Specialized Diverge: Wherever the Road Takes You

Specialized Diverge

Ask any Diverge owner about their whip and I expect they’ll respond with they love how it handles like a road bike. On dirt. Specialized’s geo is like a road version of a modern trail bike. The Diverge is playful and predictable with a lower bottom bracket, slacked-out head tube, short chainstays, and a short wheelbase. The fit between the all-new version of the Diverge and my Epic hardtail is the same.

The bike glows.
The bike glows. Pam and I are about the same size, so she rode the Diverge for photos.

I also own the first-generation Diverge and with the latest model, Specialized has fixed my only complaint: tire clearance and swappable wheel sizes. They also live by their motto: innovate or die. They continuously evolve the product.

Seat post dropped.
Seat post dropped.

The Diverge did double duty riding from a cabin into the Okanogans where there are hundreds of miles of dirt roads. Then, back home in Seattle on weather-beaten roads for the work commute.

2020 S-Works Diverge

As equipped, the demo Spesh sent me is the 2020 S-Works Diverge with the gloss Chameleon Sunset Holographic Fade. The new frame will comfortably fit up to 700x42mm tires or 650b x 47mm tires. The demo build topped out at $10K. If that price point gives you pause, you can get into a mid-range model for far less, even get the frameset and spec your own.

After riding the Diverge this summer, I didn’t want to send it back. Spesh also refined the Future Shock with a progressively-tuned spring and added a dropper with a controller that fits very nicely on the bar. The dropper was only needed a few times, but I was sure glad it was there. I’m not a fan of the SWAT stuff, others are, you can remove it (I would).

Holographic in person
Holographic in person

It wasn’t that long ago when bloggers like me were asking for drop-bar mountain bikes and fans of Specialized should love this bike. If you’re shopping for a gravel bike, make sure to try the Diverge. I could’ve written a post about the paint alone—its a visibility feature. The 2020 Diverge is not way out there like some bikes in his category, but instead will go wherever the road takes you. Single track too.

Specialized Diverge Features

  • S-Works FACT 11r carbon frame with Open Road Geometry, Future Shock Progressive suspension with 20mm of travel, and front/rear thru-axles
  • Three water bottle mounts, mounts for racks and fenders, and the Road SWAT kit.
  • S-Works FACT carbon fork is plenty stiff
  • The Roval CLX 32 wheelset with CeramicSpeed bearings
  • A mixture of SRAM’s eTAP AXS line that includes RED shifters, brakes, and crankset,  XX1 Eagle rear derailleur, cassette, and chain
  • X-Fusion Manic Dropper

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