New aerodynamic Specialized Tarmac SL7 brings an end to the Venge

Press release


The Tarmac SL7 puts an end to compromise, and racing will never be the same. Climb on the lightest bike the rules allow, sprint on the fastest - all with legendary Tarmac handling. It’s like we combined Julian Alaphilippe’s attacking, climbing style, and Peter Sagan’s aggressive power in a single rider with no weaknesses. The only choice you need to make is when to attack.

One bike to rule them all


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No matter how fast the Venge was, no matter how well the SL6 handled in the mountains, we knew choosing between the two meant our riders had to make compromises on race day. We just weren’t okay with that. That’s where the new SL7 came from, we were simply unwilling to allow those compromises anymore. Product Manager, Cameron Piper

 

 

Aero, Stiff, Light. Pick Three.


Why force riders to choose between aerodynamics and weight? We’ve been innovating for 45 years and developing the Tarmac for almost two decades. Our engineers knew it was time to deliver the fastest bike in the peloton, at the legal weight limit. Still riding one bike to climb and a different bike to sprint? That’s so 2019.

 

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This is the type of project engineers equally love and hate: hate because all the priorities seem to be opposing each other, love because it’s challenges like this that allows us to design right on the edge: which is exactly what we did for the new Tarmac. Composites Engineer, Nadia Carrol

 

Anything lighter is illegal


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If you want a lighter bike, you better hand in your racing license. At under 6.7kg out of the box the new Tarmac SL7 is ready to race at the legal limit. By limiting the frame’s surface area and strategically reducing wall thickness our painted S-Works frames are a mere 800 grams, without giving up a gram of aero, stiffness or ride quality.

 

The fastest bike on every road


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By targeting the tubes that truly impact aero – seat tube, seatstays, head tube, fork blades – with shapes from our Free Foil Library, and mating them with our Aerofly II bars, hidden cables, and new Roval Rapide CLX wheels, we’ve created a package that’s 45 seconds faster over 40k than the Tarmac SL6, yet doesn’t add a gram of weight.

 

Nothing is better handling


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The Tarmac name has always set the bar for race bike handling – telepathic response at the bars, magic at the pedals, and the comfort to stay fresh over hundreds of kilometers. The new Tarmac SL7 raises that bar yet again, it’s the most balanced Tarmac ever and the greatest example of Rider First Engineering we’ve ever made.

 

Made in racing


No bike is more influenced by our racers than the Tarmac. It’s been a two-decade collaboration with the best riders in the world that has pushed our engineering team farther than we ever imagined possible, so far in fact, the new Tarmac SL7 redefines the modern race bike.

 

A bike that can combine the best of the Tarmac and the best of the Venge? That’s a dream for everybody. Knowing that performance is not compromised, is the perfect scenario. Deceuninck – Quick-Step technical and development director, Ricardo Scheidecker

 

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Why? Races are getting harder and faster with more elevation. The 2019 Tour de France featured more elevation than any Tour in the last eight years – 52856 meters - and the Tarmac spent 14 days in yellow. During Stage 17 of the 2019 Vuelta the record was set for the fastest average speed for a race over 200km in UCI history - 50.63kph (31.4mph) – and it was won on a Venge. The luxury of choosing between an aero bike or a climbing bike is no luxury, it’s a sacrifice.

 

One bike, 45 years of innovation


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Innovation never stops at Specialized. When the SL6 was released, work had already begun on the SL7. Our engineers were committed to ensuring our riders would never have to choose between aero and weight again. Thanks to the best R&D resources in the world and a team of obsessed engineers the Tarmac SL7 achieves a marriage of light weight, aerodynamics, and ride quality previously thought impossible. Brass Ring? Holy Grail? We just call it the Tarmac SL7.

 

Rider First Engineering


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With extensive data acquisition of forces through every conceivable part of the frame during real world testing, Rider First Engineering ensures the optimal balance of stiffness, weight and ride quality across all sizes, ensuring every rider gets the same legendary Tarmac ride. Beginning with our huge database of real-world ride telemetry we created prototype framesets that married Venge level stiffness targets with Tarmac SL6 compliance and responsiveness, then used feedback from BORA-hansgrohe and Deceuninck - Quick-Step riders to validate the changes. The result is the fastest, best handling Tarmac ever, for every rider.

 

New shape of speed


The New Shape of Speed is our doctrine that aero advantage does not need to come at the expense of weight or ride quality and the Tarmac SL7 is the ultimate expression of this. Endless refining of shapes from our Free Foil Library allowed us to create the lightest, fastest bike ever.

 

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Endless Iteration


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Creating the Tarmac SL7 was an exercise in patience. Every feature was pushed to the limit to ensure optimum aerodynamics, weight, and stiffness, without harming any other feature. This was quite literally a gram by gram battle, lasting years, involving every resource at our disposal.

 

When we push each of these features as far as we can, without compromising another, it’s our years of experience, our incredible resources, that let us deliver a bike as light as the rules allow, yet in a package as aero as anything else on the road, that still delivers the legendary ride quality and handling the Tarmac is known for. Design engineer, Ian Milliken

 

We designed right at the very edge as we developed the Tarmac SL7. The first samples out of the mold were extremely aggressive and basically experimental: the bare minimum material required to make a frame – we knew they’d fail lab tests, we knew they’d miss stiffness targets, but they were almost 20% under the weight target. From there we strategically overwrapped these frames with carbon in our composites shop to hit stiffness targets. In the lab we tested many different overlaps to improve stiffness, but we went even further analyzing them in FEA which allows you to infinitely vary ply size, shape, angle, location, material, and stack - were talking hundreds of layups, with thousands of ply iterations, confirming the final design had the best stiffness to weight ratio. Taking this approach means the final product is lightweight, aero and capable: no compromises.

