Tour tech – Sneak peek at the new Specialized Tarmac SL4
The SL3 may have won the Tour on its debut, but now there's a new Tarmac SL on the block
It's only 12 months since Specialized unleashed the Tarmac SL3 to a 1-2 finish at the Tour de France… , but that hasn't stopped Specialized rolling out a new Tarmac the SL4 for this year's race.
According to Specialized their new baby enjoys a stiffness to weight ratio that's a whopping 19 per cent better than last year's model, due in part to the features like the King Cobra headtube, which is claimed to stiffer, stronger and lighter too, a new fork and wider seatsays and one piece chainstays and bottom bracket – an approach to stiffening the back of the bike up that seems to be gaining ground: Specialized did the same on the SL3 and Cannondale have been using a one piece design for a number of years on their SuperSix.
We're also guessing that the rapid pace at which carbon technology has had something to do with it too – the Specialized guys we've talked to say they've learned a lot from their collaboration with McLaren, indeed Alberto Contador (and selected other riders will be riding a prototype Mclaren Tarmac SL4… We'll find out a lot more and have a lot more pics (and video too) in a few hours time when we get to see it in the flesh and talk to the man who designed it, Chris D'Alusio Specialized's Director of Advanced R&D.
In the meantime here's some pictures they've released of their new bike built up with both SRAM Red and Shimano Di2.