While at the Surly Intergalactic Headquarters of QBP I was able to demo a few bikes for commuting purposes from my abode to the headquarters. While there was also a Civia I haven’t put up yet, there is a Surly Troll that also busted a friends hip on the black ice across the Minneapolis pavement.
Getting lost on a road with two full water bottles and the knowledge of a well packed bag sitting behind you is bliss.
Since posting the first photos back in July the 2012 Trek Lush has been a buzz around Bike Shop Girl. The Twitter stream gets many comments, Facebook gets many questions and my email has its own little folder of women waiting to hear more on first test rides and availability. As I mentioned a few weeks back I was fortunate enough to be loaned a 2012 Trek Lush Carbon for review and demo purposes from the East Coast Women’s Trek Demo rep.
A beautiful brown box with a huge Raleigh logo on the side showed up this past week for review. Inside, a 2012 Raleigh RX 1.0 women’s cyclocross bike in for review. I previewed the line back in August and received a good amount of tweets and comments about the line. At $1,650 this bike could be a break through road/cross/commuter/do all women’s bike. Allowing more options and ways to get women on one well spec’d bike. I have high hopes, and the bike will be abused to see if they meet the hopes.
For the past month the women behind Bike Shop Girl have been test riding the 2011 Specialized Myka Expert 29er. Getting our own first hand impressions of how Specialized does women’s 29ers. Along the way this has also allowed us to try out the Specialized 29er tires, Specialized Riva saddle and Rock Shox “Specialized Womens Tuned” fork.
I won’t lie, the Airborne Delta CX was the most exciting part of becoming a member of the Airborne Flight Crew this past spring. I was going to have the inside scoop, test ride and ride for a season a wonderful cyclocross bike that hopefully would crack open a huge “hidden nut” in the bicycle industry. A budget priced, disc brake, cyclocross bike. As a lover of cyclocross bikes for the utility and functionality, this bike fit right into my arsenal to refer friends and followers to.
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.
With over 300 miles on the Airborne Goblin that I’m riding for the season the bike has been tested. I’ve ridden the bike to the limits and pushed it, then pushed it a bit more. Now it is time for a good and fair review for all of you holding your breath wondering if you should purchase one! During the 300 miles the Goblin has seen a little bit of everything, from commuting, local single track and a 24 hour race on its shoulders. I haven beaten and abused the bike to the best of my ability thus far and this is my review based on those elements.