Is Specialized Diverge Comp E5 Worth Buying? [Specialized Diverge Comp E5 Review]

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Specialized Diverge Comp E5

  • Price: 2,500 USD
  • Wheels: 700c
  • Tire: 38c
  • Drivetrain: 1×11

What we like about it: Satisfying the need for all-around riding with a more powerful and lighter 1×11-speed drivetrain, more expensive brakes, and a more compatible wheelset, you can accomplish all your riding dreams.

What don’t we like about it: You need more upgraded equipment on very harsh and rugged terrain.

Rating (4.7/5)

2023 Trek Checkpoint SL 6 eTap

I don’t think there’s anything more Specialized can do for riders. And if you want to have more fun riding outdoors, I think it’s a pro. Whether you need a versatile city bike or a short escape on the gravel roads of the great outdoors, I’d recommend the Specialized Diverge Comp E5 to you. Equipped with Shimano 1×11 speed drive lets you ride as fast as you can.

The combination of Specialized 700x38c tires and SRAM Apex hydraulic disc brakes create a more capable gravel road bike. In addition, the Specialized Diverge E5 Premium Aluminum alloy frame gives you more fun on your ride. Overall, it provides a more efficient, unrestrained, controlled more stable riding experience.

Commuter Riding

Just in terms of riding habits, I’ve always maintained that the Diverge is a very versatile friendly bike and extremely beginner friendly. The vast majority of Gravel road bike buyers often joke: “The Specialized Diverge Comp E5 is more like a low-profile mountain bike.”

But through several months of riding, we found that in the face of the increasingly aggressive mountain bikes that are not suitable for city riding these days. The Diverge Comp was more than willing for me to take it on a city commute test right from the start due to the stretch and freedom of the geometry. Just the kind of city riding that many newbies underestimate means more terrain for stacking. Trails that require Shimano 1×11 speed drive combination Praxis Alba 40T for fast travel, Specialized for testing grip and traction, park trails with 700x38c tires, and paved roads that are less violent but have a higher bump frequency with extreme emphasis on the Future Shock 1.5 w fork damping.

When I pedaled the Shimano Claris R200 50/34T crank technology with the Shimano 1×11 speed drive combination for cadence, I could feel the ride was stable enough. This is closely related to the moderate 270mm BB height. The Specialized 700x38c tires with the FACT carbon fork didn’t bore me even on paved roads, which are not strenuous but very frequent.


In addition, I rode through an upturned section of the bermed trail along the inland river where the ground became extremely slippery due to the wet air. Although the 700x38c tires with their rough tread texture were able to reduce my drifting. But there’s no denying that I wanted to test the acceleration efficiency of the Shimano 1×11 speed drive. So I pedaled the wheelset as fast as I could, which inevitably led to a rollover. Although in my opinion SRAM Apex hydraulic disc has also been sensitive enough to let me not cause a large loss. All in all, the fit of the various components of this city commute was very good and did some extreme work in a $2500 frame.

I also noticed some more surprising details about the design. The Body Geometry Power Sport has a steeper seat tube angle than the GT Transeo Elite I ride all the time, at 73.5-degrees. This means it’s more comfortable for the same stretch of distance, and I can go farther in the limited time I have to ride.

For the more frequent urban commuter, the ability to freely assemble fenders and rear racks is certainly an important thing. You can run as fast as you can after rain without having to worry about mud splashes. In addition, if you can notice what I said, you can also assemble some light-emitting lights, which can also increase passive safety. I think when a fully equipped Specialized Diverge Comp E5 hits the road for a ride, it might allow you to get rid of the bike.

Gravel Roads

Many people will feel that gravel bikes are no match for sharp road bikes when it comes to riding outdoors. But I would argue that the stacked terrain of gravel roads makes the Diverge Comp more versatile than a mountain bike. For example, while the Future Shock 1.5 w fork, which sacrifices more travel, may not be able to handle the rugged and steep pro climbs, for riders who simply want to ride farther and see more, the lighter body gives a boost to endurance riding instead.

