Bicycling (South Africa) - - STORIES -

There’s an ex­pres­sion in cy­cling that when you’re look­ing to buy bike prod­ucts that are strong, and light, and in­ex­pen­sive… pick any two. Be­cause you’ll have bet­ter luck find­ing a uni­corn than some­thing that’s all three.

In terms of road- bike frames, the same ap­plies to light weight, com­fort and aero­dy­nam­ics – you just can’t have all three.

Well, that was un­til the ar­rival of Spe­cial­ized’s new Tar­mac – a race bike that meets all three of these ex­pec­ta­tions. With the topend ver­sion weigh­ing in at just 733g, this is Spe­cial­ized’s light­estever frame. The car­bon lay-ups (es­pe­cially those in the rear end) are tuned for lat­eral stiff­ness, while si­mul­ta­ne­ously al­low­ing for ver­ti­cal com­pli­ance; which means ride com­fort and con­trol aren’t com­pro­mised.

While these two char­ac­ter­is­tics are a pretty stan­dard com­bi­na­tion on light­weight race bikes, it’s the new Tar­mac’s up­graded aero­dy­namic per­for­mance – claimed by Spe­cial­ized to equal that of the first- gen­er­a­tion Venge – that sees the most dra­matic im­prove­ment. Help­ing to cheat the wind are a re­designed fork, dropped seat­stays with aero tubes, and a D- shaped seat­post and seat tube.

Ul­ti­mately, the Tar­mac’s weight, com­fort and aero­dy­namic per­for­mance tri­fecta has cre­ated a ver­sa­tile pack­age that can truly do it all.

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