Urban Velo

Specialized Globe Brand Launch – Meet the Roll

globe_roll_01 The Globe brand has been around since the nineties as a part of its Specialized parent, but starting now it is it’s own entity with a new line, starting here with the Roll. Think the way that Mini is made by BMW but occupies a separate segment of the market and you will see the new Globe. Launched just this week in Minneapolis, the new Globe is build on a vision of inspiring others to ride bicycles through solid design from both an aesthetic and functional end.

globe_roll_04Shown is the Roll 2, retailing for just about $800 but in my opinion with a look and feel of bikes much higher in price. It’s all in the small touches, like the keyed washer system of the front hub that simultaneously locks the hub in place and lends a seamless line to the lugged crown fork – super slick, and it doesn’t require a special hub at all since the actual dropouts are as standard as they get.

globe_roll_05 The integrated stem/bar combo is also unexpected at this pricepoint as such things are typically reserved for custom bikes costing 3-4x what the Roll 2 comes in at. While there is a valid concern about not being able to alter stem length without changing the entire cockpit, one can’t help but notice the clean lines the one piece system lends. And no worries, the grip area is standard diameter to fit the grips and brake levers we’re all accustomed to. The internal clamp keeps the back of the stem knee-friendly with a lack of clamp bolts and the sharp edges they many times exhibit. Roughly shoulder width, or just about the width of a set of hoods on road bars, the bar isn’t overly skinny for urban riding by any stretch.

globe_roll_02 Out back the forged fork ends have integrated chain tensioners and exhibit the only Globe branding outside of the headbadge present on the bike, furthering the largely anonymous urban aesthetic. The Kashimax-style one piece plastic saddle also gives a nod to how many people are building up their personal bikes these days. While it received mixed reviews from the folks giving it a spin here in Minneapolis, I found it comfortable for the few around town miles I spent on the perch, but I tend to prefer harder, narrow saddles as it is. 42mm deep rims are laced up to sealed bearing hubs, another high value item at the $800 level. Sugino messenger cranks make it go, fixed or free choices come standard, and a pair of brakes are in the box to make it all come to a controlled stop.

globe_roll_03Potentially most interesting to some is the lower priced Roll 1, sharing the same frame but with a unicrown fork that is nearly indistinguishable and slight downspec changes such as loose ball bearing hubs and not-so-deep V-section rims for just about $600. No word on geometry specifics for the four available sizes, but I will say that the bottom bracket seemed a bit low for my tastes, though some may prefer the more stable stance that the lower center of gravity lends. After a day riding the Roll I’d have to say that Globe is going to give some steep competition to the rest of the market with it’s price and feature set, not to mind the aesthetics that just aren’t matched by anyone else out there.

Look for these bikes to start appearing in shops in just about six weeks time if not sooner and keep an eye out for more reports on the new Globe line come next week, including shots and impressions of their two cargo carrying bikes, the Live and the Haul. There’s plenty more to tell.


  1. Shiny FluJune 12, 2009 at 7:19 am

    I can’t help but feel as if they’re selling Ghost-Bikes.

  2. Wayne MyerJune 12, 2009 at 7:30 am

    When I first saw the pic, I thought it was an article about Ghost Bikes, too.

  3. CrankJune 12, 2009 at 7:33 am

    And the frame is aluminum? CroMo? Typically there is going to be some corner cut, rims perhaps, a cheesy soft Alex perhaps? Maybe I’m a skeptic, help me to believe. While the exterior does lend the visual impression of something lovingly thought out and hand assembled by it’s owner late at night, I fear that the soul of the beast may be lacking.

  4. igoJune 12, 2009 at 8:02 am

    I immediately though ghost bike too. It might be bad luck to ride an all white bike. The bike is sick tho.

  5. bradJune 12, 2009 at 8:28 amAuthor

    The bike isn’t white, more a light blue. See inset images.

  6. bradJune 12, 2009 at 8:30 amAuthor

    Frame is Reynolds steel.

