Specialized Roubaix 2017 in store at Nottingham: First Look Review

Specialized Roubaix 2017 in store at Nottingham: First Look Review

Specialized Roubaix 2017 in store at Nottingham: First Look Review

Specialized's company slogan 'Innovate or Die' can be found scribed somewhere on many of the most popular bikes. The meaning is simple, if you stand still then you'll get left behind. So to many it will be a huge shock to see that they have taken one of their most poular models from the past 10 years, the Roubaix and completely re-designed it. But to us this is routine, the Roubaix set new standards for endurance road riding when it was released all those years ago, becoming arguably the most innovative road bike ever released, inventing a whole new genre of road bikes and riding styles. The Roubaix's success both for professional riders like Tom Boonen and Fabian Cancellara and it's huge popularity with riders worldwide have made the Roubaix one of the best endurance road bikes on the market for years. But times have changed and it was time to innovate. So that's what Specialized have done, teaming up with McLaren and looking at whether smoother really is faster have all led to the creation of the all new Roubaix 2017, a bike that will set new standards in performace road riding.

Here at Specialized Nottingham we're very excited to have some of the first Specialized Roubaix 2017 in the country in store now. So we thought that we'd have a quick look over it and let you know what's new and how it will effect your riding.. As soon as we pulled these bikes out the box it was clear that the new Roubaix is a revolution in Road bikes, and it only got better from there...


Specialized Roubaix 2017
Meet the all new 2017 Specialized Roubaix. Model pictured is the Expert Disc UDi2.



Specialized Nottingham were delighted to get the chance to look over the new version of the Roubaix, and we were quite frankly blown away. The Specialized Roubaix 2017 has been completely re-designed from the ground up, with models starting £1900 which makes them more appealing given the technology that is available on these new bikes.

The re-design has all stemmed from one phrase, 'Is smoother faster?' For years we have been saying that smoother riding equals faster riding so Specialized wanted to take new technologies and see if this was really true, and if it was how could they make the Roubaix the smoothest road bike on the market. To test the theory, head designer Chris D'Alusio and head of applied technology Chris Yu started looking at all the science behind the original Roubaix designs from the very first one to SL4 and running a lot of tests. To help them Specialized drafted in the help of one of our long term partners whose expertise in compliance, smoothness and performance knows no equal, McLaren. Together the job of researching the notion of 'Smoother is Faster' began.

Throughout all the tests it became clear that Smoother is indeed faster, so the next question was how to make the all new Roubaix even smoother than it's current inception. The answer was found in the compliance, and Specialized's solution may well change the future of road cycling.


This is by far the biggest revolution and revelation on the new Roubaix 2017. Gone are the familiar Zertz vibration dampeners that have long been used to add smoothness to the ride on the Roubaix, now we've got something new. The Future Shock and some very innovative work to the seatpost. The Future Shock is basically a piston within the headtube with 20mm of travel encased in a rubber seal.

Specialized Roubaix 2017
The all new Future Shock suspension system

Specialized Roubaix 2017
Future shock above the Cobra headtube


All of Specialized and McLaren's test data confirmed the need for smoothness to increase speed, but it became clear that the previous focus mainly on splay compliance was potentially adding limitations to how smooth the ride could be. Splay complaince is essentially the movement fore and aft in the fork movement, but through testing it was revealed that axial compliance or the movement up and down beneath the headset could be far more effective. The issue is that neither on it's own is ideal, so Specialized set about creating the combination that would provide the most compliant, smooth ride available.

Although some may be surprised and even skeptical of the idea of suspension on a road bike, fearing it will be 'too bouncy', the Future Shock is build to prevent this. The Future shock is essentially a cartridge that sits above the head tube providing vertical movement. Inside the spring and bearing technology works so that when the bike encounters rough terrain it allows the front wheel to move upwards towards the rider without the riders hands ever moving, which not only allows you to remain in position so you don't lose your forward momentum and speed, but it also removes the risk of 'bounce' during riding.

Specialized Roubaix 2017
The Future Shock sits neatly within the Roubaix's design and offers a multitude of adjustments


Another cool aspect of the Future Shock is that it comes with 3 interchangeable springs so you can adapt the shock to your terrain or indeed the rider. You get three springs, long, medium and short. long, medium, and short. Shorter offers more compliance, and the longer is stiffer, so if you want a stiffer ride, just pop the longer one in or if you're doing a bumpy ride over cobbles then stick in the shorter spring and away you go. This might sound like it would be a great big hassle, but in reality the change takes all of 15 minutes at the most. You simply undo a couple of bolts, pop out the cartidge, take out a spring and replce with your chosen one foer the ride and put it all back together. Even for someone who isn't techincal at all it's simplicity is quite breathtaking.

Specialized Roubaix 2017
Changing up the shock spring is easy

Specialized Roubaix 2017
All new design, same pedigree


The added bonus of the new Future shock is that the way it is positioned at the stem and above the headtube the bikes wheelbase remains constant which allows for better handling. All the testing of the Future Shock and the new Roubaix has revaled a huge increase in not only the smoothness of the ride, but very critically the handling which further increases speed. Suffice to say that with all this in mind, here at Specilalized Nottingham we can see the future shock being considered for other models in the future because it's looking like it will be an amazing addition.


