State of the Art

Specialized S-Works Tarmac

Specialized S-Works Tarmac     Photo: Carlos Serrao

SPECIALIZED S-WORKS TARMAC
$5,500
THE PITCH » A full-carbon road frame tuned to deliver all-day plushness without sacrificing race-day performance
YOUR MONEY BUYS... More miles; fewer aches. Specialized's proprietary composite technology combines with shock-absorbing elastomer inserts in the seatstays (the tubes that run from the seatpost to the rear wheel) to yield one of the most comfortable racing bikes on the planet. The 15.8-pound package includes Shimano's surgically precise Dura-Ace 20-speed drivetrain and nimble Mavic Ksyrium SL wheels. But the Tarmac's most distinguishing characteristic—its sexy, arching top tube—makes it a work of art that's as fun to admire as it is to ride.
THE RIGHT BIKE FOR YOU? The Tarmac shares some key elements with Specialized's popular Roubaix long-haul racer, including elastomer damping and an all-carbon build. But the Tarmac relies on a different carbon process to produce a firmer frame, which, along with a shorter wheelbase and more responsive steering geometry, delivers superior performance. That's not to say it's a backbreaker: The elastomers squelch a good amount of road vibrations, and the curved top tube is designed to act like one big leaf spring, taking the sting out of the frame's lower half. 408-779-6229, www.specialized.com

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