Nothing is Lighter, Faster, and Better Handling
When it was time to design a new Tarmac, Specialized looked to pro racing to decide how to improve it. And with the more extreme needs of the top pros, they knew they’d need Rider-First Engineered™ handling, but in a lighter, faster, and smoother package. To pull this off, Specialized had to turn traditional design on its head, but without a doubt, it’s the fastest, most complete race bike you’ll ever ride.
Rider First, Gender Second.
Through Specialized’s partnership with Retül, they have access to over 40,000 rider’s digital fit data, and through this, they’ve changed how to tackle the approach to fit and frame geometry.
The way forward is to reimagine frame geometry by analyzing fit data, not by gender, but simply by experience. For competitive road riders, they looked at the collective of all riders’ stack and reach of the handlebar positions and concluded that there was no statistical difference in position correlating to gender. There was, however, the need to accommodate for handlebar width, crankarm length, and saddle preferences, which lead Specialized to create separate models of Men’s and Women’s Tarmacs bikes built on shared frame geometries
Rider-First Engineered™ provides a uniform experience for all riders, regardless of their frame size, so everyone receives the exact performance the Tarmac was intended for—fast and predictable. For the new Tarmac, however, updated processes take more than just handling into consideration. Through Specialized’s strategic partnership with McLaren Applied Technologies, they integrated a structural analysis simulation that led them to a design that sees three unique forks for the different frame sizes of the Tarmac. Each fork attaches to the frame through a 1.5-inch lower bearing, while a new carbon layup was developed in exacting, painstaking detail. Through these technologies, all seven sizes have tailored levels of stiffness, making the experience for each rider exactly the same—stiff, yet compliant, snappy, yet aero, and of course, fast.
A 733g frame weight and 13.6lb complete bike weight (Ultralight Version, size 56cm) should say everything you need to know. As mentioned above, this ultra-low weight comes from the ability to co-optimize each of the Tarmac’s performance targets, so that reducing weight doesn’t negatively affect the frames handling or aerodynamic performance.
Win Tunnel Engineered
Specialized know that aerodynamics is the most important thing to make you faster, but they didn’t want to add one gram or change stiffness at all in this pursuit. They discovered three areas where they could add aero for free—a new fork shape, dropped seatstays with aero tubes, and a d-shaped seatpost and seat tube. The result? A bike that’s approximately 45 seconds faster over 40 kilometers compared to other lightweight bikes in the same weight category.