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Is It Time to Be Done with Specialized Bicycles?

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August 2022
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I’ve been an unpaid, walking advertisement for Specialized for the better part of a decade. I ride their bikes (3 – road, mountain & gravel), I sport their kit (mainly because it’s awesome), I ride with their shoes (S-Works & Torch 2.0), their gloves, and until just last year, their helmets.

You get the idea…

Specialized bikes were the best as far as I was concerned. Sleek, aero, lightweight, fast… they seemed to have everything.

They’ve always leaned on our local shop owner pretty hard, though. He was grandfathered in as a Trek and Specialized store, though, so they “technically” couldn’t touch him. They found a way to punish him with the pandemic, though. He hasn’t displayed a Specialized road bike in his store for going on two years. They won’t ship him any. Hardly a mountain bike, either. Oh, he gets plenty of leisure bikes and cruisers, but that’s about it. They’re currently telling him he’s as far out as 2024 for orders that used to take two or three weeks. It feels like they’re trying to choke him.

Now, I’m usually not one for big corporate conspiracy theories, but what’s happening at our local shop just doesn’t pass the smell test.

The rumors are bad enough I’m actually thinking about retiring a lot of my Specialized kit and getting the Venge painted to cover up the “Specialized” and “S” markings. I’d void the lifetime warranty on the frame, but it’d be worth it.

If anyone at Specialized is paying attention, you’ve got a crisis on your hands, boys and girls. You’d better get to work on damage control. If someone as level-headed as I am is thinking about quitting you, you’ve got major PR problems.


9 Comments

  1. unironedman says:

    Is this a classic ‘our bikes or no bikes’ scenario?

  2. Sheree says:

    That’s truly shocking

  3. Uncoffined says:

    Corporate bullying in the cycling world isn’t new. Here at home, the local Giant bike shop was put under immense pressure to sell more bikes than what could be realistically sold in our area, Eventually, the bike shop owner simply started another shop with another brand. The old shop got sold, and then disappeared.

  4. Specialized are trying to squeeze the local bike shop. They are moving towards a “direct-to-consumer” model and cutting the dealer margin on any bikes they do sell. No way to treat the already-struggling bike shops that made them their millions in the first place.

    https://cyclingtips.com/2022/01/specialized-is-going-consumer-direct-for-complete-bikes/

  5. Dave Talsma says:

    Wow, I didn’t know this was going on at Matt’s shop, very odd. I even bought a specialized bike from him once.

    • bgddyjim says:

      So, to be fair, I’ve had to read between the lines quite a bit because Matt would never be that open about what was really going on. The worst Matt would say is that Specialized is difficult to work with… and we all know that. Take a walk around the showroom once and you’ll see what’s happening, though.

  6. Dan says:

    Word in Des Moines is that Trek isn’t any better. It’s a greedy world and sales numbers rule.

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