P one, two and three: What’s the difference?

Hi Lee,

I’m thinking of upgrading my beast of a frame (Azonic steelhead) to an aluminum Specialized P.1, P.2, or P.3 frame.

I’ll probably pickup a used one as there are a lot out there. My question is what is the difference between these frames and which one is best for me? I would use it for messing around in my yard on the pump track, dirt jumps and basic trials stuff.

I’m 6’3″, 190 lbs and will be 45 this year so I don’t get too crazy any more but I still like to jump. Also what is a good cheap fork that you could recommend for that kind of riding? Thanks, Walt

Hey Walt,

All of the aluminum P-frames (1, 2 and 3) are identical for each year.

Get a 2006 or newer model. This most recent generation has the most dialed geometry. Slack front end, short rear end … yummy.

Given your height, make sure you get a size “long.” That should be easy, because Specialized no longer makes the short. Turns out there were foot/wheel overlap issues. (I ride a short, but since I fly low, straight and style-free, my foot and front tire have yet to meet.)

I absolutely love my P.3. With a long seatpost, it’s my most versatile bike. I commute on it, teach on it, pump it, jump it …

The P.3 treats me to 69 degrees of head angle love.

Demonstrating an imaginary Moab switchback at a middle school. If you look at the cactus, you hit the cactus!

This is as much style as I ever get.

With the seat up, the P.3 is all about running errands. With the seat down, it’s all about braaap!

You want a fork that is simultaneously good and cheap? I’ll bet you want light too.

Impossible! But there are good compromises.

– You could run whatever is on your Steelhead.

– Forget the whole 20mm thing. Stick with a standard QR fork and one of your current wheels.

– As a smooth, old rider you don’t need anything super burly. Get a quality XC fork and call it good.

– I’m a big fan of FOX 32mm forks. Get any 100mm version used, and you’ll be stoked. Newer RockShox are good too. I’ve seen Rebas used to good effect.

OK then. Rock it!

— Lee

My original 2003 P.1 didn’t exactly suck. That frame and fork are still being raced in the Mountain States Cup.

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