As rumored, Specialized is introducing a new way to get your hands on their bikes—one that doesn’t require leaving your house. There are still some limits to what bikes you’ll be able to purchase purely online, but the move is attracting a lot of attention for obvious reasons.

Starting today, you’ll find a new shipping option when you put an adult bicycle in your cart on Specialized.com. The Ship to Home option is what has everyone talking. These bikes will be professionally built and test-ridden (by Specialized at their own distribution centers most likely), and then re-packed for shipping to your doorstep.

Previously, this option was only available for kid’s bikes. Starting today though, this option seems to be available on almost every bicycle except Turbo e-bikes (e-bikes will be available for delivery in select markets with the Specialized Delivery option). That’s different than the previous expectations that some shop owners had that it would only be a few models. We were able to select the option on everything from an Aethos Expert to an S-Works Stumpjumper, to a Roll 2.0.

Shipping seems to be a flat rate of $50, which doesn’t change if you select the Specialized Delivery or Pick Up in Store options. The Specialized Delivery option is the one that will still include your local shop, with your bike being shipped there first for assembly. Then that retailer will arrange delivery to your address. Pick Up in Store is similar, just without the delivery to your house.

According to the only official release we’ve received from Specialized, “These new delivery options are part of our larger initiative to bring the greatest human-powered machine to as many humans as possible. We believe that a bicycle is more than transportation. It’s a tool to transform the world. Block by block. Mile by mile. Generation by generation. Together, we’re Pedaling The Planet Forward. As always, your trusted Specialized retailer will be there to guide you if you prefer to shop in-store and ensure that you have a great experience for a lifetime of riding.”

specialized.com

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K-Pop is dangerous to your health
K-Pop is dangerous to your health
4 months ago

Curious to hear from any Specialized dealers here. So far the feedback about this move is very-very negative.

Vince
Vince
4 months ago

K-Pop, this is gonna absolutely crush smaller LBS dealers who are WELL away from any metro/major markets. We’ll do any warranty work per our Dealer agreement, however, any/all damages incurred during a faulty build process will be, straight up, a cost to the customer. And then a cost to build the bike correctly.

Meanwhile, good luck finding that bike any given customer wants from their LBS as Spec is segregating a huge segment of available bikes into an online pool that limits availability to the smaller shops. Last week we had a customer ask for a specific bike. Our availability was late March, however, he was able to buy it and have it delivered to our shop in 10 days. Of course, we’ve gotta charge him to build it. He was OK with that but felt that Spec was trying to run the LBS’ outta business.

We’ll get by as we overload our Trek orders to compensate for the Spec shortages so when Spec wanna know why we aren’t making our numbers with them, we’ll just point out their lack of availability.

Please believe me when I say that MOST small, local LBS’ aren’t rolling in the dough, however, current estimates show a 30 — 40 % closure of LBS’ who weren’t able to survive lock-downs as their margins are SO tight.

None Given
None Given
4 months ago

Good on them. The reality is, in the US (and other nations) Government has been preventing the core of our economy from working (or working profitably). This simply brings more options to the consumers – that is always a good thing. Many folks seem to think a trip to the LBS is just on this side of going to church…that is not the case for most folks, in any industry.

paquo
paquo
4 months ago
Reply to  None Given

god forbid you need warranty work, first question lbs will ask is did you buy it here

Marcos
Marcos
4 months ago
Reply to  paquo

I don’t think they can deny warranty work, or else you can complain directly with the brand and they could potentially stop working with that lbs. I think haha. In a perfect world.

paquo
paquo
4 months ago
Reply to  Marcos

i would take the chance if i got the 10% discount but something tells me spec won’t pass that on

Alex
Alex
4 months ago
Reply to  paquo

I would expect a minimum of 20% discount before I would do that. But you can be sure that that discount will appear in year 1 and then go away completely.

Dinger
Dinger
4 months ago
Reply to  Marcos

If Specialized’s arrangement for warranty work compensation isn’t satisfactory for dealers then dealers will tell customers who bought online to pay their price or find another retailer.

Specialized will not see their business shift to direct sales quickly enough (especially if they’re still selling @ MSRP) to push the dealer around on this. There are plenty of other bike brands that would happily take that market share from them.

