Guess what? It’s not all about the bike. Specialized also create everything needed to get out and ride: helmets, shoes, grips and handlebars, gloves, saddles and clothing.
The handlebars, saddle and foot to shoe connections are all incredibly important – these contact points lock us to our bicycles, and if they’re not right we can end up uncomfortable. That’s where Body Geometry FIT comes in.
Body Geometry FIT products are those that are ‘scientifically tested and ergonomically designed’ to connect the rider to their bike in perfect harmony, and Specialized ensure that in each case there is a women’s version where necessary, designed to fit our bodies and based on data and rider information.
Specialized have offered their own Body Geometry Bike Fitting service for many years, but in 2012 they purchased the science led bike fitting business, Retül. Retül fits are available across the world, and the system records data from riders as they pedal a stationary bike, allowing fitters to find the perfect set-up for a rider – and also giving Specialized the opportunity to gather a great deal of data along the way.
As well as using the data collected from fits, Specialized also work with leading doctors in their fields Dr Minkow, Dr. Pruitt, and Dr. Bickel. One of their favourite approaches is monitoring blood flow in a rider to help them develop better saddles, chamois pads and indeed gloves.
Saddles and shorts
Among the saddles range there are many options for women – on the road side the brand new unisex Power saddle, the Oura which is ridden by Lizzie Armitstead, the squishier Ruby that often comes specced on bikes as they roll out, and the Lithia. For mountain bikers, there’s the Myth with its recessed channel, and the cut out Riva, as well as the Power which works across disciplines, and for fitness riders or commuters there’s also three ‘comfort saddles’ with wide rear sections for those sitting in an upright position.
All saddles come in a range of widths, and dealers can determine what’s ideal for the rider using the ‘Arse-O-Meter’, whilst the Specialized chamois is designed also using blood flow analysis.
Touching on the shorts, in 2015 the brand introduced their new ‘Hook Up’ shorts – an innovation in bib short, with a quick snap magnet which clicks in at the back to make toilet stops easier. The produced a great video to go with them, too…
Shoes are another area where Specialized are known to excel. All of their shoes are designed to help the rider to avoid knee pain by creating a straight track pattern thanks to wedges which can prevent the knee collapsing in. A slight arch support is included in all shoes, but for those who need a little extra push Specialized offer wedges of varying strengths to provide more support if it’s needed.
There are shoes at a wide range of price points – starting from around £75. However, we have to admit a bit of a love affair with the brand new top of the range (cough … £280) S-Works 6 shoes. Admittedly most riders aren’t ready to shell out quite this much for even gold plated shoes. However, for those after the ultimate mix of explosive power and superior comfort, they’re spot on – with a unique PadLock Heel that cups the foot and keeps it stable, and an incredibly stiff but highly lightweight sole, plus an easy to use Boa closure system.
Off-road, there’s the new 2FO Cliplite. Designed for trail and enduro riding, Specialized have worked hard to ensure entry and exit from the pedals is easy, as well as adding their Body Geometry FIT sole construction to reduce injury by helping the knee to track straight. These also use a Boa closure, with a reinforced toe box, grippy rubber sole and women’s fit with a narrow ankle.
Finally, the Body Geometry FIT touch is also applied to all Specialized gloves [as well as grips and handlebars - but we've not got enough room here] – with more blood flow analysis used to help develop mitts and full finger offerings with padding in just the right areas to prevent numbness and pain. The wide range of women’s gloves – MTB full finger, road mitt and road winter varieties as well as light weight spring versions are all developed to fit women, in smaller sizes to make sure we’re not riding around with our fingertips far from the ends.