I'd heard that cycling had caught on in London, but somehow I wasn't expecting the shoals of A.M. Bike commuters at every intersection in the city center as I was shuttled across town, groggy from the red-eye but alert to my new surroundings. Given the preponderance of helmets, high-viz gear (highlighter- yellow backpacks and shells are the order of the day) and mudguards (I noticed that one fellow had two rear fenders), these folks struck me as rather more like diehard Portlanders than the fair weather pedalers we have here in NYC. I also witnessed a couple of subtler behavioral cues as to the growing presence of the cyclists in London: 1.) an irritated cyclist slapped the side of a car that blocked the bike lane in an ill-advised three point, and 2.) a jaywalker actually checked for cyclists before stepping into a (non-bike) lane.
All of this, duly noted in a single journey from Heathrow Airport to trendy Shoreditch (the adjective is obligatory at this point), where I had the chance to meet pro cyclist Mark Cavendish on the occasion of a product launch for Specialized. And even though only a fraction of …
BikeRadar.comSpecialized Demo 8.1 – first ride reviewBikeRadar.comConstructed from Specialized's M5 alloy, the Demo frame puts out 200mm of travel through Specialized's FSR platform. The Demo is the only bike in the range to use the twin seatstay style FSR layout, which increases stiffness and creates the suspension …
Well, Specialized would like you to think that all bikes made for the UK market are made in Taiwan or the U.S.
This is true to a point. Some of the premium bikes are ASSEMBLED in the U.S. Using domestic and foreign parts. Some of the bikes are assembled in the Taiwan using Taiwanese and other Asian sourced parts.
The law in the UK basically makes it prohibitively expensive for any bike company to bring bikes directly from China and some other countries, so they skirt the issue by shipping the parts to various other "friendly" countries for final assembly into the box.
Just getting into mountain bikes and I am a little confused about the Specialized and Schwinn connection (if there is one) I'll see ads on ebay and CL for a Specialized Schwinn Rock hopper (think that's the name) but when I check the Specialized site I see the Rock hopper brand but it never mentions Schwinn. I always heard (maybe incorrectly) that specialized is a high end brand where is Schwinn is a more low end bike are these ads fake or are these "Specialized" bikes not the high end Specialized brand I am thinking of.
Specialized & Schwinn are two entirely different companies. Specialized bikes are only found in real bike shops. Schwinn has now gone into two divisions – the discount stores & the real bike shops.
Schwinn declared bankruptcy years ago & was bought by Pacific-Cycle, who was in turn bought by Dorel Industries. Get the idea? The real bike shop Schwinn bikes are still pretty good. The ones at the big box stores are junk.
If I had a choice – I'd go with Specialized anytime over Schwinn.
Two distinct "personalities" for that one.
1) The luxurious slow ride–if you get the bike 1 size too large from the mistake of using traditional standover height to measure a modern bike.
2) The Turbo-Hybrid as they're now called. Sirrus was the first and does its job well. This fit will show quite a bit of seatpost and the bike may seem a bit small. The handlebars will be an easy reach and the result is both fast and comfortable.
Many of the Turbo-Hybrid and fitness bikes are now available. Notable varieties of this are Schwinn Super Sport cyclocross and Diamondback Winwood / Edgewood mountain 29'er. These are a bit different, yet with a similar flair and speedy nature (if the bike is small). The rest of the Turbo-Hybrid on the market are, as usual, blatent copies of the Specialized Sirrus.
In Europe, this bike is simply referred to as "bike". This is the normal bike in Europe. Other bikes are called "Mountain Bike," "Racer," and "Cross."
Before Specialized dared to do it, we didn't have any speedy examples of the Eurobike or Flat-Bar Tourbike.
The lower-end models (those with metal forks) are good, fast transportation, yet with enough speed to ride with a touring club.
The Specialized Sirrus Comp is a "105" level race/train model that is priced far below its performance and value. Given a nice set of Neuvation M28 or Rol Race wheels (thin spokes for comfy speed boost) and some Kool Stop brake pads, this machine could quite easily take on a $2000+ road racing bike. Oh, and it would need some non-Armadillo tires. Just switch those for Michelin's speed boost.
Sirrus Pro is a little bit confused, but could be employed at a pro cyclocross event and/or safely navigate down the mountain with its disc brakes. This is a mountain/mud/wet version. The matching tires should be Panaracer T-serv, also wet weather.
Sirrus LTD is, in fact, a full racer. With the exception of slow tires, this bike has performance that matches its price and gearing such as used by Team Discovery on Stage 17 of the TDF. It is popular with females because of the easier reach for shifters that can contribute to ease of spinning technique performance.
So, be sure to get one measured for reach, not standover height. Too big is too slow. So, do try for a smallish size to get good areo. Yet test drive and just pick the one that seems fast and pleasant, the one bike that does both fast and pleasant at the same time. Test drive a lot.
You'll have a greatly accelerated (even competitive), yet very comfortable ride. That's what they're for.
Millions, actually billions, of very similar bikes make the roads impassible to cars in the land of the Dutch. For instance, it is not possible to get a car into the airport. Either bike or tram is the only way. Tying a brightly colored flag on your bike is the only way to find it in their very jammed (brimming over with bikes) airport parking lot. Wish I could show you a picture. They look like the Sirrus.
Zooming all around France, not a drop handlebar in sight, despite their famous Tour de France, the natives are on bikes that could easily be mistaken for mountain bikes–but they're not. It is either a lot like Diamondback's Windwood / Edgewood series (shocks on the front) or just like the speedy, lightweight Specialized Sirrus, and those are the bikes the French prefer instead of the uncomfortable "racer". After all, if you're going to use it every day, why put up with the shifters being faraway off the front of the bike? Not the French.
Over in England, that's where you'll see the drop handlebars more frequently. Why? Because they don't want to look like the French or Dutch. 😉 They also use a lot of XC mountain bikes because their hills are far steeper than the limit in the U.S. Once out in the country, what do you see? Yet more bikes just like the Sirrus. That's because long distance cycling is easiest on the flat bar performance bike.
Most of the English flat bar bikes are upgraded to North Road style handlebars that offer both a forwards grip for areo and a backswept grip when you want more luxury.
Those are available here for about $12 (Pyramid branded, bikepartsusa.com) for a lightweight alloy set 21" wide. These can be wrapped with the thick drop bar tape (use extra-thick version) and installed upside down (club-race style) for high areodynamic performance or face-up for luxury, as seen on the majority of foreign touring bikes.
Nashbar.com has a heavier variety (of upgrade handlebar) with ultra-modern looks called a "trekking bar" that is also quite popular with this style of bike. As with drop bar, the only reason to choose the "trekking bar" over the traditional "North Road" is just for looks. Looks and image are very important to some, so I mention the "Nashbar ATB Trekking Bar" as a way to North Road style comfort and performance with the benefit of modern looks (important to some people).
Why would you put an upgrade handlebar on the already nice Sirrus? $12 to $20 is a tiny price to acquire both speed and comfort simultaneously. It is also what is onboard the long distance touring bike of the year–a bike that is otherwise very similar to Sirrus.
Anyway, enjoy your Sirrus. That's certainly easy to do.