Last year there was talk of a Specialized 29er FS for women that would bring the big wheels and full squish together like the men’s bikes do. Well it took a while, but here it is. The Rumor is the result of that wait. What appears to be a women’s version of a Camber platform across three models, the Rumor is a dead shot at an all around XC/Trail ride with 110mms of travel at each end. The website shows it in two models, Expert ($4200.00 MSRP) and Comp ($3000.00 MSRP), although there appears to be a third model called just ‘Rumor’ that is the budget leader of the group, so there are choices there. Autosag for rear shock settings makes the set-up easy, and the Expert model gets Roval wheels and a Blacklite Command Post. Go to the weblink for all the details on specs, etc. I find it a bit odd that this was not announced at Sea Otter, but instead was a covered up bike on a stand with an enigmatic sign on it. Oddly enough, it did not seem to be getting much attention although I was caught, ah, how shall we say it…’copping a feel’…to see what was under the tarp and I was smacked with a Specialized branded stick. If only I had a mirror on top of my shoe.
From the Specialized Press Release:
THE RUMOR IS TRUE:
SPECIALIZED UNVEILS FULL-SUSPENSION WOMEN’S 29er MOUNTAIN BIKE
From flowing single-track to challenging trail adventures, the Specialized Rumor is designed for female trail riders looking for versatility and premium full-suspension performance in a 29 inch wheel platform.
MORGAN HILL, Calif., April 23, 2013 – Specialized Bicycle Components unveiled the much-anticipated Rumor – their first full-suspension woman’s 29er. Built with Women’s XC Trail 29 Geometry, the Rumor is created from the ground up to be one of the lightest weight and best fitting full-suspension 29ers for women.
“We built a full-suspension 29’er because we have seen how much fit and 29’’ wheels enhance confidence and stability for women out on the trails,” said Women’s Product Manager Erin Sprague. “Our product testers are around five feet tall and their trail experiences have improved dramatically on this platform. We believe that this bike is a game changer, and women’s mountain biking is the next big thing,” she added.
The Rumor is available in three model levels and offers the latest available technology for women’s 29er riders. The all-new Women’s M5 Alloy frame features Women’s XC Trail 29 Geometry and tube sets, 110mm front and rear travel, a tapered head tube for precision handling, internal cable routing, ultra-low stand over height and unlike its competitors, water bottle clearance on all sizes.
Specialized was able to achieve this by designing the bike from the ground up, with a two-piece top and shock carriage. This enabled the team to create in-line suspension and reach all 29er design targets in terms of stand over, ride quality and bottle clearance. The Rumor offers custom tuned suspension, appropriate for female riders. Extensive field-testing and research on women’s center of gravity and weight distribution helped to determine the optimal spring rate for female riders. By designing the bike and suspension in tandem, Specialized has been able to achieve completely balanced performance that is appropriate to the female rider.
Specialized Autosag suspension tuning is available on the comp and expert level models. Autosag automatically sets the proper sag and air pressure in the shock,providing a quick and simple adjustment for optimal suspension performance.
To use Autosag, a rider sits in the saddle and pushes a specially designed transfer port on the shock to release air pressure until a set level, which is based on the rider’s weight. This equalizes the positive and negative chambers and achieves ‘perfect sag’. Perfect sag allows for any rider, regardless of mechanical experience, to properly set up the rear suspension of their bike to ensure a comfortable trail experience.
Women’s Body Geometry data was used throughout the development of the Rumor. The Jett saddle, Women’s Enduro grips and size specific components ensure that female riders get the best fit at every contact point. Everything from small diameter grips to size-specific crank lengths are optimized for female riders.
Please visit specialized.com to learn more and experience the Rumor, the most stable and confidence-inspiring women’s full-suspension 29er on the trail.
The choice just got a good bit wider for the ladies who are looking for a 29er FS and that cannot be a bad thing. It makes sense to approach this with a Camber-type bike as it has a wide appeal although I would not be surprised to see this followed up with an Epic-based ride, maybe a Jett FS in carbon with carbon Rovals? Maybe.
Note: Images and information used in this report were provided by Specialized.