SEA OTTER CLASSIC 2010 – Not to be left out of the mix with Giant’s recent creation of the women’s specific 29er category, Specialized had a few Myka 29er bikes out in the open.Â Using Sea Otter as sort of a soft launch for the bike, the Myka is a women’s specific hardtail 29er mountain bike.
Rachael Lambert, Specialized’s women’s product and marketing manager, says three main things were considered when building the Myka specifically for the ladies: Stack, Reach and Standover Height, all of which is discussed in great detail with photos after the break…
At the opening of the post, you saw a medium (17″)…this one’s a small, which equates to about a 15″ frame and almost looks like they threw some 29er wheels on a Hotrock.Â Lambert says their goal in the design was to get it small enough to accommodate a 5’2″ rider…but their designer changed some things up and they’re able to fit someone all the way down to about 5’0″ tall, beating their goal.
One of the biggest hurdles in a small frame is keeping toe-overlap within CEN safety standards, and Specialized accomplishes this somewhat by spec’ing shorter crank arms.Â The rest was done with frame design to achieve the following (in Specialized’s words):
Stack: Especially for small riders, itâ€™s important to keep the front end low to minimize the differential between the seat height and handlebar. By using an integrated headset, new flat handlebar, and 80mm travel fork with female-tuned and size-specific spring rates (accounts for variation in rider weight), we created an ultra-low stack height that wonâ€™t overwhelm the female rider.
Reach: We wanted to ensure that women could comfortably reach the handlebars and control the bike, no matter their size. We achieved the shortest possible reach on our 15â€ bike, ensuring that our Myka HT 29ers offer the broadest fit range for women.
Stand over Height: With most 29ers on the market, bigger wheels mean taller stand over height. But especially for recreational riders who want to get on and off their bike with total control, low stand over height is a key ingredient. We reached our aggressive target of keeping stand over height under 690mm for our smallest bike (size 15â€ is 687mm)â€”and proportionally low for all others, of course.
The bike shown here isn’t final spec.Â There will be two trim levels offered, with full specs at the bottom of this post.
Rack mounts on the seat stays expand the bike’s potential uses.
A supported seat tube keeps overall standover height low.
A low bottom bracket height also keeps standover and center of gravity low…and also probably helps a bit with toe overlap.Â The frame is Specialized’s M4 alloy, which in the not to distant past was their top of the line metal, so the frame is certainly upgrade worthy as the rider advances.Â As it comes, though, it’s suited to the beginner rider.
Look for Specialized components rounding out the cockpit to keep the Myka price points on the low end (not that there’s anything wrong with that).Â The two spec levels are:
Myka HT 29er Expert: RockShox Tora 29 SL 80mm fork, Shimano Deore Shadow 9-speed rear derailleur, Shimano BR M505 hydraulic disc brakes, and The Captain Control 29 X 2.0 tires ($1,100 to $1,200)
Myka HT 29er Comp: Sun Tour XCR 80mm fork, Shimano Alivio 9-speed rear derailleur, Tektro Draco hydraulic disc brakes, and The Captain Sport 29 X 2.0 tires (~$800)
The Myka will roll out as a 2011 model year bike.Â They’re headed into production in May, and could be in dealers as early as July.