Tarmac Pro v S Works

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
Shrike
Posts: 1652
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:08 pm

by Shrike

Thanks guys, makes a lot of sense.. here's the thing, I've been reading a similar thread elsewhere and some comments are in contrast to what I'm reading here:
https://forum.trainerroad.com/t/special ... orks/13884

Comments like this, made me think there's a big difference in snap, feel, fun, maybe even performance between the two..
Mar 27
I recently purchased the 2019 S-Works Tarmac. Before doing so, I test rode the regular Tarmac for a day on a 90mi/6kft ride - long hill climbs, high speed descents, rollers, and flats on varied pavement to really test it out.

Both the regular Tarmac and the S-Works version have the same geometry. But that’s where the similarity ends. The carbon fiber materials and carbon layup are different and that leads to some very important performance differences. The regular Tarmac is a great bike that most people would enjoy - I certainly did! However, the S-Works Tarmac is in a different class - it is a racing machine. In the “old days”, these differences would just translate into a stiffer frame. That’s not true anymore. Engineering is so advanced, that when you do sprint accelerations, it has a real “snap” to it. Power transfer is amazing.

Jugi
Posts: 539
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:10 am

by Jugi

No build details were mentioned in that comparison. I firmly believe wheels and tires have the biggest effect in riding feel when comparing two frames as similar as a Tarmac Pro SL6 and an S-Works Tarmac SL6.

A year ago I still had a Tarmac Pro SL3 and I test rode a friend's S-Works Tarmac SL6 Disc side by side. Those bikes had a clear difference in riding feel. After that I upgraded to a Tarmac Pro SL6. Immediately after upgrading I noticed a difference compared to the SL3, but couldn't do a direct comparison because I sold the SL3 frame quickly. We haven't done a side by side test ride between the SL6 models, but I'm quite sure if we had similar wheels and tires, it would be hard to discern between a Tarmac Pro SL6 and an S-Works Tarmac SL6 on a blind test ride.

by Weenie


tabl10s
Posts: 515
Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:40 am

by tabl10s

surfinguru wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:51 pm
Maybe I'm off base here, but I would liken it to the difference between Dura Ace and Ultegra. Both great pieces of equipment, little difference in weight, large difference in price. Personally, I'm on a Tarmac Pro and I love it. At the end of the day, I couldn't justify the cost vs weight difference. Would it be cool to have the S-Works sticker? Sure, but is there really a noticeable performance gain in going S-Works? Only you can decide on that one.

Rim brake S-Works = $4000
Rim Brake Pro = $2500
$1500, bro.
2016 Orbea Orca OMR: 15.0lbs/6.804kg...😐 | 2016 Rca: 11.07lbs/5.048kg...😭 | 2015 Pinarello F8: 13.04lbs/5.915kg...😩 | 2018 S-Works SL6: 12.04/5.625kg... 😥

surfinguru
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:16 pm

by surfinguru

Yeah, $1500 less for the Pro frame provides a nice little chunk of $$ for other things. :beerchug:

uraz
Posts: 112
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:48 pm

by uraz

Fair amout of riders (if not most) can't tell the difference between slow and fast engaging hub, despite this difference being obvious. This kind of person will also not feel (appreciate) the difference between regular and high modulus frame which does not mean that both feel and/or ride the same.

Long story short weight is not the only difference between pro and s-works (or any other regular vs "hi-mod"). If money is no object I would suggest buying s-works.

xylar
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:36 pm

by xylar

samarskyrider wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:29 am
xylar wrote:Asked this in another thread but does anyone know the difference between Expert and Pro? The only things I've noticed is the groupset (Ultegra vs Ultegra Di2) and wheels (C38 vs CL50). Anything else? When I total up the difference it comes to around £800 but bike RRP difference is £1750 so I feel I'm missing something??
Frames are identical, only wheels and equipment are different. I assume ride quality will be on par if both had the same wheels


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Anyone else know the difference? The price difference seems crazy if there's no dofference?

If not it looks like I'll go with an Expert, then replace the groupset with Di2.

Shrike
Posts: 1652
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:08 pm

by Shrike

xylar wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 1:59 pm
samarskyrider wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:29 am
xylar wrote:Asked this in another thread but does anyone know the difference between Expert and Pro? The only things I've noticed is the groupset (Ultegra vs Ultegra Di2) and wheels (C38 vs CL50). Anything else? When I total up the difference it comes to around £800 but bike RRP difference is £1750 so I feel I'm missing something??
Frames are identical, only wheels and equipment are different. I assume ride quality will be on par if both had the same wheels


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Anyone else know the difference? The price difference seems crazy if there's no dofference?

If not it looks like I'll go with an Expert, then replace the groupset with Di2.
Even the Expert kinda stopped making sense for me when I was seriously considering my options last week. A discounted Expert is around £3500 at the moment in most shops. You can get a discounted Cervelo S5 Ultegra for £3900. For the sake of £400 you can be sure I'd jump on the S5 than a second tier Tarmac frame.

Going to wait and see what Canyon do was my conclusion at the end. Didn't see anything that I actually loved enough to throw a wad of cash at right now. And Cervelo won't let dealers post their bikes out so you need to get your local dealer to price match or hope they've got a deal on, think that helped stop me from pulling the trigger on that S5 on sale at the weekend.

Last season's Tarmac Pro has a wicked colour way though, the one with the pink Spesh logo on it. Couldn't see one anywhere. Really in the mood for some interesting colour for the next ride - usually go as black as possible.

