Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL Road Bike

4.5/5 (20 Reviews)
MSRP : $8200.00


Product Description

  • Specialized FACT 10r carbon, Az1 construction, compact race geometry, carbon fiber dropouts
  • S-Works FACT SL carbon crankset
  • S-Works FACT monocoque carbon fork; full carbon legs, crown and steerer
  • Shimano Dura-Ace 20 speed group
  • S-Works Barmac ultralight bar/stem combo
  • S-Works Mindset headset with sealed bearings, carbon headset cone and spacers
  • Roval Classique Rapide FACT carbon clincher wheelset


  • Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

    Reviews 1 - 5 (20 Reviews Total) | Next 5

    User Reviews

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by Looneytuna a Road Racer

    Date Reviewed: July 30, 2009

    Strengths:    light, stiff, comfortable, and extremely fast..

    Weaknesses:    swapped out the barmac for zipp bar/stem. swapped out the seatpost because it only fits round rails

    Bottom Line:   
    waited till May 2008 for specialized to build my frame. an amazing ride... quick, stiff, light, comfortable.. every expectation was beaten. on the sprints its reaction is amazing.. on the climbs the lightness makes you want to dance on the pedals.. on the descents there is no fear... went from a custom seven elium and have not looked back... the elium got ridden just twice in 14 months.. no matter if it's a 21 mile time trial type ride or an 85 mile fast group ride thru the hills..you will not be disappointed... my only issue is that I now want the 2010 SL3..

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Ride:   Nyack

    Purchased At:   Roy's Sheepshead Cyc

    Similar Products Used:   seven alaris with DA10, seven elium SG with record10, tarmac comp with record10

    Bike Setup:   raw carbon/white frame, record 10, zipp 404 tubular wheels, zipp bar/stem, easton ec90 seatpost, fizik allante saddle


    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by serottarider a Road Racer

    Date Reviewed: May 5, 2009

    Strengths:    Light, fast, responsive and comfortable on long rides. Corners like it's on rails!

    Weaknesses:    A little drivetrain noise.

    Bottom Line:   
    I got the 2008 S-Works Tarmac SL for a great price through my sponsor a little over a month ago and have ridden it about 750 miles so far. It came with the Roval Fusée SL wheelset (complete with wheel bag), S-Works Carbon Crankset and Dura Ace components.

    The Tarmac replaced my 2006 Roubaix Expert which I loved for it's great ride. It is obviously geared more for racing so it's no surprise that it's ride is not as plush as the Roubaix but is still very comfortable on rougher surfaces. My second ride on it was 5 hours long on some rough wintered roads and I felt great afterwards which speaks volumes. Once professionally fitted it seemed taylor made for me.

    I'm not a climber but climbing on the SL is sweet. This bike wants to go up and do it fast. The SL is also a great sprinter accelerating as you would expect by it's pedigree but the thing that makes this bike awesome to me is the way it corners. I was on the front of a group going into a corner near the end of a race last weekend and came out over 20 yards ahead of the next guy and could have pushed it more. Now that I'm used to the Tarmac's handling I can't wait to try this bike in a Crit.

    My only complaint with this bike is that there is that the drivetrain is a little noisier than normal. I don't know if it's the S-Works crankset, the chain (I've tried other cassettes) or that combination.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Ride:   Any quiet road with hills

    Similar Products Used:   2006 Roubaix Expert, 2002 E5 SLX Comp, Serotta Colorado TG, Serotta Nova Special

    Bike Setup:   S-Works Carbon Crankset
    Dura Ace shifting, brakes, cassette
    Roval Fusée SL wheelset
    S-Works SL carbon aero handlebars
    S-Works SL carbon w/ Zertz seatpost
    Toupe Saddle
    S-Works Clincher Tires


    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Bum Phillips a Recreational Rider

    Date Reviewed: October 10, 2008

    Strengths:    Light. Smooth, compliant ride while being torsionally stiff at the same time. Acclerates like mad when you get out of the saddle and put some power into it. S-works crank allows you to replace the spider (keeping the same crank arms) and flip back and forth between standard and compact chainrings; awesome idea!

