Today, it’s nearly impossible to talk about the leading mountain bike brands without mentioning Specialized. Having launched in 1947, Specialized has stood the test of time. But are Specialized mountain bikes good in quality?
Specialized mountain bikes are of good quality because they employ cutting-edge suspension and body geometry technologies to guarantee riding comfort. Moreover, these bikes feature durable precision-made components that promise longevity and better performance.
The fact that the brand employs cutting-edge technology and offers good warranties means it’s a good brand with a reputation to protect. That, however, doesn’t mean that these MTBs are flawless.
I will share a few of their flaws to balance things and help you rate them better. Hopefully, the information I will share will help you decide if a Specialized mountain bike should be your next bike.
In a rush? Check out my most recommended Specialized MTBs on the hotlist below.
5 Best Specialized Mountain Bikes
1. S-Works Epic: Best Specialized Cross Country Mountain Bike
2. Stumpjumper Alloy: Best Specialized Trail Mountain Bike
3. Specialized P.3: Best Specialized Dirt Jump Mountain Bike
4. Demo Expert: Best Specialized Downhill Mountain Bike
5. Turbo Levo Comp: Best Specialized Electric Mountain Bike
About Specialized Mountain Bikes
Specialized (Specialized Bicycle Components) is a leading American bicycle manufacturer known for high-end mountain bikes, among many other bicycles.
Specialized was established by Mike Sinyard, who is currently the CEO and the company’s majority owner.
Today, the company has a large testing lab at its headquarters in Morgan Hill, California.
Everything from research and design to prototyping and bike development happens there.
The bike manufacturing, however, takes place in Taiwan.
Though Specialized started making bikes in 1974 (its founding year), their first major mountain bike, Stumpjumper, was produced in 1981.
Since then, the bike manufacturer has been making an array of Stumpjumper Hardtail and full-suspension bikes.
In 1995, the company came up with the Full Force MTB line, a low-end mountain bike brand.
Sadly, its reception was not good, which angered most dealers, forcing Specialized to withdraw the bikes from the market the following year.
In 2001, Merinda Bikes from Taiwan bought 49% of the company shares. Mike Sinyard, however, remained the major shareholder and the company CEO.
Over the years, the company has been sponsoring pro mountain bikers in world events. They include downhill world champion Loic Brum and cross-country racer Lea Davison.
Are Specialized Mountain Bikes Good Quality? (Good Vs Bad)
How Good Are Specialized Mountain Bikes?
Below are the highlights that make Specialized MTBs good quality:
1. Cutting-Edge Bike Technology
Specialized employs the most advanced bike technologies that give it an edge over other bike brands.
a) Advanced Bike Suspension
Overall, the bike suspensions are arguably Specialized’s best selling point.
Its full-suspension cross country MTBs, for starters, employ an adjustable suspension system with built-in Brain Technology that enables them to self-adjust when expecting a bump.
In that case, you don’t have to worry about the unpredictable rough patches. Overall, Brain Technology offers you better bike control and reduces fatigue, making the bike comfortable and speedier.
Specialized also employs FSR Suspension Technology on some of its cross country MTBs and most of its downhill MTBs.
FSR works independently to offer you better tire-to-good contact (what we call traction), improving your bike control.
b) Body Geometry Technology
Body Geometry is a saddle design technology that reduces the risk of erectile dysfunction among men.
With this technology, the saddle assumes the design of the human body, thus the name Body Geometry, and therefore effective in reducing numbness and pain around the sensitive areas.
According to Specialized, the Body Geometry saddle is the solution to cycling impotence.
c) MIMIC Technology
We’ve talked about the body geometry bike saddles that help men avoid cycling-related erectile dysfunction.
Women bikes also come with a women-specific saddle that matches their anatomy. It’s called the Power Saddle, and it employs MIMIC Technology.
Usually, the technology allows the saddle to mimic the women’s anatomy, as the name suggests, reducing the risk of saddle numbness and butt pain.
Overall, Power Saddles are ergonomic in design and enjoy multi-layer cushioning to relieve soft butt tissues. Note, however, that you’ll find the saddle on high-end Specialized bikes.
d) Turbo Mission Control
This technology, present on Specialized electric mountain bikes, makes riding easier. The technology allows you to pair your electric MTB with your smartphone through the Turbo Mission Control app.
Once you activate the mission control app, you can easily track essential stats like distance, power distribution, time, altitude changes, and travel range. So, the technology helps you to stay in control of the e-bike.
e) Superlight System
The Superlight System is another electric bike technology that the manufacturer employs to make their electric bikes 40% lighter but with a more extended battery range.
In that case, you can expect a Specialized electric MTB that weighs less than 60 pounds to hold more loads and reach a top speed of up to 120 miles in some cases.
Overall, Superlight Technology guarantees a speedier e-bike.
2. Precision-Made Components
Specialized MTBs are quality MTBs, and it’s mainly because of their precision components.
Though they manufacture the bikes in Taiwan, so much research, design, prototyping and bike development goes on at their Morgan Hill headquarter.
That’s how they remain consistency in picking the parts. The parts are all about optimal precision to promise the same quality all through.
3. Durable Build
Specialized doesn’t just pick precision components but also ensures they can hold up well. Their frames are more robust and durable, and the same goes for the MTB double-wall wheels.
You cannot forget the disc brakes, seat posts, headsets, and other components as they are also reliable and durable.
4. Good Warranty
Specialized offers some impressive warranties which build customer confidence. For example, their bike frames, chainstays, seat stays, and forks, including MTBs, come with a limited lifetime warranty.
The policy covers the bike frames and forks against poor artistry and structural defects for a lifetime.
