Specialized Globe Source Eleven

Specialized now sells the ‘multitasking’ Source Eleven for commuting and touring.


Specialized Source Eleven

Front disc brake
Supernova front hub dynamo
Alfine Inter11 IGH
Gates Center Track Carbon Belt
Gates Center Track Carbon Belt
Front Light

Specialized Source Eleven

Specialized Body Geometry Saddle

Tail light

Minimal Rack

My pal Andrew owns Scotts Valley Cycle Sport and often bikes the 10 miles from home to his shop. Instead of snapping fenders on his road bike for our winter rainy season in Santa Cruz, he picked up the Source Eleven, Specialized’s flagship of their new Source family.

Please forgive me the sales speak, but I kind of like what Specialized has done. They began with a Sirrus alloy frame, stripped down the hybrid bike pieces and built it back up with no compromise high performance utility. Let’s take a look at the parts for this versatile bike that marries commuter utility with go-fast performance features:

  • Manipulated aluminum tubes with clean welds give a sleek look to this stiff, bullet-proof frame. Internal wire routing in fork and frame and internal cable routing contribute to the clean aesthetic. Andrew didn’t let me throw this bike onto a bus, but it feels solid.
  • Shimano Alfine 11 speed internal hub has a 408% gear range with helical gears in an oil bath for long life and easy maintenance. Alfine Rapidfire Plus thumb/finger shifter feels very stiff but shifting is positive.
  • Gates Center Track Carbon Belt Drive is grease free, quiet and durable. Center Track addresses issues with tracking and ice build-up on the previous generation of Gates’ bicycle belt drives.
  • Shimano Alfine dual piston hydraulic disc brakes for sure stopping in any weather.
  • Top-of-the-line Supernova Infinity 8 dynamo front hub provides power to integrated LED headlight and tail lights. The Infinity 8 is the first dynamo hub that can be turned on and off to reduce drag in the hub when lights are not in use.
  • Source Eleven ships with 700×30 road tires. Front fork and rear stay tire clearance looks like they might accommodate 700 x 40 studded winter tires.
  • The rack seems to the goofiest part and is the piece that’s received the most criticism. It looks cool , but is supported only by a pair of stays. Rated load capacity is a lightweight 22 lbs. Specialized touts the rack’s clean look, rear fender and lighting integration, and rack stiffness.
  • Specialized “Body Geometry” saddle suits my skinny butt just fine, but the saddle is, of course, a highly personal choice.
  • & cetera – integrated bar ends for comfortable long distance cycling, front and rear fenders (but no mudflaps), bell, and chainguard.

Andrew let me ride his brand new bike around. The stiff frame means good power transfer and confident acceleration from traffic lights. Unlike many fendered bikes, there’s not a rattle to be heard while rolling down the bumpy roads of rural Santa Cruz County.

The design reminds me of the Breezer Finesse, a “dream” commuter bike that Breeze introduced in 2007 with many of the same features: internal gear hub, top shelf dynamo lighting, integrated wiring, disc brakes, fenders, custom rack with proprietary mounting hardware, eccentric bottom bracket and bar ends on a solid, performance-oriented frame with a long cockpit that encourages head-down riding. Bikes like the Source Eleven and Finesse are designed for the American with a longer commute who needs something dependable and fast.

The pricey, high quality components are reflected in this bike’s $2750 MSRP. The less expensive Source “Expert Disc” build at $2000 uses SRAM 2×10 derailleur gears, a traditional chain, and Avid hydraulic disc brakes.

As usual, you can click through the photos for larger size images. See also Bike Hugger’s photoset and brief preview, as well as the first look at Bicycle Times Magazine.

12 Comments

  • Andy
    November 7, 2011 - 9:20 am | Permalink

    I’ve seen a few bikes like this now and don’t quite understand them. This looks to be a designed as a commuter and path bike, with the lower efficiency belt drive and reduced gear range and number of available gear of an internal hub (range compared to a triple, though this one does get closer than most). Dynamos are great, but overkill unless they are used by people commuting in the dark several times a week. At $2750 (or cut down to $2000 with chain), that’s still a lot of money for a fairly limited bike. 

