Disc brakes on an endurance bike should be a no-brainer. Yet the Ruby Pro is one of only a few women’s-specific comfort rides to offer them. While they add more than half a pound over rim brakes, Shimano’s 785 hydraulics deliver smooth and reliable braking power we’d rather not do without.
More importantly, the Ruby is extremely comfortable. The women’s-specific endurance geometry — short 53.6-centimeter top tube (size 54cm), 72-degree head tube angle, and lower bottom bracket—provides a stable, upright, and relaxed position. And for road vibrations, the CG-R seatpost and Specialized Zertz frame inserts eat up bumps.
Built with Specialized’s Fact 9r carbon layup, the Ruby is plenty stiff for accelerations up steep rollers, but it’s not as harsh as its more race-focused sister bike, the Amira. Our lab tests revealed impressive stiffness scores at the bottom bracket (0.38 millimeters of deflection) thanks to Specialized’s OSBB (BB30) bottom bracket, which had us contemplating the Ruby for something like the Rouge Roubaix, a long, dirt road race in Louisiana. It’s an admirable mix of race tuning and comfort details.
At 17.15 pounds for a size 54cm, the Ruby isn’t a featherweight compared to the likes of a Trek Silque, but it still climbs with the best of the endurance bike crowd. And when you turn the bike downhill, the exceptional stopping power from its disc brakes make steep descents just that much more exciting. When rain starts to fall on mountainous descents, you won’t have to worry about the reduced braking power that comes with rim brakes and carbon wheels. The disc-equipped Roval Rapid 40-millimeter deep wheels flashed through corners without problem.
It’s not the most exciting looking bike of the bunch, but the Ruby Pro delivers in ride experience. For women who want the added benefit of disc brakes on their comfort ride, the Ruby pro is hard to beat.
Component highlights: Shimano Ultegra Di2 drivetrain; Specialized Pro 50/34 crankset; Shimano BR-785 disc brakes; Roval Rapide CL 40 Disc wheels