Skip to main content

More top-end products for women

Image 1 of 35

Suspension benefits of the new Safire line

Suspension benefits of the new Safire line (Image credit: James Huang)
Image 2 of 35

The new S-Works Ruby SL

The new S-Works Ruby SL (Image credit: James Huang)
Image 3 of 35

FACT Carbon cranks

FACT Carbon cranks (Image credit: James Huang)
Image 4 of 35

The women's-specific S-Works Safire FSR

The women's-specific S-Works Safire FSR (Image credit: James Huang)
Image 5 of 35

The Myka line is aimed at the sport/recreation crowd

The Myka line is aimed at the sport/recreation crowd (Image credit: James Huang)
Image 6 of 35

The new S-Works Ruby SL takes last year's S-Work Ruby up a notch with more advanced Az1 construction and lighter weight.

The new S-Works Ruby SL takes last year's S-Work Ruby up a notch with more advanced Az1 construction and lighter weight. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 7 of 35

The rear end still wears the distinctive shock-absorbing Zertz dampers.

The rear end still wears the distinctive shock-absorbing Zertz dampers. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 8 of 35

The FACT carbon fork also continues to utilize the suprisingly effective Zertz elastomeric dampers.

The FACT carbon fork also continues to utilize the suprisingly effective Zertz elastomeric dampers. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 9 of 35

Subtle badging distinguishes Specialized's S-Works Ruby SL.

Subtle badging distinguishes Specialized's S-Works Ruby SL. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 10 of 35

The new top-of-the-line Ruby SL wears componentry by Dura-Ace.

The new top-of-the-line Ruby SL wears componentry by Dura-Ace. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 11 of 35

FACT Carbon cranks are included with shorter arm lengths and compact gearing.

FACT Carbon cranks are included with shorter arm lengths and compact gearing. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 12 of 35

The slight bend in the top tube is claimed to yield improvements in vertical compliance.

The slight bend in the top tube is claimed to yield improvements in vertical compliance. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 13 of 35

Specialized introduces a one-piece women's-specific integrated carbon fiber handlebar and stem combination for the first time.

Specialized introduces a one-piece women's-specific integrated carbon fiber handlebar and stem combination for the first time. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 14 of 35

The new Rubymac bend features a shorter reach specifically geared towards smaller hands.

The new Rubymac bend features a shorter reach specifically geared towards smaller hands. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 15 of 35

The women's-specific S-Works Safire FSR offers the same benefits as the new S-Works Stumpjumper Carbon but in a package specifically designed for women, including specific geometry, lighter and smaller diameter tubing, and specially tuned suspension.

The women's-specific S-Works Safire FSR offers the same benefits as the new S-Works Stumpjumper Carbon but in a package specifically designed for women, including specific geometry, lighter and smaller diameter tubing, and specially tuned suspension. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 16 of 35

The bulged air can on the S-Works Safire FSR allows for a more linear spring rate towards the end of the travel.

The bulged air can on the S-Works Safire FSR allows for a more linear spring rate towards the end of the travel. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 17 of 35

Suspension benefits of the new Safire line are also extended to a new aluminum version.

Suspension benefits of the new Safire line are also extended to a new aluminum version. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 18 of 35

Many of Specialized's bikes will also features custom-finished headsets.

Many of Specialized's bikes will also features custom-finished headsets. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 19 of 35

The Era Marathon is the women's-specific version of the Epic, with specific geometry, suspension tuning, and frame tubing.

The Era Marathon is the women's-specific version of the Epic, with specific geometry, suspension tuning, and frame tubing. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 20 of 35

The new Era Marathon is finished in a beautiful anodized pink.

The new Era Marathon is finished in a beautiful anodized pink. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 21 of 35

The premium drivetrain package includes SRAM's X.0 rear derailleur and a Shimano's new Deore XT crankset.

The premium drivetrain package includes SRAM's X.0 rear derailleur and a Shimano's new Deore XT crankset. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 22 of 35

The Era Marathon rear suspension is a carbon copy of the company's excellent Epic system.

The Era Marathon rear suspension is a carbon copy of the company's excellent Epic system. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 23 of 35

A bit of detailing graces the Era headset.

A bit of detailing graces the Era headset. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 24 of 35

Curved top tubes offer increased standover.

Curved top tubes offer increased standover. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 25 of 35

The Myka line is aimed at the sport/recreation crowd, and includes both full-suspension and hardtail models.

The Myka line is aimed at the sport/recreation crowd, and includes both full-suspension and hardtail models. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 26 of 35

While it's likely true that not all women want pink bikes, a bit of flair might go a long way.

While it's likely true that not all women want pink bikes, a bit of flair might go a long way. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 27 of 35

Rock Shox will handle the front suspension duties on the new Myka line.

Rock Shox will handle the front suspension duties on the new Myka line. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 28 of 35

As on all of the D4W MTB line, the Myka will use specifically tuned forks.

As on all of the D4W MTB line, the Myka will use specifically tuned forks. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 29 of 35

Women's-specific features on the D4W line include smaller rear rotors to save weight.

Women's-specific features on the D4W line include smaller rear rotors to save weight. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 30 of 35

The Body Geometry line continues to cater to women with a multitude of saddles including the off-road Ariel.

The Body Geometry line continues to cater to women with a multitude of saddles including the off-road Ariel. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 31 of 35

D4W grips are smaller in diameter for a surer grip with smaller hands.