In addition, compared to narrower tires, such as the Scott Scale 940 29×2.25″, the Specialized 700x38c tires can be said to be able to roll fast while still being able to crush enough. For example, when I was traversing a pristine gravel paved road, facing rolling sand or the soft dirt of some forest trails, its tall size was good at cushioning and absorbing the bumps and would prevent me from getting stuck in the sand. I didn’t want to end the fun of riding outdoors too soon because the tires didn’t fit.

The lightweight Specialized Diverge E5 Premium Aluminum alloy body and steep 71.8°head tube angle allow for more effortless acceleration with Shimano, 1×11 speed plus Shimano Claris R200 50/34T crank for acceleration efficiency during physical exertion. Even when I was facing some wild forest trails climbing, I didn’t feel the strain, but rather the smooth pedaling. Of course, I am most aware that wild outdoor trails can have a lot of unpredictable climbs. If we’re talking about riding position, newbies can try to lean down and pedal on tiptoe with less air resistance. Of course, I think the Specialized Diverge E5 does more than enough already.


Since I do a lot of outdoor riding, braking is a very important component for me and will give me the much-needed confidence to take on unknown adventures. For example, as I traversed a wild gravel road lined with dense jungle, there wasn’t much riding to be done here. Although it was exciting, the SRAM Apex with its hydraulic discs, gave me a lot less unnecessary hassle when I was going for a brisk ride in the face of small animals that might be running through the road. I don’t want to interfere with an ecosystem by riding artificially. I noticed that the friendly nature of the frame allows enough room for me to carry items such as water bottles in a portable manner, and also prepares me for longer workouts.

Not only for getting through crowded cities but also for beginner trail riding, I think the Specialized Diverge E5 is an all-around great value-for-money gravel road bike.

Main Features


2022 Specialized Diverge Comp E5

The Specialized Diverge E5’s free enough frame geometry allows for fender and rear rack mounting, so you won’t have to worry about riding in the rain, and you’ll have plenty of storage. The Specialized Diverge E5 Premium Aluminum frame supports mudguard and rear rack mounting, which is great news for commuters who need to carry essential items every day, so you can always be neat wherever you go.

In addition, for some accessory choices, such as the Specialized Adventure Gear Hover, alloy handlebars, in the shape of more mountain bike-like curved handlebars. If you don’t like the straight handlebars that symbolize more simplicity, although I think it’s a good choice for newbies, you can enjoy the ritual of riding. Together with the Body Geometry Power Sport saddle, the comfortable seat made me feel no muscle discomfort even after nearly 4h of riding outdoors.

Compared to the bright green of the Specialized Diverge Elite E5, I prefer the lighter green of the Specialized Diverge E5, which looks more relaxed and doesn’t give me more of an aggressive feeling. Although in terms of the color selection range, Diverge really can’t give more. For the handling of hoses and lines, the internal alignment remains the same, which will also help greatly with the efficiency of the ride. Of course, it also better avoids the adsorption of outdoor mud.


I’ve always claimed that the Specialized Diverge E5 is the more compatible gravel road bike. Although I’ve done enough reviews of gravel road bikes, I have to admit that the 73.5° seat tube angle with a 71.3° head tube angle is still a classic. In terms of riding, it’s able to keep your posture close to upright while not pedaling any harder. In addition, if you cross the gravel road with more curves, it can maintain a sensitive response when steering. 61mm trail can also assist you to grasp more dexterity.

For many people who are just trying to ride, it has a BB height of 270mm. This means that when we are in some scenarios where the ground environment is smoother or under sharp corners, the center of gravity is shifted down to increase stability and you don’t lose control of the body.

Components and Specifications

Specialized 700x38c

From the first moment I saw the Specialized Diverge Comp E5, I understood what the designers had in mind for him. It’s a more versatile bike. It can perform well in the city as well as provide support on outdoor rides. So I can’t think of a better fit than the 700x38c size. Although there will be more unusual wheels that have appeared frequently in recent years. For example, the sharp little 27.5×2.25″ wheels or the huge 29×3″ tires are hard to ignore (see Giant XTC Advanced and Trek slash). But if we ride in the city or on gravel roads, you’ll understand how important it is to be compatible with multi-terrain overlays.

