Category Archives: Specialized
In Stock Now: The Specialized AWOL Transcontinental Edition
AWOL_Transcontinental

Since the first documentation of this project was posted on this site, I’ve been very interested in seeing the AWOL Transcontinental Edition touring bike hit local dealers. It is one of the most unique tourers I’ve ever ridden. My Product Review of the bike was thorough and Erik’s suped up Peacock Nuke edition swept everyone up in awe. Head over to Specialized for specs and contact your local shop for ordering.

Apr 3, 2014 7 comments
Some Photos from Specialized
Specialized-1

While I was at Specialized HQ a few weeks ago, I got a quick tour around their facilities. Amidst all the top secret products and prototypes, I was allowed to shoot a few photos at the model shop and in their new wind tunnel. For me, seeing products developed by hand, rather than on the computer, was paramount. I really miss making models in architecture and there’s something conceptual, yet tactile about the process and end product.

In a perfect world, I would have liked to see the process of modeling products and then testing them in the wind tunnel, rather than posting fragments, but so it goes!

These photos will just end up on my hoard drive if I don’t post them, so check out a few more below!

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Jan 26, 2014 3 comments
Erik’s Di2 Alfine 11 Peacock-Nuke Specialized AWOL
Beautiful Bicycle: Erik's Di2 Alfine 11 Peacock-Nuke Specialized AWOL

Ever since Erik showed me the first sneak peek at his Specialized AWOL, I knew I’d have a blast photographing it one day. Little did I know, however, it’d be in San Francisco. By now, you’ve seen photos and video of this bike here on the site. How could you miss it? With the special Nickel PVD – Physical Vapor Desposition – coating, it pops!

Erik even referred to this bike as a “peacock” in the Transcontinental video. It’s almost so distracting that you fail to notice the Shimano Dura Ace Di2 Alfine 11 speed Gates carbon belt drive set up with hydraulic disc brakes. Or the wicked fat tire clearances.

Other nifty details are the Plug by Supernova, which charges electronic devices but one of my favorite frame details is the special bracket for mounting the rear Supernova light onto the non-drive rocker dropout. And of course, the Fällkniven F1 Swedish special forces-issued knife with its (purple) zip-tied sheath.

Trust me, during our ride in the Diablo Range, I was geeking out so hard on this bike.

Yeah, it’s pretty jamming and what better place to shoot it than Bernal Heights in SF, at sundown, as the sky itself put on a color-assault of its own. Countdown to full nuke… 3… 2… 1…

Jan 22, 2014 38 comments
Going AWOL in the Diablo Range
I awoke to this sight. There are sunsets that will forever resonate with you and this is the one.

When Erik and I met at Eurobike last year, we talked about doing a ride to celebrate the Specialized AWOL release. Originally, we talked about Oregon, then LA, but after some research, we realized there were plenty of roads, tracks and trails literally in SF’s backyard.

With the help of Jared from Riv Bike, Erik began to think about a three day route from SF to the Diablo Range, Morgan Territory, Henry Coe and finally, into Morgan Hill where we’d share our story and watch the premier of the Transcontinental film. It seemed like an achievable goal. We’d pack for camping, which included cold nights and mornings and most importantly, we’d take our time.

Rather than actually planning our route, we decided to take trail maps and meander a bit off the beaten path. Digital maps don’t have all the trails marked and some of the current maps of the Diablo range revealed a path none of us had taken. We were set.

Unfortunately, as it tends to go, unexpected elements came into the equation and our plans changed. At first, I was pretty upset about it, seeing as how I was planning on pulling a few stories out of our ride, but after reviewing my photos, I decided it made for a good story…

Part of what the Specialized AWOL project represents is an escape, a desire to get out of your normal ride routine and try something new. Taking a chance if you will. While we didn’t complete our ride, we had fun and saw some incredible displays of color as Mother Nature impressed us all.

Seriously, the sunrise the second day rivals all in my past experiences…

Read on in the Gallery!

There’s more to come, including my review of the AWOL Transcontinental Limited Edition and a Beautiful Bicycle post on Erik’s own bike.

Jan 15, 2014 98 comments
I’m Going AWOL This Weekend
AWOL_Trip

This morning, the AWOL team and myself left San Francisco for a three day ride through Henry W. Coe state park down to Morgan Hill. While we have a general idea of how we’ll get down there (i.e. excessive speculation), we’re leaving a lot of room for error. Because, let’s face it, no big ride can go down without something going wrong. At least that’s my track record as of late.

I’ll be riding one of the new hydraulic disc, belt drive AWOL Transcontinental limited edition bikes and shooting photos of the ride for a few features on PiNP.

Come Monday, we’ll be showing my photos from the ride at the premier of the Transcontinental AWOL video at Specialized HQ.

Follow Hellhommus and me on Instagram this weekend for updates!

Jan 9, 2014 8 comments
Specialized AWOL: Transcontinental Race Part 04

Well, the time’s here. It’s the fourth and final episode in the Specialized AWOL Transcontinental Race documentary. This has been one hell of a journey and I can’t wait to see what the AWOL team has planned next.

As always Ertzui delivered an exceptional web series. It’s so good that I just watched the whole thing over again. See parts one through three below!

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Jan 6, 2014 1 comment
Help Café Roubaix
Roubaix

EDIT: Specialized has experienced a bit of foot in mouth since this article was written.

Look, I know this situation with Café Roubaix and Specialized has been on everyone’s social network radars at some point over the weekend. While people have supplied their opinions, I tried to rationalize my take on the whole debacle. You see, I really hate reading about corporate bullies throwing their weight around. How can you even claim that you own the name of a commune in northern France?

I’m banging my head against the wall here. Mostly because I actually respect what some of Specialized does. While it’s not all for me, they’re an American company that has been around for decades, employing people who love to ride bikes and have put out some rather interesting design projects over the years. That said, their corporate assholish attitude really bums me out. Here’s a summary of what they’re doing to Café Roubaix:

“A Canadian veteran of the Afghanistan war who operates a tiny bicycle shop in Cochrane is being forced to change his store’s name after being threatened with a lawsuit by one of the giants of the U.S. bike industry.

Dan Richter, owner of Cafe Roubaix Bicycle Studio, located above the famous Mackay’s Ice Cream in Cochrane, says he received a letter from the lawyers of big bicycle maker Specialized several months ago, demanding he change the store’s name because the company owns the trademark on the word Roubaix, which they use to market a brand of road bike.”

To add insult to injury, this isn’t the first time they’ve done something like this.

So I want to know. What gives, Specialized? Are you like the small-minded bully who walks around beating up nerds? Look, they’re even wearing red.

At any rate, I wanted to address this to not open up a forum on how much Specialized sucks, but to help out Café Roubaix. Check out more on this Indie Go-Go campaign or just buy a shirt!

Dec 9, 2013 35 comments