Prototype Specialized S-Works Roubaix Disc Brake Bike Ridden, More “Special” Bikes!
We sorta knew this was coming. After all, even Specialized’s folks admitted the Roubaix Expert Disc was brought into the line last year because they already had the Roubaix Disc frame ready, they just didn’t have a full hydraulic group available to make a top-level S-Works model.
Well, thanks to the new SRAM Red Hydro-R hydraulic disc brake group, now they do.
The Specialized S-Works Roubaix Disc was our test bike for the new brakes last week, and from appearances it’s largely the same as the Expert level. That’s not to say there aren’t different layups hiding under the paint…
The Roubaix got a pretty good makeover last year, so we don’t suspect the overall frame to change too much, but it does look like they might be playing with some fork design.
The Expert runs the cable across a small guide on the inside of the leg but lacked this additional guide on the top/front. Honestly, it looks like it was placed there for testing, it’s not as elegant a solution as we’d expect from Specialized.
The cobra shaped headtube and scooped cable entry ports were pretty slick looking, though.
The Expert Roubaix Disc uses Specialized’s Fact IS 10r carbon, but current S-Works level frames (shown here on a rim brake model) are 11r. Unfortunately, all of our photos of the disc bike obscure the number behind the rotor and Specialized doesn’t comment on upcoming products, so we’ll have to double check the frames at Sea Otter. Stay tuned. Regardless of layup, expect this bike to be one of the more talked about items at this summer’s product launch.
In older news, one of SRAM’s crew was riding this custom made Team Saxo Bank bike built for the cobbled classics about three years ago. Byron at Bike Hugger shared these with us (read his story here) and pointed out that the frame is essentially a Tarmac front triangle with Roubaix fork and stays, giving it race-level performance plus a little Zertz-damped cushion over the rough European paths.
The dropout and derailleur hanger was cold forged solid steel, ensuring it wouldn’t get bent or damaged in a crash. It’s a far cry from the lightweight carbon and/or alloy replaceable parts on production bikes.