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Diverge Comp or Sport? Groupset questions.

Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Diverge Comp or Sport? Groupset questions.

Old 03-01-19, 12:06 AM
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DPlan
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Diverge Comp or Sport? Groupset questions.

I am buying my first gravel bike and I am new to this world of cycling and very excited and love to do my research. I have found two 2018 models, with the Sport being $200 more. At first I was set on the Comp, but after comparing it to the Sport, I am confused. I understand that the carbon frame on the Sport would be preferable to the aluminum on the Comp, but isn't the Tiagra set on the Sport less desirable than the 105 on the Comp? Is the extra $200 worth it?

Either way, I am very stoked to be getting a great bike, I just want to get it right and understand my bike a bit better.

Any advice or help regarding this would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 03-01-19, 06:54 AM
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I think for $200 more I would go with the 105. Less desirable? That's depends. The 105 is a step higher on the food change. Recent reviews on the new 105 versus the Ultegra leads you to believe they are more alike than in prior years. Citing the difference is material and approximately 200 grams not performance. Also stating that the performance gap between Tiagra and 105 is much larger that that of the 105 and Ultegra.
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Old 03-01-19, 07:22 AM
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Thanks! Just to clarify, the Comp is $200 less, not more, and comes with the 105. I was at first leaning heavily towards the Comp because of the 105 groupset, but I was a little confused that the Sport would be $200 more with a lesser groupset. Is the carbon frame really worth that much?
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Old 03-01-19, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by DPlan View Post
Thanks! Just to clarify, the Comp is $200 less, not more, and comes with the 105. I was at first leaning heavily towards the Comp because of the 105 groupset, but I was a little confused that the Sport would be $200 more with a lesser groupset. Is the carbon frame really worth that much?
Got it, misunderstood the the difference. Personally I wanted carbon on the bike I recently ordered so I was willing to pay more. There are definitely advantages of carbon. As crazy as this sounds, one of the reasons I ordered carbon ( w/105) was I didn't want to look back if I hadn't and wish I did. I think it's worth $200.
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Old 03-01-19, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by CodyDog View Post
Got it, misunderstood the the difference. Personally I wanted carbon on the bike I recently ordered so I was willing to pay more. There are definitely advantages of carbon. As crazy as this sounds, one of the reasons I ordered carbon ( w/105) was I didn't want to look back if I hadn't and wish I did. I think it's worth $200.
Me, too. However, the carbon comes with the tiagra for $200 more. The 105 comes with aluminum for $200 less. What is better? Carbon with tiagra? Or aluminum with 105?
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Old 03-01-19, 08:40 AM
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You'll have to choose what's more important to you for the type of riding you do. If you value comfort, and lightness above all else, the carbon sport (with Tiagra components) is probably the better choice. You can always upgrade the components later, but it's often more expensive to do this rather than get the bike you want with the components you want from the get go. The carbon diverge has a little more tire clearance than the aluminum, which is an important consideration, however the clearance for the diverge isn't great overall, so this might not be the best deciding factor between the two frame types.

If you value performance, in terms of weight, crispness of shifting, etc..., the 105 components would be a better choice.

If it were me, I'd always go with the modern aluminum frame with better components. I did this in 2007, and the then brand new 105 components on that bike have stayed relevant and well-performing to this day.

If you can test-ride both, that would be the best way to determine which one feels better to you.
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Old 03-01-19, 09:41 AM
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Current generation Tiagra and current generation 105 will both be way more than what a beginner(or really even an experienced enthusiast) needs. Neither will hold a beginner rider back in any way.
Same with both frames- neither will hold a beginner rider back in any way.

Both are more bike than whats needed, so its really just a matter of which you like more. Totally subjective in the end. Which looks better? Which feels better? Which will inspire you to want to ride a lot?

Its 6 of 1 and half dozen of the other for the most part. They both have the same disc brakes, same futureshock stem, same crankset, same overall totally unknown generic wheelset.
The biggest difference, and its an easy change, is that the Tiagra comes with more beginner and hill friendly gearing. But again, thats a $50 change if you get the 105.

Get whichever feels best and makes you happy.
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Old 03-01-19, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Current generation Tiagra and current generation 105 will both be way more than what a beginner(or really even an experienced enthusiast) needs. Neither will hold a beginner rider back in any way.
Same with both frames- neither will hold a beginner rider back in any way.

Both are more bike than whats needed, so its really just a matter of which you like more. Totally subjective in the end. Which looks better? Which feels better? Which will inspire you to want to ride a lot?

Its 6 of 1 and half dozen of the other for the most part. They both have the same disc brakes, same futureshock stem, same crankset, same overall totally unknown generic wheelset.
The biggest difference, and its an easy change, is that the Tiagra comes with more beginner and hill friendly gearing. But again, thats a $50 change if you get the 105.

