Specialized Amira Expert UDi2
Specialized’s Amira has long been the gold standard for women’s race bikes and is once again the choice ride for the dominant Boels-Dolmans WorldTour team. The featherweight Amira frame is ideal for big mountain climbs while a stiff platform provides plenty of kick for the most explosive sprints.
Specialized builds it with women’s-specific race geometry, which features a spot-on 165-millimeter head tube (size 56cm) to help get the rider in a low and aggressive position. A short wheelbase (982mm) also helps with a snappy ride for maneuvering throughout a packed peloton. A slack 72-degree head tube angle paired with a steep 74-degree seat tube angle make for a short top tube (547mm) and reach (380mm), ideal for riders with shorter torsos.
The bike is peppy with quick handling and impressive acceleration. It can feel a little twitchy when cruising down smooth blacktop or even bumpy dirt roads. But this is a race bike after all and it performs best when pushed to the limit.
A Shimano Ultegra Di2 build offers crisp and reliable shifting and the option to run an 11-32-tooth cassette (Dura-Ace Di2 only allows up to a 30-tooth cog). Since we live in a mountainous region, the 32-tooth cog is a no-brainer and we’ll happily sacrifice a little weight for the extra spin. The bike’s DT-Swiss R460 Pro wheels aren’t the flashiest hoops out there but they help keep the bike’s price down – less than half than its S-Works counterpart– without sacrificing much on weight. Altogether, our 56cm test bike weighed a ridiculously light 15.98 pounds.
It’s a great value, ready to take on Europe’s biggest climbs or for local crits and road races. Even the Boels-Dolmans purple and orange paint scheme points to racing: It’s the total package for women who ride hard and race even harder.
Component Highlights: Shimano Ultegra Di2 drivetrain with 52/36 crankset and 11-28 cassette; Shimano Ultegra brakes; DT-Swiss R460 Pro wheels