Specialized Bikes 2006
Specialized have taken the road bike market firmly by the scruff of the neck and the latest range is mighty impressive. Prices are down on 2005 and there are basically more price points in all the road models.
RCUK bike of the year 2004, The Allez, gets tweaked and still offers incredible entry level value at £499. We have a stack of pictures and will post more later including components and fork details...
Tested on RCUK earlier this year and on the short list for our bike of the year. However they lost marks because there was only one model available. And those terrible wheels...
Now the Roubaix has 6 models in the line and there are some cracking looking complete bikes built around the excellent frame. And there's Shimano or Mavic wheels on all of the models, which can only be a good thing. You can get onto a Pro level frame (ridden in anger at many of the Classics over the past few years) for £1299 for the Elite. Up to £2699 for a full Dura-Ace version. There are slight differences in the frame's top layer of carbon and the entry level frame differs slightly from the S-Works in this regard. It's still the same geometry and features Zerts inserts etc. The S-Works Frame only £1199.
Clearly offering the best value carbon road racing frame on the market, Specialized have added more complete bikes and further improvements to the forks. And it still retails for £1199 - Frame, fork and seatpost.
Team Gerosteiner are now fully Speshed-up with the latest incarnation of the Tarmac frame, but not the best one, the SL. At 895 grams for a 54cm frame they can't ride it as it's UCI illegal. New features include a new BB and S works crank that is (if it works anything like it looks) going to be a weight weenies wet dream. Hollow crank arms and a special through axle that bolts together at the centre of the BB axle. It's certainly clever and is stoopid light.
Geometry changes are minimal in the men's range but there's a new women's Roubaix model that is going to fill that special section of the market. Outside of the new SL this is the big news as they have three road bikes now in the women's range. All have women's tweaked geometry and the Carbon Roubaix bike is going to be a very popular women's racing bike, it's certainly light and well finished. Prices from £499 (Dolce Aluminium) to £1499 (Ruby Carbon).
The Langster is now available in the UK! we tried to get a test one and they'd sold out of 2005 stock. The 2006 version is £399 and looks the business for all you commuters who want the purity of a fixed or single freewheel complete bike. There's also a cross/touring bike called the Tri Cross for £699.
A TT specific frame was inevitable and there's also a triathlon orientated complete bike based on the same frame. Looks pretty sorted. £1299 for the bike and £899 for the S-Works frame and fork.
For more information and availability (most bikes will be August-October): Specialized Tests just as soon as we can get stuff...