Get whichever feels best and makes you happy.
Thanks for the all the help! Do you mean it's a $50 change to move from Tiagra to 105?
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Old 03-01-19, 11:18 AM
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Having just purchased a Diverge I rode several different 2018 and 2019 models. Specialized tweaked the geometry a bit for 2019 and when riding similar models I could feel that the 2019 rode a little better for me.

One thing you didn't mention was overall pricing and your budget. I was finding the 2018 Diverge Comp carbon with the 5800 series 105 and RS505 hydraulic brakes for $2500 pretty regularly. After riding a 2019 Carbon Diverge with 4700 series Tiagra I felt it shifted better and rode nicer than the better spec'd 2018 comp. For $2500 it's a very nice bike.

https://www.specialized.com/us/en/me...=227305-154305

The current 2019 Diverge Comp with the 7000 series 105 is $3000 and is a good choice as well.

The poster above who said it is cheaper to buy a better spec'd bike than buy a lower model and build it up is spot on. But if your budget is limiting your choices I would get the nicer carbon frame and look at upgrading it a little at a time as more money becomes available.
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Old 03-01-19, 11:19 AM
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A year ago I was looking at the same bikes (but 2018 models of course) and I went for the E5 Comp with 105. But you should be aware that the carbon frame has greater tire clearance than the Al frame if running wider tires is important.

At least with the 2018, the Aluminum Diverge maxes out at about a 38mm tire, whereas the carbon frames all have greater clearance though I can't remember how much greater.

It didn't matter much to me because I'm using the bike primarily as a winter road bike with the odd bit of gravel, but if I was doing some serious gravel riding I'd opt for the carbon frame to get the bigger tire clearance.
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Old 03-01-19, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by DPlan View Post
Thanks for the all the help! Do you mean it's a $50 change to move from Tiagra to 105?
I'm assuming he is talking about changing the cassette. The current Diverge gearing isn't very friendly for the steep climbs associated with riding off road. You can upgrade the cassette easily with most priced at $50 or less for the parts. Talk to the bike shop about this at the time of purchase as many shops will discount any upgrades made on a new bike.
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Old 03-01-19, 11:24 AM
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I find it criminal that Spez wants $2k for two bikes that don't come with hydraulic disc. I would look elsewhere just for that reason.
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Old 03-01-19, 11:28 AM
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One other suggestion is to take a look at the Canyon Grail CF SL 7.0 at $2,499.00. It has a carbon frame and full 105 components and hydraulic brakes. I liked the bike a lot and also liked the unusual handle bar. The price is good for what you get. Canyon sells direct which is why the pricing is good, cuts out the middleman. The Grail gets great reviews from the Grail owners and it has a larger tire clearance.

The only issue with the grail is that you can't test ride the bike like the Diverge.

Last edited by CodyDog; 03-01-19 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 03-01-19, 11:34 AM
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They have a Grail SL 7.0 from last year in size Large for $2000 as well. Not sure what the size the OP is looking at but even that is a better deal and bike than any of the Diverges.
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Old 03-01-19, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by gus6464 View Post
They have a Grail SL 7.0 from last year in size Large for $2000 as well. Not sure what the size the OP is looking at but even that is a better deal and bike than any of the Diverges.
The grail is fugly. The bars are fugly. And can you even install a standard stem? Honestly I'm not sure about that.

The Diverge has the future shock which to many is just as big of an issue as the grail's design. Everyone has their own opinion of what they think is best.

Canyon has a good business model and stands behind their product but with no local dealers it's difficult to see if the bike even fits well. That was a deal breaker for me.
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Old 03-01-19, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Bryan C. View Post

Canyon has a good business model and stands behind their product but with no local dealers it's difficult to see if the bike even fits well. That was a deal breaker for me.
That also was the deal breaker for me.
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Old 03-01-19, 12:21 PM
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I was going to suggest to not limit yourself to just the Specialized Diverge, but it appears others have beat me to that. Factors to consider... maximum tire size, 650b compatibility (there's a distinct possibility you may want 47/50/even wider-sized tires to really experience the gravel of gravel biking), hydro vs mech disc brakes, 11-speed vs 10-speed, 2x vs 1x drivetrain, and crankset chainring teeth (48/32 is fine), plus the number of mounts on the bike, especially nice if there are 2-bolt or 3-bolt mounts on the fork in case you want to someday try a little extended bike-packing or long-day non competitive adventure riding in remote areas. Also, don't discount steel as a frame material. And heck yeah, even color can matter

"...but isn't the Tiagra set on the Sport less desirable than the 105 on the Comp?" Generally, yes. You're going to be sitting on this bike for endless miles I'm assuming. Maybe you should find something that comes as you desire. The equivalent of a Carbon frame/105 group as an example, and not settle on a compromise. It's always cheaper to buy the bike fully configured as you wish, than to upgrade an entire groupset.

