Gravel is the place to be these days. In following that trend, Specialized has redesigned its Diverge bike. The race-worthy Diverge features a lightweight carbon frame, huge tire clearance, geometry built for stability and speed on gravel, a shock absorber in its 35mm seat post and, a Future Shock head tube suspension system.
The Diverge uses a progressive spring that gradually gets stiffer through the full range of its travel. The initial, softer part of the spring soaks up small bumps and road buzz. The stiffer end prevents the system from bottoming out when you hit big stuff. In comparison, Specialized’s Roubaix uses a linear spring that is designed for more consistent and smoother surfaces where bottoming-out isn’t a concern.
The frame weighs just 880 grams and a full S-Works bike weighs just less than 19 pounds. That’s road bike territory for a bike with front and rear suspension and giant tires.
The Diverge is outfitted with a Shimano 1x drivetrain for single-ring simplicity. The S-Works model includes an Easton 42-tooth chainring and 11-40-tooth XTR cassette. The combination compares to a compact road crank and an 11-32 road cassette, so there’s plenty of range despite the single-ring. A mix of Di2 road shifters and an XTR rear derailleur handles gear changing.
The S-Works Diverge is not a budget friendly bike at $9,000. But, the S-Works model is purposefully built for those looking to race on gravel. Fortunately, you can choose from four different models with the carbon frame, the most budget friendly of which is the Diverge Sport which has an MSRP of $2100.