Sock3t
Posts: 223
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:20 am

by Sock3t

Are the 2020 tarmac's posted yet?


Js2
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon May 08, 2017 6:55 pm

by Js2

get the pro, use the difference for some nicer wheels imo. Down the road you can always get an S-works sticker :P people wont be able to tell the difference anyway

robertbb
Posts: 1048
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:35 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

by robertbb

With any cycling related purchase, I always say as follows:

- Identify what you want to get out of the bike or component
- Determine the characteristics of said bike or component that will allow you to get out of it what you seek
- Set your budget at three levels... low/mid/high
- Narrow down to a few product options
- Pretend the products shortlisted have NO brand and NO model. This is important, so I'll repeat. Pretend the products have NO brand and NO model. Consider them specifically and only on their performance characteristics (weight, aero, etc.) fit, quality, warranty and of course price.
- Pick
- Ride and be happy

Bringing this in line with OP's choice: s-works or specialized. Go have a look at two frames. Get them weighed. Look at the paint quality. Look at the constructin quality (i.e. look inside the frame... is more attention to detail given to the actual build of s-works frames, are they finished more neatly inside?)

Some products will require you to believe the experience and input of others. This is fallacy. Go touch, feel and if possible... ride... and make up your own mind.

AJS914
Posts: 3470
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

I honestly wouldn't trust a review from a guy that talked himself into the S-Works frame. Nobody pays $2,000 extra for a bike and says 'dang, I should have bought the cheap one'. No, their mind looks for every excuse in the book to justify that extra money because, you know, their choice must have been correct. It's called confirmation bias. Listen to his language - "advanced engineering", "snap", "racing machine", "different class", etc. He's justifying the expense as he types all that stuff.

David Arthur's review on road.cc seems balanced.

https://road.cc/content/review/236410-s ... c-pro-2018

He makes the difference sound slight.

All that said, go ride one. It should be fairly easy to find a Tarmac to ride.




Shrike wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:46 pm
Thanks guys, makes a lot of sense.. here's the thing, I've been reading a similar thread elsewhere and some comments are in contrast to what I'm reading here:
https://forum.trainerroad.com/t/special ... orks/13884

Comments like this, made me think there's a big difference in snap, feel, fun, maybe even performance between the two..
Mar 27
I recently purchased the 2019 S-Works Tarmac. Before doing so, I test rode the regular Tarmac for a day on a 90mi/6kft ride - long hill climbs, high speed descents, rollers, and flats on varied pavement to really test it out.

Both the regular Tarmac and the S-Works version have the same geometry. But that’s where the similarity ends. The carbon fiber materials and carbon layup are different and that leads to some very important performance differences. The regular Tarmac is a great bike that most people would enjoy - I certainly did! However, the S-Works Tarmac is in a different class - it is a racing machine. In the “old days”, these differences would just translate into a stiffer frame. That’s not true anymore. Engineering is so advanced, that when you do sprint accelerations, it has a real “snap” to it. Power transfer is amazing.

Maddie
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:44 am

by Maddie

AJS914 wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:32 am
I honestly wouldn't trust a review from a guy that talked himself into the S-Works frame. Nobody pays $2,000 extra for a bike and says 'dang, I should have bought the cheap one'. No, their mind looks for every excuse in the book to justify that extra money because, you know, their choice must have been correct. It's called confirmation bias. Listen to his language - "advanced engineering", "snap", "racing machine", "different class", etc. He's justifying the expense as he types all that stuff.
Very true! But confirmation bias works in the other direction as well. After having bought the Pro frame you won’t mull over your choice whether you should have bought the S-works frame.

We try hard to justify the amount of money we spend in terms of how much measurable / perceivable performance gains we get out of it. But in reality we just like the looks of it or the status that comes along with it. And hey, that’s not a bad thing! Nevertheless, it would be interesting to see who opts for an S-works frame if there was no sticker on the downtube. Or even better, an S-works frame with a Specialized sticker ;-)

Shrike
Posts: 1652
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:08 pm

by Shrike

Yeah it can go either way for a lot of people, but I tend to wrestle with myself a lot. A lot of people dig in with their ideas and reinforce them, I'm all over the place, trying new angles to find out what the purchase says about myself :lol:

Absolutely ridiculous, but at this stage in my life I've decided it's just who I am.

Maddie's last line about having an S-Works frame without the logo would be dreamy for me right now. I'd like to fly under the radar a bit logo wise but still would love an amazing colour way on my next bike (natural swing after going all black last time).

This mental journey has taught me something though - it's not necessarily the performance that's most important to me right now - it's the look and how the bike makes me feel. Just want something that looks and feels fun but doesn't have a mad status symbol on it.

Performance is however a very close second there.

I'd love to live in an area where everyone was on posh super bikes and it was the norm, but admittedly, I don't. Extremely rare anyone around here has a top end bike. Only place I see cool sh*t is on this forum or Instagram. I'm like where to do all these people exist :lol:

That said, I'm moving to London next month so maybe best to chill my pants a bit and see if my mood changes. Maybe I'll be in super bike heaven :P

Maddie
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:44 am

by Maddie

Interesting, Shrike! For me it's different, I live in Switzerland. Most people here can afford expensive bikes and they also do buy that stuff. S-works frames everywhere :-)
I could afford an S-works frame but I prefer to be a pariah and ride open mould frames :lol:

by Weenie


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