The Future Shock from Specializedby Dan, July 3, 2017
The Future Shock from Specialized is a revolution in smoothness, delivering 20mm of travel without degrading speed, handling, or comfort. In fact, it does quite the opposite. Through a focus on axial compliance, it breaks the mold of what we thought was possible in bicycle design. How did Specialized accomplish this? By creating greater vertical frame compliance, or smoothness, they’ve been able to enhance the multiple facets of speed across all of the major touch points—fatigue reduction, power input, and traction. But instead of just saying that they did it, let’s address them individually. Reducing fatigue is a pretty obvious factor in speed, given that the more comfortable you are, the less tired you’re bound to get—especially after a long day over rough terrain. Over the long haul, this also contributes to power, but Specialized found that a smoother ride also increases your ability to apply constant power. As smoothness increases, while power becomes less stochastic and more constant, time savings increase significantly. Increases in smoothness also aid in traction, which in turn aids in speed, as it keeps the tires better seated to the ground. This not only provides an obvious advantage in inclement weather, descending, and cornering, but it also optimizes your effort.