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Specialized bikes has an interesting history that goes something like this: a young guy hiked around Europe in the late 1970’s and found there were a lot of bicycle companies that did not have a method for selling their products in the United States. He said “I’ll do it” and Specialized Bikes was born.
Specialized Bikes’ first claim to fame was bringing the first commercially produced mountain bike to market, the Stumpjumper. Now, they surely didn’t invent the mountain bike, but they saw some underground buzzing and created a product. I’m sure that another company was also about to release a similar product, nevertheless, Specialized did it first and they take the credit.
Since that time, Specialized has been pretty strong in the road bike category as well. Only within the past few years have they created very high end time trial and triathlon bikes. Their “Shiv” is raced by professional triathletes and bike racers in the Tour de France. These superbikes won’t be showing up on eBay anytime soon.
My take is that any bike company that’s been around since the early 1980’s has got to be doing something right. And the fact that Specialized has continually been reinventing themselves and developing new products and entering new product category categories is also a great thing to see. That said, if you find a used Specialized bike and it fits, it’s definitely worth a test ride.
Specialized offers their S-Works model for various categories (Cyclocross, road, mountain). The S-Works was designed to be the best of the best: lightweight and stiff. These older S-Works bikes are still a great bargain for yesterday’s top end technology. All in all, used Specialized bikes can be a great bike.