It didn’t start with a switch, but rather the turn of a pedal. While riding the 2013 Transcontinental Race in Europe, Specialized designers were trialing the switch shown above in its early version. For its second season, the AWOL has stayed pretty true to its bikepacking routes, but the Evo turns the dial up a bit on the ideal bikepacking bike.
The final version of the switch pictured is connected via a bar end plug to the Shimano Dynamo hub and Supernova lights that charge while riding. Controlling the lights is just a small movement to the bar end to make them shine, and man do they shine. While building up the AWOL Evo, we tested the lights and in broad daylight your presence is known. Lights this bright keep you safe on roads, and when the sun goes down, can help you squeeze in a few more miles before making camp. There’s one more secret hidden on the front end of the bike that plays real nice with the lights, hub and switch; a plug in!
The Plug (a Supernova Product), with its clever name is a USB receptacle. While riding, this can be used to charge anything that you might need later in the day, as long as it takes a USB. You cannot run the lights and USB charger at the same time, so while devices must be charged during the day, you only need to pedal at least 7 MPH to make it work. Charge time then depends on what you are charging, but riders will be happy to know that at faster speeds, the plug will effectively pause to keep you from damaging sensitive electronics.
The AWOL Evo is built on the well-known AWOL frame, and features a geometry designed for bike adventures. The AWOL is at home with long days in the saddle, the front Pizza Rack by Specialized, and the Tubus rear rack that makes carrying a load a lot easier. Throw in fenders to the package and all your missing for your next adventure is your personal camping gear and bags!
Curious about bikepacking or bicycle touring? Stop by one of ERIK’S Minnesota or Wisconsin locations – many of our staff would be happy to get you started. In the meantime, enjoy some more photos of the 2016 AWOL EVO.