Specialized Diverge Specialist E5 Evo evaluation: Enjoyable, not that quickly, with level bars

Tale Emphasizes

  • What it is: A flat-bar crushed rock bike that’s really developed for level bars.
  • Framework attributes: Light weight aluminum E5 structure with carbon fork, Future Shock 2 handlebar suspension, threaded lower brace.
  • Weight: 10.31 kg (22.73 pound), dimension tool (56 centimeters), without pedals or devices.
  • Rate: US$ 2,600/ AU$ 4,500/ ₤ 2,600/ EUR3,500.
  • Highs: Extremely enjoyable, confidence-inspiring handling on a flexible fire system.
  • Lows: Slower than a lot of gravel bikes.

The Specialized Diverge E5 Evo is a crushed rock bike that does not truly intend to be a crushed rock bike. It desires, fairly seriously, to be a mountain bicycle. It has actually extended, broadened, squashed, leaned itself precisely back, flexing over in reverse to be anything however what it is. Which is a crushed rock bike.

It’s an enjoyable one, similarly that mtb are enjoyable. It’s self-confidence motivating as well as comfy, as well as will certainly be restricted mostly by your skillset, not its very own features. However it still exists in a weird crossover area in between 2 various sorts of riding, which suggests it will not help most individuals. For some bikers, however, it will certainly be practically best.

Is this your daddy’s crossbreed?

Specialized Diverge Evo structure

The Diverge Evo is improved a light weight aluminum structure with a carbon fork as well as uses Specialized’s Future Shock 2 steerer tube shock absorber. It’s not “actual” suspension, although there’s a steel coil springtime as well as oil damper inside. Rather, it just assists separate your hands from the structure, not your structure from the ground. It methods you right into assuming it boosts grip, although to be reasonable, it’s tough to analyze just how much of the boosted grasp off-road was the Future Shock as well as what was the extremely bumpy front tire.

However that does not suggest it does not function. It functions wonderfully well, as well as I think this is the most effective application for the Future Shock principle, which primarily really feels unneeded when driving. It makes the front end of the Diverge substantially a lot more comfy than various other crushed rock bikes.

The light weight aluminum structure is plenty tight as well as will certainly occupy to a 700 × 47 mm tire (or a 650 × 54 mm one).

The carbon fork has added places on both sides for even more container cages or a burrito owner or whatever you desire. Tiny shelf as well as fender places embellish the fork as well as remains also.

The lower brace is threaded, the wire transmitting is interior with the structure (however not bench or stem), as well as there’s no place to connect a front derailleur.

Light weight aluminum shaping has actually come a lengthy means.


Evo, in Specialized talk, converts to “a lot more enjoyable than the initial variation.” A few of that boils down to components spec modifications, however the majority of it originates from little however crucial tweaks to geometry. Evo variations often tend to be tuned for rougher, rowdier, quicker coming down, as well as the Diverge Evo is no various.

In this situation, that suggests expanding the reach concerning 30 mm throughout a lot of dimensions, reducing the stem a comparable quantity, and after that going down the head tube angle to 70 °. Relying on the dimension, that’s a 0.5-1.75 ° decline about thenon-Evo Diverge It’s significant. It’s slacker than my cross-country race bikes remained in the very early 2000s.

The front-end tweaks come directly from the mountain bicycle globe, which has actually been gradually expanding reach numbers as well as easing head tube angles for a years, to the factor that the Grim Donut created by our colleagues at Pinkbike does not also look that insane any longer. The outcome is a bike that places the front wheel even more out in front of you while keeping adequate area in the cabin. It’s a winning formula for off-road riding.

The chainstays obtain a bit much longer also, from 425 to 432 mm throughout all dimensions. This makes the bike a little bit a lot more steady also.

It’s not always a winning formula when driving or on smooth crushed rock as well as dust. I’ll reach that listed below.

Specialized just provides the Diverge Evo in 3 dimensions, as well as there’s presently no carbon variation, either. And also of course, Specialized truly does couple the geometry graph with a photo of a drop-bar bike. Oops. Image: Specialized.

Specialized Diverge Evo construct as well as spec

It would certainly be ridiculous to spec a slacked-out crushed rock bike with road-going componentry, as well as Specialized hasn’t. It’s 1x-only without alternative for a front derailleur, as well as features a 12-speed Shimano XT cassette (our examination bike had a 10-51T; Specialized’s spec sheet details a 10-45T), XT back derailleur, as well as XT shifter.

The crankset as well as 40-tooth front chainring are from Practices as well as function wonderful. No grievances concerning the drivetrain– it’s an excellent suit for the designated surface areas this bike will certainly see.

The exact same can be stated concerning the brakes. Magura’s MT4 are a rather uncommon selection, however a superb one. I originally presumed their visibility was just Specialized attempting to conserve a couple of dollars over the Shimano choices, however credit report where credit report schedules: someone at Specialized plainly rode these as well as determined them as a best suit to the lowered grip offered with crushed rock tires.

