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Specialized - Innovate or die

Mike Sinyard is a bike enthusiast from the beginning and in Him grew the decision to do something with bikes. But all the cool parts at the time were coming from Europe, so he decided to sell his VW bus and head to Europe with about $1500. With bike and saddlebags he rode through Europe. In Italy, at a youth hostel, he met a woman who knew Gino Cinelli, a legend in road cycling. Gino Cinelli was a professional racing cyclist and after his active career founded a company for racing bike frame construction and parts. She made contact with Cinelli and a meeting took place. Mike was able to convince him to import the Cinelli products to the USA. The Italian road bike parts were in high demand in USA and so Mike's business flourished.

Returning to the USA, Mike Sinyard started his company called "Specialized" in Morgan Hill in 1974. Today, at the Specialized Museum, you can admire the bike with trailer that Mike used to deliver his own goods to dealers in the area. The Italian parts were in high demand and so a good business developed. After the wholesale business went well, he started producing his first tires of his own. Over time, a new cult has developed, people went off-road with bikes that had balloon tires. The first mountain bikes were invented. in 1981, the time had finally come, the first Specialized mountain bike "Stumpjumper" was launched. Mountain biking boomed, especially in the early years in California, and Mike skillfully managed the business, growing Specialized into one of the largest brands in the world. In 2001 Merida (Taiwanese bike manufacturer) took a 49% stake in Specialized, the big boom was over for now. But with a lot of innovation, they made it back to the top. The participation was reduced over the years again very much and Merida holds today only a small stake. Mike Sinyrad is also with his 68 years fully in the day-to-day business and it is amazing that such a company as Specialized is still in his private ownership. Constantly innovative and always at the forefront of sports, whether in MTB or road cycling, Specialized set the benchmark with countless world championship titles, Ned Overend, Christoph Sauser, Shaun Palmer, Sam Hill, Aaron Gwin, Peter Sagan, Toni Martin have all become world champions with Specalized wheels. This also shows the versatility of the company, one is not limited only to mountain bikes or road bikes one takes care of the entirety of the bike and everything that goes with it

In the headquarters of Specialized in Morgen Hill, is a huge hall in which the employees store their bikes, because the fitness in the company is capitalized, this is also a hiring criterion in the interview. If you don't ride a bike, you don't stand a good chance of getting a job at Specialized. Most employees come to work by bike and go for a lunch ride at noon. Biking is a way of life here. Meanwhile, Specialized has about 500 employees worldwide and develops not only bikes, but also everything you need for cycling. From tires to helmets, to clothing to the refined tool that is integrated into the handlebar stem. There is a development center for E-bikes near Zurich in which 19 employees are working on new concepts in the field of E-Mobilty. Always according to the principle of Specialized "innovate or die" . Also in Holzkirchen where Specialized Germany has its headquarters, one is captured by the spirit, here cycling is lived, all employees are bike enthusiasts and live for biking and rarely a day passes where there is no ride at noon.

This is the spirit that makes the bikes something special, this is noticeable when you also sit down a Specialized bike. Draufsetzen and feel comfortable with a perfect Geomertie and seating position. What distinguishes the bikes? Innovation is in the first place, in Morgan Hill is its own wind tunnel to develop the wheels even more streamlined. But also the adherence to proven, as with the Stumpjumper and the Horst Link System, which Horst Leitner has developed in the 80s. This patent had Specialized bought and further developed. It is still one of the most efficient rear suspension systems available on the market. Quite a few other manufacturers use it as well. It is used in all full-suspension bikes from Specialized, whether in the E-bike model Levo, or the Stumpjumper, up to the downhill bolide Demo. All use the Horst Link system.

The model range of Specialized bikes includes MTB, race bike, fitness & urban, e-bike to kids bike. In the MTB and road bike sector, there is with the designation S-Works again a slightly higher standard, in terms of frame and equipment. The S-Works frames are made in an even higher quality carbon and thus a little lighter. The S-Works models even slightly sportier than the already very sporty Expert and Comp models. Specialized sets standards with its series whether in the road bike area with the Vange or Tarmac with which so many UCI Pro Team is on the road and Peter Sagan led to his world championship title or but the MTB models.

The perennial favorite is the Stumpjumper, the full-suspension trail bike, was newly introduced in May this year. The completely newly developed carbon main frame which is even stiffer and lighter than its predecessor, rolls on 29 inch wheels and is available with a suspension travel of 130mm up to 150mm on the LT (long travel) model. The model is available in various configurations from Comp to Expert and on top of it the S-Works models. The Stumpjumper S-Works ST is with only 11.3kg a 29 inch fully of the extra class. A dream of a bike. The Epic models are no less in demand Jaroslav Kulhavy uses it in the XC World Cup and could be Olympic and World Cup winner. And the S-Works Epic Race HT frame is with its just under 860gr. one of the lightest XC frames to buy on the market. The Epic XC Fully with 100mm travel is equally at home on the XC Worldcuppisten, but also on many a marathon race to find. Low weight and enormous stiffness characterize the Epic. The complete bike is under 10kg.

What applies to the XC and trail area, of course, equally applies to the Gravity area the models Enduro and Demo also set standards here. The Enduro with 160mm travel and its Öhlins Komponeten (S-Works model) bring Jared Graves at the EWS to top performance. One has committed here early on 29Zoll Laufradgröße and is now with the new model with flatter steering angle become even more radical. The demo is one of the hottest downhill bikes of the scene, Loic Bruni was now already twice world champion, but also other sports stars were successful in the past with it. Öhlins spring elements are also used here. The asymmetrical design, stiffness and above all durability distinguish the demo. It is available as a complete bike or frameset.

The e-bike sector has now reached a great status in the MTB sector. Specialized has brought various models on the market. The Levo is the entry-level e-bike from Specialized with 140mm travel and two different battery options depending on the model. It comes in Comp, Expert and S-Works versions. It represents the ideal bike for bike touring in the low mountains or even in alpine terrain. The strong and ökonmische Brose engine, with a battery power of up to 500W/h hours, controlled via the Specialized app leaves nothing to be desired. Would like to have a little more travel, falls back on the Kenevo. Here, 180mm of suspension travel is available. Roughest trails in the Alps, or a day in the bike park is not a big challenge for the Kenevo. Abfahrtperformance almost like a downhiller, paired with a strong e-bike drive that lets joy arise, depending on the model is also installed here a steel strut. Thus, the mountain bike range of Specialized is very extensive and offers for everyone the individual bike.

Also in terms of accessories Specialized is very broadly positioned, whether clothing, helmet, gloves or shoes you can equip yourself perfectly and with the Specialized tires you have the necessary grip on the trail. High quality and innovation that represents Specialized over decades. It is certainly not a bad decision to choose one of these products