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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 07-11-17, 07:39 AM   #1
rgr555
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Why are Specialized bikes popular?

What are your thoughts and experiences with the brand? Seems very popular in cycling.
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Old 07-11-17, 07:59 AM   #2
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They invest a lot into R&D, product development and brand presence but seem to have issues with respecting other companies IP. I like their saddles and tires but I don't plan to patronize them in the future as I don't respect the business decisions they've made in the past 5-6 years.
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Old 07-11-17, 08:43 AM   #3
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I would consider a Specialized but for their marketing.

I'm sure their products are on par with other manufacturers but their marketing is skewed away from ordinary middle-class American men with disposable income to buy high-end bikes. They even went so far as to develop a whole brand marketing strategy around their lead designer giving the middle finger. Maybe I'm idealistic but a company which uses the phrase "FU" to build brand recognition is not a company I want to do business with. I just prefer something a little more professional, that's all.

What I dislike is probably what endears them to many others. To each his own.

I'm sure some don't care either way and just buy because of the bikes. I can respect that.


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Old 07-11-17, 08:48 AM   #4
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I bought one... the AWOL, just because it struck the exact spot on the dirt/pavement spectrum I was looking for.

And it doesnt scream "SPECIALIZED" like most of their other bikes.
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Old 07-11-17, 09:56 AM   #5
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I used to be a Specialized customer. S-Works Tarmac & Roubaix, Specialized Langster, a mountain bike or two. I was a highly committed customer. Probably 8 or 10 brand new bikes over the years.

Then, I had a warranty claim on a headset. Getting warranty service was going to cost me a multiple of what it would have cost me to buy a new headset myself. (Because the Specialized warranty doesn't cover labor but it requires that you allow the bike shop do the work -- for which they charge you.) For what should have cost them about $15, they extended a figurative middle finger to a decades-long customer.

So I switched brands. I won't be back.
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Old 07-11-17, 10:05 AM   #6
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I've always ridden mostly Specialized. Their products fit me well. Plus I support a Bay Area business. Everything else drama wise, I don't care. To each his own.
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Old 07-11-17, 10:37 AM   #7
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I think they make a good gravel bike for the money - we have an AWOL and Sequoia between us and they get the job done and look good to us. Can't speak to any of their other types of bikes, but I'd probably buy the new roubaix if I was in the market for an endurance road bike and the color scheme wasn't ugly to me. I am confused about the Diverge's popularity though. You would come to this forum recently as a newbie and think that no other gravel bike exists. To me, going from roadie to mtb to gravel - that bike just makes no sense for its marketed purpose. No way do I want to be limited in my tire choice on a gravel bike... But I won't knock those who make it work for them! I briefly considered a few other gravel models myself, but decided (rather vainly) that I didn't want my gravel/do anything bike plastered in logos.

Anyway, I'd be just as likely to buy another company's bike if it's quality, fits, looks good and the price is right. I've had good experiences all with Trek, Specialized, Felt and Giant. Their past legal mistakes, to me, are neither here nor there.
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Old 07-13-17, 01:50 PM   #8
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Like many here, their sketchy legal stuff puts them pretty high on my @#$% list, but man if they don't have a some really well thought-out bikes and features. Like Spoonrobot said, BIG into R&D. their new Crux looks amazing and the new Sequoia is one of most attractive bikes from a major manufacturer that I've seen in a long time.
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Old 07-13-17, 03:10 PM   #9
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Well designed nice bikes. I know a number of people who have had good experience with their customer support. One guy had a year old Roubaix and it developed a crack in one of the dropouts. He brought it to the shop and Specialized sent a new frame no question. Because they did not have a standard Roubaix in stock they sent him an S-Works!
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Old 07-13-17, 04:13 PM   #10
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The Awol and Sequoia are, begrudgingly, not terrible bikes. Im talking about the entry level offerings for both as those are the only ones Ive ridden.
Sora triple for the Awol and a subcompact double for the Sequoia.

Both stick with 9sp so road and mtb drivetrain can be mated together.

This is all good stuff for sure. And the prices arent terrible. Doubt the wheelsets are in any way anything to talk about though.


As for why the brand is so popular- its marketed like almost nothing else. Image is everything...to many.
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Old 07-14-17, 04:55 PM   #11
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Is it any more popular than Trek or Cannondale?

Like them (and Giant), a great many bike shops carry Specialized. They are a large company and have a strong market presence. Popular because they are popular, but I don't doubt they also make fine bikes.
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Old 07-14-17, 08:25 PM   #12
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Is it any more popular than Trek or Cannondale?

Like them (and Giant), a great many bike shops carry Specialized. They are a large company and have a strong market presence. Popular because they are popular, but I don't doubt they also make fine bikes.

I'll never roll a Trek either, after the defective wheel fiasco where drive side spokes pulled out of the rims.

Keith Bontrager blamed it the owners, said that it was corrosion due to owners not not washing winter salt off the wheels. I remember a guy in Hawaii went ballistic on one of the message boards.

Then they shipped unassembled hubs, rims and spokes to bike shops for some of the warranty replacements. Many customer's were stuck with a pile of parts or having to pay the shop for labor to build the wheel.

I don't generally hold a grudge but it still sticks in my craw. To this day I don't own a single Trek or Bontrager branded product.


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Old 07-14-17, 09:25 PM   #13
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For female cyclists like me one of the best things about Specialized bikes is how well the women-specific geometry fits me. The idea that you can mass produce unisex bikes that can fit both men and women is silly. If it were possible I'd be riding vintage diamond frame bikes, but no matter how many bike shops and how much the stems are adjusted, saddles moved, and drop bars swapped, I can't ride a vintage men's diamond frame comfortably--only modern diamond frames designed for women. The fact that the Ruby fits me perfectly with just minor adjustments is what makes Specialized a great brand. The only other bikes that have felt as comfortable as Specialized (or possibly more comfortable) are Liv bikes.

