The Specialized Roubaix is, of course, named for the
pavé-encrusted Northern flatlands, one of the ultimate tests and
most impressive spectacles of the Pro race season.
But there's a good reason that our photoshoot for this build was
interrupted by a feathered intruder... A Roubaisien isn't
just the name for a native of the Roubaix region, it's also a breed
of pigeon unique to the area. The mining communities of the Nord
bred some tough men, and some impressive cyclists, and many of them
channelled their limited free time into the breeding and racing of
So Specialized may have had the terrain in mind when they chose
the name for their endurance race bike, but it also subtly pays
homage to the sleek, long-distance champions of the air.
This particular build is the Ultegra 8050 Di2 equipped Roubaix
Expert, complete with hydraulic discs. The Roval wheelset is
equipped with DT Swiss hubs and alloy rims with a generous 20mm
internal width, tough enough and generously sized for rougher
surfaces but with a sub-1600g weight.
Future Shock suspension both front and rear provides the
oft-mentioned "vertical compliance and lateral stiffness", but this
isn't just a shallow marketing term, however overused it might be.
The built in dampers at the seat stays and stem (and even in the
seatpost) all work brilliantly to take the buzz and harshness out
of rough terrain whilst retaining the precise handling that a race
photos by Bence Bujaki