specialzied Diverge It would be hard to pinpoint a specific moment in time when adventure biking became a marketable concept, but if you put a finger on the pulse of road biking today, the gravel grinding concept would be the thing that gets the most rider’s hearts pumping.

The formula of course is simple. We’ve been doing it for years, since we were kids really. Except back then, it was just tromping through the woods on mis-adjusted bikes.

Today, a combination of carbon technology, reliable wheels, and disc brakes, makes the world beyond pavement far more comfortable to explore. Taking off where cyclocross bikes left off, the new Diverge models from Specialized are purpose built to conquer dirt roads and goat trails.  Prototype Specialized Gravel Grinder Adventure Bike Crubaixwol On the French website (where we found most of our information), there are only two Diverge models currently listed. Here in the US, we found six different models in the dealer catalog.

The top of the line Diverge model will  feature internally routed Ultegra Di2, Roval Control Carbon wheels, and Specialized branded everything else.

The seatpost on this model is the new XCP height adjustable seatpost, which is actually targeted towards  the XC market. It is only available in a 27.2 and has two positions, power & cruiser, and drops a total of 35mm. It also has a carbon lower tube construction, which helps keep weight down. Claimed weight on the 350mm length version is 380g and 400 g for the 400mm long model.

Speicalized DivergeOne step down from the Di2 Model is the Expert Carbon, which has an Ultegra drivetrain, Shimano 785 discs, and DT Axis 4.0 Disc wheels.  This is the model which was was teased last month, during the Seek & Diverge Deux North Ride.Specialized Diverge Comp Carbon 2015 The Comp Carbon model currently listed on the website has a 105 drivetrain, Shimano 785 hydros, Axis 4.0 Disc wheels, and is finished with Specialized components. Specialized Diverge Elite A1The last three Diverge models are aluminum. The top of the line alloy model is the Smartweld, and features a similar build kit to the Comp (105 drivetrain, 785 hydro discs) but has slightly more affordable Axis 3.0 wheels, and less carbon finishing kit.

The next stop down is this Elite A1 (pictured above), which has a full Tiagra drivetrain, Tektro Spyre mechanical disc brakes, and clearance for up to 35mm tires.

Lastly, there is the Diverge Sport, which has a 9 speed Shimano Sora drivetrain, Tektro Spyre disc brakes, and should come in at a price anyone looking for an entry level road bike can afford. We have no official word on pricing yet, but will update when we learn more. Specialized Diverge GeometryThe geometry of the bike is intended to be comfortable for all day epics and will be available in six different sizes.


  1. It only sounds dumb until you try it. Gravel is catching on. It makes sense to do your training on safer roads, with more scenery and more route options. I think its a great segment, but i really don’t think i’d diverge from my cross bike. I realize there may be slight geometry differences, but whats the point of having a cross bike and gravel bike in your quiver?

  2. Riding anywhere has been the way biking started, just look at those popular classic TdF photos. Road racing bikes in theory should have never been the way most people entered the sport. ‘cross bikes, and now these, are more fun and more useful for most entrants. Whether these bikes are ultimately better or more useful (or more cost effective) than a ‘cross bike is yet to be determined.

  3. So it’s basically a Roubaix with more tire clearance and a shorter seat tube? That’s nice and all, but it begs the question- why can’t they pony up for new molds for a proper 650b mountain bike?

  4. Hmmmm….don’t know what’s so new here. I remember when we used to ride our old steel framed, single speed, coaster brake equipped, go-anywhere bicycles through ANYTHING we could find. Living out in the country, pavement was scarce. Gravel was the norm. Mud, gravel, bush trails, ditches, fields – it was all fair game to us yun’ uns’. If you didn’t have scabs on your knees or elbows from crashing and burning on the edge of a gravel road – you weren’t trying hard enough. Didn’t know we were WAY ahead of the curve as far as bicycle development went. Wow – I was a trend setter !! 🙂 Oops – showing my age here.

  5. Saris- I thought the Shimano 785 stuff was the Di2 hyrdo. Did you mean to say the 685 mechanical versions on the Expert and Comp Carbon?
    I think it is funny that Specialized went with thru-axles on this when they were quoted earlier this year saying ‘thru axles don’t add anything’ http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/gallery-specialized-tarmac-disc-and-new-rim-brake-tarmac-released
    That dropper post sounds really rad! Will it work with a remote lever? Not sure how that would set up with drop bars, but I like the short travel design.

