Specialized Mountain Bikes
The Specialized bike brand began life in the mid 1970s under the stewardship of Mike Sinyard, a man who initially founded the business by importing Italian components but eventually turned to creating his own kit in the US. It is recognised for pioneering the mass production of mountain bikes in the 1980s and continues to be one of the world’s most recognised brand, competing with its larger rivals to win over fans.
Specialized produces plenty of different types of mountain bikes, from hardtail climbers to downhill descenders and fast rolling cross country cycles. This amount of choice does mean that you need to do a little research to work out which model is right for you.
The Specialized StumpJumper range, which consists of a variety of hardtail and full-sus options, is a continuation of the mountain bike which started its climb to the top. The more affordable StumpJumper Evo 29er features an M5 alloy frame, Fox RL fork with 100mm of travel and a combination of an S-Works Purgatory tyre on the front along with a Ground Control tyre at the rear for grip and reliability. Avid Elixir 7 hydraulic disc brakes bring stopping power and control to the party, while Sram X0 and X7 components come together to form the drivetrain.
The Specialized Epic range of cross country trail bikes introduce carbon frames, custom rear shocks using Mini-Brain technology and plenty of fast-rolling hardcore action. The S-Works edition of this family of bikes delivers carbon across the board, from the handlebars to the seatpost. You also get Roval Control rims, Fast Trak and Renegade tyres, along with Shimano XTR components for consistency in shifting and braking. There are also female-specific XC bikes in the Specialized range, including the Safire models which are fully customised to take account of the needs of women riders.
Specialized Demo 8
If you want the pre-eminent downhill bike which has won multiple world championship prizes then the Specialized Demo 8 is going to be the bike for you. A hard-wearing M5 alloy frame with racing geometry, Cane Creek Double Barrel rear shock, RockShox Boxxer World Cup fork and 200mm of travel allow this class-leading cycle to rise to the top, with custom Avid Code XO World Cup brakes bringing the anchoring abilities that you need to stay in control.
Specialized RockHopper & HardRock
Specialized’s hardtail mountain bike ranges include the RockHopper and the HardRock, while you can enjoy carbon framed goodness if you pick the Fate range. The Enduro Evo and Exper Evo deliver excellent downhill performance over long, gruelling courses and female riders who want a full-sus setup can consider the Myka FSR with its excellent geometry and hard-wearing setup.
The Specialized Jett range encompasses hardtail 29ers designed for women, with plenty of affordable add-ons included in order to keep costs relatively low without sacrificing performance. A RockShox XC32 fork with 80mm of travel joins forces with an M4 alloy frame, while Shimano Alivio components and lightweight rims fashioned from alloy will keep you going at a steady lick across rough terrain.