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Specialized reveals Tarmac SL6 range

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The new Tarmac silhouette is very different from the SL5

The new Tarmac silhouette is very different from the SL5
(Image credit: Specialized)
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The win(d) tunnel was one of the key components in the development of the new Tarmac

The win(d) tunnel was one of the key components in the development of the new Tarmac
(Image credit: Specialized)
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The new Tarmac comes in some wild colours, like this fluro pink and purple camo version

The new Tarmac comes in some wild colours, like this fluro pink and purple camo version
(Image credit: Specialized)
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This petrol-like flip colour finish looks stunning in the flesh

This petrol-like flip colour finish looks stunning in the flesh
(Image credit: Specialized)
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As does this chrome-like silver model

As does this chrome-like silver model
(Image credit: Specialized)
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I reckon the superlight paint finish will prove popular with either fluro white

I reckon the superlight paint finish will prove popular with either fluro white
(Image credit: Specialized)
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or keylined pink

or keylined pink
(Image credit: Specialized)
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The Ultralight S-Works Tarmac gets special ultralight paint, ee brakes, CLX32 wheels, cotton tyres, and a carbon S-Works chainset alongside Dura-Ace Di2

The Ultralight S-Works Tarmac gets special ultralight paint, ee brakes, CLX32 wheels, cotton tyres, and a carbon S-Works chainset alongside Dura-Ace Di2
(Image credit: Specialized)
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Those looking for a bit more aero benefit can opt for the Standard S-Works with CLX50 wheels

Those looking for a bit more aero benefit can opt for the Standard S-Works with CLX50 wheels
(Image credit: Specialized)
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The Tarmac Pro comes with the latest Shimano Ultegra Di2

The Tarmac Pro comes with the latest Shimano Ultegra Di2
(Image credit: Specialized)
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The Expert also comes in this more flamboyant flame red finish

The Expert also comes in this more flamboyant flame red finish
(Image credit: Specialized)
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Although the women's frameset is exactly the same as the standard Tarmac, Specialized does offer smaller sizes and two women's specific builds. This is the S-Works model with Di2

Although the women's frameset is exactly the same as the standard Tarmac, Specialized does offer smaller sizes and two women's specific builds. This is the S-Works model with Di2
(Image credit: Specialized)
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The S-Works Superstar limited edition Peter Sagan frameset

The S-Works Superstar limited edition Peter Sagan frameset
(Image credit: Specialized)
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The new Tarmac bottom bracket shell is significantly smaller and lighter than the previous SL5's. Specialized claims it's stiffer too

The new Tarmac bottom bracket shell is significantly smaller and lighter than the previous SL5's. Specialized claims it's stiffer too
(Image credit: Specialized)
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The new Tarmac has already been ridden and raced by Bora. Specialized sponsored athletes also played a big role in the development of the bike

The new Tarmac has already been ridden and raced by Bora. Specialized sponsored athletes also played a big role in the development of the bike
(Image credit: Specialized)
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The new womens S-Works is available in two complete builds as well as a frameset

The new womens S-Works is available in two complete builds as well as a frameset
(Image credit: Specialized)
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S-Works options in the men's range include four complete bikes and three framesets

S-Works options in the men's range include four complete bikes and three framesets
(Image credit: Specialized)
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The down tube internal cable routing can be adapted for plenty of options or this blanking plate can be used if you're running eTap

The down tube internal cable routing can be adapted for plenty of options or this blanking plate can be used if you're running eTap
(Image credit: Specialized)
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The new D-Shaped seatpost flows cleanly into the kammtail shaped seat tube

The new D-Shaped seatpost flows cleanly into the kammtail shaped seat tube
(Image credit: Specialized)
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Direct mount brakes offer improved tyre clearance over standard rim brakes

Direct mount brakes offer improved tyre clearance over standard rim brakes
(Image credit: Specialized)
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The physical size of the fork legs differ between the Tarmac frame sizes

The physical size of the fork legs differ between the Tarmac frame sizes
(Image credit: Specialized)
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The new Tarmac's dropped seatstays follow on from the Shiv, Roubaix, Crux and Diverge's switch to this design, the Allez has also followed suit

The new Tarmac's dropped seatstays follow on from the Shiv, Roubaix, Crux and Diverge's switch to this design, the Allez has also followed suit
(Image credit: Specialized)
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The frontal shaping of the Tarmac was tuned in the wind tunnel to offer better aerodynamics over the SL5

The frontal shaping of the Tarmac was tuned in the wind tunnel to offer better aerodynamics over the SL5
(Image credit: Specialized)
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The Expert level women's bike comes with Ultegra Di2