Ol' Shel'
Ol' Shel'
4 months ago
Reply to  Marcos

Haha, yeah, Specialized can completely cut off the dealer they just ripped off.

If you hate people, hate the promotion of cycling, and hate vibrant local economies, then you’re laughing with glee.

An203
4 months ago
Reply to  paquo

Technically they can’t do that… I move countries very regularly and over the years I claimed warranties for Fizik, Cannondale (2x), Shimano (wheels) in LBS different from where I bought them (different countries) and not once I had an issue.

Alex
Alex
4 months ago
Reply to  An203

Correct, but that assumes there are dealers still selling that brand. What bike shop is going to continue to sell Specialized bikes when they have to compete with the manufacturer? Not to mention why continue to do business with a manufacturer that is trying to screw you over? Why would you continue to work with a company that tells you you can’t sell their product mail order, but then they sell it mail order? There comes a point where there is no benefit to the LBS to sell that brand any more. That is why Specialized started to open their own stores.

Dirt Hammer
Dirt Hammer
4 months ago
Reply to  paquo

I can take my Ferrari into any Ferrari dealership in America. If my LBS or any other BS asks me that, I’m riding a wheelie right back out the door.

Not sure I get this sentimental adherence to bikes and shops staying stuck in the feel-good nostalgia of the1970s. Consumers expect other industries and services to move at the speed of light into the 21st century, yet we all collectively whine when a bike company wants to return a profit to its shareholders and adopt business practices that other companies have been adopting for years. Boo hoo.

Alex
Alex
4 months ago
Reply to  Dirt Hammer

Specialized has been turning a profit for decades. Their share holders are getting plenty of ROI. This is nothing more than greed at work and some slimy exec trying to cut out the dealers that made them as big as they are now. Scummy move.

Ian
Ian
4 months ago
Reply to  Dirt Hammer

Let’s hear it for ruining the skilled labor and years of practice that it takes to be a bike mechanic!

Pay for your own personal bike mechanic then.

Some Guy
Some Guy
4 months ago
Reply to  Dirt Hammer

Unpopular but correct opinion. Competitive forces are taking retail sales online and concentrating B&M on service. Over the long run the excess margins shift back from the brand to the buyer and consumers have relatively more budge, from the same risk discretionary spending, than gets spent elsewhere. It’s ultimately good for consumers although yes it means some businesses will not make it. Personally I’d rather have the 35% discount and spend it as I please, including on service labor, instead of hanging it to the dealer for the privilege of handling my bike.

If you’re about to say that clearly Spec isn’t discounting, and online bike prices aren’t lower, that’s correct because the competition is mostly not doing direct… Yet. When they do overall prices will come down over time as they compete on the extra margin, either outright as price declines or (more likely) as slower price growth vs other goods. Bikes Direct will be everywhere…

It’s happening, shops might as well adapt to it.

None Given
None Given
4 months ago
Reply to  paquo

I have never had that issue for any Specialized warranty. Period. Not nationwide.

Joe Bond
Joe Bond
4 months ago
Reply to  None Given

Same here-Specialized USA warrantied a FS frame I bought from Germany five years before.

Alex
Alex
4 months ago
Reply to  paquo

That makes the very big assumption that there will be an Specialized dealers left. There will be no dealers to bring your bike to.

Dirty Sanchez
Dirty Sanchez
4 months ago
Reply to  None Given

Every specialized dealer in the land is already talking to multiple brands to see how much floor space they can replace for 2023.

None Given
None Given
4 months ago
Reply to  Dirty Sanchez

Every smart business owner weighs their options every time a contract is up. That is simply due diligence. If an LBS decides they are better off without Specialized bikes (and all for the accessories and soft goods) – well, so be it. I am sure Specialized will be fine.

We did not see this level of anguish and betrayal when Niner changed hands…

Disgruntled
Disgruntled
4 months ago
Reply to  None Given

But you can’t buy Niner direct.

Charlie Best
Charlie Best
4 months ago
Reply to  None Given

Yeah, that’s a fair comparison. Niner were definitely operating on the same scale as Spesh/Trek/Giant etc.

