With the Specialized S-Works Roubaix SRAM RED eTap AXS, the American bike giant sends its endurance road bike into our group test. Can the Future Shock 2.0 and new sizing scheme introduced with the Roubaix help it ride to victory?

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best road bike of 2020 – 13 high-carat road bikes in review

Specialized S-Works Roubaix | 7.57 kg (size 56) | € 11,199  | Manufacturer’s websitee

Lighter than the 2019 Specialized Venge and more aerodynamic than the S-Works Tarmac SL6 – that’s how the Specialized S-Works Roubaix was announced. In contrast to its predecessors, it has an updated version of the Future Shock system with 20 mm travel, which now has damping that can be adjusted, even while riding. To keep comfort at the front and rear consistent, Specialized’s D-shaped Pavé seatpost comes to play. Combined with the seat post clamp, which has been dropped by 65 mm, it is claimed not just to improve comfort but also the aerodynamics of the bike. Specialized’s Rider-First Engineering ensures consistent comfort and performance, with tailored carbon layups across the range of sizes on offer. Specialized have also brought together their male and female ranges, with no distinction between the two. The unified offering instead has an expanded range of sizes available.

The Specialized S-Works Roubaix SRAM RED eTap AXS in detail

Our size 56 test bike weighs 7.57 kg and costs € 11,199. For this price, you’ll get a complete 2×12 SRAM RED eTap AXS groupset including a power meter, Roval CLX 32 Disc wheels and 700 x 28C S-Works Turbo Rapid Air tires. Should you want, you’ll be able to fit up to 700 x 33C tires in this frame.

Polarising
The Specialized Carbon Hover bar might not be to everyone’s taste. While it offers good vibration damping and ergonomics, we would recommend a traditional bar to get more pressure on the front wheel and increase steering precision.
Switch it up
WWhile riding, the damping of the Future Shock 2.0 system can be quickly adjusted. Just turn the dial. Voilà.
Lowboy
The seat post clamp has been dropped by 65 mm for increased flex and compliance in the Pavé seatpost

Specialized S-Works Roubaix SRAM RED eTap AXS

€ 11,199

Specifications

Seatpost S-Works Pave 30 mm
Brakes SRAM RED HRD 160/160 mm
Drivetrain SRAM RED eTap AXS
Stem S-Works Future Stem mit GPS-Mount 100 mm
Handlebar S-Works Carbon Hover Drop 420 mm
Wheelset Roval CLX 32 Disc
Tires S-Works Turbo Rapid Air 700 x 28C
Gearing 46/33 T und 10–33 T 2x12

Technical Data

Size 44 49 52 54 56 58 61
Weight 7.57 kg


All inclusive
Specialized deliver the bike with a power meter fitted to the SRAM RED cranks as standard.

The geometry of the Specialized

Size 44 49 52 54 56 58 61
Seat tube 365 mm 410 mm 446 mm 465 mm 485 mm 505 mm 547 mm
Top tube 512 mm 525 mm 533 mm 545 mm 563 mm 579 mm 595 mm
Head tube 90 mm 100 mm 112 mm 125 mm 143 mm 170 mm 205 mm
Head angle 70.0° 71.5° 72.0° 72.8° 73.5° 73.5° 74.0°
Seat angle 74.0° 74.0° 74.0° 74.0° 73.5° 73.5° 73.5°
Chainstays 413 mm 413 mm 413 mm 415 mm 415 mm 418 mm 418 mm
BB Drop 78 mm 78 mm 78 mm 76 mm 76 mm 75 mm 75 mm
Wheelbase 981 mm 982 mm 986 mm 988 mm 995 mm 1,014 mm 1,024 mm
Reach 353 mm 363 mm 368 mm 376 mm 384 mm 392 mm 398 mm
Stack 540 mm 555 mm 570 mm 585 mm 605 mm 630 mm 665 mm

Grinning at full blast on bumpy roads, while the others suffer on their stiff bikes. Just shift up and ride on.

