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What is the Industry's Response to Roubaix and Diverge?

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What is the Industry's Response to Roubaix and Diverge?

Old 11-10-17, 03:51 AM
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city_cowboy
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What is the Industry's Response to Roubaix and Diverge?

Trek has isospeed front and rear, but none of the other major road manufacturers have a viable competitor for Specialized's Roubaix/Diverge.

Cannondale has the Slate but this is a niche design for gravel. The Roubaix's marketing is aimed squarely at the mainstream road bike market. They've expanded use of FS and their CG-R seatpost to the Diverge as well. There are at least a dozen models with either FS or CGR or both, as standard spec.

Giant, nor any other major road bike manufacturer has since introduced suspension componentry for road or gravel bikes. Pinarello and Calfee have introduced rear sus designs with differing and likely effective design philosophies but these are one off, $10K+ bikes not intended for mass market sales.

With the sudden proliferation of gravel and 'cross bikes, it's very surprising that there aren't more manufacturers throwing their hat in the suspension ring.

Who is going to challenge Specialized going forward?
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Old 11-10-17, 04:19 AM
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There are options if they want to compete... I wouldn't be surprised if we see some suspension stems on mass production bikes, for instance.
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Old 11-10-17, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by city_cowboy View Post
Trek has isospeed front and rear, but none of the other major road manufacturers have a viable competitor for Specialized's Roubaix/Diverge.

Who is going to challenge Specialized going forward?


I'm not surprised the other manufacturers aren't buying in (yet). I'm somewhat surprised that Specialized isn't offering a traditional alternative to the flex bikes in their high-end offerings. "Future Shock" and springy seatposts and decouplers have their niche, but they aren't for everyone.


The decouplers and "shock" offerings are a trade-off. They have their disadvantages to go with the advantages. The flex mechanisms add weight, introduce flex to the bike, add something else that can break and that will need service/replacement eventually and, in certain circumstances, rob power that could have been used making the bike move forward. There's a reason Niki Terpstra's "Future Shock" had a rigid insert in place of the shock at this year's Paris-Roubaix. They wanted the appearance of using a "Future Shock" in a big race for marketing points . . . but Niki (and perhaps others) felt that a rigid frame was the better/faster way to go. (And if the rigid insert hadn't failed, we would not have been the wiser for it.) Take a look at the MTB market. Mountain bikes have had full suspension for a very long time, but hardtails are still a huge part of the market. The need/desire for light weight and stiffness / efficiency sometimes makes suspension not the best option. And let's face it . . . to a large segment of the cycling community, the various decouplers and shocks and zig-zag seatposts appear to be just so much expensive, heavy gimmickry.


I was bike shopping just yesterday. The flex coupler / shock bikes didn't do very well with me. I wanted to like the S-Works Diverge, but the shock action took it out of consideration. After testing the Diverge, the S-Works Roubaix was out of contention. But then, I don't like MTB suspension, either. (It's heavy and it causes inefficient power transfer.) I like my bikes light and I want them stiff. A lot of the market (including Niki Terpstra) feels the same way.


Engineering and producing a flex / decoupler / mini-shock bike is expensive. Maybe the rest of the manufacturers have decided that Specialized and Trek have filled the niche.
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Old 11-10-17, 08:05 AM
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This post seems to presume an answer is needed.
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Old 11-10-17, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
"Future Shock" and springy seatposts and decouplers have their niche, but they aren't for everyone.
Yup. Not interested - I'd spend more energy avoiding these features than seeking them out.
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Old 11-10-17, 08:51 AM
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For someone like me who's 50+, doesn't race, and was focusing on long term comfort for multiple hours in the saddle, I think they work work better than anything else out there at the moment, especially that you can go with 30+mm tires. I have multiple bikes for different purposes though.

When the need arises for flat out stiffness and speed, there's other options. I test rode Trek's Emonda series and was pretty impressed. I would prefer that over the Tarmac any day.

If I could only choose one for most of the riding I do, I would go Roubaix in a second, for the way "I" ride, but that's not for everyone.

