alberto contador tarmac charity
Full name Specialized Bicycle Components, this Northern California-based bike company was founded in 1974 by Mike Sinyard who initially imported Italian components that were hard to find in the US.
Specialized soon began making its own components, starting with tyres, and bikes with the Allez road bike and Sequoia touring bike.
In 1981 Specialized launched the Stumpjumper, one of the earliest production mountain bikes and certainly the most successful. The company focussed on mountain bikes during the off-road boom of the 90s.
It has been at the forefront of the road bike boom of the last decade and now sponsors the Etixx-Quick Step, Tinkoff-Saxo and Astana professional teams.
As well as a vast range of accessories, Specialized makes road bikes for a range of riding types including the Tarmac and Allez road racers, Roubaix sportive range, Venge aero road bikes and Shiv time trial bikes.
Fast, grippy, puncture protected race clincher, but wear rate means best suited to race days only
Well designed super lightweight helmet with a top safety rating too
Well engineered, medically proven female specific saddle offering good support to the sit bones, but a little over firm at the nose for me. A touch on the heavy side too
Sturdy, good looking and easy to wear off the bike. Shame its on bike efficiency isn't matched with similar levels of riding comfort