In a move that takes the post-cornavirus bike launch to the next level, Specialized appear to have given the cycling world a pre-launch preview of what we can only assume is the new Tarmac SL7 in their augmented reality Ride app.
We've given the app a quick go (apologies for the garden furniture) and things look to have been aero optimised at both the front and rear ends.
Borrowing from the Venge, Specialized's original aero race bike, all cables have been burrowed away into the headtube, with the new SL7 taking the cables out of the Aerofly II bar and under the stem before heading down through the headtube via special spacers.
It will be interesting to see whether Specialized has improved the ability to add and remove spacers. The current system used on the Venge requires the hydraulic hoses to be disconnected from the shifters. It's a rather involved process, often requiring a brake bleed.
The rear end appears to feature more subtle changes with a slightly increase distance from the tyre to the seattube, though we're not sure just how accurate the images on the app are. If the app images are correct, then the increased gap could be borrowed from the Shiv time trial bike which, against the wider TT bike market, has a pronounced gap in this area.
We think that Specialized has also moved over to a threaded bottom bracket, even on this top-end S-Works model. That'll be a welcome move for home mechanics as generally, threaded systems are far easier to work on at home as they require fewer tools.
As an owner of the current Venge, I see a lot of similarities between what used to be two very different bikes. Should the Tarmac be moving towards being as fast as the Venge, then it could be the end of the massively successful line of bikes. Time will tell on that front.
If you've got a smartphone then you can have a look for yourself via the Specialized Ride app. Spot something that we've missed? Let us know and give us your thoughts on what must be the new SL7 down in the comments below.
Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.