Fresh Geometry, more clearance and updated suspension - the new Diverge

Specialized have updated their Diverge gravel/adventure lineup with a completely redesigned new frame, now with increased tyre clearance (up to a whopping 700x47!).

Bringing the latest in tech, from their clever SWAT internal storage system to FutureShock 2.0 with 20mm of damped, adjustable suspension, the new Diverge looks to be a superbly capable all-rounder. Lets take a closer look...

Specialized describe the new Diverge as "the ultimate getaway vehicle", and they've designed it to be fast and fun on a wide range of terrain, from twisty singletrack to paved roads.

Speed and stability are the key to gravel/adventure happiness, and by keeping the frame sensibly light and adding the latest generation of shock absorbing FutureShock they've ensured that it'll explore wherever you decide to point it.

Most importantly they've paid real attention to the handling, this is a nimble bike that takes the best from Specialized's decades of experience with road and MTB and blends them to create a well-rounded multi-terrain explorer...

A Different Angle

The Diverge's geometry has seen some significant changes.

Compared to the previous generation Diverge there is a longer wheelbase (aiding stability and reducing toe overlap) and longer reach (allowing a shorter stem, for increased control).

A slacker head tube angle and increased fork offset keep the handling nimble whilst allowing for a sensible, balanced riding position both on and off road.

Perhaps the most significant difference is in the bottom bracket height. The previous Diverge had an extremely low BB, even by gravel standards, with a drop of 85mm. This was great for lowering the centre of gravity for maximum stability, but not so good when cornering hard, with increased risk of pedal strikes.

The new Diverge brings the BB back up a little, with a drop of 80mm. That's still sensibly low for a gravel/adventure machine, but a much better compromise than the previous generation.

Best of all we're pleased to see that Specialized have ditched the pressfit BB from the previous model and gone for a traditional threaded bottom bracket - tried and tested, creak free, easy to maintain and opening up a world of possibilities for upgrades.

It's Spring Time

One of the main advantages of the previous generation Diverge was its FutureShock front suspension, which provided welcome shock absorption without excess bulk or weight.

The new Diverge inherits the latest FutureShock 2.0 from the current Roubaix, bringing the expected 20mm of travel, but adding hydraulic damping (invaluable for properly bumpy surfaces) and easy adjustability on the fly via a stem-top dial.

The advantage of the FutureShock's position is that it provides axial compliance - i.e. it moves up and down without affecting handling. It's a very neat and effective solution that makes a real difference to comfort on longer rides and rougher terrain.

Raising the Bar

Many recent gravel bikes have featured dropped chainstays, to give the necessary clearance for reasonably-sized 1x chainrings (which naturally sit more inboard than a smaller 2x inner ring) and still allow for decent tyre clearance.

Specialized wanted to avoid this, as they feel it is too much of a compromise on ride feel, and wanted to keep the chainstays up and out of harm's way on a bike that'll see use on tough singletrack routes.

Their answer was to go back to the drawing board and start afresh, and the end result is a flattened out chainstay profile between tyre and chainrings, using a remarkably slim but strong solid beam of carbon fibre.

You Have Clearance

The new Diverge will happily run either 700c or 650b wheels. Whichever you opt for there is bags of clearance on offer.

As a general rule fatter tyres = more fun, and certainly more capability on extreme terrain. There's now room for tyres up to 47mm wide on a 700c wheel, and up to 2.1" on 650B.

And that's with 6mm of clearance around the tyre, so you don't need to worry about muddy conditions (and of course there's a full complement of mounts for racks and guards, so even if you're running mudguards you can go up to a very healthy 700x42).

It's in the Bag

Carbon models of the Diverge now come with SWAT storage integrated into the frame.

A hinged door provides access to internal storage space, allowing you to stow ride essentials such as tools, CO2, and even rain jackets neatly inside - maintaining a low centre of gravity and leaving plenty of room, and mounting points, for additional bags if bikepacking.

It's a much cleaner and more visually appealing system than the plastic 'pouch' that sat next to the BB on the previous generation Diverge, and despite the additional reinforcement needed to maintain structural rigidity they've kept the frameset weight below 1000g (S-Works, 56cm).

