Specialized will ship directly to online consumers from 1 February, while continuing to work with its network of bike shops.
The brand’s bikes will still be available to buy in-store at a Specialized dealer, whether an independent or chain retailer.
However, the change is a move towards a direct-to-consumer model – of which Canyon is the bike industry’s major proponent. It will come into effect on 1 February, with reports suggesting the service will be offered in the US and UK.
“After nearly 50 years of building the perfect bike for every rider, we decided to go one step further and come up with the perfect way to get the perfect bike to every rider,” reads Specialized’s statement.
“Now you can shop when, where, and how you want, from your favourite retailer to the comfort of your own home. We’re excited to announce Ship to Home and Specialized Delivery, two new ways to get your new Specialized bike without getting in the car.”
Two new direct-to-consumer options
In addition to walking into a bricks-and-mortar bike shop, Specialized currently offers (in the UK, at least) the option to buy from its website and collect from a local dealer.
However, Specialized will offer two new direct-to-consumer options for online buyers from 1 February.
The first, and the most similar to what Canyon offers, will see the bike shipped to your home almost fully assembled.
The box will contain the tools required for the final stages of setup and QR codes linked to how-to assembly videos.
Specialized also says further advice will be available over the phone and, if an issue requires hands-on assistance, buyers will be connected with a local retailer.
On top of that, Specialized will also offer a bespoke “white glove” delivery service.
The bike will be delivered to you by a Specialized representative, who will then ensure it fits and is set up properly, while advising on basic maintenance and, finally, taking you for a ride.
Delivery or service fees for either option have not yet been revealed.
The decision to cut out bike shops is likely to alarm dealers, who stand to lose out when riders buy directly from Specialized.
However, dealers will receive from 50 per cent to 75 per cent of Specialized’s margin if they are involved in stocking or assembling a bike, it has been reported.
Finally, Specialized has updated its warranty to allow riders to access support at any dealer, regardless of where they purchased the bike. This will come at no extra cost to the rider and the retailer will be credited for any labour.