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. 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.
One 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. 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. The 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. The geometry of the bike is intended to be comfortable for all day epics and will be available in six different sizes.