    My new steel commuter bike has full touring capable racks, longboard fenders, dyno lights, and Ultegra level drivetrain, but saves a few pounds at 28lb and is a bit cheaper too. The big difference is that it’s well suited not just for commuting, but for dirt/gravel road rides, centuries, fully loaded touring, cyclocross, etc.

    It’s good to see higher level commuter options, but why limit a bike to just commuting? At that price, I’d hope for a bike to do everything I could ever need.

  • November 7, 2011 - 9:29 am | Permalink

    It is a bit pricey, but looks to be a solid bike.  I’d love to add something like that to my collection.

  • Murali
    November 7, 2011 - 5:20 pm | Permalink

    I have always felt that a commuter bike should be ready to sit on and ride without much though.  That is, without thinking, “did I charge my headlights”, “did I cuff my pants”, etc.  What it should try to compete with is the car, in which people just sit and drive.  No mental checklist necessary.

  • November 8, 2011 - 2:40 pm | Permalink

    i have a mental checklist for my car…. 
    gotta make sure it has gas perhaps we are just taking the car’s mental list for granted…

  • Andy
    November 8, 2011 - 4:18 pm | Permalink

    I certainly don’t need the expense and limitations of a belt drive with IGH to hop-on a bike.

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    November 9, 2011 - 1:15 am | Permalink

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  • Jenn
    November 12, 2011 - 5:30 pm | Permalink

    I don’t get the rack.  How could I hang a pannier containing my laptop, like the Ortleib Office, on that?

  • GotRoad?
    November 13, 2011 - 6:34 pm | Permalink

    I actually bought the Disk Expert model a couple of weeks ago for both commuting as well as some LD touring.  After less than 200 miles; here’s what I think. Yes, the rear rack is a joke & I plan on replacing it with a Tubus rear rack early next year.  Remounting the rear LED between racks looks simple enough.  In the meantime, I had no problem affixing a trunk bag, which will do until I upgrade.  The bike is fast: with the fenders, straight bars and lights it looks like a go-slow, but it handles well and the acceleration is very good, especially with a set of Shimano pedals to lock into.  Shifting is smooth, but the plastic shifters feel cheap. I didn’t like the muted bell that came stock & replaced that with an Incredibell *sp?) Unless you’re ringing the bell, the bike is very quiet with no creaking, groaning or roaring from the gears, wheels, headstock or brakes.  I also replaced the overly small barends with a decent set of curved horns to give more hand positions, especially when standing and finally I put on some aerobars.  With the few mods to fit my personal style, I have an excellent bicycle and while 2K is not cheap, it would have cost me more to create this bike de novo.  I’m really looking forward to next spring when I can take it out for a few multi-daylong  trips.    

  • November 14, 2011 - 8:55 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Road, for the details on the derailleur version.

  • Nubike
    November 15, 2011 - 11:14 pm | Permalink

    I bought a Source Eleven last week.  The short of it: Nice, fun bike but heavy! The belt works perfectly, very quiet, no issues whatsoever so far. The Alfine 11 works well though it will sometimes fall in neutral when downshifting from 11 to 10.  The brakes are fantastic, strong and progressive.  The generator works surprising well, the headlight is good enough to light up the road to ride safely when it is completely dark.  The overall ride is a little stiff but ok. But…this bike is heavy.  I removed the kickstand, rack and inner fender brace but the bike is still around 30 lbs.  I bought this bike as the ultimate winter bike to go on day long rides in any weather, on roads including fairly steep hills. I think this bike will be ok for this use but it will definitely make me work for it.  I am also surprised by how tall the gearing is. I was able to pedal downhill at 35 mph without running out of gears. Going uphill, first gear seems to require the same effort as the 39×25 on my 20Lbs roadbike while going at least 25% slower.  I am glad I got this bike but it is better suited for flats or rolling hills than challenging routes. For my use, I wish Specialized offered a model without rack, fender, generator, lights. Essentially a belt/alfine equivalent of the Sirrus Limited.

  • November 15, 2011 - 11:22 pm | Permalink

    THanks Nubike for your input.

  • uli hartmann
    June 13, 2013 - 7:36 am | Permalink

    hi folks!
    i m riding the source 11 since 14 months now through the whole year: 12.000km .
    frame super, belt supreme, light super,modifications: tires changed ( 23mm). saddle changed: terry. pedals changed: shimano race. better brake system. i can enthusiastically recommend the bike.
    uli

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