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Back in 1984, Edinburgh Bike Co-op was one of the first UK bike shops where you could buy a Specialized mountain bike. For the next 30 years Specialized MTBs were our consistent best selling mountain bikes for one very good reason. They were almost always the best or among the best at every price point.
Perhaps because Specialized mountain bikes became so familiar, some riders turned to alternatives in recent years, which helps explain why Whyte mountain bikes began outselling Specialized’s in our shops.
Since early June 2017, something amazing happened. The first 2018 Specialized Pitch and Rockhopper mountain bikes arrived in our shops. Our discerning customers immediately latched on to them and restored Specialized as our best selling MTBs. Here’s a few reasons why this might have happened.
Specialized famously built the world’s first production mountain bike in 1981, and have been a market leader ever since. Specialized know how to build a very good MTB like their Californian pals Apple know how to make a phone.
The world’s first folding tyre; the first production carbon MTB; clinically tested Body Geometry comfort-enhancing saddles, gloves and shoes; world class bicycles in every discipline; the first cult mountain bike tyre – the Ground Control: we have Specialized to thank for bringing so many good things to the cycling community.
For all their innovation Specialized are not too proud to borrow the best ideas from their competitors.
With its slack 68.5˚ degree head tube angle, its short stem and its wide bars, even Specialized’s entry level Pitch hardtails have adopted the low centre of gravity progressive geometry, pioneered by Whyte, to offer a better trail riding experience.
Specialized Pitch 650b 2018
Wallet Friendly Pitch
Even the £400 Specialized Pitch comes with a serious set of wheels, featuring 25mm wide Stout double wall rims built on genuine Shimano hubs with stainless steel spokes. These wheels are shod with proper Specialized Ground Control 27.5×2.3” trail tyres which come with proven Flak Jacket sub treads to help eliminate the risk of punctures. We defy you to find a mountain bike with wheels this good at this kind of price.
The Rockhopper has been Specialized’s mainstay 29er hardtail since 2013.
The evolution of the 29er mountain bike is instructive. Fast cross-country early adopters loved 29ers for their extra speed potential and improved rollover and traction. Trail riders less so. Then 27.5” tyres came along and were acknowledged as the answer for the majority of mountain bikers.
In more recent years, companies such as Specialized have given their 29ers a new-school upgrade with slacker head tube angles, wider bars and shorter stems, with the result that a growing number or experienced mountain bikers from all disciplines are opting for 29ers.
If you’re looking for a fast, engaging hardtail, we think you might be particularly impressed with the Rockhopper Expert, which has been upgraded for 2018 with a lighter weight SL version of Specialized’s classic A1 aluminium frame.