Sea Otter: Specialized introduces Rumor in 650B

New trail bike gives women their choice of wheel size

27.5 All Mountain Trail Sea Otter Classic Women's

2015 Sea Otter Classic

This new trail bike allows women to pick between 29er and 27.5 wheels.

This new trail bike allows women to pick between 29er and 27.5 wheels (click to enlarge).

Specialized has introduced a new trail bike for women, the Rumor FSR 650B. It will come in Base, Comp and Expert level specs.

“Women are getting after it and riding a variety of trails—our rider feedback reflected a desire to have the Rumor available in both 29 and 650b,” said Amy Nelson, Specialized women’s mountain product manager.

Designed to give she-shredders another option in the trail category, the new bike features geometry to accommodate the change in wheel size from 29er. The Expert comes spec’d with CTD Fox suspension (125mm) and a 130mm RockShox Pike fork. It’s designed to be slightly more playful compared to the Rumor 29’s stable and efficient 120mm. Specialized suggests you choose the 650B for tight and twisty singletrack, and opt for the 29er if you like open and rocky trails.

Shifting courtesy of SRAM, fork by RockShox.

Shifting courtesy of SRAM, fork by RockShox (click to enlarge).

Rumor FSR Expert 650B features include:

  • M5 aluminum frame with internal cable and dropper post routing
  • Command Post IR dropper seatpost with micro-adjust height (Eight positions in S/M with 75mm travel; 12 positions in L with 100mm travel)
  • Women’s 650b trail geometry reduces standover height
  • 125mm of active and independent FSR rear suspension is provided by a custom FOX Factory CTD rear shock that’s received Specialized’s women’s custom tune for lighter riders
  • RockShox Pike RC 650b, solo air spring, tapered steerer, 42mm offset, compression adjust, rebound adjust, 15mm Maxle Ultimate thru-axle, 130mm travel
  • Shimano XT levers and calipers
First Impressions

This bike is a lot of fun. A shorter top tube puts the rider in a more upright position. (We almost opted for the size up, so be sure to try before you buy for the best fit.) That also means it’s easier to move around in the saddle while working through steep, technical or twisty terrain.

With the new Command Post IR dropper post, moving around the bike is even easier. We appreciated the wider 700mm bars that come stock since most women’s specific bikes include a narrower bar. However, it still felt a little unstable in the front end when it came to loose corners and fast descents.

It climbed like a champ, though, leaving us with a little extra energy for the descents, which were even more fun with the new confidence-inspiring 29mm-wide Roval Traverse rims, and a set of 2.3 tires, Purgatory on the front, Ground Control in the rear.

The new Rumor FSR Expert 650B ($4,800) will be available June; the Comp ($2,700) and base model ($2,200) are available now.

For more information visit specialized.com.

This article is part of Mtbr’s coverage of the 2015 Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California. For more from Sea Otter CLICK HERE.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

About the author: Kristen Gross

Kristen Gross loves bikes, all sorts, and above all, XC mountain bikes. She races in the pro category and gets a lot of joy from teaching others the way of the trail as a mountain bike skills instructor—especially women who are just discovering cycling. She is a USAC-certified coach, and she runs her own freelance writing business based in Carlsbad, Calif. You’ll find her either writing or riding, bringing over 10 years experience to both. Why does she ride? To offset her addiction to Coca Cola and Lay’s Potato Chips.


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