 

Integration for speed


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As fast and light as the new Tarmac SL7 frame is, we couldn’t have achieved our goals without the fastest components in the world, from the slippery Aerofly II bar from the Venge, to the all-new Roval Rapide wheels. To ensure we delivered race ready builds at less than 6.8kg we designed a new Tarmac stem that saves 45 grams, while hiding cables from the wind to improve leading edge aerodynamics. But our World Tour mechanics kept us honest, making sure we delivered a Tarmac SL7 that is easy to work on day in and day out, and ensures the best riders in the world can find their perfect fit.

 

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Beyond Gender


There’s likely more difference between two male cyclists than between a male and female. Gender alone doesn’t provide nearly enough data to specialize and that means separating the new Tarmac SL7 into male or female bikes is arbitrary and outdated. It means that it’s time to go beyond gender.

 

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71 Comments

Heinrichgg, Jul 28 2020 06:39

As aero bikes get closer and closer to the weight limit, this only makes sense as climbing frames that forego aerodynamics will soon be obsolete at the highest level in any case.

The Tour de France has been dominated recently by Pinarello and I don't see them constantly switching models from flat to hilly stages. Bianchi also seems ahead of the game in this regard.

Lance Stephenson, Jul 28 2020 06:55

OMG, this is what I love about MARKETING, " this bike will save a rider an average of 45sec over 40km". Sounds amazing..........AT WHAT AVERAGE SPEED DO YOU NEED TO RIDE TO GAIN THAT ADVANTAGE?

WrightJnr, Jul 28 2020 06:58

Yip. I like it !! I got to threaded BB and had heard all I needed to hear.

Underachiever, Jul 28 2020 07:13

After this magnificent marketing effort,  I'm convinced you cannot buy better (comic sans...).  Aero, stiff and light!!!

 

So I wonder, what will the marketing angle be when they launch the Tarmac SL8?

WrightJnr, Jul 28 2020 07:23

Hub get ready... Brand X , Y or Z launches new bike, everyone “wow” “awesome”. Specialized launch anything “OMG....pure evil rubbish”.

Haters gonna hate.

gummibear, Jul 28 2020 07:42

Specialized,Trek,BMC and ORBEA all look the same.

At least Trek offers custom colours to make your ride special.

 

Weighed a 2021 Trek Emonda SLR9 in the week and it came in at 6.2kg for a 54cm frame with cages.Going to be interesting to see where  the Tarmac  price is compared to the 10k euro Trek.

gummibear, Jul 28 2020 07:44

OMG, this is what I love about MARKETING, " this bike will save a rider an average of 45sec over 40km". Sounds amazing..........AT WHAT AVERAGE SPEED DO YOU NEED TO RIDE TO GAIN THAT ADVANTAGE?

At the rate they been improving over the last 5 years they should actually be moving on there own already :w00t:  :w00t:

gummibear, Jul 28 2020 07:47

The Trek is cleaner with all the cables hidden and you don't get water entering the seat post.

 

EmondaSLR9Disc_21_33141_A_Primary?$respo

TCTG, Jul 28 2020 09:38

The Trek is cleaner with all the cables hidden and you don't get water entering the seat post.

 

Love this bike!EmondaSLR9Disc_21_33141_A_Primary?$respo

TCTG, Jul 28 2020 09:39

Can I say it again...I love this bike

DieselnDust, Jul 28 2020 09:50

Nice pictures

stupid marketing

CrankShaft, Jul 28 2020 11:25

45 secs faster over 45km.. How they do that calculation? Sagan pushing 750watts for an hour?

Andreas_187, Jul 29 2020 12:39

Specialized,Trek,BMC and ORBEA all look the same.
At least Trek offers custom colours to make your ride special.

Weighed a 2021 Trek Emonda SLR9 in the week and it came in at 6.2kg for a 54cm frame with cages.Going to be interesting to see where the Tarmac price is compared to the 10k euro Trek.

Trek claim over 6.7kg

Headshot, Jul 29 2020 07:26

That's way too much marketing bumpf to read. Is it any good?

gummibear, Jul 29 2020 07:55

The launch of the new SL 7 last night with Jempy Drucker from Bora.
At least the food and drink was good [emoji106]

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gummibear, Jul 29 2020 07:55

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gummibear, Jul 29 2020 07:56

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gummibear, Jul 29 2020 07:56

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gummibear, Jul 29 2020 07:56

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gummibear, Jul 29 2020 07:56

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gummibear, Jul 29 2020 07:57

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gummibear, Jul 29 2020 07:57

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gummibear, Jul 29 2020 07:57

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gummibear, Jul 29 2020 07:58

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Furbz, Jul 29 2020 08:07

so apparently your GBP10500 gets you this beautiful bike with Sram Red AXS and then they go do something brain dead and make it not tubeless compatible.

The mind boggles

https://www.bikerada...mac-sl7-review/