I do think a few other manufacturers are looking at some options, but probably keeping an eye on sales to see how these FS equipped bikes are doing. Its only been out a year. I can't speak to long term maintenance yet either for that reason.
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Old 11-10-17, 08:54 AM
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What was the industry's response to Zertz? Bigger tires, lower pressures, I think. Same here.
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Old 11-10-17, 09:12 AM
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These features are neither new or innovative. Just unnecessary gimmicks to sell bikes. These things will last just long enough to be discontinued so that when it needs repaired, the manufacturer will not support it.
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Old 11-10-17, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Moose View Post
These features are neither new or innovative. Just unnecessary gimmicks to sell bikes. These things will last just long enough to be discontinued so that when it needs repaired, the manufacturer will not support it.

Yep. Let some air out of your tires
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Old 11-10-17, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by memebag View Post
What was the industry's response to Zertz? Bigger tires, lower pressures, I think. Same here.


Agreed. My impression of Future Shock + zig-zag seatpost on the S-Works Diverge is that, for really big, hard-edged bumps (like curbs) that might cause a tubed tire to pinch flat, the features on the Diverge would be better than bigger TUBED tires at lower pressures. But for merely rough roads (up through cobblestones), bigger tires at lower pressures are clearly superior. A 38mm tire at 50 to 55 psi gives a very smooth, fast-rolling ride that makes all the flexy frame stuff unnecessary.


It seemed to me that the valving on the Future Shock is oriented toward high speed compliance -- it deals well with big, jarring bumps. Slow speed compliance wasn't that great. You could still feel chipseal and gravel texture and expansion joints through the bike. (You don't feel that so much with a bigger tire at lower pressures.)
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Old 11-10-17, 10:48 AM
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I've been seriously looking at the Diverge and Slate lately. I have a problem with my shoulder (plus I'm getting old) and the idea of getting rid of the impacts is very appealing. It's for sure not something for everyone but if it'll keep my on a bike I'm very much in favor. I already have an old canondale CX bike with a head shock and I really love it.
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Old 11-10-17, 12:23 PM
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Has anyone added the CG-R seatpost to their bike? How much of a difference did you feel? The aesthetics alone makes the purchase tempting.
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Old 11-10-17, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by DoYouDiverge View Post
Has anyone added the CG-R seatpost to their bike? How much of a difference did you feel? The aesthetics alone makes the purchase tempting.
I actually see it the other way. The CG-R post is very ugly in my view.
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Old 11-10-17, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by memebag View Post
What was the industry's response to Zertz? Bigger tires, lower pressures, I think. Same here.
+1. More plush riding and fast rolling tires in the 28-32mm size range make this engineering strategy viable. Sometimes the simplest solution is the best solution.
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Old 11-10-17, 01:26 PM
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According to this article I would believe the low seat post clamp which allows the shaft to flex more on the new Roubaix and Diverge is what provides the compliance, not the design of the CG-R itself. I picked up an Ergon and should have an opportunity to try it this weekend.

Best soft-riding rigid seatposts for road, dirt, and gravel - BikeRadar USA

Originally Posted by DoYouDiverge View Post
Has anyone added the CG-R seatpost to their bike? How much of a difference did you feel? The aesthetics alone makes the purchase tempting.
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Old 11-10-17, 02:17 PM
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I thought Trek had a "moving seatpost" model, perhaps a few years ago? I can't recall the name of it, where the seatpost tube was not physically connected to the seat stays, at least not in a traditional way. I predicted frame breakages. Have no idea what the status of them is.

As to the rest, I hear a lot of blather downing the Roubaix.....If you have ridden one and can afford it, you know why it's so popular. They are comfortable and good riding bikes. They really do dampen the rough road a lot.
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Old 11-10-17, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Juan Foote View Post
I thought Trek had a "moving seatpost" model, perhaps a few years ago? I can't recall the name of it, where the seatpost tube was not physically connected to the seat stays, at least not in a traditional way. I predicted frame breakages. Have no idea what the status of them is.

