Pro bike: Thomas Dekker's Specialized S-Works Diverge for Unbound Gravel

(Image credit: Wil Matthews)

Unbound Gravel has quickly become the biggest gravel race in the world, attracting everybody from long-distance gravel specialists to road pros and mountain bikers. This year, one rider on the start line will be retired road pro, Thomas Dekker. 

Dekker is bringing a Specialized S-Works Diverge gravel bike to Kansas. A relatively simple spec features a 1x Shimano drivetrain and Roval Terra CLX wheels. See below for details on Dekker's bike, which will undoubtedly be put to the test over 200-miles on Saturday. 

The Diverge's carbon frameset is combined with Specialized's own Future Shock, a short-travel suspension system integrated into the headset. It features up to 20mm of travel to absorb bumps and vibrations wherever a rider may take it. 

Dekker's bike uses Roval Terra CLX wheels, which come stock on the S-Works Diverge. The wheels feature Specialized Pathfinder Pro tires. Unbound is known for road material that tears up tires, so the race will be a real test for riders' equipment choices, especially their tires. 

Where the bike diverges from the regular stock setup offered by Specialized is Dekker's drivetrain. He's using a Shimano GRX 1x system, instead of the SRAM that would be found on shop floors. An interesting detail is the 46T chainring made by a Dutch company called The Mechanic-Parts. 

The S-Works Diverge would also come with a dropper post. Gravel riders who frequent singletrack and rougher dirt roads are starting to adopt dropper posts, just like mountain bikers. But since Unbound demands more sheer endurance than technical riding skills, Dekker has a standard rigid seat post. 

For the cockpit, Dekker's bars feature a short drop and a flared design. The white bar tape will certainly be a bit dirtier by the end of the race.

Thomas Dekker's Specialized S-Works Diverge

  • Frame: Specialized S-Works Diverge
  • Brakes: Shimano 
  • Crank: Shimano GRX
  • Chainring: The Mechanic-Parts 46T 
  • Derailleur: Shimano GRX 
  • Wheels: Roval Terra CLX
  • Tires: Specialized Pathfinder Pro 
Ryan Simonovich

Ryan Simonovich has been riding and racing for nearly a decade. He got his start as a cross-country mountain bike racer in California, where he cultivated his love for riding all types of bikes. Ryan eventually gravitated toward enduro and downhill racing but has also been found in the occasional road and cyclo-cross events. Today, he regularly rides the trails of Durango, Colorado, and is aiming to make a career out of chronicling the sport of cycling. 

Rides: Santa Cruz Hightower, Specialized Tarmac SL4