Long-term test: Specialized Langster NY review

More than just a fancy paint job

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
USD $880.00

Our review

Zippy fixie with smart spec, although a tad overpriced
Skip to view product specifications

The Specialized Langster New York may resemble a yellow taxi cab, but the US$880* aluminium road fixie’s aggressive handling and quick responses show there’s more under the hood than just a fancy paint job.


Taking a page out of the bike messenger DIY handbook, the New York comes stock with chopped-down flat bars (a sideview mirror- and bus-clearing 420mm wide) and flat-terrain and spin-perfect 42×16 gearing.

The 73-degree head and seat angles are comfortably laidback, a boon for extended riding, and coupled with a somewhat stubby 43mm fork rake with 5.9cm of trail, one could easily flick a small stone out of the road while trackstanding at a stop light without skipping a beat.

The semi-compact aluminium frame and carbon fork provide a stiff ride, which is good for jumping off the white stripe at traffic lights.

Specialized langster new york: specialized langster new york
Steve Joh

There’s some forgiveness from the 32-spoke wheels, which take the edge off longer rides due to the spongy feel inherent with longer stainless steel spokes.

Neither the hub flanges nor rim height are as extreme as some of the DIY wheels we’ve seen, but a Phil Wood/Velocity Deep-V combo is typically used on a steel frameset, which is more forgiving to begin with than aluminium.

Although the chopped-and-flat-barred fixie concept is new to me (I’ve been riding bullhorn, drop, and moustache-barred versions for nearly 20 years), I enjoyed the ‘big-boy’ BMX feel.

If it wasn’t for the front brake I might have been able to do bar spins! And skidding was no problem because it was easy to brace a leg on the bars. This certainly upped the legitimacy of the Langster New York with my skid-happy riding buddies.

Specialized langster new york: specialized langster new york
Steve Joh

The 19.5lb 58cm sample we tested over the past three months certainly turned heads everywhere we rode. The overpowering mix of predominantly yellow and black colours caught the attention of curious onlookers, which unto itself creates somewhat of a safety net around the Langster New York.

Save for a carbon-wrapped Specialized seatpost, all components are standard plain Jane fare, and all serve their purpose as needed.

The pedals should be replaced straight away, though: double-sided platform pedals would be better than the one-sided toe-clippers that came out of the box.

Overall, the Langster is a fun and fast bike. The $140 price increase over the 2008 version is somewhat shocking, because the spec remains exactly the same. Still, the multiple city-themed Langster series offers something for everyone, and if the taxi cab concept doesn’t trip your trigger, there are other options in the lineup.

Specialized langster new york: specialized langster new york
Steve Joh

* The Langster New York is not available in the UK, but other models are, including the drop-barred Langster Monaco and Langster Silver. We’ve got a Silver on test, and in the next part of this long-term test we’ll let you know how it compares.

BikeRadar’s long-term tests

Here on BikeRadar we already review more products than anyone else. But we’ve decided to take that a step further on a selection of our bikes in order to give you more in-depth reviews. Yes, we’re literally going the extra mile.


We’ll file several updates on each of our long-termers, starting with the bike setup and our first impressions, then a more detailed look at the ride handling and any quirks we pick up, and after some serious miles, we’ll report on any durability issues that arise.

Product Specifications


Name Langster New York (09)
Brand Specialized

Description * The Compact Track Design of the Langster's A1 Premium Aluminum frame is all about converting power into controlled speed. * The Langster carbon fiber fork offers a stiff yet vibration-damping ride. * The 3D-forged alloy Road Stem uses a 31.8mm bar clamp area for an extra-precise steering connection. * The 400mm-wide flat bar gives upright control on busy city streets. * The straightforward, one-speed crankset features an alloy 42-tooth chainring. * The carbon-wrapped Specialized seatpost absorbs vibration.
Handlebar Specialized A1 Premium Aluminum flat bar, 400mm width, 31.8mm
Year 2009
Stem Specialized Sport, 3D forged alloy, 6 degree rise, 31.8mm clamp
Seatpost Specialized carbon wrapped, two-bolt clamp, 27.2mm
Saddle Specialized Comp Road, full padding
Rims Alex Race 32, sleeve joint, CNC sidewall 32h
Rear Tyre Size 700x23C
Rear Tyre Mondo
Rear Hub Track bolt-on w/ track axle nuts, 32h
Front Tyre Size 700x23C
Available Colours Yellow
Front Tyre Mondo
Front Hub Track, bolt-on w/ track axle nuts, 32h
Frame Material Specialized A1 Premium Aluminum, fully manipulated tubing, compact design, integrated headset
Fork Specialized FACT carbon, carbon fiber legs, aluminum crown and steerer
Cranks Sugino Zen Messenger
Cassette Shimano Freewheel, 16t
Brakes Ultralight dual pivot brakes, Teflon pivots, forged alloy w/ cartridge pads
Bottom Bracket Sealed cartridge, square taper, 68mm x 103mm
Available Sizes 49 52 54 56 58 61cm
Weight (lb) 19.5