Specialized make a huge range of machines, but roadies probably know their Tarmac and Roubaix models best. The Tarmac is Spesh’s ubiquitous race bike, the Roubaix its more sportive-minded cousin. And both, as you’d expect from such a brand, are top-level bikes.
“Great looking bike, superbly sorted race frame, well planted” were among the ﬁrst comments from our Bike Of The Year test team. Handling is predictable even under pressure, and while the Tarmac is stable and stiff, it’s also comfortable over rough surfaces.
The Specialized’s solid front end goes where it’s planted, with no nasty surprises, so any rider can achieve absolute control. These are the sort of qualities that make it a popular choice as a ﬁrst race bike.
Our testers found it light to handle and easy to ﬂick around, commenting that it was totally unﬂustered by high speeds and rough roads, its frame and fork staying rock-solid.
And while the Tarmac is a more than decent performer, it was also appreciated for its comfort. The skinny 27.2mm seatpost does a great job of keeping the rear end of the bike – and your rear too – comfortable.
The kit is reliable though comparatively modest – a Shimano 105 groupset and Aksium Race wheels – but Specialized have rightly put the greatest emphasis on creating a sophisticated, high quality frame, and that’s something you can really feel.
We would happily ride this bike all day – probably more so than the Roubaix – with some of our test team saying they’d happily race on it, possibly after upgrading the wheels. Spesh have delivered the goods again.
|Name||Tarmac Comp (10)|
|Description||Tyres: Specialized Mondo Pro II, 700x23c, aramid bead, 120TPI, w/ Flak Jacket protection|
|Handlebar||Specialized Pro Ergo 2014 alloy|
|Seatpost||Specialized Expert, FACT carbon w/ Zertz insert, aluminum head, two-bolt clamp, 27.2mm|
|Saddle||Body Geometry Toupe w/ hollow Cr-Mo rails|
|Rear Derailleur||SRAM Rival|
|Pedals||Silver cage/black body, w/ black toe clips and strap|
|Headset Type||Campy style, 1 1/8-1 1/2", steel race|
|Front Derailleur||SRAM Rival|
|Available Sizes||49 52cm 54cm 56cm 58cm 61cm|
|Frame Material||Specialized Tarmac FACT 8r carbon, triple monocoque construction, compact race design|
|Fork||Tarmac full FACT carbon monocoque|
|Cranks||SRAM S300 crankset 53 x 39T|
|Cassette||Shimano 105, 10-speed, 12-27t|
|Bottom Bracket||With Crankset|
|Stem||Specialized Comp-Set, 3D forged alloy, 4-position adjustable, 4-bolt 31.8mm clamp|