This is Boonen's test rig, notice how he wasn't using the CG-R seatpost.
  • TLR

    So “7.5 MPH up a treadmill inclined to ~7%” is supposed to show how the shock doesn’t effect power transfer when sprinting? You can ride that speed with your hands on your back. Sprinting at >1000W is something completely different.

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    • Alex

      They stated that test was specific for climbing in vs. out of the saddle.

    • Luke Bartlett

      the ‘significantly’ word thrown in there also leaves it semi-open

      • Desert Rat

        I think it leaves it WAY open with such a subjective word. I had a sales person claim that ‘significantly’ meant 1kW, but he couldn’t back it up with any actual data. How about sharing the CU Boulder test results, Specialized?

  • dllm

    How does it compare to Domane SLR?

    • David Everett

      I’ve only rode the Domane SLR for about 100km (again on the cobbles of Belgium), and to be honest they have two very distinctive personalities. The front of the Roubaix you notice working and it works exceptionally well, especially on the rougher stuff. Where with the Domane you notice the rear working, and I love how you can tune that feel. The front on the Domane doesn’t give as sooth a ride as the Roubaix. They’ve both come at the problem from different angles, and I think they’re going to draw different buyers. It’d be a tough call to choose between the two. Then again there’s always the n+1 rule ;)

    • Jay F.

      I sorta disagree with the novelty claim made in the round-up section. Clearly the Domane is a pretty similar product with a unique if slightly similar solution to the comfort dilemma (i.e. incorporating deflection devices into the frame). Then Pinarello implemented a rear end shock for their K-8… there’s a long history of manufacturers fiddling with shock absorption technology.

      Frankly its kinda fugly and unappealing (front end bobbing)

      • David Everett

        I agree there’s a long history of implementing shock absorption in to road frames, some more appealing and successful than others ( I’m looking at you Trek and Bianchi of the 90’s). But I wouldn’t say it’s a novelty, it’s a system that works very well for it’s intended purpose. As for it looks, thats a personal taste thing . I’m just glad they got rid of Zyrtz and the curves of the previous Roubaix. It looks good in the flesh (without the SWAT box).

        • Jay F.

          For sure aesthetics is personal. Its still a little sad its not possible to get the slammed look (-17 with 2″ of spacers is slightly odd looking). I also think the seat-stay/tube junction looks a bit unrefined.

          But as you the say, the important thing is that it works. By the sounds of things, a Roub-mane would be the ideal endurance bike – front end of the roubaix, rear of the domane! Its good to see clear evolution of comfort technology. I’m sure by 2020 there’ll be something close to the Roub-mane.

          I agree re the zyrtz – I dont think they really did anything (obvious)… especially when a Tarmac Sport (but not an expert or SW) was more effective at absorbing road vibration than a Roubaix.

  • LeMuffin

    I saw Specialized being referred to as Specialised at least once in the article.

    • David Everett

      Thanks, all sorted.

  • TL;DR

    So it’s a Cannondale Headshok then?

    • winkybiker

      It’s not. It is more like a suspension stem. The forks don’t move up and down relative to the frame from what I can see.

  • Legstrong

    That was a good review Dave. Did you ask Tom whether or not this bike would hold him down on the sprint? After this year’s near miss, I think he would want a bike that could transfer all his savagery to propel forward, not bouncing up and down (exaggeration).

    • Alex

      Or he’s betting on being fresher and able to increase his sprint power to counter this.

      • winkybiker

        I’ll bet that the pros change the internal spring in the front for a solid link, thus maintaining the “look” for the sponsors, but getting the stiffness and control they want.

        • Dave

          There’s every chance that the nicely polished and fully sponsor correct bikes they leave out for the press to photograph up close will have the real deal, even if the race bikes do not.

  • BenW

    What’s the current state of the rules on discs for racing, can this bike even be raced? If not, what are the pros going to do at Roubaix next year?

    • H.E. Pennypacker

      Discs are back in the pro-peloton for testing in 2017. Sanity prevailed.

  • Dude pedalling

    Hey @KendalKenny:disqus Boonen’s bike has a horizontal or even downward sloping top tube whereas the photos of the other bikes clearly have an upward sloping top tube. Boonen’s bike looks supercool the standard bikes much less so…

    • George Darroch

      That’s because the Roubaix is among Spec’s best selling bikes. And it sells because it has a relaxed geometry, which is what most weekend warriors want – something that the ‘pros ride’ but feels good in their hands and allows them to have a conversation as they roll along. They’d be stupid to change that.

      • winkybiker

        I’d say the geometry is still nowhere near “relaxed” enough. The Roubaix bikes (and other “endurance” frames) I see typically supplement the tall head-tube with a stack of spacers and an upside-down stem. And their riders never use the drops. Not even on long descents.

        • Ron Havant

          @winkybiker, what bikes/frames do you view as being “relaxed” enough?

          • winkybiker

            Perhaps none of them. It’s just based on my observation that people who buy these endurance bikes rarely seem to get the position they need without stacks of spacers and up-side-down stems.

            • Sean Doyle

              That is usually the fat gut that gets in the way…….bitchayyyyyy!!

