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2011 Specialized Roubaix: with or without battery

Specialized kicked off its 2011 product presentation this weekend at Keystone Resort in Colorado. On the heels of the recent hubbub about “mechanical doping” allegations against its sponsored rider Fabian Cancellara, Specialized yukked it up with a 430-watt Duracell battery for that little extra something.

All joking aside, the 2011 Specialized Roubaix bike does have the option to come wired — for Shimano Di2 electric shifting. The carbon frame includes a few special touches to incorporate the electric group in new ways.

In addition to the external tweaks, Specialized engineers also reworked the structure of the frame to make it considerably stiffer than last year’s iteration. Moving the Zertz out of the seatstays allowed for more efficient bladder molding. Also, the new top tube is massively wide as it approaches and then wraps around the head tube. The downtube is configured similarly, giving the front of the headtube an hourglass profile from the front.

“Getting rid of the flat surfaces may seem minor, but it has a huge effect,” said engineer Luc Callahan.

Indeed, while riding, the 2011 bike is noticeable stiffer than its predecessor.

A 56cm frame weighs 965 grams, compared to the 1,064-gram version last year.

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