We first saw the Specialized Globe Roll 8 Rare at Interbike. The Roll 8 Rare is an elegant city bicycle, designed and built with an unusual level of attention to detail. Only 275 of these bikes were ever made, and only 100 were sold to bike shops in the United States. As soon as we laid eyes on this lovely bicycle, we knew we had to have it in our store.

Bicycle Roots is pleased to announce that we have six Specialized Globe Roll 8 Rare bikes in stock, just waiting to roll out the door- no pun intended. That’s 2 smalls, 2 mediums, and 2 larges.

The Roll 8 Rare is built from a Reynolds 725/520 Cro-Moly Steel frame for a smooth ride on potholed city streets.

That's Reynolds, baby.

That’s Reynolds, baby.

In a throwback to classic framebuilding of the 1980s, the frame is nickel plated, then polished to a glossy luster. The nickle plated finish doesn’t just look stunning. It’s also much more durable than paint, and will completely inhibit rust, extending the lifespan of the frame.

Mmmm... shiny...

Mmmm… shiny…

Another throwback in the design of the Roll 8 Rare bike is the bike’s custom porteur-style handlebar and front rack. (Check out a gallery of vintage porteur bicycles here.) Porteur handlebars lead to a riding position that is more upright than a road bike but more aggressive than a cruiser bike. They’re also wide enough to balance a heavy load carried on a front porteur rack. Translation: Take a load off your back, and carry all your gear on the front rack instead. The Globe Roll 8 Rare remains smooth, comfortable, and easy to handle.

Plenty of portage capacity here

Plenty of portage capacity here

But the Globe Roll 8 Rare isn’t all vintage-inspired charm. The bike’s drivetrain is completely cutting edge. It’s built with a Shimano Alfine 8-speed internal hub and a Gates Center Track carbon belt drive. The internally geared hub never misses a shift. It’s ultra-low maintenance, and, with most of its moving parts located in the hub’s interior, completely weather-proof.

That's 8- count 'em, 8- gears of internally shifting goodness

That’s 8- count ‘em, 8- gears of internally shifting goodness

The Gates Center Track carbon belt drive is smoother, quieter, and lighter than a chain. It’s also more durable and completely maintenance free. No lube or chain degreaser required!

The new Gates Center Track Carbon Belt Drive is the smoothest, quietest, cleanest drive train on the planet. Truth.

The new Gates Center Track Carbon Belt Drive is the smoothest, quietest, cleanest drive train on the planet. Truth.

When it comes to braking, the Roll 8 Rare truly is rare. It comes stock with TRP T925.1 U-brakes, instead of more typical sidepull road caliper brakes. U-brakes are typically used on BMX bikes and Time Trial bikes. They produce firm, powerful stopping, and even leave clearance for fenders.

U-brakes on a city bike. Now we've seen everything.

U-brakes on a city bike. Now we’ve seen everything.

With all these utilitarian features, you might think that the Roll 8 Rare is an urban clunker. Not so. The bike is lightweight, fast, and efficient, with an outboard bearing bottom bracket for optimal power transfer when you pedal, and skinny 700×23 Specialized Espoir Sport tires to reduce rolling resistance.

Zoom!

Zoom!

Because the Roll 8 Rare is designed to be used with a belt drive instead of a chain, the frame needs to break apart when a new belt is installed. The Roll 8 Rare has a stainless steel CNC’d frame break located high on the right seatstay. It’s one of the smoothest frame breaks on any bike available today, which speaks to the quality of the bike’s design and manufacture overall.

Remove these bolts and the frame opens up- a necessity on bikes made for use with belt drives.

Remove these bolts and the frame opens up- a necessity on bikes made for use with belt drives.

The Roll 8 Rare’s front wheel is held on with a bolt which seats in a custom CNC’d washer. The washer fits in a recess in the front fork. This allows the entire front end of the bicycle to consist of a smooth, uninterrupted line.

No axle nuts protruding here

No axle nuts protruding here

Hidden rack and fender brazeons complete the bike’s smooth and elegant look.

The rack mounts are inside the fork for an elegant look

The rack mounts are inside the fork for a polished aesthetic

The Specialized Globe Roll 8 Rare retails for $1750 and it’s worth every penny. But for a limited time, you can buy this bike for only $1600! Check out our crowd funding campaign here. If you make a $1600 donation to help open our new store, we will give you a Globe Roll 8 Rare in the size of your choice to express our thanks. But hurry- this offer expires on February 19, 2013.

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