Plus, you also get five years for carbon components and two years for e-bike components.
How Bad Are Specialized Mountain Bikes?
There’s little to fault or criticize Specialized for its mountain bike line.
Perhaps the most apparent concern is that even though Specialized makes entry-level MTBs, the choices are fewer. As a result, the MTB brand is more suits more experienced cyclists more, more so pro cross country racers and downhillers.
The other issue is that high-end Specialized MTBs remain expensive. For example, you’ll need at least $5,000 to get a pro-level Specialized mountain bike. That again proves the brand is not the most reliable for beginners on a budget.
What Is The Best Specialized Mountain Bike?
Currently, Specialized makes the following mountain bike types:
- Cross country (XC) mountain bikes
- Trail mountain bikes
- Dirt jumper mountain bikes
- Downhill mountain bikes
- Electric mountain bikes (Turbo e-bike)
Let’s discuss them.
1. Are Specialized Cross Country Bike Good
Specialized has some of the best cross country mountain bikes you can think of.
For example, their Epic Evo line is best for single track racing, while the Rockhopper is a fantastic beginner choice. But if you want a racing beast, the Chisel brand is the go for.
Nevertheless, if you prefer to go fast without necessarily going for a full suspension, the Epic Hardtail is a safe bet.
And when speaking of a safe bet, the S-Works Epic is everything you want from your cross-country bike if you are a serious racer.
This XC racer has high-end specs (SRAM Groupset, carbon frame, internal cable routing etc.), and its Smart Brain Suspension is a game-changer.
2. Are Specialized Trail Mountain Bikes Good?
Specialized is famously known for its Stumpjumper trail bike, which is their first mountain bike. But other than the Stumpjumper, Specialized also stocks the Stumpjumper Evo and Fuse trail bike lines.
There is also the Enduro bike, which is not your traditional trail bike but a climbing beast with more suspension and more rugged specs.
So far, there are many versions of the Stumpjumper, and one of the best ones is the Stumpjumper Alloy.
This Stumpjumper bike comes with a high-end 12-speed SRAM groupset that allows you to blast through the most unpredictable trails.
It’s pretty lightweight for fast-riding and has a progressive geometry that’s perfect for aggressive cycling.
3. Are Specialized Dirt Jumpers Good?
Specialized doesn’t enjoy as much success in the dirt jump bike sector as it does in the cross country and trail bike sector. That explains why they only stock the Specialized P.3 dirt jumper on their website.
But even though this dirt jumper bike comes at a budget cut, if you compare it with high-end trail and XC bikes, you could argue it is worth more.
Let’s face it; this dirt jumper is just as good as any high-end adult BMX. Its rugged build allows you to do freestyles and land heavy without breaking anything.
It’s also equally lightweight, and that makes it more maneuverable in the air. Furthermore, its SRAM disk brake and Rhythm Life-Control tires allow you to take on the dirt trails confidently and safely, thus worth it.
4. Are Specialized Downhill Mountain Bikes Good?
Specialized also doesn’t have many downhill bikes, which is such a shame. However, their DEMO line has everything a downhiller would want from their MTB.
Their Demo Race and Demo Expert allow you to take on the roughest and the steepest terrains, and you can even jump over some obstacles, which is quite recommendable.
The Demo Expert, in particular, is such a joy to ride as you can even ride on rocky gardens and drops like it’s nothing.
This downhill MTB can take on all the physical abuse you can throw at it. That’s thanks to its alloy DH geometry, Rockshox suspension, body geometry saddle, SRAM hydraulic disc brakes, and alloy DH rims.
5. Are Specialized Electric Mountain Bikes Good?
I talked about the Turbo Mission Control Technology that helps you easily track your cycling performance and the Superlight Technology that promises a faster e-bike.
But other than those, there is so much to like about Specialized e-bikes. For one, their motor systems are pretty powerful, given that they offer you enough pedal assistance to easily clock a top speed of up to 28mph.
The batteries are equally impressive, promising as much as a 5-hour runtime as per charge. That’s the case with the Turbo Levo Comp.
This full-suspension e-bike is a combination of speed, shock absorption power and pedaling efficiency. Though it’s pricier than most e-bikes, it’s generally good value for money.
1. Are Specialized Bikes Good Quality?
Specialized bikes are good quality choices primarily because they feature the most precise, certified and durable components. The bikes also employ Body Geometry Technology, Brain Technology, Mimic Technology, and FSR Suspension, among other impressive technologies that make them a quality above the rest.
2. Is Specialized A Good Bike Brand?
Specialized has proven over the years to be a good bike brand. Their bikes are associated with professional cyclists who use them to compete at world events. Moreover, the bikes are of good quality, comfortable and more durable.
3. Why Are Specialized Bikes So Expensive?
Specialized bikes are generally more expensive than most because they come in innovative designs and enjoy quality precision-made components.
Moreover, the demand is higher because the brand is reputable, which compels the manufacturer to price them higher.
4. Are Specialized Mountain Bikes Unisex?
Specialized does offer female and men mountain bikes. However, women can ride most men’s Specialized bikes, making them almost a unisex choice. But design-wise, Specialized women bikes have a smaller frame.
5. Is Specialized A Good Mountain Bike?
Specialized mountain bikes employ Brain Technology and FSR suspensions that promise a less bumpy ride and better control. That makes them an excellent choice for serious mountain biking.
Closing Thought: Are Specialized Mountain Bikes Good?
With Specialized mountain bikes, you pay for quality components, riding comfort, and durability, making them worth it. So, yes, Specialized mountain bikes are excellent and good value for money!