View this and others over at BikeHugger.com
Archives › Bike Profile
I think bike manufactures are finally getting it. Women’s bikes are not taking a “unisex” bike, shortening the top tube and throwing a women’s saddle on there. Let me introduce you to the 2012 Trek Lush. There aren’t too many details but this is what I have so far.
120 mm of suspension. Ground up design with a lower center of gravity and lower stand over. The spec’s and prices haven’t been released but with 4 different models from “Lush” to “Lush Carbon” I would bet that the pricing and spec will mirror the EX line that has been Trek’s mainstay for the past few years.
When the Specialized carbon fiber 29er, the Fate, was released there was talk about the Jett. An aluminum version of the sporty carbon hardtail. Now there is details to share!
Highend Aluminum Women’s Racing in 26″ or 29″
The new Specialized Jett comes in two models, Comp or Comp 29″. Exact same “mid-level” build on both, only difference is wheel and tire size. I really wish that the build was a step up on parts. 9-speed with Alivio cranks (SLX rear derailleur and hydraulic brakes..) doesn’t seem to fit the need of an aggressive rider. Full SLX or XT would have been a better fit for in my mind.
Details to Note
- 80mm of travel on both models
- Frame size specific spec. This means a smaller frame will have shorter cranks, smaller brake rotors and narrower handlebars.
- M4 aluminum, 2nd from the top level of aluminum that Specialized has to offer
- Lock out and adjustable rebound on a coil sprung fork
- Super low stand over (still waiting on geometry to confirm) and short front end to fix the 29er downfalls.
The Myka XC Mountain bike line from Specialized is their “XC recreational” series. This is your goto series for most women that aren’t looking for an aggressive stance mountain bike.
2012 Myka Hardtail Lineup
There are 7 bikes in the 2012 Myka hardtail line most of which come in a 26″ or 29″ version other than the base level.
2012 Myka HT
The entry level in the lineup. 26″ wheels, 24 speeds, basic front suspension and a good beginner bike if you aren’t sure you want to give mountain biking a try. Will double well as a recreational hybrid or around the town with the kids.
2012 Myka Disc 26″ & 29″
Same line up as the HT, but with disc brakes for better stopping in all conditions. The 29er version is the most affordable option for women’s 29ers!
26″ wheels, 24 speeds but an upgrade on model of disc brakes (move to Avid BB5) and the fork has a lock out.
2012 Myka Elite Disc 26″ & 29″
The elite models are Specialized steps up to 27 speeds instead of the 24.
2012 Myka FSR – A full suspension bike for women
100mm full suspension custom bike tuned for women.
2012 Specialized Myka FSR Comp
2012 Specialized Myka FSR Elite
Upgraded front fork, Avid hydraulic brakes, nicer drive train and stronger/lighter wheels. I also prefer the colors!
Pretend we are listening to the Superman jingle in the background… “Is it a hybrid? Is it a mountain bike? No! It is a Dual Sport bike!”
Joking aside, the Trek Dual Sport lineup, when it was under the Gary Fisher brand originally, was a huge favorite of stocking bikes when in my shop. It has 29er size wheels, strong enough to take light off roading, but efficient enough for rocking on the road or commuting. For the average person it is the true DO ALL bike. Think of it in line with a cyclocross bike, but for folks on a budget or not wanting drop bars and a leaned over position.
Starting in 2011 Trek brought the Dual Sport to the women’s line. Welcome the 2012 Trek Neko Dual Sport lineup.
2012 Trek Neko $529.99
21 speeds, double wall (stronger) wheels, and 700x38mm tires. A perfect starter bike. Room for racks, fenders and with a slightly “dropped” top tube, this bike is a great alternative to a hybrid.
2012 Trek Neko S $599.99
The same frame as the base model but an extra gear in the back (7 gears to 8), nicer tires, grips, handlebar and most importantly a lock out on the fork. The lock out makes it so you aren’t bouncing up and down on the suspension on the road, and the nicer tires will avoid more flats. The nicer gear system (8 speeds) will last a longer, and the shifters alone are worth the upgrade.
2012 Trek Neko SL $839.99
Still the same frame but they’ve upgraded everything else. 9 gears in the back, pretty industry standard and easy to find if you need replaced. DISC brakes (great for commuting and longevity), much better wheels and an all white saddle. The saddle alone will make you faster, I can guarantee and prove it!
We have already been lucky to see the 2012 Specialized Women’s 29er carbon hardtail, the Fate, but there is another new high end from Specialized this year for women.
The Specialized Amira
Specialized has tagged this as a true women’s race bike. Using years of development from the Allez Dolce in 2003, and Specialized sponsored elite women’s road bike teams through the years they now have a new model, the 2012 Amira.
High End Technology for Women
Finally, a ground up HIGH END women’s designed bike that doesn’t borrow everything from the guys model with a shorter top tube. This includes shorter chainstays, and completely differently geometry.
- Frame Module Weight = 1970g, more than 100g lighter than the 2011 Amira (I’m assuming this is the weight for the smallest size available)
- Stiffness to weight = The stiffest women’s frame on the market
- Women’s performance geometry teamed with FACT IS 11R carbon
Is there a Need?
I am interested to see how many Amira’s Specialized sold in 2011. Apparently it was enough to justify more engineering time on the 2012. My hopes with high end bikes like this one, it will give women another reason to compete, be inspired and have their own toys designed around their body type. Not every woman needs a womens bike, but having high end bikes makes it easier for a woman to grow in the sport without being intimidated or feeling “boxed in” by bike company marketing. How many women are watching the Tour de France this year and thinking, “God that is amazing” now they have a pretty package, designed around them, to answer that calling.
