Most people disqualify Specialized bikes for the mere mention of the name because of their hefty price tags. But before you can do that, it’s essential to ask first, why pay that much? And second, are Specialized bikes good?
Despite their high price tag, Specialized bikes are good because they are high-quality and employ advanced technologies to guarantee better performance. These bikes are also comfortable and customizable and come with impressive warranties.
I’ve mentioned the price at a major hiccup, but I’ll also address a few others. My goal is to help you weigh the good against the bad and decide if Specialized bikes are worth your money or not.
But before that, Let me share the history and journey of this big bike brand.
In a rush? Below is a collection of the best Specialized bicycles today!
6 Best Specialized Bikes
1. S-Works Turbo Creo SL Evo: Best Specialized Road Bike
2. S-Works Enduro: Best Specialized Mountain Bike
3. Turbo Levo: Best Specialized Electric Bike
4. Roll-Low Entry: Best Budget Specialized Comfort Bike
5. Specialized P.3: Best Specialized Dirt Jump Bike
6. Riprock Coaster 16: Best Specialized Kids Coaster Bike
About Specialized – Brand History and Success
Specialized Bicycle Components (or Specialized in short) is an American manufacturer of bikes, bike components, and cycling gears.
Specialized was founded in 1974 by cycling enthusiast Mike Sinyard and currently has its headquarters in Morgan Hill, California.
Sinyard’s passion for cycling saw him sell his Volkswagen bus for about $1,500 and used the money to fund his European bike tour.
He got interested in Italian bike components that he imported to the U.S before his company, Specialized, started making its own in 1976.
In 1981, Specialized came up with its first two bicycles, Allez (a road bike) and Sequoia (a sports-touring bike). The company also came up with its first mountain bike, Stumpjumper, the same year.
Specialized continued making full-suspension and Hardtail version of Stumpjumper before introducing the first-ever carbon mountain bike, the Epic, in 1989.
In 1990, Specialized came up with an urban bike line, Globe. Globe would, however, re-launch as an independent brand in 2009.
In 1995, Specialized came up with Full Force, a low-end MTB line, but the move angered some dealers, which compelled Specialized to withdraw Full Force from the market.
2001 saw Taiwanese company Merida Bikes buy 49% of the company, but Sinyard was retained as CEO.
2012 saw Specialized recall 12,000 bikes for faulty forks, but the company has enjoyed success after success since then.
Specialized has been sponsoring road cyclists, mountain bikers, and triathletes in world championships for years. Among them is 2014 world time trial champion Ellen van Dijk.
Are Specialized Bikes Good? (The Good and the Bad)
Let’s look at the good (pros) and the bad (the concerns) below to help you make a choice.
Here are things that make Specialized bikes good:
a) Quality Bikes with Precision Components
Specialized has an innovative lab at its headquarters in Morgan Hill, California, that handles the research, prototyping, bike development, and design, whose role is to guarantee quality production.
There, every component is tested with utmost precision and certified.
The company has mastered the engineering of bike frames using the latest carbon, steel, aluminum, and titanium technology.
They also employ the same precision standards on the handlebars, saddles, suspensions, and other components.
b) Technology At Its Best
Technology is Specialized’s selling point. Its electric bikes (popularly known as Turbo e-bikes), for example, employ an advanced BMS (Battery Management System) that gives them a more extended battery range.
Specialized also employ SuperLight (SL) technology, making the e-bikes lighter but more potent in battery performance and pedal assistance.
Plus, the e-bikes are paired with your smartphone.
And when it comes to the saddles, Specialized employ Body Geometry 3 Technology to produce saddles that conforms to our boy shape and doesn’t cause saddle numbness.
Even better, their cross country bikes employ Brain Technology, enabling the suspensions to self-adjust depending on terrain. As a result, you are guaranteed a smoother ride regardless of geography.
c) Rich Comfort Features
Specialized employs a lot of features that make the bikes more comfortable to ride.
For example, their seats are quite ergonomic, featuring multi-layer cushioning, which is easy on your seat bones and soft tissues.
One area, however, that specialized has invested a lot to guarantee the rider’s comfort is the suspension. Specialized employ their branded suspension system, Future Shock Rear (FSR), on their mountain bikes to promote better shock absorption and comfort.
The bikes’ geometry, food bed, and handlebars don’t disappoint either, as they are engineered for your maximum comfort. You can tell that from Specialized hybrid bikes, popularly known as comfort bikes.
d) Impressive Warranties
Specialized offers you some impressive warranties, which speak volumes about the quality of the bikes.
For example, all specialized-branded bike frames (and even forks) come with a limited lifetime warranty. Other branded products such as the frame paint, motor, and battery have a 2-year warranty.
Moreover, the company offers a 5-year replacement warranty for the carbon components.
e) The Option of Bike Customization
If you are interested in building a bike from scratch, Specialized allows you to do just that.
You get to pick a frameset that you like and order it. The frameset includes a frame, fork, seat binder, seat post, and rear shock.
What’s even more interesting is that Specialized offers you a suspension calculator to allow you to match yourself with the right bike suspension.
There is little to complain about Specialized apart from one thing that matters most – the cost. The truth is that even though there are a few cheaper Specialized bikes, the majority are on the highest price end.
For example, it’s not easy getting a decent Specialized MTB or road bike under $3,500. Some even cost more than $10,000.
Remember, expensive bikes are also costly to maintain, and that describes Specialized bikes.
For example, there aren’t many BMX or hybrid bikes, and Specialized doesn’t stock up beach cruisers or fat bikes.
But overall, these concerns don’t match up to the benefits that Specialized bikes promise. So, Specialized is still a good bike brand despite the concerns.
Specialized Bike Range Explored.
Currently, Specialized stocks the following major bike categories:
- Road bikes (performance, cyclocross, gravel, and triathlon/time-trial road bikes)
- Mountain bikes (trail, cross-country, endure, downhill, and dirt jump mountain bikes)
- Active bikes (comfort, transport, and fitness bikes)
- Electric bikes (road e-bikes, mountain e-bikes, and active e-bikes)
In addition to the above, Specialized also stocks kids’ bikes and BMX.
1. Are Specialized Road Bikes Good?
As I mentioned earlier, specialized makes road bikes in the performance, cyclocross, gravel, and triathlon categories.
Cyclocross and triathlon road bikes are for cyclocross and triathlon events, as the names suggest. On the other hand, specialized gravel bikes can take on the off-road just as much as the on-road.
But if you want a competitive racer and high-performer road bike, then the go-for bike is a Specialized performance road bike.
A worthy choice is S-Works Turbo Creo SL Evo.
This performance road bike is engineered for fast riding, and you can tell that from its aerodynamic handlebar and stiffer frame.
2. Are Specialized Mountain Bikes Good?
Specialized mountain bikes like I highlighted above also come in a lot of options.
Specialized cross country bikes are a decent option if you want to race in the forest or fields or compete in cross country events. That’s owing to their impressive Brain Technology suspension.
Plus, they are pretty lightweight and maneuverable.
And if you want to take on the trail, regardless of how steep they are, you can comfortably do it with a Specialized trail mountain bike.
But if you want more climbing power without too much pedaling, then getting a Specialized Enduro is advisable.
An option like the S-Works Enduro lets you take on the most challenging and least accessible peaks.
3. Are Specialized Active Bikes Good?
If you plan to lead an active lifestyle, there is no better bike for that than a Specialized active bike. You can choose a fitness bike, which has a more aggressive geometry for fitness cycling.
Or you could go for a more casual option, a comfort bike, a type of hybrid bike, and a good choice is a Roll-Low Entry. You can get this hybrid/comfort bike if you are on a budget.
But if you want an option to run errands, haul groceries or commute with, you should get an active transport bike.
Overall, Specialized active bikes are good because of their lightweight but more robust build and comfortable geometry.
4. Are Specialized E Bikes Good?
When it comes to moving fast without too much pedaling effort, Specialized electric bikes are unbeatable.
These bikes, which go by the name Turbo e-bikes, are the height of innovation by Specialized. Turbo e-bikes promise smooth power delivery, a silent pedal-assist, and a more extended battery range.
They come with powerful batteries with a range of about 90-120 miles in most cases. However, their electric MTBs are more powerful, enjoying a longer battery range of up to 5 hours.
That’s the case with the Turbo Levo.
Their motors are equally powerful, averaging a top speed of 28mph in most cases. So, you are paying for performance here.
The best part is that the e-bikes are paired with your phone using the Turbo Mission Control App.
Specialized electric bikes are available for the road bike, MTB, and active bike categories.
5. Are Specialized BMX Bikes Good?
Specialized sadly doesn’t stock many BMX bikes as it does with other bikes. When creating this post, they only had a dirt jumper, which is a Hardtail freestyler.
I’m talking about the Specialized P.3, which comes in a robust, compact build to take all the dirt jumping abuse.
Everything from the frame to the wheels is robust and built for the streets, thus good value for money.
6. Are Specialized Kids Bikes Good?
One thing that strikes me when it comes to Specialized kids’ bikes is the existing range.
There are bikes for all kids’ age groups, making the choices easier. In that case, you can pick bikes for any of these gage groups:
- 1 ½ – 4 years (toddlers)
- 4-7 years (little kids)
- 7 years and above (big kids)
Overall, Specialized promise component quality in kids’ bikes as in adult bikes. Yes, the parts are not as high-end as what you get on adult bikes but are better than most kids’ bikes.
An option like the Riprock Coaster 16 is a fantastic choice for kids who want to learn to coast. Its build quality is unquestionable!
1. Is Specialized A Good Bike Brand?
Specialized is a leading bike brand known for its high-end, comfortable and customizable bikes. Specialized employs advanced suspension and bike brain technology which sets them apart from the competition.
2. Are Specialized Bikes Overpriced?
No. Specialized bikes are not overpriced. You pay for quality and precision components, comfort features, and innovation, as that’s what Specialized is known for. Generally, Specialized bikes are better than most bikes in build quality, and that’s what you pay for.
3. How Long Do Specialized Bikes Last?
Specialized guarantees that their bike frames will last a lifetime. The other components, however, can last as long as you take proper care of the bike.
4. Where Are Specialized Bikes Made?
Specialized does the research, prototyping, and bike design at Morgan Hill, California headquarters, but the bike manufacturing is done in Taiwan.
5. Are Specialized Hybrid Bikes Good?
Specialized stocks comfort bikes, a type of hybrid bike line that is good for getting around. These hybrid bikes are lightweight, easy to handle, and highly comfortable, thus suitable for urban cycling.
6. Are Specialized Rockhopper Bikes Good?
Specialized Rockhopper bikes may be budget mountain bikes, but they feature quality frames, handlebars, seats, and suspensions. They are also hardy, making them a good trail choice.
Are Specialized Bikes Good? Final Thought!
Based on components quality and performance, there is no doubt that Specialized is among those leading the line. That makes Specialized a good bike brand that’s worth what you pay.
If price is the major obstacle, try finding a budget Specialized bike as such options exist.