Diverge Elite E5 Gravel Bike Can Be Your Outdoor Travel Companion for Pennies

In the spirit of Travel Month, and my love of bikes, I wanted to bring to your attention a gravel crunching cycle from Specialized. Best of all, it won’t make you question your life’s priorities as it’s quite affordable.
Diverge Elite E5 Gravel Bike 10 photos
Photo: Specialized Bicycle
Diverge Elite E5 Gravel Bike Satin Cast BlueDiverge Elite E5 Gravel Bike Satin Cast BlueDiverge Elite E5 Gravel Bike Satin Cast BlueDiverge Elite E5 Gravel Bike Satin RedwoodDiverge Elite E5 Gravel Bike Satin RedwoodDiverge Elite E5 Gravel Bike Satin RedwoodDiverge Elite E5 Gravel Bike Green Oak MetallicDiverge Elite E5 Gravel Bike Green Oak MetallicDiverge Elite E5 Gravel Bike Green Oak Metallic
Since 1974, Specialized has been on the cycling scene, at times even leading it. With a passion for endowing bicycles with insane capabilities, over the years, their products have become known the world over, some of their works even ending up in museums.

One bike I feel may deserve some of your attention is the Diverge Elite E5 gravel bike. Don't be fooled by the ‘E’ in front of the ‘5’ as this sucker is 100% fueled by nothing else other than your two legs: it’s not an e-bike, making it truly “eco-friendly.”

All renewable resources aside, all you’ll really need to get yourself one of these bikes is a mere $1,900 (€1,622 at current exchange rates). That's it. But more importantly, what is it you’ll be getting for this price? Well, considering that this bike is sold out on Specialized’s website, everyone seems to have loved it. But this also means that you may just have a hard time finding the proper size for you. Nonetheless, once you've learned a bit about the work and energy that went into the bike, you may just hit up Craigslist to find a used trinket.

Diverge Elite E5 Gravel Bike Satin Redwood
Photo: Specialized Bicycle
One thing to note right from the start is that the frame does not include any sort of carbon fiber. Here, Specialized is using proprietary Diverge E5 Premium Aluminum with internal cable routing running the full length of the bike and a threaded BB to offer a clean solid ride.

What makes this bike go a bit above and beyond normal riding is the inclusion of several rack mounts into the bike's tubes. With these features, the bike can be transformed into so much more than just a simple gravel bike, it can become your next traveling companion or vehicle.

Ok, so maybe I was being a bit rough on the E5 as it does include some carbon fiber, even though it’s under $2,000. The fork for the E5 is made of Specialized’s FACT carbon fiber and includes a full carbon steer. Sure, it may not include any visible suspension properties, but carbon should eliminate enough of the vibrations experienced while riding gravel.

If the fork doesn’t do you justice, the tires should. Gravel riding differs a bit from road riding in that you’re always exposed to vibrations from riding on an uneven surface. To help make rides more pleasant, manufacturers focused their attention on the tires themselves, in the process, making them wider, larger, and more resistant than classic road tires. For the E5, proprietary RoadSports tires are standard. If you don’t like them, just switch them out as they shouldn’t cost very much.

Diverge Elite E5 Gravel Bike Green Oak Metallic
Photo: Specialized Bicycle
On any bike, it’s also important to look at the drivetrain, after all, it’s what will be making those wheels spin. Honestly, I was not surprised to see Shimano running the show on the E5. Most of the setup, from rear to front derailleur, crankset, and even shift levers, all belong to the GRX family of components. The only components that break away from the GRX line is the CS-HG50 cassette and KMC X10 10-speed chain with Missing Link.

At the cockpit, a 3D-forges alloy stem holds onto a Shallow Drop handlebar made of 6061 aluminum, while an alloy seat post cradles a Body Geometry Bridge Saddle with steel rails. If you want more suspension, one thing I've noticed on the market are some pretty neat seat posts with integrated suspension. No, not those old-timey spring kind.

Overall, the bike looks solid, has a good gravel geometry and clean tubing, while also offering the versatility to become your next travel buddy. Oh, and all that for under $2,000. What more could you want?
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram X (Twitter)
About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories