This is the Specialized Globe Haul II that I rode in Vienna while Anna tested out the Retrovelo. I chose it because it was one of the most interesting other bikes in the shop, because it fit me, and because I liked the colour scheme: the olive drab frame, cream tires and brown accessories look quite nice together. As you can see, it is mixte-esque in construction and has derailleur gearing (the Shimano Alivio group; 3 in the front and 8 in the rear). The frame is aluminum.
I did not get a clear photo of the gear shifters, but they are plastic indexed thumb shifters (located on the handlebars); not sure of the manufacturer. Cane Creek headset. Some of the cables are internally routed, which is a nice touch.
Rear brake; internal cable routing. As you can see, the seat cluster is unusual; I am not even certain the term "seat cluster" applies here? The top tube sort of flows past the seat tube and diverges into the rear stays.
As the name of this bicycle suggests, its main purpose is to haul things. Therefore its most noticeable feature is the elaborate wood-topped rack that is built into the frame itself. The rack is rated for a 50kg (112lb) load.
Here is a better look at how the rack is integrated into the frame.
The idea is pretty neat and from a distance it looks nice. But those welding marks really don't do it for me - which should come as no surprise to those familiar with my tastes. I understand that this is a matter of personal choice though, and that some people like them.
Straigh unicrown fork; 700C wheels; fenders; caliper brakes. The tires are cream Specialized Nimbus 700C x 35mm. They felt great until we had to ride on a stretch of the road that was all cobblestones. That felt aweful - but I am not certain whether to blame the tires alone, or whether the aluminum frame also plays a role. I am curious what the experts think.
Front view. The handlebars are swept back, North Road style. There is a small bell, and an LED light is cleverly integrated into the handlebar setup.
Close-up of the headlight. A neat, utilitarian look that is in keeping with the rest of the bike's design, I think.
Globe brown rubber grips, which match the Specialized brown pleather saddle. I did not get a close-up of the saddle, but what surprised me about it is that it is pretty narrow for an upright bike and is more like a roadbike saddle.
Here is another shot of the rear rack, whichI think is the Haul's coolest feature. LED tail light.
I rode the Haul around Vienna for close to 2 hours, and you can find loads of photos of us in motion here and here. Overall it is a comfortable and user-friendly bicycle: stable, easy to operate, light to carry, fast on hills, fast to accelerate, great braking power, and maneuverable. I also think that the design is quite harmonious: well proportioned, good lines, pleasing to the eye, and nicely colour-coordinated. As I mentioned earlier, the only problem for me was the cobblestones: My teeth were chattering and I considered walking the bike at several points. This would be an issue if your city has cobblestones - so take that into consideration. Personally, I am not attracted to welded aluminum bicycles - but that is a matter of taste. As far as mass-produced bicycles go, the Globe Haul seems like a good, interestingly designed bike.