Now Reading:

Exclusive: 2011 Specialized SX

Exclusive: 2011 Specialized SX

Billy Thackray Billy Thackray

A slopestyle bike that’ll more than likely be getting treated to dh-chic, trail and sporadic jump use – and so much more than a do-it-all hardtail.


But you know how the talk goes in hardtail circles, championing the simple approach to riding off road, practitioners of the brute force (yet usually slower) approach to root. Let the body take the hits; break the bike not the rider. Luddism is rife in the woods around here but do-it-all hardtails rarely give the shot in the arm needed. And neither do short travel bikes. But it’s that sought after tonic that everyone looks for. Good angles, hard hitting, sharp riding but not a big pile of sag. Freeride and downhill bikes are too heavy and sloppy; trail bikes are usually caught in a battle on weight restrictions and rarely strong enough. Hardtails usually get bust.


Some people will say a do-it-all suspension bike does not exist but the new Enduro can do many fast things fast. Sub thirty pound 160mm bikes are thin on the ground but for downhill uplifts or uk trail centre riding and you will find not many better than the new Enduro. But even Lord Byron would protest against the sabotage of such a bike in the bike parks of Whistler, Leogang and Cinderford.

That’s where the SX comes in. It can take Ned Ludd head on. The stout and strong frames making them a sure thing for “drops, jumps, stunts and whatever else you have up your sleeve.” Obviously the former is a relative thing, I’m kind of leaning more to the ‘whatever else’ side of the coin.


Design wise it comes with the well proven FSR system and air shock, ISCG mounts, low weight distribution, a classic swingarm protector and front mech mount. This the long version has a wheelbase that matches up with many medium trail bikes (around 45”) that will no doubt give stability on the trail even with the head angle many degrees steeper than its stablemate, the Enduro.


Spare a though thought though for genesis of the SX, it is after all fair to say that its one of the most successful slopestyle bikes ever created…well I didn’t say that, those were words from Morgan Hill, not an actor or Sam’s brother but the place where this bike was created. And that’s where we got it. Brandon Sloan is a key man in bike design at Specialized and it was him who was responsible for sending this parcel of fun across the Atlantic. Indeed you might well have to push or order to get one of these in time. It could be a pre-order frame for 2011.

More than anything this SX seems like a bike you’d look after, hell I reckon I’d even oil this bike when it’s made up.


Featured in this post

  1. Droppin-Neutron

    Didnt undertsand a f*ckin word of that

  2. ddmonkey

    Me neither. Jonesy have you got a translation available? 😉

  3. billy

    I think it means he likes it.

  4. ed@dirt

    ummm steve is this not a short travel bike (which rarely give the needed shot in the arm)…and is it also pretty much the same weight as many of those freeride bike that you deem to heavy?

  5. ddmonkey

    Aha thanks Billy!

  6. jonesdirtmag

    Yes, can do. Who shall I address it to exactly?
    Or I can reply here. What didn’t you understand?

  7. ddmonkey

    Just joshing. Interesting that you say this has a steeper head angle than an Enduro. How do you think this bike compares to a Blur 4X, the closest to a genuine all-rounder I have ever got?

  8. Dirt HQ

    Everyone know that the Blur 4X rules. It is a classic.


  9. ddmonkey

    Loving mine :-)

  10. jonesdirtmag

    Ed, sorry about that, should read ‘many’ short travel bikes.
    Too heavy? Just weighed it. Its about 8lb, but its built for drops and sharp not spongy unlike many …watch that word…..freeride and dh bikes. The new Enduro, black one,weighs in at 25lb without tyres. Someone has stolen them.

    DDmonkey….Mike the Editor here has a Blur 4X and also Dickon the Santa Cruz importer, great bikes too. Jon our designer has two, a Commencal and Foes. Not fully decided on build yet for this one yet but the plan is obviously to move things on a touch. Ha

  11. jondirtmag

    slam ewe but…..

  12. ddmonkey

    Yeah, I’ll be really interested to see your build. Looks like it should be really good.

  13. Ask Frank

    I understood it Jonesy, tbf I was torn between getting an SX trail or going for a full on DH rig when upgrading. The DH rig won. Wouldnt mind one these for play time thou.

  14. SA Springbok

    is this the same SX Air that Alvarez used during the 2009 4X WC and the same that Hill used at Sea Otter dual slalom?

