Back in the day, and yes, we’re going back a good few years now, Specialized effectively gave genesis to the whole endurance bike market with the launch of the original Roubaix. By positioning the rider more upright, in a more forgiving position, and introducing apparently ride-enhancing tech in the form of Zertz gel inserts inside the seat stays, the whole concept of comfort suddenly took centre stage.
Since then, the market has flourished, with bikes offering differing degrees of comfort and stiffness, each with different levels of success. At RCUK we’re largely of the opinion that each endurance bike has a perfect rider, and vice-versa. Some might prefer a plusher ride, while others may like something more akin to race bike without the harshness. Equally, a bike may naturally respond better to an aggressive touch, or indeed be most at home with deft and gentle inputs. It’s all degrees, and, frankly, totally subjective.
The bike responsible for the whole segment though has recently received an update, and it’s quite a step too. As we reported when the new Roubaix was launched, the new FutureShock suspension was undoubtedly the standout feature because Specialized claimed a 4,538 per cent improvement in front-end smoothness. We couldn’t quite believe it then, either.