Specialized is one of the oldest bike brands in the game, dating back to 1974. They have sponsored world beaters and have a broad bike range on their belt, including road bikes. But are Specialized road bikes good?
Specialized road bikes are good because they are tough-built, fast, comfortable, and aerodynamic. Moreover, they feature high-end carbon frames with good warranties and come in an array of sizes.
You can tell that Specialized has been successful over the years, judging by the number of athletes they have sponsored.
But whether you are an entry-level or experienced rider, you have to ask if the road bikes are worth it.
To help you make a choice, I’ll review specialized road bikes’ pros and cons and throw the ball to your court for you to decide.
In a rush? Check out my most recommended road bikes by Specialized on the hotlist below.
5 Best Specialized Road Bikes
- Turbo Creo SL Expert: Best Specialized Performance Road Bike
- S-Works Turbo Creo SL: Best Specialized Gravel Road Bike
- CruX Comp: Best Specialized Cyclocross Road Bike
- S-Works Shiv Disc: Best Specialized Triathlon Road Bike
- Turbo Creo SL Comp: Best Specialized Electric Road Bike
The Specialized Road Bike Journey and Success
Specialized Bicycle Components, what most people know as Specialized, is a leading American bike manufacturer established by Mike Sinyard in 1974.
Currently, Specialized has its headquarters in Morgan Hill, California.
The company’s philosophy is to create functional bikes, and you can tell that from its road bikes.
Although Sinyard began building bikes in 1974, he first tested success with a road bike in 1981 when he made the Allez road bike alongside the Sequoia tour bike.
The 90s saw Specialized make a few urban bikes under the Globe brand name. Globe, however, was re-launched as a standalone brand in 2009.
In 2001, Merida Bikes purchased 49% of Specialized shares, but Mike Sinyard remained the majority owner and continued serving as CEO.
Though Specialized was marred by an incident in 2012 which saw it recall 12,000 bikes, the brand’s success is unquestionable. They have been sponsoring so many cyclists over the years.
Just recently (in 2019), Specialized sponsored Team Boels-Dolman from the Netherlands during the UCI Women’s World Tour and Team Axeon-Hagen Berman from the U.S during the UCI continental cycling competition.
Are Specialized Road Bikes Good? (Good Vs. Bad)
- The Good
Specialized road bikes have so many advantages, which make them worth banging the buck on. Notable ones include the following 7:
a) Tough and Quality Build
Specialized road bikes, especially performance, gravel, and triathlon options, are built to take on the roughest road conditions.
You can tell that from their frames, which don’t just have lifetime warranties but also have the good tensile strength to bear huge weights despite being lightweight.
The disc brakes are another reference point for quality. They are reliable in performance, even on rougher roads.
You can also count on the bikes’ tubeless-ready wheels and drivetrains for endurance and longevity.
b) Advanced Saddle Technology
It all started in 1997 when Specialized saw the need to design saddles that don’t cause erectile dysfunction. Through research, they come up with an innovative, well-cushioned body geometry saddle that’s more ergonomic.
The saddle conforms to the body geometry and doesn’t cause numbness or pain, making it a comfortable choice for male cyclists. According to Specialized, it’s effective against erectile dysfunction.
And when it comes to Specialized women’s road bikes, Specialized employs the MIMIC technology in their power saddles.
The power saddles got their name from the way they mimic the woman’s anatomy. So, they are as ergonomic as the male version but offer more cushioning and structural support to match the women’s anatomy.
c) Fast-Rolling Turbo Tires
Since 1976, Specialized has been using Turbo tires on their performance road bikes and other road bikes, which promise an array of benefits.
First, the tires are sleek and smooth, thus fast-rolling, and you need that from your Specialized road bike.
These tires also improve bike handling, making them a reliable choice for pro-road cyclists. Additionally, they are also lightweight, and that generally improves their fast-rolling effectiveness.
d) Aerodynamics At Its Best
A good road bike should be more aerodynamic to offer you leverage when racing against the wind and for faster pedaling. That’s the case with specialized road bikes.
You can tell from their unique skinny tubing and aero bars or drop bars that put you in a forward-bend (or aerodynamic position).
The manufacturer also employs internal cable routing to avoid wind drag when racing.
Moreover, the bikes come with skinny tires, and the seat slightly inclines to the front to boost your aerodynamic posture.
e) Carbon Fiber Technology
Specialized do the road bikes prototyping, design, and research at a special lab at its headquarters in Morgan Hill. Overall, the manufacturer takes time to ensure the carbon fiber frames are up to market standards.
Generally, carbon fiber is stronger and stiffer but, more importantly, lighter, making it a fantastic choice for road bikes. Carbon fiber is usually associated with high-end road bikes.
So, know that anytime you buy specialized carbon road bikes, you buy high-end two-wheel beasts, which are likely to cost more.
f) Decent Warranties
Specialized offers two warranty policies for all its bikes; global warranty and assisted replacement policy.
Under the global warranty, Specialized offers a lifetime warranty against structural defects, poor materials, and shoddy artistry on its branded bike frames, chainstays, forks, and seat stays.
Additionally, you get two-year coverage for the branded components, frame graphics, frame paints, and the e-bike drive system and motor.
And when it comes to the Assisted Replacement Policy, Specialized offers you 5-year coverage for its carbon components.
g) Easy Sizing
Specialized offers an easy sizing guide for all their road bikes, which makes it easy to find a bike that’s custom-made for your height.
Overall, it takes to know your height and match it with the correct frame size using the table below.
|Rider’s Height||Frame Size|
Specialized also allows you to pick a custom frameset depending on need.