    Specialized have advertised this before but when trying to get pricing it was apparently only available in the states.

    Glad they got rid of all the swirlies in the paint work, looked a bit tame.

  15. Peter

    will this SX model be available in the UK ? seeing as if you wanted to get one in the past the only way to get it would to import and get slammed by import tax etc

  16. Alb

    I’d prefer the Caddy!

  17. chris

    the SX has always been a cracking ride and out on its own, but bloody hell, has somebody been rolling bifas with pages from a dictionary.

  18. jonesdirtmag

    Not for sale. Actually….how much you offering? Tax and mot until sept

  19. LYTHY

    ‘hell I reckon I’d even oil this bike when it’s made up.’ must be special then.

  20. Droppin-Neutron

    I like it too – well to look at anyway – i like the shock mount part where it loks to be slotted through – but would prefer a bolt through at the back

  21. The Baker

    i reckon it looks a whole pile of red and white fun. Yes the Blur 4X is good but this I have to say looks better!

  22. guilherme

    i sod one in whistler last season.. very nice…

  23. Isaac

    “ummm steve is this not a short travel bike” Kinda is, this is the SX not the SX Trail. They’re 100mm I’m pretty sure.

  24. Isaac

    Oops, just read your comment slower, got “this” and “is” the wrong way round, sorry, you are right.

    Crakcing looking bike.

  25. Russ

    Your joking right? its pretty much 10 months yet to 2011!

  26. Jonas

    Yeah it’s still 10months to 2011 but i think Specialized will release some off the new bikes after the summer allready. Time will tell

  27. Morgan

    Jones, by “I’m kind of leaning more to the ‘whatever else’ side of the coin” I assume you mean pulling skids on beautifuly sculpted dirt quarterpipes rather than airing it? Still, they were damn fine skids, casting extreme plumes of red dust up against the Severn’s setting sun.
    Hardtails usually get bust eh? I’d disagree on the basis that there’s less to bust. And should they go bust then it’s a lot less effort and cash to get them un-bust. I guess being gifted all these playthings means you forget about running them day to day like your average Joe.
    Realities of cost aside, it looks like a nice little play bike. Maybe with a coild shock fitted it would venture onto the rough stuff better? Shame we don’t have a decent bikepark around here to give it a proper shakedown. I don’t see Cinderford as a bike park really, though you’re more likely to come to harm riding that Spesh there than you would riding A-line naked in the dark with no brakes or tyres.
    I’d still rather ride a hardtail.
    I’m assuming that since you’re selling the Caddy with an MOT then you got the headlight fixed?

  28. jones@dirtmag

    Two things I guess Morgan, well lets make it three seeing as its thursday and the wine is about to be un-corcked
    a) I can assure you they were not skids. Well not in the fundamental sense! That was different
    b) Got no issue with hardtails at all, just trying to reel Billy in
    c) Headlight is fixed
    c) Lets go clubbing in Cinderford this saturday, Billy will bring his camera….Billy?

  29. olly

    Looks sweet, but the only way you’ll see this with UK availability is the ability to run it with 700C wheels and drop bars, or hassle your local dealer. Specialized in the UK is still warming to the gravity sector, a bit behind the rest of the world, they didn’t even bring in the Demo I, which would have been a £3K race ready bike and sold really well, anyway, they are an extremely professional and road centric company who if badgered by you, will most likely bring these little beauties in to the UK. I want one!!!

  30. Morgan

    I’d steer clear of Sinner-ford for a while yet. The roadworks around the centre of town are a nightmare! Same applies to the road closure outside Ruraldean just up the rooad.
    Enjoy the wine, sip a glass for me. I’m off to practice my not-actually-but-quite-similar-skids. Actaully, I’m going swimming.
    Ta ta!

  31. Jamie

    The lower pivot at the bb looks far too small to me, that things going to eat bearings for dinner.

  32. David L.

    I love this article, I’ve been laughing and laughing… It would have been great in the mag but the interaction somehow brings it to another level!
    As far as this bike is concerned, it sure looks good etc. Guess I would like to ride one providing
    a)I get a proper job,
    b)I leave Holland,
    Well, at the moment, I will stick to my hardtail and have fun!
    Enjoy the wine,

  33. Pete www.FRUK.co.uk www.flcuk.co.uk

    I am looking to get one of these at the moment. Unfortunalty only in the USA. Are they going to bring these into the UK? Does anyone know anyone who ships them into the UK? Do you want to sell me this one lol…..Cheers

  34. Dan

    Minging bendy tubes. Prefer the old one. Hmmmph.