Ted
Ted
4 months ago
Reply to  None Given

Specialized released this news AFTER dealers had signed contracts for the year. Niner did not do that, hence the difference

Dinger
Dinger
4 months ago
Reply to  None Given

Niner is a small supplementary brand in most retailers. They aren’t a full supplier (bikes, apparel, helmets, rubber, etc.) like Specialized is. Specialized is the brand that keeps the lights on and staff paid for most retailers who carry them.

LBSdave
LBSdave
4 months ago
Reply to  None Given

Yea and I can’t wait to laugh at you when you show up at the lbs with your pre built bike all messed up that you spent $50 more on to have it shipped directly to your house and then I get to charge you to adjust your derailleurs and disc brakes that come all jacked and then charge you for the wheel end caps you threw in the trash.

sam
sam
4 months ago
Reply to  LBSdave

Those customers will just find another shop that’s willing to make money off of helping them instead of making fun of them

Alex
Alex
4 months ago
Reply to  sam

If the customer is smart, they will buy the brand their LBS sells and services. Then they don’t have to go to multiple shops and wait to find one that will service their mail order bike.

Alex
Alex
4 months ago
Reply to  None Given

Specialized has been working profitably for many years. The only thing this is bringing is more profit to Specialized while screwing over the dealers who helped make them as big as they are now. As a consumer, we are not getting lower prices when we buy. The prices are the same, or higher. So all the value added by a dealer is now gone. So you get less for your money. Dealers would give you free basic adjustments when you bought from them, that is now gone. I see no benefit to the consumer.

Dinger
Dinger
4 months ago
Reply to  None Given

The bicycle business has been going BANANAS for the past two years despite our government’s imedance (I’m talking about the China tariffs).

If Specialized’s strategy works, others will follow and it will reduce consumer options, not increase them. Small brands won’t be able to compete and they’ll go under. See Amazon.

Marek
Marek
4 months ago

And than Specialized could rename the brand to Canyon and sell just online with higher profit margins.
I think many LBS will eventually stop working with Specialized. It works boath ways.

None Given
None Given
4 months ago

I do wonder, could this possibly in any way be a reason for Mikes Bikes to drop the brand (yes, I know, PON…I know, I know). Hey, may as well rumor mill…..

LBSdave
LBSdave
4 months ago
Reply to  None Given

No pon offered them WAY over fair market value for their store AND gave them a job being the ones to now go scout out other chains to buy up and fall under them. Trust me you all may think costs will go down however they actually charge you more since YOU pay the shipping now not the lbs and once they buy up the market they will charge more for less and stick you with all their accessories..saddles, pumps, bags, lights, etc right on down the line & it will all be over priced garbage and they’ll try & squeeze the life out of the small good brands and it will be BAD for the consumer & the economy. Monopolies are NEVER good. How’s you cable tv choice or your electric company that keeps hiking the bill for worse & worse service…oh yeah that’s what I thought. Less competition is a bad thing. That first guy where’s he going to go buy a tube at when he has a flat? Wait for his Amazon prime to deliver it 2 days later..have fun with that.

None Given
None Given
4 months ago
Reply to  LBSdave

You are spot on correct. However, Spec can never be a monopoly (the only player who could -maybe- would be Giant with their production facilities. Then, in theory only an oligopoly,..plus, heck, Walmart has 29er and 700c tubes….

The fact is, SMB was destroyed by Faucci…bike shops were not “essential” enough. Still are not in some regions. This is happening in many market segments, we just happen to be close to cycling;.

JoeFigoli
JoeFigoli
4 months ago
Reply to  None Given

Bike shops are considered part of transportation infrastructure; they were deemed essential by the government and never had to close. In fact they had their best 2 years in history.

Ed P
Ed P
4 months ago
Reply to  JoeFigoli

Don’t believe everything you read…..First bike shops were not essential originally! In Pa and NJ exemptions were needed. The last year was nobodies great year…..it was a moderate year at best. No inventory and no margin makes for a down year, I love how all the non industry folks see how it all works….Specialized just cut the throats of all it dealers by taking even more of their margin. When the LBS vanishes you will see the value in them. Specialized and every other brand does NOT pay dealers for warranty work, that is a huge misconception! they supply a part, maybe….Giant still has not fixed its recall from Oct, because it is not supplying parts to dealers.