  6. Calling the activity of riding dirt and gravel roads “gravel grinding” makes perfect sense. Calling a bike that can do that type of riding along with all sorts of other road riding a “gravel grinder”, not so much.
    I have been anticipating this bike since it was first rumored. I like the high headset and the low bottom bracket on the Diverge, but if they really made it only fit tires up to 35mm wide, I may just stick with the Crux, which can run MSO 40s.

  7. @Wako29

    The complete builds have not been published yet, but I was able to source much of built information from the current dealer catalog (which has been uploaded online by various shop wrenches for forum use, etc…)

    In that catalog, it appeared that the company would be spec’ng 785 Shimano hydros on the higher end builds, and the well received Tektros elsewhere.

    Those builds lists are subject to change, so we couldn’t say with complete certainty what the bikes will look like when the arrive at dealers.


    Thanks for the heads up. Will update shortly.

  8. @ miles, or miles_e on other forums, what’s your hangup with specialized? It’s not as if they are making funky geometry bikes by repurposing existing molds, they can tweek the geometry via the rear triangle and spacers, which is fine engineering practice.

  9. I think they could have called last years Secteur disc models EVO precursors to those alloy Diverges. Tire clearance is identical and frame looks awfully close. Is S retiring some nameplates perhaps?

  10. im not sure why theres CX bikes and those since they both can do well in gravel, etc and on the road. but hey, maybe its easier to market, or maybe the geo is a lil more relax.

    that being said ive been ridin my CX as a “gravel” bike for a long time and im not picking up the road bike. I mean, why care? The road bike is only advantageous if i would race or care being 3min early.

    With the CX (or gravel bike or what not) i can take those sand, gravel, even muddy path with no problem. They also are SO MUCH MORE COMFY on the road. Running those larger tires at low pressure (100PSI is not low. 30PSI is.) is so addictive even on pavement/asphalt, what not.

    Basically, yes, high performance CX/gravel bikes are a lot more fun even on the road for me. (and no, i wont get the diverge – the CX is fine for a few more years at least and works just the same)

  11. Nice BB drop and overall geometry I think for its intended use. The Crux has a pretty good BB drop for a cross bike; many of the older European cross bikes typically had higher bottom brackets which I think degrades road use particularly if you do a lot of descending and I also prefer a lower BB even off road as long as it is not too rocky given the extra stability.

    Anyway, looks like a great all arounder for those so inclined. I have a carbon cross bike that is good enough, but this one looks like a keeper for the crossover riding that some people like.


  12. What’s not to like about Roubaix geometry with a shorter head tube and massive (we hope) tire clearance? @Hoshie99 gets it.

    @Matt According to the .be site, it’s spec’d with “30/32” Roubaix (i.e. slick) tires. I’m not certain, but that might be a new size for that tire.

  13. Hmm, perhaps this is the bike my Tricross wants to be when it grows up, but it still looks more like a racing machine than an “adventure bike”. Not much room for a Tangle pack, that’s for sure. A single CO2 inflater strapped to the seat tube? Yeah, that’s “self-supported” all right.

    I do dig the skinny seat stays, though. It probably rides washboards way better than my aluminum monster… or it will when those Axis wheels are mounted in the garage where they belong. Are those through-axles? Good for them, everybody else step it up!

  14. A CX bike is a competition bike with a high BB for sidehills found on CX courses.

    A gravel grinder is a sporty touring bike with stability and comfort in mind, but without cargo.

    After building up a bike to go off road, I realized I have to drive pretty far to do it, so I went back to just having a plain old road bike, which is perfectly good for anyone that does their riding on paved surfaces, which is most people.

  15. @ Mr anonymous

    There’s a few hundred miles of singletrack within riding distance of my house, and a few fire/gravel roads.

    Great road biking though.

    I couldn’t use one here, but when I lived in North texas, there were gravel roads aplenty.

    It must be a regional thing.

  16. ^i’m with William. many of us have complained about the lack of thru-axles on 2015’s so far. good move, Specialized. next step is thru-axles for the whole line!