I’ve done tons of posts elsewhere in the web about the Salsa Casseroll. It could be one of the most universal bikes I have ever purchased (besides the Surly Karate Monkey.) Geared, internally geared, single, drop bars, flat bars, rear rack, no rack, chainguard, mud flaps, and the list of what this bike frame can do is endless.
In the past year 29ers finally hit the women’s niche of the market. Locally I have only been able to put my hands on the Trek versions of the women’s 29ers. After the test ride and looking deeper at the geometry I wasn’t sold. The bike didn’t ride well, but that was one brand trying their hand at the women’s 29ers. Specialized has had their own cross country recreational women’s 29er line out as well, the Myka. The line has several different models, from 26 to 29, including two different levels of the 29er hardtail. Now, Specialized wasn’t the first company to the original 29er market – they were actually very slow about the movement. They must really love the bikes, and what 29ers can do for women (I Told You So) as they have released a couple new lines of 29ers for women, including a carbon hardtail.
Some of the details: Performance fit (race ready), 80mm travel, and a higher level of components. The Fate will be available in stores in September in two models: the Comp and the Expert. Each will come in three sizes: 15″, 17″ and 19″. Pricing is not yet finalized, but is expected to come in between US$2000-3000. (Details from CyclingNews)
Depending on the level you’ll see the spec of something of the following: Roval 29er wheels, Renegade 2Bliss tires, XX chainrings with custom gear ratios, Shimano hydraulic disc brakes and Specialized saddle, handlebar, stem and post. (Details from BikeRumor)
The Jett – Women’s 29er aluminum mountain bike
The Jett’s full details haven’t been released but this is what we found over at TwentyNineInches. M4 Aluminum (2nds from highest grade in Specialized library) and the same performance fit as the Fate. The exception will be rack mounts.
What is Specialized doing different with women’s 29ers
You’ve heard my rant about the wacky geometry that Trek’s 29ers possesed. I haven’t seen Specialized by the numbers, but they are doing some custom things to their new line.
First is a “women’s designed carbon layup” which I am questioning to their product managers but it is an interesting thought. From there Specialized teamed up with Rock Shox for a custom fork. At the 15″ size the offset of the fork is different, it goes to 51mm. Finally the headtube is as shortened as much as I have seen especially with the integrated headset that most production 29ers are using now.
From Bike Radar‘s Q & A
Hughes said Specialized has noticed that women have been slower to adopt 29ers than men. Part of the reason is that many shorter women believe they are too small to fit on a 29er. And in fact, looking at the geometries of bikes like Specialized’s popular Stumpjumper hardtail 29er (for which the smallest size is a 15.5″), that observation proves true for many women although possibilities for smaller female riders vary by manufacturer and model.
The Fate’s geometry will naturally position female riders lower and longer than they would be on the Myka. For example, on the 15″ Fate, a 10mm shorter headtube drops the front end of the bike, an 8mm longer top tube puts women in a longer, more racing-oriented position while 17″ and 19″ Fates have 20mm shorter head tubes. With 6mm shorter chainstays for all sizes, the Fate also climbs better and ends up with a shorter wheelbase (14mm for a size 17, for example) for quicker handling than the Myka.
One of the biggest issues encountered during the design process was addressing toe overlap, a common problem on smaller bikes, especially those with shorter wheelbases. To address this, the small 15″ bikes were designed with a 51mm fork offset while the 17″ and 19″ frames will feature the standard 46mm offset.
What does “Women’s Specific” 29ers mean for you?
The jury is still out. The folks that have given feedback thus far are Specialized branded racers. I have a message out to Lea Davidson, who races for Specialized, for more specific questions from her last race on the bike. These bikes were designed for those that like a lower front end, but want the benefits from a 29er. The Myka is their recreational bike that will suit more women off the bat, but for the women wanting to push themselves further and faster or perhaps used to the Epic or Titus Racer-X the Fate is for them.. Finally, I am simply excited that a company like Specialized is seeing the women’s market big enough to design a new carbon line around it.
Once I know more, you’ll be the first people to know!
This Saturday was much of the same if you have an active family with kids, and you’re a cyclist wanting to get in a longer bike ride. I have a road bike to test out and review, a Raleigh Capri 4.0. There’s lacrosse games on the other end of the city. 50 miles by car, 48 miles by bike. The lacrosse game starts at 12pm, which means I need to leave around 8:30 in the morning to get there and changed in time.
Down 115 for about 19 miles.
Through Davidson and pass the Collier Lily ride.
Next is Cornelius, Huntersville.
Time trialing through the ghetto.
A quick photo of the skyline shot of uptown Charlotte.
Through Charlotte I roll.
Around 4th ward sending mental hello’s to Ben Wilson as I pass his flat.
A short cut down an alley with many memories.
The shock and amazement of all the parents that I RODE my BIKE there?
Just a side note, make sure to pack extra calories if you’re going to be there all day long pack more snacks! I got a bit cranky at the end of the day do to lack of food and a ton of sun.
Main Features: Tiagra 9speed, full fenders, Brooks Swift leather saddle, Lezyne pump
Other Notes: I reviewed a 2010 model, the only changes to the 2011 are the paint (now green) and the wheels from my understanding are now 32h instead of 28
Over the past year I have been able to review a ton of great product. A product that I started to review for Commute By Bike and was put on hold during my fear of riding on the road is the Raleigh Clubman. As this bike is one of my reliable and one of the most eye catching frames in my fleet I want to make sure to give it a full review for all those interested or looking at purchasing one.