At TWC we see a lot of gear come through the door. Bikes and clothing mostly, probably because our specialty sits in women’s kit and as yet there’s been no need to develop a female specific wheel (alas).
Every piece of kit is subjected to multiple rides including at least one long trip and a high intensity beasting, washes if applicable, and we like to put technology such as lights and computers through the ‘drop test’ (intentionally or otherwise.) Then we write it all up – the good, the bad and the ugly.
Of course, there will always be pieces of kit that stand out – here’s a look at my favourite kit picks from the year gone by, starting with bikes…
Specialized Ruby Road Bike
When introducing the brand new Specialized Ruby with front end suspension, the big bucks American brand invited a host of female journalists out to test the bikes on the roads of France. Keen not to let my review be tinged by this experience alone, I put the Ruby through its paces at home in Surrey too.
Whilst the men’s Roubaix has ‘grown up’ to sport a more aggressive geometry (like the Tarmac race bike), the Ruby retains a more relaxed sportive fit. That decision was based on data and information from men and women having Specialized Body Geometry fits. You can’t argue with numbers, and I appreciate the honesty with which the big ‘S’ relayed that information.
This isn’t a race bike or a sprint bike, but it is a fast bike. The comfort provided by the 20mm travel suspension does mean the bike glides over lumps and bumps, and it’s said to be the lightest bike in their range (despite disc brakes). The Ruby jumps and accelerates as you’d like it to so it doesn’t lose its ‘snap’ despite the comfort element. All round, a really fun ride. Prices start from £1900.