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Ok I need some advice! I am currently riding an 2001 allez pro that has a million miles on it and I need to get a new bike. I am a Masters level racer. Typical racing consists of 60-80 km crits and 100-160 km RR. I am having a hell of a time choosing between the S-Works Tarmac Carbon, the S-works E5, and the tarmac pro/expert.
I am trying to justify the extra $$ on the S-works Carbon or the E5 but not sure if its really worth it. Is the performance of the tarmac pro/expert REALLY different from the S-Works bikes? I am not a real weight weenie. I think there is more to be gained from shedding 10lbs off of my waist than 1 or 2 in a bike. I am a bigger rider at 175 lbs and tend to excell in the sprint so I need (or at least I think I do!) some good stiffness with the frame. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks in Advance.
 

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The Right Wing
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Good question

cbart330 said:
Ok I need some advice! I am currently riding an 2001 allez pro that has a million miles on it and I need to get a new bike. I am a Masters level racer. Typical racing consists of 60-80 km crits and 100-160 km RR. I am having a hell of a time choosing between the S-Works Tarmac Carbon, the S-works E5, and the tarmac pro/expert.
I am trying to justify the extra $$ on the S-works Carbon or the E5 but not sure if its really worth it. Is the performance of the tarmac pro/expert REALLY different from the S-Works bikes? I am not a real weight weenie. I think there is more to be gained from shedding 10lbs off of my waist than 1 or 2 in a bike. I am a bigger rider at 175 lbs and tend to excell in the sprint so I need (or at least I think I do!) some good stiffness with the frame. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks in Advance.
I bought the E5. I don't think that it represents a price increase over the Tamac Pro, however. The E5 frame and fork (plus headset and seat post) are about $1000. I picked the E5 because of my own personal opinion that carbon stays just add weight, cost and flexyness, none of which I wanted in my crit bike.

If you do the longer RR's you may appreciate the slightly more compliant ride of the full carbon frame, but not me. I like to ride 25 mph, 1/4" from the curb, with some smelly dude's elbow on my ribs. Stiffness and simplicity are the things I was lookng for and the E5 had those in spades.

It was a cheap frame but I dressed it up with all good pats so it wound up costing big bucks anyway.
 

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Like 53T, I chose the E5 also for very similar reasons. I Eliminated the Tarmac Pro due to bang for the buck, I think that the expert is a better value when you look at the DA parts you get. According to a spec sheet my LBS was showing me the tarmac has more torsional rigidity than both the s works frames. The E5 is more ridgid than the non E5. So for me the E5 was a good trade off between getting power to the ground while easily maining a sub 17 lbs bike.
 

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The Right Wing
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Weight

John Galt said:
Like 53T, I chose the E5 also for very similar reasons. I Eliminated the Tarmac Pro due to bang for the buck, I think that the expert is a better value when you look at the DA parts you get. According to a spec sheet my LBS was showing me the tarmac has more torsional rigidity than both the s works frames. The E5 is more ridgid than the non E5. So for me the E5 was a good trade off between getting power to the ground while easily maining a sub 17 lbs bike.
For reference, I'm at 16.9 # with Ksyrium SL's, GP 4000's (whoo hoo, look at me with the new tires) and full D/A, Ti flight, carbon bars, and stainless speedplays.
 

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Sworks Tarmac vs. E5

a couple of weeks back I rode with a big dog from the Specialized R & D Team, I had the same question as I was ready to squeeze the trigger for the E5 sprint machine for the same reasons as you. Here's the shocker...he tells me not to switch from the Sworks Tarmac...it's the stiffer sprint machine ! This coming from the mouth of one of the designers...my Tarmac stays !
 

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sure, but E5 frameset MSRP = $1100, s-works tarmac frameset = $2800.

the choice seems obvious to me - take the alloy bike and use $$ for wheels and components
 

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I've got both a S-Works E5 and a S-Works E5 Tarmac and without a question the Tarmac is more comfortable. The E5 certainly seems quicker in a sprint, but that's because the Tarmac is just so darn smooth!

If money is not an issue, go with the Tarmac - you will not be dissappointed one bit. If the wallet is a little more strapped and you don't have another bike to trash around in crits go with the E5. Either way they are both great bikes!
 

