We put the Specialized S-Works SL4 Roubaix up against our First Ride review
- First Ride
What started out as a relaxed sportive style cruiser has over the years been transformed in favour of performance. This new SL4 won Paris-Roubaix under Tom Boonen this year and promises to be the
fastest Roubaix ever.
Our first impressions are of a much sharper bike, that’s both faster accelerating and snappier handling, showing the SL4 to have lots of promise and potential.
- Fast Ride
The head tube height has been reduced and out back the rear-end dimensions have been tightened up. These changes give the SL4 a much more direct handling feel. For extended spells of effort on the flat or short sprint bursts it feels like a race bike – quick and hugely impressive. Add into that Specialized’s new 40mm deep aero wheels, which have great crosswind control, and you have a seriously quick package.
- Hilly Ride
The S-Works showcases Roval’s latest wheels, the CLX40; these are light at under 1,500g and run on ceramic bearings. We were impressed with the lack of inertia thanks to light rims on climbs making for impressive acceleration, and the frame is pitch perfect on fast twisting descents, maintaining a very stable, balanced handling feel even with the increased comfort from the post and Zertz damping.
- Long Ride
All of the aggressive geometry changes could have an adverse effect on the long ride comfort (the previous Roubaix was one of the best for this). But the redesigned Zertz inserts have more effect on damping vibration and the brilliant leaf-spring design Cobl-Goblr seatpost offers active damping over bigger bumps keeping us comfy for longer. This is the best Roubaix yet, and quite possibly one of the best bikes around for 2013.
Weight Not yet known
Size tested M
Sizes available 49,52,54,56,58,61,64
Size tested 58
Frame & Fork SL4 Fact carbon with Zertz vibration damping. SL4 carbon with Zertz vibration damping
Stem S-Works Pro-set
Handlebar S-Works SL carbon shallow drop bar
Transmission Sram Red (UK spec: Dura-Ace Di2 11)
Brakes Sram Red (UK spec: Dura-Ace)
Chainset S-Works Fact carbon
Wheels Roval Rapide CLX40
Tyres Turbo Pro 25c tyres
Saddle Specialized Toupé RBX Pro