The ultra-light and responsive Tarmac offers the perfect set-up for young Brit pro, Sophie Coldwell
This bike is second to none. It’s the Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL6, and the tech that goes into it is amazing; the components are all integrated, meaning that it’s so responsive in terms of gearchanging and braking. I like the way it handles, it’s such a light bike but it’s still stiff and you can really throw it round corners. It’s great for doing longer efforts in a race-pace situation. Equally, if you’re just out for a couple of hours, then it’s super comfortable.
I was fortunate enough to have a bike fit down at the Specialized HQ to achieve my optimal set-up. I got custom inner-soles for my bike shoes, and we altered the position of my cleats – these changes effectively optimised my power output. I also did saddle pressurepoint testing to ascertain the perfect fit for my shape, which turned out to be the S-Works Romin Evo. In terms of aerodynamics, we looked at my forward position on the bike and tried to minimise my surface area with the tri-bars. These tests helped to find the balance between being aero and being comfortable, while not compromising performance when running off the bike.
I either run the Roval CLX 32s, which are super light, shallow carbon clinchers. Or the Roval CLX 50, which are deeper rims and more aero.The Dura-Ace electronic gears never falter and quickly adjust as you ride. The gearing and batteries are all tucked away in the handlebars.Aside from when I’m bridging breakaway gaps on the TT bars, I’m normally in a neutral position on the hoods or drops. When I race, I just use black electrical tape and attach gels to my top tube so they’re super accessible. I also carry a couple of bottles on the bike, one of them a carb drink.Being a road bike rather than aero frame, it’s slightly lighter than other models and has all integrated wiring. I’ve added short TT bars and have quite narrow handlebars (38cm). 1 4 2 5 3