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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking 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 07-16-17, 03:53 PM   #26
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I think Specialized make great bikes and I have owned a few and I still own two of their saddles. Their frivolous law suits especially about the Roubaix Bike Shop was the tipping point for me. I just can't support a brand like that. If it is branded Specialized, I won't purchase it, that includes tubes and tires.

Though I have no problem telling others Specialized make great bikes in all categories.
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Old 07-17-17, 06:32 AM   #27
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I have read on a different forum that in order for a shop to sell Specialized bikes, they have to stock a large range of their bikes, parts and accessories. This isn't great especially for the smaller shops as floor space is limited, and products in such quantities are difficult to sell. Small shops tend to have unfavorable opinions about them.

As far as the bikes themselves go, I know that until this year's Diverge models, they were essentially cheating shorter/smaller riders with their geometries (Sheldon Brown has a great article on how companies take engineering short-cuts and Specialized took them aplenty). Stack-reach ratios on the smaller frames were less than 1.4 while those on the larger ones were above 1.6, making them not really an 'endurance fit' for the vertically challenged. They seem to have gotten their act together on this year's geometries though.
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Old 07-17-17, 09:20 PM   #28
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I try to stay away from the big brands; trek, specialized, Cannondale, giant, but truth is they have the best availability. Just picked up an AWOL Comp and it's been awesome so far. I also seem to have the better luck with their saddles and I love the sawtooth tire. Hate to admit it, but for me specialized just works.
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Old 07-18-17, 02:39 PM   #29
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I have read on a different forum that in order for a shop to sell Specialized bikes, they have to stock a large range of their bikes, parts and accessories. This isn't great especially for the smaller shops as floor space is limited, and products in such quantities are difficult to sell. Small shops tend to have unfavorable opinions about them.
This is all true. But most of the small shops around here (a large city with a major cycling presence) seem to do just fine. The target market and perhaps philosophy of both appear to be different. You'll see Trek, Specialized, Giant, C'dale and a couple others in some bike shops. And they do fine.

And then in other small shops who can't get access to, say, Specialized because they are 'too small' or whatever, they will sell brands like Canyon, All City, Surly, Yeti, Pivot, Kona etc etc a million other labels or whatever.

I guess my point is, there is no shortage of heavily lauded and fetishized smaller brands that small shops are happy to carry and charge a premium for. Blaming the big brands for the failure of small shops seems to be a popular trope, but honestly two of the most popular shops near me doesn't carry any of the big four - none of them. And they do extremely well. I think what it comes down to is business sense, knowing your target market, creating a robust supply chain to meet their demand.

Sorry if this went a bit off topic but I do tire of the near instantaneous criticisms laid at big bike brands on account of their own success. (note: this is not a criticism of the post I'm quoting above, just a general observation about the misdirected finger pointing I see a lot)
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Old 07-18-17, 07:52 PM   #30
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What are your thoughts and experiences with the brand? Seems very popular in cycling.
They're popular because they have massive market presence and they make a wide variety of bikes, many of which are nothing short of brilliant. However, many object to the company itself due to external and internal issues. Whether that sort of thing matters to the end consumer is really down to the individual. I'll never purchase a Specialized because I care about which companies receive my money and with so many better companies available to patronize, there's no incentive for me to choose Specialized.
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Old 07-20-17, 05:54 PM   #31
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They're popular because they have massive market presence and they make a wide variety of bikes, many of which are nothing short of brilliant. However, many object to the company itself due to external and internal issues. Whether that sort of thing matters to the end consumer is really down to the individual. I'll never purchase a Specialized because I care about which companies receive my money and with so many better companies available to patronize, there's no incentive for me to choose Specialized.
Cliffnotes on the external/internal issues?
And in your opinion what are better companies to support?
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Old 07-20-17, 07:41 PM   #32
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Cliffnotes on the external/internal issues?
And in your opinion what are better companies to support?
I don't really want to beat a dead horse with my personal issues with the company, but PM me if you really want to know and I'm happy to share. Pretty much everything has been discussed on various public forums (including BF) over the years.

For companies that are worth supporting, again such a personal thing, and of course depends on if they even have the product you're looking for. I'm a massive fan of Advocate bikes, and then many US builders like Gunnar/Waterford, DeSalvo, Co-Motion, etc. As for more established brands that produce overseas, I'd buy a Kona any day, and I'd take a good look at Niner and the QBP stable (Salsa, All-City, Surly, etc). The great thing about the bike market these days is that there is no shortage of choice!
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Old 07-20-17, 09:21 PM   #33
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Regardless of the marketing hype, corporate philosophy and subsequent price point, Specialized really do, in my opinion, seem to "sweat the details" when it comes to how their products preform.
I think their constant attention to things like "contact point" improvements (seat posts, saddles, shoes, tires and frame suspension/comfort, etc) are second to none.
Through massive R&D they are one of the major players when it comes to trying to improve how bicycles, and the enjoyment of the cycling experience evolve... I think that is a good thing.
Personally, I have had nothing but positive results with their products.
Specialized = Yes please!
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Old 07-21-17, 01:47 AM   #34
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There's plenty of reasons not to like them (like this), but they've run their business better than most and consistently produce quality products. I personally try to avoid their products, but sometimes can't help it (e.g. their shoes feel custom made for my feet).
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Old 07-21-17, 02:56 AM   #35
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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.
"What do you mean, Doc? All the best stuff is made in Japan."
-Marty McFly

I love my 1982 Specialized Sequoia.



