A Look at the Specialized Diverge All-Road Disc Brake Gravel Bike Jul 17, 2014

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Photos by Andy Bokanev

The world of “gravel grinding” and “adventure” bikes has expanded exponentially over the past few months. While Specialized is no stranger to dirt, the new Diverge all-road disc bike takes cues from their MTB line and adds them to a new drop-bar bike called the Diverge…

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Andy Bokanev shot the latest Hunt series for Deux North and in the massive folder of images I received, there were some detail photos of this new “gravel” bike.

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The Diverge appears to have extensive dampening systems designed into the frame and a new shock-absorbing seat post.

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Internal routing, tapered fork, through-axles and yes, Shimano’s hydraulic disc brakes.

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If you’re looking for a weapon to tackle dirt rides, the Diverge is bringing some heavy artillery…

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This does beckon the question though: how long before a full-suspension cross bike hits the market? Or, when will roadies just buy a mountain bike? Maybe with bikes like this evolving, they won’t need to…

  • Sage Brown

    DROPPER POST! Weird.

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      Thomson has a 27.2 dropper that’s shipping now..

      • Sage Brown

        Yeah, super strange. I mean, I guess if that’s what you’re into it’s cool but it’s not for me!

        • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

          agreed…

  • James Fedosov

    Welp. Now I’ll never decide between cross or road bike. Or something.

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      For me, a “cross bike” with a road bb drop / wheelbase is the best all-rounder. Cross bikes are fun, but having a more stable ride for fire road descents makes a huge difference.

      … even disc brakes on those descents make sense, now if they could just feel like cantis / calipers the rest of the time. ;-)

      • http://www.sacredrides.com James Fedosov

        And being a mountain biker, I can get on board with that. And disc brakes.

      • Mitch Lomacz

        John – you talking about having over-powered brakes? Notice the 160mm front rotors on those bikes? That’s what you don’t want. Very poor modulation with the 160 rotors. Looks like this is the minimum the fork will handle. You can definately get a less grabby feel from the 140 freeeza rotors Shimano recommends for those R785s. I hope they go to a 140 mount or better for the production bikes. And through axles f/r is amazing! Still not loving the dropper though…

  • http://www.ridemagnetic.com Magnetic Wheel Co.

    I don’t think the dropper post is so weird. Ride max height on the roads, then slam it when you drop into rough technical single track. Gives you the ability to lower your center of gravity and less chance of getting bucked. Makes perfect sense for this kind of riding.

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      I know it has a lot to do with geometry of a bike, but I think part of the challenge in riding 1-track on a cross bike is learning to handle the bike and its limits. When you start adding things like dropper posts to a cross bike, you limit your ability to really learn how to handle it.

      That and you should never descent seated anyway. Pedals at 3 and 9, off your saddle, elbows bent, that gives you way more absorption than a 3cm dropper will….

      • http://www.ridemagnetic.com Magnetic Wheel Co.

        I fully understand bike handling, this isn’t something new to me. I bet those trails you took me on in Austin post “Keep Cross Weird” would be hella fun with a dropper, some of those sections were like trials riding. I don’t think it takes away anything from your handling at all, all you’re doing is adding an option when things get really rough.

        • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

          Next you’ll be telling me that flat bars give you better leverage. ;-)

          • http://www.ridemagnetic.com Magnetic Wheel Co.

            Right!

      • Tristan Brown

        The dropper post just adds more rad-ness to a bike like this. I’m all in favor of it and don’t think it takes away from learning how to handle a bike – It enhances how you ride a bike. New tech helps drive innovation.
        Not saying I’d buy this thing, but it’s an interesting new bike category for sure.

      • Alex Cheek

        Agreed that you should never descend searted. 3&9 the whole way! But I thought that the point of the dropper post was so you could get the saddle out of the way for less dangerous “behind the saddle” descending then get the saddle back up to the right height for the flat sections.

  • Lemontime

    This whole “different bike for every type of riding” is getting ridiculous.. I want a bike for riding 76% gravel, 14% singletrack and 10% road. After 3.8mm of rain 27 hours earlier. When’s that coming out?

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      I can name like 10 bikes for that!

  • Mo Shizzle

    Technology will always be pushed as far as possible. Still, it might not be for everyone out there. You’ll still find that guy on the dropbar mtb from the 90’s, having just as much fun, if not more.

    That’s what it all should be about.

    2 cents.

    Keep up the good work, J!

  • adanpinto

    It’s nice companies do some research (or just copy small manufatures trend) but I agree, with one CX bike (w/o discs) and two wheelsets you can cover 90% of surfaces but very technical off-road downhils. Regarding the dropper post…Sven Nys doesn’t use it and most of us will never ride as fast as he does with a dropper post, discs brakes or a cx fully.

  • http://www.pedalroom.com/bike/fuji-track-10-2011-15436 Jaap

    is it me, or is this bike really ugly? looks like an expensive city bike..

    • Ken Neville

      Yep, looks just like a drop-bar version of their high-end commuter.

  • Felix

    Ahh, i’m so undecided! All that flimsy carbon Di2 hydraulic stuff doesn’t make a good all road in my opinion (packing? maintainance on road?).
    I would also like to know how those shock absorbing seatstays feel while hard pedalling on straight roads. Doesn’t the whole thing feel unstable?
    Mh, i still fail to see the point in that bike. I’m sure it rides great but why the heck should i own something like that? Just an excuse to buy another one?
    I’ll just take it as a prototype and we will see how those features tickle down to the real world.

  • Sean Curran

    I’m kind of bummed they got that name, its a good one…

  • Scott Edward Perrin

    think I will stick to my transcontinental , maybe slower but i love it