The Roubaix has an illustrious pedigree as the bicycle that has defined the ‘endurance road bike’ genre (see our road bike type blog) since its launch in 2004.
People who own a Roubaix will tell you that they couldn’t imagine a smoother, more comfortable road bike.
Specialized thought otherwise. Hence the 2017 Roubaix, which has been completely redesigned as follows.
- Specialized’s unique, lightweight Future Shock 20mm-travel front suspension cartridge is designed to suspend the rider, not the bike
- Unlike suspension forks with shock absorbers inside the steerer or fork leg, Future Shock front suspension is located above the head tube.
- The result: the suspension never exhibits unnerving bobbing or diving
- Instead, the suspension smooths road irregularities without compromising the bike’s sharp handling
- Even with its Future Shock cartridge, the frame maintains a race bike light weight of around 900g.
- The Shimano Ultegra/105 drivetrain and hydraulic disc brakes and the through-axle wheels further ensure a ride that is close to perfection
- Rider-First Engineered – the frame’s carbon layup is optimized for each size of bike to further ensures the fastest, smoothest ride
Why is Cycling Plus Road Bike of the Year such a big deal?
Cycling Plus magazine select their Bike of the Year from a long-list of the 25 best road bikes their most experienced testers have reviewed over the past year.
You would be proud and happy to own any of these 25 bikes. However, they singled out the Roubaix Comp because it offered the finest ride over the widest range of conditions without compromising its speed potential.
We urge you to have a gander at Cycling Plus/bikeradar.com’s video for an insight into how they came to the conclusion that the Roubaix Comp was this year’s outstanding road bike
More great Specialized road bikes worth a look
Same Rider-First Engineered carbon frame and fork with Future Shock as the Roubaix Comp – this time with less expensive, but still highly respectable, Shimano 105 gearing and TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes – ‘the best cable-operated disc brakes we’ve ever tested.’ road.cc.
This women’s version of the Roubaix Elite boasts all the comfort-with-speed benefits of a Rider-First Engineered carbon frame and fork with Future Shock, but with a more female-friendly frame geometry.
Ever the innovators, Specialized are the first company to deliver us a road bike equipped with SRAM eTap – the world’s first wireless electronic bicycle drivetrain – this time on a Rider-First Engineered carbon frame similar to Peter Sagan’s Specialized Tarmac.
This analogue version of the Tarmac sacrifices eTap shifting and disc brakes for a good-old dependable Shimano Ultegra STI mechanical groupset with lighter weight, but still outstandingly powerful and responsive Ultegra Dual Pivot rim brakes.
Put all this together and you get a close-to pro quality classic road bike built on a Rider-First Engineered carbon frame and Specialized’s lightest ever S-Works fork for around half the price of the eTap model.
This might be the weirdest picture we’ve ever published…
But it perfectly illustrates Specialized’s Rider-first Engineered carbon frame construction designed in conjunction with Formula One boffins, McLaren.
For the bigger frame on the right hand side, Specialized specify wider circumference tubes and a denser-weave carbon fibre layup.
This ensures that a larger frame (most probably ridden by a larger, heavier rider) will be stronger than a generic carbon frame where every frame size had the same layup.
If you’re fortunate enough to fit a smaller frame, you’ll be rewarded with a lighter frame than you would if every frame size had the same layup.