To complement the revolutionary Future Shock the all new Roubaix is also supporting a new design around the seat post. You'll still find the familair CG-R (also known as the Cobbler Gobbler) which absorbs shocks from the rear end, but the new drop clamp is brand new.

Specialized Roubaix 2017
It's all change on the rear end too.

Specialized Roubaix 2017
The Drop clamp lets the seat post move above it


The re-design on the frame now allows around 20 degrees of movement back and forth for the seatpost. The seat clamp drops a couple of inches into the frame and the frame design has a space around the seatpost which lets it move allowing for that compliance and a smoother ride.

All this complements the Future Shock at the front to give the smoothest ride on a road bike available on the market today by some distance.

Specialized Roubaix 2017
The all new seatpost design on the Roubaix 2017 offers 20 degrees of movement to ensure a smooth ride



Looking at the new Roubaix without the familiar Zertz inserts and the new frame design you'd be forgiven for thinking the frame was a cousin of our hugely successful race bike, the Tarmac.

Lookswise and in the geometry the frame certainly screams 'Performance' but that's all part of the plan. The new Roubaix is built for performance and endurance. With the new suspension and drop clamp technology reducing fatigue on a ride by making it so much smoother and the frame changed to allow for a fast ride the new Roubaix is a different beast. That said, given the adjustability of the frame, should you wish to maintain the riding position of your current Roubaix this won't be a problem at all. A few tweaks and you'll be holding the same postion as before.

Another neat addition on the frames is that on all the Roubaix models from Expert up, there's also another very cool new addition, which is the new S.W.A.T technology (Storage Water Air & Tools). You'll notice the new triangular SWAT housing sitting above the bottom bracket, very similar to those seen on the Shiv range these are aerodynamic but allow you to carry spare tubes, tools and a CO2 cannister should you have a flat out on your ride.

Specialized Roubaix 2017
The new SWAT: Multi tool one side...

Tube, tyre lever and CO2 cannister the other



The R & D team at Specialized have clearly been listening to the riders who have been on their latest Tarmac models by applying the Rider Engineered design system to the new Roubaix 2017 frame. Rider Engineered technology is basically a shift in frame creation which means that each frame size is created specifically for that size, meaning that you no longer have an instance where a frame is just 'bigger' and you lose some of the performance and handling. This means that, for every frame size of the new Roubaix 2017 each tube size & carbon layup is specifically selected and built especially for that size. As with the Tarmac, this allows for greater performance, responsiveness and a better ride than before.

No Zertz but definitely a more performance geometry.

Specialized Roubaix 2017
A Henge saddle sits on the familiar CG-R seatpostt



As you'd expect all the new Roubaix's are equipped with disc brakes given the terrain and the conditions these bikes are designed for it's a welcome addition. Although you may wonder if these bikes will suffer from a huge weight increase with the disc brakes, and the new Future Shock cartridge up front. The reality is that Roubaix's have been sporting disc brakes for a while now and the Future Shock cartridge is super light, so the bikes are still lightweight and the test and ride results we've seen so far indicate that the new innovations and disc brakes may add a tiny amount of weight, but the increase in performance negates any weight difference.

Around the disc brakes at the rear you may notice on the photo that every 2017 Roubaix has a bolt-through on the rear which has been a very popular choice here in the store, adding stiffness and power transfer to the ride.

Bolt through as standard on the rear

Specialized Enduro Jawbreaker 2017
Disc brakes are on all 2017 Roubaix bikes



All these new additions to the 2017 Specialized Roubaix look to be beyond taking steps forward, more a revolution of design. Taking an already amazing road bike and improving it is no mean feat and Specialized seem to have done more than just that. Our guys in store are super excited about the new Roubaix simply because, quite simply it's Smoother and Faster than any bike Specialized or anyone else has ever made.

The all new Specialized Roubaix 2017 bikes are available in store now with 0% finace available on all models.


Specialized Roubaix 2017
Specialized Roubaix 2017 - A truly amazing, mold-shattering bike.




We're very excited to announce that here at Specialized Nottingham we have just taken delivery of several of the stunning new Specialized Roubaix 2017 bikes. See what's in stock below.


0% Finance available
Deposit (Minimum 10%) £380
24 Monthly Payments £142.50


0% Finance available
Deposit (Minimum 10%) £190
24 Monthly Payments £71.25



0% Finance available
Deposit (Minimum 10%) £550
24 Monthly Payments £206.25


0% Finance available
Deposit (Minimum 10%) £320
24 Monthly Payments £120



 Specialized Roubaix 2017 test
Specialized Roubaix test rides available soon at Nottingham

It won't be long until our Roubaix test bikes arrive in store. Once they do you'll be able to take one out and see for yourself just how amazing the ride is. You can pre-register your interest now and once the bike arrives we'll contact you to arrange a test ride. Just click the button below to get your name down for a Roubaix 2017 test ride.







If you'd like more information about the new Specialized Roubaix. Click here to see all the models or please feel free to call Specialized Nottingham on 0115 978 3876 or send us an enquiry

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