100 Mile Gravel Gruel Test Ride: Specialized Diverge

100 Mile Gravel Gruel Test Ride: Specialized Diverge

By July 21, 2019 July 26th, 2019 Bikes, Featured, Top 25
specialized diverge gravel bike

Specialized Diverge, The ATV of Bicylces...

specialized diverge gravel bike

The Specialized Diverge is a game changer. I just finished the 100 mile Tour de Steamboat Gravel Gruel on the Diverge. It’s the very first time I’ve been able to truly take this bike through it’s paces.

Lets say right off the Diverge is impressive. It is one of the situations where you don’t know what you don’t know until you learn what you don’t know… Comparing this bike to my old cross bike is like comparing summer and winter. Feeling the Diverge handle loose gravel, sand, off camber downhill corners, and steep ascents is making me think I have to sell some things so I can buy a new bike.

The Test Conditions

The Gravel Gruel is a big mix of pavement, forest roads, and county roads. The ride includes buttery gravel, wheel sucking sand, washboard, crater deep potholes, loose gravel, water bars, off camber downhill corners, and unfair steep climbs. The Diverge handles it all with me becoming more confident in its capabilities with each pedal stroke.

This is the first time I’ve taken this bike on a real ride. A real long ride. There is always a certain amount of ride time to figure out how a bike handles and where to put your weight. With the Diverge it takes no time all. A subtle shift of weight between climbing a long paved pass or descending steep loose gravel is subtle at best.

The Gruel includes a miles-long descent into Rock Creek. Some of the corners are dicey. I was able to take a number of these corners at a comfortable high rate of speed knowing the bike wasn’t going to drift me off the edge.

Future Shock

The Future Shock in the headset works wonderfully. On my old rig I can feel hits and shocks to the body through my elbows and shoulders and molars… Thankfully, I never experienced a hit that the USGS seismology guys could even begin to register. The Future shock soaks up ’em all up. You know something is working by the fact that you don’t feel it until you get off the bike. You will feel all the fresher for the Future Shock working for you the entire ride.

The only thing I have to adjust to is the slower speed on the road. This small inconvenience is made up for with the diversity of terrain the Diverge opens up to the rider. This bike is made for Colorado. Rough pavement (standard everywhere), forest roads (ie; mountains), dirt county roads (more dirt roads than paved roads in CO), and even the right style of single track are open up to you with this one bike.

Things to Know

Diverge geometry has a bottom bracket that’s over a half-centimeter lower than the previous Diverge for increased stability. The headtube angle is slacked-out for easy steering. Specialized shortened the chainstays making the wheelbase shorter making climbing easier.

The Specialized Diverge summary is written in a single word. Awesome.

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