Exhibitor Profile: Specialized
After graduating from college in California in 1974, Mike Sinyard - like so many of us - wasn't too sure what he wanted to do next. The only thing he was sure of was his passion for cycling. He sold his VW Microbus to fund a cycling trip through Europe, and the rest was fate.
In Milan, Mike met a girl who knew the legendary crafstman Cino Cinelli. He quickly bought a suit and arranged a meeting. Mike's enthusiasm impressed him, and they made a deal that would allow Mike to import Mr. Cinelli's beautiful high-end components into the United States.
Full of enthusiasm, Mike hurried back to California in time to meet the shipping boxes, which he stored under his 8 by 30-foot mobile home to keep them dry when it rained. This was his first warehouse and sales office combined. Initial customers were bike shops in the San Francisco Bay Area, who paid cash in advance for their orders. The bike shops had to be fairly close because, for the first five years Mike had this business, he didn't own a car. Whether it was making deliveries by bike or pedaling into the hills on the weekends, Mike's dream of spending more time on a bike had certainly come true.
When Mike started this company, he made a conscious decision to focus on high-end bike components. The products he imported were scarce in the States, but there was a strong demand amongst enthusiasts. Mike named the company Specialized simply because it was how riders referred to high-end components at the time.
Thus, the Brand was born. Mike had no idea it would have such an impact on the growth and accessibility of cycling, but he's proud that it has.
Those first components and our greatest successes are testaments to our founding principle:
Focus on the rider's need for functional and technically advanced products that provide a performance benefit.
Now more than three decades later, that statement feels every bit as important and still rings true. It's what makes us Specialized. When we deliver on it, our Brand is more credible and ultimately more valuable to our riders and our dealers.
Watch this space - more Specialized Bicycle Company content coming soon!