Urban Velo

Globe Live – Integrated Basket Cargo Bike

globe_ride01 The Globe Live is another recently introduced bike from Specialized who has relaunched the Globe brand into it’s own line of city bikes. While the Roll is on one end of the spectrum of utility and fashion, the Live is on the other with large volume tires, full fenders and an integrated basket. Pictured is the $550 entry level version with a one-speed coaster brake hub and aside from dropout changes model to model, the same basket-bike geometry aluminum frame and fork as the rest of the line. It’s all about the basket, and geometry lessons taken from the French.

globe_ride03 The porteur style of bike was defined by French newspaper couriers carrying a large load on a front basket, with someone along the way determining that by dramatically decreasing the trail measurement of the frame/fork that the front loaded bike would handle that much better. This thinking has come full circle in the American bike market, having never left given places, and we find ourselves with a handful of higher end offerings taking geometry seriously when loading up the front of a bicycle. The Globe Live brings it to the local bike shop level, and does a surprisingly good job at it. While at first glance I was expecting just another bike with a pretty basket, once I actually rode the bike around a bit I could tell that some real thought went into the design beyond making a rack with custom mounts.

bikehugger Ride loaded. Appropriately enough after a lunch time beer nothing was stopping me from finding someone to sit in the basket, not even the design engineer imploring me that the rack was designed and tested for 50lbs., max. “Not my bike,” came my reply and marketing guy Nic Sims hopped in for a lap. The bike went where I wanted to point it without the wrestling I was honestly expecting with some 150+lbs on the front. I’ve put a number of miles on front loaded bikes, and this was one of the better steering setups I’ve experienced with a load of that size. We even rode over a stump to really make sure the rack and fork could take it, and things just kept on rolling.

globe_ride02 The basket is fairly large and has a finished wood bottom, with plenty of places to attach a bungee or other tie-down strap. I’d personally prefer if the fence on the basket was removable or not there all together to form a flatbed rack, but this is a minor quibble on an otherwise well designed rack with sturdy mounts built to fit the Live fork. The pictured spring is there to aid in loading the bike, as it holds the front wheel straight while perched on the kickstand or leaned against a wall. Not perfect, and obviously removable if you don’t like the handling. As for the frame and fork, they are aluminum for the usual reasons of strength, weight and custom tube profiles. I’ll admit that the Live models were unusually lightweight for being a fully equipped basket bike, and aluminum frames when not trying to be the lightest in the world have proven durable with lots of 90′s mountain bikes still in service.

The Globe finishing touches in terms of spec are worth mentioning, such as the full coverage alloy fenders and internal cable routing on the upscale $990 Live 2 and $1550 Live 3 models, which bear at least some mention for their 8-speed internal hubs, with hydraulic disc brakes and a belt drive on the top-end Live 3. The frames are also available in a mixte double-toptube step-through model that makes it that much easier to get on and off and fits the style of this particular bike well. Basket bikes are back.

19 Comments

  1. terryJune 24, 2009 at 11:08 am

    great to see the U.S. finally going “Euro”.
    this is good stuff. Utilitarian.

  2. Pink RobeJune 24, 2009 at 11:48 am

    I think the price is reasonable. Given that a Big Dummy or the Kona Ute [I know, not exactly an apples/apples comparison] are at least in the $900 range, $550 is bloody cheap for the entry-level model. The frame looks like it as semi-horizontal dropouts, so you could run it fixed. I’d throw on a cheap hydro up front and hit it.

  3. rickJune 24, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    It’s the research, developement and quality parts and construction that makes them expensive not the name. Specialized just happens to be a bike company that does all those things.

  4. d*powJune 24, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    I think $550 for a bike that you can use to run errands and ride around every day is great!
    The fenders are sweet, they will actually keep you dry. Nice wide bars, the rack looks grear. I’m impressed with this Globe model.

  5. Beefy McManstickJune 24, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    Yeah. $550 seems pretty reasonable for a solid grocery-getter/rain bike.

  6. nhJune 24, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Bike looks really nice. Nice details. Classy, but utilitarian. The photo with the front end passenger says it all though.

    If you want a cheap bicycle, go to Walmart or K-Mart. You can get your full suspension and multiple gears for under $100 – http://www.walmart.com/browse/Bikes-Scooters-Skates/Bikes/Mountain-Bikes/_/N-8vasZaq90Zaqce/Ne-2p4f?catNavId=133073&ic=48_0&povid=cat133073-env201160-module222291-lLink3&ref=125871.413812

    Good design and quality fabrication are more valuable to me any day.

