The 2024 Specialized Tarmac Expert SRAM Rival eTap AXS Road Bike comes with a combination of aerodynamics, lightweight, and ride quality to deliver pure speed. 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.
Aerodynamics or lightweight alone don’t win races - speed is what matters. Delivering that speed requires creating an uncompromising combination of aerodynamics, lightweight, stiffness, and compliance. Through race simulations using real world data Specialized's Ride Science team knows the Tarmac SL8 is the fastest race bike ever made on the routes that matter - 16.6 seconds faster over 40km, 128 seconds faster over Milan San Remo, 20 seconds faster over the legendary Tourmalet climb.
Specialized have focussed the aero shaping on the leading edge. In the process they’ve created their most aerodynamic road bike ever. It’s more aero than the Venge. Clean air is optimized for maximum advantage with the Tarmac’s new nose cone - the Speed Sniffer. By moving the steer tube back - the tube that determines head tube width - the leading edge of the head tube can be much sharper, delivering a much lower drag shape. Utilizing new UCI rules, the Tarmac SL8 has the narrowest, most aero seat post Specialized’ve ever made ensuring fast moving, dirty air around the legs can flow back more cleanly.
Aero bikes used to come with a weight penalty but the SL8 is 15% lighter than the Tarmac SL7. With the ability to make lightweight a top priority in the down tube, seat tube, and rear of the bike lessons from Aethos were applied. The frame’s shape carries load so efficiently that extra carbon stiffness layers become redundant. With massive gains in stiffness-to-weight - an improvement of 33% over the SL7 - the Tarmac SL8 takes legendary handling, aggressive responsiveness and World Championship proven geometry to the next level.
The Tarmac SL8 Pro delivers exceptional performance with a full SRAM Rival eTap AXS groupset with power meter, C38 carbon tubeless ready wheelset, and an SL7 stem with Specialized Expert Shallow Drop alloy handlebars makes for an accessible performance-packed bike.
Road racers and riders who want the quickest, lightest, most aero frame with a parts package that brings it down to a more affordable price.
Guide To Road Bike Gears
If you are buying a road bike one of the big differences between models will be which gears they use. Most manufacturers will make the same bike, using the same frame but putting different gears and wheels on it. So for instance you can buy a Trek Domane AL 2 Disc with Shimano Claris gearing for £975 or get the Trek Domane AL 4 Disc with Tiagra gearing for £1625. They are fundamentally the same bike. One comes with the Shimano Tiagra gears and the other comes with Shimano Claris gears.
In most cases, the bottom of the range gears and top of the range gears will basically work in the same way. The big differences are in the quality of material used and the weight. Top of the range gears will be lighter and smoother to use.
One thing to watch out for when comparing bikes is whether the full groupset is being used. If you are buying a bike that has Shimano 105 gears on it. Shimano makes 105 brakes, gear levers, front and rear derailleurs, cranks, chainrings and bottom brackets. So basically all of the running gear on the bike. Some bike manufacturers will fit the full groupset, others will fit Shimano 105 front and rear derailleurs but use their own brakes and cranks to save a few pounds. So if you are comparing bikes be sure to check how much of the groupset the bike actually uses.
Nothing beats the feeling of effortless speed you get on a road bike. There are lots of reasons to ride a road bike, from the simple joy of it, to racing, long distance challenges, or café rides with friends. Whatever you want to do there will be road bike out there for you.
Nearly all manufacturers have stopped making dedicated men’s and women’s bikes. They are now all unisex. What you will see is that on smaller bikes, brands will often fit a wider saddle (generally more female friendly). On larger bikes they will often fit a narrower one (generally more male friendly).
It is getting increasingly hard to buy new bikes with rim brakes as the industry has almost exclusively switched to discs. The reasons for this are pretty simple. Disc brakes are much, much, more powerful than old rim brake systems so you can stop a lot more easily and safely. Disc brakes also allow much bigger tyres to be fitted which is more comfortable. Older disc brake systems did often suffer from rubbing and squeaking. While this hasn’t been completely fixed yet it is much less common on modern bikes with hydraulic brakes. Mechanical disc brakes can still take a bit of fettling to get them right so go for hydraulic if you can.
