Specialized Tarmac SL4 2012 Review

The Specialized Tarmac SL4 road bikes are all lean, mean racing machines that get all the leaner and meaner as you work your way up the price scale. The handling is perfectly pitched in order to deliver exacting control and plenty of feedback while the stiffness of these carbon frames will ensure that you can accelerate ahead of rivals in a competitive situation.

The Specialized Tarmac SL4 Pro SRAM Red features a freshly updated FACT IS 10r carbon frame with a tapered headtube. Weighing just 6.46kg, Specialized has made extra effort to shave off even more weight from the bike so that it floats lightly beneath you rather than holding you back. The carbon fork, carbon crankset and carbon seatpost all further this cause. SRAM Red components make up the drivetrain and you can easily adjust the reach of the shifters and levers to suit you. Meanwhile the SRAM Force brakes have been developed over thousands of hours of road racing on major international tours.

The Specialized Tarmac SL4 Pro Ui2 uses the same carbon frame and fork combination which makes the first model a success, but here you will find Shimano Ultegra Di2 electronic components for that next generation shifting. Specialized’s own carbon crankset is able to deliver a better ratio of weight to strength than was previously possible and the Shimano Ultegra brakes compliment the whole setup thanks to similar properties. Roval Fusee SL rims are made of a light, strong alloy and paired with Specialized Turbo Pro tyres and tubes. Meanwhile the hollow rails of the Body Geometry Romin Expert saddle let you put all your effort into gaining momentum, not pulling along a lot of heavy components.

Specialized Tarmac S-Works SL4

The Specialized Tarmac S-Works SL4 dials everything up to eleven, as you would expect from any S-Works model. The S-Works SL4 FACT 11r carbon frame is the lightest of the lot, featuring a compact race design which will let you stretch yourself and find new levels of performance. The same S-Works treatment has been given to the FACT carbon fork. Shimano Dura-Ace STI shifters and components ensure each gear change is never anything other than fast and seamless. Extra grams are shaved off the bike thanks to the Rova Fusee SLX wheels and S-Works Turbo tyres, the latter of which feature BlackBelt protection for added durability. The Romin Pro saddle has carbon rails and is joined to yet more S-Works FACT carbon on the seatpost. The use of carbon across the board helps to maintain the stiffness of the bike, allowing for excellent power throughput while avoiding unnecessary fatigue.

You will ideally take out a Specialized Tarmac SL4 model in order to race competitively or get down to some serious training and each bike is designed to look the part in any setting. From the dark black satin and red detailing of the base model to the bright white of the Tarmac Pro SL4, your fellow racers will definitely have something attractive to look at as you leave them in your wake.