More is more! According to Specialized, that holds true for the perfect all-road bike. The Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL8 therefore offers plenty of tire clearance, extra damping thanks to the Future Shock and Pavé seat post, and mounting points for mudguards and bags. Is that still all-road or have we ventured into gravel territory?

Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL8 | 7.36 kg in size 56 | € 14,000 | Manufacturer’s website

This bike was tested as part of the 2024 all-road shootout – you can find an overview of the test field here: 2024 all-road shootout – The four hottest all-road bikes head to head.

Categories often make our lives easier. This applies to music, food and, of course, bicycles. This is punk rock, and these are vegetables. But what about the Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL8? It’s not that easy to place it into a neat category. With a tire clearance of up to 40 mm, and dedicated shock-absorbers, the Specialized Roubaix, which they’re calling a long-distance bike, has clearly outgrown the endurance category and its originally intended use. It even goes way beyond the demands of the all-road segment. Despite all its features, however, the S-Works weighs just 7.36 kg, making it the second lightest all-road bike in the shootout. How can that be? The retail price of € 14,000 suggests that there is a lot that’s gone into achieving this. Is it over-engineered or the best that money can buy?

What is the 2024 Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL8 made of?

Conspicuously inconspicuous! The 2024 Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL8 certainly stands out from the crowd. But not in the usual sense, and not always in the best sense. For example, the design language isn’t entirely coherent. The hump in the top tube, the long seat tube, and the riser handlebar look a little awkward. The Future Shock by the stem doesn’t look entirely right either. In general, however, the integration of the latest Future Shock 3.3 system looks a lot better than previous iterations. The finish and branding, on the other hand, are stylish, classy, and understated. As a whole, it’s a very cool and premium looking bike. The oil-slick chain serves a visual highlight and an eye-catcher, which suits the bike well. Its extravagance is hidden in the details of the Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL8. The S-Works lettering on the down tube isn’t in your face, but is kept nice and subtle. You have to look twice to see it. The same applies to the big S on the head tube.

The oil-slick finish on the chain and cassette serves as an eye-catcher on the otherwise very discreet bike.
The recessed seat post clamp and the rubber boot on top of it don’t feel as refined as the rest of the bike.

The spec of the Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL8 leaves nothing to be desired. You get a 12-speed SRAM Red eTAP AXS drivetrain with a 46/33 t crankset and 10–33 t cassette, ensuring impeccable shifting. The gear range is absolutely fine, at least on the road. However, it’s almost too narrow for excursions on steep gravel slopes. Thanks to Future Shock 3.3 suspension, which offers 20 mm travel, and the Pavé seat post, there shouldn’t be any shortage of damping.

The Future Shock can be adjusted via the dial that replaces the stem cap.
Room for more! The 40 mm tire clearance is enough to accommodate gravel tires.

Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL8 2023

€ 14,000


Fork Future Shock 3.3 w/ Smooth Boot, FACT Carbon
Seatpost Specialized D-Shape Carbon
Brakes SRAM Red eTap AXS HRD 160 mm
Drivetrain SRAM Red eTAP AXS 2 x 12
Chainring 46/33T
Stem S-Works Future Stem 100 mm
Handlebar S-Works Carbon Hover 420 mm
Wheelset Roval Terra CLX II 12 x 100/12 x 142 mm Through Axle
Tires S-Works Mondo 2BR 700 x 32c 32
Cranks SRAM Force AXS Powermeter 46/33 172.5 mm
Cassette SRAM XG 1290 10-33T

Technical Data

Size 44 49 52 54 56 58 61

Specific Features

– Future Shock 3.3 damping system in the steerer tube
– incredibly versatile
– compliant Pavé seat post offers added comfort
– massive tire clearances

How does the Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL8 perform on the test track?

The riding position aboard the Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL8 is relatively neutral and balanced yet still sporty. The tall front end, which is mainly due to the riser handlebar, makes it feel a little more upright and confidence inspiring. Overall, this results in a very organic riding experience between the rider and bike. Thanks to the intuitive handling, you can quickly feel at one with the bike, without needing too much time to get used to it. The balanced handling also ensures that both fast and slow corners can be navigated without much effort. The Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL8 remains stable and composed at all times. It’s loads of fun to rail around the corners. The compliance, as expected, is very high. The Future Shock does an outstanding job. Turning the dial on the stem to adjust the damping makes a noticeable difference to the feel of the shock. It adds a big plus in comfort, especially compared to the Canyon Endurace.

The Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL8 is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to acceleration, too! Unlike the FOCUS, and similar to the Canyon Endurace, it seems to cry out to you to get on the pedals and give it your all. It’s extremely light-footed for such a comfortable bike. Whether on a sprint or a climb, the bike just surges ahead. However, the Future Shock cannot be completely locked out and still has some give in the stiffest setting. Speaking of which, the spring rate adjustability of the latest Future Shock model allows you to fine tune the system to suit your own preferences. However, it can’t be completely locked out. The Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL8 also scores in terms of practicality, capable of accommodating three bottle cages, offering additional bosses on the top tube, and even boasting mudguard mounting points, all of which can be very helpful, whether on a long tour or in everyday life. In addition to the generous 40 mm tire clearance, you’ve also got the option of equipping the bike with a mechanical drivetrain. The remaining components, from the tires to the frame, play very well together. Overall, it feels like a very high-quality and special bike. The only minus point is the difficult-to-reach seat post clamp that tends to jam and is difficult to adjust. Furthermore, the integration of the seat post with its rubber boot isn’t as seamless as we’d like, and it doesn’t convey the same premium feel as the rest of the bike.

This bike rides like a magic carpet, even on the worst roads.

Helmet Specialized S-Works Prevail 3 | Glasses SCOTT SHILD | Jacket CAFÉ DU CYCLISTE Laureline | Jersey POC W’S ULTRA TEE | Bib Pas Normal Mechanism | Shoes SUPLEST ROAD PRO | Socks Specialized Soft Air Road Mid Sock

Who is the Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL8 for?

Looking for an all-rounder? The Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL8 is an ideal match for those who enjoy varying terrain and long tours. From rough gravel to smooth asphalt, the bike caters to all use cases, and it suits those who want a do-it-all bike in a road bike guise. A second wheelset with gravel tires can turn the Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL8 into a light and fast gravel bike in no time! Commuters will also get their money’s worth thanks to the high level of comfort and mudguard mounting points.

Tuning tip: A second wheelset with gravel tires for the ultimate do-it-all bike

Riding Characteristics



  1. cumbersome
  2. playful


  1. nervous
  2. confident


  1. demanding
  2. balanced

Fun factor

  1. boring
  2. lively


  1. firm
  2. comfortable

Value for money

  1. terrible
  2. very good

Technical Data

S-Works Roubaix SL8

Size: 44 49 52 54 56 58 61
Weight: 7.36
Price: € 14,000

Indended Use

Smooth tarmac 1
Allroad/Gravel 2
Everyday/Commuting 3

Our conclusion on the Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL8

The Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL8 is a versatile all-rounder, blurring the boundary between all-road and gravel. Its do-it-all character is further underlined by its practical features, and its intuitive handling, coupled with a high level of comfort, opens up a lot of possibilities when planning a route, and makes it a ton of fun to ride. In addition, the all-road bike is incredibly light considering the built-in suspension. All in all, it’s a very coherent overall concept!


  • outstanding compliance
  • intuitive handling
  • coherent overall concept


  • seat post clamp leaves room for improvement

For more information, visit

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Words: Martin Staffa Photos: Jan Richter