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Check out this inexpensive fitness/urban bike with loads of versatility

The Specialized Sirrus range might not get the same level of coverage as the Tarmac, Venge or Roubaix road bikes but the US brand sells a lot of these because they're inexpensive and highly versatile, useful for everything from all-weather commuting to rides in the countryside at the weekend. We have the entry level men's model here although it comes in a women's version too.

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Sirrus bikes are available with carbon-fibre frames but this one is aluminium alloy – what Specialized calls its A1 SL Premium aluminium – with external cable routing and rack/mudguard mounts. The steel fork that's plugged in up front comes with mounts too, which could be valuable if you want to use this bike for commuting.

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One other interesting feature is that the Specialized name on the down tube is reflective to help get you seen at night, as is the logo on the head tube.

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The Sirrus is built up with components largely drawn from Shimano's high value Tourney groupset. You get a triple chainset with 28, 38 and 48-tooth chainrings matched up to a 7-speed cassette with sprockets that range from 12-tooth up to 32-tooth. That means you there's a wide range of gears on offer, including plenty that will allow you to keep moving up the toughest climbs.

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The Sirrus comes with V-brakes which, as you probably know, act on the wheel rims. Pay more and you can get one of several Sirrus models equipped with disc brakes.

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The 700C wheels are fitted with Specialized's Nimbus II tyres. They're 32mm wide and come with Specialized's FlakJacket protection which means there's a layer under the tread that's designed to help avoid punctures. Our experience is that this works well. 

We have the large model here with a 51cm seat tube, a 58.3cm top tube and a 17.6cm head tube. The stack is 611mm and the reach is 402mm. 

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As you can see, the stem rises upwards – it's actually 20° – and the handlebar is flat with a bit of a backsweep so there's not going to be too much strain on your back or neck here. 

The complete bike came in at 12.3kg (27.1lb) on the road.cc scales.

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This bike is priced £425. If you have a bit more money to play with, there's a £525 model with disc brakes and an 8-speed Shimano Altus groupset while the Sirrus Sport is £725. This one has a carbon fork, a double chainset rather than the triple on our review bike, and a 9-speed drivetrain. The £900 Sirrus Elite Alloy is 10-speed and beyond that you get into the carbon-framed models, topping out with the 11-speed Sirrus Expert Carbon at £1,750.

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Right, we're going to ship this bike off to our commuting expert Matt Lamy for testing so stay tuned to road.cc for his review. 

In the meantime, go to www.specialized.com for more details.

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.