Welcome to Bike of the Week – our new weekly in-depth look at one of the most interesting, important or innovative bikes to land at BikeRadar in any given week.
This week we have the new Specialized Sirrus X, a genre-blurring hybrid of sorts that features the brand’s Future Shock suspension system.
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What is Bike of the Week?
Every Tuesday, we’ll bring you a detailed first look at one of the latest bikes to arrive for review – from road to commuting, gravel to enduro, and anything in between.
This is our chance to introduce the bike and everything that makes it unique before hitting the road or trails for testing and delivering our verdict in a full review.
The headline spec on the new bike is, of course, the inclusion of Specialized’s Future Shock.
Specialized’s proprietary system suspends the cockpit, offering 20mm of travel beneath the stem. This is in contrast to a conventional suspension fork, which suspends both the bike and rider, rather than just the rider.
The system was first introduced on the brand’s Roubaix endurance road bike and subsequently on the gravel-focused Diverge. It was later refined with the latest generation of the Roubaix, adding damping and tool-free adjustment.
We have tested the system extensively on both bikes and have found it to be remarkably effective, significantly improving comfort and reducing fatigue.
The new bike is available in four spec options, starting at £549 / $600 / AU$900 for the Sirrus X 2.0 and rising to £1,599 / $1,650 for the top-end Sirrus X 5.0 (this model is not available in Australia).
- Sirrus X 5.0: £1,599 / $1,650
- Sirrus X 4.0: £999 / $1,200 / AU$2,000
- Sirrus X 3.0: £699 / $850 / AU$1,200
- Sirrus X 2.0: £549 / $600 / AU$900
- Sirrus X 2.0 step through: £549 / $600 / AU$900
Note that only the 5.0 and 4.0 get a Future Shock. Cheaper models get an alloy fork, with the 2.0 getting a steel fork.
Everything below the 4.0 also gets an alloy frame, as opposed to the carbon frameset seen on the higher-spec models. Bikes equipped with a Future Shock get 38mm tyres, and those without jump up to 42mm-wide tyres to make up for the lack of cockpit squish.
Elsewhere, the bike has clearances to run tyres up to 47mm wide as well as provision to fit mudguards and racks, boosting versatility and making it a likely candidate for a go-fast flat bar commuter.
On the subject of versatility, there is some serious genre-blurring going on with the Sirrus X.
The bike is basically a flat-bar version of Specialized’s aforementioned Diverge gravel bike with a more upright riding-position and wider tyres… which is a fancy way of saying it’s a new-school take on an old-school mountain bike.
Cycling tech has a track record of repackaging old ideas and presenting them as fresh and new (see last week’s note on threaded bottom brackets) and I’m sure many of you will be indulging in some strenuous eye-rolling just looking at this bike.
However, pushing jaded cycling cynicism aside, there’s little doubt the Sirrus looks to be a very versatile and comfortable bike that could be adapted to any number of uses.
We suspect this could make it a very popular choice for the more casual rider who really does only want one bike to accomplish pretty much any form of riding with the minimum of fuss.
Specialized isn’t the only brand producing a bike in this loosely defined premium-priced-do-it-all-gravel-ish-hybrid category, with the Trek FX Sport line – which is based on the brand’s Domane endurance bike frameset – being the most obvious comparison.
We have the Sirrus X 5.0 in for testing by our very own Oliver Woodman, who’s sycamore-like 6ft 3in build demands a size XXL frame. The bike has a slightly goofy gate-like stance (sorry, Oli) in this size with a headtube that rivals some seat tubes in length.
However, such are the woes of being a lofty bike tester, and Oli will trundle along bravely with a riding position upright enough to actually see over the horizon.
Specialized Sirrus X specs
- Frameset: Specialized Sirrus X carbon with Future Shock
- Groupset: Shimano SLX M7000 with unbranded alloy crankset and Sunrace 11-42 cassette
- Tyres: Specialized Pathfinder Pro 38mm
- Cockpit: Specialized alloy
- Weight: 9.95kg, size XXL
- Price: £1,599 / $1,650
Check back in a few months for our full review on the bike and, in the meantime, let us know what you think of it in the comments. Is the Sirrus X bike creating a niche for the sake of it? Or do you think it offers genuine versatility that could make it a popular option?