Helmet Giro Synthe MIPS | Glasses Oakley RadarLock | Jersey Rapha RCC Training Jersey | Shorts Men’s RCC Pro Team Thermal Bib Shorts II | Socks Rapha RCC Pro Team Long | Shoes Rapha Climber’s Shoe

The Specialized S-Works Roubaix SRAM RED eTap AXS in review

The S-Works Roubaix offers light footed acceleration, getting up to speed faster than the Trek Domane but lagging slightly behind more sprint-focussed bikes like the Focus Izalco or Dogma F12. While climbing and on the flats, it’s easy to maintain speed not least because the high level of comfort makes it possible to hold a more aggressive position for longer. Even on rocky gravel tracks, the Roubaix remains decidedly comfortable and feels supremely at ease. For heavier and taller riders who need a lot of seatpost extension, the rear can actually feel almost too compliant. The handling of the bike is also strongly dependent on the setting of the Future Shock 2.0 system and you’ll need to figure out what works for you. With the damping completely open, the front end is missing some precision and directness at full speed. However, in this configuration the Roubaix offers a balanced level of comfort and excellent straight line stability on challenging terrain. Close the damping and the bike is significantly more precise on the downhills, as well as reacting more quickly to sprints or aggressive braking. The Future Shock 2.0 damping offers a fine range of adjustment between open and closed, which is easy to change with the dial that takes the place of the traditional steerer tube cap. Overall, the handling of the Roubaix is balanced, though it is good-natured rather than aggressively sporty. That also contributes to the bike’s dependable and secure feeling ride.

Tuning tips: Zero-rise bars and a flat Future Shock cover for more pressure on the front wheel and better steering precision

Riding Characteristics

4

Agility

  1. cumbersome
  2. playful

Stability

  1. nervous
  2. confident

Handling

  1. demanding
  2. balanced

Fun factor

  1. boring
  2. lively

Comfort

  1. firm
  2. comfortable

Value for money

  1. terrible
  2. very good

Technical Data

Specialized
S-Works Roubaix SRAM RED eTap AXS

Size: 44 49 52 54 56 58 61
Weight: 7.57 kg
Price: € 11,199

Indended Use

Smooth tarmac 1
Allroad/Gravel 2
Everyday/Commuting 3

Conclusion

The Specialized S-Works Roubaix is a comfortable and sporty platform that will suit everyone from beginners to pros. It plays to its strengths on poor roads, farm tracks and compacted gravel and stands out with its integrated comfort concepts and the dependable and stable handling that it offers. The Specialized misses out on the win only because it’s missing that final bit of sprightliness and precision when riding right at the limit.

Tops

  • thought-through technical concept
  • adjustable Future Shock 2.0 suspension
  • feels secure on all terrain

Flops

  • missing just a tiny bit of sprightliness
  • Future Shock and seat post clamp don't quite fit into the otherwise tidy picture

For more info head to specialized.com

The test field

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best road bike of 2020 – 13 high-carat road bikes in review

Specialized S-Works Roubaix

All bikes in test: Argon 18 Krypton Pro (Click for review) | Bianchi Infinito CV Disc (Click for review) | BMC Roadmachine 01 ONE (Click for review) | Cannondale SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Disc Dura Ace (Click for review) | Cicli Bonanno Futomaki Disc (Click for review) | FOCUS IZALCO MAX DISC 9.9 (Click for review) | LOOK 795 BLADE RS DISC (Click for review) | OPEN U.P.P.E.R. (Click for review) | Pinarello Dogma F12 Team INEOS Edition (Click for review) | ROSE REVEAL SIX Dura Ace Di2 Custom (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Roubaix | Trek Domane SLR 9 eTap (Click for review) | VOTEC VRC PRO (Click for review)

Words: Benjamin Topf Photos: Valentin Rühl