Specialized rate these shoes at 8.5 on their stiffness scale, compared to 12 for the S-Works equivalent, but don’t let that fool you. Even when you’re sprinting uphill in a big gear the difference is only slight.
You get the same foot-cosseting, leg-aligning, knee-saving Body Geometry technologies for your money, though there’s slightly less arch support, and the sole is still carbon fibre, albeit with fibreglass as opposed to the S-Works’s high-modulus carbon.
The excellent Boa Lacing System on the Expert has a single one-way dial that pulls out to release completely instead of offering one-click tension reduction. It’s complemented by a single Velcro strap running over the bridge of the foot that seals an extremely comfortable and secure fit.