Specialized deepened its commitment to the big wheel size with the unveiling of Rumor, a line of three alloy-framed women's specific dual suspension 29ers.
The platform was a complete redesign based loosely on the men's Camber 29er. All three spec models are based on the new M5 alloy frame with women's-specific 29er geometry, 110 millimeters of front and rear travel, a tapered head tube, internal cable routing, ultra-low stand-over and water bottle clearance on all sizes. Stand-over heights are: 27.8 inches for size small, 27.9 inches for medium and 27.95 inches for large. In other words, this is a 29er that’ll easily accommodate shorter riders.
Specialized engineers designed the bike with a two-piece top and shock carriage to create in-line suspension and reach all targets for stand-over, ride quality and bottle clearance. The Rumor has custom-tuned suspension appropriate for female riders. On the top two models, the comp and expert, riders have the option of autosag suspension tuning to automatically set the proper sag and air pressure in the shock based on rider weight.
The top Expert level is spec'd with a Fox Float CTD 29er fork with CTD damper, rebound and compression adjust, lockout and tapered steerer tube; SRAM X0 10-speed rear derailleur; SRAM X7 front derailleur; Custom Formula brakes with 160 millimeter rotor; and the Specialized Command adjustable height seatpost. The Comp uses the RockShox Reba RL 29er fork; custom SRAM S-1250 XC Trail double crankset with PF30 spindle for improved ground clearance; Avid Elixir 5 SL brakes; and SRAM X9 10-speed rear derailleur and X7 front derailleur. The FSR base model has an X-Fusion air shock, SR Suntour XCR 29er coil spring fork and Tektro hydraulic disc brakes with shorter reach levers for a better fit smaller riders.
MSRP ranges from $1,900 for the FSR to $4,200 for the Expert, and the top two models are available now through Specialized shops. The FSR starts shipping in June.
The development of the Rumor represents an evolution of the women's line from solely 26-inch wheels to 29ers over the past few years. In 2010, Specialized released the Myka, its first hardtail 29er, and followed up the next year with the Fate, the first carbon fiber hardtail women's 29er. The Jett, an alloy version, also came out that year. Last year, it began testing prototypes of a full suspension version. No doubt Specialized is already looking into incorporating carbon fiber into the full suspension line as well.
"We built a full-suspension 29er because we have seen how much fit and 29-inch wheels enhance confidence and stability for women out on the trails," said Erin Sprague, women's product manager. "Our product testers are around five feet tall and their trail experiences have improved dramatically on this platform."