Specialized is already heavily committed to women’s cycling – and for 2015, the Big Red S is stepping it up once again. BikeRadar recently attended the brand’s Australian dealer launch, where nearly a third of the floor space was dedicated to women’s-specific bikes and related products.
The biggest news in the mountain bike line-up is the launch of the Era, a female-specific dual-suspension cross country machine, which unsurprisingly takes many design cues from the company’s popular Epic range.
Other news includes the 120mm travel Rumor Evo to sit alongside the previous 110mm Rumor trail platforms and the Jynx, an entry-level 650b hardtail series that accompanies the 29in wheeled Jett.
Here’s some of our previous Specialized 2015 coverage, in case you missed it
- Specialized Diverge – first look
- Specialized S-Works Demo 2015
- Specialized launches gravity shoes
- Specialized 2015 Enduro – first look
- Specialized unveils 650B Stumpjumper FSR Evo models
- Specialized core road range 2015 - first look
Being the giant company that Specialized is, there’s even more to be unveiled.
The S-Works Era 29
Specialized has offered a 29in women’s-specific cross country race hardtail for a few years now – the Fate. For 2015, it will be joined by the Era, the company’s first women’s race-focused carbon dual suspension bike. The Era will be offered in a 29in wheel only, with Specialized claiming that this is the fastest option.
The Era was first teased when Danish rider Annika Langvad won the 2014 Mountain Bike Marathon world championships on one, back in June. Not a bad first outing for the Era.
Compared with the Epic, the Era’s most noticeable difference is in its significantly lower standover height, with a size small measuring in at just 726mm tall. In a unique feature (not just to women’s bikes), the bottom bracket height increases by 5mm with each frame size.
Suspension wise, the Era keeps the Epic’s Brain system, with its ‘locked-out until you hit a bump’ technology. We’re told the suspension kinematics and shock tuning is modified for a lighter-weight rider compared with a men’s bike, but the exact details were vague. While the medium and large frame sizes will offer 100mm of travel, the small has 90mm to allow for a lower standover height.
Amazingly, all frame sizes will fit a full size water bottle, but Specialized’s down tube mounted SWAT box isn’t an option.
Sitting at the top of the line – and arguably in its own league – is the S-Works Era 29 (US$TBC / AU$11,499 / UK£TBC) a 10.1kg budget-destroying race machine. It features a full-carbon frame, distinctive upside-down RockShox RS-1 fork, Roval Control SL carbon wheels and SRAM XX1 11-speed drivetrain. It was pretty impressive, if not a little amusing, to see so many men drooling over this bike.
One level down, the Era Expert Carbon 29 (US$TBC / AU$7,199 / UK£TBC) uses a slightly lower-grade carbon front triangle matched with an alloy rear end. The componentry remains pro-level with its RockShox SID World Cup fork and Roval Control Carbon wheelset.
Sharing the same frame as the Expert Carbon, The Era Comp Carbon 29 (US$TBC / AU$4,499 / UK£TBC) will keep the race focus, but with a more affordable Shimano XT level spec and RockShox Reba front fork.
All Era models include the new Body Geometry Myth saddle – more on this below.
Rumor Evo 29
The Specialized Rumor Expert Evo 29
Introduced in 2013, the Rumor 29 has proven itself as a popular trail bike, with its 29in wheels, 110mm travel and M5 alloy frame. For 2015, Specialized will drop the 26-wheeled Safire from its line-up and instead offer the Rumor line-up, including the new Rumor Expert Evo 29 (US$TBC / AU$5,599 / UK£TBC), boosting the travel to 120mm front and rear and giving it little more technical trail confidence.
This new Expert Evo model will feature SRAM’s 11-speed X01 shifting, RockShox Pike front fork, Shimano XT brakes and a Specialized dropper seat post.
The Specialized Jynx Comp 650b
The Jynx is pitched as a bike for the sport trail rider or first mountain bike owner. It features an entirely new alloy frame designed around the 27.5in wheel size and offers a relaxed cross-country type geometry for confident handling.
One big change Specialized has for many of its entry-level mountain bikes is the new proprietary suspension dampers for SR Suntour forks, dubbed ‘Multi-Circuit Damping’. This brings hydraulic dampened suspension and rebound control into price-points that usually only offer forks that handle like pogo sticks. This technology is present in all but the most basic Jynx model.
The Jynx will be offered at three price points – Jynx Comp 650B (US$800 / AU$899 / UK£TBC), Jynx Sport 650B (US$700 / AU$749 / UK£TBC), and the Jynx 650b (US$560 / AU$649 / UK£TBC).
Specialized 2FO Flat Women's shoe
Among a deep range of shoes, Specialized recently released news of its gravity-orientated 2F0 shoe for flat pedal users. Something we didn’t mention previously is a women’s version of the shoe.
Specialized Cadette fitness shoe
Another new piece of footwear is the Cadette, a casual sneaker-like shoe that blends cycling efficiency with off-the-bike comfort. The Cadette will be replacing the long-standing Tahoe model and is both flat pedal and SPD compatible. While not ideal for the serious mountain biker, we’re sure this will be a popular choice for casual riding.
Specialized Myth saddle
The new Myth saddle will be provided on all higher-end bike models. Specialized mapped the female anatomy in order to design a saddle that relieves soft tissue pressure. Low-friction panels are deployed on the nose – it's claimed they improve pedalling efficiency and reduce the chance of getting caught behind the saddle on descents.
Specialized Grail Long Finger glove
Body Geometry Grail gloves feature the new ‘Equalizer’ gel pad, which fills out the centre of the hand to create a uniform surface across the palm. This is said to protect sensitive nerves and arteries, while also enabling the hand to sit closer to the handlebar compared with other gel-padded riding gloves. Short- and long-fingered versions are available.
The helmet range stays mostly the same, with a significant change being that all women’s models are now offered with the ponytail-friendly HairPort retention system.
For a closer look, scroll, swipe or click through our gallery at top. Details on the women’s road ranges is coming soon.