The Spec Story

Josh Davis, the founder of Spec Bicycles, has forged a lifelong passion of cycling into a premium bicycle brand for riders who value innovation, individualism, dedication and service.  Spec was Inspired by his late father Warren & Grandfather Henry beginning before Josh was even born.  At age 17, His father Warren traversed a 1300mi route from Denver, CO to Shelbyville, IN, which led to a lifelong love of cycling that was passed down to Josh at a young age.  Some of his earliest memories were 30 to 60-mile touring rides on his red Trek Antelope at the age of 10.  Although the majority (all) of these were considered “leisure rides,” Josh always prepared his mindset as if it were a stage of a Grand Tour, often breaking away from the familial peloton. 

A favorite memory of he and his father was at the age of 11 becoming lost during an organized ride called the “Hope Ride” in Hope, IN.  He was 11 years old at the time, and participating in the 60mi route with his Father, Mother Julie, and a family friend.  After growing impatient with the speed of the “family peloton” Josh took off up the road, hoping to beat his parents to the next designated rest stop.  Navigation is a self described weakness of Josh’s, and he soon found himself having taken a wrong turn (turned at the 25mi route split) and found himself recognizing being back at the starting stretch of the ride.  Fear and adrenaline started to kick in, and he remembered joining a pack of adult cyclists riding at a fast pace, and just held onto the group for the next hour.  During this time, Josh’s Father Warren was frantically notifying the course workers and police patrolling the area to look out for a potentially lost/ kidnapped child racing around on a little red Trek. To his great relief, Warren himself found Josh 4+ hours later riding by himself on an open country road.  The pair rode the rest of the route, completing over 75mi each, Josh’s longest ride up to that point.  Although an experience like that could rattle a child’s psyche, it ended up strengthening his independence, and his love for the sport.  (sadly, his navigation abilities have never improved)

The excitement for cycling even extended into the grammar school classroom, where he would regularly describe his newest “concept bike” to the teacher in a required weekly essay, colored pencil drawing always attached.  Concept bikes from Kestrel, the Lotus 108 (Boardman’s Hour Record bike), and numerous wild aero creations from the early ‘90s were the models for his obsession.

Josh acquired a B.S. degree in Industrial Design from UC’s prestigious DAAP College of Design, Architecture, Art & Planning, and though bicycles came second to automotive design throughout the next 13 years, the world of consumer product development, design and prototyping entered the picture.

Josh’s experience in the extremely technical and precise niche of prototyping, along with the innovation required from design, equipped Josh and his team at Spec with the tools needed to finally turn those grade school sketches of cartoonish carbon framesets, Spinergy carbon wheelsets, and premium components into a reality. Thus Spec Bicycles was born.

As an amateur road racer himself, Josh enjoys testing and giving input on each bike evolution to ensure that the intention and identity of each Spec aligns with the company’s vision and goal: to produce premium road bikes at incredible value to help people deliver on their cycling goals.

spec bio

Grade-school sketch by Josh Davis with “questionable” drivetrain (c.1994)

"Suffering {Riding} on a bike with friends can be one of the most gratifying experiences in life, so you may as well be doing it on a bike you love"

Josh Davis | Founder Spec Bicycles

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