For six years now, Specialized has featured a mini front shock absorber known as the Future Shock above the head tube of its gravel bikes. The just-announced Diverge STR, however, also sports a new Rear Future Shock that provides 30 mm of rear suspension travel.
Putting it fairly simply … The Rear Future Shock consists of three parts – a hydraulic damper which is mounted horizontally inside the rear end of the top tube, a flexible frame post which extends up out of the frame’s seat tube, and an aluminum “tendon” that connects the damper to the frame post.
As the rear wheel goes over bumps in the road and pushes the rear end of the bike up/forward, the frame post responds by flexing backward, absorbing much of the impact energy – it’s only loosely connected to the seat stays via a rubber gasket, so it can move fore and aft relative to them. The damper ensures that the frame post doesn’t compress and rebound too easily, which would cause the saddle to wildly bob up and down.
Users can choose between two frame posts that ship with each bike, one being more flexible than the other. They can also choose between three compression settings via a lever on the damper, and adjust the rebound speed by inserting a hex key through a hole in the end of the top tube.
The system is claimed to work for riders weighing between 110 and 275 lb (50 and 125 kg). A front Future Shock is also still present, providing 20 mm of front travel.
Other features of the base Expert version of the Diverge STR include a full carbon fiber frame; a 1 x 12 SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain with SRAM Rival eTap AXS wireless shifting; SRAM Rival eTap AXS hydraulic disc brakes; plus Roval Terra C carbon-rim wheels clad in 700 x 42c Tracer Pro 2BR tires.
It tips the scales at a claimed 9.5 kg (21 lb) in a 56-cm frame size, and sells for US$7,500. The lighter, higher-spec’d Pro and S-Works versions are priced at $9,500 and $14,000, respectively.
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