The Expert level women's bike comes with Ultegra Di2
(Image credit: Specialized)
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On the road, the new Tarmac's ride position mirrors the SL5

On the road, the new Tarmac's ride position mirrors the SL5
(Image credit: nickkova.com)
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Specialized claims improved stiffness and a considerably lighter weight than the previous model

Specialized claims improved stiffness and a considerably lighter weight than the previous model
(Image credit: nickkova.com)
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Colour options have grown

Colour options have grown
(Image credit: nickkova.com)
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The new range of wilder colours available for the Tarmac

The new range of wilder colours available for the Tarmac
(Image credit: nickkova.com)
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The stealthy Project Black prototype we got to ride a few weeks ahead of the official launch

The stealthy Project Black prototype we got to ride a few weeks ahead of the official launch
(Image credit: nickkova.com)

This article originally appeared on BikeRadar

There's a new Specialized Tarmac in town. It's designated the SL6 to continue Specialized's previous naming protocol, but the company just want it to be called Tarmac, giving an all-embracing, familial feel.

Rather than building an aero, climbing or all-round bike, Specialized wanted the new Tarmac to be more versatile and equally effective on all-road terrain.

This rider first engineered Tarmac range uses specific carbon layups for different frame sizes. Instead of the SL5's differing fork sizes across frame sizes, the SL6 fork has a short crown height and 1.5" lower bearing, plus the steerer tube's internal taper varies by frame size.

Chris Yu, director of integrated technologies at Specialized explains that the new Tarmac has been influenced by what the brand's learnt from the pros who have ridden the bike to success over the years. "If we are honest, racing is getting crazier, in terms of demands. The exact same three week stage race is getting faster on the flats, harder on the descents and steeper on the climbs, all the extremes have gotten more extreme.

"Up to now we have served our riders well with different bikes, sometimes the ideal would be different bikes on the same stage, so as Tarmac is racing it really has to be at the top of its game on most terrain," he continued.

Aero improvements

The win(d) tunnel was one of the key components in the development of the new Tarmac

Comparing the new Tarmac with other current non-aero bikes of a similar weight, Specialized says it's 45 seconds faster over 10km. When compared to other bikes with similar aerodynamic performance, the Tarmac frameset is 200g lighter. The brand says it's the equivalent of swapping from box section aluminium rims to deep aero carbon rims in frameset evolution terms.

The new D-Shaped seatpost flows cleanly into the kammtail shaped seat tube

The major areas for development were the fork, dropped seatstays, seat tube and seatpost shaping. The result sees a slimmer, lighter fork, dropped seatstays for increased rear compliance, a smaller rear triangle, improved aerodynamics and a D-shaped seatpost with two different carbon layups. This makes it stiffer in the lower half to deal with clamping forces and more compliant in the upper half for improved comfort.

Modern racers want a bike that at least has aerodynamic consideration within its design, so Specialized looked for aero benefits that wouldn't compromise the Tarmac's historical qualities or add weight.

Light weight considerations

The new Tarmac has already been ridden and raced by Bora. Specialized sponsored athletes also played a big role in the development of the bike

With a claimed weight of 733g (+/- 20g to allow for manufacturing tolerances) for a 56cm S-Works frame, this new Tarmac is the lightest frame Specialized has ever made.

Yu says: "The one main criticism we had with the previous Tarmac from the pros was weight. It's still a light bike, but once you strap on all the power meter, bottles, cages, non-standard parts (from other sponsors) it's not quite the same, so that had to be a big consideration on the new bike."

Using a new construction method and means of designing new tube shapes, 30g was shaved from the bottom bracket shell alone. This was achieved by removing the built-in carbon sleeve and internal cable guide tray, and using a light, removable sleeve instead.

The down tube internal cable routing can be adapted for plenty of options or this blanking plate can be used if you're running eTap

The down tube now only has a single cable port on top of the tube, behind the head tube, with various cable guide or blanking plates available — depending on the drivetrain used.

The brakes are now direct mount front and rear, which Specialized tells us is for improved tyre clearance, better aerodynamics and improved brake performance, especially on modern, wider carbon rims.

Direct mount brakes offer improved tyre clearance over standard rim brakes

There's no rear brake bridge, just a carbon booster plate fixed with titanium bolts. The mech hanger has been made lighter and the new bike has clearance for up to 30mm tyres.

The first bike in the new range that will be available is the S-Works Tarmac Ultralight, and there will only be 600 released globally.

The complete bike comes with ee brakes, Roval CLX32 wheelset, a special lightweight paint weighing only 10g, and reflective decals. With the S-Works carbon crank and Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 it's claimed to have a total weight of 6.2kg.

