While fixed-gear bikes have enjoyed a particularly strong resurgence lately, the truth is that this minimalist bike design has been around longer than even freewheel-equipped bikes. The majority of manufacturers immediately adopted the use of the freewheel hub as soon as it became a widely available component, but fixed-gear bikes continued to be the choice of the racing community.
This loyalty to the simplistic design came in part because of the fixed-gear bike’s durability. Riders knew what to expect then they stood on the cranks of a fixed-gear bike, and the design seldom let them down. Fewer gears and moving parts meant low weight and instantaneous power transfer. Technological progress has brought with it advances in materials, but the basic design has never been improved on.
Like all Specialized designs, Specialized track bikes look for that little extra something. Whether you’re a competition cyclist who’s laid down the quickest time or just love gloating about how you made it home from class before your friend did, you want the edge that sets you apart from the competition.
How does the Specialized Langster SF accomplish this magic in such a simple package? The Langster features an A1 alloy frame, the same material used by fine Specialized road racers for exceptional power transfer and low weight. Why not use the same carbon material found on time-trial bikes and professional race rigs? Weight savings would be minimal, and the outstanding durability that makes the Specialized Langster SF able to transition into road-going rocket ship would be compromised. The Langster’s alloy frame and aggressive angles sacrifice nothing in terms of power transfer and maneuverability, but they preserve the scrappy, pragmatic character that a fixed-gear bike should have.
What if you do want to take your Specialized Langster track bike back out on the road, but need shorter gearing to allow for the quick bursts necessary to stay out of harm’s way on the street? The mad scientists at S-works labs have solved this, too.
Langsters feature a proprietary “flip-flop” hub that includes two different drive gears. This means you can select taller or shorter gearing depending on the day’s mission.
Want to maximize your top speed and take a lap around town with the local roadies? Select your taller gearing and be the stud of the pack when you drop everyone with only a single cog. Need to tap into every watt of energy to lay down the quickest possible time-trial lap? Arm your shorter gear and reclaim those valuable tenths on corner exit.
It’s likely that bikes such as the Specialized Langster SF will always occupy a niche in cycling, and we think most of those who own Specialized track bikes would be quite alright with that. There’s a certain beauty about a machine that does exactly what it’s designed to do, well. If you subscribe to such philosophies, the Langster is your weapon of choice.
Take a look around BikeExchange for the perfect Langster for you.