You state that you are new to this world of cycling. Specialized, Trek, and Giant are the big names with the big advertising budgets and dealer networks. But there are other brands just as good. For instance, what i call second-tier (only due to awareness/advertising budgets): Kona, Niner, Norco, Jamis, Salsa, Diamondback, etc. And this doesn't even touch on the truly boutique brands.

There are so many choices now for a good gravel bike, it can be daunting to narrow it down. In the end, whichever you choose, just ride and have fun. And good luck!

eric/fresno, ca.

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Old 03-01-19, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by DPlan View Post
Thanks for the all the help! Do you mean it's a $50 change to move from Tiagra to 105?
Its around that to get a new cassette for the 105 bike that would match the range of the stock tiagra cassette.

As mentioned- either bike will be more bike that you need, so either will be a great option for you. There is no losing here.
...tons of other brands with even better spec for the $ or similar spec for the $ if you really want to go down the rabbit hole. All those bikes will also be more bike than you need.
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Old 03-01-19, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by ericzamora View Post
I was going to suggest to not limit yourself to just the Specialized Diverge, but it appears others have beat me to that. Factors to consider... maximum tire size, 650b compatibility (there's a distinct possibility you may want 47/50/even wider-sized tires to really experience the gravel of gravel biking), hydro vs mech disc brakes, 11-speed vs 10-speed, 2x vs 1x drivetrain, and crankset chainring teeth (48/32 is fine), plus the number of mounts on the bike, especially nice if there are 2-bolt or 3-bolt mounts on the fork in case you want to someday try a little extended bike-packing or long-day non competitive adventure riding in remote areas. Also, don't discount steel as a frame material. And heck yeah, even color can matter

"...but isn't the Tiagra set on the Sport less desirable than the 105 on the Comp?" Generally, yes. You're going to be sitting on this bike for endless miles I'm assuming. Maybe you should find something that comes as you desire. The equivalent of a Carbon frame/105 group as an example, and not settle on a compromise. It's always cheaper to buy the bike fully configured as you wish, than to upgrade an entire groupset.

You state that you are new to this world of cycling. Specialized, Trek, and Giant are the big names with the big advertising budgets and dealer networks. But there are other brands just as good. For instance, what i call second-tier (only due to awareness/advertising budgets): Kona, Niner, Norco, Jamis, Salsa, Diamondback, etc. And this doesn't even touch on the truly boutique brands.

There are so many choices now for a good gravel bike, it can be daunting to narrow it down. In the end, whichever you choose, just ride and have fun. And good luck!

eric/fresno, ca.
Thanks! They actually had a Grail at the LBS near my house!

Yeah, I've been down a rabbit hole on the Diverge alone, and now I am getting deeper. I should've been sleeping last night, but was doing a ton of research and finally posted this before bed. After posting, it was hard to fall asleep!

I really am open to anything and appreciate everyone's opinions. I will take as many comments and suggestions as I can get. Keep them coming, everyone!
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Old 03-02-19, 05:29 PM
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I vote carbon. It's way easier to upgrade the group than the frame.
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Old 03-02-19, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
I vote carbon. It's way easier to upgrade the group than the frame.
Back in 2018 I was looking at the Carbon Comp w/ the 105 group and I knew I wanted this bike but I also wanted an Ultegra spec'ed model which they didn't offer in 2018. I ended up getting the Carbon Sport (for the frame) and did a little dealing with my LBS to trade the tiagra groupset shifters/derailleurs and mech brakes towards the seat post that comes with the Comp model and better flared Hover bars. I also purchased and got a free install of the new R8020 series Ultegra shifters/derailleurs and hydro brakes. My bike ended up about $400 less than the 2019 Ultegra model that they now offer. I still need to upgrade my wheels, but with the 11-spd 11-34 cassette and a 48/32 crank this bike really performs well on both the street and gravel.

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Old 03-03-19, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by RideMyLeMond View Post
Back in 2018 I was looking at the Carbon Comp w/ the 105 group and I knew I wanted this bike but I also wanted an Ultegra spec'ed model which they didn't offer in 2018. I ended up getting the Carbon Sport (for the frame) and did a little dealing with my LBS to trade the tiagra groupset shifters/derailleurs and mech brakes towards the seat post that comes with the Comp model and better flared Hover bars. I also purchased and got a free install of the new R8020 series Ultegra shifters/derailleurs and hydro brakes. My bike ended up about $400 less than the 2019 Ultegra model that they now offer. I still need to upgrade my wheels, but with the 11-spd 11-34 cassette and a 48/32 crank this bike really performs well on both the street and gravel.
Well done.
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