Erik’s Awol x Poler Outback Tourer

You’ve seen this bike before, you just thought it was a one-off paint job. Back when Erik rode the Transcontinental Race, he used a Poler Camera Cooler for a bar bag, prompting Benji from Poler to reach out to Erik – Benji pays attention to what’s going on in the cycling world… For instance, these panniers have been in the works for a while.

After a quick visit to Portland, Erik and Benji schemed on something for the AWOL project for Poler. The great thing about these AWOL bikes is their versatility. 1-trakk rippers, around-town, bar bike, touring bike, dirt touring bike, dirt-drop brap machine. They do it all, including the 370 mile trek across Oregon for the Oregon Outback.

We knew we wanted to do a big ride to *shoot the bike, but weren’t sure where, when or how we’d do it.

When the Oregon Outback was announced, Erik reached out to me and I said yes, not knowing what I was getting myself into. It was a hell of a ride and afterwards, we stayed with Benji and began discussing the bike’s launch.

Next week, these bikes hit dealers. On the 6th of September to be exact. MSRP, availability and other information is on the way, or you can just call your local Specialized shop. Prior to the launch, on September 5th, I’ll be having a gallery show at Poler’s new storefront in Portland with an opening reception. Aka, a party. More info on that to come…

For now, check out some details in the Gallery!

*Believe it or not, this is the same bike that Erik rode during the Oregon Outback. I had to painstakingly photoshop out all of the Poler insignia. Front lamp and saddle bag not included! Comes with panniers and front pannier rack.

  • Adam Miller

    The Clone Stamp tool is your friend!

    This is just sick. I love the top tube feathers and seat bag feathers.

  • Is this a special edition like the transcontinental one or will be available “forever”?
    I’m very intrested but I’m blocked until october!

    • Special edition.

      • Guest

        But I was still a little bit right, accidentally

  • PNT

    love all you two are doing with awol! FRESH!

  • No more sliding dropouts?

    • No belt drive on this one, so no need for adjustment.

      • Ian Stone

        Is this the tubing that comes on the standard AWOL or the Comp?

        • Pretty sure the Comp. There will be more info on the bike soon…

          • Ian Stone

            If you’re right then I guess I have to get one. I’ve already decided the AWOL is my DK200 bike next year. This will be icing on the cake!

      • Galibier

        Will this frame be available anytime soon with a Pinion P1.18 gearbox?

  • Are those pannier bags heading out anytime soon?

  • Raul Bonifacio

    Man, what headlight /bracket is that ?

  • PNT

    When there be some info about panniers?

  • Spencer Olinek

    Honestly, I think that the most impressive part of this is the photoshop job you did.

  • Jack Luke

    That saddlebag mount is so fucking cool! Such a smart wee solution.

  • Adam Johnston

    Definitely going to be strapping a blade to all of my bikes now.

  • Aaron

    That’s classy, with his lady’s name on the mug.

    • That’s his last name.

      • Aaron

        But I was still a little bit right. Accidentally.

  • nin

    As it’s been said the bike looks awesome but it’s more awesome that you photoshopped all those photos.

  • Chris Freeman

    This thing is sweet, but I’m especially curious about that under-seat pack. First one i’ve seen with a frame that doesn’t attach to a seat post. Any idea what it is?

    • Adam Bowen

      Looks like a Salsa Anything Cage to me

  • Here’s the bike as it’s shipping.

  • Kat

    This is so rad. What kind of tire clearance is this thing rocking?

    • I think these were 1.95 knobbies. Will take a 2.0

  • Steve Petty

    Great looking AWOL. Go AWOL!

  • PNT

    what’s the front rack?

    • Peter Jan Haas

      I’d like to know as well. I tried to google it but couldn’t come up with something which looks similar. I hope it’ll be available in Europe.

      • It’s an AWOL “pizza rack” that Erik designed. It’s a collapsable porteur for easy shipping / transport.

        • stric

          John, do you know if that pizza rack available separately?

          • I think it will be soon.

          • It will be but there is not time frame at the moment.

          • Daniel M

            Please release it soon… I really want one of these

          • Melvin Tendilla

            Slightly late to this post, but I am eagerly awaiting the release of that front rack. Hoping its release coincides with my purchase of the awol

        • Do you know if it’s going to be possible to buy the rack separately? Would love to get one for my audax!

      • Raja Bisharat

        Just a heads-up that the rack is now available on the Specialized website.

  • Kyle Cox

    Sweet Pizza Rack!

  • Peter Fredriksson

    What front rack is that? It looks awesome.

  • odenator

    What other bikes out there are built for this sort of multi-use? It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for, something that could be used for touring and off-road riding. Just not too into buying specialized. I’d rather a smaller, US built company.

    • fpjoran

      Salsa? Kona?

