“They say steel is real. In this case, it’s unreal”. So ran the first line of copy accompanying Specialized’s S-Works frameset in their 1995 catalog. Designed by the pre-eminent Mark DiNucci, the caption wasn’t all marketing spiel.
Along with the tenacious visionary Mike Sinyard, Mark DiNucci is to be credited with much of Specialized’s commercial success. The devotion he had to technical innovation was a major factor, and the 1995 S-Works frameset is a good example of it.
According to the catalog, Mark was unable to find tubes that were up to his standard, so he commissioned his own. The final result was called “DirectDrive Works With Precision Long Taper, Short Butted .8/.5/.8 Tubes”. Who really needed a copywriter?
This frameset has already passed through a number of owners, today by Stephan in Germany, and it’s actually the second time he’s possessed it. He regretted selling it a few years ago and when it came up for sale again he nabbed it — now he won’t let go of it.
It originally came spec’d by DiNucci with a titanium stem, and he also added an investment-cast seat collar, .8mm square/oval chain stays, .9mm ovalized double-taper seat stays, and a 650g directDrive triple-butted fork.
Between the different owners, it’s now equipped with a Shimano XTR-M900 groupset, Mavic rims, a Ritchey seat post, Flite saddle, titanium Tune skewers and handlebars, and Ritchey Megabite Z-Max tires. The 9.3kg final weight is today a credit to DiNucci.