    Weaknesses:    Proprietary components; crank, seatpost, S-works Barmac bar/stem combo. I had a seatpost bolt strip; couldn't find a replacement so ended up buying another seatpost. Stock seat is okay up to 2 hour rides but no longer than that.

    Bottom Line:   
    I work for an insurance company and was able to buy this for an extremely low price due to the fact that it was in a minor accident. Unfortunately, the carbon rear rim was damaged and you can't get just the Roval rim from Specialized; you have to replace the whole wheel at over $1100; ouch. So, I'm using it with other wheels I have. This is my 3rd carbon bike. Others were a Felt F3 and I currently also have a Colnago CLX (and other steel/aluminum framed bikes). The S-works is the best of the 3 carbon frames I've owned. Incredibly responsive out of the saddle when sprinting or climbing. When I get out of the saddle on climbs, I can often shift up a couple of gears and continue accelerating. With most other bikes, I find it hard to increase my speed by getting out of the saddle in a climb, but this thing accelarates like there's a little motor in the bottom bracket adding to my own power. My Colnago CLX feels stiff; gives a harsh ride, but doesn't accelerate like the S-Works when you put the hammer down. The Felt F3 gave a nice, smooth compliant ride, but wasn't as stiff torsionally as I would prefer. The S-works has the best of both. I would love to try the new Tarmac SL2 which is even stiffer and lighter than this.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Ride:   Mount Diablo

    Price Paid:    $531.00

    Purchased At:   Insurance Company

    Similar Products Used:   Colnago CLX (2007), Felt F3c (2006), Pinarello Galileo (2004?).

    Bike Setup:   Replaced the S-works "Barmac" bar/stem combo with FSA stuff; the stock bar was too narrow (42) and the stem too short (10cm) to fit me. I could have lived with the bars being too narrow, but you can't just replace the stem; it's one unit. All Dura-Ace. Using Dura-Ace wheels also. S-works crank. Look KEO pedals.


    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by azdroptop a Road Racer

    Date Reviewed: October 6, 2008

    Strengths:    Does it all well with great comfort

    Weaknesses:    On occasion the rear feels soft. Gives the feeling that I have a flat rear tire when I don't. I haven't figured out a pattern as to when I feel it, but it happens often and teammates have described similar experiences.

    Bottom Line:   
    My S-works Tarmac sl is an 08. Bought it as a frame through a team deal. Never considered specialized before, but I'm glad I did. The frame does everything well. I'm 168 to 175 lbs with big legs with decent power and the bike accelerates and climbs well while giving great comfort on bad roads and long rides. A very positive move from my cervelo soloist

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Ride:   any

    Purchased At:   Fairwheel bikes in T

    Bike Setup:   06 Record, E3 carbon bars, Kysrium Sl's or Hed Alps wheels. 15.93lbs with cages


    Overall Rating:1
    Value Rating:1
    Submitted by Justinr a Road Racer

    Date Reviewed: July 9, 2008

    Strengths:    Light, fast on flat and hills. responsive (twitchy for some).

    Weaknesses:    The reason for going for a branded frame and for supporting your local bike shop is for the service and support, both of which let me down big-time.

    Bottom Line:   
    Tarmac SL Not as stiff as you think. Terrible factory warranty and equally bad shop service. I found the frame flex caused my chain to jump out of top gear while under full power out of the saddle. Hard to imagine a worse time for this to happen at 30+mph, the chain slipped then jammed into the rears stays, crank went instantly to BDC, shoe came out of the cleat. I miraculously stayed up but landed on the top tube causing a minor crack. No warning. Gears were adjusted perfectly, I can only surmize frame flex. Specialzed call this episod a rider crash and wont warranty the frame. The shop held my bike for 6 weeks with not one phone call to me. I have since read an article that Tom Boonan sent his Specialized back to the factory engineers saying "not good enough". Something wasnt right under power, the factory was said to have tested and found some flaws and fixed.

    Expand full review >>

    Price Paid:    $5700.00

    Purchased At:   Cynergy Cycles

    Similar Products Used:   Giant TCR, aluminum, Campy
    Avanti, Aluminum, shimano


    Bike Setup:   Dura Ace
    Spoecialized cranks
    Mavic Ksyrium ES wheelset



    Reviews 1 - 5 (20 Reviews Total) | Next 5

    Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

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