Could this be an All-New Specialized Gravel Grinder Road Bike? *Updated with New Close Up*

In the first pic we spotted, there simply wasn’t much to go on, leading to an assumption the Roubaix was getting a refresh. Now, however, it appears the bike being pinned across Northern California’s dirt backroads may be something else entirely (we’re, um, hearing rumors from others to corroborate, too).

While Instagram’s lovely image sizing is keeping the details hidden behind pixelation, there are a few things worth pointing out (links in captions in case you want to follow the riders along). We already noted the thru axles, revised Zertz location on the fork and slightly angular tube profiles on the beefy front end. But as things move back, the frame gets thinner and sleeker, likely to eat up ruts, washboards and rocks as you pound the non-pavement. It even looks like there’s some manner of suspension or road dropper post stuck in there…

*Update* Head to the bottom of the post for a close up of the new bike and possibly wheels!

Note the Zertz inserts as more of a tacked on item rather than fully integrated into the lines of the frame and fork, very different from the Roubaix. And take a look at that seatpost. Short travel dropper? Suspension post? What’s interesting is the moving parts look like they’re contained in a bulge above the seat collar, suggesting whatever it is, it’s not moving very far, and it could also likely mean a 27.2 post diameter…so lower end models that won’t see the dropper/susp post spec will still get a thinner post for better compliance.

Since the Roubaix received a complete redo in 2012 (as a 2013 model), we’re inclined to believe this is a dedicated gravel road bike. That’s not to say it couldn’t be a new Roubaix, but one particular frame detail suggests this is a more race-oriented design: The seat tube gets cut out to allow the rear wheel to tuck in tighter. That’s contrary to most gravel bike’s (and the Roubaix’s) slightly longer stays to improve stability.

See anything we missed? Leave it in the comments!

*Update*Prototype Specialized Gravel Grinder Adventure Bike Crubaixwol

Photo Credit: Grasshopper Adventure Series

This is the first clear image of the new bike and it’s revealing. While this is all conjecture at this point, it does appear that there is some sort of suspension. What is interesting, is that this is not the first we’ve heard of this concept. Manufacturer Thomson, who has admitted they were beat badly to the Mtn bike dropper post market, is currently in the finishing stages of developing a road dropper poster.

According to an interview last year with Spokesperson Dave Parrett, the Thomson post will have a “Pavé” feature, that drops the saddle by 5mm and ads a bit of suspension to take the edge of off rough roads. Based off that line of reasoning and the lever which is clearly visible by the stem, and  would provide easy access when riding on the tops of the bar, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Specialized launch something along similar lines.

Of additional interested to the gravel/adventure rider, is the inclusion of fender/rack mounts above the rear axle, and some new wide carbon rims.

Comments

Will - 06/06/14 - 12:19pm

Why would you ever want a dropper post on a road/cross/gravel bike? I ride my cross bike on gnarly MTB trails all the time, but I don’t want a dropper for it. I don’t even have one on my MTB…
Suspension seatpost makes a bit more sense.

steenerk - 06/06/14 - 12:26pm

the rear triangle looks like geometry from a women’s bike.

Robo - 06/06/14 - 12:32pm

……..couldn’t it just be a new Crux?

Eric - 06/06/14 - 12:35pm

@Robo…I could be wrong…but the clearance around the tires looks too small to be a Crux

db - 06/06/14 - 12:47pm

funny, Specialized is always late on trying to cash in on new trends.

they came out late with a 29er, Fatback and now the all so trendy “gravel bike”

chasejj - 06/06/14 - 12:49pm

Suspension post with a reservoir for air adjustments.

Chris - 06/06/14 - 2:02pm

More and more these bikes are looking like early MTBs. Go back and look at a Bridgestone MB-1 from 1987, an old Steve Potts, Salsa, Cunningham, etc. Back in the early/mid-80s a lot of MTBs ran dropbars. For all but the most technical of riding they make a lot more sense than a flat bar.

William - 06/06/14 - 2:41pm

Where’s the SWAT at?

Either a CRUX or a Roubaix with Thur-Axles and I’ll take it. Thanks!

Jeb - 06/06/14 - 3:07pm

The as yet unreleased Crux Evo is their gravel bike. Niel Shirley raced it at Dirty Kanza.
http://www.roadbikeaction.com/Features/content/313/8036/Ready,-Steady,-Go-RBAs-Dirty-Kanza-200-Send-Off.html

Matt - 06/06/14 - 3:32pm

@Will – dropper posts on all mountain/technical trail mountain bikes is one of the great steps forward in the sport. If you haven’t tried it, try, before you take such a elitist position.

@db – maybe Spec wants to be a second mover on certain trends. Hmmmm.

@Chris – that Bridgestone MB-1 was such a cool bike. I wish I had kept mine.

tiz-urkey - 06/06/14 - 3:33pm

not a new crux…from what I’ve been told there are not many changes other than color and maybe thru axle front on the crux..but I will see come mid july, at the dealer event……I’d have to think that this a morph of a crux and Roubaix…something definitely “gravel grinding”….seems pretty logical to me……

tlow - 06/06/14 - 3:40pm

every thing needs some time invetion or copying it to bring it to the masses is fine – would like to see mor people on the bike, getting out and just ridin 100mi+ and commuting with one bike

SCMTNS - 06/06/14 - 3:49pm

Not sure why he would hop the gate, when there is a bike path/trail around it. Must be why we keep having to fix it.

Timeout - 06/06/14 - 3:57pm

I really can’t stand these sloopy frames from Specialized,but I still ogle at my 2012 Roubaix.