  17. So…. we have road bikes, hybrid bikes (which includes the sub-specialties city, trekking, and comfort), mountain bikes, CX bikes, recumbents, trikes, cruisers, triathlon bikes, touring, randonnuers, 29’ers, 650B’s, time trial bikes, BMX, track bikes… There are more, I know, but already some of these are simply “refinements” of others and to me, are already not in a category of their own… (I happen to agree with many of the comments above where we simply took what we had and rode it where we wanted (I happened to have a purple 5-speed Huffy Railbird – when you’re a kid, it goes where you want it to).

    “Gravel Bike” Really? Half of the bikes above can easily be ridden in/on “gravel”, without marketing a new bike based on a surface. So what’s next? Concrete bikes vs blacktop? Leafy road bikes vs dry and clear road bikes?

    We really are suckers for marketing these days.

    Whatever make ya happy!

  18. @esc8engn, can’t put through axles on race bikes…need to be able to change wheels in mere seconds. This is also another separation from CX bikes like the Crux.

  19. the BB on my crux is about the same as on race road bikes. i also think this diverge is close enough to a crux. it targets a different market, but the bike can be used in pretty similar ways.

    I think i would still prefer the crux for slightly more hardcore “gravel” tho, no weird zertz and slightly beefier frame (granted that the 2015 model comes with thru axels and all the tralala as well)

  20. We Europeans do not understand this concept, as we have been riding our road bikes on gravel for years. The first tours were on dirt. Just get more durable tyres.

  21. @Klaus: Gravel, at least in the US, tends to require wider tires. Tire clearance on many (most?) road bikes maxes out at 25mm or maybe 28cmm. Nobody is riding the DK200 or Trans Iowa on road bikes with skinny tires.

  22. That’s right John, tires are the absolute key and if you are going to use it offroad for events like that, 35s are nice with many liking the 40s. I personally use 33s since I just re-use my cross tires (Grifos) but I can tell you that I could use a little wider on some of our sandy SoCal trails with exposed rock in the hard pack.

    I think the balance is that if 90-99% of your riding is on road, but you want more capability on a whim or for a few gravel rides, you can definitely get away with 28s for some limited excursions and be just fine. If you plan to have a higher mix of dirt, and the terrain is a little more choppy or washed out, then a cross bike or one of this new “gravel / all arounder” category is perhaps a better option and then I’d look for the ability to fit 35s.

    If you plan to race cross, well then the answer is obvious….

    Micro niches – we have tons of them. That’s why I like my cross bike since I ride it frequently as my all arounder as we have enough mixed terrain around here to keep it interesting and fun.


  23. At a quick glance, that geometry chart looks identical to the current Secteur Disc/Roubaix Disc. I think some re-badging/re-marketing might be going on…

    The geometry for the carbon-fiber version is slightly different — it has a lower bottom bracket (74mm vs. 70mm), and slightly more fork rake/less trail (where the Secteur Disc already has more rake/less trail than most road bikes). But it still has relatively steep angles, low trail, and short chainstays (only 420mm for the largest size) compared to other gravel and cross bikes.

    I actually like the concept of a more roadie-like gravel bike — my CAADX gets a bit truckish with fatter tires, and is prone to crosswinds. I can’t imagine enjoying most “gravel” bikes with their even slacker geometry.

    But I was hoping for longer chainstays. When I test rode a Secteur Disc, it looked like it would barely fit 32s in the rear, and not with a fender. It’s possible they could have gotten a tad more clearance if they (re)moved the chainstay bridge.

  24. Saris – Which forums have the uploaded pages of the Diverge Ultegra Di2 model from the new dealer catalog? I’ve been searching, but have found nothing but actual photos from the dealer event.

  25. Hey it looks to be the next generation of geometry for the tri-cross. Maybe just to get the tri out of the name sense the triathlon market puts everything as “tri” now.

  26. Bike Rumor: There will also be a base model with Claris. Comp Carbon/105: $2700, Elite/Tiagra: $1400, Sport/Sora: $1250, Base/Claris: $1100.

  27. Prices and full specs were up this morning on specialized.com
    * Diverge A1………………………..$ 1,100.00
    * Diverge Sport A1………………$ 1,250.00
    * Diverge Elite A1………………..$ 1,400.00
    * Diverge Comp Smartweld…$ 2,700.00
    * Diverge Comp Carbon……….$ 3,500.00
    * Diverge Expert Carbon……..$ 4,000.00
    * Diverge Carbon Di2…………..$ 8,500.00

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