Image of Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL4

Image of Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL4

Specialized Tarmac Review

The Specialized Tarmac range features an array of professional grade road bikes built for training and racing. Light carbon frames and quality components help to make accelerating easier while also allowing you to maintain momentum and poise.

Specialized Tarmac SL4

The first bike in the Tarmac range is equipped with an SL4 FACT 9r carbon frame, with race-oriented geometry and a compact design. A FACT carbon fork, AXIS 1.0 brakes and Shimano Sora drivetrain are also onboard, with the latter benefiting from an FSA Gossamer BB30 crankset.

The Specialized Espoir 25c tyres found on the Tarmac SL4 come with puncture protection as standard to reduce incidents on the road.

Specialized Tarmac SL4 Specifications 2014
Front Derailleur: Shimano Sora Front Fork: Specialized FACT Carbon
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Sora Rear Shock: N/A
Shifters: Shimano Sora STI Brakes: Avid 1.0 brakes
Gears: 9 speed Rims: Avid 1.0
Chainring: 52/36 Tyres: Specialized Espoir
Cassette: 11-30 Weight: N/A

Specialized Tarmac SL4 Sport

The carbon frame remains for the Sport model, with its tapered head tube ensuring stiffness and lightness as well as compliance to improve comfort levels. You get Turbo Elite 23c racing tyres with puncture protection on the Tarmac SL4 Sport, along with a Shimano 105 drivetrain, Tiagra cassette and STI shifters which combine performance and affordability.

The Axis 1.0 brakes remain but the rims are upgraded to Axis 2.0, along with Turbo Elite tyres.

Specialized Tarmac SL4 Elite

Shimano 105 components continue for the Elite model, including the brakes. This bike sees Fulcrum S5 wheels, Turbo Elite tyres and a body Geometry Toupe Comp Gel saddle that sits atop hollow Chromalloy rails.

The carbon frame is matched with a Specialized Comp carbon seatpost, while the stem and handlebars stick with alloy.

Specialized Tarmac SL4 Comp

The SL4 Comp is the first to break the £2,000 barrier, and is the first to use Shimano Ultegra components for the 11 speed drivetrain on top of all the usual component inclusions at this point in the range.

Specialized Tarmac SL4 Comp Di2

If you want all the benefits of the standard Tarmac SL4 Comp but with the benefits of a Shimano Ultegra Di2 drivetrain, then this is the right model to pick. The electronically controlled gear shifts are able to operate in any scenario and are also surprisingly light, which means you do not need to worry about pulling more kit around with you. However, there is a significant price hike.

Specialized Tarmac SL4 Pro

The Tarmac SL4 Pro may not have an electronic drivetrain, but it does use Shimano Dura-Ace components to reduce the weight and increase shifting precision. The frame is fashioned from FACT 10r carbon, which results in a bike that is stiff and light, while Roval Fusee SLX 23 wheels, matched with Specialized Turbo Pro tyres, are also going to appeal to serious road racers.

Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL4

For this S-Works model you get a SL4 FACT 11r carbon frame, which Specialized has created to break its own record for the stiffness to weight ratio. Cables are routed internally within the tubing to minimise mess and improve aerodynamics, while the carbon fork is matched to the frame to help reduce road rumble.

The Specialized S-Works FACT carbon crankset lightens the load that little bit more and the Roval Rapide CLX 40 carbon clincher wheelset sits on ceramic bearings and S-Works Turbo tyres to keep resistance at a minimum when you are on the road.

As well as allowing you to go faster, stability is increased and the Shimano Dura-Ace brakes and drivetrain keep you moving down the straights and through the corners.

Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL4 Di2

Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 electronic drivetrain components deliver extra shifting speed and accuracy while still offering the reliability of standard mechanical setups.

The S-Works Tarmac SL4 Di2 also benefits from the same components as the standard edition, including the Roval Rapid CLX 40 carbon wheelset and the carbon crankset, making it a bike that pros can rely on when racing on the international circuit.