I also really like their saddles.
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Old 07-21-17, 07:11 AM   #36
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"What do you mean, Doc? All the best stuff is made in Japan."
-Marty McFly

I love my 1982 Specialized Sequoia.



I also really like their saddles.
I want to know more about this bike. 650b conversion w/long reach calipers? Correct me if I'm wrong. That's really cool either way.
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Old 07-21-17, 07:17 AM   #37
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I dunno... I noticed the Specialized concept store closed in our city. Of course it could be for a number of reason.
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Old 07-21-17, 08:06 AM   #38
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I want to know more about this bike. 650b conversion w/long reach calipers? Correct me if I'm wrong. That's really cool either way.
Thanks! You are correct. It's got 650x38 Panaracer Pari Moto tires, Tektro R559 brakes, Gevenalle shifters, Campagnolo Racing T cranks, and a Shimano Deore rear derailleur. A previous owner of the frame had mid blade rack mounts brazed on to the fork, so it's got a custom front rack in its future.

The R559 brakes had enough reach in the front, but they didn't quite make it in the rear so I've had to improvise there. In the picture above I'm using a makeshift drop bolt, but I've since switched to BDop offset brake pad holders. Another Sequoia owner says she handled the brake problem just by mounting the caliper on the inside of the seat stays, which frankly may be a cleaner solution.

If you want to know even more details (and see more pictures), you can read about my initial build here:

The Mongrel

or my initial 650B conversion here:

Show Us Your 650B Conversions

or the BDop pads here:

650 BDop: A Cautionary Tale
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Old 07-21-17, 09:16 PM   #39
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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.
-Tim-
honest question, what is it here you're talking about. FU? Huh? *dopey aura*

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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.
I'd be wary of a Fargo if you're short, especially if you have short legs. The standover heights for the S and XS are VERY misleading. The standover height is taken DIRECTLY beneath the lip of the saddle. Unless you have, literally, no butt, that standover height will not be relevant. Because the newer Fargos are suspension-corrected, the top tube angles up at a VERY rakish angle, and you might get a bit of..."discomfort" in your crotch area.
I'm 5'9. I fit my Fargo perfectly. My wife was 5'3, and neither the S nor the XS fit her, standover-wise, but the S fit her frame-wise. It's just that the top tube is so oddly angled, she ended up getting violated anytime she tried to straddle the top tube of both the S and XS
For comparison sakes, she rides a 50cm Sequoia and a 51cm Ruby

As for why Specialized is popular, it's because they're huge, they are everywhere, and they make a concerted effort to put out a "male-oriented" and "female-oriented" version of darn near every single type of bike at almost every price point imaginable.

They have MTB models for downhill, enduro, all-mountain, trail, CX full suspension, CX hardtail, lower-end hardtails, then endurance road bikes, standard racing road bikes, aero road bikes, multiple mixed-surface type bikes, fat bikes, "semi-fat" bikes, and a whole host of hybrid bikes, at every price point starting at about $500 for a high quality entry-level bike, going all the way up to $11,000(ish) for their electronic drivetrain/supercarbon everything.

Basically, they have at least 1 or more models of EVERY kind of bike you might be interested in, and they don't suffer from supply-side issues like some of the smaller companies do (cough cough Salsa)

Now, do you get "ideal" value for your money at each price point? Not always. For $xxxx, you will probably find a better equipped bike with higher end components at many of the price points. For $4200 you can get a Crux with a nice wheelset and Force 1 drivetrain. For $800 more you can get a Cannondale SuperX with Di2 and carbon wheels (just an example)

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Old 07-24-17, 01:26 PM   #40
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One thing Specialized does do is take care of their dealers who can meet the inventory/sales requirements. Where QBP lets shops down the road from one another compete for the same product and also sells their products through big box retailers, Specialized restricts the number of dealers in a given area and severely restricts direct to consumer sales. That may not appear to suit the consumer, but they also leave enough of a margin for dealers that they can discount off retail if their operations costs will support that. My LBS (a small shop) deals QPB, Specialized, and other brands, but it's the Specialized bikes that they can move, due to pricing, availability, and quality that remain consistent across the lineup of offerings. Few can compete on those terms. My loyalty is to my LBS, who take good care of me, and Specialized provide them with a product line that show value at number of different price points.
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