The not-so-minor details
Specialized S-Works Fate Carbon 29
Flow has just landed the ultimate women’s race weapon, Specialized’s S-Works Fate 29er. We’re really looking forward to testing this one as a women’s specific big-wheeled frame, with a high-end, race ready build is about as common as finding a kangaroo in your living room. The Fate is a bike that is built to be raced. It’s dripping in Shimano XTR, sits on a Roval carbon wheelset and the stiffness-to-non-existent-weight ratio of the frame offers the acceleration of you’d expect from something with a motor. A 80mm RockShox SID World Cup fork (with the Brain damping that’s synonymous with suspension on Specialized bikes) offers racy handling while keeping the handlebars nice and low. On the Women’s specific front, the Fate is designed to have a low standover height offering a solid option to riders who find most 29ers too big. The stem, cranks and saddle are also specced to better ensure an appropriate fit straight out of the box. It’s a welcome change for female riders to jump on a bike and hit the trails at full speed without having to order a series of additional parts beforehand. Speaking of change, it’s said that you should never alter anything on your bike two weeks out from a big race. We’ve thrown that rule out the window with the Fate. We built it, photographed it, packed it up and have taken it to South Africa to see what it can do in the 260 odd kilometres of the Sani2c stage race. Keep an eye on Flow for the results. Meanwhile, head here to read more on the spec and the sizing.