Thursday, August 27, 2009

Specialized Globe

Is Specialized getting serious about bikes for the rest of us?

In an interesting development in the bike industry, Specialized has put all of its BFROU models into a "stand alone brand" called Globe. According to Specialized, Globe is part of the "dream of a world where bikes are the majority - where cars come with labels that say 'Use Sparingly'."

Not long ago, the Specialized Globe was the name of a single model - a basic hybrid offered to fill all the needs of the everyday cyclist. But now, rather than a Globe model, there's the Globe brand, which includes:

The Vienna series, which seems to have been scaled back from the prior models which we discussed here;

The Roll, which is your basic fixed gear/single speed urban "assault" model;

Haul, a nice-looking 8-speed cargo bike;

Carmel, a beach cruiser/comfort bike; and finally...

The Globe Live models, which appear to be the flagship Globe models, "for riders wanting an option for every whim." Notably, the Live 3 model is built on an aluminum frame and comes with belt drives, fenders, a chaincase, and porteur racks. The Globe Live 1 goes for $580, the Live 2 for $940, and the Live 3 for $1550. The Live 1 and Live 2 are also offered as mixtes.

Here are the specs for the Live 3:

FRAME Globe A1 Premium Aluminum cargo design, fully manipulated custom tubing w/ fender and rack braze-ons, integrated kickstand mount

FORK Globe Live straight-blade aluminum fork w/ custom forged crown and porteur basket/rack system

HEADSET 1-1/8" threadless, integrated, semi-cartridge campy style bearings

STEM Forged alloy, 2-bolt, 15 degree rise, 25.4mm clamp

HANDLEBARS Alloy, 25.4mm, 610mm wide, 43 degree up, 57 degree back sweep

TAPE Globe City 140mm

FRONT BRAKE Tektro Auriga Comp, hydraulic dual piston, w/160mm rotors

REAR BRAKE Tektro Auriga Comp, hydraulic dual piston, w/160mm rotors

BRAKE LEVERS Auriga Comp brake levers

SHIFT LEVERS Shimano Alfine tap fire, 8-speed

CASSETTE Gates belt drive cog, 24t

CHAIN Belt drive, 122 links

CRANKSET Sugino EX-1 aluminum, w/ alloy chainguard

CHAINRINGS Belt drive, 50t

BOTTOM BRACKET Cartridge bearing, square spindle with crank stop right side and capless bolts

PEDALS Classic full alloy pedal

RIMS Globe RHD 700c, alloy double wall disc specific, 36h

FRONT HUB Hi Lo flange, loose ball, QR, 36h

REAR HUB Shimano Alfine internal 8-speed, 36h

SPOKES 2mm (14g) stainless

FRONT TIRE Specialized Infinity Armadillo, 700x32c, 60TPI

REAR TIRE Specialized Infinity Armadillo, 700x32c, 60TPI

INNER TUBES Schraeder valve

SADDLE Specialized Body Geometry Fitness, 143mm width, front and rear bumpers

SEATPOST Alloy, 2-bolt forged head, 12.5mm offset, 27.2mm

SEAT BINDER Globe Chevron forged alloy, chrome plated

CHAINCASE Globe aluminum chain guard for internal gearing

KICKSTAND Pletscher double leg kickstand

RACK Globe porteur front rack/basket w/ wood bottom, 25kg recommended max capacity

FENDERS Globe classic aluminum fenders, long, 700C x 35C wide

If you buy or try out any of these models, let us know what you think in the comments!


ethan said...

That Live 3 is a really nice looking bike. Belt drive makes it especially tempting.

GenghisKhan said...

Awesome to see so many bike options! Let's hope it's not so much a trend as a movement!

Joseph E said...

We bought a Globe Live 2 Mixte (the 2010 model) this week, on sale for only $640. It has a standard Nexus 8 hub. The gearing is a little high, with a 38t ring in the front and 18 in the back (we will go up to a 20 tooth cog in the back, which should be perfect).

But the eccentric bottom bracket is a nice touch and allows chain tension adjustment despite the vertical dropouts in the back for easy wheel positioning. This model comes with linear cantilever brakes, but still has the mounts for disks if you want to upgrade at a later date.

The geometry is interesting, with low trail of only about 40 mm, lower than most modern bikes but similar to french Porteur bikes designed for heavy front loads. It leads to very responsive steering, even with a load up front. The spring between the frame and fork makes it easier to load the front rack, along with the double-leg kickstand. But the bike also has rear rack braze-ons if you want to use panniers, and it even has O-lock (wheel lock) braze-ons. And the front rack is two parts; you can remove the wide, flat top if you want, leaving a standard-width front rack which might work with some panniers or with a front rack bag. But why would you want to take off that gorgeous, wood-bottomed platform?

I'll have her write a review in a few months, once we've really gotten to know it.

Jennifer said...

I've been riding my Globe Live 2 Mixte for 5 months. I live in the suburbs and work from home, so I ride my bike when I run errands or to see friends. I don't know all about the technical side of bikes, but I read a lot on-line when I was shopping for a bike this summer, and the Globe was the bike that I wanted. One reason is because it was accessible and affordable, compared to other bikes I considered. I was also excited about the Nexus 8 IGH and the front rack, which is super useful. I wish there were a bag that fits specifically for that rack, but now I just use a bungee to hold my own bag in.

I love my bike and think other people would like it, too. I look forward to your review.

Jennifer said...

I just wanted to add that I wished the bike had a full chain case...and a dynamo lighting system would be awesome.

Tom said...


Although pricey, Porteur Bags from Laplander Bags and Swift Industries (links below) might fit. These are small businesses that can create custom bags as well.

Rivendell Bicycle works ( makes duffel bags made to clip into baskets that could work for you as well.

For my bike I use a wald basket (from rivbike) zip-tied to my front rack (since it lacks side rails). I use a bungee net to hold a backpack or tote bag in there. When it rains the backback goes into a trash bag. It works, but you could likely forgo the basket since your rack has rails to hold the load in place.

Inside Line Equipment said...

If you have a Globe Live, you need a bag that clips onto the front rack and will keep your cargo secure and dry. The ILE Rackbag is a waterproof rolltop bag, built to hold your groceries,bike lock,jacket, whatever you ride with. Also has straps that make it easy to attach bulky items like boxes, wheels, even other bikes!
Handmade in California with multiple custom options and colors.