Here's our first look at BORA – hansgrohe's 2018 team bike, the new Specialized Tarmac SL6 with a fresh new paint job that is a marked improvement on what the team was riding last year. Unless your name was Peter Sagan and you got a custom painted bike.
This is the bike belonging Rafal Majka - Sagan was too busy wheelying to get a decent photo of his bike probably - and the main thing to note is the fresh new paint job that matches the new team kit that was unveiled at its 2018 team presentation in Germany late last year.
The new jersey introduced a chevron design fading from aquamarine to white and that has been replicated on the frame, fade from the head tube and fork to the seat tube and rear stays. The S-Works and Specialized logos are in block white and there are only small team sponsor logos on the seat tube - the Big S pays to supply bikes to the teams so it’s no surprise is brand new takes centre-stage.
Underneath the new paint is the new Tarmac SL6, a complete update on the company’s flagship race bike. It’s gone on a massive diet (733g claimed for a 56cm frame), has received the touch of the aerodynamic wand, and is apparently as aero as the first generation Venge, and switches to direct mount brakes and tyre clearance is increased so it’ll now accept 28s.
I reviewed the range-topping S-Works model last year and it’s fair to say I was blown away by its performance, ride and handling. You can read that review here if you want.
The equipment list comprises the latest Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 R9100 groupset as last year including the crankset - last year they used the S-Works FACT carbon chainset. That’s because the cranks are fitted with a new Specialized power meter, details of which are scarce at current despite pestering the company. It’s a dual-sided setup and looks similar to the Shimano/4iiii power meters in its design. The team was using 4iiii power meters last year.
Wheels are from the Roval stable with the pictured bike rocking the CLX 50 wheels, but the team will have the shallower CLX 32 and deeper CLX 64 to choose from as well depending on the course and conditions. All wheels roll on hubs enhanced by CeramicSpeed bearings and shod with S-Works Turbo Allroad 3 Tubular tyres. We can’t verify the width as we didn’t actually photograph the bike ourselves, but they’ll most likely be 24mm. Or 26mm. We’ll try and find out and confirm.
PRO gets a look in with the stem and handlebar still (although it appears Sagan still prefers a Zipp Sprint stem with electrical tape obscuring its identity) while Specialized offers a full range of its Body Geometry saddles, including the Romin Evo, Power, Power ARC and Phenom models for the riders to choose from.
More pro bikes in our 2018 WorldTour gallery.
Photos ©BrakeThrough Media
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.