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Specialized Bicycle Components


Specialized Bicycle Components

Specialized Bicycle Components, Inc.
Industry Bicycles
Founded 1974
Headquarters Morgan Hill, California, USA
Key people Mike Sinyard, CEO
Products Bicycle and Related Components
Revenue US$500,000,000 (est.) (2011)[1]
Employees 300 (2002)[1]

Specialized Bicycle Components, Inc., more commonly known simply as Specialized, is a major American brand of bicycles and related products. It was founded in 1974 by Mike Sinyard and is based in Morgan Hill, California.


Specialized was founded in 1974 by Mike Sinyard,[2] a cycling enthusiast who sold his Volkswagen Bus for $1,500 to fund a cycle tour of Europe, where he bought handlebars and stems made by Cinelli to take back to the US.[3][4][5] Sinyard started out importing Italian bike components that were difficult to find in the United States,[2] but the company began to produce its own bike parts by 1976, starting with the Specialized Touring Tire.[4] In 1981, the company introduced its first two bikes, the Sequoia, a sport-touring design and the Allez, a road bike.[6] Specialized also introduced the first major production mountain bike in the world, the Stumpjumper, in 1981. Like the Sequoia and Allez, the Stumpjumper was designed by Tim Neenan and based on an early Tom Ritchey design. Specialized continues to produce bikes under the Stumpjumper name, including both hardtail and full-suspension models.[7] An original Stumpjumper is displayed in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.[4][8] In 1989, Specialized introduced the Epic, the world's second mass-production carbon fibre mountain bike.[6]

In the early 1990s, Specialized introduced the Globe line of urban bikes. The line was the subject of a major relaunch in 2009,[9] which sees Globe become its own distinct brand.[10]

In 1995, Specialized launched the Full Force brand.[11] Full Force was a lower-end mountain bike brand sold through sports stores and discount retailers such as Costco.[4] The move angered some Specialized dealers. In 1996, Specialized withdrew the Full Force line and Mike Sinyard wrote a letter of apology to dealers.[4][12] By the end of 1996, Specialized had lost 30% of its bike shop sales and, according to Sinyard, "came within a few hundred dollars of declaring bankruptcy".[4]

In 2001, Merida Bikes of Taiwan bought 49% of Specialized for a reported US$30 million. Mike Sinyard remained majority owner and CEO of the company.[13][14] Specialized is now one of the largest bicycle brands, just below Trek Bicycle Corporation and Giant Bicycles.[15]

In 2012 Specialized issued a recall on about 12,000 bicycles sold through retailers from 2007 until July 2012 for a faulty front fork.[16] Recalled models include the Globe Elite, Globe Sport, Globe Sport Disc, Globe Centrum Comp, Globe Centrum Elite, Globe City 6, Globe Vienna 3, Globe Vienna 3 Disc, Globe Vienna 4, Globe Vienna Deluxe 3, Globe Vienna Deluxe 4, Globe Vienna Deluxe 5 and Globe Vienna Deluxe 6.

Professional Rider Sponsorship

Many riders in recent years have used Specialized bicycles in the North American and European professional cycling circuits. In 2010, Specialized is the bike supplier to Team Saxo Bank and Team Astana on the UCI ProTour, the latter deal being announced in January 2010 as a result of team leader Alberto Contador's demands.[17] Specialized has previously supplied teams including Quick Step and Festina.[17][18] Until 2008 the disbanded Team Gerolsteiner was using Specialized. Specialized bikes also sponsors the University of Georgia and Colorado State University Collegiate Cycling. Three-time world downhill champion, Sam Hill, Australian rider rides for Monster Energy Specialized.

On October 17, 2010 Specialized announced a tie up with Team Columbia-HTC for 2011 and beyond. Specialized will supply the team‘s frames, forks, and helmets. The men will race the S-Works Tarmac for most road races, the S-Works Roubaix for cobbled classics, as well as the new Venge and the Shiv TT in time trials. The all-new S-Works Prevail and TT3 helmets will protect the riders in road and TT applications, respectively. The women will race on Amira road bikes and Shiv TT bikes for the time trials.

Specialized also has various athletes in various disciplines of cycling utilizing their equipment. Martin Sörderström,[19] a Swedish professional mountain biker and winner of the 2010 Eurobike Dirt Jump Contest, utilizes the less traditional P.Bike series from Specialized in free ride mountain bike events.[20]

Expedition use

Specialized bikes have also been used for long distance touring expeditions. In 2004-2007 TV adventurer Rob Lilwall rode a Specialized Rockhopper (nicknamed Alanis) over 50,000 km from the city of Magadan in North-East Siberia, back to his home in London, via Australia and Afghanistan. Along the way, he rode his bike through the minus 40 tundra of Russia, carried it through rivers and jungles in Papua New Guinea, and dodged through military checkpoints in the Tibet. Lilwall later wrote a book "Cycling Home From Siberia" about the expedition (Simon & Schuster/Hodder & Stoughton), and National Geographic made a six-part TV documentary using Lilwall's self-filmed footage. After all the adventures, the ten-year-old steel-framed bicycle made it home in one piece and is still in use in London.

Specialized sponsor the following cycle teams:

  •  Omega Pharma-Quick Step (BEL)
  •  Team Astana (KAZ)[17]
  •  Team Saxo Bank (DEN)[21]
  •  Blue Water Cycling (DEN)
  •  Template:Cycling data SGS (GBR)
  •  TIBCO Women's Pro Cycling (USA)
  •  Whole Athlete Junior Team (USA)
  •  Durango Devo U-23 Team (USA)
  •  Team Specialized Racing - Juniors and Masters (USA)
  •  California Giant Berry Farm - U23 and Elite (USA)
  •  Team CHEMSTAR U-23 (USA)
  •  AMGEN Breakaway from Cancer - Masters (USA)
  •  Team Specialized–lululemon (USA)

Specialized sponsor the following riders:

Bicycle lines

Major lines in production include:

Mountain bikes
Epic, Era, Stumpjumper, Safire, Fate, Camber, Myka, Enduro, SX, Demo, Status, Carve, Rockhopper, Hardrock, Jett, Big Hit
Road bikes
Tarmac, Venge, Amira, Shiv, Roubaix, Ruby, Secteur, Allez, Dolce
Fixed gear
Crux, Tricross
Crossroads, Crosstrail, Expedition, Sirrus, Vita, Source
P series
Hotrock boys, Hotrock girls


Further reading

External links

  • Globe Bikes Official site
  • Brief Company History
  • Specialized Concept Stores UK
  • S-Works UK
  • Designs For Women UK
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