New Specialized Roubaix: Does the launch of a gravel-ready bike leave the endurance bike category behind?

We put the updated endurance model to the test on a little over 110 km's of Portugal's varying terrain

Cyclist riding new Specialized Roubaix SL8
(Image credit: Specialized)

Specialized has just unveiled its latest Roubaix endurance bike. The headline changes are extra tire clearance, more mounts and an improved Future Shock under-stem suspension system - the neatest feature being that you can buy this separately and retrofit it to previous generations of the Roubaix.

It is a pertinent question whether the Roubaix has transitioned from endurance road bike to simply being a speedy gravel bike. With tire clearances of up to 40mm, a generously flexing seatpost and the Future Shock up front, the Roubaix is certainly more comfortable and capable than some models which have carried the ‘gravel’ moniker…

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Stefan Abram
Tech features editor

After winning the 2019 National Single-Speed Cross-Country Mountain Biking Championships and claiming the plushie unicorn (true story), Stefan swapped the flat-bars for drop-bars and has never looked back. 

Since then, he’s earnt his 2ⁿᵈ cat racing licence in his first season racing as a third, completed the South Downs Double in under 20 hours and Everested in under 12.

But his favourite rides are multiday bikepacking trips, with all the huge amount of cycling tech and long days spent exploring new roads and trails - as well as histories and cultures. Most recently, he’s spent two weeks riding from Budapest into the mountains of Slovakia

Height: 177cm

Weight: 67–69kg