Halfords are stocking a trio of new women-specific road bikes from 13: two drop-bar models, the Shimano Tiagra-equipped Intuition Lambda for £849.99, and the Claris-equipped Intrinsic Lambda at £549.99, plus a flat-bar hybrid for £499.99.
They’re expecting the hybrid, the Intuitive Lambda, with its Suntour triple chainset and Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, to be particularly popular, but the two drop-bar models look likely to appeal too.
The Intuitive Lambda has a flat bar and disc brakes
Both have triple-butted aluminium frames and carbon forks, and though both fit easily under the Cycle to Work scheme threshold, the designs have been wind tunnel tested and sport such aero touches as brakes tucked behind the bottom bracket and behind the fork, internal cabling, and aero profile wheels. The press spiel describes the rims as ‘deep section’, but not sure I’d want to go diving into their swimming pool if that’s what they call deep…
TRP's Aero brake tucks behind the fork on the Intrinsic Lambda
The £850 model uses a higher grade and slightly lighter alloy than the Intrinsic, and both have full-carbon forks, including the steerer.
Both also have 50/34 compact chainsets. While the Intrinsic’s 8-speed 11-30 cassette offers a higher top gear and a lower bottom than the Intuition’s 12-28, the Intuition’s is 10-speed Tiagra so the jumps between gears are smaller, making it easier to maintain a smooth pedalling cadence.
Narrow and compact bars, 165mm cranks and grooved Velo saddles are all female-friendly details. The only thing I’d criticise both bikes on - before riding either of them - are the 23mm tyres they’re specced with. Surely everyone else in the world is going the 25mm-at-least route, which is meant to be faster and more comfortable?
Halfords also showed us their new women-specific Voodoo mountain bikes – no “shrink it and pink it” going on here, as Jim Berkeley, head of trading at Halfords, put it, but ground-up designs based on the typical female form. They even took us for a ride on them in the New Forest, which was fun!
We’ll be testing the £550 Intrinsic soon, so we’ll let you know how it fares. In the meantime, you can check out all three 13 women's road bikes, and the Voodoos, here. They’re already in the shops.
Tass is our production pedant, who boldly goes hunting for split infinitives, rogue apostrophes and other things up with which she will not put. She joined road.cc in 2015 but first began working on bike magazines way back in 1991 as production editor on Mountain Biking UK, then deputy editor of MTB Pro, before changing allegiance to road cycling as senior production editor on Cycling Plus. She's ridden off-road but much prefers on, hasn't done half the touring she'd like to, and loves paper maps.