Any long terms reviews of Specialized Tarmac SL3 frameset?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Dec 25, 2008 9:00 pm

by cookiemonster

Ive had my sworks sl3 since it came out - 6 years maybe? (sounds much longer than it feels!) I know they have a reputation for being overly harsh, but thats not been my experience, though perhaps it was just the non-sworks versions? I remember it being quite a change from the Cervelo RS it replaced with a far stiffer feel and much sharper handling, but much more forgiving than the first generation Focus Cayo that came before the Cervelo - which really was a horribly harsh bike. Its been very well used from crits to the big euro sportives and multi-day stuff like the Raid Pyrenees.

I ran Shamals for a couple of years, which were again very stiff, with 23mm tyres and then swapped for Reynolds 46s, now with 25mm GP4000s, which fit with plenty of clearance.

The only thing I dont like (apart from the specialized branding :) ), is that the lower headrace is fairly exposed with a bit of a gap between fork and headtube, so water and crap can get to it. IIRC, the bearing is propriety size and was a bit of a pain to source. Maybe pay some attention to that if you're buying secondhand.

Generally its been a fantastic bike, I keep thinking up swapping, but just havent yet seen anything that feels like its worth moving to.

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