Saturday, May 10, 2014

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The 2015 Tarmac represents a revolution in bicycle design that begins and ends with the rider. We call it Rider-First Engineered™ and it was inspired by our partnership with the leaders in Formula 1 development, McLaren*. Each of the seven frame sizes were developed independently, based exclusively on the real world stresses introduced by the corresponding rider. The result is a significant advance of complete performance in every frame size, from 49 to 56 to 61, and everything in between. In short - breakthrough climbing, sprinting, cornering and performance for riders of every size. Because there’s only one bike you care about. Yours.

See the Tarmac Family

*An S-Works+McLaren Tarmac will be released at the 2014 Tour de France.


So what does Rider-First Engineered™ mean? It’s a completely new approach to frame design that begins and ends with the rider. Real-time data was collected which was then used to set optimal performance targets for each size frame. Specialized engineers then hit those targets, delivering unprecedented complete performance in acceleration, handling, and compliance all in a weight-optimized package.

Rider performance needs are defined to achieve complete performance.

Each frame size developed exclusively to its own performance targets.

Optimal stiffness and compliance targets were established for every frame size.

Rider input forces were measured and collected for every frame size.


“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

Two measurements instead of one (previously torsional stiffness) to achieve most optimal ride depending on rider's size.



Dynamic testing identified optimal power transfer (Rear Triangle Stiffness) for every size frame. Once these targets were identified, Specialized engineers achieved them to deliver consistent performance to every size rider.

Dynamic test data showed that SL4 small frames were too responsive to steering input for optimal handling, while larger frames were not responsive enough. The Rider-First Engineered™ Tarmac achieves optimal performance at every size.

“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