- The best Specialized road bikes are the Specialized Aethos, Specialized Tarmac SL7, Specialized Allez, and the Specialized Roubaix.
- The best Specialized mountain bikes are the Specialized Epic Pro, Specialized Epic Hardtail Pro, Specialized Rockhopper, and the Specialized Epic Expert EVO.
- Many of Specialized’s best bikes feature model variations with downgraded specs and more affordable price tags - giving riders a wider selection of options to choose from.
Specialized is one of the most iconic and respected brands in the cycling industry and their latest line-up is stacked with world-class bikes.
The best Specialized bikes are:
- Specialized Aethos
- Specialized Tarmac SL7
- Specialized Allez
- Specialized Roubaix
- Specialized Epic Pro
- Specialized Epic Hardtail Pro
- Specialized Rockhopper
- Specialized Epic Expert EVO
After extensively researching Specialized bikes, I have gathered enough information to determine the best options in their line-up. My research has indicated that you should carefully assess the specs and qualities of each Specialized bike as this will heavily influence its performance capabilities.
Best Specialized Road Bikes
For the past 40 years, Specialized has been a driving force in the cycling industry - with high-end bike models that push innovation and performance to the limit. Although Specialized has an expansive collection of quality bikes, their road bikes are among the most popular and advanced options on the market.
To keep up with the demand for increased road bike performance, Specialized is constantly re-designing their collection by incorporating the latest cycling technology and installing high-end parts and components. Their expansive line-up can make choosing a road bike rather challenging, as there are so many factors to consider.
When Specialized first entered the scene, they prioritized releasing top-level bikes that were primarily intended for industry pros and hardcore cycling enthusiasts. However, over the years, Specialized has strived to make their bikes more dynamic and accessible to a wider range of riders. That is why you can find road bikes that greatly vary in style, performance, and price.
As you evaluate the best road bikes from Specialized, you should consider your riding needs as this will be essential for selecting the right bike. Let’s dive into the best road bikes from Specialized.
Specialized Aethos (Best All-Around Road Bike)
If you want a Specialized road bike that is as fast as it is fun to ride, you should put the Aethos at the top of your list. The Specialized Aethos strikes a perfect balance between racing performance and simple joy riding, which has made it a crowd-favorite among a lot of cycling enthusiasts who desire both qualities.
The cycling industry is always pushing for peak riding performance - especially when it comes to speed, which can be rather exhausting for riders and manufacturers. Specialized took a conscious step back with the Aethos by releasing a bike that was not necessarily intended to win a race but instead focused on enhancing the riding experience.
The Aethos features a traditional frame shape that gives it the appearance of a classic road bike but with superior specs and performance capabilities. I particularly like the smooth and clean finish - making this one of the sleekest road bikes on the market.
This full carbon bike features a FACT 10r Carbon frame and a FACT Carbon fork, which enables the Aethos to stay incredibly lightweight at just a mere 13.4lbs. If you want to increase the speed and riding capabilities of the Aethos, you can choose an upgraded model that is equipped with FACT 12r carbon - taking lightweight to the next level.
Riding feel and performance are enhanced due to the DT Swiss R470 Disc wheels, which are complemented by the SRAM Rival eTap AXS electronic shifting and hydraulic disc brakes. The groupset is stacked with nothing but SRAM parts and components, so you know that Specialized spared no expense when designing the Aethos.
The bottom line is if you are a casual rider that wants top-of-the-line performance, there is really no better option in Specialised's line-up than the Aethos. This bike delivers on the riding characteristics that so many Specialized fans want - with build, aesthetic, and joy riding all being key qualities. Given the high-end materials and components of the Aethos, this road bike is currently available for $5,000 - with advanced model variations having an increased price tag.
Specialized Tarmac SL7 (Best Performance Road Bike)
The Tarmac SL7 is a race bike through and through and it is part of Specialized’s iconic S-Works series - with peak performance and speed being the main focus of the design. If you are looking for a road bike for racing and competitions, this is it.
Casual cyclists may find that the Tarmac SL7 is more bike than what they need. This Specialized bike was solely intended for racing and giving riders an edge when competing, which means that you should consider the specs of the SL7 to ensure that it suits your needs.
The Tarmac SL7 is regarded for quick and agile handling, which is complemented by the bike’s incredibly light weight of 15.2lbs. Specialized was able to keep the weight of the bike down by designing it with their signature S-Works FACT 12r carbon frame and S-Works FACT Carbon fork.
Leveling up the specs of the Tarmac SL7was no easy feat - especially considering the performance capabilities of its predecessor, the SL6. However, by optimizing the design of the SL7, Specialized was able to deliver a road bike that competitive cyclists simply can’t resist.
With that said, cutting-edge technology does come at a price. If you consider the SRAM Red eTAP AXS front and back hydraulic disc brakes, the SRAM RED drive, and the Roval Rapide CLX wheels - you can expect the price of the Tarmac SL7 to be quite high - $14,500 being the current market price.