Specialized is one of the best-known quality bike brands in the world. Started by a group of riders in 1974. A fact which has guided their decision making ever since.
" Made for riders, by riders."
They strove to make the best quality tires when quality tyres weren't around. When people wanted to ride cruisers in the dirt, they made the first production mountain bike. When roadies wanted to go faster, Specialized doubled down on carbon and built their own wind tunnel.
Bikes like the Allez, Rockhopper and Stumpjumper have developed followings and reputations of their own. Specialized has a reputation for making high-end, high-quality bikes. Specialized bikes always look great with high-quality paint and sensible sizing hel0s you get the right bike each time. If you buy a Specialized bike you can be guaranteed it will do what it is supposed to and will last.
We understand that price is important, so we regularly price-check our competitors to make sure we have the best offers available. We recognise that we will not always be the cheapest, so if you see the same product cheaper from any of our competitors then please get in touch via the form below and we will do our best to match any reasonable advertised price.
Frame - Tarmac SL8 FACT 10r Carbon, Rider First Engineered™, Win Tunnel Engineered, Clean Routing, Threaded BB, 12x142mm thru-axle, flat-mount disc
Fork - Tarmac SL8 FACT 10r Carbon, 12x100mm thru-axle, flat-mount disc
Saddle - Body Geometry Power Expert
SeatPost - S-Works Tarmac SL8 Carbon seat post, FACT Carbon, 15mm offset
Handlebars - Specialized Expert Shallow Drop, alloy, 125mm drop x 75mm reach
Tape - Supacaz Super Sticky Kush
Stem - Tarmac integrated stem, 6-degree
Seat Binder - Tarmac integrated wedge
Front Brake - SRAM Rival eTap AXS, hydraulic disc
Rear Brake - SRAM Rival eTap AXS, hydraulic disc
Chain - SRAM Rival 12-speed
Cassette - SRAM Rival, 12-speed, 10-36t
Bottom Bracket - SRAM DUB BSA 68
Shift Levers - SRAM Rival eTap AXS
Rear Derailleur - SRAM Rival eTap AXS, 12-speed
Crankset - SRAM Rival with Power Meter
Front Derailleur - SRAM Rival eTAP AXS, braze-on
Chainrings - 48/35T
Inner Tubes - Turbo Ultralight, 48mm Presta valve
Front Wheel - Roval C38, 21mm internal width carbon rim
Rear Wheel - Roval C38, 21mm internal width carbon rim
Front Tyre - S-Works Turbo, folding bead, 700x26mm
Rear Tyre - S-Works Turbo, folding bead, 700x26mm
Weight - Size 56cm - 7.77 kg (17 lb, 2.1 oz)
|Colours||GLOSS METALLIC DARK NAVY / ASTRAL BLUE PEARL, GLOSS SMOKE / OBSIDIAN, SATIN POWDER INDIGO TINT OVER SILVER DUST / WHITE|
|Sizes||44, 49, 52, 54, 56, 58, 61|
|Barcodes||888818888672, 888818888696, 888818888832, 888818888986, 888818889037, 888818889211, 888818889280, 888818889372, 888818889402, 888818889778, 888818889846, 888818889860, 888818889938, 888818890187, 888818914432, 888818914449, 888818914456, 888818914463, 888818914487, 888818914494|
|SKUs / Part Numbers||94924-3044, 94924-3049, 94924-3052, 94924-3054, 94924-3056, 94924-3058, 94924-3061, 94924-3144, 94924-3149, 94924-3152, 94924-3154, 94924-3156, 94924-3158, 94924-3161, 94924-3249, 94924-3252, 94924-3254, 94924-3256, 94924-3258, 94924-3261|
Please note: Manufacturers can sometimes change the specification of the products from time to time.
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