The ul­tra-light and re­spon­sive Tar­mac of­fers the per­fect set-up for young Brit pro, So­phie Coldwell

220 Triathlon Magazine - - START -

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

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