Prototype Specialized S-Works Roubaix Disc Brake Bike Ridden, More “Special” Bikes!

Prototype Specialized S-Works Roubaix disc brake road bike with new SRAM Red Hydraulic Brakes

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…

Prototype Specialized S-Works Roubaix disc brake road bike with new SRAM Red Hydraulic Brakes

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.

Prototype Specialized S-Works Roubaix disc brake road bike with new SRAM Red Hydraulic Brakes

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.

Prototype Specialized S-Works Roubaix disc brake road bike with new SRAM Red Hydraulic Brakes

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.

Specialized Tarbaix roubaix tarmac mashup race bike

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.

Specialized Tarbaix roubaix tarmac mashup race bike

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.

Comments

Mark E. - 04/16/13 - 12:55pm

Can’t wait for all the inevitable Specialized hate comments.

Robo - 04/16/13 - 1:03pm

Glad to see the big players starting to step up to the disc-brake-road-bike plate…

bin judgin - 04/16/13 - 1:56pm

what size bb. 73 is a must.

wheelz - 04/16/13 - 2:22pm

You claimed it was “ridden,” so how did it ride? The disc Roubaix looks pretty nice. Would look better if they could run the front brake line inside the frork.

wheelz - 04/16/13 - 2:25pm

Also, I’m pretty surprised at all the postive comments on this site related to SRAM’s new hydraulic disc road brakes. Nice to see. Velo news comments were almost 100% hater comments. Perhaps there’s more mtb riders reading this site.

Joshua Murdock - 04/16/13 - 2:45pm

I can’t wait to see a Tarmac with discs! This is still awesome, though.

Eyal - 04/16/13 - 3:07pm

All this disc stuff looks good. But, I’m gonna have to wait a couple of years till they tidy up and run all those cables inside the fork and the frame. Oh and they also need to sort out the brakless clinchers rims, and the heat from discs.

Basically as they say in the world of software, this is V 1.0 I ‘m going to wait for V 3.0. But hey, if you have the money, I say go for it, we need people to to test this stuff so it is perfect when it is time for me to buy-in.

CJ - 04/16/13 - 3:16pm

I like it a lot.
I will probably wait for Shimano version though (miht need to be custom though). By then there should be plenty of Carbon disc specific clincher wheel choices.

Mindless - 04/16/13 - 3:23pm

I have had terrible experience with SRAM hydraulic brakes on MTB. Require constant maintenance and performance is meh. Shimano brakes, on the other hand, had been absolutely bulletproof, stupid easy to bleed, if it is ever needed. And Icetech rotors and pads are the real deal.

Sardinian rider - 04/16/13 - 3:48pm

Once again Specialized talks others take note.

Fred Zeppelin - 04/16/13 - 4:13pm

Hard to tell from the pics -are there fender bosses at the dropouts or under the bridges or fork crown?

Mindless - 04/16/13 - 4:23pm

Friends do not let friends buy Specialized.

CXisfun - 04/16/13 - 5:35pm

Friends do not let friends buy Avid brakes.

vectorbug - 04/16/13 - 5:37pm

I’ve always wanted to try a Roubaix, but for the price, why not just have a custom parlee or similar made for the same price?

nado - 04/16/13 - 7:59pm

I like Specialized, though I don’t like Avid brakes….

Enduro - 04/17/13 - 12:59am

There were 7 other companies working on a Disc road bike years ago, but specialized sued them and they are bankrupt.

wheelguy - 04/17/13 - 12:04pm

@Enduro: You sound like a “conspiracy theory” type of person. Please list the exact companies that were sued and went bankrupt and also provide a link to the patent Specialized has on road disc brakes bikes. Perhaps you were making a joke and I missed it?

Chuck Dick - 04/17/13 - 12:10pm

Is that a layback seatpost?

S. stevenson - 04/17/13 - 3:40pm

They sued Volagi, over disc brakes and accommodating larger width wheels and cost the a million up front, and untold millions to ensure the growth of their endurance or gran fondo bikes, this info is in refutable, anyone like to differ??? I ride several S bikes, but I also know the steal or “adopt” much of their innovations; fact.

Star stevenson - 04/17/13 - 6:51pm

No conspiracy, research Volagi and specialized. They sued and apparently they now do like disc brakes on a road bike, more relaxed geometry and stays to allow wider tire options…and your head would be in the sand if you think they have not used their power to steal and crush competitors. Awesome products, ethics, not so much.

Ajax - 04/17/13 - 9:27pm

I want it.

Bog - 07/28/13 - 1:52pm

For those looking for proper clincher disc wheels you should take a look at the mtb world. There are these bikes called 29ers that have been running great disc wheels in 700c size and they’ve been available for years! You buy complete wheels or build custom sets.

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