New Specialized Product Launch – Tarmac SL8

One Bike to Rule Them All

The Tarmac SL8 creates unprecedented speed with a combination of aerodynamics, a lightweight frame, and ride quality previously thought impossible. After eight generations and over two decades of development, it’s more than the fastest Tarmac ever—it’s the world’s fastest race bike. Are your legs ready?

The World’s Fastest Race Bike

Aerodynamics or a lighter weight alone won’t win races—speed is what matters. Delivering that speed requires an uncompromising combination of aerodynamics, light weight, stiffness, and compliance. Through complex simulations using real-world data, the Specialized Ride Science team knows the Tarmac SL8 is the fastest race bike ever made on the routes that matter.

Ride Science—the same team that helps Specialized riders win Grand Tours, Monuments, and back-to-back-to-back World Championships with race day simulations—worked hand-in-hand with the engineering team to establish the aero, weight, and ride quality benchmarks for the Tarmac SL8. Deliver aero without light weight, or light weight without aero, or simply build an uncomfortable bike that handles poorly, and you sacrifice speed. When the new Tarmac’s numbers are run through complex race simulations—including Milan, San Remo, Grand Tour Queen Stages, and Monuments—the results are clear. From SL7 to Venge, from pure aero bikes to the fastest known competitor, the Tarmac SL8 is the fastest race bike Specialized has ever tested.

Want to dig deeper into the factors that make a truly fast race bike, how Specialized created it, and how they validated it? Their engineers lay it all out for you in every glorious detail in the Tarmac SL8 White Paper. Check out all the nitty gritty details below.

Aero in Everything

After a decade of working in the Win Tunnel, Specialized engineers are using next-level aero understanding to usher in a new wave of aerodynamic design. They’re putting aero where it matters, not just where it looks good, and in the process they’ve created their most aerodynamic road bike ever. The team pioneered a new nose cone, called the Speed Sniffer, to deliver aero gains that make the Tarmac SL8 more aero than the Venge. A deep airfoil down tube and seat tube may look aero, but due to the dirty air they sit in, they create vanishingly small aero gains while impacting weight and ride quality significantly. The result may be slightly more aero in the wind tunnel, but slower in the real world.

“The lighter the bike, on a steep climb, it’s super important. You really feel it. It can be one or two seconds, but that can be enough to win a race.”

Remco Evenepoel, 2022 World Champion

The Tarmac SL8 Colorstory

Inspired by the emotions felt in moments of adrenaline and heightened senses on the bike, the new Tarmac SL8’s colors and design breath energy and life into the frame’s shapes. The Specialized team pioneered new techniques and pigments to create these effects with as little paint or added weight as possible. The Strata Red frames, for example, use very little paint to create a sense of movement with gorgeous texture.

High-end pigments are edge-faded to get as much color as possible, but at the same time they remain super-light because of the quality of the material, the placement of the pigment, and the raw carbon base. Specialized’s in-house team painted frame after frame to perfect these techniques. It’s no easy task to create a frame rich in color but light in weight.

Beyond Gender

Thanks to Specialized’s partners at Retül, they know there can be more differences between two male cyclists than between a male and female. Gender alone doesn’t provide nearly enough data to specialize, and that means creating male or female bikes is arbitrary and outdated. Every rider can get the next level advantage of Tarmac SL8. It’s time to go Beyond Gender.

Made in Racing

Since day one at Specialized, the rider has been the boss. When Specialized decided it was time to take on European road racing, it wasn’t to win races but to develop the best race bikes in the world—with the best riders in the world—and make them for everyone. Pros like Tom Boonen, Fabio Cancellara, and Peter Sagan put these race bikes through a torture chamber mere mortals can only imagine and provided feedback that makes the next model even better.

Developing the Tarmac SL8 was no different. The best all-arounders in the world (Remco Evenepoel, Demi Vollering), the fastest sprinters in the world (Fabio Jakobsen, Sam Bennett), and classics stars and climbers alike all had a hand in helping to develop and refine the targets for the Tarmac SL8. Ultimately, they helped us co-create the fastest race bike in the world.

Ready to Win? Shop the Tarmac SL8 Now!

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