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Tarmac vs Venge for a tall guy

Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:11 pm
by Miles253
Hi all,

I'm about 99% that my new bike will be one of the aforementioned bikes, the Tarmac SL6 or the Venge from Specialized.

As i'm pretty tall 6' 3" (192cm) I know that I'm going to get diminishing returns from the weight of the frame, I've even heard that a Tarmac and a Venge in the larger sizes are more or less the same weird (can anyone confirm)

I live in the UK and most of my riding is lumpy, the roads are generally bad and I'm not racing anymore.

My question really surrounds the fact that if the new Venge is the same weight as the Tarmac in a big size, then shouldn't I go for the more aerodynamic frame? Geometry is largely similar so I guess it comes down to comfort and stiffness for a big frame.

Help me out folks

Tarmac vs Venge for a tall guy

Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:11 pm
by Weenie

Re: Tarmac vs Venge for a tall guy

Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:19 pm
by TobinHatesYou
IMO yes, you should get the Venge instead of the Tarmac. The TrainerRoad guys weighed a 62cm Venge vs Tarmac and they were within single digit grams of each other...

Re: Tarmac vs Venge for a tall guy

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:03 am
by Sinicity
I'm facing a similar ish issue. I'm 6'0 so evaluating between size 56 and 58 personally.

I think you have to evaluate the whole picture though. Weight differences are probably minor, but I'd argue the aero benefits of the frames are also going to be minor. It'll definitely be more of your own position on the bike and your drag generated from your body.

To also make things more complicated, I think if you swap out the round bars to aero bars on a tarmac, the difference in wattage becomes really small between the two frames.

For me personally, I'm probably just going to pick whichever one is more comfortable and handles the way I want it to.

Re: Tarmac vs Venge for a tall guy

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:13 am
by Calnago
You’re riding bad roads. You’re not racing. Is one easier to maintain than the other (less integration). I’d get the Tarmac based on practical use alone, but ultimately I’d get the one I like the looks of the most. They’re both disc, right. Get the color you want first and foremost. You’ll be happiest that way. You can see and appreciate that.

Re: Tarmac vs Venge for a tall guy

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:29 am
by Alexbn921
I was in the same boat as you and am 6'4". Building a new bike and loved the look and speed of a Venge and Madone. The thing is that I don't race much and have a bad wrist. I tried a bunch of race bikes and ended up on a Roubaix. The paint was awesome and the ride is sublime. Being comfortable and getting to ride longer is more important to me than the couple of seconds saved. I put an aero flat top bar on it so the difference is very small. The future shock is slightly weird at first, but I wouldn't give it up, especially on bumpy roads. It's a night and day difference in comfort.

The Venges stack is low and options to get it up are limited. Make sure you are willing to be stuck in that position. Don't even think about mechanical shifters with the Venge, electronic only.

Re: Tarmac vs Venge for a tall guy

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:53 am
by SilentDrone
If it was me I’d go for the tarmac. I’m 6-4 and faced a similar decision last spring. I was looking at the trek lineup. Ultimately I went with a project one Domane with the shallow xxx 2 wheels. Although I ride a lot, I am not flexible and at 51 I’m not getting any younger. I concluded that with my tall frame and upright position I wouldn’t gain much from an aggressive aero bike such as the Madone, which is much less comfortable position wise, if my position is not optimal to my physical circumstances. Comfort is what I need above all if I’m going to maximize my fitness and correspondingly maximize my speed and distance on the bike.

To put it another way, if I had a two bike stable—this Domane and a Madone at my disposal—I think I’d probably end up riding the Domane 90% of the time. That’s because it would be that much more comfortable, notwithstanding the minor improvements to speed that I’d see from the aero benefits of the Madone.

Also, I was in a fast group this weekend and there was a tall woman riding a new tarmac and it was stunning.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Re: Tarmac vs Venge for a tall guy

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:34 am
by robeambro
Calnago wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:13 am
You’re riding bad roads. You’re not racing. Is one easier to maintain than the other (less integration). I’d get the Tarmac based on practical use alone, but ultimately I’d get the one I like the looks of the most. They’re both disc, right. Get the color you want first and foremost. You’ll be happiest that way. You can see and appreciate that.
This. I think sometimes people lose sight of what's really important. It baffles me how somebody who doesn't race competitively would choose between these bikes just cause of a handful grams. Once you build them with similar components they are very, very similar bikes, pick the one you like the most.

And to whomever is about to give me the usual "this is WW!" pile of turd, please don't. It's ok to make a WW build, but to choose one frame we may not like as much as another cause it's a few grams lighter or an inch more aero, is complete and utter nonsense.

