While many of its competitors are racing to launch their first gravel offering, American outfit Specialized has been in the gravel game since mid-2014 when it pulled the curtains back on the first iteration of its, with a second edition of Diverge Gravel Bike following in 2017. Rather than rest on its laurels, Specialized has taken the hacksaw to its ever-popular gravel grinder, literally, and refined the Diverge platform into what the big ‘S’ says is the “ultimate getaway vehicle”.
With a host of refinements made across the board, from the tyre clearance, to the geometry, join us as we take you through nine things to know about the all-new 2021 Specialized Diverge.
1. Racer, Cruiser or Load Lugger, the Choice is Yours
The all-new Diverge is set to come in a range of different build kits ranging from trail-ready, flat bar equipped EVO models, through to sub-8KG race-ready S-Works models and everything in between. So regardless of whether you’re racing offroad, exploring the road less travelled, or getting rowdy on some flowing single track with your mates, there’s seemingly a bike to suit.
2. Hack Saw Development
Rather than rely solely on drawings on a computer to design the new Diverge, Specialized engineers got the hack saw out, grabbed some carbon fibre and fired up the oven. Some times you’ve just got to get your dirty, and with a progressive category such as gravel, Specialized made use of several Frankenstein test mules to test, refine and perfect its all-new geometry.
3. Future Shock 2.0
First unveiled on the [recently released Roubaix], S-Works, Pro, Expert and Comp Carbon models in the Diverge lineup score all the recently revamped FutureShock 2.0. While it was designed for the taming the cobbles, the 20mm of hydraulically damped travel should soak up more than its fair share of trail buzz, taking the load of riders’ shoulders, wrists and hands.
Not big on travel on your gravel bike? No dramas, Future Shock 2.0 allows riders to lock out the suspension for a firmer ride. Further down the range, the Diverge Comp E5, Sport and Base carbon models all score Future Shock 1.5
4. Mountain Bike Inspired Front-End
One of the headline changes for the new Diverge is what Specialized calls a “progressive handling geometry. Specialized says the idea with the refined geometry is to make the bike confident offroad yet agile on the road.
What this means is that the new diverge takes the long, lower, slacker approach compared to its predecessor. The reach is 13mm longer (Size 56), the head tube is a full degree slacker compared to its predecessor, while the fork offset is 5mm longer. What this equates too is a longer wheelbase, which makes for a more stable and confidence-inspiring ride.
5. ...With a Tweaked Rear
Moving to the rear of the bike and the new Diverge features an all-new chainstay design to fit the meaty rubber (more on that below), that has been lengthened by a few millimetres compared to its predecessor. The bottom bracket drop has also been raised by 5mm to allow for increased clearance offroad and reduced chance pedal striking.
6. Space for Wider Rubber
In line with the ever-changing scope of gravel riding, the Diverge is compatible with both 700c and 650b wheels and will accept some seriously wide rubber on both wheelsets. How wide? Specialized says the Diverge will comfortably swallow 47mm tyres on a 700c wheelset, and tyres up to 2.1” wide on a 650b wheelset WITH 6mm of clearance either side.
7. Maintenance Friendly Components
The rest of the build kit is sensibly considered, with a focus on reliability, sensibility and durability. There’s a threaded BSA bottom bracket, 27.2mm seatpost, 142x12mm rear and 100x12mm front thru-axles and flat-mount callipers front and rear.
8. There’s New Gravel Goodies Too
Along with the new bikes, Specialized has unveiled a host of new gravel goodies to boot. These include the Recon shoes, the aggressive Rhombus pro gravel tyre, a host of updated RBX ADV apparel and a swanky new jacket that sized to fit perfectly into the SWAT compartment on the new Diverge, neat!
9. Pricing and Availability
The all-new diverge is available Australia wide right now! Check with your nearest Specialized store for local availability.
The following models are set to hit showroom floors around the country;
- S-Works Diverge - AU$16,000
SRAM Red/XX1 Eagle eTap AXS groupset, 50mm X-Fusion Dropper seatpost, Roval Terra CLX wheelset, 30mm Pathfinder Pro tyres. Frameset only option is also available for AU$6,000.
- Diverge Pro Carbon - AU$10,500
Sram Force/X01 Eagle eTap AXS groupset, Roval Terra carbon seatpost, Roval Terra CL wheelset, 38mm Pathfinder Pro tyres.
- Diverge Expert Carbon - AU$7,500
Shimano GRX Di2 1x11-speed groupset, Roval Terra carbon seatpost, DT Swiss G540 wheelset, 38mm Pathfinder Pro tyres
- Diverge Comp Carbon - AU$5,800
Shimano GRX 2x11-speed groupset, Roval Terra carbon seatpost, DT Swiss G540 wheelset, 38mm Pathfinder Pro tyres.
- Diverge Base Carbon - AU$3,700
SRAM Apex 1x11-speed groupset, 27.2mm carbon seatpost, Axis Elite Disc wheelset, 38mm Pathfinder Sport tyres.
- Diverge Comp E5 - AU$3,000
Shimano GRX 1x11-Speed groupset, alloy seatpost, Axis Elite Disc wheelset, 38mm Pathfinder Sport Tyres.
- Diverge Expert E5 EVO AU$4,100
Shimano XT 1x12-speed groupset, X-Fusion Manic 50mm dropper seatpost, DT Swiss G540 wheelset, 42mm Rhombus Pro tyres.
- Diverge Comp E5 EVO - AU$2,500
SRAM NX 1x11-speed groupset, X-Fusion Manic 50mm dropper seatpost, Axis Elite Disc wheelset, 42mm Rhombus Pro tyres.
With the new diverge making it’s way onto showroom floors, right now is a great time to snap up a bargain on a previous model diverge! Browse the range of Specialized Gravel Bikes to start your search today!