Specialized Myka HT Expert review

Womens specific trail ride

Our rating 
3.5 out of 5 star rating 3.5
GBP £830.00 RRP

Our review

The excellent trail feel puts it up among the best at this price. Pity about the low spec drivetrain
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The Myka isn’t as well equipped as some of its price rivals, but there’s nothing that lets it down on the trail, and we’re happy to find a bike being marketed to women that presents itself without the almost obligatory hints of pink, pastels or flowers. The best women’s bikes, and this is one of them, shouldn’t need to look stereotypically feminine enough to deter men.

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While the relatively high price of the Myka Expert compared to other similarly specced bikes will put off some riders, its lightweight frame and great trail feel combine to make it thoroughly worthy of consideration regardless of whether you’re in its target female market or not.

Ride & handling: Built in comfort

It’s hard to tell to what extent the comfy ride is down to the swoopy lightweight frame construction and how much it’s due to the componentry. Either way, the Myka combines a confident, lively and forgiving ride feel on all types of terrain with the sort of acceleration and climbing prowess that makes it a great choice for those planning to take part in the occasional competitive outing.

The soft-sprung fork, skinny handlebar grips and Riva saddle were welcomed by male and female testers alike, apart from one 90kg guy who found the fork spring too soft. The reasonable weight and overall ride personality of the bike did a lot to make up for the fact that it’s not as well specced as a couple of other options at this price.

Frame: Quality frame

The looks, the geometry configuration and the extra comfort touches of the Myka Expert deserve to be considered alongside any men’s bikes, just as well designed men’s bikes should be considered by women. Frame geometry and sizing will often be different on bikes aimed at women. The reach from the saddle to the bars is often shorter for each given frame size. This will suit many men too.

Getting a right size bike is more crucial than getting a right gender bike: horizontal top tube length, to get the right stretch from seat to bars, is more crucial than seat tube length, and the 23.5in top tube reach of the 19.5in Myka was perfect for all of our testers. We didn’t tell them it was a ‘women’s model’ and only two of them noticed. Just as many women buy men’s bike models, don’t ignore a bike just because it’s a women’s model.

Equipment: Good quality finishing kit, low spec drivetrain

At 27.8lb it’s a reasonably lightweight bike, mainly because of a light frame and light wheel/tyre set. The fork has a softer spring than you’ll normally find on a RockShox Tora SL on a 19in bike, but this combines well with the high profile tyres and well-upholstered saddle to create a comfy ride on rough terrain. The Tora lockout is welcome for road use. 

A lot of male riders like women’s saddles. Every tester thought the Specialized Riva was one of the most comfortable and supportive saddles they’d ridden on bikes of this ilk, and that makes a big difference on rough terrain. A comfy saddle can help you stay seated and keep the power on.

‘The Captain’ tyres roll faster on hard ground than most but still grip well when the going is soft or wet. The 27-speed drivetrain twins a Deore rear gear and shifters with basic Shimano steel ringed Octalink cranks and Alivio front mech. Brakes are Shimano too, while the finishing kit is good quality Specialized branded stuff.

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Some riders like fat handlebar grips but the majority prefer skinny grips of the sort fitted to the Myka (because it’s a women’s bike). Obviously a preference can be catered for by swaps when you order a bike, but try both before you buy.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Myka HT Expert (11)
Brand Specialized

Bottom Bracket Shimano BB-ES26
Rear Tyre The Captain Sport
Wheelbase (in) 42.75
Top Tube (in) 23.5
Standover Height (in) 29
Seat Tube (in) 19
Chainstays (in) 16.75
Bottom Bracket Height (in) 12
Spoke Type stainless
Brake Levers Shimano BR-M505
Weight (lb) 27.8
Weight (kg) 12.3
Stem Specialized XC
Shifters Shimano Deore
Saddle Specialized Women's BG Windie XC
Rims Alex RHD, alloy disc
Rear Shock NA
Brakes Shimano BR-M505
Rear Hub Specialized Hi Lo disc
Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore
Pedals Resin Test Ride Pedals
Headset Type 1 1/8" upper and lower campy style
Handlebar Specialized XC low-rise
Grips/Tape Specialized XC lock-on
Front Tyre The Captain Sport
Front Hub Specialized Hi Lo disc
Front Derailleur Sh Alivio
Frame Material Myka M4 fully manipulated alloy frame
Fork RockShox Tora SL Le Femme
Cranks Shimano FC-M430
Chain KMC X9
Cassette Sh HG 50
Tyres Specialized The Captain Control, 2in