  35. Rob C

    Hey Jones / Dirt guys

    you guys ever seen the Mythic / Banshee Rampant?

    its a short travel frame (100mm), like the Spesh SX, built for serious abuse…bike parks, dirt jumps, pump track, whatever you like?

    Rampant is 7lb including Fox RP2 air shock, and has virtual pivot suspension (like a Giant Maestro) so not saggy on the jumps / stunts / trails

    check the “readers rides” section on the Dirt / chat forum for a pic of my Rampant, and it being abused!

  36. BruchpilotRacing

    I build a 2010 SX up with an lyrik 2-step (http://fotos.mtb-news.de/photos/view/561594).

    First the idea was to swap the fork for local trail riding to an rockshox pike and only use the lyrik on realy rough alpine stuff. But even with the uneven travel of front and rear it rides like none of my bikes before. With the lyrik down at 115mm its so insanely deep with it’s bottom bracket you have to watch your feet banging roots and rocks. Pull the fork out to 160mm and the bike comes to live. Still a pretty low bb but a slacker headangle to attack the trail. The rearend provides enough suspension to take the biggest hits but keeps you updated about what goes on under your tires.
    Propably one of the most fun providing bikes I ever had (and there were a lot!).

    Think about hardtails. No suspension in the rear and forks up front. I wonder myself why this always starts discussion about unbalanced suspension. Go out and test it. You will be surprised in a very positive way!

  37. Farce

    What an absolute joke!! Its the first week of March and Specialized feel the need to circulate press releases of thier 2011 models!! Ridiculous – gives me no faith whatsover in thier offering for 2010 if after 2 months they are trying to push next years models!

  38. billy

    Hey Farce, Jones pulled some strings and got one sent over. Why not join us next this Saturday for a night out in Cinderford and we’ll sit down and discuss, pick you up at say 8pm?

  39. jonesdirtmag

    No joke farce, and no press release for this one…why would a company write something which, as the first comments suggest, words that are unreadable

  40. Santa Maria

    You guys should check the Morewood Ndiza as well – looks way cleaner and rides insane

  41. Nige

    Can’t wait for Dirt to build this up and ride it. If so, will the built up bike get a review in the near future? Have been toying into getting a new bike in between my 5 and a DH rig. DH rig will be to much a bike for me but the new SX- lovely jubbly.

    Hey Dirt, any news/gossip in shimano making 10 speed cassettes as the Sram XX is a bit out there to be honest. Ride a single up front so 10 at the rear would the sweet.

  42. lewis

    Nige, shimano make parts for these things called road bikes, and they have 10 gears on the back, so why not just buy one of them and a roadie mech + flat bar shifter….far cheaper than XX.

  43. Artur

    I could say even though having a FP32 ( not as the last ones with rc4) thiis dam bike has a regulation that is one of a kind. i think there is almost no diference in this frame compared to 2010 frame sx trail. except for the pivots and the regulation of the frame within the rear fork. Just try it guys and see for your self.

  44. Farce

    A night out in Cinderford!! sounds great – cant wait, any girls there, I heard they were all inbreds that end of the woods?

  45. nigel

    i loved my original 4 inch travel sx it cornered like no other bike dont know why i got rid of it

  46. jimmy

    quiro saber cuando sale a la venta al publico la bicis 2011
    por que quiro comprar y s¡us modelos me podrian mandar fotos o imagenes de las demos

  47. LonesomeCowboyBurt

    Good Grief Jones, Im glad there are some pics to give a clue as to what the feck your waffling on a about.

    BTW Lord Byron was never averse to protesting, as you imply
    …………..dear oh dear

  48. Lewis

    How do i get hold of one of these?

  49. aiden

    contacted specialized about this bike and I was told that it was unavailable to purchase if you lived outside of the US! The chap from Specialized also told me that this press release was inaccurate and the frame would not be available on pre-order to UK customers.

    Can’t seem to find another way of getting hold of one.

    Any ideas??


Next up in News