It's a luxury that men have to be able to judge bike companies for their marketing and business integrity. For women finding bikes that comfortably fit us is still a struggle, so for many of us the sole criterion for a good bike company basically boils down to: does it fit?

Specialized does tend to follow the crowd and they don't innovate in niche genres of biking, like gravel/adventure or dirt touring (in the wilderness or through developing countries). For those kinds of bikes I'll go to Surly, Salsa, Niner, etc. and work on getting a very customized fit.

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Old 07-15-17, 11:24 AM   #14
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For female cyclists like me one of the best things about Specialized bikes is how well the women-specific geometry fits me. The idea that you can mass produce unisex bikes that can fit both men and women is silly. If it were possible I'd be riding vintage diamond frame bikes, but no matter how many bike shops and how much the stems are adjusted, saddles moved, and drop bars swapped, I can't ride a vintage diamond frame comfortably--only modern diamond frames designed for women. The fact that the Roubaix has constantly been seen on the Tour de France winner's podium for the last 20 years doesn't hurt the bike's reputation. The only other bikes that have felt as comfortable as (or possibly more comfortable than) Specialized are Liv bikes.
Ditto for me! Specialized's women-specific geometry is the only design that actually fits me with no changes to the bike. On a classic CrMo diamond frame (like my DiamondBack Expert) I am in agony - despite trying 3 different stems and 4 different bars.
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Old 07-15-17, 12:58 PM   #15
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Ditto for me! Specialized's women-specific geometry is the only design that actually fits me with no changes to the bike. On a classic CrMo diamond frame (like my DiamondBack Expert) I am in agony - despite trying 3 different stems and 4 different bars.
I hear ya! I wanted to buy a Salsa Fargo but kind of dreading the trip to the bike shop and possibly going through another ordeal involving changing stems, handlebars, sliding the saddle back and forth, going down a size or up a size, backache-ing test rides and after 2 hours of futile tinkering throwing up your hands and giving up on the bike! More bike companies developing WSD would be so nice.
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Old 07-15-17, 06:17 PM   #16
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As others above have mentioned, for me Specialized fit and rode the best compared to the competition. I also see and feel quality in all their bikes.

I have 2 Tricrosses and they have never let me down over the years. I could never give up my 2007 Tricross triple and miss that triples are now unpopular and unavailable on most cross bikes.

I'd add though that they're getting awfully expensive over the years since I bought mine. I'd probably look at Giant the next time around.

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Old 07-15-17, 07:47 PM   #17
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The Tarmac (prior) and the Allez Sprint really are amazing frames. Can't wait to try the new Tarmac.
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Old 07-15-17, 08:38 PM   #18
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I used to be a Specialized customer. S-Works Tarmac & Roubaix, Specialized Langster, a mountain bike or two. I was a highly committed customer. Probably 8 or 10 brand new bikes over the years.

Then, I had a warranty claim on a headset. Getting warranty service was going to cost me a multiple of what it would have cost me to buy a new headset myself. (Because the Specialized warranty doesn't cover labor but it requires that you allow the bike shop do the work -- for which they charge you.) For what should have cost them about $15, they extended a figurative middle finger to a decades-long customer.

So I switched brands. I won't be back.
I am having a terrible problem with warranty. Specialized requires I communicate solely with the dealer and the dealer just says I would be better off buying better components than to mess with warranty. At this point I could have bought the bicycle three times for what I have into it. The LBS tries to reassure me by saying that now I have a better bicycle than any of Specialized's bicycles off the rack.

But they have yet to fix the problem with shifting that has existed since the day I brought the bicycle home.

Arrrghhh
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Old 07-15-17, 10:10 PM   #19
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I am having a terrible problem with warranty. Specialized requires I communicate solely with the dealer and the dealer just says I would be better off buying better components than to mess with warranty. At this point I could have bought the bicycle three times for what I have into it. The LBS tries to reassure me by saying that now I have a better bicycle than any of Specialized's bicycles off the rack.

But they have yet to fix the problem with shifting that has existed since the day I brought the bicycle home.

Arrrghhh
Sorry to hear. You should shop for a better LBS.
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Old 07-16-17, 06:25 AM   #20
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Specializedtrekcannondale are popular mainly because they have all the bike shops carrying them. They have a lock on that market. They first became popular because they were handmade in the USA. Buying stuff made here used to be a big deal, I remember when Walmart promoted most of the stuff they carried as being made here, they had a special Made in the USA tag on everything. Those days are long gone but there's a small glimmer of hope once again.
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Old 07-16-17, 02:08 PM   #21
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Specializedtrekcannondale are popular mainly because they have all the bike shops carrying them. They have a lock on that market. They first became popular because they were handmade in the USA. Buying stuff made here used to be a big deal...
Remove specialized from this comment.
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Old 07-16-17, 02:35 PM   #22
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Remove specialized from this comment.
No.
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Old 07-16-17, 02:45 PM   #23
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No.
Please?


...they did handmade USA frames?
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Old 07-16-17, 02:46 PM   #24
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Please?


...they did handmade USA frames?
Yeah, man.


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Old 07-16-17, 03:29 PM   #25
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Yeah, man.
Sorry. I should have posted- they made handemade USA frames back when they first became popular? I had thought the bikes they sold when they became popular were made in Japan. Also thought they were always a private label/outsourse company for their frames and components. Didnt realize they ever manufactured.
Neat to know.
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