JoeFigoli
JoeFigoli
4 months ago
Reply to  Ed P

I agree with you on Specialized — I have another comment here saying the same thing. This “non-industry” person your talking to has been in the industry for 35 years. While it’s been difficult to manage inventory (and some shops definitely suffered), part of that is because the demand has been incredible as this has objectively been the greatest 2 year run in bike sales. Fauci has nothing to do with the problems of the LBS. Some states set blanket orders, then needed to be reminded that bike shops were transportation infrastructure. It was a correction that was made in every case.

Bob
Bob
4 months ago

Al they need are some bikes to sell and they are on to a winner!

Collin S
Collin S
4 months ago

People who compare this to canyon are missing the big gorilla in the room that specialized prices are on the obscene levels. They have non s-works bikes, over $10,000. Canyon has better bang for the buck (as do so many other brands)

Dave
Dave
4 months ago
Reply to  Collin S

Just for sh!ts and giggles, I tried adding the SL7 Pro — $8300 — to a cart, and selected ship to home. No difference in price whatsoever. Lotta hype over nothing.

Homme
Homme
4 months ago

Truth is, most bike shops will be going the way of record shops before this decade is up. Direct to consumer will continue to grow. That said, there will still be some brick-and-mortar (and guy-with-a-van) businesses providing bike maintenance, and maybe some bike fitting. Everything else will be moving fully online.

Charlie Best
Charlie Best
4 months ago
Reply to  Homme

People have been predicting the demise of B&M bike shops since e-retail began. It hasn’t happened (our shop is thriving, increasing sales year on year), nor do I expect it will. If your customer service is excellent, you stock the right products and your service dept. is efficient and knowledgeable you have nothing to worry about.

Dinger
Dinger
4 months ago
Reply to  Homme

People have been saying this for years. We’ve been able to buy premium bike products & goods for decades direct to our homes and bike shops continue to thrive, even though the pandemic, when direct to consumer commerce has exploded. As long as a bicycle needs fitting and service, brick and mortar shops will thrive.

Homme
Homme
4 months ago
Reply to  Dinger

Agreed. Like I said, there will still be brick-and-mortar doing mainly repair, maintenance, and fitting. However, I do believe more bicycle, apparel and nutrition sales will migrate online, direct to consumer. I don’t think all bike shops will disappear. I think the minority that provide truly excellent service, unique experiences, and a sense of local community may survive. That said, I do think come 2030 there will be far less bike shops than there are now.

Alex
Alex
4 months ago
Reply to  Homme

Apparel sales online of premium products will not go well. Not when you have companies selling clothes that is 90% as good as the name brand stuff for 1/4 of the price. I might pay $200 for bib shorts that I can see in the store and try on. If I have to mail order the shorts, I will be tempted to buy the $50 bibs instead of the $200 bibs.

Alex
Alex
4 months ago
Reply to  Homme

Shops that provide good service will not be going away any time soon. With bikes going electronic, they are getting more complicated and the average consumer will not be able to fix and adjust their bike. Not to mention that the average person who buys an $8k bike probably doesn’t want to get their hands dirty. What this is doing is making bikes much more expensive as now that bike shop has to charge more for service since they need to cover their overhead while selling less bikes.

Deputy Dawg
Deputy Dawg
4 months ago

So you can now not purchase the bikes they don’t have, via another method?!

Mr Pink
Mr Pink
4 months ago

This isn’t good for your friendly neighborhood Specialized dealer at all. Especially those who’ve had Specialized buy/open a shop within an hour of them. Really bad for those with one in their same town/city….which Specialized has had zero qualms about competing with their own dealer network…..talk about ruthless. Especially when you consider a shop is making 1/2 the margin and if it’s shipped directly to the shop the shop is not only expected to HOME DELIVER the bike, but also sit down and take the time to perfectly setup the bike for the customer fit wise. All while knowing Specialized could start a shop in their community if they deem necessary because you’ve busted your ass to create a great name for the brand in your town.

Oh…and it gets worse. They’ll lowball you the value of your shop because they know the day they get the keys they are kicking out all the brands that compete with their bike/accessory/component lines too so they take those things out of the equation.

There are shops who’ve been with the brand over 35 years who’re now worried the brand they’ve stood behind, supported, championed, stood up for, and created a demand for is now willing to push them aside to squeeze out a few more dollars for itself.

