I have owned several Specialized cycles over the years and have never had any complaints until now and this is why I Will Never Buy Another Specialized. Ever since my first purchase of a Specialized Rockhopper I have loved the brand and I have purchased 3 more bikes since. The good looks and quality build is something that I have always admired and enjoyed. This was until I purchased a Specialized Secteur 2013 base model.
In January 2013 I was looking for a bike that would provide me a fast and comfortable ride in to work as well as the option of longer rides at the weekend. After extensive research and a few test rides I decided on the Secteur. This was backed up by my local Specialized dealer in Manchester who after explaining my needs they agreed a Secteur would suit them and a bike was ordered.
The retail price of the bike was £650 but after negotiation a price of £570 was agreed, a bargain or so I thought. My initial thoughts on the bike were it was comfortable and fast and to be honest these remain today. The problem I have found with this bike is the unreliability and poor build quality of the bike. Due to this I will Never Buy Another Specialized.
The problems started at the time of the first service and began with the rear wheel.
Rear Wheel (Axis Classic)
The rear wheel on the bike practically fell apart within 3 months of the purchase. The cycle shop (A Specialized dealer in central Manchester) failed to notice the loose spokes on the first service. After I returned the cycle I was told at that point that the factory built wheels were poor quality and prone to fault. After a bit of work my bike was returned. Soon after this the bearings in the rear wheel started to grind and to my dismay it was pointed out by the bike shop that because I had not washed the bike for 2 weeks it was my fault. Eventually it was agreed that they would contact Specialized who within 2 weeks replaced the wheels on my bike. Thank you Specialized these Shimano wheels are still going strong.
After 6 months of use the bottom bracket developed play and had to be replaced. I have had bikes for years and have never had to replace a bottom bracket but on a £650 Specialized I had to. The poor quality factory part was no match for my daily commute in to Manchester. It has since been replaced with a Shimano part I have had no more trouble.
Tyres (Specialized Espoir Sport, 60TPI, wire bead, double BlackBelt protection, 700x25c)
I am yet to work out why any manufacturer can create a product then call it “double blackbelt protection”. The factory tyres on the Secteur are some of the poorest I have come across. After only a few weeks I started to get puncture after puncture. The double blackbelt protection was not living up to its name. Splits developed in the tyres and eventually they were replaced. In the first 7 months of ownership i counted at least 12 separate punctures. Since I upgraded the tyres I have had one in 7 months. The Specialized Espoir Sport tyre is not fit for purpose!
Chain and Rear Cassete
After several chain snaps and gears that started to slip within 5 months despite regular maintenance and cleaning my local bike shop pointed out that the poor quality chain and rear cassette needed to be replaced! These parts had lasted no more than 6 months and they were replaced.
As with all stock pedals the bearings went on the pedals within a few weeks and had to be replaced. Cycle shops know this but do not offer an upsell at the sale.
In all I have been hugely disappointed with my purchase of a Specialized Secteur 2013 and because of this I will Never Buy Another Specialized. A quality frame fitted with sub standard parts that are not fit for purpose. Spending hundreds of pounds on a bike I thought would offer trouble free cycling for at least a year but I was proved wrong. If you buy a Specialized you must be prepared to pay the repair bills or barter with the cycle shop to get things replaced on warranty.
I will also think twice about the bike shop, I thought buying it from a local firm would be best but in all the poor customer service, lack of after sales and poor information at point of sale has put me off them.
What are your experiences with Specialized bikes?