Specialized have a knack for creating event winning bikes. Their Roubaix has 6 wins to it’s name at the infamous Paris-Roubaix Classic, but not wanting to rest on their laurels they have further developed the Roubaix for the 2020 models.
The challenge for the Specialized team was to make the rough, smooth, because, as we all know, smoother is faster. So how did they make a great Roubaix even better?
A new Roubaix FACT 10r carbon frame has been designed using the Specialized Win Tunnel with FreeFoil shaped tubes giving the new Roubaix aerodynamics that matches their Tarmac SL6 whilst still retaining great compliance. Not stopping there, Specialized ensured low weight and ride quality by utilising their Rider-First design concept - giving optimal stiffness and compliance throughout all the size range, which has also seriously reduced the frame’s weight. And for the rougher roads, the new Roubaix has room for 33mm tyres.
Stiff, light, high-performance road bikes are not commonly known for their comfort but Specialized realise the importance of ensuring a rider’s fatigue is kept to a minimum. Their newly designed S-Works Pave seatpost is both aerodynamic and compliant and adds very little to the frame’s weight. It’s a D-shaped design as fitted to the Tarmac but the new Pave post upper has added flex and is combined with a drop-clamp design built into the frame. It offers lots of compliance and remains balanced with the front-end. So even when the road is rough, the rider benefits from a smooth and balanced ride.
Up front Specialized uses their Future Shock system. Depending on the Roubaix model, you’ll find the Future Shock 1.5 or the 2.0. The 1.5 offers 20mm of travel, which again, helps reduce fatigue on your upper body whilst adding speed over those rougher segments. The Future Shock 2.0 takes it a little further and was developed in conjunction with the demands of pro riders, who suffer the cobbles of Roubaix and other such torturous classic races. The 2.0 has a knob fitted to the top of the stem. It allows the rider to adjust compression while the hydraulically-damped innards take care of the rebound. It can be adjusted from fully open to stiff, so when the cobbles stop and the smooth, open road beckons, you’ve got a stiffer front end with no travel. Specialized’s Future Shock system really does reduce fatigue and increase speed, especially over the rough stuff.
With a choice of spec there’s sure to be a new 2020 Roubaix for just about everybody. From the Roubaix Sport in a choice of two colour schemes, equipped with Shimano 105 and DT R470 wheels to the S-Works, spec’d with SRAM Red Etap AXS and the very best Specialized Roval CLX 32 wheelset or a Dura Ace Di2 spec’d version with Roval CLX 50 wheelset. There’s even a couple of Sagan Collection models, with a Comp Ultegra Version and an S-Works Dura-Ace Di2 model for those with a few extra pennies.
The smaller sizes (44cm to 52cm) come with a 155mm saddle, rather than the standard 143mm. Specialized understands that smaller frame sizes are very often bought by female riders (although not exclusively) and with this in mind, the stem, bars and cranks are all shorter or narrower. Specialized believes that cycling goes beyond gender, and this new Roubaix is sure to be popular with male and female riders alike.
Every bit of the new Roubaix has been designed and engineered around performance, with a huge amount of thought given to reducing rider fatigue, increasing comfort and ensuring the bike is fast, even when the terrain says slow.