Specialized 2001 is largely a tale of product refinement rather than development. Having said that there are new lights, tyres, shoes, the E5 super-light road race tubeset and a whole pile of BMX’s. They haven’t exactly sat on their haunches. The really good news is that they “will have it all in the shops by mid October”. Top marks!
Specialized have looked at what us Euros actually use and Ritchey, as popular as it is in the States, has been almost completely dropped. As have Manitou in favour of Rock Shox. Specialized own brand products are making it further and further down the ranges which, in our opinion at least, is a good thing.From the bottom up: Hardrock:
£250, that’s right £250, buys you a double butted Cro-mo framed rigid, 21 speed Rapid Fire Hardrock. And the range goes right up to the very credible £400 Hardrock A1 Comp FS with the A1 frame that was once only found on the better Rockhoppers. Also on the A1 Comp FS: Rock Shox Jett S forks, Deore, Specialized Fore arm crank.Rockhopper:
Rockhoppers are now light years ahead of where Stumpy’s used to be. The £899 top end A1 FS Pro Disc (rolls of the tongue doesn’t it?) has the nicely balanced A1 Premium Aluminium frame, complete with new ‘spear’ gussets; Magura Julie Light discs, Judy XC fork, Mavic disc-specific rims, Fore Arm II crankset, and much more. But the bike that looks like it’ll do the most damage to the competition is the Rockhopper A1 FS Pro at £749. This bike has practically everything except the disc-specific components found on the £899 Pro Disc model. We think that you’ll see a few of these around the place next year.
Retro-grouches will be pleased to hear that Specialized have deemed it appropriate to keep a steel-framed rigid Rockhopper in the range. A bike for life.Enduro FSR:
Four bar linkages are still king in the Specialized camp. There are three bikes, Enduro FSR Sport £999, Enduro FSR £1199, Enduro FSR Expert £1599. All are firmly lodged in the ‘extreme XC’ camp, to use the jargon of the day, with 100mm forks up front and between 96 and 117mm down at the back. The adjustment comes from a little plate four holes in, each slightly further away from the centre of the plate than the previous.
All the bikes have a Premium Aluminium frame and, perhaps curiously, front and rear mudguards: maybe they saw Mr Crud doing well and thought they’d like a slice of the action thank you. Top two bikes get Magura Julie Light disc braking. Specialized have raised the bottom bracket height on this year’s bikes after complaints about pedals clanking into the trail. Good work!