Specialized Sirrus Alloy Disc review

Dependable, confident commuter, but hardly cloud nine

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0
GBP £525.00 RRP | USD $525.00

Our review

Upright, safe-handling hybrid but slightly slow and jarring on bumpy roads
Buy if, You want a commuter that won’t let you down
Pros: Comfortable position especially for beginners, reliable, solid braking
Cons: Stiff fork and tyres can be harsh, position, weight and tyres hamper speed
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Specialized’s Sirrus is a solid urban commuter or mixed-surface cruiser. Though not the most exciting bike I’ve reviewed, you can buy one with real bike shop backup and it should serve you well. I think you likely won’t be disappointed, even if the ride is nothing to write home about.

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This model is the second cheapest in the Sirrus range. There is a rim-brake version for £100 / €120 / $130 less, or you can spend up to £2,200 / €2,199 / $2,400 on the top spec carbon model.

I wouldn’t recommend doing either, however, as the dependable disc brakes are among the things I liked best about this version, and spending over two grand on a flat-bar commuter seems a little excessive to me.

There’s a range of women’s models too, which use female-specific geometry, saddles, and of course, colourways. There are even step-through options for the traditionalists out there.

Specialized Sirrus Alloy Disc frame

Specialized does a typically good job with the Sirrus’s smooth-welded and well-equipped aluminium frame. The tall stack height (thanks to that very long head tube), combined with a relatively steep seat tube angle make for a comfortable, upright position.

The steel fork isn’t the lightest or comfiest, but it’s built to a price point. The frameset is well equipped for utilitarian use, with plug and play mudguard and pannier rack mounts, as well as the bosses for a two bottle cages within the frame.

Specialized Sirrus Alloy Disc kit

I found Specialized’s own Canopy saddle and Targa lock on grips to be particularly comfy.

The 3×8 transmission courtesy of Shimano Tourney/Atlus components is not the most desirable setup, but does the job okay.

Specialized’s own Canopy saddle proved to be comfortable
Specialized’s own Canopy saddle proved to be comfortable
Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

The real highlights are the Promax F1 hydraulic disc brakes, which offer ample stopping power.

Combined with a narrow handlebar and reflective, puncture-proof tyres, the Sirrus has everything you really need for urban commuting. Nothing more, nothing less.

Promax F1 hydraulic disc brakes offer ample stopping power
Promax F1 hydraulic disc brakes offer ample stopping power
Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

Specialized Sirrus Alloy Disc ride impressions

Like a school-run SUV, the Sirrus’s upright position results in a commanding and confident feel when in traffic, though it isn’t exactly sporty.

The steep seat tube and high bar make it relaxing to ride, while the forward seating position makes up for the 12.4kg weight, keeping it relatively eager uphill.  But because your body is upright in the wind, you won’t be setting any speed records no matter how late for work you are.

On rougher roads, the ride isn’t so comfy. The stiff steel fork and tough tyres mean dropping off a kerb or hitting a pothole is surprisingly jarring. The flared shape of the Specialized Contour grips won’t suit everyone, but they do at least take a little of that sting out of the ride.

Hydraulic disc braking makes a real difference in wet conditions
Hydraulic disc braking makes a real difference in wet conditions
Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

The reinforced tyres haven’t punctured after six months of regular use, but the reinforced 28TPI (Threads Per Inch) casing means they transmit a lot of vibration through to the rider, especially for a 32mm tyre. (Tyres with a higher thread-count (e.g. 60TPI) typically use finer threads and therefore generally offer a more supple ride). They’re also heavy and rather draggy, dulling acceleration and speed.

The 3×8-speed Shimano drivetrain offers all the gearing range you’re likely to need; although the shifting is a little clunkier than higher-end parts, it works just fine.

Annoyingly, the Shimano cranks bow outwards like John Wayne’s legs, and so the crank arms are prone to rub against the inside of shoes.

The 3x8 Shimano drivetrain provides plenty of range
The 3×8 Shimano drivetrain provides plenty of range
Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

Promax may not be a well-known brand, like Shimano or Tektro, but its F1 hydraulic brakes surprised me with their solid feel and consistent power.

Even in cold and wet conditions, one finger is all that’s needed to come to a rapid halt. The lack of grip on the rear tyre is more often the limiting factor when it comes to wet-weather stopping power, but even so the consistent grunt of the disc brakes could just be a literal lifesaver.

The unusually wide Shimano crank arms did rub against my shoes
The unusually wide Shimano crank arms did rub against my shoes
Oli Woodman / Immediate Media
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The Sirrus is not the comfiest or fastest ride, but it’s a safe, practical and reliable option. It’s only average on value though, so if you can live without the Sirrus’s massive gear range and fork rack mounts, I’d sooner recommend the £500 Voodoo Agwe, or if you can stretch, the better-appointed £800 Genesis Skyline.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Sirrus Alloy Disc
Brand Specialized

Bottom Bracket BSA, 68mm, square taper
Rear Derailleur Shimano Altus, 8-Speed
Weight (kg) 12.39
Shifters Shimano Altus, RapidFire Plus w/ gear display
Seatpost Alloy, 12mm offset, 2-bolt clamp, 27.2mm
Saddle Specialized Canopy Sport, steel rails, 155mm
Rims 700C disc, double wall
Rear Tyre Specialized Nimbus Reflect 700x32mm, 26 TPI, wire bead, w/ Flak Jacket protection
Rear Hub Alloy, 6-bolt disc, 8/9-speed freehub, loose ball bearing, QR, 32h
Handlebar Double butted alloy, 9-degree backsweep, 31.8mm
Brakes Promax F1, hydraulic disc, flat mount, 160mm rotor
Grips/Tape Specialized Body Geometry Targa, lock on
Front Hub Alloy, 6-bolt disc, loose ball bearing, QR, 32h
Front Derailleur Shimano Tourney, top swing, 31.8mm clamp
Frame Material Specialized A1 SL Premium Aluminum, Fitness Geometry, fully-manipulated butted tubing, internal cable routing, flat mount disc, QR, rack & Plug + Play fender mounts
Fork Steel, flat mount disc, 1-1/8" steerer, QR, rack & Plug + Play fender mounts
Chain KMC X8, 8-speed
Cassette Shimano Altus, 8-speed, 11-32t
Weight (lb) 27.31