The Era, the Rumor Evo + other highlights from the Specialized 2015 launch

2015 Specialized Women's Range-19

29″ wheels make the overall height of a bike quite high. The low standover on the women’s models makes it easier to throw a leg over the frame. Photo: Mick Ross.

It’s an exciting time to be a mountain biker. Trail networks are rapidly on the up, participation is growing so fast it’s becoming mainstream and there are more choices for equipment than ever before. For women, this growth means more companies are establishing a range of bikes that meet the diverse needs of female riders.

Specialized are a brand who have been developing a women’s range long before other companies have felt confident in selling to this half of the market. Their 2015 range takes the research and product development of years past, and pushes the boundaries of bike design heading into the future. I was wrapped to be invited to the 2015 Australia and New Zealand product launch on the Gold Coast this month to report on these new bikes for Flow Mountain Bike.

The S-Works Era 29. All the latest and greatest parts on a frame that delivers everything women hope it will and more. A very impressive (and expensive!) package.

The S-Works Era 29. All the latest and greatest parts on a frame that delivers everything women hope it will and more. A very impressive (and expensive) package. Photo: Kath Bicknell.

Looking forward to spending more time on the Era for a full review later in the year. Photo: Mick Ross.

I’m looking forward to spending more time on the Era for a full review later in the year. Photo: Mick Ross.

Highlights included testing the S-Works Era 29 XC weapon and the Rumor Evo trail bike. With so many women buying the Specialized Epic in recent years, I’m looking forward to hearing what they discover while riding the Era, a bike with similar aims to the Epic, but designed to give ladies a better fitting and more compliant ride straight out of the box.

The Rumor Evo. A great parts selection, and women's trail geometry, make this bike a both a pleasure and thrill to ride. Photo: Mick Ross.

The Rumor Evo. A great parts selection and women’s trail geometry make this bike a both a pleasure and thrill to ride. Photo: Mick Ross.

The Rumor Evo offers 120mm of travel and slightly slacker angles than the standard Rumor I tested for Flow last year. It also comes with a spec much better suited to ladies who really want to push themselves on the trails: buttery smooth suspension, the silence of 1×11, the ease of less weight on the climbs and the control that comes with reliable brakes that suit small hands.

[**UPDATE: For a full review of the Rumor Expert Evo 29 head here.**]

For more detail, pricing, several images and our thoughts on the rest of the range, follow this link to head over to the article for Flow. Mick Ross’ excellent article on the rest of the range shows just how extensive Specialized’s product line has become. It’s hard not to get overwhelmed by choice.

Thank you to Specialized for inviting me to the launch. It’s a thrill to get to discover new products first hand and really satisfying to get to write about it for such a broad audience. Thanks so much to Flow for leading by example and for making me want to keep pushing new ground with writing and photography too.

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A lot of riders have been commenting on these bright shorts. Follow this link for an interview I wrote recently with DHaRCO Designer, Mandy Davis, from Sydney’s Northern Beaches. These locally designed clothes have been constructed with comfort and lifestyle in mind and have a women’s range that offers even more choice than for the men. You won’t see that often in cycling!

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