Spe­cial­ized Roubaix

Will Thomp­son rides an en­durance bike with race-win­ning pedi­gree

Cycling Weekly - - WELCOME -

“I feel this is one of the best en­durance bikes”

The Roubaix frame­set, first in­tro­duced by Spe­cial­ized back in 2004, has won six edi­tions of the fa­mous Paris-roubaix Clas­sic, in­clud­ing 2018, when Pe­ter Sa­gan rode to vic­tory on the lat­est model with the Fu­ture Shock sys­tem.

I was keen to see how it per­formed and I wasn’t dis­ap­pointed. The sus­pen­sion sys­tem, which is po­si­tioned above the head tube and has up to 20mm of travel, im­me­di­ately got to work and all but elim­i­nated road buzz and the smaller bumps that we’re ac­cus­tomed to here in the UK.

When climb­ing out of the sad­dle I could feel the Fu­ture Shock bob­bing slightly but I never felt that it was sap­ping power or slow­ing me down and there was no no­tice­able move­ment when seated. On flat-out sprints for lo­cal town signs it re­ally ac­cel­er­ated up to speed quickly and felt re­spon­sive to my in­puts. I would hap­pily turn up at a lo­cal evening race on this bike.

It’s worth not­ing that the Fu­ture Shock sys­tem can be height ad­justed by 15mm up and down, so most peo­ple should be able to find a fit that works for them. In ad­di­tion, it comes with three dif­fer­ent spring op­tions in or­der to cater for dif­fer­ent rider weights.

It might seem like the Fu­ture Shock is the star of the show, but there’s a host of other tech that makes this bike a fan­tas­tic all-rounder. The Roubaix frame is made from Spesh’s top-of-the-line and su­per-stiff FACT 10r car­bon-fi­bre. It has bolt-thru front and rear axles that re­ally add to the over­all stiff­ness and some­thing I was pleased to see.

With 11-speed Shi­mano 105 me­chan­i­cal shift­ing and RS505 hy­draulic disc brakes you could ar­gue that the spec is slightly lack­ing, bear­ing in mind the price tag of £2,600, though hav­ing said that I was re­ally im­pressed with the shift­ing per­for­mance and long-term dura­bil­ity of the driv­e­train.

The hy­draulic disc brakes had bags of feel and power and given the lo­ca­tion of the Fu­ture Shock there was no dive from the front end un­der heavy brak­ing, some­thing that the moun­tain bik­ers among us have long had to con­tend with on front sus­pen­sion sys­tems.

Lastly, the wheels/tyres com­bi­na­tion is pretty stan­dard stuff, us­ing com­po­nents from the Spe­cial­ized equip­ment parts bin. That said, with most of the money in the frame, cost-sav­ing mea­sures are to be ex­pected.

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