This is one of those features that you can't appreciate until you've tried it - there's a real satisfaction from having those less frequently required essentials tucked out of sight, freeing you from the need for seat packs or stuffing jersey pockets.

The Diverge is ready for racks, too - with mounting points above the rear axle and a special seat-collar bracket included for upper mounting at the rear. Low rider racks can easily be used at the front, with reinforced mounting points on the carbon forks.

S-Works Diverge Frameset

Alongside the complete eTap-equipped bike the S-Works Diverge is also available as a frameset, enabling full custom builds.

There are a couple of paint options, and both are as fresh and attractive as we've come to expect from Specialized in recent years.

Available in sizes from 49cm to 61cm, we can provide the frameset alone, or build it into your complete dream bike, perfectly fitted.

Look out for the frameset coming soon to our online Bike Builder.

Specialized offer a broad range of complete builds, covering a wide range of pricepoints.

All feature the same revised geometry. Entry-level alloy models make do without FutureShock suspension, with the updated FutureShock 1.5 (non-adjustable and without damping) featuring on some mid-range bikes.

The rest of the range features the latest FutureShock 2.0.

Here's the range at a glance:

Complete Bikes - Carbon

There are 5 models in the Diverge Carbon at launch:

Base Carbon - £2199
FACT 8r carbon / FutureShock 1.5 / No SWAT / SRAM APEX 1x with hydraulic disc brakes.

Comp Carbon - £3399
FACT 9r carbon / FutureShock 2.0 / SWAT / Shimano GRX 800 2x with hydraulic disc.

Expert Carbon - £4499
FACT 9r carbon / FutureShock 2.0 / SWAT / Shimano GRX 800 1x / Upgraded build kit.

Pro Carbon - £5999
FACT 9r carbon / FutureShock 2.0 / SWAT / SRAM Force eTap 1x / Roval Terra CL carbon wheels.

S-Works Diverge - £8899
FACT 11r carbon / FutureShock 2.0 / SWAT / SRAM RED eTap AXS / Dropper post / Roval Terra CLX carbon wheels.

Complete Bikes - Alloy

The alloy bikes don't feature internal SWAT storage, but share geometry with the carbon models:

Base E5 - £949
E5 Alloy frameset/ FACT carbon fork with carbon steerer / Shimano Claris 2x groupset / Tektron Mira mechanical disc brakes / No FutureShock

Elite E5 - £1599
E5 Alloy frameset/ FACT carbon fork with carbon steerer / Shimano GRX 400 2x groupset with hydraulic disc brakes / No FutureShock

Comp E5 - £1999
E5 Alloy frameset/ FACT carbon fork with carbon steerer / FutureShock 1.5 / Shimano GRX 600 1x groupset with hydraulic disc brakes

There's also the flat bar EVO model, equipped with FutureShock 1.5 and ready for fast fun on more extreme trails...

Diverge EVO

Specialized really are covering all the bases with the new Diverge, and that's reflected in the EVO models, which are aimed at riders looking to really rip things up.

The obvious difference at a glance is that flat bar, but there's a lot more to it than that. A whole different geometry, with slacker angles, longer reach and a lower BB than the regular Diverge, draws on the DNA of an old-school singletrack MTB to create a gravel/adventure shredder.

The alloy frameset (no carbon option here) is designed for 1x drivetrains only and comes in a simplified size range of S/M/L, reflecting the off-road influence.

It's a niche bike, for sure, but a very interesting one. We think it'll find a warm welcome.

First stock expected towards the end of June 2020.

Specialized have really stepped things up with the new Diverge. At a glance, from a distance, it's exactly what you'd expect from a modern, high performance gravel/adventure bike (albeit with those gorgeous Specialized paint schemes).

Look closer and there's a wealth of detail that, combined with the typical Specialized value for money and well-chosen components, makes for a very competitive addition to a burgeoning adventure bike market.

It's tough to stand out in a crowded sector, but the Diverge's carefully considered geometry, slick FutureShock 2.0 damping and clever SWAT storage make it a very strong contender. Add in the fact that the S-Works frameset comes in under 1000g, despite all this tech, and it's a tempting proposition indeed.

Interested? Get in touch to discuss options and we'll find the best bike for you, perfectly fitted at Bespoke.