Specialized Tarmac SL2 Elite £1649.99

Refined carbon creation with race-inspired handling

BikeRadar score 3.5/5

The Tarmac is the racier of Specialized’s two carbon road bike families, and the SL2 Elite split our testers’ opinions right down the middle. More competitively inclined riders admired its refined frame and race-inspired handling, and it climbed efficiently too, carrying its weight well.

But even its 27.2mm carbon seatpost and a supportive saddle couldn’t stop some of our Bike of the Year testers finding it hard going during longer rides. A hugely competent race bike then, but the wheels are quite modest and overall it lacks that little sparkle, and appealed to fewer riders than its comfort-enhanced Roubaix sibling.

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