Well, am I stoked to be out rolling again!
Post one solid effort to well and truly transform into a human wrecking ball at the Cannonball MTB festival in Thredbo late last year, I have returned!
By now most would have seen the media release and/or heard the whispers, RideAus has partnered with Specialized bicycles.. I am so grateful to those who have helped merge this relationship. Bring on the roads, berms and epic adventures.
Now onto the main course; the Specialized Roubaix Expert.
This is quite simply one gnarly, well crafted piece of machinery.
Think about that reciprocating relationship you have with every bump, stone and obstacle encountered on a road bike; those good old teeth rattling unicorns you just can’t seem to miss. Well, the Roubaix inverts that feedback and messes with your brain. When you know things should just shudder or resonate through your body, it's simply effortlessly ‘smooth’.
The Future Shock positioned above the steerer tube brings the boundary of smooth and speed into one. If it's smooth, it's fast and believe me, this bike can haul. When a design team like Mclaren are brought in to refine the dynamics of rider and road, you know the outcome is going to be epic. With 12 drivers' championships to their credit, Mclaren more than qualify in ensuring your steed is going to do what it was designed and manufactured to do.
Take this concept to another level and push it deep into a nice flowing bowl turn or fast disappearing off camber corner. You may normally feel the front end twitching and nervously looking for bite. The best way I can unpack this is to assimilate it with an F1 car when the chassis and components flex toward a common goal: Grip.
You point the Roubaix and that’s where it goes. It’s direct, fast and the grip level seems endless. As you pitch in and start to roll it over toward that elusive apex, it’s ever so stable. There’s no nervous and wandering front wheel, just a firmly planted stable platform oozing comfort and speed.
How does it skid? The brakes are very tidy with plenty of power and feel at your fingertips, ice tech rotors are a sleek finishing touch to a beast that belongs amidst the mountains. Seeking consistent feel and power shouldn’t be an issue when descending your local leg crippling climbs.
The DT R470 disc wheelset settled in after a few good nudges up some short pinches and soothing notes heard as the spokes settled into their new homes. The MTB side of me couldn’t resist a few bunny hops to test the whole package and ensure all had settled in without creaks or groans.
To sum things up from this maiden roll out, this bike is just oozing potential, as it should be. Some serious tech has gone into creating a bike that has endurance and comfort yet neck whipping speed when you drop the hammer. It's stiff enough to surge forward, light enough to feel nimble and lively on the roads, all without compromise to comfort and stability. Specialized have, in my opinion, smashed the brief out of the park on this one.