I have actually discovered that effective brakes can bewilder slim crushed rock tires in low-traction circumstances. Inflection is what you desire, as well as the MT4’s inflection is fantastic. 10 factors for this spec choice.

These Magura MT4s are a specification emphasize. They’re superb.

The tires themselves, 42 mm Specialized Rhombus Pros, get on the bumpy end of the crushed rock range. They’re slow-moving as hell when driving, however attach well on dust as well as can also take care of a little bit of mud.

Those tires are twisted around light weight aluminum DT Swiss G540 edges, which aren’t light however have a wonderful 24 mm interior size, a wonderful suit for crushed rock tires in the 40-47 mm array.

The Diverge Evo additionally has a dropper message. X-Fusion’s 50 mm Manic dropper is resilient (I have actually had one on an additional bike for a year with absolutely no concerns) as well as supplies simply adequate activity to obtain the saddle off the beaten track if you’re obtaining gently growdy[gravel-rowdy, get it?— Ed.] An additional great suit for the bike’s designated objective.

My only concern with dropper messages on crushed rock bikes (past the weight) is that they do not flex a lot. You lose on a great deal of all-day convenience for the sporadic couple of minutes when you could really require a dropper. That’s not a profession I’m directly going to make.

The only significant adjustment we made to the supply specification was the enhancement of CushCore tire inserts. I have actually been running CushCore on my hardtail for time as well as it’s been an eye-opener, entirely altering the means I ride that bike. The trouble with the Diverge Evo’s dynamic geometry is that it motivates you to ride faster with horrible things, however the tires can not maintain. There’s an inequality in between the capacity supplied by the geometry as well as the ability for penalty of the tires. The inserts include weight however have a remarkable result on the Diverge, motivating self-confidence with beefy route without tangibly influencing moving resistance. It’s a needed upgrade if you live someplace with harsh tracks.

A Shimano XT drivetrain does the job. A 10-51 cassette supplies lots of array.

Benches. They’re level. Do you desire that?

This isn’t truly the location to rework the “need to flat-bar crushed rock bikes exist” discussion, so allow’s proceed forward under the presumption that they should. It deserves attempting to specify that will certainly like them, however.

The mix of hill bike-inspired lengthy as well as relaxed geometry, a brief stem, as well as vast bars suggest that you’re substantially a lot more upright on the Diverge Evo than when remaining on the hoods of even more conventional drop-bar crushed rock bikes. You’re additionally broader your hands rest at the ends of a 750 mm-long bar. Crushed rock isn’t normally hyper-focused on the rules of aerodynamics (though there are some exceptions) however that upright, vast placement is absolutely as well as significantly slower when you’re attempting to ride quickly on a smooth surface area.

As you do on a mountain bicycle, you discover on your own in those circumstances placing your hands near the center of bench, by the stem. However the reach to this factor is so brief that it promptly fatigues your triceps muscles. It’s not lasting.

The placement is additionally a little bit strange as well as also somewhat saggy out of the saddle, especially climbing up. Any person utilized to a the feeling of a mountain bicycle possibly will not mind, however roadies will certainly discover the experience distressing, as if the bike intends to stray in instructions of its very own deciding on.

Unsurprisingly, the level bars stand out off roadway. There’s a factor hill bicycle riders utilize them (do not send me pictures of John Tomac; you are not John Tomac). Level bars supply considerably far better control, even more certain handling, as well as have an even more all-natural hand placement on the brakes. All advantages off roadway.

That’s level.

That was perfectly clear throughout team screening when every harsh area of route saw whoever got on a drop-bar bike obtain gapped quickly.

Most significantly, the level bar makes the Evo enjoyable. That’s the key disagreement for crushed rock bikes such as this, truthfully. You can make efficiency disagreements, however those devolve rather promptly right into “ALRIGHT, well, simply obtain a hardtail after that.” Due to the fact that the Evo is essentially simplya bad mountain bike However it’s additionally an incredibly enjoyable bike.

Most importantly, the geometry modifies on the Evo make it truly help level bars. Tossing level bars on any type of old drop-bar crushed rock bike causes a confined cabin with inadequate handling. You need to run a longer stem which chucks your weight onward as well as makes the bike twitchy, negating the advantages of the level bar to start with. However a level bar on a crushed rock bike developed for level bars is a discovery.

What is this bike? I still do not truly understand. Perhaps it’s a 10 years old mountain bicycle without suspension fork, or an expensive crossbreed, or an actually dreadful roadway bike.

However you understand what it most definitely was? It was one of the most enjoyable bike in our Area Examination. It was the slowest in lots of circumstances, it’s even worse in a lot of means than a cross-country hardtail, it’s not also that light. It’s deeply baffled. However it was enjoyable. It placed a smile on my face. So perhaps none of that issues.

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