We love this time of year. It's when the big brands start to unveil their 2017 collections, and we popped along to Specialized to see what the new season has in store for female riders of the road, mountain bike and urban/commuter persuasion.
Along with the usual seasonal colour changes, Specialized has also released a bundle of updated and brand new products, including bikes, accessories and clothing.
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New women's Camber mountain bike range
Gone is the Rumor from the women's mountain bike line-up, and instead a new women's version of the 130mm-travel Camber has been created. It has the same frame as the unisex version with women's specific finishing kit. Priced from £1,450 to £2,900.
Specialized women's S-Works XC shoe
The new women's S-Works XC shoe takes the stiff carbon-soled, lightweight and performance focused design of the S-Works 6 women's road shoe, and adapts it for the competitive cross country mountain bike racer. Retailing at £280, they're brand new for 2017 and include two Boa dials that work independently of each other to ensure the best fit.
Specialized women's 2FO Cliplite Lace mountain bike shoe
Also new for 2017 is a cheaper version of the popular 2FO Cliplite shoe. The original version, with a Boa lacing system, retails at £140. This new lace-up version comes in at £90, but is otherwise similar with SlipNot rubber sole, a nylon composite central plate for stiffness, and an EVA midsole for impact absorption.
The shoe has the usual 2-bolt system, which fits all the major clipless systems, with enough tread to give you traction off the bike as well as on.
Specialized S-Works women's Prevail II road helmet
The Prevail gets a makeover for 2017, and not just in terms of colour. Designed for racing, it's wind tunnel tested for aerodynamics and ventilation, with the popular HairPort system that leaves space for a pony-tail. For 2017, the design is narrower and lower — or in colloquial terms, a little less 'mushroom-like'.
New colour ways for road and mountain kit
Blue, purple, pink, black and coral are clearly the colours of the new year, as demonstrated by the 2017 longer finger glove range. Right to left are the Grail Long Finger (£35), Women's Low Down (£20) and the Body Geometry Gel Long Finger gloves (£35) — with another colour option in the Low Down hiding at the end.
We're rather taken by the new colours for the SL Pro Jersey and bib shorts. Featuring Vaporrize fabrics for breathability, we rated the 2016 version of this kit highly. The geometric and ombre options for 2016 are looking good.
RRP: SL Pro Jersey £100, SL Pro Bib Shots £140
The women's Andorra Comp Jersey comes in two funky designs, with the ombre collage effect jersey being our current favourite as it reminds us of mountains at sunset. Both provide UV30 sun protection and have a zippered side pocket for storing essentials like phones, coins or jelly babies.
Another product that has new colours for 2017, though is otherwise the same, are the 2FO Cliplite shoes. Vibrant!
Dolce women's road bikes
An interesting development for 2017 is a price drop in the Dolce line of women's road bikes, designed to bring them in line with competitors. This in effect means you can pick up the entry-model Dolce for £575, and the top-end Dolce Elite E5 for £900 with features that include Shimano Tiagra gearing and a full carbon monocoque fork with alloy frame.