Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL3 Super Light

Pro: Hill Climber; $9,200.

Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL3 Super Light     Photo: Photograph by Inga Hendrickson

With defending Tour de France champion Alberto Contador and runner-up Andy Schleck both riding Specialized bikes this year, don't be surprised to see a rider in yellow atop an SL3. But it won't be this one. Spec'd with Zipp's ultralight 202 tubular wheels, Specialized's all-carbon Super Light model weighs just 13.8 pounds—more than a pound under the minimum for pro racing. (Our tester had traditional "clincher" wheels, which are more practical than tubulars but also a bit heavier.) The weight savings don't compromise performance. Specialized's superbly stiff S-Works cranks transfer every blink to the oversize bottom bracket, making for a bike that loves to sprint as much as it does to climb. "Felt like I actually had help in the climbs," said one tester. "Very fast, stable bike, and confidence-inspiring in the corners." 14.8 lbs as tested (56 cm); specialized.com
PEDALING RESPONSIVENESS: 4.9 HANDLING: 4.9

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