The new tarmac s-works disc of Specialized is not unperceived past on the haute route. This bicycle is a true small jewel which I could test under extreme conditions. It understands several innovations to the forefront of the techno, offering a single behavior to him and especially adapted to each one. It is the fruit of a good match, that of Specialized and Mcclaren. Yes you read well. The tarmac is a bicycle of exception, it is a formula 1.

Test conditions

The new tarmac was lent by Specialized France at the time of triple crown Haute Route. Dolomites, and via the Alps, to the Pyrenees, I traversed more than 2000 km and 50,000 m of positive unevenness to the handlebar of the new SWorks tarmac to disc. (Public price 8999€).

Innovations tested

  • Hydraulic disc braking
  • Tally resulting from the concept First Rider Engineering
  • Warp Roval CLX 40 with disc
  • Electric drive Shimano Di2 11 speeds
  • New pneumatic tyres (Turbo S-Works)

Do you understand nothing there? It is not serious I all will explain you. Will know simply that one is located in the top of the top, and besides, nowadays, one speaks about a beautiful bicycle as one would speak about a sport scar.


Disc braking

The interest of disc braking, it is before all the security, in particular with a constant effectiveness that it is in dry weather, in rainy weather and if the weather is cold.

Indeed the effectiveness of the brakes with shoes suffers largely from the conditions of rain; contrary, you perhaps already saw bowels exploding under the effect of the heat released by the band of braking. Moreover, this one wears as brakings, thus damaging your rim, which is a little damage for wheels which are worth sometimes small fortunes.

Another parameter to be taken into account when the weather is cold: your fingers! You perhaps already tried out a descent of collar where you have the impression that you will not succeed in slowing down because your fingers do not manage any more to apply your brakes, completely numb by the cold. You know its feelings. Forget them with disc braking.

With disc braking, braking remains the same one, whatever the conditions. The braking distance is reduced, and you can arrive at full speed, and wait the last moment to slow down. Security, comfort, effectiveness!

Wheel Roval CLX 40

To accommodate new disc braking, Specalized had to create a new wheel, Roval CLX 40 with disc. Roval is a brand of Specialized. She proposes a high carbon rim, for tire, with a sufficient shelf. I had the apprehension of a too rigid and demanding rim to climb in mountain, but it of it is nothing. She proved to be light, sufficiently rigid and aéro to be taken along on all the profiles of ground. Add bearings ceramics: the wheel is of a great output and quiet.

Turbo the S-Works tire

To have a good braking and to descend descents at any speed on road or wet request dries a pneumatic tyre which hangs. Turbo S-Works has this quality. But not that: these pneumatic tyres have also a quality of bearing and offer a comfort which I had already felt on bowels. This tire is even used by the world champion of against-the-watch Tony Martin.


The concept First Rider Enginering ™ offer of the executives designed according to each size of anybody. Finished the small framework “boils of wood” and a large bicycle cuts “sausage”. Specalized and McClaren collaborated hand in the hand to offer same rigidity and same comfort for each size. Your bicycle is single!

I could compare model Tarmac SL4 old and new S-Works. The verdict is without call. While looking at there more closely, dimensions of the various parts of the framework are not identical; the casing of the fork and the various parts of the framework are finer and aerodynamic. The stays postpone and the passages of wheel finer and are widened.

With use, the new S-Works Tarmac is more comfortable, and a little less rigid. I find it more dynamic and very easy when I am in position dancer. But the point which has me most surprised, it is piloting. It is precise, and reacts quickly, which is all the more making safe in descent or when you want to place yourself in the group.

Electric drive

When you use the electric shifting of speed, you are quickly conquered. The shifting of speed is fast and is done in a click of finger. In all the positions, hands on the casseroles or in bottom of the handlebar, there is only to tighten the finger to pass from the 11 to the 28 teeth, and the small plate 36 teeth with the large plate. Flexibility, precision, speed.

The electric drive offers even the advantage of being able to regulate its speeds in the course of pédalage.


The black cosmetic matt of the bicycle is sober and gives the impression to roll on a prototype. The unicity of the colour indicates of a certain luxury. The completions are clean with the passage of sheath inside the framework, the battery of the electric drive dissimulated in the tube of saddle, and the integration of the tightening height of saddle.


To summarize, new Specialized Tarmac S-Works Disc could be connected in the Apple of the bicycle.

A bicycle thought by Specialized to offer an optimal and powerful operation. With a little less than 7 kg on the balance, the comfortable behavior, and optimized rigidity are the two major points of the new Tarmac. At the time of these High Road, I did only one with the bicycle. Even in the difficult moments, I did not have a difficulty in bring the bicycle. I was never alone.

Faithful to its creed “innovate gold die”, Specialized offers to us for its 40 years a clever bicycle, with the sober completions and of an effective use.