None Given
None Given
4 months ago
Reply to  Mr Pink

“Ruthless”? Um, that is business. The ONLY ones who matter are the shareholders – period. The reality, such a bitch, eh?

Pedal Wrench
Pedal Wrench
4 months ago
Reply to  None Given

It is possible to have a successful business without screwing over the people who helped you get there. Putting shareholders and profits before customers and loyalty is exactly what is wrong with big corporations. Long live local businesses!

Struggling workers built your comfy office job.
Struggling workers built your comfy office job.
4 months ago

Every time the industry “innovates” to maintain “competitiveness” I double check my paycheck to find it nearly identical to the early 2000’s when I began.

The LBS is dying because the America hates workers and loves corporate brands.

JoeFigoli
JoeFigoli
4 months ago

Hi all. Specialized is doing this strategically at a time when other brands are short on product, that way specialized dealers just can’t drop them and sell another brand instead. Dealers will be forced to do warranty for “account credits,” which forces dealers to spend their repair income on Specialized products only. Further, dealers are having their margins cut. This is a hostile takeover of independent bike shops by Specialized — their store are going to have a hard time making a profit; they can’t just sell another brand; so they close up or sell the store to Specialized for below market value. This is already happening. My friend just got a super low-ball offer from Specialized that he may have to take.

Pedal Wrench
Pedal Wrench
4 months ago

My shop has been supporting Specialized since the 80’s and I can’t help but feel betrayed by all this. I have listened to Big Mike talk about “supporting the IBD” and how “Specialized has no interest in owning retail” and “We will never offer direct to consumer” for literally decades. Now, when dealers are at their most vulnerable, Specialized takes the opportunity to make a greedy money-grab at our expense.

I am a level 1 dealer with HUNDREDS of sold bikes still on backorder and over a thousand more backordered for stock this summer. Many of those same bikes are showing up as available for my customers to order direct from them before they ship my backorders from a year ago.

If they want to be our competition and not our partner FINE but give us an even playing field or don’t be surprised when we all drop you the first chance we have. In the end you need us more than we need you.

None Given
None Given
4 months ago
Reply to  Pedal Wrench

I have it from a VERY good source that S had said that 10% of their stock would be set aside for “direct” orders. That number has changed to 15%. Doing the math, if someone is going to cancel an order at an LBS for direct purchase, that 15% will be diminished in just a day or two (as the system just opened).

I would suggest that shops change their model from “LBS” (Local Bike Shop) to “VAR” (Value Added Reseller). If you provide an additional value (fitting, customization….) it is an easy business model to fit into. For instance, with my bikes, there is ONE guy at ONE shop who is allowed to work on my bikes. He costs more, that is fine (Happenstance he is at a Specialized dealer). For those thinking that Trek and Giant are not looking into this model….seriously, that is silliness. There is no question that Spec will not be quite aware of their long-term plans and they are diligently watching a chumming the waters to see how this boils down (soon enough to jump in).

Joey
Joey
4 months ago

This would be fine if consumers saw a discounted price. Sure, it costs specialized money to assemble the bikes but at the end of the day they just get all the margin the bike shop had. Over the decades, bike shop margin has gotten smaller and smaller, but this is the final kick in the face. At least with canyon, the consumers get a win for the value and bang for buck they offer. But this is a lose for everyone except specialized. Tired of the big S. I’ve ridden my sworks epic for 5 years, loved it and thought about grabbing an evo this year but I’ll be looking elsewhere.

Bill Romano
Bill Romano
4 months ago

Big time Big S fanboy here. Very happy to hear this news. Especially during this pandemic, it has been very hard to purchase a bike. I had to drive two hours each way in February 2021 to get my Diverge E5 Elite. Worth it, but in December (7000+ hard miles) it cracked at the top tube, seat tube junction. I won’t get into theories on why/how it cracked. Shop has theirs, I have mine… I tried to do the warranty with a more local to me Specialized Dealer shop. While they said that they “probably could handle it for me” they also said that there would be a “shop charge of $200 to do the rebuild”. That did not rest well with me and the two hour drive to the shop where I bought it seemed cheaper. Plus the shop where I bought it was super nice and took care of me in the best way possible. Thank you Berkshire Bike and Board! But really? I get that the big brands have long standing shop connections, but it’s time to at least offer this alternative. It’s just good business. But will warranty claim still need to be conducted through shops? Even if the bike was bough online and shipped to residence?

