As a beginner to intermediate mountain biker buying a new bike can be a daunting process, especially as a female rider. Thankfully Specialized has a female specific line to choose from which includes a 29-er and a handful of bikes that won’t break the bank. The Myka Expert HT 29er was made with the female rider in mind.
Some companies make smaller versions of men’s bikes. Other companies simply change the frame color. But Specialized focuses on real rider needs, using anthropometric research and feedback from female riders to create mountain bikes that improve fit, efficiency, and confidence.
29er’s aren’t just for the guys – ladies can ride them too and Specialized made one that fits just right. At 5’5” and about 130 I was on the fence, but after the first ride I was sold. Living in Tahoe there’s a plethora of trails to enjoy from beginner to advanced. During the first ride I noticed the right shifter for the Shimano hydraulic brakes was defective. The next day I took the bike back to Sports LTD and they took care of it. Within 24 hours I was back on the trail.
After riding a few trails near the house it was time for a true test, off to the Flume Trail I went. The first four miles are up hill with varying pitches. I quickly noticed how much faster and easier it was climbing with a 29er compared to 26-inch bike. Initially the integrated headset’s super-low stack height, combined with the 80-millimeter-travel fork and flat handlebar, would kept the front end low while grounding the front wheel, but during steeper sections of the climb it felt a bit poppy. This could be user error. The wheelbase is in line with what you would find on a 26-inch bike making the bike very agile. A short wheelbase allows ample stand over for those concerned without compromising the handling. With confidence in both handling and control there wasn’t any concern heading downhill. However, this hardtail was made more for x-country riding than downhill.
What goes up must come down. The flume trail is sandy, rocky and firm. With that said, the Myka was stable on the downhill. Feeling confidant in the bike I picked up some speed right as I hit soft sand — the bike got a bit squirrelly, but after shifting weight it road out like a champ. Again the bike felt agile and the front shock worked shockingly well for a lower end fork.
- Fully butted, smooth-welded M4 alloy 29er frame with women’s recreational XC geometry delivers a confident and lightweight ride, with integrated headset for precision handling
- RockShox Tora 80mm-travel 29″ fork with rebound/preload adjustment, lockout, and custom women’s-specific spring weights delivers more versatility and tunability over varying terrain
- Light and durable double-walled 29″ alloy rims are tough enough to handle the rough stuff
- All-terrain 29″ Captain Control tires are 2Bliss ready and built for speed on the trail
- Shimano crankset with forged alloy arms and Octalink-splined BB interface means greater durability and better shifting performance
- Shimano dual-piston hydraulic disc brakes/levers assure solid, worry-free braking performance under any conditions
- Body Geometry Women’s Riva MTB saddle combines generous padding and durable scuff guards for all-day performance and comfort
The bike felt great from the first ride. There were aspects of the Myka I wasn’t sure about at first, but ended up liking. I enjoyed being up a little higher in the saddle, the bigger wheels resulting in faster climbing and the stability downhill. Plus the larger wheels aren’t very noticeable expect when you start clearing objects that were difficult with 26-inch wheels.
Women can now ride a gender specific bike and be confident it was made for them. The Myka Expert HT 29er was designed for the recreational, beginner or intermediate mountain biker looking to push their limits without a high price tag. Yes, I would recommend this bike to any friend starting out or looking to upgrade. This is a bike that you can grow into and ride for awhile.
Get out there and ride!
More Info: Visit Specialized.com