"For the new redesigned, Specialized Tarmac, the big story isn't about the disc brakes or new geometry, it's about size specific optimization. In the past, engineers have always developed a 54 or 56 cm size frame, then tweaked that formula to work for the full spectrum of sizes.
One of the major design goals for the new Tarmac was to create a bike that was stiffer and more responsive for larger riders, yet introduced flex for smaller riders, and maintaining agility across the board." - bikerumor.com
They designed each frame from the ground up for a total of 13 different configurations (seven rim-brake sizes, another six for the disc version). Each size has its own carbon layup and performance targets. The design team's goal was as short as Alberto Contador or as tall as Tom Boonen, who both race on teams sponsored by Specialized.
One of the biggest changes to the new Tarmac is at the seat post junction, where an internal binder system has allowed them to almost eliminate the tubing above the top tube, thus adding compliance to the frame. While much of the tubing looks similar to the past iteration, including a massive down tube and huge oversize bottom bracket area, the seat stays are more tapered and curved and the chain stays shift from a boxy profile to a more rounded shape — both of which add to ride comfort.
The other major change the Tarmac sees is the introduction of disc brake models. The 2015 Tarmac will be available in three disc brake options: a Dura-Ace Di2-equipped S-Works level with Shimano R785 hydraulic brakes, an Ultegra Di2 Pro Disc Race model, again with R785 brakes, and an Ultegra Di2 Pro Disc Race model with RS685 brakes.
Here are some comments from professional cyclists that have ridden this bike.
"Testing the bike on different types of climbs has proven it's very fast, especially when standing on the pedals, going downhill, it's a very good handling bike that goes where you want it to go. It's an unbeatable feeling. One of the best features is the enormous stiffness, which translates to a high capacity to transmit power, and that's what we're all looking for."
-Alberto Contador, Winner of All 3 Grand Tours
"The new Tarmac is smoother and easier to handle, especially when changing speed and overall has a better balance of stiffness and stability. It feels like the positive aspects of the SL4, responsiveness and stiffness, are enhanced."
-Vincenzo Nibali, Defending Giro D'Italia Champion
Stay tuned to our blog for more 2015 Specialized updates!