Tom Boonen’s Specialized Tarmac with new Dura Ace Di2

Belgian great racing his final Tour of Flanders this weekend

Road Bike
Tom Boonen’s Specialized Tarmac

With synchronized shifting functionality, the new Shimano Di2 system can be set up to control both derailleurs with just one shift lever. Photo: Jim Fryer / BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com

This coming weekend, Tom Boonen will get to race in front of home country fans in one of the season’s more important one-day races, the Tour of Flanders. We’d guess that Boonen will likely choose to ride his Specialized Roubaix, a bike specifically designed to take the sting out of the venerable course’s many cobblestone sections. But the Belgian great will also have this Shimano Dura-Ace equipped Specialized Tarmac at his disposal. What makes this bike special is that the gruppo is Shimano’s new R9150 Di2 electronic shifting group that was released late last year and is just now starting to appear on the WorldTour circuit.

Tom Boonen’s Specialized Tarmac

The latest Dura Ace Hollowtech II crankset is available with or without a power meter in a wide array of gear options. This set-up does not appear to have an integrated power meter. Photo: Jim Fryer / BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com

The 11-speed group embraces several new options and technologies, including the possibility of an integrated power meter, disc brakes, and a unique synchronized shifting system. You can also manage system diagnostics and upgrade firmware with a smartphone. It’s pretty high tech stuff that also looks pretty damn good, too.

No matter what happens this weekend, expect Boonen to get some of the loudest cheers. For the cycling great is retiring after the upcoming Paris-Roubaix, meaning this will be his last major race on home soil.

Tom Boonen’s Specialized Tarmac

The new groupset has smaller, more textured and ergonomic hoods than its predecessor. The levers have a 14mm reach adjust. Photo: Jim Fryer / BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com

Tom Boonen’s Specialized Tarmac

Gearing options for the non-power meter set ups include 50-34t / 52-36t / 53-39t, 54-42t, and 55-44t. No doubt Boonen will run the traditional 53-39. Photo: Jim Fryer / BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com

Tom Boonen’s Specialized Tarmac

The new Shimano brakes are claimed to be 43% stiffer compared with the previous generation. Photo: Jim Fryer / BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com

Tom Boonen’s Specialized Tarmac

The rear derailleur is more compact than before, which is designed in part to help protect it in the case of a crash. Photo: Jim Fryer / BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com

Tom Boonen’s Specialized Tarmac

The junction box that runs everything in the Di2 system can be placed in the frame’s downtube, stashed with specially designed components, or strapped beneath the stem, which is the most common locale. Photo: Jim Fryer / BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com

Tom Boonen’s Specialized Tarmac

We’d expect the big Belgian to run either an 11-23 or maybe an 11-25 cassette come race day. There are plenty of steep climbs. Photo: Jim Fryer / BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com

Tom Boonen’s Specialized Tarmac

Boonen has ridden various versions of the Tarmac to countless wins over the years, and he’ll certainly be the sentimental favorite this weekend in Flanders. Photo: Jim Fryer / BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com

Tom Boonen’s Specialized Tarmac

Specialized and Boonen have a long standing relationship. Photo: Jim Fryer / BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com

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