Specialized sponsors the Paris Roubaix
When Specialized set about designing the ultimate endurance bike at the turn of the century they took on a unique challenge. The aim was to create a do anything, go anywhere bike that could cope with the ultimate demands from a wide range of riders. By naming it after the toughest bike race on the professional calendar, one defined by rutted and cobbled farm tracks and so incredibly hard on both bike and rider that it is nicknamed the ‘Hell of the North’, Specialized laid the gauntlet down to themselves too. The Roubaix needed to be up to the challenge.
Since it first emerged, the Specialized Roubaix has gone from strength to strength. It’s been ridden to victory no less than six times in Paris-Roubaix, taking famous riders like Tom Boonen, Fabian Cancellara, Niki Terpstra and Peter Sagan to the top of the podium to claim the iconic cobblestone trophy. There’s a pretty good chance the 2019 edition (Sunday 14 April) will add a seventh victory to this remarkable record with the all-conquering Deceuninck-Quick-Step boys and last year’s winner Peter Sagan’s Bora-Hansgrohe team set to head into battle aboard their super-capable Roubaix machines.
The Roubaix has now become the official bike of Paris-Roubaix, both of the professional race and the Paris-Roubaix Challenge. “Paris-Roubaix is an icon in the world of cycling,” said Mark Cote, CMO of Specialized, when announcing the sponsorship. “It’s the ultimate testing ground for the world’s best cyclists.” Whether you’re a pro rider aiming for victory or a weekend warrior looking for the definitive bike to tame the less-than-velvety lanes, you can be sure the Roubaix is the bike for you – it’s been tested and proven in Hell.
Specialized ahead of the game
When the Roubaix was introduced almost two decades ago it turned a few heads. Years before many brands had even thought about it, we at Specialized recognised a demand for a sportive bike that had all the speed and performance of a race bike but with a relaxed geometry and the ability to provide cushioning, whether that’s slamming across sections of Belgian pavé or negotiating Britain’s notoriously potholed roads. And we took a risk – by calling it the Roubaix we knew it had to be capable of taking on the worst conditions while still leaving the rider smiling and the bike asking for more.
It was a revelation. You could say that the Roubaix pioneered the direction cycling has taken since, with bikes now being designed for how you want to ride, and not solely for the pros. The Roubaix has evolved over the years, getting lighter, introducing disc brakes and with wider tyre clearance for more gravel-oriented rides. The 2019 Roubaix range is the product of these years of experience – a super-light carbon-framed wonder capable of anything.
The secret weapon hidden in the Roubaix is what we call the ‘Future Shock’, a surface-smoothing technology developed hand-in-hand with McLaren Applied Technologies with the aim of keeping efficiency and handling consistent. Located in the headtube, it’s proof that smoother is indeed faster.
The 2019 Roubaix Hydraulic Disc comes with RS hydraulic disc brakes and Shimano’s Tiagra 10-speed shifting, its 11-34 cassette offering plenty of spare for the hills. Keeping you rolling smoothly no matter the terrain are Axis Sport wheels wrapped in our brilliant Espoir Sport 28mm tyres. If you’ve never ridden a Roubaix, this bike will be a revelation – this is how road bikes were always meant to be.
The Roubaix Sport steps things up a level using Shimano’s superb 11-speed 105 groupset and hydraulic brakes for superb reliability and efficiency. The FACT 9r carbon frame is lighter and stiffer than ever before and with the DT R470 wheelset and Future Shock bump-taming technology, you’ll float across even the worst surfaces.
The Roubaix Comp puts pro-level performance at your fingertips. The slick shifting of the Ultegra 11-speed groupset and the simply fantastic stopping power of the Ultegra hydraulic disc brakes won’t let you down when you’re hammering along, be that in the bunch or to the café. With DT R470 wheels, 28mm Turbo Pro tyres and of course Future Shock suspension up front, the Roubaix Comp delivers a revolutionary degree of comfort and control.
Back to the future
Back when the planet-sized brains at Specialized HQ came up with the idea for the Roubaix, it’s not too much of a stretch to think that they may have foreseen the coming of electronic groupsets. Putting suspension into the frame and compliance into the geometry, they were way ahead of the game and it’s no surprise that the latest Roubaix is available with the most bang up-to-date technology.
The 2019 Roubaix Comp Ultegra takes all the experience gained from almost 20 years of design and laces it with the clean lines and superior performance of the Shimano Ultegra 8050 Di2 electronic groupset. With the Future Shock technology taming the ride and hydraulic disc brakes providing unmatched stopping power, no matter how bouncy things get the Di2 shifting is precise and secure. What’s more, the 28mm Turbo Pro tyres are capable of everything from smooth tarmac to rutted farmyards and everything in between.
For even more speed and strength, the 2019 Roubaix Expert UDi2 puts carbon wheels between you and the road. The Roval C38 Disc wheels bring tubeless-ready lightweight performance to the party. They're lightweight, durable and ready for just about anything.
Topping the cobble-decorated tree is the truly spectacular 2019 S-Works Roubaix. Ask for a dream build and this would most likely be it – a DuraAce Di2 groupset, Roval CLX 32 carbon wheelset, FACT 11r carbon frame and Future Shock suspension. This could be the bike to convince you that two kidneys is one too many.
Pop down to your local Specialized Concept Store and see what the fuss is all about. And don’t wait around – if it wins a seventh Paris-Roubaix on 14 April, the 2019 collection is set to fly out the door.
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