Road Gear

Reviewed: Specialized Amira SL4

Women who demand the best, lightest, and most race-worthy bike available can thank Specialized for delivering.

Lab data: 19.2/20 (.76mm head tube deflection; .2mm BB deflection)
Build: 14.0/15
Comfort: 13.8/15
Value: 11.7/15
Handling: 14.3/15
Pedaling response: 13.9/15
Aesthetics: 4.9/5

Overall: 91.8/100

Women who demand the best, lightest, and most race-worthy bike available can thank Specialized for delivering. The big, red “S” didn’t cut any corners when designing this much-needed top-of-the-line option for women who ride hard.

Built with Specialized’s Fact11r carbon layup, the company’s highest quality carbon, the Amira delivers a stiff and nimble ride at a staggeringly light 14.84 pounds (size 56cm). Sharp climbs are no match for this lightweight ride as it prances up canyon roads, responding immediately with every hard pedal stroke. This responsiveness is echoed on descents. Zipping through twisty corners, the bike stuck to our lines with ease and swooped around sharp hairpins on some of Boulder’s steepest descents.

With a 52/36-tooth Specialized crank paired with an 11-28-tooth cassette, the Amira is geared for versatility, able to tackle rolling training rides as well as flat, fast races. The bike is equipped with Shimano Dura-Ace mechanical components, providing crisp, top-shelf shifting. But for an all-out, dream bike like this, we would have liked to see a Di2 spec here.

Standard for women’s specific geometry, the Amira has a shorter top tube (547 millimeters in size 56cm) and smaller stand-over (777 millimeters) but maintains its race-inspired ride with a shorter wheelbase (994 millimeters) and 73.5-degree seat tube angle. It’s a top performer across a variety of terrains, from bumpy dirt roads to fast flats: just ask the women of the Boels – Dolmans team who won piloted this bike to wins in the first three Women’s WorldTour races, including Italy’s Strade Bianche over white gravel roads.

But the Amira’s fast and snappy ride doesn’t come at the expense of comfort. Women’s-specific components like the Oura Pro saddle and women’s SL shallow drop handlebars weave comfort into every inch of the bike. Oh, and those Specialized cotton Turbo tires don’t hurt either. The 320TPI tires glide over bumpy pavement, absorbing road vibrations, as hihglighted in a recent VeloNews test of rolling resistance.

The Turbo tires’ tan sidewalls also look pretty slick against the Roval Rapide CLX 40-millimeter deep carbon rims, with a little new-age meets old-school feel. But it’s that color-shifting paint job that pushes the Amira’s aesthetic to another level.

Price: $8,000
Component highlights: Shimano Dura-Ace drivetrain; Specialized S-Works 52/36 crankset with 11-28 cassette; Roval Rapide CLX40 wheels
Weight: 14.84 pounds (size 56cm)

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