Category Archives: Specialized

ProTour News

The Tinko-Saxoff team announced last year that they were ending their run with Cannondale, and instead going with…..

Specialized.

yay.

Anyway, today pics of the team bike were released;

Sagan Venge

Sagan Venge

As you can probably see, it features a carbon fibre frame, stem, wheels, bar, slamthatstem.com, not chainstay brakes though, and most importantly, it’s called “Venge.”

Now, I imagine they want us to pronounce that like the word “revenge” because that’s sinister and aggressive and all that. But much like the high end Trek anagram bikes (Madone, Domane, Emonda), I feel like with made-up words, I’m free to pronounce it anyway I like.

Shmenge Brothers

Shmenge Brothers

So, when I see Venge, I think…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Venge pic from Global Cycling Network

 

Mountain Bike Action

It’s not a stretch at all to say I wouldn’t be where I was today with mountain bikes had it not been for Mountain Bike Action.  I read it for months without really understanding what was going on, but it was so exciting.  Every other month there would be a bike you’ve never heard of, that they just raved about.

January 1988 MBA

January 1988 MBA

Where I lived at the time, you’d see Specializeds, Nishikis, Treks, maybe a Rocky Mountain.  Which were all good bikes to be sure, but they weren’t exotic.  Not like Yetis, or Kleins, or Serottas, or Savage Terminators.  Learning that bikes like this existed showed me that something really cool was going on.

I think you can attribute a lot of it’s coolness to editor Zapata Espinoza, because after he left in 1993, things really went downhill.

(See what I did there?)

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Freeride Revival is go!

Well, it’s not really a go yet because we don’t have the bikes, but, the time is right.

First though, we need to talk about what Freeride was, just in case you don’t know.

In the mid to late 90’s, a group of BC riders were getting themselves into Bike magazine regularly thanks to their ridiculous skills on the skree slopes of Kamloops.  Eventually, a large chunk of an issue was devoted to these guys – Richey Schley, Wade Simmons, Brett Tippie, and others – and the scene was blown wide open.  But, the scene needed better bikes.

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1998 Rocky Mountain Pipeline

The first bike that comes to mind when you think “freeride?” The Rocky Mountain Pipeline.  However, Cannondale desperately wanted their bike to be one you thought of first.  So much so that they trademarked the name “freeride.”  Which was kinda dumb given that skiiers had used it for years, but we’re talking about trademark law in the U.S. – logic and reason do not apply.

This threw a wrench into Rocky’s plans to use it obviously. Until someone at Rocky came up with Froriders.  History was made.

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Specialized

I’ve just never been a big fan of Specialized.  I’ve owned three of them over the years, but all were purchased on snap decisions.  I can honestly say that I’ve never lusted after a Specialized.  The very idea is comical to me in fact.  They are now the largest bicycle company in the world, and are even less lust-worthy than ever before.

We’re going to dig deep into Specialized here, so you may want to get yourself settled with a snack or a drink before you begin.

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1997 Specialized Stumpjumper M2

Specialized is of course known for being among the first to mass produce a mountain bike, the seminal Stumpjumper. I do have to give credit for them maintaining the Stumpjumper all these years – although it’s not same bike at all. Rocky Mountain built the Blizzard for 31 years, and it was still steel at the end, but the current Stumpjumper is a aluminum carbon fully suspended hardtail 29er 650b.

I’ll explain that later.

What I didn’t know though, (and this comes from Wikipedia so have those large grains of salt handy) is that Specialized founder Mike Sinyard just bought a Fisher/Ritchey in 1980 or whenever it was, shipped it off to a factory in Taiwan, and said ‘copy it.’

Full disclosure; this is what the Wikipedia article says;

The first Stumpjumper was produced in Japan and was based on a design for a custom-made bike originally marketed by Tom Ritchey, Gary Fisher and Charles Kelly

I read that as ‘Sinyard had a Ritchey copied’ but I could see how that’s not necessarily what happened.

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