People who work in the cycle industry are, almost without exception, cycling fanatics. To this end, even the biggest players in the market tend to have a side project, something niche and seemingly at odds with their employer’s raison d’etre of shifting thousands of units.
The latter is their day job, of course, and an essential part of propagating this sport we love. Putting people on bikes is ultimately what it’s all about and almost by definition the machines ridden by millions present as significant design challenges as those purchased by the privileged few.
With this in mind, we completed our recent tour of Specialized UK’s Chessington headquarters by indulging in some slack-jawed drooling over the second iteration of its SmartWeld-ed S-Works Allez before casting an interested eye over the latest additions to the Roubaix family: a machine that by answering the need of thousands of new cyclists for a combination of comfort and speed became an early blueprint for the now ubiquitous ‘endurance’ bike.
Let’s take a closer look at both.