If you need a sharper shuttle or a smooth start, it will give you more of a boost. If you are for more aggressive handling of the road outdoors, such as loose pavement or muddy trails, the 700 x 38c won’t lose friction and traction either, allowing you to ride farther and see more.

Shimano 1×11 Speed

In the vast majority of gravel road bike components, we will still see a lot of mountain bike shadow. For example, the 2x drive but with a lighter Shimano 1×11 drive. So in the face of the more complex upward terrain encountered in outdoor riding, I would consider the simplicity of the 1x drive to be a greater advantage. For many novices, the richness of the 2x drive can be a little more complicated. If you look at riding farther and with less effort, you have to consider putting a lot of effort into the drivetrain.

In addition, for Specialized Diverge Comp E5, because the material selected is more economical and more durable alloy frame, which can not help compared to the full carbon material will have more constraints on the weight of the body, and Shimano 1×11 speed can also be better to your fast ride to save energy, so you ride more relaxed.

Tektro Mira Mechanical Disc

You can only get a feel for braking by riding it for real, as I did on a wild gravel road with the Specialized Diverge Comp E5. In a section of unfamiliar terrain, I encountered a large downhill and it was very unexpected. I had to make the descent slowly and forgive my timidity. Even if I were to surrogate a more professional hardtail for the test, you can only try little by little when faced with unfamiliar speed descents.

So in this experience, frequent use of Tektro Mira, a mechanical disc was essential for me. And in this test look down, the braking did not have any jams and was very fast. This proves what I always say: maybe mechanical disc brakes are more suitable for the outdoors than expensive liquid discs. It is easy to maintain and runs smoothly.

Other Versions Of Specialized Diverge

2022 Specialized Diverge Comp E5 other verison

I know that the vast majority of riders who buy gravel road bikes are more sensitive to price. This is because it is the first bike that more novices choose. The Specialized Diverge E5 is priced at $1,300 on the same basic frame, with a Specialized 700x38c wheelset, Tektro Mira mechanical disc, and a Shimano 1×11 speed drive. This is very sufficient for either city commuting or outdoor riding. Although it does not have further component specifications like the Specialized Diverge Comp E5. So if you’re looking for a more affordable gravel road bike, you might want to consider the Specialized Diverge E5 as well.

The Specialized Diverge Elite E5 retains the 700x38c wheelset size, which is good for fast commuting or gravel roads where more grip is needed. In addition, a more traditional 2×10-speed drivetrain has been chosen, although this is more complex than the 1×11-speed of the Specialized Diverge Comp E5. If a novice is facing some more difficult terrain, it will cause a lot of distraction to her acceleration. Also on the brakes, the more expensive liquid disc brakes are continued. So I think for riders who need more ease in the drivetrain, you can consider the more modern Specialized Diverge Comp E5.

What we like about it?

  • Has a shock-forming gravel road bike with more expensive liquid disc brakes.
  • More modern and easier to adjust the speed of the Shimano class, the 1×11 speed drivetrain.
  • Cleaner and more efficient internal wiring.
  • More compatible 700x38c wheelset.
  • Lighter and more wear-resistant aluminum alloy frame, to deal with outdoor more active.

What don’t we like about it?

  • The color we can not do more choice.
  • For more rugged rock gardens that can’t give you more shock absorption.


What is the tire size of the Specialized Diverge Comp E5?

The tire size of Specialized Diverge Comp E5 is 700x38c.

What is the Specialized Diverge Comp E5 drivetrain?

The Specialized Diverge Comp E5 drivetrain is Shimano, 1×11 speed.

What are specialized Diverge Comp E5 brakes?

The specialized Diverge Comp E5 brakes are Tektro Mira, mechanical discs.