Alternative Tarmac SL7 S-Works variations can go even higher than this - with some models costing as much as $16,000. The good news is that Specialized offers a downgraded version of this bike - the Expert Tarmac SL7. The Expert model has a much more reasonable price tag of $7,000, but you should not expect the same specs and performance as the S-Works models.
Specialized Allez (Best Value Road Bike)
Not every road bike rider is out to set a new speed record or win a race. That is why Specialized has shifted gears with their line-up by introducing the Allez to the market. This is a top-notch road bike that was designed for people who want a quality riding experience without getting into the technical side of cycling.
Since its release, the Allez has become one of Specialized’s best-selling models - and for good reason. With cycling becoming an increasingly popular sport and hobby, the demand for road bikes with mid-range performance is on the rise. The Allez ticks all the boxes for so many intro riders who want a solid bike at a reasonable price.
One of my favorite things about the Allez is that Specialized has released it in a number of different model variations so that riders can choose an option that suits their cycling needs. If you are looking for a top-level Allez with premium parts and components, the Allez Sprint is the way to go. The Sprint is equipped with a Specialized E5 Premium Aluminum Disc frame and a FACT Carbon fork.
Specialized’s signature aluminum is superior to the bulk of the competition’s aluminum frames - taking lightweight and durability to a whole new level. In addition, the Sprint also features Roval Rapide CL wheels and quality SRAM parts throughout the drive, as well as hydraulic disc brakes. Naturally, with these specs in mind, you can expect the Allez Sprint to have a pretty high price tag - with $7,500 being the current asking price.
When you consider what you get for what you pay, the Allez Sprint is a bang for your buck deal. If the Sprint is outside of your budget, Specialized offers excellent model variations of the Allez such as the Elite, Sport, and Standard. These models are considerably cheaper and have a similar design as the Sprint, but with downgraded parts and components. For budget shoppers, Specialized has priced alternative Allez variations from $1,100 to $1,800, which is solid for a road bike of this caliber.
Specialized Roubaix (Best Endurance Road Bike)
The Specialized Roubaix is an endurance machine through and through. This is one of Specialized’s latest models and it is designed for competitive riders and cyclists who want to have an edge in a race.
This Specialized bike has seven victories at Paris-Roubaix under its belt, so you can expect nothing less than peak riding performance when you hop on the Roubaix. Thanks to Specialized’s ingenious design, this innovative road bike has exceptional aerodynamics and control.
This was the first bike that Specialized introduced their latest Future Shock 2.0, which not only features enhanced riding performance but comfort as well. You can ride the Specialized Roubaix for hours without feeling stiffness due to the D-Shape Seatpost, which does a phenomenal job of absorbing vibrations.
The high-level Specialized Roubaix is part of the iconic S-Works series and is equipped with a FACT 11R Rider First Engineered frame and S-Works signature components in the handlebars, stem, and seat post. In addition, Shimano parts were used for the hydraulic disc brakes which are complemented by the Roval Alpinist CLX wheels. The drive is stacked with Shimano components - making this a world-class bike that was designed with the best parts and materials that money can buy.
Naturally, this bike is not cheap and the S-Works variation of the Specialized Roubaix is currently available for $14,500. This is way outside the budget of the average cyclist, which is why Specialized released various model options of the Roubaix such as the Pro, Expert, and Sport. Alternative models of the Roubaix cost anywhere from $3,500 to $9,200 - depending on the option that you choose. Although these feature downgraded parts and components, any model variation of the Roubaix is a top-notch bike.
Best Specialized Mountain Bikes
The world of mountain biking would not be the same without Specialized. As a manufacturer that has been designing top-level mountain bikes since the early ‘80s, Specialized has been a pioneer of the MTB industry since day 1.
Mountain biking is more popular than ever - especially with the technology behind hardtails and full-suspension bikes becoming more advanced each year. Specialized is pushing this sport to its limits by introducing new and innovative designs with their MTB line-up.
Much like their road bike collection, Specialized releases a variety of mountain bike models that vary in specs, performance, and price. You can find top-of-the-line models that are designed for professional riders and hardcore enthusiasts - or you can choose a more modest option that is designed for performance, but at a fraction of the price.
All in all, there is a Specialized mountain bike for every rider - regardless of whether you prefer hardtail or full suspension. Let’s dive into the best Specialized mountain bikes.
Specialized Epic Pro (Best Full-Suspension Mountain Bike)
The Specialized Epic Pro has been a crowd-favorite among mountain bike riders looking for peak performance. This MTB was designed for XC racing and a lot of world-class riders rely on the Epic Pro for competitions.
Although most XC riders prefer to use hardtails, mountain bikes like the Specialized Epic Pro are pushing the capabilities of full-suspension MTBs further than we have ever seen before. You will find a lot of the same specs and performance capabilities with the Epic Pro as you will with Specialized’s S-Works models - making it a machine that is as durable as it is light.
