Strengths: weight, saddle, power transfer, handlebars, groupset, bombproof wheels
Weaknesses: durability is sacrificed for weight (e.g. titanium hardware that strips easily, heavy guys should avoid the carbon seatpost, etc.), heavy wheels (not a real issue- who races on OEM wheels anyway?), cassette, chainrings, crank, crankset, crankarms, and anything crank....the crank is crap.
bike is a 2008, it will only let me put in 2007, bought bike in january used. Had to change the chainrings, chain, and cassette; no problem, bought the bike used, no suprises.
crank started creaking almost immediatly. Shop tightens the chainring bolts and says there is nothing wrong with it...still creaks.
The bike is fast, fun, and easy to ride. It comes with a great groupset, but specialized definitely skimped on the cassette; bet specialized got a good deal on 11-28T cassettes from sram or something. But i was overall impressed with this bike, until I was climbing a hill one day and the pedal detached from the crank arm, taking all of the threads from the pedal insert with it.
The crankarm was completely trashed. Here's a hint, BB30 is great, as long as you don't have to but a new crank!
BB30 cranks are either super expensive or have compact chainrings. Going with an adapter kit and a reliable new ultegra crank.
Strengths: Climbs, descends, and accelerates well, all with a very comfy ride.
Weaknesses: Could be a hair lighter (not that I couldn't afford to skip a few lunches, here and there).
This review is actully for a model year 2009 Tarmac Pro SL Sram. I have kept it pretty well stosk with the exception of tires (Speshy Armadillo Elite All Condition 700x23), stem (FSA OS115), and saddle (Speshy Alias Ti). I put on some Keo Carbon pedals, as well.
The bike has performed extremely well, as far as I am concerned. It is a very qquick handling bike, without being twitchy. It accelerates and climbs extremely well, but what is really surprising is the comfort with which it does so.
The Red/Force components are solid and do tyheir jobs well. The Ksyrium SL wheels are surprisingly stout (I run 245 pounds).
I was initially going to buy the roubaix pro but test rode the tarmac pro and boy am I glad I did. This frame is remarkably stiff and yet very tolerable for longer rides. 2008 saw a 15mm increase in the head tube and that was a nice adjustment. I've only done up to 40 miles at a time on it so far but I feel great afterwards. The frame soaks up the bumps nicely and the zertz in the post helps as well. Not too soft where it lacks precision though. Perfect feeling bike to me. Carbon crank and strong frame put down the power very effectively. I'm happy to report that the wheels are also quite resilient in addition to being aerodyanamic because they are still true after 1500 miles with a 215lb rider. Not a big fan of the 11-28T sram OG1070 cassette though. Seems to make more noise than I'd like and the b screw is maxed on the rear derailleur. I'll probably replace with a new chain and a dura ace 12-27T cassette. All things considered that is a minor quibble.
Strengths: Stiff BB, smooth ride, narrow Q factor with the BB30 crank, great Roval Star wheels.
Weaknesses: Some have mentioned the bland styling, but I like it as I don't want my bike to draw attention to myself before a race. I want to blend in which this bike allows me to do. While the white tape looks cool, I will change it to black to blend in even more.
This bike exceeded my expectations and fits me perfectly. The BB30 crank eliminated my heel rub due to the lower Q-factor (narrower stance) and curved crank arms. Also, I wanted the star wheels for TT's, but I love these wheels. Admitedly, I was riding a 21 lb steel bike that had a noodly BB so anything would have been a significant improvement. With that said, I am 10 lbs heavier than last year and even so, went from being pack fodder to a race animator, a prime win, and a top 10 in only a few races this year. A number of competitors have mentioned how strong I am riding this year. I have to give most of the credit to the bike. Riding in a pack takes so much less effort with this bike. It feels like someone changed all the bearings to ceramic. Almost feels like I am getting pushed along.