- The Bad
While Specialized employs carbon on its high-end and mid-range road bikes, it resorts to aluminum on low-end options. Though aluminum is lightweight (lighter than steel), it’s not as light as carbon, thus less comfortable.
The other thing is that even though Specialized stocks budget entry-level bikes, there aren’t as many options as the mid-range and high-end options.
Moreover, budget road bikes are not the best for serious cyclists as they feature low-end components. If you want a better quality road bike, you have to dig deeper into your pocket and spend about $5,000-$10,000 or even more.
Specialized Road Bike Range
Specialized stocks the following types of road bikes:
- Performance road bikes
- Gravel road bikes
- Cyclocross road bikes
- Triathlon road bikes
- Electric road bikes
Let’s dive into them.
1. Are Specialized Performance Road Bikes Good?
I mentioned turbo tires which are widely associated with Specialized performance road bikes. With them, you are assured of fast and easy-to-handle performance road bikes.
Specialized performance road bikes are built for speed, and it’s not just about their sleek fast-rolling tires.
These bikes are aerodynamic, bragging their impressive drop bars, slick frame tubing, internal cable routing, and slightly front-tilt saddles.
Plus, their geometry is more aggressive to allow you to ride with lots of power, thus faster.
Today, Specialized makes the Allez, Aethos, Roubaix, and turbo Creo SL performance bike lines. Incredibly, all promise speed.
However, my favorite line is the Turbo Creo SL, where I recommend the Turbo Creo SL Expert for its fast and high-end technology.
2. Are Specialized Gravel Road Bikes Good?
Specialized gravel bikes are your adventure choice. Whether you want to take on the urban roads or the gravel, you can boss the terrains with a Specialized gravel road bike.
These road bikes come with aerodynamic drop bars (apart from Diverge Evo Fast) and slightly thicker tires to take on the rough gravel roads.
While performance bikes suit pro riders, gravel road bikes are a casual choice. You can use them as a substitute for your regular road bikes or mountain bikes as they possess the speed of traditional road bikes and the toughness of MTBs.
One excellent Specialized gravel road bike is the S-Works Turbo Creo SL, a high-performance motorized road bike with high-end frames and components.
3. Are Specialized Cyclocross Road Bikes Good?
Specialized doesn’t disappoint in the cyclocross community. These racing road bikes are designed to take on some of the most challenging cyclocross courses comfortably.
That includes racing through mud, sand, snow, and even over rocks.
The best part is that they are lightweight to allow you to carry them across obstacles. With so many sponsored athletes having won major international cyclocross races with these bikes, they are such a priceless purchase.
One fantastic Specialized cyclocross bike for fast and confident cyclocross racing is the CruX Comp.
The legendary bike is an all-terrain high-speed beast.
4. Are Specialized Triathlon Road Bikes Good?
Specialized doesn’t disappoint the triathlon bike sector, just like it doesn’t in the cyclocross sector. The manufacturer promises high-end triathlon bikes that compete with the very best in the industry.
Specialized triathlon bikes come with a steeper seat tube that makes you more aerodynamic and offers you more pedaling leverage and speed.
Overall, these bikes have high-end specs. Their group sets, for example, are Shimano Dura-Ace, while their brakes systems are usually hydraulic discs.
The S-Works Shiv Disc is one Specialized triathlon road bike that promises a high-end experience and better value for money.
5. Are Specialized Electric Road Bikes Good?
Technology is in full effect when it comes to Specialized electric road bikes.
Popularly known as Turbo road e-bikes, these motorized two-wheel machines come with powerful motors that promise assisted top-speed of up to 28mph, which is outrageously fast.
The exciting bit is that Specialized electric road bikes are lighter than most options on the market. With a cadence of about 60-100RPM, these e-bikes are efficient.
Their internal batteries don’t disappoint with their range, either, given that they can hit 80 miles or more on one charge.
The icing on the cake is their mobile pairing. Through the Mission Control application, you can seamlessly track your cycling performance on your smartphone.
One e-bike that promises all that flexibility and more is the Turbo Creo SL Comp.
1. Why Are Specialized Bikes Good?
Specialized bikes are good because they come with high-end components, quality frames, and good warranties. These bikes are also relatively lighter, have better performance, and come in a wide range of sizes.
2. Are Specialized Bikes Better That Trek?
Specialized and Trek offer almost the same bike range, and they all boast quality components. So, there is no clear winner on that front. However, Trek offers a broader range of entry-level bikes than Specialized.
3. Where Are Specialized Road Bikes Made?
Specialized does its bike research, prototyping, and bicycle development at its Morgan Hill headquarters. The bike manufacturing, however, takes place in Taiwan, where they have their largest factory.
4. Why Are Specialized S-Works So Expensive?
Specialized S-Works bikes are expensive because they are the most high-end by Specialized. They feature high-profile precision-made components and super-light frames.
Moreover, they outperform most bikes in speed and tensile strength.
5. How Much Does A Specialized Road Bike Weigh?
The lightest Specialized bikes, featuring Dura-Ace groupsets, weigh less than 6kg (13.2 pounds). That’s the case with the Specialized S-Works Aethos, which weighs 5.9kg (13 pounds).
But overall, most specialized road bikes average 8kgs (18 pounds).
6. What Is The Difference Between Specialized And S-Works?
S-Works is the top-end bike line under Specialized. S-works models are lighter, faster, and more high-end, and that makes them the costliest.
They are also not gender-specific, as it’s the case with most low-end and mid-range Specialized bikes.
Are Specialized Road Bikes Good? Closing Thought:
Specialized road bikes may be high-priced, but they are a good choice. If you are a serious cyclist looking to bang on the buck, then a Specialized road bike is an excellent investment.
You don’t just pay for the brand name but also quality build.
Also Read: Are Cervelo Bikes Good?