  7. spiderleggreenJune 12, 2009 at 11:53 am

    Strange to me. Their rolling this bike out and you can’t find much on it(more pics).

  8. Gear-addicts.com » Specialized gets trendy – and i like it.June 12, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    [...] Via: Urban Velo [...]

  9. Globe Roll 2 bicycle is a ghost bike you can buy | Doobybrain.comJune 12, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    [...] a subsidiary of Specialized Bicycles, has unveiled the Roll 2 bicycle, an all-white bike that evokes the feel of a ghost-bike. I don’t know if people at Globe are [...]

  10. terryJune 12, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    I want one! But probably stay with the beat-down Surly…

  11. jaystonJune 12, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    oh, that’s what I saw in front of cafe Pergoliese the other day.

  12. CressersJune 13, 2009 at 3:45 am

    Integrated bar/stem combo? NO! Have some adjustability/flexibilty built in!

    And I agree with the HOW MUCH? for a bike with ‘only’ one gear cooment, not having derailleurs should simplify the manufacture and reduce the cost of a bike. If Spesh and the other brands don’t understand that they’ll end up shooting themselves in the foot as people go for the better percieved ‘value’ of the geared bikes and leave these unsold. The SS movememnt is in part a reaction and revolution against the marketing BS that has infected cycling for the last twenty or so years. To try and continue that into this niche risks ruining the concept before it reaches a wider market.

  13. CrankJune 13, 2009 at 7:12 am

    Well, after reading a few comments, I’ve got to admit it gathers bad karma. Looks like a ghost bike.

  14. bradJune 13, 2009 at 9:28 amAuthor

    $800 fixed gears are the norm these days, most shops can’t keep them on the shelves. Bikes are expensive, for those of us around the bike world for a long time one has to recalibrate what you think a bike is worth – they’ve gone up significantly in the past couple of years. A geared bike with name brand tubing, sealed hubs, lugged fork and a crank the quality of the Sugino Messenger would set you back at least double the asking price of this. Apples to apples.

    And people, the bikes are blue and available in lime green as well. They are not white.

  15. JrusJune 14, 2009 at 2:17 am

    Specialized/Globe is coming out with alot of nice stuff this year.. so it seems


  16. CrankJune 14, 2009 at 6:27 am

    So it’s like riding a ghost bike with hypoxia, or a slight case of nausea?

  17. Specialized Brings Pre-Fabbed Ghost Bikes To A Shop Near You! » [sic]June 15, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    [...] Urban Velo and Wired’s Gadget Lab blog are reporting that Specialized is not only hopping on the readymade fixed-gear blandwagon, but the bikemaker has apparently opted to deliver the “cheap” Globe Roll 2 ($800) and Roll 1 ($600) already color-schemed as a “Ghost Bike” either because Specialized has no clue what they’ve done — or perhaps the better to minimize delays in installing the bike as a memorial wherever the hipster noob-rider gets killed at on it. [...]

  18. Specialized to Roll Out ‘Cheap’ Fixed-Gear Bikes @ Technology NewsJune 16, 2009 at 12:16 am

    [...] Product page [Globe via Urban Velo] [...]

  19. anthonyJune 16, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    can it bar spin as is?

  20. bradJune 16, 2009 at 12:37 pmAuthor

    It cannot bar spin.

  21. joeJune 16, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    at first i though $800 would be a bit much, since it’ll have to compete with bikes like the bianchi pista and the fuji track, but since it’s reynolds steel, that bracket might be justified.

    one question about that internal clamp, does it hold as well as a normal stem?

  22. snideJune 17, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    gee, you think Brad works for the big S?

  23. Dave WymanJune 17, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    To me, the bike looks like the bikes I see around Los Angeles, and less like the Specialized Langster I own. My Langster looks like a modern road bike bike with its sloping top top – which I like – while the Globe looks like a bike the younger set (read “hipsters”) prefers to ride, i.e., a bike that has a more traditional frame geometry.

