With wheel size debates continuing to dominate the cycling press, staff rider Sally test rides the 2013 Specialized Myka 26" Hardtail Mountain Bike on a lap around Rutland Water. At less than £350, she finds this entry-level, Women's specific Mountain Bike offers a lot of bike for your money.
Specialized have added the 29 inch wheel to the Myka range but it's refreshing to see the tried and tested 26 inch wheel size continuing to have a presence in the range of Specialized's female specific mountain bikes.
Continuing with well-established technology, the entry-level Myka model comes equipped with alloy V-brakes that help in keeping not only the cost but also the weight down. The Myka comes complete with a fully butted, A1 premium aluminium frame that benefits from a women's recreational XC geometry.
The Women's specific frame, paired with the Women's BodyGeometry Riva saddle that comes as standard on the entire Myka range, meant that I finished my lap of the water without the usual aches and pains that can accompany off-road riding.
The Specialized Myka comes with a short travel Suntour suspension fork that helped take the edge off the hits. The fork was more than enough to cope with the off-road riding Rutland Water throws at you, but might struggle to cope with rougher, more mountainous terrain.
Although the Myka sits firmly in the Specialized mountain bike range, this bike is just as at home cycling around country lanes and well surfaced bridle-paths. The low profile sport tyres help keep the rolling resistance down without sacrificing grip when cornering and again suited the Rutland Water route perfectly, despite the amount of snow that had fallen in Rutland over the previous week.
- Despite the snow, the Myka handled particularly well. Here it is before its trip round the lake.
It's evident that Specialized have done a lot of research for their range of Women Specific bikes, making the Myka a really comfortable option at an appealing price point. I would say that although the Suntour fork is ideal for cycling down canal paths and bridleways, I feel a longer-travel 100mm front fork would make off-road experiences more enjoyable.
Overall I think the Myka is a real winner from the folks at Specialized and with the entry level model coming in at less than £350, you certainly get a lot of bike for your money.
Would you like to test the Specialized Myka for yourself?
If you decide you like the bike and would like to purchase we will even discount the price of hire off the bike when purchasing.
Note: We only have a limited number of Myka's available on the hire fleet at both Whitwell and Grafham. It may be worth contacting the store prior to your visit to ensure that the bike isn't already hired out.