Bike Review: 2016 Specialized Diverge Comp Carbon

Meet the Specialized Diverge. In essence, the Diverge is a beefed up version of the Specialized Roubaix that isn’t afraid to get its hands dirty, literally. With hydraulic disc brakes and tire clearance up to 700x35c, the Diverge is sure to open your mind to the possibility of continuing your ride when the pavement ends. The stock tires are the Specialized Roubaix Pro 700×30/32c. That’s a casing that measures at 32c, and a tread of 30c. These tires ride comfortably and efficiently anywhere in the 70psi range. You can run the pressure a little higher depending on your personal preference. The recommendation, printed on the tire, is 75-95psi. Don’t be afraid to run these on the lower side of the range. The ride will be much more comfortable and you likely won’t see a difference in performance. If a wide-tire road bike is something that you’re in the market for, it’s safe to assume that you won’t be taking this bike to your local criterium race and sweating bullets over any possible advantage you may get. So relax, more and more riders are enjoying a wider and slightly less inflated road tire. In the long run, the more comfortable you are, the more you will ride. It’s going to take many more years for cyclists to break away from the idea that a 700x20c tire inflated to 130psi is the only way to ride. However, I say it’s time to break from tradition and enjoy yourself as you float over cracks in the road opposed to fearing them
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A while back, I posted an article weighing in on disc brakes. In that article, I mentioned how disc brakes are here to stay in the road cycling genre. As more and more 2016 models are revealed to us, it is overwhelmingly clear that disc brakes on production road bikes is not a fad. The Diverge Comp is spec’d with Shimano BR-785 calipers and 685 shifters. Shimano avoided listing these particular components under any established series within their lineup, but I would say they fall somewhere around Shimano 105 level, possibly Ultegra. The Shimano 686 shifters are compatible with all Shimano 11-speed drivetrains. As with most Shimano components, the 785 calipers and 685 shifters work smooth and consistent. IMG_4792
The carbon fiber frame is lightweight and naturally vibration-dampening. Add to it Specialized Zerts inserts on both the seat stays and fork, and you have a frame that is begging to be ridden on any road, no matter how rough.
In an effort to hand you an unquestionably smooth ride, the Diverge Comp also comes stock with the Specialized CG-R carbon seatpost. The post itself has Zerts technology to help reduce vibrations. Specialized claims that the CG-R has 18mm of vertical compliance. However, one may hard-pressed to notice that range of  “travel.” The setback is something that may or may not work for you depending on what kind of fitting you require. The owner of this particular Diverge, used in this review, did have to replace the seatpost to decrease the setback. If replacing this is something you have to do, you should take comfort in the fact that this seatpost retails for $200 and will be easy to sell online. IMG_4798
This bike comes with a Praxis Works TURN Zayante crankset. Besides having an exceptionally long title, the crankset has a a really nice look and, when combined with a BB30 bottom bracket, rides as stiff as almost any other crankset on the market. The rest of the drivetrain is made up of Shimano 105 derailleurs, Shimano 105 cassette, and a KMC X11 chain. The drivetrain performs at a high level of precision without having to break the bank for Shimano Dura-Ace or Sram Red.
I would argue that the biggest strength of the Diverge is it’s diversity. Whether you’re on pavement, gravel, or even some singletrack trails, the Diverge never seems to bat an eye. If the stock tires seem too road-oriented for your liking, simply throw on a cross tire and push this bike’s limits. And let me know if you find any!
The 2016 Specialized Diverge Comp Carbon retails at $3,300. In comparison, it’s closest relative, the 2016 Specialized Roubaix SL4 Comp Disc, will retail at $3,000.
I really hope you enjoyed this article. Please feel free to like and comment 🙂

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