Rick - 06/06/14 - 4:14pm

Hmmm…..looks like a prototype for the Secteur Expert Disc (2014)….or a test mule using part of that frame.

Souleur - 06/06/14 - 4:45pm

sigh….
not even half as sexy as the Niner RLT…..

Peter - 06/06/14 - 5:04pm

Is this a new carbon Awol?

Haya - 06/06/14 - 5:58pm

Everybody note: ‘authorised vehicles only’ and ‘the bike hut’ are now registered trademarks of Specialized. They’re also working on the words; snacks, drinks and picnic.

When is the Chinese version of this bike due?

Bryan - 06/06/14 - 6:23pm

New Gravel bike called Diverge???

Greg - 06/06/14 - 8:22pm

That is a fire road not a gravel road, this whole post is null and void.

Andrew - 06/06/14 - 8:57pm

Can we please retire the term “gravel grinder” already? Also, Volagi wants their IT back…

Duder - 06/06/14 - 9:19pm

Higher pressure rated Roval Control Carbon Wheels???? Anything on those?

wheelsgearsandbeers - 06/06/14 - 9:26pm

speedplay pedals on a gravel bike? ha

A7Brider - 06/06/14 - 9:29pm

Carbon Tricross…

Ajax - 06/06/14 - 9:36pm

Oh dear god. Please let this be true. Please god.

Thru axles and please let the Specialized man know that the fork needs to be a road fork in a 367-ish height with a wide crown that will fit both 700x28mm tires and 650bx42mm tires. And god, please let it have about 415mm-ish chainstays that will be 1980s wide enough to fit 700x28mm tires and 650bx42mm tires.

Please god. Oh dear god. Please let this happen.

Ajax - 06/06/14 - 9:42pm

PS – God please. Please. To summarize…

A road bike, call it whatever you want. Gravel. Dirt. Cobbles. I don’t care. Just make sure it has:
Road fork height = 367-ish
Chainstay = 415-ish

And wide enough clearances on the fork and stays that will allow both. 700x28mm tire and a 650bx42mm tire. Please let this happen god, and I promise to throw away all those Playboy mags I have stashed in the back of the closet. Please god, please!

ZuperSoup - 06/07/14 - 12:36am

Drunk^

Sanrensho - 06/07/14 - 12:52am

What is that CO2/tire lever holder on the seatpost? Where can I get one?

Rasekiton - 06/07/14 - 1:48am

Perhaps it’ll be the Tricross Carbon, though the tire clearances don’t seem that similar.

PhatPhuk - 06/07/14 - 8:56am

I’ll take the RLT9 over anything I’ve seen from Special-Ed.

Highly C.Lassie - 06/07/14 - 11:19am

@sanrensho
any local specialized deal can get you one of those, a good spec dealer will have some in stock.

steenerk - 06/07/14 - 12:40pm

@Schooner, I think you may have it figured out. Just swapped out the bars and seat post.

JonJon - 06/07/14 - 8:45pm

@schooner chain stays are different

drew-and-not-u - 06/08/14 - 9:33am

Those look like the new Control SL MTB wheels. Not surprising as they’re road-bike light but super tough. Running a set of Control Carbons on my Crux and they’re killer!

Josh - 06/08/14 - 1:17pm

@jeb http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bikes/mountain/specialized-edition/crux-evo they have released a cruz evo which is pretty much this bike but no a specific! but it is limited edition!

daveytrain - 06/08/14 - 1:57pm

This looks identical to the mid year update to Specialized’s Sirrus Carbon frame…the Zertz are in the right spot in the front and the back..the only real difference is drop bars and whatever is going on with the seatpost..

aguy - 06/08/14 - 4:09pm

Lea Davidson appears to running the same seatpost on her MTB. So it is does seem to be a mini dropper of sorts. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=290289671144739&set=a.219725298201177.1073741851.113175658856142&type=1&theater

William - 06/09/14 - 2:13am

Specialized Diverge – Gravel Grinder Bike
http://trademarks.justia.com/862/23/diverge-86223220.html

RW - 06/09/14 - 12:27pm

Trek already did this. And the Domane rear end is going to give a far more forgiving ride than any carbon layup nonsense from Specialized (unless you’re Bicycling magazine of course, then specialized can do wrong).

http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/road/endurance_race/domane_6_series/domane_6_9_disc_compact/#

eBAUMANN - 06/09/14 - 1:00pm

so its a disc cx bike without proper knobby/mud clearance…color me confused.

Ajax - 06/10/14 - 2:18am

Cobblestone no compute for eBAUMANN.

Andy - 06/13/14 - 3:04pm

This is a disc brake Tarmac. If you follow James Nord or any of the other guys involved in this ride with Deux North on Instagram they said exactly what this bike is weeks ago. Why you’d want a race bike that you can’t race in a USA Cycling race is beyond me though.

Denny Schleck - 06/14/14 - 1:22pm

^You’re wrong. It looks absolutely nothing like a Tarmac.

Bill Kowalski - 06/23/14 - 7:40pm

Starting to think my old 1984 Ross is a gravel bike.

Simon the Viking - 06/26/14 - 10:40am

Look likes we can now find way better pictures than Instagram ones. Waiting for the July 15 video now…

Post a comment:

Comment sections can be a beautiful source of knowledge, conversation and comedy. They can also get pretty ugly, which is why we've updated our Comments Policy. If your comment isn't showing up or suddenly disappears, you might want to check it out.