But did you know Specialized only started in 1974?
It was founded by Mike Sinyard who initially imported Italian-made bike components and resell them into the U.S. market. It wasn’t until 1981 that the first Specialized bike was released; the Allez and Sequoia.
From then onwards, Specialized has gone from strength to strength and has a complete lineup of bikes that we often see today. It’s among the leading bike brands today. Their range is extensive from lightweight to aero road bikes, gravel, mountain bikes, and everything in between.
Specialized vs S-Works models
Specialized uses the S-Works branding for their top-of-the-line models. For example, the all-rounder Tarmac SL7 comes in the S-Works and non S-Works version, which is called the Specialized Tarmac SL7. The major difference lies in the carbon fiber materials and the components.
Below the S-Works, there are the Specialized Pro, Expert, Comp, Sport, and Base models. S-Works models are always specced with the best electronic shifting groupsets (Shimano Dura Ace Di2 or SRAM Red eTap AXS).
As the models trickle down from Pro to Base, and components from Shimano Ultegra to Sora, SRAM Force to Rival, the prices follow the same direction.
|Model||Designed for||Price range|
|Specialized Tarmac SL7||All-rounder race bike||$2,500 to $13,000|
|Specialized Aethos||Lightweight climbing bike||$4,800 to $14,500|
|Specialized Allez||Entry-level road bike||$1,000 to $2,300|
|Specialized Roubaix||Endurance bike||$2,600 to $12,500|
|Specialized Turbo Creo SL||Electric bike||$6,000 to $16,500|
Carbon vs aluminum models
Most Specialized road bikes are available in both carbon and aluminum frame options except the Allez which is purely aluminum frame only.
The lower end, such as the Base and Sport models are all aluminum while the mid to top end are carbon. Within carbon models themselves, there are 8r, 9r, 10r, 11r, and 12r carbon fibers. The higher the number, the lighter, stiffer, and more expensive it is.
Specialized Tarmac SL7
The Tarmac is the complete race bike. It’s without a doubt the most popular model among all Specialized bikes.
Now in its seventh iteration (hence SL7), the Tarmac combines is an aerodynamic, lightweight, and disc-only road bike for all types of terrains. Light enough to climb the steepest mountain passes in Tour de France, fast and aero for the sprints on Champs Elysees.
The S-Works frame uses the FACT 12r carbon while the all Specialized frame uses the FACT 10r carbon. The difference lies in the choice of groupset, wheels, and components.
There are four models in the Tarmac SL7 lineup based on its groupset setup. All models are electronic shifting only. It’s also available in frameset only for Specialized and S-Works editions.
Specialized Tarmac SL7 retail prices in USD.
- S-Works Tarmac SL7 ($13,000) – Shimano Dura Ace Di2 / SRAM Red eTap AXS
- Specialized Tarmac SL7 Pro ($7,800) – Shimano Ultegra Di2 / SRAM Force eTap AXS 1x
- Specialized Tarmac SL7 Expert ($5,500) – Shimano Ultegra Di2
- Specialized Tarmac SL7 Comp ($4,800) – SRAM Rival eTap AXS groupset
More reading : Which Bike Brand Won the Most Tour de France?
Designed for the hardcore weight weenies, the Aethos is Specialized’s lightest road bike to date. Featuring a more traditional shape with rounded tubes and non dropped seat stay, the Aethos weighs only 5.9kg for a complete bike.
Pronounced as Ay-thoss, the naming is based on the Greek word Ethos, meaning character.
With its weight below the minimum of 6.8kg mandated by the UCI, the Aethos will not feature in professional cycling. Similar to the Tarmac, the S-Works frames use the FACT 12r carbon, and non S-Works frame the FACT 10r carbon.
There are five models in the Aethos lineup based on its groupset setup. It’s also available in frameset only for Specialized and S-Works editions.
Specialized Aethos retail prices in USD.
