Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7 review

We've been using Specialized's brand new Tarmac for a couple of weeks, and here are our initial thoughts

Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7
(Image: © Specialized)

Cyclingnews Verdict

The Tarmac SL7 is a thoroughbred race bike with a dedicated focus on being fast, perhaps better described as a lightweight Venge, but it's let down by lack of tubeless wheels

Pros

  • +

    Aerodynamics and power transfer on par with Venge

  • +

    Weight (6.89kg tested, size 58cm)

Cons

  • -

    Non-tubeless wheels

  • -

    Harsher ride than Tarmac SL6

  • -

    Huge price

You can trust Cyclingnews Our experts spend countless hours testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

"One bike to rule them all." That was the tag line when Specialized announced the new Tarmac. The aim was to launch a bike that offered no compromises on race day. With it, the American brand put the first nail into the coffin of its own aero bike, the Venge, by stating that there would be no advantage for a rider to choose it over the new Tarmac. 

In actual fact, the aerodynamic differences still swing in favour of the Venge - to the tune of 2.5 watts. However, with all metrics factored in, such as rider freshness, handling, acceleration and, of course, weight, the Tarmac was the victor on all of Specialized's course profile simulations. 

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