The bike features an 11m FACT carbon frame and RockShox SID SL BRAIN fork. With these high-quality carbon materials in mind, Specialized was able to design an incredibly lightweight full-suspension MTB that comes in at just 25lbs for the large size.
You will also find superior SRAM components throughout the Epic Pro’s build such as in the derailleur, levers, bottom bracket, chain, and crankset. With that said, the lightweight materials of the Epic Pro by no means imply that this is delicate MTB. This bike can conquer the world’s most extreme XC tracks, which is why Specialized designed the Epic Pro for intense riding conditions.
If you want to have an edge in your next XC race, you really can’t go wrong with the Specialized Epic Pro. Much like with all top-level MTBs, the price of the Epic Pro is steep, as you can currently pick one up for roughly $9,300.
Specialized Epic Hardtail Pro (Best Hardtail Mountain Bike)
A lot of diehard mountain bike riders simply can’t transition to full suspension and with releases like the Epic Hardtail Pro from Specialized - it’s easy to understand why. This MTB delivers everything that a hardtail rider could want out of a mountain bike - it’s fast, lightweight, durable, and guaranteed to shred.
Before getting into the specs of the Epic Hardtail Pro, this MTB needs a moment of appreciation simply for how light it is. Thanks to the full carbon materials used to make this hardtail, Specialized was able to achieve a remarkable weight of just 21lbs. This makes the Epic Hardtail Pro a top pick among professional riders for XC races and for hardcore enthusiasts that want to hit the toughest trails on the planet.
Specialized designed the Epic Hardtail Pro with a SRAM XO1 Eagle 12-speed drive, which gives riders a very solid selection of gears to choose from as they smash through different grades. The gear selection combined with the lightweight material makes the Epic Hardtail Pro an unstoppable machine that can climb about as fast as it can descend.
This hardtail also features a RockShox SID SL BRAIN fork that is extremely absorbent and enables riders to plow through adverse trail conditions without getting phased. Whether you are a pro MTB rider or simply an enthusiast, you really can’t go wrong with the Epic Hardtail Pro.
Given that this is a hardtail, you can also expect considerably fewer repairs and maintenance costs over the years, which makes this a more affordable MTB in the long run. In addition, compared to some high-level MTBs on the market, the Epic Hardtail Pro is available for a reasonable price of $5,800.
Specialized Rockhopper (Best Value Mountain Bike)
Buying a mountain bike is a major investment and a lot of riders don’t have the bankroll for a $5,000 to $10,000 MTB. This can make finding a quality mountain bike an issue for a lot of riders who are shopping on a budget.
With that said, a budget MTB does not need to equate to a poor-quality bike. By utilizing clever design techniques, sourcing the right materials, and cutting corners on certain components, Specialized was able to design a phenomenal budget mountain bike - the Rockhopper.
This is one of the best value mountain bikes on the market and it delivers on performance without costing thousands of dollars. The Rockhopper Expert is the top contender within the Rockhopper collection and it features a superior Specialized A1 premium butted alloy frame, which is both lightweight and durable.
In addition, the Expert model has a RockShox Judy fork and SRAM components throughout the drive. To be honest, I was shocked that Specialized was able to price an MTB with these specs at a mere $1,450, which is practically unheard of for a bike of this caliber. Specialized did what so many bike manufacturers have attempted to deliver - design a top-of-the-line MTB in the budget price range.
However, if $1,450 is too steep for you - no problem. Specialized has released numerous model variations of the Rockhopper - with some costing as little as $675. This just proves that designing a superior mountain bike does not need to be expensive.
Specialized Epic Expert EVO (Best Performance Mountain Bike)
XC riders have a really hard time choosing between the Epic Expert EVO and the Epic Pro. Both of these full-suspension MTBs are world-class and guaranteed to enhance your performance in a race, but you will find that the Epic Expert EVO is better suited for some riders.
This XC MTB weighs in at just under 25lbs - making it a very lightweight mountain bike. However, one of the best characteristics of the Epic Expert Pro is how well it shreds through adverse terrain. You may not be able to corner quite as well with the Epic Expert Pro as you can with some of the hardtails in Specialized’s line-up, but you can certainly plow through intense trail conditions better.
Specialized was able to keep the weight of this XC mountain bike low by equipping it with a FACT 11m Full Carbon frame and RockShox SID Select+ fork. The drive is loaded with high-end SRAM components and the SRAM hydraulic disc brakes are guaranteed to give you absolute stopping power.
All in all, the Epic Expert EVO is a world-class XC MTB that was designed for competitive riders. With the specs of this mountain bike in mind, you can expect it to be reflected in the price tag, which is why the Epic Expert EVO is currently listed at $7,000.
About THE AUTHOR
Mountain biking is more than just a hobby for me - it's a way of life. I love the challenge and excitement that comes with it, and I'm always pushing myself to go faster and ride harder. Some people might think that mountain biking is dangerous, but I see it as the only way to live.Read More About Danny Lawson