    The $800 price tag seems more than reasonable, given what SS/FG bikes cost these days. My own bike cost a bit more, but then it has some extra features, like an adjustable headset.

  24. GeorgeJune 17, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    Regardless of build quality or “market value”, a bike that’s built to be completely inflexible (and I’m not talking about the supposed ‘stiffness’ of steel), unsafe, and overall impractical, and then billed as the exact opposite shouldn’t be worth anything. Neither should a bike with all the trust-fund chic fittings (hplusson rims, messenger crankset, dildo bars welded into the stem, “Kashimax style” saddle) that is billed as a tribute to ratty urban fixed gears. But let’s be honest, Globe isn’t really selling to people who are looking for eco-friendly, practical, or home-made here.

    @Ben – Actually you can buy a bike with quality components for the same price: the trek 1.2 is available from “select retailers” for $800, and it has gears, brakes, and an adjustable stem. I’m sure the Alu/Carbon construction is also pretty stiff. If you don’t believe me, compare the torsional strength of mid-grade aluminum tubing to some unnamed Reynolds steel (753? 853? 531? 520? glorified hi-ten? who knows.), taking into account the wider tubing used on the Trek frame. As to practicality, who knows – you can’t use fenders or a rack on either one, and I am too lazy to look up Retrovelo’s site, plus I would get too excited and sound like I was making a pitch for them,.

    @snide – No, it’s just the way UrbanVelo reports when something they can sell accessories for is about to drop. Read the post where they gush on about the messenger chainring and how we should buy it because if its amazing roundness.

  25. GeorgeJune 17, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    Oddly enough, I mentioned two types of tubing they aren’t making anymore. Heh. Still adamant on that one – there’s no reason you should charge a premium for Reynolds – Tange, Ishiwata, Columbus, Daedecciai, and maybe even some far-eastern fabhouses make equally nice steel on their own.

  26. One Eyed zJune 18, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    I’m a little confused by the Ghost Bike confusion.
    The bike is blue not white.
    Even if it was white why does it matter? Ghost Bikes are typically non-rideable junk to start with.
    I can appericate the idea of the Ghost Bike concept but does that mean that companies can’t make a white bike with white parts? I think not.

    And whats with all the Specialized hate?
    Would this bike be OK in a diffrent color but made by say Trek?

    $800 isn’t a bad price.
    Specialized Langester line is $800 for the basic but $880 for one that has a city theme.
    Besides if you get on the likes of Crig’s list or EBay you can easily find a “vintage” bike some one pulled out of a dumpster, cleaned up and slapped new fixed gear parts on for more than $1000.

    I’m excited for the new Globe line. And not just because I’m a dealer.

  27. -p-June 18, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Looks like it takes design cues from Sacha White’s Vanilla Bicycles.

  28. Robin SansomJune 20, 2009 at 11:29 am

    These are all good things to hear, one way or the other. Certainly this model isn’t for everyone and there are other bikes in the Globe line that we hope are more accessible in terms of price and for things like going to the booze store or grocery shopping. We’ve got a dedicated team here that is elbow deep into the urban cycling culture and we hope to listen to everyone’s needs and meet thier expectations in the future.

    Globe Bikes

  29. G6PDJune 21, 2009 at 5:22 am

    This bike is sick!!!!

    Just placed my order for it…

    And the pale blue colour needs to dominate the Spec range

  30. TroyJuly 8, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    Where can I order this?

  31. NashaSeptember 23, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    where do i buy a roll globe bike. and do they have a workshop or any shop where i can purchase this kind of bike? ive searched a lot and cant seem to find a place that i can buy a roll bike.