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Tarmac Pro/Expert?

So how does the regular Tarmac Pro/Expert/Comp frame compare to the S-Works E5 in termsof stiffness, weight and ride? Is it the same ride and stiffness as the S-works Tarmac but just a tad heavier?
 

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If you're courious about the weights and stiffness, here's a good source of information right from Specialized:

http://specialized.com/OA_MEDIA/pdf/Witchcraft.pdf

I've never been on the Pro/Expert/Comp frame, so I really can't help you there. I can say that there is a difference between the S-Works E5 Tarmac and the S-Works Tarmac - you would have to ride both to figure out which one would be best. For me, it was geometry that helped me pick the E5 version vise the all-carbon one.
 

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ok - interesting read.

just comparing the various tarmac models:

the s-works tarmac is 14% lighter than the pro/comp etc frames (all the same frame) and is roughly 10% more torsionally stiff, and only marginally stiffer in the BB (that must be where the extra weight comes from).

Unfortunately they don't include the alloy E5 frame for comparison. But the E5 tarmac is way stiffer in the BB. So, it should be safe to assume the full alloy E5 frame is similar in the BB.

The E5 frame weight is very close to the s-works tarmac.

Given all of the above, i think it's safe to say the E5 alloy frame will be a better race bike than the non s-works tarmac. The s-works tarmac seems to combine the best of both worlds (ride quality and stiffness), but of course at double the price!

FWIW - the s-works roubiax seems to trump them all!
[/RIGHT]
 

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the problem is, they make too many bikes.
I have ridden the e5 tarmac and the s-works tarmac, and they are both really excellent race bikes. I bought the e5 tarmac actually, its supposed to be stiffer, but I chose it more because of a great deal that came up. With ksyrium sl's, both of these bikes really want to push forward, and the sensation on the e5 tarmac is that you also want to push harder and harder. very satisfying. from memory, I would say the s-works carbon tarmac is just slightly more comfortable and probably not quite as stiff, but it is a really stiff bike, so i would say that any sane person would be very happy with either one..

If money is critical, then the e5 s-works regular seems like a great deal for a road bike. If you have the cash, or can find a deal, then the e5 tarmac or s-works tarmac would be a good choice. All of these bikes have been ridden by top pros to great effect as well, so you can be comfortable in that knowledge...
 

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I am in the same boat as you. I am trying to decide between the S-works E5 and the Tarmac Pro. It seems that the E5 has all the sweet componets compared to the Tarmac Pro. I have been going back and forth between the 2. I will have to go test ride the bikes to wich ones I like better. I was even thinking of getting the Tarmac and then buying some SL wheels so then it would be pretty much the same bike except for the brakes and the front derailer. But its hard to spend that extra money when you would like to be under 3000 so the E5 looks promising.
 

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I am in the same boat as you. I am trying to decide between the S-works E5 and the Tarmac Pro. It seems that the E5 has all the sweet componets compared to the Tarmac Pro. I have been going back and forth between the 2. I will have to go test ride the bikes to wich ones I like better. I was even thinking of getting the Tarmac and then buying some SL wheels so then it would be pretty much the same bike except for the brakes and the front derailer. But its hard to spend that extra money when you would like to be under 3000 so the E5 looks promising.
 

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I do not know about you guys, but I work at a specialized shop in FL and alot of tarmac
E5's are haveing problems with the paint on the head tube. Apparently where the carbon is fused with the aluminum the clear coat is starting to crack. A minor flaw but just a heads up to potential tarmac e5 owners.
 

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How is the stiffness of the E5 compared to the Tarmac pro? I am considering buying the E5 or the Tarmac Pro. On specilize web site they list the stiffness of the carbon fiber bikes but not any of there other bikes. One bike said the Tarmac would be stiffer but another said the E5 is stiffer. This week I plan on trying to get out test ride them if the weather warms up.
 

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I have ridden both (own an e5, test ridden a tarmac at my shop) and i think that the e5 is stiffer, though i have no test data to back that up. I think its pretty hard to get a better bike than the e5 and noone ive ever put one on has been less than happy. my .02
 
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