The range includes four complete men's bikes, two complete women's machines, three frameset options for men and one women.

Models

Women's S-Works Tarmac

The new womens S-Works is available in two complete builds as well as a frameset

  • S-Works Tarmac SL6 FACT 12r carbon, sizes 44-56cm, S-Works FACT carbon fork
  • S-Works SL bar and stem
  • Shimano Dura-Ace direct mount brakes
  • Shimano Dura-Ace Di2
  • S-Works carbon crankset
  • Roval CLX50 wheels with Specialized Turbo Cotton 26mm tyres
  • S-Works FACT carbon Tarmac seatpost
  • Price: £9,000 / $TBC / AU$TBC

Women's Tarmac Expert

The Expert level women's bike comes with Ultegra Di2

  • Tarmac SL6 FACT 10r carbon
  • S-Works FACT carbon fork
  • Specialized Pro SL stem, Expert bar
  • Shimano Ultegra
  • Roval SLX24 wheelset with S-Works Turbo 26mm tyres
  • S-Works FACT carbon Tarmac seatpost, Oura Expert Gel saddle
  • Price: £3,500 / $TBC / AU$TBC

Women's S-Works Tarmac frameset

Although the women's frameset is exactly the same as the standard Tarmac, Specialized does offer smaller sizes and two women's specific builds. This is the S-Works model with Di2

  • S-Works Tarmac SL6 FACT 12r carbon, sizes 44-56cm
  • S-Works FACT carbon fork
  • S-Works FACT carbon Tarmac seatpost
  • Price: £3,250 / $TBC / AU$TBC

Men's S-Works Tarmac Ultralight

The Ultralight S-Works Tarmac gets special ultralight paint, ee brakes, CLX32 wheels, cotton tyres, and a carbon S-Works chainset alongside Dura-Ace Di2

  • S-Works Tarmac SL6 FACT 12r carbon, sizes 49-61cm, S-Works FACT carbon fork
  • S-Works SL bar and stem
  • eecycleworks direct mount brakes
  • Shimano Dura-Ace Di2
  • S-Works carbon crankset
  • Roval CLX32 wheels with Specialized Turbo Cotton 26mm tyres
  • S-Works FACT carbon Tarmac seatpost, S-Works Toupe saddle
  • Price: £9,500 / $TBC / AU$TBC

Men's S-Works Tarmac

  • As above, but with conventional paint, Dura-Ace direct mount brakes and Roval CLX50 wheelset
  • S-Works FACT carbon Tarmac seatpost, S-Works Toupe saddle
  • Price: £9,000 / $TBC / AU$TBC

Men's Tarmac Pro

  • Tarmac SL6 FACT 10r carbon
  • S-Works FACT carbon fork
  • Specialized Pro SL stem, Expert bar
  • Shimano Ultegra Di2 with Ultegra direct mount brakes
  • S-Works carbon crankset
  • Roval CL50 wheelset with S-Works Turbo 26mm tyres
  • S-Works FACT carbon Tarmac seatpost, Toupe Expert Gel saddle
  • Price: £5,750 / $TBC / AU$TBC

Men's Tarmac Expert

  • Tarmac SL6 FACT 10r carbon
  • S-Works FACT carbon fork
  • Specialized Pro SL stem, Expert bar
  • Shimano Ultegra
  • Roval SLX24 wheelset with S-Works Turbo 26mm tyres
  • S-Works FACT carbon Tarmac seatpost, Toupe Expert Gel saddle
  • Price: £3,500 / $TBC / AU$TBC

Men's S-Works Tarmac frameset

  • S-Works Tarmac SL6 FACT 12r carbon, sizes 49-61cm, five colour options
  • S-Works FACT carbon fork
  • S-Works FACT carbon Tarmac seatpost
  • Price: £3,250 / $TBC / AU$TBC

Men's S-Works Tarmac Sagan Superstar frameset

The S-Works Superstar limited edition Peter Sagan frameset

  • The S-Works Superstar limited edition Peter Sagan frameset
  • The S-Works Superstar limited edition Peter Sagan frameset
  • S-Works Tarmac SL6 FACT 12r carbon, sizes 49-61cm
  • S-Works FACT carbon fork
  • S-Works FACT carbon Tarmac seatpost
  • Price: £3,350 / $TBC / AU$TBC

Men's S-Works Tarmac Ultralight frameset

  • S-Works Tarmac SL6 FACT 12r carbon, sizes 49-61cm, 10g paint finish
  • S-Works FACT carbon fork
  • S-Works FACT carbon Tarmac seatpost
  • Price: £3,450 / $TBC / AU$TBC