July 27, 2011 (Monterey, California) – Specialized Global Press Launch 2012 earlier this month included an impressive list of new and improved equipment for the upcoming season in every category. Our final day at the launch began with saddles, including the women’s Oura Pro, the Toupé Plus, and the Romin Evo Pro. All of Specialized’s Body Geometry saddles have been developed by Dr. Roger Minkow and have been medically tested for comfort and anatomical optimization.
The Oura Pro is the first curved saddle for women and features a narrow curved nose for comfort. Other features include FACT carbon rails, carbon-reinforced shell, and a water resistant micromatrix cover. (Size 143mm = 169g /155mm = 177g)
The Toupé Plus Expert is a high performance saddle for endurance riders with the addition of a layer of foam padding this year. (Size 130mm = 210g / 143mm = 219g / 155mm = 227g)
The Romin EVO Pro (the EVOlution of the Romin) also has more padding this year and allows an even deeper aero positioning by narrowing and dropping the nose. (Size 130mm = 163g / 143mm = 173g / 155mm = 182g)
Next on tap was the glove presentation. Now before you just scan past this section of our report please stop and take a quick look at some of the cool innovations Specialized has built into their glove line. You just know these guys are not just designing gloves but facing the same issues we all do out there on their own bikes.
Wiretap™ technology is cutting edge, and although you may think it’s cool that your torn index full-fingered glove is the way to go when answering your iphone while on your bike, the Wiretap is a way more stylish option. Wiretap allows you to use touch screen devices without removing your gloves thanks to little wires knit into the index finger and thumb. WireTap can be found on the BG Element and the BG Gel gloves – both new for 2012.
BG Element is a super soft water resistant glove, with Gore-Tex for wind stopping protection. Specialized tells us they will keep your digits toasty down to about 5c.
Another new glove, the BG Flite, does not have Wiretap but does have some interesting design features for riders seeking aerodynamics and a true race fit. It has a high wrist cuff, and supple 4-way stretch Lycra for comfort. This finger-less glove has no seams at all on the top, providing aerodynamics and weight reduction.
From one extremity to the next, we were on to shoes and as we had spent several days in Specialized’s new Rime shoe, we were excited to get some details on it and the other offerings for 2012.
The Rime was an MTB highlight, along with the new S Works Evo and Women’s’ S Works MTB.
The Rime is a really comfortable MTB shoe that is super stable when you are off the bike walking, and although it looks a bit flexi with its robust Vibram rubber sole, this is a stiff and efficient shoe. The Rime also features the new S2 Boa cartridge closure, BG technology, and wrap style tongue for secure fit. The Rime weighs in at about 420g per shoe (1/2 pair #42) and is available in a size 50!
The S Works Evo MTB shoe has body armour added around the upper for protection and also features two new S2 Boa’s – approx. 380g per shoe for a pair #42)
The new women’s S-Works MTB shoes feature two S1- M Boa’s to allow on-the-fly closure, light and stiff FACT carbon midsole, running the entire length of the shoe, and a thermoplastic replaceable tread for traction and comfort. Approx. 305g per shoe (1/2 pair #39)
Now on to the coolest James Bond-ish style shoe that we saw this year at the launch – the S Works Trivent – yes, a tri shoe. With the look of a Formula One racer and the tech of a 007 secret weapon the shoe blew everyone away at the launch. Featuring a revolutionary Tri-specific closure system for the fastest possible transition times, a FACT 12.0 carbon sole, Boa L4 closure system, and arch fix point for flying starts, if you are not into tri’s you will want to do one just so you can have a reason to wear a shoe this cool. Approx 280g per shoe (1/2 pair #42).
Another shoe in the cool category was the 74, a retro classic developed with the latest technology. Kangaroo leather is featured in this shoe that looks more like a soccer shoe which sports the 74 Specialized three-stripped logo. It may look retro but its full of BG high performance tech, and a FACT carbon sole. 270g per shoe (1/2 pair #2)
From feet we headed back up again to Helmets and a few new cool offering were on the agenda.
The S3 (road) and S3 MT (mountain), with 4th Dimension cooling and patented kevlar-reinforced inner matrix, found its way onto our heads for the majority of our off-road rides in Monterey. The S3 is light, super comfortable and easy to fit thanks to a micro-dial fit system with height adjustment, soft Drylite webbing, and the easily adjusted Tri-Fix web splitter around the ear. The S3 MT has the addition of a visor – cool.
The S Works Propero ll is a race-inspired helmet similar to the Prevail but at a lower price point. Propero ll combines great ventilation and aerodynamic design with 4th Dimension cooling, 4X DryLite webbing, and the Tri-Fix web splitter.
The real rush for the helmet engineers was presenting the Dissident, specifically designed for riders who push the absolute limits on descents and in bike parks of the world. The Dissident is designed with a CarbonMatrix Shell, 4th Dimension Cooling, and features construction tweaks to allow for the helmet EJECT™ system, Leatt™ brace compatibility, and speaker compatibility.
Look some videos from the launch coming very soon.