New wheels!

And by “new wheels”, I don’t really mean new wheels. Why would you want new wheels if you can get something even better?

Something like… This:

IMG_6835Now please, I wouldn’t like you to get a wrong picture about me. I generally don’t like to brag, but hey! It’s a new bike! 🙂 I can’t tell you how happy I am these days, I’ve been waiting for it since august. At first I was told it would arrive a month ago, but it took a bit longer for some reason. It kept me on edge for a while, but eventually it arrived and I’d like to thank Eurobike for getting it to me as fast as they could. Their attitude was super fun and professional as well, something you sadly don’t get in every bike shop around here.

So what is it, what’s it called? As you might have guessed already, it’s a Specialized Diverge Elite. Light aluminium frame with a carbon fork, mechanical disc brakes, 28 mm tyres and a Shimano Tiagra groupset. You can see from the picture that the top tube slopes down significantly, making it a more forgiving, easy to ride bike. The “adventure road bikes” as they have been called provide a great solution for the likes of me – riders who might not only be interested in high speed racing, but want comfort and security over any type of surface, road or gravel.

That was one of the biggest high points when I was looking for a new bike. I don’t really have deep pockets and racing isn’t my priority. I seldom push myself very hard. However I do enjoy a bit of speed here and there and even though my previous bike (a Felt QX 70 hybrid) gave me everything I needed, I just wanted some more speed and flashiness.

The Diverge was perfect for me for a number of reasons:

  • it’s just the kind of bike I wanted, not too race-oriented, but still fast
  • looks devilishly good with the red add ons
  • coming from Specialized, it was easily available for preorder
  • the price was just right
  • it also comes with bag mounts front and rear, which makes it travel-ready, something I’d like to take advantage of next season

IMG_6812So what’s it like to ride, I hear you ask. Perhaps I’m not the best person to pass judgements as I’ve not ridden any other road bikes before. I can only compare it to my Felt and after two days and about 120 kms I’ll say this: it’s a rocket. It just wants to keep going, it never wants to stop. It feels light, nimble and responsive. It tackles dirt roads with ease. I’m not sure if the Zertz Insertz are to blame here, but the bike smooths up the bumps nicely and is a pleasure to ride. Just a shame that my legs can’t push it anywhere near it’s limits. Yet. 🙂 The new seating position is something to get used to, but it’s easier than I expected it to be. I spent 4 hours on the bike yesterday and felt no major pain anywhere, despite the setup not being what it should be yet. Perhaps that’s just my tender age protecting me.

Going forward into the 2016 season, I’m to do multi-day trips with this thing and if everything falls into place (especially about time and money), there will be many more cycling pleasures and with it, blog content as well. I based this blog around the new bike and now it’s just a matter of willpower and imagination to make it work.

As winter approaches I’ll try to tweak the bike a bit more and keep turning the pedals as much as the weather allows. New pedals are on the way to replace the placeholder plastic one I’ve currently got, plus I’ll have to fiddle with the seating setup to find the perfect fit. As this is an M size frame and I’m right on the border between S and M, a shorter stem could be needed as well. Here’s hoping for more sunny days and fun times with the Diverge. 🙂

A whole new world has just opened up, so check back soon to see what’s going on. And don’t forget to check out some more photos of the bike before you go. 🙂

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4 thoughts on “New wheels!

  1. Nice bike, I want to purchase the same one. I saw on a forum you said that the 52CM might be too large for you? I am 5’9″ and a bike shop fitted me quickly and said the 56 CM would be my size. It seemed comfortable on the 20 minute test ride (I assumed I was going to be a 56). Any issues with the bike so far? I saw that you had a creak in the crank, and took the pedal off and greased/lubed it; any other issues so far? How are the stock tires, any flats yet? I come from a mountain biking background so am a pretty aggressive rider. How are the rims holding up when you go off road? Any other comments/insights would be helpful. Thank you!

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    1. Hey, thanks for stopping by and taking an interest.
      Honestly, I can’t say nothing but good things about the bike. I’ve made about 1500 kms until now and had no problems with it whatsoever. Changed the stem for a shorter one to get a better fit and that’s all. Everything else is stock and holding well for now. The creaks were due to something in the left pedal, greased that a bit and it went away. The drive system and gears work smoothly, haven’t had to touch anything yet except to clean it.
      Rims and tires are performing great as well, I take it on dirt roads regularly and it manages them no problem.
      In the end I think you can’t go wrong with the Diverge. It’ll take you pretty much everywhere fast, and it’ll keep on going. As for the size, the shop folks will know better than I do, probably. If you tried it and it felt good, I say stick with it. They swapped my stem for free, so you can still make adjustments later on if needed.
      And I’d advise getting the flat/SPD pedals, to go with it, they complement the bike’s versatility nicely. Mine are Shimano’s A530 – you can’t see them in this post, but they came on shortly after it was written, so they’re on everywhere else around the site.
      Long story short – go for it and have fun with it. It’s a great bit of kit. 🙂

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  2. Hi – nice blog! My Canyon Endurance 7.0 SL got stolen and I’m in for something new. I’d like to have a versatile bike to leave the asphalt now and then. Don’t like to sit too deep. But I also like to climb and excercise on a Tacx (fitness reasons) …
    I am only concerned about the bike weight (do you have an idea?) and about the Tiagra groupset. The Canyon had Ultegra groupset and was full Carbon. Pretty light and good climber. Otherwise it felt a little fragile.
    Have you even done some climbing? Mont Ventoux is on my list. The Canyon had a 50/34 compact. But so does your right?

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    1. Hey, thanks for stopping by, really sorry to hear about your bike being stolen. Really, I mean who would have the heart to steal someone’s bike. Such a shame.
      As for the Diverge, I think you can’t go wrong with it. I haven’t checked the latest prices, but I got it for around 1.300€ and it’s been good to me all along. The weight is around 9 kgs, so it could be lighter, but it’s not that bad. I’d like an even smaller gear sometimes, but it gets me up every hill, even on longer rides. You’re probably fit enough that you shouldn’t have problems with it either.
      Otherwise the alu frame is solid and I’ve never really wished for a carbon one. The seating position is really comfortable and the 28 mm wheels are great as well, both on tarmac and smoother gravel. You might get bumped around on rougher roads, but the bike can take it.
      Overall it’s a great package and you’ll surely be happy with it. It’s available in all kinds of specs, so you can go with a 105 or Ultegra as well, but the Tiagra works good enough for me.
      And good luck with Mt. Ventoux, I’d like to do that as well some day. 😉

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