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Along with Giant and Trek, California-based Specialized is one of the biggest bike brands in the United States.

It’s a cycling household name in the UK too, invariably doing well in magazine bike tests. The bikes are sold through independent dealers and the company’s own Specialized Concept Stores.

Specialized was founded in 1974 by Mike Sinyard, who remains as CEO today. After a cycle tour of Europe, Sinyard began importing Italian cycle components such as Cinelli handlebars. A couple of years later, Specialized’s first own-brand product was launched: a touring tyre. In 1981, the company started selling its own bikes. The Allez road bike and Sequoia light tourer were the first but it was another bike launched that year that really put Specialized on the map: the Stumpjumper.

It was the world’s first mass-production mountain bike. It had a welded steel frame, a rigid steel fork, 3x5 gearing, and cantilever brakes. “It’s not just a new bicycle,” said the adverts at the time, “it’s a whole new sport.” Mountain biking had arrived.

Off-road riding isn’t the only focus, however. Specialized has always built bikes for tarmac; it even has a road bike of that name. Specialized’s race bikes are tested for aerodynamics in the company’s own wind tunnel and are ridden in the events like the Tour de France.

For many years, Specialized had a range of utilitarian bikes that it marketed under the name Globe. Now its hybrids are back within the Specialized brand and there aren’t so many of them, yet some capable commuters remain. 

As well as bikes, Specialized continues to manufacture components and clothing – everything from wheels to helmets. The Body Geometry range of shoes, saddles, grips and gloves has been a byword for ergonomic comfort since its inception.

Here are five Specialized bikes that would work well for the weekday commute.

Rockhopper Sport 29

 Rockhopper Sport 29

The Specialized Rockhopper Sport 29 provides responsive handling, stability and agility, the perfect riding partner to let you attack twisty technical trails with confidence.

29 inch wheels are super fast rolling and roll over obstacles with ease, while the Suntour XCM fork upfront soaks up bumps in the trail, keeping you comfortable and able to tackle tougher obstacles while the bike does the hard work for you, then you can lock out the fork when you reach the smoother fire roads. You'll have plenty of reliable gears for all terrain with the double Shimano Altus 9 speed drivetrain, while hydraulic disc brakes provide reliable stopping power and great modulation in all weathers and all riding conditions. 

Specialized's A1 premium aluminium frame features internal cable routing giving the bike a sleek aesthetic, as well dropper post compatibility and sleath rack mounts letting you kit up and head off on longer off-road expedition rides when adventure calls.

 

Lower rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

RRP

£549

£549

Cyclescheme price

(inc. ‘Own it later’ fee)


 

£412

 

£357

  

Sirrus X 2.0

 Sirrus X 2.0

A smooth, confidence inspiring ride with a slightly more upright position, as well as plenty of handy mounts for mudguards and luggage racks, Sirrus X is perfect for anything from exploring beyond the pavement to grinding it out on your daily commute.

When you are comfortable, you're confident. Sirrus X is built to deliver comfort without compromise, providing the confidence to get out and ride more often. Wider volume 700x42mm Pathfinder Sport tyres absorb bumps in the road and handle significantly better in the dirt as well as delivering greater stability at all speeds. Ergonomically designed Body Geometry grips and saddle look after the contact points on your bike keeping you comfy on rides of any length.

A single chainring 8 speed MicroSHIFT drivetrain set up means your shifting will be simple, intuitive and smooth. Hydraulic Promax F1 disc brakes provide optimal braking performance and perfect podulation whatever the weather, so you can get out and ride in all conditions with the utmost confidence in your stopping power when you need it.

Sirrus X 2.0 is comfortable, confidence inspiring and above all, great fun to ride. Where will your next adventure on two wheels take you?

 

Lower rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

RRP

£649

£649

Cyclescheme price

(inc. ‘Own it later’ fee)


 

£487

 

£422

Allez Elite 

Allez Elite

The Specialized Allez Elite 2020 Aluminium Road Bike redefines what it means to be "entry level". Focusing on weight, refinement, and reliability like nothing else in its class, the Specialized Allez is the first to make these technologies accessible to everyone. Whether you're just getting into road cycling, commuting, or looking for a new bike, the Allez is just as performance-packed as it is versatile.

For the build, this Allez features Shimano's legendary 105 shifting that delivers tremendous performance and value, durable DT R460 alloy wheels, new super-comfy Body Geometry Bridge saddle, and well-protected Espoir Sport tires. Not only does a lightweight bike feel better when you're climbing up a hill, but it's also essential for carrying your bike. With a redesigned E5 Alloy frame, the Allez features a class-leading weight. 

With a full FACT carbon fiber fork, the Allez is better handling, smoother riding, and lower in weight—floating over rough chip-seal and carving through corners. This Allez also features integrated rack and fender mounts, allowing you to get weight of your backpack off you and onto a lightweight rack. This not only makes for a good road bike, but it also enables you to transform it into a fast commuter.

 

Lower rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

RRP

£1,249

£1,249

Cyclescheme price

(inc. ‘Own it later’ fee)


 

£937

 

£812

 

Turbo Vado SL 4.0 

Turbo Vado SL 4.0

The Specialized Turbo Vado SL is your ticket to riding faster and further than you ever thought possible. Explore, get fit and let the bike take away the hard work.

The Turbo Vado SL is 40% lighter than the average electric bike. Carry it down stairs, take it on the train, lift it on and off the car rack without breaking a sweat. The Vado SL features nimble handling and manoeuvrability with the weight in the right place, keeping the centre of gravity low and the front end light for precise and agile steering.

The SL 1.1 drive system provides a seamless integration of electrical assistance with no surges or power jump, a natural power curve giving you the smoothest ride possible. With a great range and user friendly dispaly and remote,you have all the information you need at the touch of a button. You can also control the integrated front and rear lighting system from the remote, which you can pair to the Mission Control smartphone app via ANT+ or Bluetooth.

The Shimano Deore 10 speed drivetrain gives you smooth and slick gear changes with excellent reliability, while the hydraulic disc brakes give you the modulation and stopping power to control your speed when you need to, whatever the weather and whatever the riding conditions.

 

Lower rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

RRP

£2,900

£2,900

Cyclescheme price

(inc. ‘Own it later’ fee)


 

£2,175

 

£1,885

 

Diverge Base E5 

Diverge Base E5

Whether you want to escape the tarmac on gravel back roads, get into gravel racing or simply get from A to B without being limited on the terrain you take, the new Specialized Diverge is the bike for you.

Built onto Specialized's Premium E5 aluminium frame and FACT full carbon fork, the Diverge provides are quick, comfortable and confidence inspiring ride on any terrain from tarmac to thick gravel to dusty dirt roads. With improved geometry including an increased frame reach, slacker head tube and lower bottom bracket, you're sure to feel planted and stable on the bike and ready to take on long and rough rides.

The Shimano Claris 8 speed groupset provides a wide range of reliable gears, while the Axis Elite alloy wheels with Road Sport 700x35mm tyres (with clearance for up to 47mm) provide an efficient ride on pavement as well as the versatility to mix it up off road too. 

 

Lower rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

RRP

£1,099

£1,099

Cyclescheme price

(inc. ‘Own it later’ fee)


 

£825

 

£715

 

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