Specialized Boulder Experience Center opens

Full range of demo bikes and high-end bike fitting among offerings

Specialized Boulder Experience Center

The Specialized Boulder Experience Center showroom can be used for dealer education, consumer browsing, or as a lounge. A service area, with hydraulic repair stands, can be seen at the back.

The new Specialized Boulder Experience Center officially opened its doors this week in Boulder, Colorado. On hand for the festivities were athletes, retailers, bike fit specialists, Specialized brass, and lots of average cycling Joes and Janes. Live music, local beer, chocolate, and catered bites had everyone in a good mood. Demo rides on Specialized’s Turbo line had eyes lighting up in the parking lot while fervent cycling discussions took place inside. A photo booth encouraged attendees to ham it up and the open bar ensured that many did just that.

Specialized Boulder Experience Center

For customers renting a bike for a day or longer, especially those from out of town, Specialized had several rides outlined as suggestions.

While Specialized’s world headquarters is firmly planted in Morgan Hill, California, with the purchase of Retul, the Big Red S found itself with employees in Colorado. And as the Boulder-based bike fitting company continued to grow it needed a larger space. So Specialized decided to go all in, find a location even bigger than Retul required, and over the course of a year they built it out as a multi-use space they’re calling the Specialized Boulder Experience Center where consumers can get a Retul bike fit, rent a demo bike, peruse accessories, or simply meet up for a ride.

Specialized Boulder Experience Center

While riders can rent current models for days or weeks at a time, also on display was an early Stumpjumper.

“Our goal is to get more people on bikes,” explained Stacey Wilhelm, regional marketing manager for Specialized USA. “We also want to elevate and collaborate with retail in the area. You can try the full range of bikes (at the Specialized Boulder Experience Center), especially mountain bike models, from an Epic to a Stumpy, an Enduro, or even a Levo. From two hours to a week, a consumer can rent a bike and get a full experience aboard it. But supporting independent bicycle retailers is critical. If a retailer sends a customer here, we comp them a daylong demo. That saves the customer $74 and helps the retailer make a sale. We are excited to do all this together.”

Read Mtbr’s First Impressions of the new Specialized Stumpjumper.

Specialized Boulder Experience Center

No Specialized event would be complete with Ned Overend. Also pictured (left center) is Todd Carver, Head of Human Performance at Specialized and a founder of Retul.

The doors of the new Specialized Boulder Experience Center are open to anyone, even without a shop referral. The storefront’s proximity to Boulder’s 40-acre Valmont Bike Park is no doubt a bonus for mountain bikers.

“As a mountain biker, you can come rent an S-Works for a weekend and go to Moab,” added Wilhelm. “You can try a new platform of suspension, a Stumpjumper ST or a regular Stumpjumper. It lets you try before you commit.”

Specialized Boulder Experience Center

Boulder-based Skratch Labs was on hand serving up Skratcharitas. Ska Brewing provided beer for the event.

The Specialized Boulder Experience Center also houses Specialized’s Innovation Center where development of its digital assets, be that new Retul software or the app for Specialized’s power meter, takes place.

“We wanted to localize Specialized in this area because this is the home of Retul and a great portion of our R&D is based here in Colorado. Our inspiration, our technology, our medical research is at the University of Colorado Boulder,” Wilhelm said.

Todd Carver, Head of Human Performance at Specialized and a founder of Retul, described the Retul services on offer saying, “We try to refer cyclists to our retailers first. Here at Retul, you’ll pay more for a fit. But you’ll get more too because we have, in house, the top bike fit experts in the world. Andy Pruitt, the inventor of the dynamic fit, is doing fits here. We go deeper than a retailer can afford to. Going that deep helps us make the Retul system better for retailers. So it’s a win-win.”

Specialized Boulder Experience Center

The large Specialized Boulder Experience Center space is tastefully decorated and easily partitioned thanks to overhead doors.

And if you find yourself at the bike park and realize that you forget something, you can head to the Specialized Boulder Experience Center. On offer for sale will be the basics to get you on a bike: helmet, shoes, water bottles, etc. Also available are custom clothing items with designs unique to the Boulder center.

Specialized Boulder Experience Center

Specialized’s founder, Mike Sinyard, was in attendance at the Specialized Boulder Experience Center opening. Alongside him is Stacey Wilhelm, regional marketing manager for Specialized.

For more information on the services on offer at Specialized Boulder Experience Center head to specializedboulder.com.

About the author: Nick Legan

Nick Legan is happiest with some grease under his nails and a long dirt climb ahead. As a former WorldTour team mechanic, Legan plied his trade at all the Grand Tours, Spring Classics, World Championships and even the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In recent years, gravel and ultra-distance racing has a firm grip on Legan’s attention, but his love of mountain biking and long road rides hasn’t diminished. Originally a Hoosier, Legan settled in Boulder, Colorado, 14 years ago after finishing his time at Indiana University studying French and journalism. He served as the technical editor at VeloNews for two years and now contributes to Adventure Cyclist, Mtbr and RoadBikeReview. To follow along on Legan’s cycling adventures, find him on Instagram at @nlegan and be sure to check out his new book Gravel Cycling: The Complete Guide to Gravel Racing and Adventure Bikepacking.

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