- S-Works Aethos Founder Edition ($14,500) – Shimano Dura Ace Di2 / SRAM Red eTap AXS 1x
- S-Works Aethos ($13,000) – Shimano Dura Ace Di2 / SRAM Red eTap AXS 1x
- Specialized Aethos Pro ($7,800) – Shimano Ultegra Di2 / SRAM Force eTap AXS 1x
- Specialized Aethos Expert ($5,500) – Shimano Ultegra Di2
- Specialized Aethos Comp ($4,800) – SRAM Rival eTap AXS groupset
Over the years, many cyclists have used the Allez to race criteriums and a Specialized made model specifically for that; the Allez Sprint.
The Allez is an aluminum, entry-level road bike which has been around since 1981. Unlike the aggressive geometry of the Tarmac and Venge, the Allez geometry is more relaxed to cater to a wider range of cyclists.
There are five models in the Aethos lineup based on its groupset setup. It’s also available in frameset only.
Specialized Allez retail prices in USD.
- Specialized Allez Sprint ($2,300) – Shimano 105
- Specialized Allez Elite ($1,500) – Shimano 105
- Specialized Allez Sport ($1,200) – Shimano Sora
- Specialized Allez Comp ($1,000) – Shimano Claris
The Specialized Roubaix is an endurance bike that got its name from the hardest one-day bike race; the Paris Roubaix. It has a slightly relaxed frame geometry ad wider tire clearance compared to the Tarmac.
Specialized sponsored teams will ride this model for the race instead of their usual Tarmac for its Future Shock suspension system. This technology helps to make a more comfortable ride when the pros are riding across rough cobblestones at 30mph.
There are seven models in the Roubaix lineup based on its groupset setup. It’s also available in S-Works frameset only.
Specialized Roubaix retail prices in USD.
- S-Works Roubaix Pro ($12,500) – SRAM Red eTAP AXS
- Specialized Roubaix Pro ($7,500) – SRAM Force eTap AXS
- Specialized Roubaix Expert ($5,000) – Shimano Ultegra Di2
- Specialized Roubaix Comp ($4,800) – SRAM Rival eTap AXS
- Specialized Roubaix Comp ($4,200) – Shimano Ultegra
- Specialized Roubaix Sport ($3,200) – Shimano 105
- Specialized Roubaix ($2,600) – Shimano Tiagra
Specialized Turbo Creo
The Specialized Turbo Creo is an electric road bike. While there are many models in the Turbo Creo lineup, all the models share three similarities.
They all have the same 240 watts Specialized SL 1.1 motor, a 480Wh battery which has a range of 120 miles, and a FACT carbon 11r. The difference lies in the components, wheels, and groupset used for the bikes.
The top-of-the-line S-Works model weighs only 26.2 lbs., which is an impressive weight for an electric road bike. Carbon models start from $2,800 and go up to $10,500 for the S-Works model.
Specialized Turbo Creo retail prices in USD.
- S-Works Turbo Creo SL Founder’s Edition ($16,500)
- S-Works Turbo Creo SL ($13,500 to $14,750)
- Specialized Turbo Creo SL Expert ($9,000 to $9,750)
- Specialized Turbo Creo SL Comp ($7,000 to $7,250)
Specialized Road Bikes in Pro Racing
Specialized is probably the bike brand that has won the most bike races in the past decade at the highest levels. Grand Tours, Spring Classics, World Road Race, and Olympics among others.
In 2021, the Specialized bikes are ridden by current and former World Champions such as Julian Alaphilippe, Peter Sagan, Mark Cavendish, and Anna van der Breggen.
More reading : Bikes at the 2022 Tour de France
Frequently Asked Questions
How long is Specialized’s warranty?
Specialized offers a lifetime warranty for the original owner covering the frame and fork. For second or subsequent owners, there is a two-year warranty from the initial purchase date.
More about Specialized’s warranty policy.
Where are Specialized bikes made?
Specialized bikes are made in China, while being designed in the headquarters in Morgan Hill, California.
Where can I buy Specialized bikes?
Specialized bikes are sold through their network is dealers globally. You easily find a Specialized dealer in most major cities around the world.
Alternatively, try the Specialized Store Finder.
Which professional team does Specialized sponsor?
In 2021, Specialized sponsors Bora-Hansgrohe, Deceuninck Quickstep, and SD Worx. They’re the team of Julian Alaphilippe and Anna van der Breggen, the current men and women World Road Race champion.