Specialized Diverge 2017

The New 2017 Specialized Diverge Light Touring Bikes

With the adventure category of bikes really taking off, Specialized has been working hard to make sure they hit every niche. The Specialized AWOL is the bombproof long-distance touring rig and the Specialized Sequoia is the capable light-touring bike. But what if you want to pack light and stick mostly to the main roads? The 2017 Specialized Diverge may just suit you best!

The 2017 Specialized Diverge is a road bike with taller geometry, lower gears, wider tyres and disc brakes – it’s about as light as you can go with a ‘light touring’ bike. There’s a women’s specific range called the Specialized Dolce EVO, also designed to fit fenders and racks.

There are three different levels of Diverge frame. The top two models use carbon fibre as the frame material, while the bottom three use aluminium. The aluminium range splits into two; there’s a premium frame (DSW) that uses more advanced construction techniques to reduce weight. Then there’s the standard aluminium frame for the lowest two models.

The carbon bikes will handle a front lowrider rack only, and the lowest two aluminium bikes will take rear racks only. The DSW aluminium bike can handle front or rear racks.

In terms of geometry, the Specialized Diverge is actually closest to Specialized’s endurance road bike – the Roubaix. The major difference is the maximum tyre capacity (700x35C on the Diverge) and gearing (lower range gears on the Diverge). When compared to other Specialized models, the Diverge is shorter and taller on average than more off-road capable Specialized Sequoia. This is because the Diverge uses slightly longer stems to optimise the bike’s steering towards road-based riding.

The 2017 Specialized Diverge Expert

2017 Specialized Diverge
The 2017 Specialized Diverge Expert carbon bike.

Specialized’s flagship bike is the Diverge Expert. This carbon bike is a touch over 8kg (17lbs), making it one of the lightest pannier and front rack -capable bikes in the world! To reduce overall weight, the frame uses Specialized’s FACT 10R carbon, their mid-range carbon in terms of the fibre stiffness. This results in a frame and fork under 1500g! The Shimano Ultegra road bike parts aid in keeping the weight low too and the Shimano RS-685 hydraulic brakes make sure you stop on a dime.

The gearing on the Diverge is intended for steep hills – the 27-118″ gear range is the same as most light touring bikes available. You’ll find a 3-boss cargo mount on the downtube for storing extra gear if you desire, and a CG-R seatpost up the back which flexes vertically to provide you additional comfort. The cost of the Specialized Diverge Expert is US $3800.

The 2017 Specialized Diverge Comp

2017 Specialized Diverge
The 2017 Specialized Diverge Comp carbon bike.

Using the same FACT 10R carbon frameset as the top model, the Specialized Diverge Comp is still under 9kg (20lbs). To cut the costs a bit, it employs Shimano 105 road parts with the same gear ratios (27-118″) and uses an aluminium crankset. The good news is that you’ll still get the vibration damping CG-R seatpost with this bike! The cost of the Comp is US $3300.

The 2017 Specialized Diverge Elite DSW

2017 Specialized Diverge
The 2017 Specialized Diverge Elite DSW aluminium bike in orange.
2017 Specialized Diverge
The 2017 Specialized Diverge Elite DSW aluminium bike in black.

The Specialized Diverge Elite DSW offers, without doubt, the best value to performance. It’s under HALF the price of the carbon offerings and you’ll still get the same carbon fork with mid-mounts. This E5 Premium aluminium frame is actually one of the most advanced aluminium bikes around, only adding a couple of hundred grams to the carbon frames. Specialized hydroform the ends of each frame tube to increase the frame material at the weld, but reduce it in other areas. The result is a sub-10kg (22lbs) bike.

In terms of gears and brakes, the Diverge Elite DSW uses Shimano Tiagra 10-speed parts (27-118″) and the awesome TRP Spyre cable disc brakes. This Diverge is the only one that comes in the 64cm size for 200cm+ (6ft6) riders. It’s also the only aluminium frame with the 3-boss cargo mount on the downtube. The retail price for the bike is US $1400 and it’s available in two colours.

