American bike brand Specialized have been trading since 1974 and they’re now one of the giants of the cycling world.
They’ve provided bikes for a host of incredible professional cyclists, this year gaining the dual honour of supporting both male and female World Road Race Champions – Peter Sagan and Lizzie Armitstead. Both riders received custom painted S-Works versions of their bikes this year – Armitstead’s pearly white Amira gaining a great deal of love on its unveiling.
Specialized created their first women’s specific bike in 2003 – and since then their take on what exactly women need has evolved. The current approach is to use data from Retul bike fits, plus ‘motivational’ and ‘experiential’ differences to determine if a women’s frame is needed. What we like is that though the brand’s thoughts on women’s bikes have evolved over time, they’ve always explained the ‘why’ and they’ve always been open about their reasons and motivations.
The good news is that the brand have taken decisive steps to ensure that women who know what female cyclists want are making the decisions. Early this year they took on Vanessa Christie as their new Women’s Brand Manager – she’s there to oversee the work of even more women’s brand managers the company employs across the world – for example in the US Stephanie Kaplan looks after Women’s Road and Denise Bannert heads up Women’s MTB.