Takeaway: This quick-handling, zippy hybrid offers a smooth ride on pavement and gravel.
- 38mm-wide Pathfinder Sport tires have knobby sides for cornering and a flat strip down the middle for rolling fast on pavement.
- The carbon fork, wide tires, and handlebar suspension smooth out the ride.
- A wide gear range plus rack and fender mounts mean you can haul your stuff even where it’s hilly.
If you’re searching for a bike that is as fun to ride as it is utilitarian, consider the Specialized Sirrus X 4.0. It’s fast and maneuverable, making it ideal for quick city commutes and efficient errand running. To expand its capabilities, Specialized added 38mm gravel tires and its Future Shock, a rubber-encased coil shock above the headset with 20mm of travel to help absorb any front-tire impacts. These additions, plus the carbon fork, contribute to smoothing out your ride on any road.
I really appreciated the wide gear range (it goes up to 42 teeth—tons of granny gears!) when I encountered some punchy hills and could casually and comfortably spin up them while staying seated. This range comes in handy if you like to load up your bike with groceries or books. And the smallest cog (11) still gave me plenty of gear to push the pace and get my heart pumping. Currently, social distancing has brought coffee rides to a temporary halt. But when they return, I’m confident the Sirrus X 4.0 has what it takes to keep up on chill road and rail trail rides.
Sirrus X 4.0 Component Details
Frame Aluminum with internal cable routing and rack/fender mounts
Carbon Future Shock-compatible steerer
Stout Mini Rise, alloy, 9-degree backsweep, 15mm rise, 31.8mm
Specialized, 3D-forged alloy, 4-bolt, 7-degree rise
Shimano hydraulic disc, 160mm
Shimano Deore, 10-speed
Pathfinder Sport, 700x38mm
Specialized Body Geometry Fitness, platform, plastic
Super Rad Tires
The 38mm-wide tires contributed to a wider range of off-road capabilities. The (once-average) width of a road bike tire is closer to 23mm, which helps them roll and corner lickety-split. To keep some speed on this wider platform, the tires employ a bare strip down the center for less rolling resistance, which allowed me to get the bike going pretty quick on pavement. The width of the tires contributed to a really stable ride, even when I took it down gravel and dirt trails, and the knobby edges gripped the corners on looser ground, keeping me planted.
A Smooth Ride
Thanks to the vibration-damping carbon fork and handlebar suspension, this hybrid offers some serious comfort that doesn’t compromise speed. The suspension, which Specialized calls the Future Shock, is a coil shock positioned above the head tube, meaning you don’t experience any bobbling or loss of power like you would with a suspension fork on a mountain bike. When this 20mm of suspension compresses, it helps reduce upper-body fatigue from chattery roads, as well as allowing you to maintain speed and responsive handling. According to Chris Yu, Leader of Innovation & Engineering at Specialized, “a great by-product of this suspension is enhanced control by keeping your front tire in contact with the road for longer.” So rather than bobbing up and over bumps, you’ll stay more planted and feel more confident on gravel, descents, and rough roads.
If $1,250 is more than what you’re looking to spend on a commuter or hybrid bike, there is good news—if you really like the look and concept of the Sirrus, it’s available in THIRTY ONE other models. For half the price ($600), you can get the Sirrus X 2.0, which has a vibration-damping (but heavier) steel fork, and 8-speed drivetrain, but no suspension. Some of the other builds offer step-through frames, a full carbon model with Shimano 105, or v-brake versions as inexpensive as $475.
Whichever version you choose, the Sirrus line is full of high-quality and reasonably priced options for commuters looking for a great range of capabilities. The Sirrus X 4.0 hits near the sweet spot, with its smooth ride, commuter-friendly additions, and fast, grippy tires. It’s one heck of a hybrid.
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