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Specialized Diverge Comp 2020 - my review

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Specialized Diverge Comp 2020 - my review

Old 12-03-19, 05:43 AM
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Specialized Diverge Comp 2020 - my review


as you may already know I run a gravelbikes.cc project where I test different bike part and whole bikes to find out how comfortable they really are. This time I got the chance to test a new 2020 carbon Specialized Diverge comp and I must say that for me, mostly thanks to a Future Shock suspension, this is one of the most comfortable stock gravel bikes you can buy right now. Seriously, it beat my benchmark bike which is a steel Jamis Renegade Exploit equipped with a Lauf Grit SL suspension fork and a Redshift suspension stem (only rear of the SPec is less comfortable but when you put an Ergon CF3 / Canyon VCLS 2.0 seatpost and a comfy saddle like a Brooks C17 it transforms to a great comfy all arounder).

The downsides?

The position on the bike is quite high (due to the Future Shock), and the bottom bracket is hanging really low so pedals strikes are a common thing. And maybe... the lack of a Future Shock 2.0 (a more refined version of Spec's suspension this time with a hydraulic addition). Also, the 24 spokes DT wheels felt like a weak point, especially in terms of the front of the bike (Future Shock makes you ride every pothole just to see where is the limit of its suspension and while the Future Shock itself works great, the wheel takes all the beating).

If you have any questions about this bike or my review please just ask me. I am happy to answer.


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Old 12-03-19, 03:06 PM
Bryan C. 
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The Diverge isn't a very popular bike around here. To be honest, the Diverge is geared more to the road bike end of the gravel spectrum. Most people around here prefer more off road oriented gravel bikes.

I own a 2019 Diverge Expert model. I have aroubd 700 miles on it, mostly off road. Great bike and exactly what I wanted when I bought it. I have run everything from pavement to gravel, and even a fair share of singletrack with some technical rock gardens. I feel I have found the limits of the bike and although I am throughly impressed with the bike I am mindful of it's limitations. As you said pedal strikes are pretty common when the trails get technical. Learn to use the ratchet technique when needed and you can usually get through without much trouble.

My bike has 24 spoke carbon wheels. At 225 lbs I'm not a light rider and so far the wheels have held up just fine. Time will tell but I too think a 28 spoke wheel would be a better option.

The future shock is the biggest question mark on the bike. How long will it be available? How long until it needs to be replaced? I know there are service intervals and such but the only repair or service to be made is replacement. Last report I saw was somewhere in the neighborhood of $350 for a replacement part. I think it's a great system but overall I feel it is a liability as opposed to an asset.
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Old 12-14-19, 02:30 PM
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Just bought a 2019 diverge. So far, so good. Like others, biggest concern is the "future shock". I've owned a bunch of softride flex stems, and forks, and I'm well aware how something so simple can get so much slop. First thing I did was pull it out to remove 5 feet of extra headset shims. I think in a worst case scenario, the future shock could be made rigid if replacements are not supported. The other thing I worry about is the 2.5mm headset tensioning screws and a 3mm band holding the fork/futureshock together. And then there's the mongo headset bearing races. Oh well.

It was between this and a trek checkpoint. I went with the diverge because I wanted to support a friend who owns a local bike shop. He got me a pretty good year end deal.

I think the trek has better clearance for wider tires, and the possibility for a rear rack, but the deal on the diverge was too good to pass up. The trek also has the elastomer junction between the seatube and the toptube/seatstay junction. How long is that going to last? Will that be supported?

We'll see.

Today's shakedown ride:

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Old 12-20-19, 11:17 PM
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I love my 2018 Diverge Comp with FS. The ability of the FS to take the edge off was very obvious, even with a short little test ride over poor quality asphalt. While I don't have the riding/testing pedigree like some of the folks around here, I'm in my 50s and have been riding seriously off and on since my teens, and I agree that the Diverge w/FS is the real deal. Fun, fast, and comfortable (I ride mostly gravel at this point). Of course, the upright position isn't for everybody but I like/need it.

I've since added 42mm Teravail Rutlands - running them tubeless on the stock rims & tape - and the combination is great. I highly recommend the bike and feel that much of the criticism is unjustified. But I do understand concern about the long-term availability of the cartridges. I'll just buy one or two to ensure I have them on hand, I suppose.
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