Specialized Tarmac Elite opinions???

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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Jcgill
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Apr 25, 2015 11:03 pm

by Jcgill

Hello, recently had the urge to add a bike to the stable, upon some searching i found the specialized Tarmac Elite which almost appears to be too good to be true...
It is a carbon frame with full ultegra 8000 except the 105 cassette.
https://www.specialized.com/us/en/mens- ... 624-129048
Considering this bike is only the price of a few coffees more than an aluminum Cannondale Caad bike with similar grouppo is it still a good bike that will last a good bit??
I am just looking for something newer to do all types of riding from solo centuries to fast group rides and crits.

istigatrice
Posts: 790
Joined: Sat May 12, 2012 8:32 am
Location: Australia

by istigatrice

If you don't want/need the latest or greatest I'd say it's a solid bike. Looks like the old SL4 frame with a lower grade carbon but it should still be lighter or at least on par with a CAAD 10 in terms of weight. The threaded BB is a bonus in my books, but you won't be able to fit a true BB30 crank (if that matters to you)

I don't like the geometry in the 49 or 52 sizes, basically steep seat tube, slack head tube and the fork rake is too low for the corresponding head angle, but Cannondale has a similar issue anyway. If you're buying a 54 or larger size you don't have anything to worry about.
I write the weightweenies blog, hope you like it :)

Disclosure: I'm sponsored by Velocite, but I do give my honest opinion about them (I'm endorsed to race their bikes, not say nice things about them)

Jcgill
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Apr 25, 2015 11:03 pm

by Jcgill

Thanks for the geometry explanation I would need a 54 so thats good.
This would be replacing my 2011 Caad 10 as my group ride bike and race bike, the caad will be put on the trainer for zwift duties.
I am not one to need the latest and greatest, I usually buy the older model iphone at a discount when a new one comes out and such.
I probably wouldn’t notice the difference between the sworks frames and the lower model of this, and I personally like the standard round seat post as opposed to a proprietary seat mast that most of the bikes now a days come with.

istigatrice
Posts: 790
Joined: Sat May 12, 2012 8:32 am
Location: Australia

by istigatrice

I share your sentiment regarding the standard round seatpost. I've spoken to a bicycle hire company who recently updated their fleet to the latest tarmacs, and supposedly the seat clamp causes them quite a bit of trouble. The constant adjusting they need to do when the bikes get hired causes wear, and since they're 'proprietary' (you'd have to be pretty good with your tooling to be able to find a suitable substitute), you're at the mercy of specialized should something go wrong.

What I'm a little puzzled about is why you'd want to replace your 2011 CAAD 10. If you just want a 'new bike' for the sake of it, sure there's not too much wrong with the Tarmac, but don't be under the illusion that you're getting something significantly better (I doubt it'll be worse, most likely it'll just be a like for like replacement). Don't forget that you can always buy a new groupset and/or wheels for your CAAD. If you're itching for a different/new bike though...
I write the weightweenies blog, hope you like it :)

Disclosure: I'm sponsored by Velocite, but I do give my honest opinion about them (I'm endorsed to race their bikes, not say nice things about them)

Jcgill
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Apr 25, 2015 11:03 pm

by Jcgill

I know it is kind of redundant while owning the Caad10, but i have been riding that for 7 years and would just like something new for this season....just wanted to make sure i could expect the same lifespan out of the tarmac, not looking for something better per say.
Mostly want to try Ultegra 8000 and this is a whole bike for only a bit more than i can buy the 8000 group for in the usa.

jasonh
Posts: 56
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 6:55 pm

by jasonh

I’ve been riding a tarmac pro with “fact 10” carbon, which is downgrade from sworks level models. It is also threaded B.B. imho the ride is definitely quick, the geometry is pretty short and the stiffness is definitely a characteristic I love for climbing and sharp fast cornering.
I liked the fit and ride of this over a Cannondale back when I did this purchase.
This frameset is a 2009 and the only bikes I’ve used that are noticeably superior have been top end models with especially nice wheels.
A modern tarmac with “step down” CF would, imo definitely be preferable to a casd10 and caad12 if the fit can easily be dialed.

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