By Shannon Mominee
Autosag is built into Fox rear shocks exclusively for Specialized and will appear on all FSR Stumpjumpers. Autosag automatically sets the proper sag and air pressure in the shock, which can then be tweaked if desired. Basically you pump 50psi over your body weight into the shock. Get on the bike wearing all your riding gear. Reach down, push the extra Schrader valve on the shock and wait until air stops escaping. Bounce up and down to cycle the shock and press the valve again to emit the remaining air. That’s it. The proper sag has been set.
I rode the FSR EVO and FSR S-Works and didn’t touch the air pressure after using Autosag. It really did work.
For full-face helmet, Specialized turned to the sport of motor-cross and brought in veteran helmet designer Bob Lakes. After three years of R&D the result is the Dissident. It’s made with a 3K carbon weave matrix outer shell and a carbon, Kevlar, fiberglass under layer.
The Dissident fits tight around the head and face for weight management while riding, has a removable, washable liner, and titanium D-rings for strap security and weight savings. It also has recessed speaker ports with integrated cable routing and airflow channels for ventilation.
A bonus feature is the EMT removal system in case of an accident. Pull-tabs remove the snap-in cheek pads and the Eject Removal System is a safety air bladder built into the top of the helmet that is inflatable to push down on your spine, while EMT personnel pull the helmet off. Claimed weight of the Dissident is 1000g.
For 2012 the Command Post is offered in three lengths; 75mm, 100mm, and 120mm. Each post features three pre-set height positions, so you know exactly how far the saddle height will drop each time.
Because the Command Post is mechanical, not hydraulic, the height is held in place by grooves inside the post, which there are three of, and is what allows the post to drop to the three positions. A standard cable operates the post and the lever is integrated into the lock-on clamp of the grip. A weight reduction of 100g from the previous model brings the total weight to 501g /75mm, 535g/100mm, 547g/120mm. On the trail I felt no wobbling of the saddle or side-to-side play.
Rime MTB Shoe
Rime is a new all-mountain, freeride shoe that borrows from the XC line, but takes walking, protection and traction into consideration. It features a Vibram sole, the tread pattern was designed by Specialized, and armor around the toes and heel. The cleat sits recessed enough that I barely heard it click against the sidewalk while walking to the shuttle. The composite mid-sole allowed for a good amount of flex when walking but felt stiff when attached to the pedals. Finally, the best of both worlds!
The upper is made from a soft synthetic material with mesh panels that allowed for plenty of airflow to circulate around my toes. The redesigned Boa closure is now replaceable using a 3mm hex wrench, has a stop to prevent the lace from wrapping around itself, and has stainless steel internals. Two Velcro straps secure the rest of the foot. The tongue wraps around the top of the foot and is completely attached to the shoe to keep dirt out.
Rime has all the Body Geometry technology that Specialized’s high-end shoes feature for arch support and metatarsal button separation. Price will be about $175.
The Ground Control name has a 25-year history at Specialized and for 2012 they pulled the rubber from the archives to give the tire new life. Ground Control, above left, will be available in 26” and 29” with 3 widths to choose from. It’s UST tubeless ready, has Armadillo flat protection and an upgraded tread design. I rode it on a few test bikes and those that had Ground Control felt more stable and predictable on loose trails at high speed.
The Fast Trak tire, above right, sacrifices grip for speed and the 2012 tire is lighter with less rolling resistance and a bit more traction. I wasn’t crazy about this tire, but I’m not a racer and prefer grip over less rolling resistance. It too is available in 26” and 29”
For all-mountain riding Specialized took the tread pattern of their Butcher DH tire, mated it to a XC casing and renamed it Butcher Control.
It’s been 14 years since Specialized first introduced the Body Geometry saddle. The 2012 line will see the addition of new curved shapes and rolled down noses for both men and women. Shops will also have fit kits and assometers to help riders find the correct saddle shape, size and padding.
For 2012, select models of gloves will feature WireTap technology. WireTap is metallic fibers woven into the glove at the end of the thumb and index finger so touch screens can be used in all weather.
The BG Element glove is one such model designed for cold weather riding. It features Gore Windstopper and has a comfort range down to 40˚F. The Ridge glove is a standard full fingered glove available in men’s and women’s with WireTap.