Will Thompson rides an endurance bike with race-winning pedigree
“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.