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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey

i'm scoping out a new bike build (currently have Giant TCR Composite) and the Tarmac framesets are on the radar. my budget covers the SL, but spending less is obviously a bonus. i ride purely recreationally, but really enjoy my rides which are typically 50~100km each, with the rare longer epic; the build-up would include DuraAce 10spd, FSA compact crankset, and Mavic Ksyrium ES clinchers.

i weigh in around 150lbs and am not the strongest rider around; the Giant is stiff enough for my needs.

what is the ride quality difference between the S-Works frames? i appreciate that the SL is lighter and probably stiffer, and it does not have the Zertz inserts. does this - and the other differences - alter the ride quality considerably? is the SL noticably harsher?

granted, i need to give each a ride to try out, but i do not foresee any more than 15~30min each for a test ride, which may not be revealing enough. so any personal feedback from those who have had a chance to sample both would be greatly appreciated. :D

FWIW, my shortlist also includes the Pinarello F4:13. i'm partial to either in terms of looks and the passion they conjure up. maybe the LOOK 585 too, but the look (pun intended) does nothing for me.

TIA :)
 

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I dont know all the specifics of the differences in frame and how it affects the ride quality, but I do know about fsa. DO NOT GO WITH THEM!!!! I highly ecomend putting in the upgrade to dure ace cranks. I have had nothing but issues with fsa. first they sent me a series one crank and bolt which kept comming loose and the threads deterated. They were already up to series 4 by the time they sent me the original cranks. They lied upon warrenting them. Second was they sent me the BB without doing a proper lube (in other words dry) and would not warranty it. there performance is lack luster also. An average cyclist probably would not notice the difference but still upgrade upgrade upgrade. it would even be better to use the ultegra cranks over slk mega exo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
cheers for that feedback. yes, i keep reading bad reports about MegaExo FSA carbon cranksets. :( i currently run a standard SLK MegaExo cranks on the Giant, but have had no probs so far after ~2000kms. perhaps i'm lucky, perhaps i'm not strong or heavy enough to induce the probs; hard to know.

i'm planning on a compact crankset for the new build-up. no DuraAce compact crankset available as you prob know - but Ultegra level R700 is an option for sure. hmm, decisions, decisions; might go for ISIS FSA compact cranks instead. and i don't wish to take the leap up to the expense of Stronglight Pulsion's. i'd just prefer carbon for cosmetic reasons. :p

:)
 

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test rode both... major difference

Went into the LBS to test ride a s-works tarmac, they did not have one built up but they had both a tarmac SL and a tarmac expert. They indicated that the tarmac expert was very similar to the S-works in terms of frame feel and weight. They put the same wheels on both for the test ride.

Also test rode a Look 585 and orbea orca at that same visit.

Results? The tarmac SL was IMHO the best ride by far; light, stiff yet vertical compliance meant that when going over some very crappy road, the SL felt the smoothest of them all. The Look was my second favorite, followed by the tarmac and then the Orca.

Highly recommend that you test ride both tarmacs, and include some nasty pavement in the test ride and some hill climbs. The regular tarmac was a nice ride, but compared to the SL felt sluggish and heavy. I will be (hopefully) purchasing my SL at the end of July; to me it just felt like a superior ride.

Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
great. thanks for that insight. the lbs i will arrange for a ride also sell LOOK and Giant, so plenty to sample.

btw, i have bought a set of FSA Carbon Pro Elite compact cranksets, ISIS, and avoided the MegaExo setup. by the time i buy a BB (probably a Token) it will work out a bit cheaper which is good; can spend more elsewhere. :D

:)
 

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I have an SL, it's better then any of the four Orbeas, the Seven, the Litespeed or any other bike I have tried or test ridden. It's simply amazing. Downside is its really bloody expensive.

If you are not racing, you may want to hold off for the new Roubaix SL they have coming soon. It looks spiffy.

FWIW- I bought the frameset/fork/seatpost combo with the regular bottom bracket so I just run my SRM D/A crankset on it.

:thumbsup:
 
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