As Tom Boonen prepares for a run at a historic fourth Paris-Roubaix title on Sunday, his bike sponsor gave the world a glimpse at what the next generation Roubaix will look like. Full details on the Specialized Roubaix were not available, as the bike is under going final testing, but it seems the new design of the Specialized Zertz inserts is the most striking change.
The Zertz inserts are larger with a new wedge shaped profile. Along with their new shape their placement within the frame and fork has also changed. On past Roubaix models, the Zertz inserts were placed within the seat stays or fork blades. The new Zertz are inserted in cutouts along the back of the seat stays and fork legs. In theory the larger shape and wedge design of the Zertz should allow for a more compliant ride. While it appears that the Zertz insert fills a gap with in the frame and fork, the carbon is actually molded into a narrow ridge within the cutout that the Zertz inserts slide over. This allows the frame and fork to maintain their structural integrity, while still providing vertical compliance and allowing the Zertzs to perform their task.
From the images provided by Specialized there appears to be different colored Zertz inserts, which could represent different durometers? While only speculation, we are excited about the possibility of being able to fine-tune the ride of a Roubaix.
Other details on the new Roubaix frame where not available. Stay tuned for more details as they become available.