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


Specialized Tarmac SL7 hero.jpg

 

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.

 

Tarmac SL7 Seatpost UCI.jpg
Tarmac SL7 Stem mount.jpg

 

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


Kramon_Specialized_TarmacSL7_Sagan_05312_DO.jpeg

 

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


Kramon_Specialized_TarmacSL7_JA_03975_DO.jpeg

 

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


CP_C5964.jpg

 

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

 

Kramon_Specialized_TarmacSL7_01155.jpg

 

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


Tarmac SL7 Headtube front area.jpg

 

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


ROAD-3485_TarmacSL7_PRESS KIT_Digital_ZA-11.jpg

 

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.

 

Screenshot 2020-07-27 at 16.22.47.png

 

Endless Iteration


Endless_Iteration.jpg
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


Tarmac21_Studio_5522_NO_MOUNT.jpg
Tarmac21_Studio_5493.jpg

 

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.

 

30020-650_WHL_RAPIDE-CLX-REAR-HG-SATIN-CARBON-GLOSS-BLK-700C_DEPTH.jpg

 

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.

 

Kramon_Specialized_TarmacSL7_01028.jpg

 




62 Comments

Shebeen, Jul 29 2020 08:08

I actually watched the full video.

 

It's quite impressive, really good production and clearly made by some apple fanbois as it has a touch of jobs to it. 

The palmares in the bloodline are not to be sniffed at with super mario kicking it off and sags, bettini, boonen, contador and alaphillipe et al all bringing in win on sunday returns.

 

also quite amazing how these sort of launches can happen, with the bike seemingly under wraps and then flown all around the world under covid travel restrictions.

 

I'm not sure dropping the venge altogether is the right idea, but it's done.

although the smart money is an italian bike will win le tour this year, no matter how good this bike might be. 

stringbean, Jul 29 2020 08:09

That was to try get it close to the 6.8kg weight (non tubeless wheels and cotton tires)

‘So basically when you put on normal tires,pedals,cages your 200k bike is over 7kg.

In 2020 that’s ridiculous 

Shebeen, Jul 29 2020 08:13

0bfaf3af1bedc2770d2460f11f0a5af8.jpg

how does the bubbly get through the mask?!

Aurora, Jul 29 2020 08:14

Imagine you had just spent close to R200k on the Venge a few months ago, how disappointed are you feeling right now? 

DieselnDust, Jul 29 2020 08:37

Once tey launched the new Venge one could see that either it or the Tarmac had to go. 

Paul Ruinaard, Jul 29 2020 08:48

Beautiful bike but its like all the dudes going to the Ferrari launches aren't the people with the money to buy them.

 

People trying to launder that amount of cash keep a low profile generally :-)

 

Not that i am alleging that all the people riding Tramacs are drug dealers :-).

 

#jealous

 

Pure Savage, Jul 29 2020 08:56

Ok, so what I dont get, this bike is "the one bike to rule them all" so amazing, just launched, yet when you actually order one they slap on a R15k discount straight away? If the bikes are so amazing, they should at least be selling for RRP or above when just launched. 

 

Just found it strange.

gummibear, Jul 29 2020 08:58

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/

SA pricing.

 

 

https://www.speciali...mily:Tarmac SL7

Veebee, Jul 29 2020 09:02

190k for an Sworks sticker... no thanks

Rocket-Boy, Jul 29 2020 09:21

R85k for the frameset? 

Err no thanks. 

It does look good though.

Waynemol, Jul 29 2020 09:28

294eed987c679cb6ee76dac26cb629c2.jpg

disappointed in the masks - branding opportunity missed

 

Sworks masks, more covid resistant

Chris_, Jul 29 2020 09:32

Imagine you had just spent close to R200k on the Venge a few months ago, how disappointed are you feeling right now? 

 

Nah.. I'm sure I'm not the only one who likes (and sometimes buys) bikes on looks and brand only.

 

The science is cool but only necessary to justify it to your bank account, and for playing top trumps.

Eugene, Jul 29 2020 09:38

Nice looking bike, but it doesn't come close to the Venge in terms of looks.

