By Rupert Radley published
As we previously suspected following the Tour Down Under, Specialized is releasing some brand new Specialized S-Works 7 shoes as well as an S-Works Evade 2 helmet.
We were lucky enough to get invited to Specialized HQ and even get our mitts on a pair of both the new products prior to the launch, so here's what's new.
Specialized S-Works 7 shoes
The S-Works 7 cycling shoe doesn't look radically different to the S-Works 6, a favourite of ours, and there's a lot of tried and tested technology that remains in place, supported with just a few tweaks.
We'll start at the sole, which is of course, still carbon but is also now the stiffest sole Specialized has ever made. The company now scores it a 15 on its stiffness index, and while there is no industry wide scale for measuring stiffness, they do feel very rigid underfoot.
Interestingly, Specialized hasn't done anything to reduce the weight of the shoe. Instead it has used its 'Powerline' technology to increase stiffness on the inside of each foot – the area where maximum power is transferred – by cutting away sections of the sole from the outside and redistributing that material.
Specialized has also retained its padlock heel, although following feedback it has now added a level of cushioning to stop the shoes pinching and rubbing just below the ankle. Comfort should also be increased at the front end, thanks to the forefoot being widened by 1.5mm, adding more wiggle room for your toes.
Specialized has doubled down on its focus on fit, and will supply the shoes with one of three footbed styles to match your arches. Additionally, you can also get special custom footbeds made up using Retül, Specialized's fitting technology.
Support is also increased along the longitudinal arch of your foot and there's the addition of a metatarsal button that the brand hopes will minimise numbness from the increased stiffness of the sole.
Dyneema Mesh, while previously a favourite of NASA, is now used by Specialized in the creation of its uppers. Its main selling point is the fact its ultra thin yet able to retain its structure and stiffness.
As if space shoes weren't exciting enough, Specialized and Boa has worked in partnership on a new proprietary S3 Boa Dial, which looks as equally space age.
It's got a silver finish, and while we haven't seen the internals, the action is seriously exact. Plus, the Boa sits flush to the shoe so the dials shouldn't cause any discomfort. Similarly, Spesh has added a bit thickness to the tongue to prevent the cables pinching the top of the foot.
Sizing and pricing:
- The S-Works 7 shoe will be available from sizes 36 through to 46, with half sizes being available from 42 upwards.
- Five colours will be available: White, Black, Candy Red, Acid Lava, and Acid Purple.
- The shoes will cost £330 and are available from Feb 9th 2018.
S-Works Evade 2 helmet
A few years ago Specialized built its own wind tunnel to bring more of its testing in house, and from that investment came the Specialized Evade 2 – "the fasted helmet the company has ever tested".
While it is six seconds faster than the original Specialized S-Works Evade, speed wasn't the only aim with the Evade 2, and according to Specialized, it wanted to create an aero helmet that was also cool enough to handle the hardest and hottest stages of the WorldTour.
By adding 12 heat sensors underneath the helmet, Specialized was able to make it as "cool as a bare head" – a very literal, if slightly bizarre metaphor.
Although it might not look it, the S-Works Evade 2 is in fact two centimetres shorter than the old model to bring it up-to-date, and it also weighs 15-20g less. On the top of the helmet, there now sits just one vent, rather than the previous three, which channels air through deep channels on the inside and out of the rear exhaust port.
The shell is a reinforced multi-density construction that should help absorb impacts, but Specialized has confirmed for us that there will be no MIPs equipped version of the helmet.
Specialized has also added a magnetic closure system to the helmet, which while it does add weight should also make it easier to put your helmet on without taking your hands of the bars.
Its mindset retention system remains in place, and Specialized has incorporated the Hairport system from it women's line because the lower a dial sits on the head, the more comfortable the helmet.
Sizing and Pricing
- There will be five colours of the S-Works Evade 2 available, the same of the shoes, including white, acid purple, acid lava, candy red and black.
- Sizes small, medium and large available
- It'll RRP for £200 and is available from the 9th February 2018.
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