I have mentioned Specialized a few times in this blog, so it is probably no surprise to most of you that I am a fan of their products. I currently ride a Specialized S-works E5 road bike (pictured here) and I own several other products from the company. I refuse to part with my old Sub-6 and Piranha helmets even though the former one is crumbling to pieces at this point. Why do I like Specialized? Well, I remember them as one of the first companies in the bike industry to really embrace design. I recall seeing articles in bike magazines in the early nineties about the design department at Specialized. No one else at the time was creating crazy concept bikes for Interbike, so the pictures that accompanied those articles really drew me in. Today, the influence of good design can be seen throughout the bike industry, but Specialized continues to make some of the best looking products around. I am glad to see them reaping the benefit of that early focus on product design.
OK, I’ve established that I like Specialized’s design, but somehow I missed the three podcasts that featured Robert Egger of the Industrial Design group in October of this year (I didn’t subscribe to the Specialized podcast though iTunes until yesterday, so I guess I have missed a lot of good content). To anyone reading this blog, I recommend listening to those three industrial design podcasts at a minimum. Several of the others that can be found on the website are worth a listen as well. I’m catching up on them as I can.
While I am posting, I want to mention one other thing. This may be a little off topic, but Athlete Focus is a new website that is worth checking out. It is still in Beta and won’t be officially launched until Spring, but I suggest you sign up early if you are interested in bicycle racing. Athlete Focus will be kind of a social networking site that is geared toward action sports fanatics. It will allow you to look for sponsors, find training partners, find great deals, etc. There is not a lot of content in my profile yet, but you can check it out right here (my user ID is JamesT). Take a look at the site and let me know when you create your own profile.