Re: Tarmac vs Venge for a tall guy

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:50 am
by welchy
I'm 6ft 2" and 189CM and speaking from experience of owning both the Venge was good for one thing, going fast on flat straights. Absolutely god awful at the rest, my tarmac was so so so much better, on descents, climbs, feel wise, general handling.

Obviously the Venge isn't a bad bike, don't get me wrong. But a classic handling bike is the way forward.. IMO. Which of course, is my own opinion so others may think differently.

Re: Tarmac vs Venge for a tall guy

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:52 am
by welchy
robeambro wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:34 am
Calnago wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:13 am
You’re riding bad roads. You’re not racing. Is one easier to maintain than the other (less integration). I’d get the Tarmac based on practical use alone, but ultimately I’d get the one I like the looks of the most. They’re both disc, right. Get the color you want first and foremost. You’ll be happiest that way. You can see and appreciate that.
This. I think sometimes people lose sight of what's really important. It baffles me how somebody who doesn't race competitively would choose between these bikes just cause of a handful grams. Once you build them with similar components they are very, very similar bikes, pick the one you like the most.

And to whomever is about to give me the usual "this is WW!" pile of turd, please don't. It's ok to make a WW build, but to choose one frame we may not like as much as another cause it's a few grams lighter or an inch more aero, is complete and utter nonsense.
Amen to both of these, I chose the most anti WW build - Cinelli Steel :noidea:, but the ride is sublime. And when I weigh 90KGs another 1KG on the frameset is a pish in the wind. I'd weigh up better handling, ease of use, looks over any Aero frame which will age in about two months when the next model comes out. Very few aero frames age well at all..

Re: Tarmac vs Venge for a tall guy

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:55 am
by TobinHatesYou
welchy wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:50 am
I'm 6ft 2" and 189CM and speaking from experience of owning both the Venge was good for one thing, going fast on flat straights. Absolutely god awful at the rest, my tarmac was so so so much better, on descents, climbs, feel wise, general handling.

Obviously the Venge isn't a bad bike, don't get me wrong. But a classic handling bike is the way forward.. IMO. Which of course, is my own opinion so others may think differently.

You own a current Venge and a current Tarmac?

Re: Tarmac vs Venge for a tall guy

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:29 am
by Stueys
welchy wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:50 am
I'm 6ft 2" and 189CM and speaking from experience of owning both the Venge was good for one thing, going fast on flat straights. Absolutely god awful at the rest, my tarmac was so so so much better, on descents, climbs, feel wise, general handling.

Obviously the Venge isn't a bad bike, don't get me wrong. But a classic handling bike is the way forward.. IMO. Which of course, is my own opinion so others may think differently.
Can you give us more information on the handling differences? Surprised as a lot of reports show the geo as pretty similar and the only real difference being increased compliance on the Tarmac.

To the op, I've had the same thought processes, personally I'm veering towards a full on aero option given the weight is broadly a wash and addressing comfort through tyres. I quite like running 28's at a lower pressure now and that combination makes frame compliance increasingly irreleveant to me.

Re: Tarmac vs Venge for a tall guy

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:02 pm
by ill principe
He had a first gen Venge so those comments are not applicable to the OP:s questions.

Re: Tarmac vs Venge for a tall guy

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:10 pm
by TobinHatesYou
ill principe wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:02 pm
He had a first gen Venge so those comments are not applicable to the OP:s questions.

That’s what I thought. Lol.

Re: Tarmac vs Venge for a tall guy

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:22 pm
by jfranci3
If you’re bumping around on pothole refills, a Roubaix or Diverge will roll much faster than a Tarmac. A Tarmac will be more forgiving than a Venge by the same magnitude. If you’re putting a more than 20mm spacers on the Tarmac or Venge, there’s no fit difference on the endurance fit bikes. It seems the Tarmac (30c) and Venge (32c) can both take a decent size rear tire, so definitely take advantage in the rear with a 28 or 30c.

Aero tubes mean more on a bigger bike FWIW, though once you put aero handlebars on the Tarmac and 2bottles on the bikes you’re in about the same spot aerodynamically. Get the Tarmac between those two.

Re: Tarmac vs Venge for a tall guy

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:22 pm
by Weenie

Re: Tarmac vs Venge for a tall guy

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:41 pm
by CrankAddictsRich
ill principe wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:02 pm
He had a first gen Venge so those comments are not applicable to the OP:s questions.
The first gen. Venge's geo was the same as the Tarmac... literally, exactly the same. The only idfference being stand-over height because the top tube of the Venge sloped mroe, so it had a lower standover height. The ViAS had some geo changes, but I'm pretty sure that the current Venge has gone back to the old geometry or pretty simialr and I'm pretty sure that the SL6 Tarmac is pretty close.