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Specialized Road Frame Review: Diverge, Roubaix, Tarmac and Venge.

Specialized road bike line-up reflects their years of experience and spans a wide range from gravel to aero. Here we review the 2016 Specialized Diverge All-Road, 2016 Roubaix and Roubaix Disc, 2016 Tarmac and Tarmac Disc and 2016 Venge and Venge VIAS.

Written by: Bruce Lin

Published on:

Posted in:Tech

Check out our collection of Specialized Road Bike Frames

Specialized has been in the bike game for over 40 years now and has grown to become one of the biggest and most dominant bike manufacturers in the world. They have designed and built some of the most innovative and fastest bikes in the business, and have been ridden to countless victory by some of the best riders in the sport. Their road bike line-up reflects their years of experience and spans a wide range from gravel to aero. There’s a Specialized frame for every rider, to help you ride further, faster, and better.  

2016 Diverge - All-Road 

Specialized Diverge

The Specialized Diverge is different from your average road bike. It’s an adventure bike, which means it’s meant for taking you down the road less traveled. It excels in the dirt without sacrificing its capabilities on the road. It’s not a cyclocross bike that has been made more road capable or a road bike that’s been beefed up to be more adventure ready. The Diverge has been specifically designed to fill the void between categories to create a no-compromise, all-road machine.

The Diverge is available in both aluminum and carbon to fit any budget. The fork and seatstays feature Zertz inserts which help damp vibration from rough road surfaces. The Diverge is designed to use disc brakes and has clearance for up to 35c tires, giving you a variety of options for both road and gravel surfaces. With endurance focused geometry, it’s perfect for gravel racing, or those seeking long, all-day adventures where they can explore far beyond where the pavement ends.  

2016 Roubaix & Roubaix Disc - Endurance Road

Specialized Roubaix Road Bike

The Specialized Roubaix is built to handle the rugged cobblestone roads of the Spring Classics. Taking its name from the iconic Paris-Roubaix race, the Roubaix places its focus on endurance and comfort, along with speed. By smoothing out imperfections such as cobbles, potholes, or any rough patches in the road, it can help reduce fatigue and improve performance. It’s seen success in numerous races and has become the standard by which most other endurance bikes are judged.

Built with carbon, the Roubaix is the most famous of Specialized’s models to use Zertz inserts in the fork and seatstays to help damp vibration. It is available in both rim brake and disc brake configurations to suit your needs. The endurance geometry puts the rider in a more comfortable position, which is ideal for the vast majority of cyclists. It’s the ideal bike for riders looking for a bike that can handle long distance rides on less than perfect roads.   

2016 Tarmac & Tarmac Disc - Road Racing

Specialized Tarmac

The Specialized Tarmac is an undisputed classic in the Specialized range. It has an unmatched history of racing success at the highest level of the sport, with victories in all three Grand Tours. The Tarmac isn’t a bike that does just one thing well. It does everything exceptionally, excelling in sprinting, cornering, climbing, and descents. The Tarmac should be on the list for any serious rider as it's one of the best road racing bikes on the market. 

The Tarmac comes in carbon, and since 2015 has been available with the option of disc brakes. The disc version has the same geometry as the rim brake version and has nearly identical stiffness and weight. In Specialized’s road bike range, the Tarmac is the lightest frame available. It’s ideal for climbers and a favorite weapon of both elite racers and the dedicated enthusiast who puts in big miles and loves riding fast.

2016 Venge & Venge ViAS - Aero Road

Specialized Venge

The Specialized Venge was born in the wind tunnel and makes reducing aerodynamic drag its top priority. At its inception, Specialized collaborated with Formula 1 experts, McLaren, to optimize the aerodynamics of the frame beyond anything that had been seen before. The result was one of, if not the fastest road bike ever designed. The Venge quickly became the favorite of elite sprinters, crit racers, and long-range soloists.

For 2016, the Venge continued its legacy of aerodynamic innovation with the release of the Venge ViAS. The ViAS improves on the Venge design with revised tube shapes and unique brake and cockpit arrangments to further reduce drag and improve speed. The original Venge is still fast, and slightly simpler to work on. Both come in carbon and are geared toward the aggressive rider interested in a racier feeling ride. The Venge will serve both elite racers and enthusiast riders well, especially those who are seeking a competitive aero edge.

Check out our collection of Specialized Road Bike Frames




Bruce is a writer who loves getting his bikes dirty, trying new tech, and riding tough trails that make him suffer for hours at a time.