D4W grips are smaller in diameter for a surer grip with smaller hands. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 32 of 35

The phenomenally light S-Works 2D helmet is also in women's-specific colorways.

The phenomenally light S-Works 2D helmet is also in women's-specific colorways. (Image credit: Specialized)
Image 33 of 35

Specialized adapts the lightweight comfort and performance of its Toupe road saddle for women with the new Ruby.

Specialized adapts the lightweight comfort and performance of its Toupe road saddle for women with the new Ruby. (Image credit: Specialized)
Image 34 of 35

The Kava is supposedly Specialized's first women's-specific piece of eyewear.

The Kava is supposedly Specialized's first women's-specific piece of eyewear. (Image credit: Specialized)
Image 35 of 35

The Spirita offers BG features in a value-oriented package.

The Spirita offers BG features in a value-oriented package. (Image credit: Specialized)

Tech feature: Specialized 2008 D4W line, August 7, 2007

The bicycle industry has finally realized that women comprise a substantial portion of the market (about 50%, in case you weren't sure) and continues to deliver more and better products to satisfy the need. Specialized forges ahead with its 'D4W' initiative for another year with new road and mountain bikes, in addition to the usual host of equipment and accessories. Cyclingnews Tech Editor James Huang wraps up his look at Specialized's 2008 line.

Specialized has been riding an enormous wave as of late with a wide range of technologically advanced and visually appealing products, but its biggest recent success is also probably the one few would have expected. Since its introduction, its 'D4W' line (Designs for Women) has experienced the largest growth in the company and Specialized claims that it still represents the greatest growth potential. Last year the women's-specific Ruby road bike even outsold the Tarmac.

As Specialized head honcho Mike Sinyard puts it, "As an industry, this is our biggest opportunity." While this next comment may seem obvious, Sinyard also stated "[But] we didn't have success in the women's area until we let the women design the product." For Specialized, that woman is Eron Chorney, a former Canadian National Team member and Rocky Mountain Bicycles engineer (who also paid her dues in a retail shop in her native British Columbia) who has been running the division since early 2006.

On the road with Eron Chorney

The women's-specific Ruby carbon road line has been among the best-selling of all of Specialized's pavement machines and 2008 will see the introduction of a new top-end S-Works Ruby SL. As compared to last year's S-Works Ruby, the new model is supposedly 81g lighter, 7% more vertically compliant, 3% stiffer at the bottom bracket, and 1% stiffer in torsion. Much of this improvement is due to the more advanced FACT Az1 construction technique (last year's version was a so-called 'triple monocoque').

As with the original S-Works Ruby, the new Ruby SL incorporates Specialized's well-received D4W women's-specific geometry, smaller tubing diameters, proprietary fiber lay-up schedules, and Zertz dampers in both the seat stays and fork blades. Naturally, Specialized claims the new Ruby SL is the "lightest, smoothest riding women's-specific frame in the world [with] best in class strength and stiffness-to-weight ratios."

S-Works Ruby SL bikes are also fitted with women's-specific componentry, including shorter S-Works FACT Carbon cranksets with compact gearing and Slim Shims to reduce reach on the Dura-Ace STI levers. New 2008 components include a lighter and more compliant Roval Fusée SL wheelset, a higher-performance Ruby women's saddle with hollow titanium rails, and the new Rubymac one-piece integrated carbon fiber stem/handlebar combination with shorter reach for smaller hands.

Specialized did not, however, incorporate the tapered and oversized front end as on its new top-end S-Works Tarmac SL2, presumably due to the notion that women are typically lighter and smaller and may not benefit from the additional front-end stiffness. Be that as it may, claimed weight on the complete S-Works Ruby SL package is still an impressive 6.8kg (14.96lb) for a medium frame.

Light and sparkly

Specialized did, however, carry over all of the new developments introduced on the new S-Works Stumpjumper Carbon to its women's lineup... that is, all except for the name as unique model designations are now intended to reflect the 'dedicated focus and approach' of its women's-specific models.

As such, the gem of the line is undoubtedly the new S-Works Safire FSR, which incorporates the same updated FACT IS carbon chassis layout, Az1 construction, and proprietary Brain-equipped FutureShock S120 fork as on the top-end men's S-Works SJ Carbon. D4W features include a specific frame geometry with shorter reach and lower standover height, smaller diameter tubing and revised fiber lay-up schedules, uniquely tuned front and rear suspension, and women's-specific componentry.

The new S-Works Safire FSR carbon frame drops a substantial 300g relative to last year's top alloy model, and total weight for the complete bike is claimed to be just 10.4kg (22.9lb). The Safire will also be offered in new M5 alloy versions (but without the oversized and tapered front end) which drop 150g from the 2007 Stumpjumper.

The performance category is addressed with the new Era line, which includes the Era FSR and hardtail models. The Era FSR (analogous to the men's Epic) looks to share the same frame as last year's Epic Comp Women's but adds a lighter and stiffer carbon fiber link, while Era hardtails boast an all-new M5 alloy frame that borrows the bent top tube configuration of the FSR model for improved standover.

Likewise, the recreational Myka line includes both full-suspension and hardtail models, both using M4 alloys and bent top tubes for extra standover. New Myka FSR models incorporate proven FSR suspension technology with X-Fusion rear shocks, and both FSR and hardtail models include specifically tuned Rock Shox forks.

Also reas Part I and Part II of the Specialized 2008 MTB lineup launch.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

after your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1