This is an old link, but just found it and it’s still a good story. Ã‚Â Fortune Small Business (FSB) did a story on Specialized founder Mike Sinyard in May, 2008, about how he got into the industry and how Specialized came to be. Ã‚Â Sinyard started out as an importer, bringing in high quality Italian components that were extremely hard to come by in the U.S. back then.
While they’re known for creating the first mass-produced mountain bike, the Stumpjumper, in 1981, their first Specialized-branded product was a tire, dubbed the Specialized Touring Tire. Seems they couldn’t find anything on the US market that held up well or that had quality construction, so after a year of testing, they launched the tire and went from being just an importer to a manufacturer.
It’s a good read if you’re into the business side of cycling, too. Ã‚Â There’s video of the story here, too.