All Specialized Tarmac and Roubaix models will have SL4 frames in model year 2014.
The new Roubaix SL4 Expert Disc will use Shimano’s new, road-specific hydraulic disc brake, while the CruX E5 Disc cyclo-cross bike will use the S-Series hydraulic brake from SRAM.
The model year 2014 road bike range from the Morgan Hill concern represents a significant development after largely cosmetic changes last year.
The SL4 construction, unveiled just two years ago on the top-tier S-Works models of the QuickStep UCI WorldTour team, will be used in model year 2014 from entry-level frames upwards.
Today, we’ll look at the Roubaix and CruX ranges, before turning our attention to the new Tarmac and Venge models tomorrow.
The Roubaix 2014 model likely to draw the greatest attention is the £4,500 SL4 Expert Disc, one equipped with Shimano’s new hydraulic road disc brake and Ultegra Di2 electronic shifting. The calipers are mounted to a re-designed rear triangle and a brand new front fork and the rotors are mounted to a DT Axis 4.0 wheelset.
BB30 continues to be Specialized’s preferred bottom bracket standard, and so FSA chainsets appear in abundance across the model year 2014 range: the Roubaix Expert Disc is powered by a carbon-armed FSA SL-K light chainset.
Roubaix is Specialized’s ‘endurance’-oriented steed, but there’s no downgrading from its race equipment. A Shimano Dura Ace Di2 9070 electronic groupset decorates the S-Works frame of the £9,000 flagship, which, like its Tarmac equivalent, rolls on Roval CLX 40 hoops, and is powered by a FACT carbon chainset. Its £6,500 S-Works heir is the same in every detail but the groupset, which is the 9000-series mechanical Dura Ace. The S-Works frameset will also be available separately at £2,600.
A further echo of the Tarmac range can be found in the £1,300 SL4 entry point, but there’s an extra model before the £1,600 Sport. If disc brakes are your thing, but your budget doesn’t stretch to the Roubaix Expert, the £1,500 SL4 disc might offer an acceptable compromise. Equipped with Shimano’s new cable-operated discs and a Sora drivetrain, it’s a handsome beast, with a carbon finish accented with subtle yellow detailing.
The £1,600 Roubaix Sport is offered with a double or triple chainset, both FSA Gossamer, and both with Shimano 105 dual control levers and mechs and Specialized Axis 2.0 wheels. Add £300 for the Elite, which offers105 braking as well as shifting, and Fulcrum Racing Four hoops.
At £2,200, the Comp will have a similar spec to the Elite, but with Ultegra dual control levers and mechs. The reintroduced Pro represents a more significant leap, with Dura Ace shifting, a FACT carbon chainset, and Roval Fusee aluminium clinchers. It will sell for £4,000.
The CruX Sport E5 Disc, built around an aluminium frame and carbon fork, will be slowed this year by SRAM S-Series hydraulic brakes. The mechs are SRAM Apex, the chainset SRAM S-Series, and the wheels, Specialized’s own CHECK Axis 2.0 Disc. We tested last year’s cable-equipped CruX Elite Disc and were impressed. We’ll be looking forward to a spin on its replacement.
At £1,800, the CruX Sport Carbon contains, unsurprisingly, a FACT carbon chassis, with cantilever brakes. Shifting is taken care of by Shimano 105 STI levers and mechs, the chainset is an FSA Gossamer sporting ‘cross-specific 46 and 36-tooth rings, and the wheels are Specialized’s Axis 2.0.
The £1200 CruX E5 is built around the same aluminium chassis as its disc-equipped stablemate, but fitted out with Shimano Sora mechs and shifters and Tektro cantilever brakes.
Three frameset options will be offered too, each in striking paint schemes. The Pro Carbon frameset will be available with disc mounts or cantilever bosses. Both frames will cost £1,500. The CruX E5 frameset will sell for £700 in an eye-catching ‘starburst’ finish.