      • Peter Fredriksson

        Surly, the Cross Check, Straggler, or Long Haul Trucker.

    • my Pake is killer!!

    • Jake Kruse

      salsa has been doing this with their fargo model for some time now. not as trendy tho so it gets overlooked.

    • TaylorSizemore

      I would buy the Specialized… Looks great and it’s well thought out. I am planning to build something similar as a model but the AWOL bikes really have me second guessing myself. Specialized is doing it right. I would buy one of these if the tubing was lighter.

      • Ian Stone

        1lb in tubing is going to make a difference when the bike weighs 50lbs loaded up?

        • TaylorSizemore

          It’s not the weight… When you build a bike out of heavier tubing it does ride differently, and I’m a little spoiled. Also I don’t have enough time off to warrant loading up my bike that much. I’d probably just ride it on trails and around town… it’s all a dream.

          • If this bike were of higher grade steel, it would be way more expensive. Erik and Benji wanted to hit a lower pricepoint…

          • TaylorSizemore

            Yeah, that’s awesome, lower price is way cooler! I’m into that 100%. Can’t wait to check it out at interbike…

          • albeant

            The AWOL comp doesn’t ride at all like a pig unloaded; it feels plenty quick and compliant, even on singletrack. I rode the IHSMBR this year on my AWOL w/ bikepacking bags and 2.1 tires, and it was super sweet. My comp frameset weighed in as follows:

            Frame: 5.2 lbs.
            Fork: 2.45 lbs. (300mm steerer)
            Frameset w/ IS hs: 7.85 lbs.

  • EffOhEff

    Kinda whack that it comes with the front rack installed and not the rear. Try “off-road” riding with those panniers loaded up. Specialized and Poler adds up to one pretty lousy customer service department to deal with. I guess this bike at least gets people into actual dirt touring, too bad it is facilitated by two brands that lack respectable business. Sorry for the negative vibes, but this bike is just so tuned to the hype and not the ride.

    • Uhhhh… we did 370 miles of REAL “off-road” riding in the Oregon Outback, front-loaded dude…. Curious as to what you’ve done front loaded to compare? I ride singletrack all the time with weight up front and most people I know who are serious do the same.

      I think it’s safe to say that this bike is tuned to the ride. Erik was stoked when we rode the Outback and everyone was into it. Maybe you’re bringing in some personal beef here, but I think it’s misdirected…

      • EffOhEff

        It is and it isn’t personal. I’m realizing now that I shouldn’t have even made that comment, but I guess I’m in it now. I just think it’s sad that a company like Specialized is being endorsed on this site. You can challenge my dirt touring experience, and you’re right to. I’ve done far less than you. But “most people I know who are serious” wouldn’t touch Poler “Stuff”, because that’s what it is. Taiwanese stuff. Both companies have a penchant for mistreating their customers and respective communities, and you have a website that has always done the opposite. So yes, it is personal, but has nothing to do with you, John. I don’t like that people buy Poler stuff and think that they’re getting high performance gear and quality customer service, and I don’t like that Specialized treats other players in the industry like dirt and covers it up with trend targeting. This is a negative post on a site that I respect for its positivity, and for that I apologize, but I think there is merit to my opinions here, and I think some people would benefit from mulling it over.

        • This isn’t a specialized project, it’s a project designed by my good friend Erik and my good friend Benji.
          People hate on big companies but people still run them. People like you and me, ya know?

  • Bill Strathearn

    Such an unbelievably versatile and useful bike. They should have named it: The Radavist Special.

  • James T

    About how heavy is the AWOL? I can’t find anything on weight. Love the look of it, really stoked

    • stric

      I have the limited Transcontitnetal edition. without bags and bottles it’s 34 lb in XL size.

  • Steve Helberg

    This is sweet. By the way, AWOL weight…I just built up an medium AWOL Comp frameset with an old RED group, Reynolds XC alloy wheelset, TRP brakes – 23lbs (includes 3 cages, 32mm tires, pedals, but no racks yet).

    • stric

      This is still much lighter than my AWOL Transcontitnetal edition. In XL size with all bells and whistles but w/o bags and water bottles it’s about 34 lbs.

  • stric

    So this is essentially a slightly de-tuned AWOL Comp frame (it’s not meant for belt drive and has not adjustable rear drop outs) with a different paint job? Those panniers are really cool though.

    • Yeah, it’s an Apex build with front racks and panniers for under $2,000

  • Lamri Adjis


    I am/was planning to buy the Cinelli Hobo but since I see this one?
    What do you prefer? John? or someone else? I’m going to use it for a big travel coming up next year.