The 2017 Specialized Diverge Sport A1

2017 Specialized Diverge
The 2017 Specialized Diverge Sport A1 aluminium bike.

The Specialized Diverge Sport A1 drops a few hundred dollars and in the process switches to a more basic frameset (carbon fork without mid-mounts) a Shimano Sora 9-speed drivetrain (27-118″) and Tektro cable disc brakes. The Diverge Sport A1 will weigh a touch over 10kg (22lbs), will take rear racks only and will cost you US $1050.

The 2017 Specialized Diverge A1

2017 Specialized Diverge
The 2017 Specialized Diverge A1 aluminium bike in red.
2017 Specialized Diverge
The 2017 Specialized Diverge A1 aluminium bike in black.

The entry-level Specialized Diverge A1 uses the same frameset as the Sport, but uses a Shimano Claris 8-speed drivetrain (27-118″) and FSA crankset. This 10kg+ (22lbs) bike can handle a rear rack and panniers. You’ll be able to get the Diverge A1 in two different colours for US $900.

The 2017 Specialized Dolce Comp EVO Womens

2017 Specialized Dolce EVO
The 2017 Specialized Dolce Comp EVO womens touring bike.

The women-specific Specialized Dolce Comp EVO utilises Specialized’s lightweight E5 Premium aluminium frame, and matches it with the fork from the Diverge A1 bikes. The Dolce range is shorter and taller when compared to the Diverge which tends to better suit the proportions of women. There’s also more standover and slightly slower steering to offset the shorter stems.

As the fork is the same as the Diverge A1-series, the Dolce range is rear-rack only. The Dolce Comp EVO is available with Shimano 105 11-speed road bike parts, including hydraulic disc brakes. You’ll also get the CG-R seatpost with built-in elastomers to smoothen your ride. You can get the Dolce Comp EVO for US $1950.

The 2017 Specialized Dolce EVO Womens

2017 Specialized Dolce EVO
The 2017 Specialized Dolce EVO women’s touring bike.

The Specialized Dolce EVO shares the same frameset as the top-level women’s model, but uses Shimano Tiagra 10-speed parts (27-118″) and the excellent TRP HY/RD cable-operated hydraulic disc brakes. You can get the Dolce EVO for US $1350.

Want To Compare These Touring Bikes With Dozens of Others?

Check out The Touring Bicycle Buyer’s Guide which compares touring bike steering, sizing, gear ratios, specification, pricing and more. The Bikepacking Bike Buyer’s Guide does the same thing, however, with a focus on lighter bikes and models with more off-road capability. Both of these guides are updated annually with the latest models at no extra cost!

Helpful Resources

All About Touring Bike Brakes
Frame Materials for Bicycle Touring
How to Select Touring Bike Gearing
Understand Bicycle Frame Geometry
What’s the Difference between Cyclocross and Touring Bikes?

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  1. Just in time for the holidays! Although I still can’t decide whether the Diverge (DSW) or the Aluminum Norco Search Tiagra ($1199USD) is the better value.

  2. Given how similar the parts are between those bikes, the Norco is better value. But what you get with the Diverge is a slightly lower climbing gear, front rack mounts and a more technologically advanced aluminium frame.

  3. Just put money down on a 2016 Diverge A1 Aluminum this past weekend, they where on sale to get ready for the new stock. Can’t wait. Going to be much better than a Fixie for cross city riding.

  4. Picked up a 2017 Specialized Diverge DSW for Father’s Day. Been really enjoying it. Much smoother because of the larger tires than my 2000 Trek USPS. Though I may not be as fast as when I am on the Trek, I don’t feel as beat up having to “feel” the imperfections of the road. I was surprised that the Specialized with its aluminum frame would transmit less road shock vs. my Trek which has a carbon frame. But running higher pressure 23mm tires vs. lower pressure 30mm tires sure can make a big difference. Also, I like the more upright feel on the Specialized and do not have to hunch over as much as I do with the Trek. Overall, very pleased with the bike.

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