  32. RobOctober 14, 2009 at 8:20 am

    I feel that a lot of people have no idea what their talking about when it comes to this sort of bike and specialized.
    My girlfriend has a globe Vienna 2 and this is one of the best bikes on the market in this “niche” of push bikes plus the price is very reasonable (especially when you look at other bikes with similar builds) she uses it every day and has clocked a hell of a lot of miles in all weathers and it’s still working a treat Globe bikes are very well built and spec’d and I obviously have nothing but good things to say about it and before you comment to much on what I say I have ridden this bike and it is amazing, it’s comfortable (even for a bloke), fast and reliable.
    My second point is that specialized pricing is very reasonable I am a mountain biker and their bikes are some of the best you can buy not only that but are very affordable in comparison to many other cycle manufacturers value for money is one of many things specialized have to offer along with amazing bikes.
    And as far as I’m concerned this bike kicks ass and I want one!! NOW!!!!
    I take it it’s the roadies who are making snobby comments about this bike, get over yourselves! you don’t have to buy! not only that it probably looks better than your bike and costs less:(

  33. IanNovember 2, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    Who cares what income tax bracket you are in, whether you built it from junk, or bought it off the shelf. At least more folks are getting their fat asses on bikes. The lines on the Roll look great. They copy the same great lines that some guys and gals work very hard to get by building them custom. Sorry your indie obsession just went mainstream.

  34. zaneNovember 19, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    Any specialized dealer can hook you up with a globe

  35. Specialized globe roll 2 - London Fixed-gear and Single-speedNovember 26, 2009 at 12:21 am

    [...] one for xmas, whereas i said he should save 300 and go for a fuji 09 track. but im no expert. http://urbanvelo.org/specializedglob…meet-the-roll/ cheers [...]

  36. jamieJanuary 24, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    come on people, either adjust your monitors to see that it’s a light blue bike or just buy the green one. Enough with the ghostbike stuff.

  37. Victor NobregaFebruary 19, 2010 at 3:50 am

    Best bike ive ever ride! Not to say that this is the most beautiful bike in the world. I got mine 2 months ago, in green, got stolen. Ive bought the blue one, 3 weeks after, got stolen! Now im buying the green one again! Cause there’s no other bike, this is the ultimate ! If it wasnt so pretty I bet no one would take it from me :(

  38. Raymond BoladoMarch 30, 2010 at 12:45 am

    I just got this bike two days ago and the lock ring stripped the hub. I suggest getting a new lock ring if you anyone decides on getting this bike. Overall, the bike rides smooth, kudos to Globe.

  39. josh BenserApril 11, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    I have the green one with a Brooks pre-aged B-17 going on it. Its a sweet ride. I commute 20 miles a day on the stock version with no adjustments apart from the saddle height and I am in love. If I had a third thumb to put up…

  40. STEVE CROWLEYApril 17, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Just won one of these babies yesterday at the Sea Otter Classic! Specialized had a Goldsprints setup and i had the best time of the day, 500m in 18.1 seconds! Can’t wait to get it! Imma get teh green one i am suuuper stoked!

  41. Derek BJune 2, 2010 at 8:16 am

    Sounds like a bunch of haters to me. Specialized is dope

  42. noobikerJune 12, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    If i attatched the brake levers, would the cables be internal or external?

  43. Wally PippAugust 14, 2010 at 10:18 am

    I just purchased a Globe Roll and it had only the rear brake attached. It does however come with both front and rear brakes, which would be mounted externally. There’s drilled out holes in the frame already. My only dislike is the toe-clips are strange. East fix. Great bike for bangin’ around the city and beach.

  44. Specialized globe rollAugust 17, 2010 at 1:59 am

    [...] who are intrested drop me an email a msg here. or my num 0449175171 for more info of the bike: Specialized Globe Brand Launch – Meet the Roll Reply With Quote   + Reply to Thread « Previous Thread [...]

  45. Nick in HawaiiOctober 17, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    If it gets people on the road, it’s a good thing. Elegance in simplicity is what I get in SS riding. Minimalist, if you will. I’m too old to climb big hills with no gears and I wonder if those who are, and do, will suffer knee issues in ten years and make for painful riding the rest of their life. (Risk factor there) Be safe and ride a long life…

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