Eurobike 2013: Erik and His AWOL Prototype

Everything thing you’ve heard of Eurobike is true, including the horribly-spotty wifi. But don’t worry, I’m spending all my time shooting photos and catching up with friends, including Erik from Sweden. He and his wife, Sofia stayed with me two years ago in Austin and since then, he’s toured extensively throughout the USA, relocated to Zurich and is a lead designer at Specialized, where he spearheaded the AWOL project.

The AWOL is a light, sleek and very Euro-styled touring bike. While Erik’s main rig is on display at the Specialized booth, he stripped down one of the first prototypes and brought it along with him to ride around. After a few beers, we went out back and shot some photos of the bike. I’ve gotta admit, it’s one of my favorite touring rigs!

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  • Tyler Shannon

    I didn’t even realize it was a 29r until I looked closely. Super rad.

  • I’ve been desperate to see more of this beyond Erik’s I’gram documentation. Thanks John! Bloody good work, Erik!

  • PNT

    you can see that he is a designer of that bike, ideal matching. Good photos John!

  • Alex Fortuna

    Whats with the cross chaining?

    • As in big chainring and big cassette ? Or the cyclocross ring? This bike was put together with spare parts the day before he left for Eurobike. Some things are off (chain is short too).

      • Alex Fortuna

        I just meant being in big big so the chain is too short! but obviously this is not the focus of these photos, great looking bike!

  • Richard Smith

    Diggin the concept but that’s a really dumb top cap design. Why? What’s the advantage? Weight saving? Or is it just an ideal scenario having rain pouring through your steerer and corroding everything together?
    Also, I’ve never ridden a bike with this sort of position but it looks nuts! Handlebars high enough in the air?

    • Touring bike = higher riding position. Top cap is from the Specialized Turbo e-bike. It was literally all he had layin around.

  • Richard Smith

    What’s it made of? My brain says cr-mo steel, but that finish looks really sexy like brushed metal…

  • Ham Sandwich

    aw man he had to go and cram 29″ tires in there. now i want one more than ever.

  • Spencer Olinek

    I hope you’ll get a chance to shoot the other two that they road for the race.

  • Tombcat

    Looks like an old Fargo to me

  • Ian Stone

    Looks like a blast to ride!

  • btdubs

    This thing is dope. But it appears to be missing some bottle cage mounts?

  • dancakes

    dying. so sick.

  • James Acklin

    This guy is so tough. A constant inspiration to HTFU.

  • recurrecur

    I love the look of a bike built for 29ers that doesn’t have the allowance for a suspension fork.

  • .,`

    fuck-yeah barrel adjusters!

  • JLN

    Apocalypse bike.

  • reteptterrab

    I like that “touring” doesn’t have to mean “heavy.”
    And that is not a “dumb top cap design” since a top cap (almost) really doesn’t do anything why not make it (almost) disappear?

  • rideendpoint

    C’mon man.. “euro style”? Really? This bike is dope but it’s Specialized, very smartly, aping what Salsa has been doing for a few years now with AMERICAN style touring/bikepacking bikes like the Vaya and Fargo. If it was a euro bike I would expect to see some Rene Herse style shenanigans on there for sure. But like I said… smart bike. Would ride.

    • “Euro style” is me cracking a joke dude… C’mon.

      • rideendpoint

        If you say so.

      • doug_in_seattle

        Man, hilarious joke. Almost as funny as your joke about how it’s light and sleek.