As to the rest, I hear a lot of blather downing the Roubaix.....If you have ridden one and can afford it, you know why it's so popular. They are comfortable and good riding bikes. They really do dampen the rough road a lot.
They still have the isolation feature, IsoSpeed they call it, for the seat tube and now have moved it on up to the head tube as well.
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Old 11-10-17, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
+1. More plush riding and fast rolling tires in the 28-32mm size range make this engineering strategy viable. Sometimes the simplest solution is the best solution.
How much width and squishiness should you add to make it comparable? Add 20mm of tire height/width to match the 20mm of travel from a FutureShock? Then we'll be riding road bikes with tires that are around 2" wide...
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Old 11-10-17, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
How much width and squishiness should you add to make it comparable? Add 20mm of tire height/width to match the 20mm of travel from a FutureShock? Then we'll be riding road bikes with tires that are around 2" wide...
A cyclist should be using his arms and legs as a suspension element. I've descended rutted and washboard gravel roads at 30mph and never wanted a suspension on the bike. I certainly did want the right tires at the right air pressure.

I'm using 700x30 Schwalbe S-One tubeless on one of my bikes. It's very smooth at 80 psi on the rear, less on the front.

I'm planning on a new "comfort" road bike for the longer rides on chipseal roads in my area. I'm considering the Black Mountain Road bike frame. It fits a 700x33 tire but accepts caliper brakes. See: Road Frames - Black Mountain Cycles
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Old 11-10-17, 04:04 PM
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I tried isospeed on an entry level aluminum trek model a couple of years ago. Not impressed. It didn't seem to add much compliance and the seat pivot was noisy. I rode over multiple large potholes and I felt the brunt of each completely. It felt like a rigid bike to me.

I'm told the carbon version allows for more travel and comfort, especially now that it's adjustable.

I haven't ridden FS yet but these models are getting raves on this site and from multiple reviewers. I think this is the way going forward for me.

Once I can come up with $4K to $5K for the model I want, that is.
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Old 11-10-17, 07:46 PM
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I'd like to know why they axed the Secteur. I liked that line. It was like a Roubaix for the rest of us.
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Old 11-10-17, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by city_cowboy View Post
Who is going to challenge Specialized going forward?
Seeing as how i just looked up the '18 Diverge line and a Claris equipped bike with Mira brakes costs $1000, i would say there are a lot of companies who will continue to challenge Specialized moving forward.
Good lord- Claris and Mira @ $1k?

Its just a disc brake endurance bike that can fit 42mm tires.

I have yet to end a ride thinking i would have had more fun, gone faster, or hurt less with 2cm of travel on my stem/handlebars.

Claris and Mira @ $1000. Funny.
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Old 11-11-17, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Seeing as how i just looked up the '18 Diverge line and a Claris equipped bike with Mira brakes costs $1000, i would say there are a lot of companies who will continue to challenge Specialized moving forward.
Good lord- Claris and Mira @ $1k?

Its just a disc brake endurance bike that can fit 42mm tires.

I have yet to end a ride thinking i would have had more fun, gone faster, or hurt less with 2cm of travel on my stem/handlebars.

Claris and Mira @ $1000. Funny.
The $1k model does not even have the front suspension. You don't get that until you hit the $1,800 price point. That's 105 and Tektro Spyre mechanical brakes. A hefty chunk of change for that configuration as well.

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Old 11-11-17, 04:18 PM
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I believe a lot can be achieved with a properly designed "rigid" frame and +size tyres. I did how ever try a top of the line, all tricked out, Domane and it certainly is sweet.

That said. Is anybody aware of a proper exploded view or good disassembly video of the isospeed headset? I have a hard time wrapping my head around the concept and what it is actually meant to do?
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Old 11-11-17, 05:44 PM
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2:04 explanation and graphic of isospeed front and rear

The steerer tube flexes back and forth inside of the head tube. There is a cup that pivots on hinges inside the head tube and a rubber gasket/seal that both limit/guide/damp movement as well.

This makes me wonder what the failure rates are or will be for the CG-R seatpost mounted inside of the seat tube, as it seems to be a primitive or stripped down version of the isospeed design.

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