IBD Evo
IBD Evo
4 months ago

I suspect that this is a power-play by Specialized to disrupt the current state of the market, to move the sales-needle in their favor. Trek has been buying up IBD’s for a number of years that are so underwater in debt to them, they can’t hope to get their numbers back into the black. Trek buys the store, absolves the retailer of debt, and removes the competition from the store’s product assortment. Specialized has also been buying up IBD’s, but Trek has had a longer head-start.

With the supply chain shortages caused by the pandemic, Trek has been making offers to purchase stores who are doing well (not just in debt), and with those supply chain shortages in full-effect, a number of retailers have been jumping at the chance to “get out while they can”.

Trek purchased a large, multi-store retailer in Texas late last year (and obv removed Specialized from those shops). Specialized lost a HUGE market in a major metro-area with that acquisition.
Someone else mentioned the Mike’s Bikes purchase by Pon. Mike’s was the largest distributor of Specialized in Northern California. Pon also just purchased Cannondale (you can see where this is going). It’s not hard to see that with another sizable market loss, Specialized has to do something to positively affect their market-share.

IBD acquisitions by large bike brands is going to continue. The retail landscape has has been shifting drastically in the last 10 years, and was accelerated by the pandemic. Bicycle retailing is a business, and business is volatile. Successful retailers will find ways to adapt.

Aaron
Aaron
4 months ago

Hard for consumers to see and know what battles the shops go through with S. Those that don’t see or know won’t understand.

Dale Brown
4 months ago

Well despite them being our shop’s #1 brand for 30 years, Specialized has just dropped entirely. Their lofty PR crafted words disguise the undercutting of their local bike shops’ existence. This is ironic in that shops have suffered with super high demands from them in the past to remain as dealers. Then this.
Re: warranties. Many readers do not understand that bike dealers, unlike the automobile industry, are not compensated at all for time spent processing warranties nor repair labor. The manufacturer supplies the part in question, but shops eat any labor. (There are very few small exceptions like recall items and burned out e0bike motors.) Is it a surprise that dealers are not happy to process a warranty on a product they did not sell?
There are other brands out there who will benefit from Specialized’s move. Life goes on, with you or without you.

Chuck larrabee
Chuck larrabee
4 months ago

I do everything in my power to support the small business owner.i deliberately buy from my local bike shop so that they will be there when I need support. Your idea to sell directly to the consumer is a stupid greedy idea that if you succeed will eventually come back and bite you in the ass or I can only hope so.

Steve h
Steve h
4 months ago

It might be OK for experienced customers who can examine a geometry chart and figure out if a bike they have never ridden will fit, but not so good for first time customers. Have seen a few Canyon bikes for sale because the owner picked the wrong frame size. Not a great way to introduce a brand to a new cyclist.

Some Guy
Some Guy
4 months ago

Everyone is really going to flip when QBP goes direct…

TigeKTM
TigeKTM
4 months ago

Trek and Specialized are buying large dealers in metro areas. My LBS in North Dallas told me that they will not be able to order a specialized fuse due to direct to consumer along with supply chain problems. They had to refund my deposit.

Matt
Matt
3 months ago

I just ordered a Stumpy pro from Specialized for at home delivery. Couldn’t have been more disappointed. They supply generic instructions for “mountain or active” bike. When spending $8k on a bike I’d expect assembly instructions tailored to the bike. Specialized really dropped the ball here. The videos and paper instruction are near useless. As well, the rear derailleur wasn’t set up properly. Customer service has been impossible to get a hold of – both email and phone. Bike is going back immediately and I will support my LBS – just wish they had the inventory.

Tom
Tom
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt

Why not just go to a bike shop look at which Specialized bike you want and order it online? The company has no qualms about it. If you’re a shop – you only need inventory, staff, and parts – no big deal – we’ll leave you out of the loop because the company need to make more money than you! Doesn’t make sense as per support used to be a big part of Specialized’s motto. Not so now! I’m so disappointed that they would try intentially to bypass the local shops.