Hot on the heels of the aero Venge, released earlier this year and already bagging several big wins, Specialized has just released details of the new Tarmac SL4.
While the Venge was designed to be as slippery through the air as possible, ideal for sprinters and breakaway heroes, the Tarmac platform, first introduced way back in 2004, is designed for people that want the lightest and stiffest, and has evolved in such a manner.
The successor to the SL3, itself only being released 12 months ago, the new model boasts a 19 per cent increase in stiffness-to-weight ratio. Undoubtedly the involvement of McLaren in the Venge project has helped Specialized to make some dramatic improvements to the SL4.
Look closer at the photos and you can see the new ‘King Cobra’ tapered head tube, which wears a 1-3/8in lower bearing race (down from 1-1/2in), the top remains 1-1/8in, which means the head tube can be narrower with less material reducing the weight.
The frame is manufactured from the latest FACT 11R carbon fibre, with internal ribbing in the head tube and bottom bracket and hollow carbon dropouts. The bottom bracket, chainstays and dropouts are moulded as a single piece, eliminating any potential weak junctions.
The seat stays are new too, and have a much wider profile which is said to improve lateral stiffness. Cables are routed internally for clean aesthetics. Weight for a frame, fork and S-Works crankset is a claimed 1995g. Reports suggest that the frame itself is about 50g lighter than the SL3.
Prices for the SL4 have just been confirmed:
SW Frame- £2500
SW Bike £6200
Pro SRAM Bike £4000
Pro Ui2 Bike £4500