Comparison Table

Trek Checkpoint SL 6 eTap$44991×12SRAM Hydraulic Disc700x40cClick view
Salsa Warroad C Ultegra$45992×11Shimano Ultegra 8070 HydraulicDisc700x32cClick view
Salsa Warbird C GRX 810 2x$45992×11Shimano GRX RX810HydraulicDisc 700x42cClick view
Niner MCR 9 RDO 2-STAR SRAM APEX 1$46501×11SRAM APEX 1 HRDmechanical disc700x40cClick view

Trek Checkpoint SL 6 eTap vs Specialized Diverge Comp E5

2023 Trek Checkpoint SL 6 eTap

The price at $4499 Trek Checkpoint SL 6 eTap gave a lot of expectations. However, the design is still moderately improved with some components, such as the choice of a 1×12-speed electronic drivetrain. While this will be swifter for acceleration, combined with SRAM hydraulic disc will give you a more stable liquid disc brake. In addition, a wider 700x40c size was chosen for the wheelset selection. This is not friendly enough for acceleration for commuting and will also give you some drag if you are riding outdoors on climbs.

Compared to the specialized Diverge Comp E5 which more creatively uses a 20mm front travel damping fork, it can consciously innovative despite being on the downside of key components in it. I think it’s a rare thing in a $2500 frame.

Learn more :Is Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 A Good Bike? [Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 Review]

Salsa Warroad C Ultegra vs Specialized Diverge Comp E5

2022 Salsa Warroad C Ultegra

In the Salsa Warroad C Ultegra, we can see its pursuit of speed by choosing a narrower 700x32c wheelset. This is effective in reducing air resistance for acceleration. However, if riding on variable gravel roads, it will be easier to sink into the sand than the 700x38c of the Specialized Diverge Comp E5, causing difficulty in riding.

Of course, I have to admit that his excellent components: Shimano 2×11 drivetrain, as well as Shimano liquid disc brakes, and the frame are chosen all carbon material. Although in the damping choose a more conservative carbon fork without damping travel. All in all, it’s an impeccable upgrade choice just from a component standpoint.

Learn More: Gravel Bike Salsa Warroad C Ultegra Review

Salsa Warbird C GRX 810 2x vs Specialized Diverge Comp E5

2022 Salsa Warbird C GRX 810 2x

For the pricey Salsa Warbird C GRX 810 2x, I can see it being upgraded with more components than the Specialized Diverge Comp E5. Compared to the 1×11 speed drivetrain of the Diverge Comp E5, it adapts a wider range and swifter Shimano 2×11 drivetrain, and chooses Shimano liquid disc brakes on the liquid discs. Compared to the SRAM of the Specialized Diverge Comp E5, it’s hard for me to distinguish between the high and the low. After all, from a real riding experience, I think both can take very effective braking.

For the wheelset, Salsa opted for a wider and thicker 42c size. Although this will have a stronger performance in terms of grip and friction for outdoor riding. But from the accelerated driving on flat city roads, there is no doubt that there is the possibility of dragging.

Learn More: Salsa Warbird C Review- Could This Be The Gravel Bike Of Your Dreams?

Niner MCR 9 RDO 2-STAR SRAM APEX 1 vs Specialized Diverge Comp E5

2021 Niner MCR 9 RDO 2-STAR SRAM APEX 1

On the Niner MCR, which costs a whopping $4,650, I saw a higher-end component mix but still didn’t leave the successful frame that the gravel road bike already had. Although he did change the appearance of the frame a bit with a more angled seat tube that made my center of gravity inevitably lean back when riding. Of course, equipped with an SRAM 1×11 drivetrain and liquid disc brakes and a wheelset that supports vacuum tires. This means he can’t do it at the same affordable price as the Specialized Diverge Comp E5.

From my point of view, the Specialized Diverge Comp E5 has done part of the innovation by choosing a 20mm damping fork that most gravel road bikes don’t use. This is very friendly for handling some frequent bumps, and he also chose full carbon material on the fork.

In case, the above comments are helpful to you, please remember to share the subscription. Have a great day!

Learn more : Is Niner RLT 9 STEEL 2-STAR APEX 1 Splendid? – [ Niner RLT 9 STEEL 2-STAR APEX 1 Review ]

Learn more: Top 8 Best Road Bikes Under $3000

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