Calibre, the brand of bikes sold exclusively through UK-based outdoor retailer GoOutdoors, has just released a women's version of its popular Bossnut full-suspension bike. Given the original Bossnut scored a perfect 5 out of 5 on BikeRadar and has been flying off the shelves, this is great news for riders looking for a smaller frame size and better fit.
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It's not hard to see why the Bossnut got a pretty much perfect score. Not only does it ride exceptionally well and is tough and capable, but it represents exceptional value for money. For £1,000 (so long as you have the GoOutdoors loyalty card, which costs a mere £5) you get a Rockshox Monarch shock, Rockshox Sektor fork and full Shimano Deore groupset.
So what prompted the decision to make a women's version of this popular bike? Mike Sanderson, GoOutdoors senior developer for cycling, tells BikeRadar that it was partly down to requests from riders in store and via social media, and partly the popularity of the existing model with female mountain bikers.
Same frame, same spec, new finishing kit and colours
Calibre has opted to stay with the same frame as the unisex Bossnut, on the principle of 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'. The geometry and design, while simple, is modern and does the job admirably, with low standover, slack head angle for confidence when descending, but a steep seat tube angle making for efficient climbing ability.
With increasing numbers of bike companies opting to produce at least some of their women's specific versions with a unisex frame, but different contact points, such as Specialized, Santa Cruz/Juliana Bicycles, and most recently Scott Bicycles, this is an increasingly popular approach.
Crucially, there’s no spec penalty for this being a women’s bike, something that's now thankfully very rare in any case. All the parts are like-for-like with the unisex version, bar a few tweaks designed to suit female riders, based on research conducted by the brand — it canvassed opinion from women who rode the existing Bossnut, those who were interested in buying one, and an internal team of product testers who repeatedly rode, fed back and helped refine the final product.
The results of all this fed into not only the decision to keep the frame the same, but also elements such as bar width and crank length.
The 15.5 inch (XS) and 17.5 inch (S) size women's specific Bossnut comes fitted with 170mm cranks and 740mm handlebars, while the 19.5 (L) size has 172.5mm cranks and 760mm bars. A women's specific WTB saddle comes on all models, plus slightly narrower gauge grips. The Rockshox Monarch shock and Sektor Silver Forks both have a specific tune designed to suit lighter riders.
In fact, anyone who purchases this Bossnut in the near future actually benefits from increased internal rim widths over the current unisex Bossnut; 125mm WTB ST rims, which will be coming to the unisex Bossnut further down the line. These are tubeless ready and fitted with a WRB Vigilante 2.3" front tyre and a WTB Bee Line 2.2" rear.
It doesn't come with a dropper post, which is usual at this price point, and adding one isn't a massively expensive upgrade, especially considering the quality of the rest of the parts on this bike. We even like the paint job and coordinated wheel and fork decals.
The bike is finished with the very reliable Shimano Deore 2x10 groupset and hydraulic disc brakes.
Calibre Bossnut Ladies pricing and availability
As with the unisex Bossnut, the ladies Bossnut will retail at £1,299, or £1,000 on presentation of a GoOutdoors member's card — which costs £5. It will be available from 19 November, with most stores having the bike stocked. The one exception is the large-sized 19.5 inch frame, which is available online, although it can be ordered in-store if you want to take a look before purchasing.
GoOutdoors has also made significant investment in its in-store cycle section, with trained mechanics and two dedicated store assistants trained to help advise on bike set up.
For those US and Australian based BikeRadar readers, it's worth noting that GoOutdoors do ship internationally, for an incredibly cheap £9.95 (as the bike weighs less than 31kg) on top of the price of the bike, excluding local taxes: very handy indeed if you're looking for a value-for-money bike, and want to take advantage of the weakened pound.