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  • Posted May 26, 2008

We caught up with Kelli Mente of the Punk Rock Cycling Women's Team to talk bikes and gear.

For 2008 Kelli, along with the rest of the PRC team, is riding the Specialized S-Works Ruby SL, the company's flagship women's specific model along with other products from Specialized, Shimano, and Oakley. In this article we’ll review her set-up, comparing Kelli’s thoughts on each product with the given company’s product description. 1. The Module. Specialized S-Works Ruby SL with S-Works Crank and Bottom Bracket Inside Tech: Specially-tuned tubing dimensions and geometry (to fit female anatomies) yields a super lightweight, smooth riding chassis of superior caliber. Not to mention, unheard of strength and stiffness-to-weight ratios. Kelli's Thoughts: The frame fits VERY well. This is my first women's specific bike and the reach is much better for me. It's very light and weighs only 14 lbs built with components, cabling, wheels, etc. It provides a very smooth ride and I honestly believe the lighter bike has really helped me this year. I did switch out the 50t chain ring for SRAM instead. I felt that ring gave me better shifting. 2. The Wheels: Shimano DuraAce Inside Tech: The first road tube & tubeless tire compatible wheels. Light, strong & durable "butted" Scandium alloy rim. New titanium freehub body w/quick engagement. New wider flange hub and offset rim for rigidity and increased power transmission. Kelli's Thoughts: I feel the wheels accelerate a lot sharper and I feel very sturdy as I cut into a corner. They are much lighter than my previous wheels. I opted to not go tubeless and I use the Specialized S-Works Mondo tires. 3. The Components: Shimano DuraAce STI Shifter/Brake Levers, Derailleurs, Cassette, and Chain Inside Tech: Speed and smoothness result in effortless shifting, improved braking operation, enhanced ergonomics and an attractive feeling and design. Strength is focused on the critical need for lightweight without sacrificing rigidity, durability or precision. "100% Power Transmission" is the goal pursued by the fusion of these three concepts. Kelli's Thoughts: How the drive system shifts is something that you never notice until it's not smooth and quiet. DuraAce shifting is very smooth and super trustworthy. No problems at all. I've noticed that the road pedals give me a lot of power and I can tell there is definitely more power transfer with the wider pedal platform. 4. The Saddle: Specialized Designs for Women Ruby Inside Tech: Women's Body Geometry cutout is medically tested to reduce soft tissue pressure. Available in multiple widths for optimum fit. Approximate weight: 130mm = 200g, 143mm = 210g, 155mm = 230g (+/- 5%). Kelli's Thoughts: Although the saddle is very narrow, thin and light, it's still very comfortable for a long endurance ride; in fact, I just recommended the identical saddle to a friend of mine. I went through the measuring process to find the right saddle size for me. I feel my sit bones actually being supported rather than sinking into a cushioned saddle. 5. The Handlebars: Specialized Designs for Women Ruby SL Advanced Composite Inside Tech: Specifically designed for smaller hands, the Ruby SL is ergonomic for an improved fit. Made from FACT advanced composite weave, which combines high strength and stiffness makes this an incredibly comfortable handlebar. Short lever reach drops specifically designed for smaller hands. Kelli's Thoughts: The women's handlebar design makes for easy shifting and comfort when I'm casually riding or when trying to attack in my drops. The shorter reach is well designed and perfect for women. 6. The Shoes: Specialized Designs for Women BG Pro Carbon Road Shoe w/ Specialized BG Footbeds Inside Tech: A high performance, road, race shoe contoured to fit a women's foot. Performance enhancing BG contours in the outsole & High Performance BG +++Footbed is proven to increase comfort and efficiency. Kelli's Thoughts: The shoes are LIGHT! I have no clue what they weigh, but not very much. Best of all, my toes no longer go numb and they provide a lot of support and comfort. Also, I can definitely feel more power using the Specialized footbed. 7. The Helmet: Specialized S-Works Helmet Inside Tech: The S-WORKS is the lightest helmet in the world, hands down, weighing in at a mere 225g (size medium). The S-WORKS pays attention to details that other helmets miss, from its extremely minimal weight to increased ventilation, comfort and effortless security. Every component has been redesigned, from the weight-savings patented construction to the details of the fit system, retention system, and webbing. Kelli's Thoughts: Definitely the lightest helmet I've ever worn and it even held up well through my first crash. I'm anxious to fully experience all the ventilation in the summer months. In the meantime, very comfortable, light and sleek looking. 8. The Eyewear: Oakley Endure Inside Tech: Features an interchangeable lens design that lets athletes optimize vision in any environment. A revolutionary Hydrophobic™ lens coating repels water, skin oils and debris, keeping the optics crystal clear. The frame architecture creates a cooling flow of air, and the design features an interchangeable nosepiece for a custom fit. Kelli's Thoughts: Awesome, awesome, awesome. These are the best riding glasses that I've ever owned. I love the look, the shape, the tint and especially the airflow. Most importantly, no fogging up with these!! The Punk Rock Cycling Women’s Team is an amazing group of women racing and riding their bikes, promoting their sport, leading clinics, hosting races, teaching others, setting the example, getting involved, and just basically giving a damn. Team members include: Jennifer Greenberg, Kelli Mente, Ana Nelson, Jane Riessen, Maria Ruhtenberg, and Emily Schaapveld. The team is sponsored by the Elder Corporation, Wexford & James, Rasmussen Bike Shop, Specialized, RBS Training Systems, Visionary Services, Shimano, Chrome, and Oakley. You can learn more about the team by visiting: www.punkrockcycling.com. --> More on PRC <-- Break a Nail: Punk Rock Cycling by DM Juice 5/20/08 Experienced female cyclists make racing look like a breeze

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