Industry | The Reign of Specialized

Specialized has been in the bike industry since 1974, and this is no accident. Art’s Cyclery, soon after opening their own doors in 1982, is proud to have been a supporter for more than half of Specialized’s journey, and is excited to embark on an exciting new phase of Specialized’s, and Arts’, evolution.

Art’s is proud to be chosen by Specialized to represent and sell their renowned components, helmets, shoes, apparel, and accessories online. Anything except complete bikes and frames can be ordered direct from Art’s Cyclery (, allowing you to enjoy Arts’ free shipping and exceptional customer service and support on Specialized products, which previously were only available for sale in-store.


Specialized came into existence in 1974, funded by the $1500 still-owner Mike Sinyard received for his Volkswagen Bus. Those modest start-up funds were used to import hard-to-find bike components from Europe. As an “importer,” Sinyard began selling Cino Cinelli’s parts in America out of a canvas-covered bike wagon because he no longer had a car. With a healthy dose of dedication and the luck that seems to follow the prepared, selling components led to making tires, which led to making bike frames—including the legendary Stumpjumper. Both Specialized and mountain biking as a sport exploded in 1981 with the introduction of the Stumpjumer, the first major production mountain bike in the world.


After nearly a decade of success with the Stumpjumper, Specialized hit a crossroads: continue on its current path of offering high-end cycling equipment to enthusiasts, or stop focusing on performance and innovation and simply sell more bikes. Sinyard, upon being advised to sell more bikes by a consultant group, ramped up production. Almost immediately, sales dropped 30% and quality plummeted to an all-time low, leaving Sinyard and Specialized nearly bankrupt.


This embarrassing downturn made Sinyard realize that cheap production was not the path he wanted to take his company down.  Following the urging of Peter Moore (former creative director of Nike), Sinyard made a choice to return to the fundamentals of the company: innovation in the development and production of high performance equipment, which has been Specialized’s guiding vision ever since. He’s never let anybody else call the shots for Specialized from there on out.


In 1989, the same year Specialized introduced the Epic cross-country race bike, the original owner of Art’s Cyclery (yes, that was actually Art) brought Specialized on board. The Big Red S has been Art’s Cyclery’s top-selling brand ever since. Art’s has seen the spectacular highs (the inception of S-Works, top-level technology available to the public), and unfortunate lows (the well-intentioned but unsuccessful proprietary E150 dual crown suspension fork). Through it all Art’s has worked closely with Specialized to provide exceptional service to our customers, including supporting them with any warranty issue and advising our customers on how to get the Specialized product best-suited to their needs, along with getting the most out of it.


Today Specialized sponsors the world’s top professional teams and athletes, and has amassed literally thousands of victories to its name. Working with the world’s best cyclists, in both road and mountain disciplines, is an important part of Specialized’s success, and has led to the creation of some of cycling’s most impressive bikes, accessories, and components. With their vast product line and presence in the cycling universe, Specialized is arguably the most recognized cycling company in the world, and is aviailable online at Art’s Cyclery. Today, Specialized manufactures a variety of gear, including apparel, helmets, shoes, and accessories all available online at Art’s Cyclery.