Archive for the ‘Specialized’ Category

Freeborn Esher has now closed

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

We are sad to announce that Freeborn Bikes of Esher has now closed its doors, due to circumstances beyond our control, and related to the failed redevelopment of the Esher X bike park and legal problems with our landlord Sandown Sports Club

We would like to extend our sincere thanks to all of our customers over the 8+ years that Freeborn Esher operated, and also to all the riders that used the Esher Shore bike park, and helped to support the shop

Unfortunately, all good things do come to an end….

….but we are moving forwards and upwards, with many exciting developments at Freeborn Horsham including lots of demo rides of Ellsworth, Devinci and Mythic bikes; weekly shop rides on Pitch Hill in Surrey, many custom-bike builds, bike magazine tests, a strong “grassroots team” representing our brands, and an ever-expanding on-line business!!

For any former customers of Freeborn Esher, please take a short trip to Freeborn Horsham (35 Freshwater Parade, Bishopric, Horsham, RH12 1QD) where you will experience the same high standards of customer service, fast and price competitive workshop , awesome attention-to-detail and an unrivalled stock level of the highest quality bicycles, frames and leading brand components

On behalf of all the staff that worked at Freeborn Esher over the years, and to all the hard working volunteers trail builders of the Esher Shore bike park, and to the boss who gave us this great opportunity to build something special at Esher, you all have my sincere thanks and much respect

Hope to see you all out on the trails, very soon!

Rob Cole

Manager, Freeborn Bikes Esher

2011 Specialized Demo spy shot

Friday, May 28th, 2010

This has leaked all over the internet in the past few days – Sam Hill has been seen riding the 2011 Demo 8 prototype on the World Cup Downhill circuit

Its something of a departure from previous Demo frame designs, and looks much closer in styling and design to the current SX Trail and Big Hit frames – you can see the ‘SX Trail style’ forged shock link joining the tail of the shock to the frame’s substays

No word on prices or a release date yet, but knowing Specialized UK it will be brought into the UK in limited numbers so any potential buyers should be prepared to get their orders in early to secure one!

We should know more after the 2011 Specialized UK product launch which normally takes place late Summer

2010 Specialized Enduro SL Expert

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

check this bad boy out 2010 Enduro SL Expert – a new bike for one of our customers!

the 2010 Enduro SL range has a super-slack 66.5 degree head angle and this expert model comes with the new Fox RP2 BV rear shock

It also comes stock with Rockshox’s “dumbed down” Lyric I.S. Solo Air fork, so for this customer a 2010 Fox 36 Talas RC2 fork has been installed to drastically improve the bike’s performance

The customer opted to not run the “Command Post” that comes with the bike, and a regular seatpost has been fitted to save weight and reduce maintenance, and small blanking bolts fitted to the frame after the command post cable clips and bolts have been removed

DMR pedals have been used to finish off the bike, and its all good to go!


Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

the UK bike market has been suffering from the currency devaluation of the British Pound, which means many aftermarket tire prices have gone through the roof !

For the past few years, many riders have focused on Maxxis…Maxxis…Maxxis, to the exclusion of many other brands which offer very good tires, often made in the same factory!!

As Maxxis have become very expensive for bike shops to stock, and customers to buy, we have started suggesting a great range of tires from our production brand Specialized

If you know “who” these great tires are made by, you would not dismiss them so readily, and the prices we can offer Specialized tires at, are extremely competitive, and as the tires are packed full of technology they offer a very high ride performance

Something we have also found with Specialized tires is that their “given” size is considerably larger than that for many brands, which means a 2″ Specialized tire is more like a 2.3″ Maxxis tire when inflated, and a 2.3″ Specialized tire is more like a 2.5″ Maxxis tire when inflated – with Specialized you get a light weight tire yet with a generous air volume to provide a good cushion between your wheel rim and the ground


There’s a reason why the Specialized pro team rides 2Bliss tires- they want a tire that can handle the low pressure they run (sometimes 25 psi) for durability and better traction, but they also want light weight.

Specialized 2Bliss blends the best of both worlds. It’s not your standard tubetype (TT), which is lightweight, but can fall short on puncture resistance and “burps” when used with sealant.

And it’s not your standard tubeless (UST) that reducespinch flats and the need for sealant, but often adds 200+ grams.

2Bliss is a whole new design that uses TT casing with a special UST bead, replacing the standard UST heavy backing with strategically placed rubber only around the bead.

