Monday, November 28, 2016

Specialized AWOL Expert

The Specialized AWOL Expert is a do-everything bike. Photo courtesy: specialized.com
The Specialized AWOL Expert retails for $2,500.

If you follow bicycle retail, you've probably noticed some interesting models labeled "adventure," "bikepacking," "gravel" or "offroad touring."  These are bikes like the Soma Wolverine, the Salsa Marrakesh or Vaya, and Surly's Troll or Ogre. They take wide tires, they tend to be made from high quality steel, and they come with disc brakes. Basically, they're designed to handle the rough stuff while carrying a load.

Specialized's offering is pricey, but it has it all: dyanamo-powered lights (add it to Edwin's list!); fenders with mudflaps; front and rear racks; disc brakes; really wide (comes with 700x45) tires; and a many gear combinations.  You could ride across the continent on this, or you could just ride to work. It will do whatever it is you want it to do.

Here is a 2014 review from Bicycle Times. 

Here are the specs:
    • FRAME

      Heat-treated custom-butted Premium Cr-Mo tubing, internal light cable routing-ready, Adventure Geometry, post disc mount, fender/rack mounts, kickstand plate
    • FORK

      Butted premium Cr-Mo, unicrown, heat-treated
    • FRONT HUB

      Shimano Dynamo hub, Center Lock disc, 32h 
    • REAR HUB

      Shimano Center Lock disc, 32h
    • SPOKES

      Stainless,14/15g w/self-locking threads
    • RIMS

      Specialized 29" disc front, 6061-T6 aluminum, 32h
    • INNER TUBES

      Standard, Presta valve
    • FRONT TIRE

      Specialized Borough Armadillo, 60TPI, 700x45mm
    • REAR TIRE

      Specialized Borough Armadillo, 60TPI, 700x45mm
    • CRANKSET

      Shimano Tiagra
    • CHAINRINGS

      50/39/30T
    • BOTTOM BRACKET

      Shimano Tiagra
    • SHIFT LEVERS

      Shimano Tiagra
    • FRONT DERAILLEUR

      Shimano Tiagra
    • REAR DERAILLEUR

      Shimano Tiagra
    • CASSETTE

      Shimano, 10-speed, 11-36t
    • CHAIN

      KMC X10EPT Anti-Rust, 10-speed, w/reusable MissingLink
    • FRONT BRAKE

      TRP HY/RD, hydraulic disc, 160mm rotor
    • REAR BRAKE

      TRP HY/RD, hydraulic disc, 160mm rotor
    • HANDLEBARS

      Specialized Adventure Gear AWOL, alloy, 125mm drop, 70mm short-reach, 12-degree flare-out
    • TAPE

      Specialized Adventure Gear S-Wrap Canvas Tape
    • STEM

      Specialized, 3D forged alloy, 4-bolt, 7-degree rise
    • SADDLE

      Body Geometry Phenom Comp, hollow Cr-Mo rails, 143mm
    • SEATPOST

      Specialized CG-R, FACT carbon, single bolt, reflective, 27.2mm
    • SEAT BINDER

      AWOL forged alloy, CNC, stainless bolt, 29.8mm




You can ride it in the country; you can ride it in the city. Photo courtesy: specialized.com

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

The AWOL is more a trend follower than trend setter (I mean, it basically looks like a Vaya and smells like a Vaya...), but it's a quality machine and Specialized has more reach than other brands. So this is good for consumers interested in this type of bike (and who can afford it).

I have a Vaya and can confirm it basically can do everything that 95% of riders typically do. If you're a road/crit racer or into technical MTB, obviously you're going to have a special bike for that purpose and that purpose only. But for everything else, get one of these "All Road" bikes and have fun!

I've seen some complaining about this latest trend of All Road, and yes, in some quarters the industry has gone overboard (or put models on the market that sort of swing and miss on the "gravel bike"). And less bro-centric marketing would help, too. But these types of bikes are great for the people IMO.

Anonymous said...

I like this new trend of the bike industry, of making bikes with more reliability and "common sense" on their design than most other new models only bringing the latest gimmick but not necessarily the most useful or logical.

It's a pity though that most bikes in this sector are all mid to high range, with very high price tags. It stops many people from getting these very useful bikes, and also reduces its versatility. Bikes like this AWOL would make great commuters, but not even with the best lock in the world would I park a 2500 USD bike in my city, day or night.

A similar frame with more basic but still decent components could be offered for 800-1000 USD, making it a better commuter-basic tourer option. Not everybody wants to go around the world, and if they do, they can always upgrade the required components.

Justin V said...

You are right, you can get the AWOL base model for 1200. and it is a perfect city commute bike, and can still do everything this one does.
Just without a few bells and whistles most of us don't need.

The AWOL Expert is their top model. Comparing it to the average bike is like comparing the Jeep Wrangler RUBICON to a Jeep Wrangler SPORT. The price is high, and the capabilities are high. Or you can buy the sport for half the price and upgrade as you go. Either way, its a JEEP. (or in this case, an AWOL) lol