Hot on the heals of the new CruX 2019 models we shared, Specialized has also announced some changes to its Diverge line up. The Diverge is to gravel what the CruX is to ‘cross – a race/speed oriented bike that is a little more diverse than you might first assume.
The UK range of Diverges was fairly limited last year, but a new Expert model has been slipped in for 2019, mirroring its ‘cross sister. Specialized has also managed to squeeze in a few upgrades versus the las model year.
Specialized Diverge Expert
While the Expert is an all new model for this year, the frameset is a carry over from last year. The FACT9r carbon frame and fork keeps the 20mm of Future Shock suspension in the steerer tube. We covered this in our review of last year’s Comp and rate it. Such a small amount of travel isn’t going to iron out every lump and bump, but it definitely creates a smoother ride. The frame comes with plenty of bottle mounts, as well as the option to run a SWAT storage box at the base of the front triangle.
The big news though, is the spec. The bike comes with the same carbon Roval wheelset as the CruX Expert, and a SRAM Force/Praxis mash up when it comes to gearing/braking. While there are times that a 2x system is beneficial, our preference is generally for 1x for any off-road duties, so it’s a welcome addition to the range. The Diverge Expert will be priced at £4000 – not cheap by any stretch, but given the overall package, it feels like reasonable value.
Specialized Diverge Comp
The Diverge Comp was in the range last year, and was the model that we tested. It shares the same frameset as last year (and is identical to the Expert’s), but features an upgraded groupset. Whereas last year, the Comp was largely Shimano 105, this year, Specialized is offering Ultegra R8000 for the same money. On top of that, the Specialized Axis wheels of last year have been replaced by DT Swiss R470 disc numbers.
Given what we said about 1x above, it is also good to see that some brands are still offering a double chainset option on gravel bikes, as we know that a lot of people do prefer them still. If you are planning on spending a lot of time on mixed terrain, with long sections of tarmac or smoother terrain, then they begin to make a lot of sense. The Diverge Comp is a smidge more expensive than last year, with the upgrades reflected in its £3200 price tag. Both bikes are available now.