Is this Specialized the best looking bike of 2017?
Specialized has given its Allez Sprint aluminium road bike and Allez Sprint track bike a lick of paint a head of the Red Hook series and it looks fantastic
Red Hook series has made major waves in the cycling world over the last few years, it's become a hugely popular discipline. With bigger dedicated teams and major manufactures, like Specialized getting involved, it has become a hot spot for beautiful bike creations.
This includes the custom Allez Sprint track bike, which will be used by the Specialized Rocket Espresso RHC team.
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The new custom paint job is 1000 per cent Red Hook specific, according to Dylan Buffington, the designer behind the frames colour way. And to give the Allez Sprint track bike some extra exclusivity it will not be available to the public and only the team.
Although a limited run of 300 Allez Sprint road bikes will be available at the end of the Red Hook series.
Last year Specialized made three bikes for each race of the Red Hook series; Brooklyn, London, Milan and Barcelona. These were created by four designers and hand painted. For 2017 it was decided to create a single design for the entire series and bring it to production. Buffington explains the challenge.
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"Rewind one year… Specialized had four designers each design and hand paint three bikes for each race of the series. This year we decided to do a single design for all four races, and we also decided to bring it to production. The biggest challenge now was how can we top last year's hand painted artful designs, with a production paintjob. The answer to that is to turn the volume up to 11."
The concept is based on ideas from the BMW art car series says Buffington and wanted to recreate their statement.
"These artists, who were used to their respective mediums, adapted to the form of the cars as well as the criticism of the public eye. Their designs were there to make a statement and shake things up.
'This in turn revolutionised design in the racing world. These bikes were and are no different. I wanted to look beyond traditional bike graphics and into design and art. By bridging that gap, we would not only be able to appeal to the cyclist, but to a wide variety of people looking at the project from a far."
It seems like Red Hook is here to stay, with it's unique style of racing appealing to all types of cyclists seeking a thrill.
Dylan Buffington thinks so too... "I think Red Hook is here to stay. In Europe, the track crit scene is blowing up. There’s a crit almost every weekend somewhere. In the US, Wolfpack hustle in LA and Mission Crit here in SF are growing year by year."
"What’s so different about this type of race is that they become part of the community. Track bikes used to be confined to the velodrome. Now that they are becoming a staple on the street I think that this form of racing is starting to get legitimate recognition as a form of racing."
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Symon Lewis joined Cycling Weekly as an Editorial Assistant in 2010, he went on to become a Tech Writer in 2014 before being promoted to Tech Editor in 2015 before taking on a role managing Video and Tech in 2019. Lewis discovered cycling via Herne Hill Velodrome, where he was renowned for his prolific performances, and spent two years as a coach at the South London velodrome.
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