Specialized Tarmac Comp review

Classic race bike

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £1,899.99 RRP
Specialized Tarmac Comp

Our review

A road bike guaranteed to please a wide range of riders
Skip to view product specifications

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.

Product Specifications


Name Tarmac Comp (10)
Brand Specialized

Description Tyres: Specialized Mondo Pro II, 700x23c, aramid bead, 120TPI, w/ Flak Jacket protection
Handlebar Specialized Pro Ergo 2014 alloy
Shifters SRAM Rival
Seatpost Specialized Expert, FACT carbon w/ Zertz insert, aluminum head, two-bolt clamp, 27.2mm
Saddle Body Geometry Toupe w/ hollow Cr-Mo rails
Rims Mavic Aksium
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
Chain SRAM Rival
Cassette Shimano 105, 10-speed, 12-27t
Brakes SRAM Rival
Bottom Bracket With Crankset
Stem Specialized Comp-Set, 3D forged alloy, 4-position adjustable, 4-bolt 31.8mm clamp