  7. TerryJune 24, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    I like it. Bikes for people who know they ain’t racing.

  8. CressersJune 25, 2009 at 3:23 am

    An aluminium frame? On a ‘utility’ bike? What were they thinking?

  9. CrankJune 25, 2009 at 6:39 am

    Specialized left a bad taste in my mouth a long time ago. Aluminum frame, cheap cheese metal rims and spokes, headset that craps out in a season. It’s like a photo of a real bike, but when you pick at it, you realize it just “looks” like a great ride.

  10. TEJVANJune 25, 2009 at 11:36 am

    It’s looks great though I’m not keen on a carrying things over front wheel as it makes it more unstable. Good value though

  11. TromperJune 28, 2009 at 1:51 am

    Kinda high trail for that kind of front load. Love the rack though, but I doubt they’d sell it separately.

  12. Ride2WkNovember 8, 2009 at 5:29 am

    If you want to talk Euro retro then how about a “real steel” frame that absorbs vibration much better than Al. Also aluminium is enviro UNfriendly using 10x the energy to produce it. Steel doesn’t fatigue crack as soon as Al either.

    I’d love an internal 8 speed, belt drive, disk brake ride to work bike that can handle weather everyday. But not until it’s steel.

  13. Mark H. HendricksMarch 7, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Even when the geometry is not ideal, it is much easier to carry a load over the front wheel (or down low, in a pannier), than on the back. I’ve done a lot of both, and my current ride is set up for rear carry, but only because it was easier to get quality parts cheap.

  14. MikeJuly 14, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    This bike is a great ride. I took a friend to look over the cute red mixte version of the Live 3, she loved it, and bought it. She hadn’t ridden a bike in years. Several months later, she is riding it daily with CONSTANT “nice bike!” comments–including from big guys in pickups at stop lights.

    It’s sturdy, very light, handles like a $1,000+ bike, and can carry stuff. Steering is light. Making a low-trail bike might have felt risky to Specialized, so kudos to them for taking the plunge.

    I want one now, and I’m saying all this as a confirmed fast-ridin’, Lycra-wearin’ racer.

  15. Boston Bicycles » Blog Archive » Specialized Globe Live 1, Large, Town bike (Salem) $450April 18, 2011 at 11:49 am

    [...] to get a Live 1. Don’t miss it!http://www.ucycle.com/products/bikes/single-fixed/globe-live-1http://urbanvelo.org/globe-live-integrated-basket-cargo-bike/* Helmet, laptop bag, bungie cables, etc in photos not included. Location: Salemit’s NOT ok to [...]

  16. Inside Line EquipmentApril 24, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    If you have a Globe Live, you need a bag that clips onto the front rack and will keep your cargo secure and dry. The ILE Rackbag is a waterproof rolltop bag, built to hold your groceries,bike lock,jacket, whatever you ride with. Also has straps that make it easy to attach bulky items like boxes, wheels, even other bikes!
    Handmade in California with multiple custom options and colors.

  17. SmailSeptember 8, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Have to agree with Crank above. I have this very bike and within 6 months I had to replace the grips, the brake pads and a cable. Bits have rusted while others have fallen off, including a peddle!

    Avoid!

    Suggest a Pashley or perhaps a nice “Dutch” style/made bike as these just don’t last and going by Crank’s comment Specialized don’t care.

  18. RodFebruary 14, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Scored my Globe Live 1, new, for $296.65!!!!

    Walked into one of my local vendors on a whim, and just happened to be there on a sale day. The bike was marked down 50%, and I got an extra 15% off at the till!

    Needless to say, I’m quite happy. :)

    It’s perfect for me. My daily commute to work is too long for a bicycle (plus it’s ALL highway driving) but this suits my local needs perfectly. Farmer’s market, grocery store, errands. I love it.

    Finding a rear rack is proving to be difficult, haven’t found one with long enough front stays yet.

  19. Leo OshinDecember 3, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    I spent $560.00 + more to get the bike to fit me ( 6’6″ 200lbs.)now my globe WORK bike XL has a crack in the pedal swing arm where it slides on the hanger pin and it scares the day-lights out of me cause I’m so big and stong ( I have road all of my life ) plus I have a metal bar and 8 screws in my neck (spinal fusion ) Why does a top line bike company sell garbage at such a high price??

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