The result is a perfect tire for the discerning MTB rider: low pressure allowance, no burping and fewer grams than its forefathers.

Most of the Specialized MTB tires come in the revolutionary 2Bliss configuration, except for Sport models (DH, Armadillo, Armadillo Elite and 29″ tires excluded); TT and UST are no more.

If you want to run our 2Bliss with a tube, be our guest.

Without a tube, use a tubeless conversion system like Stan’s No-Tubes sealant, and you’re well on your way to a longer, better mountain ride, again and again.

If you have never thought of Specialized for your tires, here is a quick introduction to their range:

Fast Trak LK Control 2-bliss

This is a low profile tire for drier conditions, which offers a very lightweight and fast rolling profile, yet is very grippy with its dual compound (70a centre, 60a shoulder) construction, as long as you are not riding in deep sand or very loose dirt (as the low profile tread cannot grip loose surfaces as well as a tire with deeper tread) it works brilliantly

The Control variant of the Fast Trak LK is stock on alot of Specialized’s high-end hardtail bikes, it also makes an awesome tire for riders into dirt jumping, 4X racing and pump track riding – basically anyone using their bike on harder surfaces who wants a light weight tire (it has a kevlar bead) that is grippy and very easy to use with tubeless conversion systems like Stan’s No-Tubes

This tire is my personal favourite for Dirt Jump, Slopestyle and bike park riding, used with Stan’s No-Tubes, as its much lighter and grippier than tires from “Dirt Jump” brands (which are often cheaply made, heavy generic tires)

The Captain Control 2-Bliss

The captain is the tire designed and promoted by MTB legend Ned “The Captain” Overend – its a great all-conditions tire which is fast rolling, lightweight (kevlar bead), grippy (dual compound – 70a centre, 60a shoulder) tire for all conditions and perhaps the best choice for all-round riding where you will encounter many different trail conditions during one ride

I rode this tire all through the past winter in rain, mud and snow, and never had any issues with traction even on technical climbs, with the 2-bliss casing its very easy to inflate with tubeless setups like Stan’s No-Tubes

Sauserwind Control 2-bliss

The XC Racer’s favourite, as this tire is designed and promoted by XC World Champion Chistoph Sauser

Its an extremely light weight and fast rolling, yet grippy tire with a dual compound (65a centre, 55a shoulder),  kevlar casing which has a lower profile than many tires – like low profile automobile tires!

Like the other 2-bliss tires in the range, very easy to setup with tubeless conversion systems like Stan’s No-Tubes or Mavic’s UST with a cup of Stan’s sealent

Storm Control 2-bliss

It’s perhaps the wrong time of year to be mentioning the Storm, unless we get a “typical” British Summer, which means rain and mud…

the Storm tire is the foul weather tire in the range, and its open tread pattern quickly sheds mud and gloop, and the dual compound design (65a centre / 55a shoulder) offers grip on rocks and roots, where many mud specific tires fail…

Eskar Control 2-bliss

The Big Daddy – Eskar is the perfect All-Mountain tire because its big in volume (2.3″ but more like a 2.5″ Maxxis tire) and good on durability yet light and grippy (65a centre, 55a shoulder), and works great with tubeless conversion systems

One of the main problems with All-Mountain bikes can be the weight of the tires and wheels, if not careful you end up with similar wheels and tires as used on freeride bikes – as an example a 2.3″ single ply Maxxis tire weighs in at over 900 grammes, and 2.3″ dual ply Maxxis at 1200 grammes!

If you are smart and run a set of Stan’s ZTR Flow rims on your hubs of choice with DT Swiss double-butted spokes and a great set of big volume, light weight tires like the Eskar Control 2-bliss with Stan’s No-Tubes, you end up with a light, tough and puncture resistant wheel setup that will let you build a 30lb All-Mountain bike without getting into silly expenditure on carbon fibre and titanium bolt-kits, or using XC components which won’t take all-mountain riding abuse!

Eskar has kevlar beads and the Control variant with the 2-bliss casing is a cinch to inflate with tubeless systems

If you are interested in any of these tires, please give Freeborn a call or get in touch by email – we offer great deals on pairs of the Specialized Control tires, these often work out cheaper than a single tire from many other brands!

Hot Carl rides again

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

Snowboard season is coming to a close, and its time for some to put away their boards, and get their bike out…or if you are Hot Carl…get your bikes out

The big decision is, “Which Specialized Demo should I ride today?”

