mm tires. It's also moved away from a traditional 'cross geometry, instead opting for a new Open Road Geometry - think of open road geometry as a road version of modern trail bike geometry, providing playful handling and predictable steering for endless dirt skids and mid-corner drifts. In addition, The geometry features a bottom bracket that's over a half-centimeter lower than the previous Diverge. There is also a slacked-out the head tube angle, shortened chainstays, and a shorter wheelbase. These changes make a bike that performs equally well over both the dirt and road.


The concessions to off-road comfort continue in the form of the Future Shock that sits at the top of the headtube. Originally introduced on the endurance-orientated, road-going Roubaix, the system aims to deliver vertical compliance at the front end and add comfort without degrading speed or handling. Specialized have added a Progressive Spring which makes the technology more suitable for mixed terrain, allowing more control on the bigger impacts you're likely to deal with on less consistent roads or trails. Specialized claim an overall 5% increase in vertical compliance for the new model.


Shifting duties are handled exclusively by Shimano for the 2018 Diverge range and, depending on your budget, you can take your pick of components. On the entry level Diverge E5 you'll find Shimano's Claris 16 speed groupset and as you stretch your budget you can find different models specced with Sora and ultra-reliable 105. The entire range comes with disc brakes to improve stopping power off-road and offer better modulation on the tarmac, with mechanical discs on the aluminium models and hydraulic brakes on all the carbon models besides the Sport. On the top of the range S-Works model, Specialized have opted for a Shimano XTR 1x11 speed drivetrain mated to RS805 hydraulic disc brakes.



Designed for more off-road ability the Diverge has clearance for up to either 700x42mm or 650bx47mm tires, but all the models come out of the box with 700c wheels. These come from Roval, with their sturdy and hard-working Sport or Elite discs used throughout the range. Tyres come from Specialzied, with their Trigger Sport or Espoir Sport providing the grip. Both 60 TPI with BlackBelt protection, sizes range of 30mm to 38mm, depending on model, to provide plenty of grip when the going gets rough.

Find your nearest Rutland Cycling store

You can browse the entire Specialized Diverge range online, or you can get your hands on it in your nearest Rutland Cycling store.