The bike that arguably ignited the sportive-specific road bike scene when it arrived way back in 2003 has been redesigned for 2009, which will see the release of the Roubaix SL2.

The major change most easily identifiable is up front, where the same tapered headtube, with a 1 3/8″ lower race, is found as on the race-orientated Tarmac SL2 and its from this bike that the new Roubaix gets many of its updates. While comfort is paramount to this bike's appeal, Specialized has sought to marginally increase the stiffness, with an increase of around 12% at the BB.

The curvy and Zertz-enhanced seatstays still feature and are key, say Specialized, to the Roubaix’s plush ride comfort, but they’ve also taken the step of widening the width of the seatstays at the brake bridge to up the stiffness through the rear triangle (up 21%). It’s a forward-looking frame too, with the bottom bracket compatible with the BB30 format. This threatens to become a new standard in the near future, so Specialized have covered themselves here.

More soon…