Smoother is faster. Specialized has been saying this for years.
And for years, Specialized has been doing everything they can to make our rides smoother. From their carbon layup to their CG-R (“cobble gobbler”) seatpost. From their rider-first engineering to their cotton clincher tires.
But now – with the all-new Roubaix – the “smoother is faster” philosophy is taken to new, remarkable heights.
Named for one of the sport’s most storied and demanding races, the Roubaix is built to excel on the worst roads and in nasty conditions. The all-new 2017 Roubaix certainly excels.
This is the lightest frame Specialized has ever made. It’s been constructed from top-end FACT 11r carbon fiber. Its stiffness levels are also off the charts. Compared to the SL4 iteration of yesteryear, you’ll experience a whole new, faster and more efficient geometry. Through some engineering sorcery, however, Specialized has managed to keep the same fit, feel and position that we’ve all come to love from the SL4.
And then there is Future Shock. The 2017 Roubaix comes with a piston in the head tube, offering 20mm of travel. Specialized developed this technology in partnership with McLaren Applied Technologies. The results are a host of drastic performance improvements – namely in the vertical compliance department.
By focusing on vertical compliance, instead of fork splay, Specialized could improve smoothness, speed and comfort in one fell swoop. And of all the bikes that they tested with their Rolling Efficiency Model, the new Roubaix outperforms anything on the market.
“Increases compliance above the headtube and isolates the rider from road vibration. Decreases rider fatigue and improves rolling resistance for a faster, more comfortable ride.” – Bicycling Magazine
Features of the S-Works Roubaix eTap
The S-Works model is spec’d with top of the line equipment – like the futuristic SRAM eTap wireless shifting and the all-new Roval CLX 32 carbon wheels.
- Rider-First Engineered design ensures every frame size has the same legendary responsiveness and smooth ride quality that you’d expect from a Roubaix.
- The S-Works FACT 11r frameset is Specialized’s highest quality carbon frame, offering the ideal blend of light overall weight and targeted stiffness.
- An S-Works Roubaix Disc fork is built from Specialized’s top-end FACT 11r carbon fiber for supreme stiffness, strength and reactivity.
- The all-new Future Shock “suspension” system at the cockpit delivers a revolutionary degree of comfort and control. Two spring options offer customization – to accommodate rider weight and terrain.
- SRAM Red eTap 11-speed shifters provide a glimpse into the future of shifting, and double as brake levers for the SRAM Red hydraulic disc brakes. They communicate wirelessly with the front and rear derailleurs for a ground-breaking level of performance, while offering new, intuitive shift capabilities.
- Flat-mount disc brakes increase confidence in adverse conditions.
- Integrated “SWAT” small storage system in the downtube to stash tools.
Praise for the all-new Specialized Roubaix
As always, the proof is in the ride. Praise for the new Roubaix keeps rolling in:
“The all-new Roubaix is perhaps the most important bike Specialized has launched to date and is one of the most popular sportive bikes worldwide.” – Bike Radar
“It shares its name with arguably the hardest, roughest race on the WorldTour calendar, so its only fitting that the Specialized Roubaix should come up with the technology to be at one with the race. The latest iteration of the endurance classic race machine is lighter, smoother and faster than anything Specialized have produced before.” – Bike Exchange
“Specialized had met its goal of crafting a bike that tames the road, offers up grand control, and will possibly give Specialized-sponsored riders another shot at glory while delivering a safer, more secure ride to consumers.” – Bicycling.com
“The Roubaix really shines when the road turns downwards. All that comfort-boosting suspension and back-end compliance means control. You can hammer this Specialized as fast as you like with no concern for scarred surfaces, potholes, ruts and heavy gravelled surfaces. The chassis just sits in and maintains contact, where a less compliant bike would skip or bounce…
“Through high-speed corners the bike feels superbly balanced and the bonus of excellent braking makes the Roubaix our new favourite companion for descending duties.” – Bike Radar
“Control and handling are among the very best on the road bike market. Comfort is also excellent and without compromise.” – RoadBike.io
“The new Roubaix makes things easier — easier to maintain speed, pick a line, make choices, find better lines and even attack and pass those riding around you. We didn’t even need to let out any pressure from the tyres before hitting the cobbles; the chassis could handle the vibrations and bumps without any extra help.” – Bike Radar
It’s not just the pros and the fancy magazines who are impressed. Real-life Higher Gear friends and family are also singing the praises of Future Shock:
“The shock in front… absorbs all kinds of road noise and makes real bumps in the road feel distant–and a lot easier on the arms, shoulders, and neck. When hitting bumps/broken concrete/rough roads on my Tarmac, I normally grip harder to keep from bouncing off the handlebars, but with the new Roubaix I could keep the same light grip I normally use without fear of losing control. Pretty awesome.” – Aaron Sherrick, Higher Gear customer
“I ride a Venge. I ride aggressive, I need something responsive. I also need some compliance over all the Belgian cobbles. The Roubaix has lived up to it’s expectations. It’s like the handling of a race car, but the comfort of riding on a cloud. I’m a believer in the #FutureShock.” – Joe “Pepe” Sullivan, Higher Gear European correspondent
“As it stands the new Roubaix is a five-star machine without a shadow of a doubt. It won’t necessarily make you a better rider, but it will make every ride better.” – Bike Radar
Are you ready to make every ride better? Head on in to Higher Gear to check out the Future (Shock) on the 2017 Specialized Roubaix.
Also check out:
- The all new Roubaix was our Bike of the Month in September (even before all the reviews were in) >>
- A visit to Specialized HQ that included a test ride on the 2017 Roubaix >>
- 2017 Specialized Roubaix and Ruby – Top Things to Know by Bike Exchange >>
Learn more about the races and terrain this bike was designed for:
- The 2017 Spring Classics >>
- One of Higher Gear’s own got to ride one of the fabled Spring Classic courses >>
- Don’t miss Pepe’s last race report from Belgium >>