Specialized will bring two new women’s models into the top level S-Works fold for 2013: Ruby (road) and Fate (29er mountain bike).
S-Works represents Specialized’s no-hold-barred package. The S-Works bikes use the manufacturer's most advanced materials and processes to build bikes for their professional athletes and those with deep pockets.
S-Works Ruby: Roubaix concept, separate design
Specialized use the same material — FACT 11r carbon — and include many of the same features in the S-Works level Ruby as the new S-Works Roubaix SL4, but instead of using an IS construction method, which uses both modular monocoque and tube-to-tube type molding methods, the Ruby uses a triple monocoque, in which Specialized mold and bond three monocoque pieces to build the frame. They call this method FACT TM, and cite the main benefits as: control over the inner finish, carbon compaction and wall thickness; the ability to reduce joints, and moving the existing joints away from high stress areas.
The frame uses Specialized’s OSBB (PF30) and a straight 1-1/8in steerer tube. The fork is molded as one piece, including the dropouts using a full length EPS mandrel. The new Ruby fork also utilizes a molded carbon bearing race, which is the first road fork from Specialized to do so. Like the Roubaix, the Ruby utilizes Specialized’s Zertz viscoelastic dampers, which are integrated into the fork blades and seat stays.
Specialized S-Works Ruby
Specialized have adjusted the stack and reach of the new frame to improve the variation in the five sizes — between 44cm and 57cm — with a more gradual increment of change between them. The new geometry is poised to help bike fitters better fit women to the new bike.
The S-Works Ruby is kitted out with an array of high-end components including a Dura-Ace Di2 group and Shimano’s excellent WH-7850-C24-TU tubeless wheels. Specialized take care of the crank — S-Works FACT Carbon compact — and cockpit with the Women’s SL carbon shallow drop handlebars, Cobl Gobl-R seatpost, and Body Geometry Dura Pro gel saddle with carbon rails.
S-Works Fate: an Olympic rig
Lea Davidson is one of two American women who will represent the US this August at the Olympic Games in London, England, and she’ll likely do it on Specialized’s S-Works Fate.
The Fate women’s model isn’t new it was soft launched last year under Davidson and Lene Byberg at the Offenburg round of the 2011 Mountain bike World Cup. Since, Specialized have set out to give Fate its S-Works treatment, possibly, in anticipation of team riders taking it to the world’s biggest sporting event.
The new frame carries over the key design elements launched last year, including the massive stand over clearance, thin 27.2 seat post, tapered head tube and OSBB bottom bracket.
Lea Davidson will race the S-Works Fate in the upcoming London Olympic Games
While the main elements are the same it’s the material and execution that bring the Fate 29er to its S-Works status. Specialized use their top tier FACT IS 11m carbon fiber to build the flagship bike, which drops upwards of 100g from the FACT 8m material used in the Comp and Expert models.
The Fate chassis package includes a custom co-developed RockShox SID suspension fork with Specialized’s Brain Inertia damper. Specialized also spec two different offsets for the carbon crowned fork over the line’s size range. The smallest size comes with a 51mm offset while the middle and large sizes come with a standard 46mm offset. Specialized say that this keeps handling consistent across the entire range.
Of course Specialized finish the bike with an S-Works component package. Specialized mix an XTR drivetrain and brakes mated with a S-Works FACT crank equipped with their own custom double spider for SRAM XX chainrings. Another key piece of equipment for the S-Works Fate are Specialized’s Roval Control SL 29 carbon tubeless wheels. Like Ruby, Fate is finished with women’s specific Body Geometry Jett saddle.