    Kind regards,

    • Jonathan
      • Lamri Adjis


        How much will it cost? is there a dealer in the Netherlands? the shop I always go and sponsors me can get a Cinelli but not a Specialized as he told me. (AWOL comes from Specialized right?) Now I hear that the AWOL is more focused on comfort and heavy loads, my prefferation goes to the AWOL. (I’m going to cycle from Rotterdam to Jakarta so comfort is a must!)

        Hope to hear from you again!

        Kind regards,

        • AWOL x POLER specification

          Frame: AWOL 1 frame, Custom double
          butted and formed Cr-Mo tubing, custom cast dropouts, Headtube for integrated
          headset, Post Mount disc brake. Fork: AWOL Unicrown fork, all Cr-Mo, custom leg
          bend/butting, Post Mount disc brake. Headset: 1-1/8“ sealed Cr-Mo cartridge
          bearings integrated w/ headset, 15mm cone spacer. Stem: Specialized 3D forged
          alloy, 4-bolt, 6-degree rise, anti-corrosion hardware (S-M-L-XL //
          60-70-70-80mm)Handlebar: Specialized AWOL, 6061 double-butted alloy, 12-degree
          fare-out, 31.8mm. Bar tape: Specialized Roubaix, w/ 2.5mm gel pads. Front
          Brake: Tektro Spyre-CS, mechanical disc, dual pivot, 160mm rotor, stainless
          hardware. Rear Brake: Tektro Spyre-CS, mechanical disc, dual pivot, 160mm
          rotor, stainless hardware. Brake Levers: SRAM APEX. FD: SRAM Apex, braze-on. RD:
          SRAM X9 Type 2, 10-speed, long cage. Shift Levers: SRAM APEX 2×10. Cassette:
          SRAM PG 1030, 10-speed, 11-36. Chain: KMC X10, 10-speed, reusable Missing Link.
          Crank set: Compact 2pc Crank, forged AL6061, BCD110, double. Chain rings:
          46/34, stamped AL6061. BB: integrated, w/ sealed outboard bearing . Pedals:
          Alloy, 1 pc. body, stamped cage, w/ refectors, 9/16”. Rims: 29“ disc, aluminum
          6061-T6 double-wall, 622 x 21C, 32H, w/ AWOL Decal. Front hub: Specialized Hi
          Lo disc, alloy, RCC bearing system, QR, 32h. Rear Hub: Specialized Hi Lo disc,
          alloy, RCC bearing system, QR, 32h. Spokes: Stainless, 2.0/1.8/2.0mm, Black. Front
          Tire: Specialized Ground Control, 60TPI, folding, 700x48C (29”x1.9”). Rear
          Tire: Specialized Ground Control, 60TPI, folding, 700x48C (29”x1.9”) Inner
          tubes: Standard, presta valve. Saddle: Body Geometry Phenom, steel rails,
          143mm. Seatpost: Specialized alloy, 27.2mm. Seatclamp: AWOL forged alloy, CNC,
          stainless bolt, 29.8mm. Carrier: AWOL PIZZA RACK, frontrack w/ pannier
          capability, folds down to the size a pizzabox size.

          Bags: Poler panniers, available through Poler

          Price: Approx. 1950 USD The AWOL x POLER bike is available in a limited
          number through Specialized dealers, contact Your local Specialized dealer for
          more info to get a bike.

          • Johan Andersson

            Hi Erik! I contacted my local Swedish Specialized dealer today about getting hold of a Awol x Poler. They said that the bike will only be available in the US. Is that correct? (Please say it isn’t so! It looks amazing!).

          • Lamri Adjis

            hope not!

          • Lamri Adjis

            yess!! thanks erik!

  • Jacob Riddle

    What is your opinion on the difference or the pros and cons betwen AWOL POLER vs. Surly Straggler. I live in Syracuse NY there is good single track around and I commute year round through the snow and would like to start doing some touring. I had been eyeing the staggler for awhile planning to se it up front loaded was about to bite the bullet then saw this…

  • Tom Liley

    will this bad boy be shipping to australia?

  • Patrick Leegte

    Damn, just when i made up my mind about keeping the MTB and roadbike, something awesome as this shows up again. Maybe time to make more room in the shed

  • Ron Algis

    Did I hear customer service correctly, “the bike only comes in size large”??????

  • Ron Algis

    I called Specialized—the bike comes in S/M/L/XL

  • Ron Algis

    Regarding large size only available I hope you’re wrong. I’ll call my dealer tomorrow!

  • Curtis Armstrong

    If only this came with the rocker drop outs, but I am in love with this bike. Will be visiting my dealer soon.

  • Simon

    Any news on when the Pizza Rack will be available separately?

  • galgoczgabor

    does anyone recognize the seat bag on Erik’s bike? it has some super interesting structures holding it…

  • Shane

    Would anyone know if the “new generation swinger dropout” are out to convert AWOL transcontinental to Rohloff hub system?