Tarmac sizing

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
hawkinssmythe
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon May 18, 2015 5:13 pm

Tarmac sizing

Post by hawkinssmythe »

Hi there just weighing up a tarmac sl6. I’m a fraction under 5 11 and seem to be in between a 54 and 56... any thoughts/advice?


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Stendhal
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Re: Tarmac sizing

Post by Stendhal »

hawkinssmythe wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:56 pm
Hi there just weighing up a tarmac sl6. I’m a fraction under 5 11 and seem to be in between a 54 and 56... any thoughts/advice?


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I'm the same height and ride a Tarmac 56. I work from stack and reach statistics to compare a prospective new bike to my prior bikes. I have moderately good flexibility and like to stretch, so the 395mm reach works for me (with a 100 mm stem). I use spacers to add stack on bikes that are a bit too racy; for the Tarmac, the headset adds 5 mm and I have a 10 mm spacer atop that.

FWIW, the recommended size chart on the Specialized site has 56 for 5'9" to 5'11" range, and 5"11 at the low end of the 58 range. So the company's view rules out 54. That makes sense to me given that the Tarmac is intended to be high performance.

Whatever the size, it's an excellent bike... :thumbup:
Cervelo Aspero (7.87)
Retired: S-Works Tarmac SL6, LOW// mki, Pinarello Dogma F10 \ F8, Lapierre Pulsium, TIME Fluidity, Wilier Cento1 SR, Ridley Noah, Cyfac Cadence, Cervelo S2, R3, R5, Felt Z25, Klein Quantum, Cannondale 2.0

DaveS
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Re: Tarmac sizing

Post by DaveS »

The best way to figure out what size to buy, is to compare it to your current bike, assuming that you believe it to fit well. If this is your first bike then, a professional fit might be in order. Bike shops just want to sell you whatever is in stock.

Stack and reach are the two dimensions that really define the fit, but the seat tube angle will tell you whether the seatpost setback needs to be changed.

I look for bike that needs minimal spacers under the stem, so the stack height can't be too tall or too short. The reach can't be too long either, to avoid a stubby stem. Some brands put bars with a 100mm reach and an 80-90mm stem on the smaller sizes, which is just stupid. A 75-80mm reach bar and longer stem is more appropriate. Right now, my latest frame uses no spacer and a -17 degree stem to produce the 10cm saddle to bar drop that I want.
Last edited by DaveS on Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jugi
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Re: Tarmac sizing

Post by Jugi »

I'm 181cm (or 5"11') and ride a 56 Tarmac SL6 with a 100mm -17° stem completely slammed. This is my second 56 Tarmac and I haven't ever test ridden a 54, but I'm pretty sure I would be just as happy on a 54 with a 110mm stem. A 58 would most likely feel too big.

Zappano
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Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2017 3:24 pm

Re: Tarmac sizing

Post by Zappano »

I'm also 5'11 (180cm) and ride a 52 Tarmac SL6 slammed with a 130mm -10° stem. (I'm still young and ride a lot (20k km/yr). That's why I can ride in such an aggressive position and still be comfortable.)

But height is pretty much useless for finding the perfect frame size. There's so much more to it, like inseam, saddle height, length of upper body, arm length etc...

I advise you to compare your current frame's stack and reach with the numbers of the Tarmac. (this should help you to narrow down the sizes)
If you are between two sizes (in your case 54 and 56), take the smaller frame (54). You can't make a bigger frame smaller (except a shorter stem with a more aggressive angle), but you can always adjust a smaller frame to your liking with spacers and a longer stem.

Hope that helped :) Just ask if you have more questions about geometry etc.
P.S.: Specialized will release the Tarmac SL7 this year, so if you want the newest bike possible I would wait a couple months. :wink:

hawkinssmythe
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon May 18, 2015 5:13 pm

Re: Tarmac sizing

Post by hawkinssmythe »

Thanks for the replies so far. How sure are you Zapanno about the sl7? The 2020 models didn't come out that long ago! When are you thinking?

calleking
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Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2015 3:20 pm

Re: Tarmac sizing

Post by calleking »

I am 177cm and on a SL6 size 54. 120mm -12 negative stem with no spacers. It's all about your fit. I could have gone for a 56 (had an Aeroad m/56 previously) but opted to go for a smaller frame.

SL7 could be official during Dauphine and probably not available for us until after summer? Spesh usually keep a three year cycle on their models afaik.
2018 S-Works Tarmac SL6 Sagan Superstar DA Di2
2016 Focus Mares CX
2016 Grand Canyon AL 8.0

Retired: 2014 Crux Elite, 2017 Cannondale Slate Ultegra, 2016 Aeroad CF SLX 8.0 DI2

mrlobber
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Re: Tarmac sizing

Post by mrlobber »

Take into account also that for Tarmac, trail changes from 58 to 55mm when going from size 54 to size 56, so the handling would be slightly different as well - it is up to you which one you prefer, but generally 57-58mm of trail is considered to be "sweet spot" for race bikes.
Retired bikes: Cervelo S5 2015 / Felt AR FRD 2014 / Cannondale SS HM 2014 / Scott Addict SL 2014 / Scott Plasma Premium 2014 / Orbea Orca 2008 / Look 596 /

Zappano
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Re: Tarmac sizing

Post by Zappano »

99.9% sure SL7 will come out this year (2020). There are already pictures of a prototype on weightweenies (viewtopic.php?t=159060) tested by Bora Hansgrohe and the schedule is right too (3 years after SL6 release).
It will probably be raced the first time at the Criterium du Dauphine in June, like the SL6 in June 2017 (https://roadcyclinguk.com/gear/gear-new ... phine.html).

