Specialized have long had a tradition of creating a custom bike for sponsored athletes who win a World Champion title - and they’ve done exactly that for Lizzie Armitstead.
The Yorkshire rider has had a phenomenal season, taking top spot in both the World Cup and the World Championships, and Specialized have created a unique S-Works Amira for her to ride in 2016 that reflects her strength as a rider and her personal, classy style.
The Amira is the brands aggressive, race focused platform and the riders at Boels-Dolmans race top end versions of the frame, which shares identical geometry with more affordable versions.
Lauren Parenti, Lead Women's Bike Graphic Designer took extra special care to ensure that Armitstead’s bike was perfect for her – she said: “Lizzie is super classy and her WC bike should represent that, but it should also remind her how amazing and strong she was that day. It needs to be bold and timeless."
"When Lizzie looks at the top tube, while she is riding, the sun will highlight the sparkle and help her reflect back on her memory of that day."
Parenti went for a classic pearly white – explaining: “Normally when I think of strength, I think black for bikes but this time I really wanted Lizzie’s bike to stand out and reflect her. I chose a white base to nod to her classiness and help her stand out amongst the team’s dark bikes and other riders. We incorporated a fine rainbow flake into the paint to tie into the WC rainbow and bring the white base to life. When Lizzie looks at the top tube, while she is riding, the sun will highlight the sparkle and help her reflect back on her memory of that day."
The design has a deeper meaning than colours and shapes – signifying the solidarity of Armitstead’s Boels-Dolmans team – Parenti went on to say: “The graphic links Lizzie to her team yet it is filled with a bold new abstract Trivalent pattern. Triangles are very symbolic, they have many meanings. In this case Lizzie’s represent the unifying power of working together in solidarity utilizing our strongest attributes. I also intend the graphic to convey progression, direction, and purpose during the process of growth and reaching an ultimate peak of transformation in the attainment of her dreams. The colors represent the trials of the race and of course the World Champion win!"
The bike of course has a top end SRAM Red 22 groupset, and rolls on super speedy Zipp 404 Firecrest wheels, whilst Armitstead chooses a Specialized Ruby Pro saddle.
Armitstead will ride the bike throughout the 2016 season, whilst also sporting the World Champion rainbow jersey. She said: “At first glance I love the simplicity of it. When I actually look further into it I see the glitter on white. Pearl effect, I love it. It’s exactly how I wanted my bike to be, simple and elegant. "