There may be some neat detailing on Specialized’s steel-framed AWOL Elite, but the first thing you notice about this ultra-versatile riding machine is its ready-fitted racks.
The front rack has a broad ‘delivery bike’ design, with a 15kg weight capacity for boxes or bags. While the steel forks are too wide for conventional panniers themselves, they have bosses for low-rider racks so you can properly pack the front end of the bike up like a yak.
The rear rack is a top-quality Tubus steel unit for conventional panniers that you can pack with anything from your weekly commuting laundry to vital supplies for your ride around the world. The reflective sparkle paint and side-strip tyres underline the AWOL’s urban utility credentials, while the hefty 40mm wide Specialized Trigger Sport tyres on broad 25mm external rims are more than a match for road debris.
Heavy-duty mudguard rods will withstand a few knocks
Wide metal mudguards with truck-sized spray flaps are held in place with stout, hollow rods that can stand a bit of leaning or bike rack bullying without bending or warping. Even the chain is heavy-duty – Specialized has gone for a KMC Eco Proteq chain with double the level of rust protection of its conventional unit.
In for the long haul
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