Specialized Launches Globe Brand

The Specialized Globe line of bicycles has been around since the early nineties with a focus on short distance commuter and city bikes. With the recent economic downturn, rising gas prices and a renewed interest in urban riding, Specialized has taken the bold step and converted the Globe line into a complete brand. The new Globe brand, which will launch in 2010, was introduced Thursday in the bike friendly city of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The new Globe brand is big departure for Specialized, which has built its reputation on road and mountain bike race courses around the world. Instead of using the Specialized name to drive sales of Globe bikes, Globe is now separate and focused on changing the way people use bicycles in their daily lives. The Globe brand’s vision is to ‘Inspire everyone to a cycling lifestyle.’ To achieve this vision Globe as its own team of designers and engineers separate from Specialized and dedicated solely to the Globe’s vision.

When developing the brand the Globe team set out to create a line of bikes that they hoped will become integrated into people’s lives, essentially replacing their cars whenever possible. To establish the brand, the Globe team created a line of five bikes that while all serving different functions are united by the brands vision and several unique design features.

The consistent theme throughout the Globe line is the ultra clean design and muted color palette that was inspired by the classic Volkswagen bug. Another theme of note is the absence of branding on the frame and components. Without looking closely at the head tube badge it is virtually impossible to tell the make of the bicycle. This is a refreshing change compared to the heavily branded offerings of other manufacturers. There are also subtle chevron shaped elements on the seat clamp, fenders and head tube badge. The head tube badge is another element that is carried through the Globe line and is unique in that allows the rider to insert a 2 x 3.5-inch business card or picture for a bit of customization ? see Chewy above.

Globe Roll

The Roll line is designed for messengers and urban dwellers and comes in two models, the Roll 1 ($610) and the Roll 2 ($830), and features a full chromoly frame with Reynolds 520 main tubes and adjustable dropouts. The straight blade chromoly fork was designed specific for the Roll, and has a custom designed crown. The roll is equipped with 42-tooth single speed crank, mated to either a fixie or freewheel flip/flop rear hub. The drivetrain is finished off with platform pedals, toe clips and straps. The wheels on the Roll are deep section aluminum rims with specific designed Globe hubs. The top of the line Roll 2 features an integrated keyed front wheel retention system that merges seamlessly into the fork for a clean look. The Roll line comes with a one piece flip flop bar stem combo that includes integrated grips for a slick, clean look. The grip area of the bar is a smaller diameter compared to bar/stem junction. This allows the use of non-Globe grips and the mounting of optional hand brakes. Globe finishes off the cockpit of the Roll line with an injected molded saddle. The Roll comes in four sizes; small, medium, large and extra large. The Roll 1 is available in three colors including black, gray and green. The Roll 2 features two color options, a dark green and pale blue.

The Roll features a fixie or freewheel flip/flop rear hub and adjustable dropouts. Other than the subtle design elements and the head tube badge, the dropouts were the only place the Globe logo appeared on the Roll.

The one-piece bar stem combo can be flipped upside down to create a positive rise stem. The Globe grips are designed to have the appearance of being integrated into the bar/stem combo.

The Roll 2 features an integrated keyed front wheel retention system that merges seamlessly into the fork for a clean look.

Globe Live

The Live is a three-bike line that blurs the line between cargo bike and urban commuter. At the top of the line is the Live 3 ($1550) that features a Shimano Alfine 8 speed internal rear hub mated to a belt drive system with hydraulic disc brakes. The Live 2 ($990) comes with a Shimano 8-speed Nexus drivetrain, while the Live 3 ($550) is a single speed. The Live line comes in two frame styles, standard and step-through “mixte”. The Live uses a Globe A1 Premium aluminum frame that feature smooth double pass welds and an integrated porteur basket with wooden base. For geared models the Live has internal cable routing to aid in a clean appearance. Globe finishes off the Live line with color matching aluminum fenders, integrated chainguard and Body Geometry saddle. The Live is available in small, medium, large and extra large. The Live 1 comes in dark brown, the Live 2 a cool gray and the Live 3 a dark blue. The step through models are available in brown and ruby red.

The front basket on the Live features a wood bottom and the frame is painted to match the frame and fork for clean and simple look.

The chainguard on the Live is minimal but effective. Globe uses classically styled pedals to add a retro touch to the bike.

Globe Haul

The Haul is a true cargo bike and comes in two models, the Haul 1 ($660), with a Shimano 8-speed Alvio drivetrain and the Haul 2 ($1100) with a Shimano 8-speed Alfine internal geared hub. The Haul features a Globe A1 Premium aluminum frame with integrated rack with wood deck and optional step through design for Haul 2 model. Like the Globe Live, the Haul also has internal cable routing. To handle the extra of carrying cargo the Haul line comes equipped with double walled alloy rims with 36-spokes. Globe has equipped the Haul line with integrated front and rear LED lights, aluminum fenders, Globe city grips and pedals, with a Body Geometry saddle.

The rear dropouts on the haul include gusseted supports for the integrated rack that double as mounting islets for the fenders.

The integrated rack features a built in LED light with wooden deck. The rack’s target capacity is 100-pounds.

Globe Vienna
The Vienna line is designed as a clean and simple short range commuter and offers five options, the Vienna 4 ($880) the Vienna 3 disc ($770), Vienna 3 ($610), Vienna 2 ($500) and Vienna 1 ($420). The Vienna uses a Globe A1 Premium aluminum frame that features rack/fender islets as well as a kickstand mount. The Vienna continues the versatility theme of the Live and Haul by offering both standard and step through frame options. The Vienna line is equipped with Globe city grips and Body Geometry grips and saddle. The Vienna is available in small, medium, large and extra large sizes with multiple color options.

Globe Carmel
Designed for cruising to beach or the coffee house, the Carmel uses a Globe A1 Premium aluminum frame and is available in five models, ranging in price from $330 to $550, in both 26-inch and 700c wheels. All five models are available in standard or step through versions and feature Globes Ground Control geometry that puts the rider in a more upright and stable riding position. The Carmel line features a 63-millimeter suspension fork, Globe comfort grips and a Body Geometry saddle.

Aside from a full line of bikes, Globe is also jumping head first into the commuter accessory market with saddles, grips, fenders, pedals and tires, All together it is an ambitious and idealistic undertaking, but after a day of riding various Globe bikes and products around Minneapolis it appears that the team at Globe is up to the task.

The Globe website www.globebikes.com will officially launch on June 28th, 2009

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