Bike size: 48 cm
Saddle: Upgraded: Specialized Power 143mm
Bike use: Training and racing
As a rider for Specialized Securitor Women’s Cycling Team, I have had the privilege to be able ride the Specialized S-Works Amira for about 12 months now. I was issued the Amira as my team bike in September 2014, and have been riding it daily since then. The S-Works Amira is Specialized’s top of-the-range women’s specific road bike, designed to give you the edge as a race bike or just straight up, as an awesome everyday bike.
Out of the box it is the perfect bike. It comes with Roval CLX40 carbon wheels, Dura Ace groupset, women's specific features and carbon components that make it a very light and fast bike. With these features as standard you can just get on and ride without any hassle. The only aftermarket change I made was to put a narrower saddle on to suit my sit bone size and put on a power meter.
About the Specialized S-Works Amira
The Amira comes with top-of-the-line Dura Ace group set and carbon ‘everything’, which makes it super lightweight and smooth to ride. The S-Works model comes with full carbon FACT 11r frame, which is the highest grade carbon and lightest in the Amira range. I think that my Amira is around 6.5kg out of the box, which is rather impressive for a stock bike.
The wheels are Roval CLX40s and are perfect wheels in many ways. The rim is a very versatile depth at 40 mm, so you can comfortably train on them every day and they are lightweight and aero enough for race day. I am always impressed when riding these wheels. The hubs have ceramic bearings and absolutely glide – sometimes I feel like I’m riding on a cloud. These wheels are perfect for both training and racing. I use these wheels for all of my racing, from summer criteriums to winter road races.
Why Women’s Specific?
That is a good question! The saying is true - women aren’t just small men. Women’s specific means that the frame and parts on the bike have been designed specifically to suit women. In my opinion the Amira is different from a men’s bike (such as the Tarmac) in two ways: the geometry of the frame and the “touch points” (the things you touch when riding the bike).
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The geometry of the Amira’s frame has been designed to suit the female physiology. The most obvious feature is the lower stand over height. This will allow you to comfortably stand over the top tube without being cut in half! The reach is also shorter on the Amira, and it comes in a range of sizes, from size 44 to 56. This means that the Amira is available to fit all women, from the taller end of the spectrum to the vertically challenged, like me. You won’t generally find a men's bike that goes down to a size 44 that's for sure. You will be able to find a size to fit you perfectly, without having to make too many after-market changes to the setup.
The Amira Touch Points
These are the components on the bike your body touches when you are riding, such as the handlebars, saddle and cranks. The touch points are all women’s specific, so straight out of the box you won’t have to change any components to suit you. The handlebars are narrower with a shallow drop. The cranks are shorter, which suits my short legs. The saddle is women’s specific, and although I upgraded mine to a power saddle, I didn’t have any issues with my lady parts while using it.
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The women’s specific features on the bike mean that you probably won’t have to change anything on the bike. If I bought a men’s bike in my size, I’d still have to change the handlebars, stem, saddle and cranks to get the fit right for me.
I’m pretty demanding in what I need out of my bike. I want a bike that is going to be comfortable for training and fast for racing. The Specialized S-Works Amira is all this, and more. I have never had one complaint or issue with this bike, which is pretty impressive considering I have put my Amira through its paces this year. We have ridden all over Australia and the USA, clocked up over 15,000 kilometers and more than 600 hours together - and I have only had to replace the chain and cassette once!
The Amira has been the perfect all round bike for me. I am comfortable on it every day, riding long and hilly kilometres on the weekend and racing at full gas. The carbon wheels are a dream to ride on, they feel luxurious and smooth like you could ride for days! This bike can really do anything.
A race bike needs to be able to handle the intensity of racing. I think the Amira does that perfectly. When racing the Amira accelerates and gets up to speed quickly, with no wasted power. It is stiff and handles well, you can glide through corners with confidence and navigate the bunch with ease. The bike is great for sprinting, though not really tested to full capacity with my max watts not being quite the same as Lizzie Armisted's! The shifting is always smooth, never skips a beat when having to respond to or make attacks - or sprint away from the traffic lights!
The Amira is a great climbing bike, as it is lightweight and you don’t feel like you are dragging your bike against gravity. The bike feels responsive, each pedal stroke transfers to the road and it is a very smooth ride making it easy to get into a rhythm. You can hook it on the downhill, riding the drops and carving the descents with ease. It is so fast, yet I have never had the dreaded speed wobbles and always have felt like this bike handles perfectly when descending.
Things to Consider
- Cranks. The Amira comes with S-Works cranks as standard. Now don’t get me wrong, these are a great crankset as they are lightweight and stiff, awesome for pedal efficiency. However, they are not compatible with a number of crank based power meters such as a Stages or Pioneer. So you can’t just swap your power meter from your old bike, to the Amira. You would have to either buy and fit a whole new Dura Ace crankset or buy a new power meter that fits the S-Works cranks, which is what I did. I have fitted a Quarq for S-Works power meter with no issues! I love my Quarq!
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- Bike fit. It is important to get a bike fit. Although the Amira will be perfect for most people straight out of the box, some may need some tweaks and changes that would be identified in a bike fit. I have always been comfortable on my Amira, I think this is because I have had a professional bike fit. Little changes in in your setup can increase your comfort and performance 100%. Who knew dropping your saddle 2mm could make such a difference?
You can rest easy knowing that this bike has been specifically designed for women. Specialized’s years of research and development has gone into producing one of the best women’s bikes on the market.
Straight out of the box the Specialized S-Works Amira is ready to go, no upgrades or alterations needed. That is what I love most about the Amira. You don’t have to change anything to ‘make it fit’ or ‘make it perfect’ like you do so often with other non-women’s specific bikes. You don’t even have to buy race wheels, because the Roval CLX40s are perfect straight out of the box!
The Specialized S-Works Amira is a great all rounder that won’t disappoint. It is light, aggressive and responsive, which you will notice on your first ride. It will do anything you want it to, whether that be racing or recreational riding. You will love this bike as much as I do.