Its a tough decision for sure, do you ride the more nimble 37lb Demo 7, or the tank-like, confidence boosting 50lb Demo 9…

…..but one thing is certain

The MAN is BACK ;)


Monday, March 2nd, 2009

here is the official web flyer for the 2009 Esher Shore Bike Park Jam

the “ESHER SHORE SHOWDOWN” is looking to be the most exciting UK event on the Freeride calendar for 2009

we’re already getting enquiries from riders all over the UK about the event!

more info coming soon on

We don’t just sell mountain bikes…

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

Freeborn is somewhat known as a mountain bike shop, but we also sell a great range of utility, hybrid, comfort, road and cyclocross bikes from Specialized, Devinci, Ellsworth and Kinesis

Shown to the right is my trusty 2008 Specialized Tricross singlespeed cyclocross bike, which I use for commuting and wet weather riding when I can’t bring myself to take my suspension mountain bike out in the mud!

I’ve added Electron lights, SKS 700c hybrid mudguards and of course a Thomson seatpost to the standard Tricross bike

It’s more than a year old, gets used pretty much every day and has not needed any replacement parts except for some brake pads…singlespeed is bullet proof, oil the chain, pump tires up and go ride

The 2009 Tricross Singlespeed retails at £489.35 (with the 15% vat reduction) and is an awesome choice for mountain bikers who want something a little different to the usual road bike

…its simply more versatile in that it will handle canal paths, fire roads and even muddy singletracks without flinching, and its considerably quicker than even a slick-tired mountain bike on the road

Specialized also do a 27 speed geared version called the Sport at £734.03, and a high-end 20 speed version called the Comp at £1,174.46

Specialized also sell a very cool singlespeed 700c bike called the “Langster” if you never think you will take your big wheeled bike on the dirt, the Langster and Tricross are available through Freeborn to order, along with road bikes from Specialized and Devinci, custom built Ellsworth road bikes, and a wide range of non-mountain bikes from Specialized, Devinci and Kinesis

we love all kinds of riding here at Freeborn…happy trails!

Rob C

Brand new SX Trail for 2009

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

We saw some leaked pictures of the “new” SX Trail during the summer, but it wasn’t until we attended the 2009 dealer show at Specialized UK’s Chessington HQ that we finally got to have a proper look at the 2009 SX Trails

The old SX trail was a firm UK favourite because it was a great blend of relaxed geometry, reasonable weight and 7″ of FSR suspension – in other words a great UK downhill / play bike that many riders used as an all-round workhorse

For 2009, Specialized have really shaken up the SXT, giving it a brand new frame (the old SX Trail used a reworked Pre-2007 “Enduro” frame)

From the front, the new SXT has an E2 headtube with 1.5″ at the bottom and 1.125″ at the top, with the fork having a tapered steerer tube to reduce weight and increase strength.

There is a wider range of seatpost height adjustment, and a switch to the new FSR Rocker (already seen on the Stumpjumper, Pitch and 07 Enduro) does away with the old “interupted seatpod”, giving much better standover height with a lower centre of gravity and shielding of the shock from back wheel spray

The frame is a little heavier than the old one, as its been made stronger to reflect the fact that riders are going faster and hitting stuff harder than when the original SX (and Enduro) were launched

The frame geometry feels much closer to the Demo 7, in that it feels like a proper freeride bike even with a 160mm fork; in fact Specialized UK are not bringing in the Demo 7 for 2009 as the new SX Trail does everything that the Demo 7 did, but in a lighter, more modern package

Shown right (in gold) is the SX Trail II, which retails at £2799.99, and comes loaded with top-of-the range parts like the Fox 36 Van RC2 fork, Fox DHX 5 coil shock (with custom tail mount), Avid Elixir R Carbon brakes, Gamut chain device, SRAM X-9/X-0 shifting, Truvativ stylo crankset, DT Swiss F550 / SBC wheelset and even a Thomson seatpost!

Shown right (in raw) is the SX Trail I, which retails at £2199.99 and offers awesome value with a great package of parts including a Rockshox Domain 318 fork, Fox DHX 4 coil shock, Avid Elixir R disc brakes, SRAM X-5/X-9 shifting, Gamut chain device, Truvativ Stylo crankset, DT Swiss F550 / SBC wheelset and the new Clutch freeride tires

Having had a quick test ride on the new SX Trail, its safe to say that Specialized have come up with an awesome new frame and one that will continue the SX Trail’s legacy as a UK favourite for downhill, heavy-duty trail riding or just messing around in the woods!