Specialized Tarmac Expert Double Road Bike

4.5/5 (2 Reviews)
MSRP : $3700.00

Product Description

The Tarmac Expert’s FACT 8r carbon construction means it’s light and stiff, for incredible speed and efficiency. The S-Works FACT carbon monocoque fork has an oversized race for incredible strength and precision. The 3D-forged Pro-Set stem features an oversized bar-clamp area for sure, precise steering. The Specialized Pro alloy handlebar has a hand-friendly ergonomic shape, and an oversized clamp area for precision steering. The scientifically proven Body Geometry Toupé is easy on your soft parts.

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Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jeff Thatcher a Recreational Rider

Date Reviewed: January 30, 2010

Strengths:    Quick -- accelerates well.
Extremely responsive.
Shifting and braking are top-notch.
Climbs like a goat and descends well.
Very pleasing to look at.
Overall, an excellent bike.

Weaknesses:    It's a very different ride and feel from the Roubaix Expert and I can tell I've ridden the next day -- I feel a little stiff and sore.

Bottom Line:   
This review is for a 2009 Tarmac Expert Double. I've had my eye on this bike ever since Bicycling Magazine named it their Best Enthusiast Road Bike for 2009.

My local dealer had this particular bike as a demo model. After the summer season ended, I talked to various personnel in the shop about the bike, determined it had only about 100 miles on it and subsequently traded in my 2007 Roubaix Expert on the Tarmac Expert.

So far, after about 150 miles (five 30-mile rides), it's everything that I had hoped for. It's extremely responsive, corners well, climbs like a goat and descends with ease. My only complaint is I'm a little sore the next day after a ride. After riding Roubaix Experts (I still have a 2009 model which I like very much), there's a big difference in comfort. But I'm not complaining -- too much. I wanted a bike that was more responsive and quicker and the Tarmac Expert easily fills the bill.

I particularly like the Ultegra SL group set. Shifts are smooth and the brakes work great. The dark mirror finish is also very appealing.

I swapped out the stock Ultega wheels and Specialized Mondo tires for the Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels and Michelin Lithion tires that I had on my 2007 Roubaix Expert (I was already familiar with the Ultega wheels because they came stock on the 2009 Roubaix Expert) because I wanted something stiffer and lighter. I also swapped out the stock Specialized saddle because it's not for me.

The bike colors are white with black lettering and some purple striping at the top. It's minimalist, yet pleasing to the eye.

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Favorite Ride:   Little Rock/North Little Rock River Trails

Price Paid:    $2400.00

Purchased At:   Arkansas Cycling & F

Similar Products Used:   2009 Roubaix Expert
2007 Roubaix Expert
2004 Allez Compact Double

Bike Setup:   Specialized FACT 8r carbon frame.
Tapered steerer tube w/1.5-inch lower bearing.
Shimano Ultegra SL group set and brakes.
Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels.
Michelin Lithion tires.
Speedplay X2 pedals.
Fizik saddle.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by oldgeek a Recreational Rider

Date Reviewed: November 1, 2009

Strengths:    Good build quality, good components.
Fairly light.
Stiff Strong.

Weaknesses:    Wheels a compromise but they gotta somewhere.

Bottom Line:   
I wanted a new bike after putting 15,000 km on my Aluminum Trek. These days any reasonable upgrade means carbon. I am an engineer so I don't buy into marketing blah blah, but R&D for all the bike makers these days is for carbon, so resistance is futile.

That said I have ridden carbon bikes and liked the smoothness they are noted for. I got the large 58 cm size. I was surprised. I am big and fairly heavy, and this bike did not notice that. It is stiffer than my aluminum big tube bike.

The handling is much quicker than a Trek, and took some getting used to. Once I did road feel is solid, and confident. It is rather like a sports car. Dura Ace RD is a nice touch. I am not a racer, but I usually ride between 3500 to 5000 km per year.

This bike got me "going again". I put 4500 km on it in the spring and summer after having 1500 km on my winter bike ( the Trek) early in the year.

I did 3000 foot climbs and fast descents. 5 hour rides. It was comfortable and fun for all of that.

The toupe saddle surprised me. I like it. I is thin and has minimal padding, but it works for me. My other bike has pretty thick cushioning, but I didn't miss it. Lots of people don't like it apparently.

The stock tires are mondo pros and seems that lots of people don't like them either. I had no problems. No skidding or sliding. Good cornering. 4500 km no flats, and only the slightest bit of wear on the rear with a few tiny cuts. That included riding over everything you can think of and more than once just waiting for that hissing sound.

Great Value. Great Bike.

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Favorite Ride:   Stanley Park Vancouver

Price Paid:    $2400.00

Purchased At:   John Henry's North V

Similar Products Used:   Trek 1500

Bike Setup:   All Stock until I wore out the rear tire.
Garmin 305 bike computer.

Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

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