The New Roubaix is here
Last week we brought you the news that Specialized are to become the sponsor of the Paris-Roubaix one-day race and we couldn’t be more proud to be associated with this epic Spring Classic. Ahead of this Sunday’s 117th edition we’ve an even more exciting announcement. Yep, it’s new bike day!
Since it was first launched 15 years ago, the Specialized Roubaix (and the female specific Ruby – more on that later) has become the do anything, go anywhere endurance bike for a huge range of riders. It’s been first across the line at Paris-Roubaix no less than six times, proving its credentials at the highest level in a race so hard it’s nicknamed the Hell of the North. It was voted Road Bike of the Year by BikeRadar in 2017, who raved about the ride: “There’s nothing out there at the moment that touches it for comfort, control and the ability to tackle everything from super-smooth blacktop to gravel,” they wrote at the time. This is one seriously capable machine.
The new 2020 Specialized Roubaix is the latest iteration of our most versatile, balanced and responsive road bike. Taking feedback from professional riders and weekend warriors alike, and building on the success of the last redesign in 2016, the new Roubaix is lighter, stiffer, more comfortable and even more aerodynamic than ever.
There’s nowhere to hide when you name a bike after such a tough event. Taking on the challenge to make the best even better, Specialized have done it again – though we do say so ourselves…
The future is now
The Roubaix is able to cope with the rough and tumble of rutted road surfaces and cobbled farm tracks thanks to its Future Shock-equipped front end and a flexible seatpost that allows for both vertical and horizontal compliance. In other words, when the going gets tough, fewer of the shocks make their way through to you, reducing fatigue and allowing you to ride further. On the cobblestones of Paris-Roubaix this has won races, but it’s just as welcome on the UK’s less-than-smooth lanes.
With this latest model we’ve updated the Future Shock, introducing a hydraulic damper to give a more refined feel. Caley Fretz, in his first ride review on CyclingTips, is impressed with the improvement, saying “it’s better in the same way that modern, damped suspension forks are better than, well, anything from the 1990s. That’s roughly the leap in technology that the Future Shock took”.
A second feature in the new Future Shock is on-the-fly adjustment, available on the Future Shock 2.0 and found on the new Roubaix Expert, Pro and S-Works bikes. A simple turn-dial on the top cap allows you to adjust the 20mm of front-end flex on offer, from fully open to locked out.
Future Shock 1.5 is featured on all other models, without the adjustment dial but coming in a choice of three spring weights so you can dial in for the perfect ride. All-important too, particularly on our damp little island in the sea, is that it’s a totally sealed unit.
Keep your behind happy!
Since day one the Roubaix was designed to keep your tush in good shape, with rear-end compliance to tame the worst of the roads. With the Specialized Power saddle perched on the new flexible all-carbon Pavé seatpost and a lower-than-standard clamp, the 2020 Roubaix keeps the bumps away from your rump. It’s just one of the clever tricks that you’ll find in the Roubaix – you’ll forget it’s there but sure be glad it is.
More aero than ever
The 2020 Roubaix is now able to keep up with its aerodynamic race-focussed brothers, the Venge and Tarmac. Specialized designers have used the same computer modelling and expertise gained from developing the frighteningly fast Venge and thrown it all at the Roubaix. In fact, it’s claimed that the new Roubaix is faster than the current Tarmac SL6. There’s some serious sibling rivalry going on here!
You’ll notice the aero profiles on the new head tube, fork blades, downtube, seat tube and seat post, and seat clamp area. And don’t think aero isn’t for you – even at lower speeds, more aero means less effort so you can ride further. And with the Future Shock and Pavé seatpost, you’ll be less fatigued while you do it.
Ruby is no more
The Ruby model was the female-specific version of the Roubaix, but the brains at Specialized HQ spent some serious hours analysing our Retul bike fit technology database, and decided to put aside traditional male/female specific assumptions. Essentially, there’s likely to be as much difference between two male riders as a male and a female rider, so now the Roubaix is sized proportionally – a rider suitable for a 48cm frame will find shorter cranks and a narrower handlebar than someone looking at a 62cm bike.
The new Roubaix range comes fitted with 28mm tyres and has as much stopping power as you need. Flat mount disc brakes and 12mm thru-axles feature on all models, and there’s room for up to 33mm wide tyres should you want to push things into more gravel-riding territory.
Pop into to your local Specialized Concept Store and see what the fuss is all about. We’ve got the 2020 Roubaix range in right now and you owe it to yourself to get down for a test ride! Once you’ve tried it, no other bike will come close.
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