My own LBS (Specialized Concept Store) even said it's possible that a few frames will already be available this spring/summer, but I'm sceptical about that because they normally release their new frames in autumn (available at around September).

I'm also waiting for the new frame. Let's hope it's rather sooner than later :)

Karvalo
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Re: Tarmac sizing

Post by Karvalo »

hawkinssmythe wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:56 pm
Hi there just weighing up a tarmac sl6. I’m a fraction under 5 11 and seem to be in between a 54 and 56... any thoughts/advice?
Give more information.

For an average rider your height doesn't put you between a 54 and 56. Presumably there's a good reason why you think you are, so what is it? Asking people on the web to advise about sizing is dicey at best, asking people on the web about sizing when you've given no information whatsoever about your position and riding style... you might as well just stick the sizes to the wall and throw darts at them blindfolded. :noidea:


(And a new Tarmac is def on the way this year, but saying a couple of months is a very generous definition of 'couple'. Most likely you'd be buying it for next winter, not this summer.)

hawkinssmythe
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Joined: Mon May 18, 2015 5:13 pm

Re: Tarmac sizing

Post by hawkinssmythe »

Karvalo wrote:
hawkinssmythe wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:56 pm
Hi there just weighing up a tarmac sl6. I’m a fraction under 5 11 and seem to be in between a 54 and 56... any thoughts/advice?
Give more information.

For an average rider your height doesn't put you between a 54 and 56. Presumably there's a good reason why you think you are, so what is it? Asking people on the web to advise about sizing is dicey at best, asking people on the web about sizing when you've given no information whatsoever about your position and riding style... you might as well just stick the sizes to the wall and throw darts at them blindfolded. :noidea:


(And a new Tarmac is def on the way this year, but saying a couple of months is a very generous definition of 'couple'. Most likely you'd be buying it for next winter, not this summer.)
Shame you can’t be more constructive like everyone else. Being a life long cyclist I have every idea! Just wanted some general feedback hence the general info. Shame you didn’t realise that like everyone else.


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Lewn777
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Re: Tarmac sizing

Post by Lewn777 »

I rented two SL5's, one 54cm and one 56cm. I'm nearly 6ft (182cm) but long torso and pretty supple for my age (yoga). The 54 would have been perfect with a 120mm stem, but it had a 100mm stem, so felt a tad cramped. 56cm was spot on with a 100mm stem. Personally I prefer a smaller frame so I would choose a 54 with a 120mm stem, but a 56cm with 100mm would be fine too, and no problem if no choice if buying 2nd hand. Like someone else said 52cm can work, with a longer stem, but 58cm I strongly recommend against.

I know I'm talking about SL5s, but I hope this helps. :thumbup:

boots2000
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Re: Tarmac sizing

Post by boots2000 »

You would want a 56cm unless either your saddle height is very low for your height, or you can sustain a huge amount of bar drop.
Please don't get a 54cm and put 4cm of spacers on it.

SamD
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Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:26 pm

Re: Tarmac sizing

Post by SamD »

I'm about 1m84 and have an inseam of 91,5cm. I ride a size 56 tarmac with the regular 100mm stem, 2cm cone headset cap (regular one is 8mm if I recall corectly). Haven't done a bike fitting yet but I feel pretty comfortable on my 56 given my longer legs and shorter torso, no issues as of yet. I reckon you should take into account this torso/legs ratio too :)

Karvalo
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Re: Tarmac sizing

Post by Karvalo »

hawkinssmythe wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 2:24 pm
Karvalo wrote:
hawkinssmythe wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:56 pm
Hi there just weighing up a tarmac sl6. I’m a fraction under 5 11 and seem to be in between a 54 and 56... any thoughts/advice?
Give more information.

For an average rider your height doesn't put you between a 54 and 56. Presumably there's a good reason why you think you are, so what is it? Asking people on the web to advise about sizing is dicey at best, asking people on the web about sizing when you've given no information whatsoever about your position and riding style... you might as well just stick the sizes to the wall and throw darts at them blindfolded. :noidea:


(And a new Tarmac is def on the way this year, but saying a couple of months is a very generous definition of 'couple'. Most likely you'd be buying it for next winter, not this summer.)
Shame you can’t be more constructive like everyone else. Being a life long cyclist I have every idea! Just wanted some general feedback hence the general info. Shame you didn’t realise that like everyone else.
If you have every idea of how your specific position relates to Tarmac sizing, how will you benefit from general info on how other riders your height who might otherwise have no simiarity to your riding position fit a Tarmac? How is that better than sizing you, using information about how you ride?

My answer was the most helpful and constructive you have received so far. But if you can't see that it's not me who loses out so cool, crack on with what you're doing :beerchug:

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