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Specialized Roubaix SL8 Adds Future Shock 3.0 & AfterShock Seatpost Flex

specialized roubaix SL8 ridden on cobbles
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Well, it’s not the interrupted seatpost design we saw a while back (that one became the Sirrus commuter bike), but the new Roubaix promises a heavenly ride when it’s hell on the ground.

Compared to the prior generation Roubaix that launched in 2019 with Future Shock 2.0, the new Roubaix SL8 looks similar but upgrades to Future Shock 3.0 and is lighter and smoother overall. And they say it’s more aero than anything in its class, so it’s faster, too. Here’s how:

Future Shock 3.0 & AfterShock

specialized roubaix SL8 closeup on future shock
All photos c. Specialized

The latest Future Shock still has 20mm of travel, but allows it to be tuned for any rider weight. Three springs -firm, medium, and soft- are available, and up to five preload spacers can be used to tune it even more. And they say it’s easy to do in just a few minutes, no more complicated than removing your stem.

This means lighter riders will get more benefit, and heavier riders won’t have to crank up the preload. They say it reduces impact forces reaching the bar by up to 53%, but there’s more…three different versions are offered:

  • The base model 3.1 allows the internal tuning and is undamped (Sport & Base models)
  • 3.2 adds damping, but maintains internal tuning only (Expert & Comp models)
  • Future Shock 3.3 adds external compression damping adjustment so you can tweak it while riding (S-Works & Pro models)

The 3.2 and 3.3 Future Shocks will be available aftermarket for those who want to upgrade later. It’s tougher, too, with a thicker boot and more seals to keep water and dust out.

specialized roubaix SL8 seatpost flex diagram

For the rear, they went with a simpler solution than the (very effective) suspension system employed by the Diverge. The AfterShock design uses their flexible Pavé seatpost to delivery plenty of rearward flex, aided by a dropped clamping mechanism that allows the post to be a longer lever.

specialized roubaix SL8 closeup on aftershock seatpost

The upper part of the seat tube is deeper than the rest, making room for a recessed wedge to clamp the post 65mm lower than normal. That means 65mm more post to flex, which means more travel at the saddle. Here’s a video showing it in action:

Lighter & more aero frame

specialized roubaix SL8 geometry comparison with SL7

The frame looks similar, but the seatstays sit a bit lower, the downtube is a bit deeper, and the head tube gets a slimmer hourglass figure.

specialized roubaix SL8 closeup on head tube

The front end’s updates continue with a new fork shape, too, and combined it adds up to a 4w drag savings. They say that’s good for 17.7 seconds saved over 100 miles, assuming you can pump out 3 watts per kilogram.

The carbon layup borrows from the Aethos and, on higher end models, gets 12r carbon to achieve a 50g lighter frame, even with wider tire clearance and more mounts. They claim a painted 56cm frame without hardware is 828g, and complete bike weights are:

  • S-Works = 7.3kg (FACT 12r)
  • Pro = 8.1kg (FACT 10r)
  • Expert = 8.6kg (FACT 10r)
  • Comp = 8.9kg (FACT 10r)
  • Sport = 8.9kg (FACT 10r)
  • Base = 9.46kg (FACT 10r)
specialized roubaix SL8 accessory mounts diagram

All models get three bottle cage mounts (one under the downtube), top tube bag mounts, and fender mounts.

Tire clearance & geometry changes

specialized roubaix SL8 ridden on cobbles

Tire clearance bumps up to 38-40mm tires, depending on tread pattern. It’s still not a gravel bike, but for cobbles and “fast gravel” races like SBT GRVL, it might be enough. It’s spec’d with their 32mm S-Works Mondo tires, but easily fits their 38mm Pathfinder tires, too…or a 28mm road tire, which is the smallest they recommend on this bike.

The geometry only sees one tweak – a bit longer reach, averaging 10mm across the size range. This pushes the front tire out more for better toe clearance when running larger tires, and the fit is easily maintained by running a slightly shorter stem.

Pricing and Specs

specialized roubaix SL8 S-Works
The new Specialized Roubaix SL8 S-Works.

Complete bikes range from $2,800 up to $14,000 for the S-Works model, with seven total builds available. Framesets use the top level FACT 12r carbon and come in at 5,500.

Specialized.com

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16 Comments
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Rydeman
Rydeman
7 months ago

New Futureshock can be retrofitted into a 2019 bike?

Rincoln
Rincoln
7 months ago
Reply to  Rydeman

And, can it work on an older Diverge too?

Daryl
Daryl
7 months ago
Reply to  Rincoln

I added the eeSilk stuff to my stock Diverge and its awesome… Feels the same as my buddy’s Diverge with future shock.

Matthew
Matthew
6 months ago
Reply to  Rydeman

Yes, and they released a compatability chart. It’s already on their website, available as an aftermarket upgrade

Mark Bastin
Mark Bastin
7 months ago

Hey Tyler..great write up. Question, did Specialized indicate if there is enough clearance to accommodate fenders for 32mm tires and up? BTW, we met many years ago at Fireside conference in Ontario Canada.

Seraph
Seraph
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark Bastin

I imagine that if it can fit 40c tires, it shouldn’t have any trouble with 32c tires and full fenders.

DefRyder
DefRyder
7 months ago

Someone help me out as I’m confused with the pricing schematic:

Canyon’s recently released new Endurace CF SLX 8 Areo has similarl specs as the Roubaix SL8 Pro, but is priced $3,000 less? Both bikes come with power meters, but Canyon has arguably better wheels (DT Swiss ERC 1400 Dicut).

Canyon utilizes their 2nd tier carbon fiber composite grade, Specialized uses FACT 10R which is also found in the base $2,800 Roubaix SL8. Does that mean the Roubaix SL8 Pro has parts that are worth $5,700 better despite using identical frame composite?

Anyway, could someone explain to me why Specialized feels justified in pricing a similarly spec’d Roubaix $3,000 more than the Canyon?

tertius_decimus
tertius_decimus
7 months ago
Reply to  DefRyder

Canyon is direct-to-consumer. Specialized is dealership based. All those middle men want to eat, hence the price difference. Too many middle men.

Yo-han
Yo-han
6 months ago

..but you may be happy those dealers are there if something goes wrong
Canyon bars or seatposts
Specialized headset/steerers
etc

AskP
AskP
7 months ago
Reply to  DefRyder

The Roubaix Pro is specced with Roval Terra CL II wheels.
I can find nothing else on these wheels but it looks to be a lighter version of the Terra CL, with the CL II using fewer spokes (21/24 vs 24/24)
So very much a nice wheelset (app. 1400g), where the weight is taken off at the rim, instead of the hubs.

tertius_decimus
tertius_decimus
7 months ago

*seatstay

alberto gato
7 months ago

a museum of great novelties

specialized fan
specialized fan
6 months ago

Why is there never any mention of the weight of the FutureShock? Last time I pulled one out to weigh it in the shop it was 470 grams, just over a US pound of extra weight FWIW

Yo-han
Yo-han
6 months ago

Sorry, $5.5k for a frameset? Huh?

Seraph
Seraph
6 months ago

I still don’t understand why they’re suddenly calling it the SL8. Kind of confusing since they have the Tarmac SL8, and the last generation of Roubaix wasn’t called the SL7.

mud
mud
6 months ago

These in-frame gimmicks are stupid. Just get a Redshift stem and Ergon suspension post.

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