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First Look: Three new Specialized releases for 2018

Words by Aaron Scott

on 15/06/2017 11:09:13

Diverge-Hero

Specialized have shared the first of their 2018 product announcements with all-new Diverge, Allez, and CruX models. The new families promise completely redesigned platforms with a slew of innovative new features to get you moving faster on and off road.

Diverge

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.

Key features

Future Shock

Most notably, the Diverge includes Specialized’s Future Shock system which looks to deliver vertical compliance at the front end and add comfort without degrading speed or handling. Unlike the road version used on the Roubaix and Ruby models, however, 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.

All-new Geometry

Specialized have made tweaks to the frame and geometry of the Diverge with a view to making it “the road version of a modern trail bike”. This has meant moving the bottom bracket lower than previous models, and introducing a slacker head tube, shorter chainstays and a shorter wheelbase to ensure the frame performs equally well over both dirt and road. The new frame has been on a diet, with the S-Works version weighing in at just 880 grams with a complete build coming to 8.16kg.

Ready for Anything

The updated frame allows tyres up to 700x42mm and 650bx47mm along with a slew of other features to make it ready for all sorts of riding, including Plug + Play mudguard mounts, three bottle mounts and compatibility for SWAT and dropper posts. The new Diverge uses the flat mount disc standard.

Women's Specific Model

Like the Tarmac, Specialized have introduced both a Men’s and Women’s model with shared geometry to suit all riders.

CruX

With the Diverge pitched as a go-anywhere, ride-everything drop-bar bike, the CruX is an unashamedly race-oriented ‘cross bike. The new CruX is designed to be fast, confident, lightweight, and to ride “like no other ‘cross bike out there.”

CruX

The CruX is now ‘Rider-First Engineered’, with tube size and carbon layup adjusted for each frame size to ensure that every size has the optimal balance of rigidity, weight and responsiveness. On the new model, the seat collar has been lowered by 20mm to allow more seatpost deflection and improve rear end compliance, extra wheel clearance has been added to improve mud-shedding, and the S-Works model even feature a special hydrophobic paint! All these changes have been achieved in a package which comes in over 400 grams lighter than the previous frameset, at just 900 grams for a 56cm frame.

Allez

Finally, Specialized have also lifted the lid on an updated version of their alloy road model, the Allez. The goal for Specialized here was to build the best alloy road bike on the market, regardless of price point, and the new bike has been refined in the company’s own ‘Win-Tunnel’, and constructed with their new E5 alloy which allows aggressive butting profiles to save weight and improve ride quality, resulting in a weight saving of 450 grams over the previous frameset iteration. The new frame also takes a large chunk of inspiration from its carbon brother, the Tarmac, and features a tapered head tube and dropped seatstays.

Allez

The Tarmac DNA can also be seen in the new full carbon fibre fork which reduces weight while providing a stiffer, more precise, and better handling front end. The Allez uses a slightly more relaxed geometry – more akin to the Roubaix than the Tarmac – with a taller head tube and longer wheelbase for a more forgiving ride, along with a Body Geometry saddle and shallow drop bars for added comfort. Including rack and mudguard mounts, the new Allez is as at home commuting as it is on a weekend group ride.

Want to see the new bikes?

Be the first to see the new 2018 Specialized range! Contact your local store for more details.