DieselnDust, Jul 29 2020 09:39

Ok, so what I dont get, this bike is "the one bike to rule them all" so amazing, just launched, yet when you actually order one they slap on a R15k discount straight away? If the bikes are so amazing, they should at least be selling for RRP or above when just launched. 

 

Just found it strange.

 

 

breathe in ..........Let the Venge(nce) go..while breathing out

DieselnDust, Jul 29 2020 09:40

Nah.. I'm sure I'm not the only one who likes (and sometimes buys) bikes on looks and brand only.

 

The science is cool but only necessary to justify it to your bank account, and for playing top trumps.

 

 

 

Science,......what science..where??!!

DJuice, Jul 29 2020 09:43

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/

With the marketing scrip of the Tarmac SL7, the rating is disappointing, thought at least 7 out of 5, no questions.

 

Did not know that when the chainrings are caput, the power meter as well.

 

The Trek looks good!

Different option Orbea Orca

Furbz, Jul 29 2020 09:50

Ok, so what I dont get, this bike is "the one bike to rule them all" so amazing, just launched, yet when you actually order one they slap on a R15k discount straight away? If the bikes are so amazing, they should at least be selling for RRP or above when just launched. 

 

Just found it strange.

 

maybe to account for what our market is willing to pay?

its still a lot, but i'm sure their market research and historical data will single out the best price point for the RSA market 

DieselnDust, Jul 29 2020 09:50

With the marketing scrip of the Tarmac SL7, the rating is disappointing, thought at least 7 out of 5, no questions.

 

Did not know that when the chainrings are caput, the power meter as well.

 

The Trek looks good!

Different option Orbea Orca

 

 

at this sort of price point the LOOK 795 Blade RS is well within range

Longbarn Killer, Jul 29 2020 09:51

I still haven't got used to this disc brake thing on road bikes, but, for some reason, dics seem to blend in nicely on this bike and the bike actually looks quite nice.

 

If I ever sell my car to buy a bike, this will be the one I will go for. 

Schnavel, Jul 29 2020 09:52

If I won the lotto, this would be my bike of choice! Would love to have one of these, but at that price tag, it will always be a dream...

DieselnDust, Jul 29 2020 09:55

With the marketing scrip of the Tarmac SL7, the rating is disappointing, thought at least 7 out of 5, no questions.

 

Did not know that when the chainrings are caput, the power meter as well.

 

The Trek looks good!

Different option Orbea Orca

 

 

On the Quarq RED AXS PM, when the chainring are shot you have two options.

 

1) New rings with power meter at 50% discount - This isn't a bad option as the PM with rings is around R13K. New rings alone are R5000! Slightly more pricey than the Dura Ace 9000 rings

 

2) Send the unit back to SRAm to fit new rings. About a 15 working day turnaround

 

3) Buy the crank without PM and fit Favero Assioma pedals

Veebee, Jul 29 2020 10:00

If you are not brand driven... you can put together a really nice top end bike with the best parts available for much less than this.

 

Factor

Chapter2

Swift

and many more

DJuice, Jul 29 2020 10:13

On the Quarq RED AXS PM, when the chainring are shot you have two options.

 

1) New rings with power meter at 50% discount - This isn't a bad option as the PM with rings is around R13K. New rings alone are R5000! Slightly more pricey than the Dura Ace 9000 rings

 

2) Send the unit back to SRAm to fit new rings. About a 15 working day turnaround

 

3) Buy the crank without PM and fit Favero Assioma pedals

Thanks for the insights, did not know this.

splat, Jul 29 2020 12:35

Is it my imagination or are there suddenly more Tarmacs listed on Classifieds ?

liebenw, Jul 29 2020 12:46

With the marketing scrip of the Tarmac SL7, the rating is disappointing, thought at least 7 out of 5, no questions.

 

Did not know that when the chainrings are caput, the power meter as well.

 

The Trek looks good!

Different option Orbea Orca

 

Think I still prefer the Willier Zero SLR over the Spez, although they all kinda same same lately