If you're into cycling in any way whatsoever, chances are you're familiar with Specialized. Having been basically obsessed with cycling since I was in pre-school, I've always associated Specialized with some of the top-quality mainstream bicycle frames and components out there. While it is, indeed a household name in the world of cycling, it's anything but cheap, and even its most entry-level bikes can set you back close to a thousand dollars.
Naturally, as is the case with all things in life, the world of bicycles is rapidly evolving, riding the tide of the massive technological advancements surrounding the world of mobility. E-bikes in all shapes and forms are fast becoming integrated into the mainstream world of cycling. Heck, for the first time in my life, I recently participated in a race dedicated solely to electric mountain bikes. Apart, of course, from the sporting side of cycling, electric bicycles continue to play a major role in serving as a means of mobility, especially for city dwellers.
Naturally, big bike brands like Specialized have taken notice of this, and are optimizing their product portfolios to cater to the ever-changing needs of their clientele. In Specialized's case, it recently dropped a teaser for a utility-focused e-bike, to be sold under the existing Globe brand, an in-house brand under which the company has been marketing its more budget-friendly bicycle models. Now, it's hard to say exactly what the e-bikes in Globe's model range will be like, as all we have going for us is a teaser image of an e-bike that's covered by quite a lot of cacti. Nonetheless, it's pretty fun to speculate, so let's do just that.
From the get-go, we can see that the bike in the teaser is a rugged, albeit road-oriented machine. With thick tires, it's clearly built to handle the occasional gravel road and curb-drop, as well as taking speed bumps at speed. It'll likely have a folding-bike-style frame with a low top tube in order to make it a unisex bike, and accessible to height-challenged riders. I'm guessing that the cacti being carried on all four corners of the bike is meant to depict its cargo-carrying capabilities, although I'm not too sure about how you'd fare should you find yourself in a bit of a tumble with all those cacti onboard.
From a tech point-of-view, it's interesting to note that the bike clearly has a rear hub motor, as opposed to a fancy mid-drive setup we'd expect to find from such a premium brand. This is indicative of Specialized's intentions of tapping the more budget-conscious market. The usual kit consisting of disc brakes—presumably hydraulic, and a rear-mech operated drivetrain are commonplace on nearly all mainstream e-bikes, too.
Other than the teaser, Specialized has released little to no information about the new e-bike models associated with the Globe brand. It does, however, explain that Globe, as a brand geared towards e-bikes, is meant to reduce people's reliance on cars and SUVs, and is meant to serve as a practical and sensible commuter for in-city and around-town duty. Specialized looks to begin taking orders in late 2022, and commence deliveries of its first models in early 2023. Hopefully Specialized is able to hit the bullseye when it comes to pricing, as several e-bikes of similar nature are already available from a slew of different startups.