It’s a nice feeling when one article opens a pathway to others. Adding to the high of the recent trip to South Africa was the chance to test the race-ready Specialized S-Works Fate 29er while I was there. Once home, the Fate was swapped for the Rumor, a big-wheeled trail bike that is set to change the way women first discover the sport.
The innovation behind these two bikes is what excites me most. Girls aren’t a minority in mountain biking any more. The industry is recognising the value in designing equipment for female users that is balanced, responsive, aggressive and available in a geometry that suits the people who use it.
The bike tests coincided with a world first training course for female bike shop staff at the Specialized Headquarters in Melbourne. The confidence, skills and networks this enabled in attendees was a thrill to see and such a nice story to have the opportunity to write.
Some quick Google research for later features revealed these articles on Specialized’s women’s equipment and training have become part of an international conversation. The Rumor review is the first of its kind, the Fate report not far behind. The social media trail following the tech skills story has been a highlight too. It shows the ways riders in Australia, New Zealand and America are engaging in the work of shop staff. Better still, is the pride this gives people working in and running bike shops in return. Cycling is responding to the internet in increasingly exciting ways.
Links to features for Flow Mountain Bike:
Tested: Specialized Women’s S-Works Fate Carbon 29
Tested: Specialized Rumor Comp
Specialized Skill Up Women in Retail
Images: Kath Bicknell, Damian Breach.