    • Romain Mousset

      Hey @steveack:disqus Boonen and other super star cyclist like Sagan have custom sized frames from specialized ;)
      I totally agree with you the one of Boonen isn’t too ugly , with that horizontal TT , but the others have too much slopping

      I’m looking for a frame of that kind without slopping

      • Dude pedalling

        @romainmousset:disqus On re-reading the post it says that Boonen’s bike is a ‘test rig’. So this was a one-off bike made for him to test the front suspension. It was not a production prototype. But the test rig looks fast doesn’t it.
        This new bike also seems to be an endorsement of the new trek domane.

        • Romain Mousset

          Yes totally let’s see what cannondale can do to update the synapse now ;)

        • Matt DeMaere

          Looking at the published geometries, it’s clear that the new Roubaix is — as its appearance suggests — short and tall. They’re effectively even taller once you accommodate the 2cm of travel in the new fork.

          Comparing it to the Tarmac and at my size (58), the data indicates that the new Roubaix is **40mm** taller and 12mm shorter, so I really hope that that includes the fork travel already and it’s not actually 60cm taller.

          Even at 40mm, being that much taller and a little shorter, you’re not going to position a pro on one of these standard geometry bikes. You can clearly see that the stem on Boonen’s bike is already ~130mm and -17º.

          I’d expect that they’ll either follow Trek’s strategy with the race-shop Domane or quietly make a short run of more aggressive frames for the classics teams.

  • winkybiker

    That seat-post is the stuff of (aesthetic) nightmares. It might make it ride like a Bentley, but I’d give up cycling before I’d have one on any bike of mine. Yes, I’m that shallow.

    • Hamish Moffatt

      Actually they’re awesome. I bought one after market and put it on my non-Standardised bike. The suspension head is not too obvious at all once it’s up among the rails of your saddle.

    • Richo


  • estoerp

    This is by far the ugliest Specialized ever… Very disappointed with this “evolution”…

    • pedr09

      And that’s saying something!

  • Hamish Moffatt

    I’m a bit surprised there was so much talk about what the pros wanted. Isn’t the Roubaix a bike for mere mortals who don’t want to sit on a fast but uncomfortable race bike all day long?

    • winkybiker

      I’m sure I’ll wish I was on this bike next time I’m in Belgium, diving aggressively into cobbled corners, trying to hold Boonen’s wheel. Oh wait. I’m never going to do that. Weird how they’ve tried to build a bike for comfort-seeking cyclists by seemingly using a pro-level racing brief.

  • BAS

    All good and well but how often do people actually ride cobbled sectors from Paris Roubaix? Never in my case…I had a Koppenberg Domane which was awesome, now ride an aero bike which is just faster everywhere. If I was doing 4-5 hour rides weekly i may wish for the Domane again, but seriously who does that?

  • Wily_Quixote

    I normally quite like function over form but that bike is completely hideous.

  • JustinNL

    I give it two sales seasons.

    For one, it’s not pleasing to look at. It looks a bit like a Lance-era Madone with disc brakes and suspension.

    Secondly it looks gimmicky. I’m willing to bet most consumers don’t want a gimmicky looking bike especially when bikes and parts change year to year these days. I’m also willing to bet that consumers don’t want a road bike with suspension. It’s been tried before with little success. Let’s see there was the Rock Shox Roubaix suspension fork, the Trek Pilot series, Softride, the new Pinarello K-8, suspension stems and a few more I have probably forgotten.

    I’d like to know if they did any market research in those five years that they say it took to develop this bike. There is a market for “comfort” road bikes but I think suspension on a road bike is a stretch. Take a look at a bike like the Trek Domane. It doesn’t look bad or gimmicky…and it works and rides pretty damn well. Just because there wasn’t anything else like this bike at Euro Bike doesn’t mean it was a good idea or people will want one.

    Sadly I think this is a step back for the Specialized Roubaix.

  • Schmuck123

    If you cannot slam it, it is not worth riding

  • Coach

    ROTFL! So, by fitting discs they’ve had to strengthened the fork. That adds weight and costs compliance. So, they have to add an MTB tech head shock. And big fat tyres. It now sprints like a partially defrosted tuna? And oh whoopsy… I read elsewhere that the bike is a little over 7.2kg now. So these bikes are going to be nudging 8kg in the real world with pedals and bottle cages etc..

    What will they try and sell us next year…

  • OverIt

    Is there any damping device along with the spring? There must be surely? There are some pretty compact velocity sensitive dampers available these days, surely that would improve the out of saddle bob?

  • Rick Harker

    There may have been a lot of engineering involved along with trial and error mixed with aesthetics to come to this conclusion. As I see it only the stem is suspended by a spring, without any damping. I cannot see the internal components but there will be pivotal forces on the fork riser above the headset bearing along with the forces from the wheel hitting cobbles or such travelling through the fork. This may result in a short service life.
    Also this bike has been designed, as I read it, from feedback by the pro racers. That relates to a bike for the cobbles for the pros or, wannabe pros. If you’re not riding cobbles, not racing, who is it for.
    Good quality tyres at the right pressures will take the initial sting and buzz out of most road surfaces in my opinion.

  • 900Aero

    yeah but nah.

  • Ivan Luzyanin

    I like the way it looks especially in yellow. I’m sure there will be an option in the future to lock the suspension using after-market parts.


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