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2013 Road Bikes
First Ride: Specialized Secteur Expert Disc

Newly disc-equipped road bike is built for long days, rough roads, and big descents
ByMatt Allyn
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Specialized enters the disc-brake road-bike market with the Secteur, built for endurance riders. Ranking just below the carbon-fiber Roubaix in Specialized’s model line, the Secteur shares the higher-end bike’s stable geometry, but relies on the company’s A1 aluminum tubing for the frame.

While the Secteur was designed to invoke the feel and handling of the Roubaix, the bike also takes many cues from the Tricross adventure road bike. The Secteur uses the same seatstays and monocoque carbon fork as the Tricross, though the fork’s trail is altered slightly for road riding.

We rode a prototype Secteur at Interbike’s Outdoor Demo in Boulder City, Nevada. While the frame, fork, and wheels are the same you’ll see on the bike when it appears in shops next year, the S-Works cranks and SRAM Apex drivetrain will be replaced with Shimano 105 and a Gossamer 105 crankset. Specialized also specs the bike with the Axis CDX wheelset from its Tricross with new 28c Roubaix tires.

The stable handling made the bike a joy to descend on. What’s more, the Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes provided quick preturn stopping power that allowed for much more rapid and controlled deceleration before a curve. The fat Roubaix road tires also provided extra traction, and the stiff frame helped steady the Secteur around fast, tighter turns.

And while the bike showed its roughly 23-pound weight going up steep pitches, it felt smooth and efficient grinding up steady climbs. Riders hoping for a lighter model can look forward to a carbon-fiber Roubaix Expert to be released next year as well.

The Shimano 105-equipped Secteur Expert Disc will retail for $2,200. Specialized says the bike is perfect for riders seeking a mix of terrain, long rides, and all-weather performance. Our test ride over gravel and cracked pavement showed potential for Specialized’s claimed versatility, and the overall feel of the Secteur seems ideal for long, fast adventures over road and dirt.


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