Take on the trails with the Specialized Rhyme Carbon Comp

Can't decide between 27.5+ or 29er? You don't have to with the women's specific Rhyme

The Specialized Rhyme Comp Carbon is a trail-ready mountain bike with women's specific design, 150mm travel in the fork department, and the ability to take both 27.5+ and 29er wheels.

Specialized Rhyme Comp Carbon 6Fattie/29 specs

Specialized's 2018 Rhyme Carbon Comp
Specialized's 2018 Rhyme Carbon Comp

  • Weight: 14.28kg (31.48lbs) (M)
  • Frame: FACT 9m carbon front chassis w/ Specialized M5 Aluminum rear end
  • Fork: RockShox Revelation RC 27.5 Solo Air, 150mm travel
  • Shock: RockShox Monarch RT, Women's RX Trail Tune 
  • Wheels: Roval Traverse 27.5 rims, Specialized hubs, DT Swiss Industry spokes
  • Tyres: 27.5 x 2.8in,  with GRID casing and Gripton compound, 2Bliss Ready. Front: Butcher; rear: Slaughter
  • Crankset:  RaceFace Aeffect crank, PF30, 28t
  • Bottom bracket: RaceFace PF30
  • Shifters: SRAM GX, trigger, 11-speed
  • Rear derailleur: SRAM GX, long cage, 11-speed
  • Cassette: SRAM XG 1150, 11-speed, 10-42t
  • Chain:  KMC X11, 11-speed w/ Missing Link
  • Brakes: SRAM Guide R, hydraulic disc, organic pads, Guide S4 4-piston caliper, 200/180mm front rotor, 180/160mm rear rotor
  • Handlebars: Specialized, 6061 alloy, 6-degree upsweep, 8-degree backsweep, 27mm rise, 750mm width
  • Grips:  Specialized Sip Grip, lock-on, half-waffle, regular thickness
  • Stem: Specialized Trail, 3D forged alloy, 4-bolt, 6-degree rise
  • Saddle: Women's Body Geometry Myth Comp, hollow Cr-Mo rails, 155mm
  • Seatpost: Command Post IRcc, 12-position micro-height adjustable, alien head design, bottom mount cable routing, remote SRL lever, 30.9mm, XS: 75mm travel, S/M:100mm travel, L: 125mm travel

Trail-ready carbon ride

Designed for trail riding, the Rhyme Comp Carbon unsurprisingly boasts a carbon frame, but with an aluminium rear end to keep the price from soaring sky high.

Finishing kit such as bars and stem are alloy rather than carbon, as is the Roval Traverse wheelset, which means those with an eye on upgrading in the future can shave off weight by swapping for lighter weight or carbon options.

Swoopy lines and a tasteful colour palette make for a good looking bike
Swoopy lines and a tasteful colour palette make for a good looking bike

If you like versatility in your bike, or just can't decide between wheel sizes, you'll be pleased to know that while the Rhyme comes with broad 27.5in rims and wide 27.5 x 2.8in tyres for masses of traction and a smooth ride, there's room enough in the frame for a set of 29er hoops if that's more your bag. Though you'll have to get those separately.

The RockShox Monarch RT damper includes the company's lighter RX Trail Tune developed specifically for women riders
The RockShox Monarch RT damper includes the company's lighter RX Trail Tune developed specifically for women riders

Suspension is provided by RockShox Revelation RC forks with 150mm of travel — plenty to play with! The 2018 version of the Revelation has seen the trickle down effect, sharing the chassis of its bigger sibling the Pike, while relying on a slightly simpler Motion Control damper. Providing suspension at the rear is the RockShox Monarch RT shock.

You can't miss Specialized's SWAT (Storage, Water, Air Tools) compartment, which means not only does the bottle cage swing out on a hinge to reveal storage in the down tube, but there's also a cunning little multi-tool attached to the cage itself.

Specialized's SWAT system provides useful storage while a cunning multi-tool is also placed within reach
Specialized's SWAT system provides useful storage while a cunning multi-tool is also placed within reach

The 1x11 groupset is a mixture of SRAM GX and RaceFace, with a spin-friendly 28t ring mounted to RaceFace's popular Aeffect crank and GX components providing the gear range. SRAM's Guide R brakes bring the whole bike to a halt.

A SRAM GX and RaceFace mix makes up the Rhyme's 1x drivetrain
A SRAM GX and RaceFace mix makes up the Rhyme's 1x drivetrain

Women's specific design… for now?

Specialized made waves in 2017 with the announcement that it was moving towards a universal unisex frame design on some of its new and updated bikes going forward. The company claims that the data it has collated from thousands of bike fits indicates that while there are some statistical differences between the average male and female rider, these aren't signifiant enough that both can't be well served by a revised unisex frame design on certain bikes.

It's 'rider first' approach looks at the type of riding a certain group is doing, and whether they'd be best served by unisex geometry, or not.

SRAM's Guide R levers tuck up alongside a SRAM GX shifter
SRAM's Guide R levers tuck up alongside a SRAM GX shifter

The result of this is the emergence of women's versions of the Tarmac road bike and Camber mountain bike — unisex frame with women's specific finishing kit such as saddles. But it means the end of the line for certain popular models such as the Rumor mountain bike and the phasing out of the Amira road bike. In the case of the Rhyme, at least for now, Specialized says that women's specific is the best option for the target market of this bike.

Specialized Rhyme Carbon Comp pricing, sizing and availability

The Rhyme Carbon Comp comes in four sizes: XS, S, M and L.

The Rhyme Carbon Comp is the mid-range option in the Rhyme family, with the Rhyme Carbon Expert sitting at the top at $4,400 (not available in the UK or Australia) and the entry level aluminium Rhyme Comp priced at £2,500 / $2,800 / AU$3,600.

This model will be available in the UK for £3,500 and US for $3,500 but won't be available in Australia.

Aoife Glass

Women's Cycling Editor
A mountain biker at heart, also drawn to the open road. Likes big long adventures in the mountains. Usually to be found in the Mendip Hills or the Somerset Levels in the UK. Passionate about women's cycling at all levels.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road
  • Preferred Terrain: Rocky, rough and a long way from anywhere.
  • Current Bikes: Liv Avail Advanced Pro 2015, Juliana Furtado 2013, Canyon Roadlite AL
  • Dream Bike: Juliana Roubion, Liv Avail Advanced SL
  • Beer of Choice: Red wine for the win!
  • Location: Weston Super Mare, Somerset, UK

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