The Specialized Tarmac SL5 Comp Disc provides a fast, rewarding ride with sharp yet predictable handling but, with post-mount brakes and quick releases, the frame is beginning to show its age against the very latest disc-specific race bikes.
This £2,800 machine is based around the existing Tarmac SL5 frame, launched in 2014 when disc brakes were still an emerging technology. During last year’s launch of the very latest rim brake Tarmac SL6, we were told a disc-specific version should appear at some point in 2018, but for now if you want a rotor-equipped Tarmac from Specialized, then this is it.
And why wouldn’t you look at the Tarmac? It’s been a highly-rated race machine in recent years, impressing us at the recent SL6 launch as well as when we tested the rim brake SL4 Comp bike back in summer 2016. As a frame, and a name, it’s also got an impressive pro palmares too, with wins (in its rim brake guise) under the likes of Alberto Contador and Peter Sagan to name but two.