Specialized Tarmac Sl7 Pro – Ultegra Di2 Road Bike Review


Specialized have put an end to the age old question of which bike is truly faster? The Venge or the Tarmac? Well, to silence the noise Specialized combined both of their top bikes into a single, elite package. One that’s versatile enough to compete in any environment. Racing for the yellow jersey or looking for that electric turn of pace in a sprint, the new Tarmac SL7 Pro can do it all.


Specialized designed the new Tarmac to have the perfect blend of aerodynamics, light weight, and ride quality to deliver the ride of your life. From using the FreeFoil Shape Library to find the best tube shapes, to developing the next generation of Rider-First Engineered™ design, the new Tarmac is the culmination of their ever-longing pursuit of speed. Its a pure-bred race machine with no compromises. One bike to rule them all.

The all-new Tarmac Pro delivers the perfect blend of performance and value. With a full Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset, and Rovals new Rapide CL – with their exceptional stability and aerodynamic prowess – the Tarmac Pro with Ultegra Di2 is ready to race, smash the group ride, or pilot you to that next PR.


“Aero is everything”— Specialized have been preaching it for years and it’s still the driving force for the new Tarmac. In the quest for tube shapes that deliver the fastest frame that the UCI rules allow, Specialized took a page out of the Venge development book and utilized the FreeFoil Shape Library. Armed with a library of optimized shapes, Specialized turned to the Win Tunnel to plug these shapes into a modular test bike, for more testing and validation. The result? A new Tarmac Sl7 Pro that’s the fastest they’ve tested—45 seconds faster over 40km than the Tarmac SL6. No compromises, just pure speed.

While aerodynamics were paramount to the Tarmac Sl7 Pro’s development, and to the development of all of the race bikes, weight was the co-pilot on this optimal race bike journey. Previously “aero bikes” always compromised in the weight department—the more drag you reduced, the more weight you gained. With the new Tarmac, their design philosophy was to keep it at, or below, the UCI weight limit out of the box, with no sacrifices to aerodynamics.


And with the help of the FreeFoil Shape Library, tools like isotopic FEA analysis, and some engineering wizardry by the best engineers in the industry, Specialized delivered a frame that weighs a mere 920 grams, without giving up a gram of aero, stiffness or ride quality.

Continuing the quest to develop the perfect race bike, Specialized used the Rider-First Engineered™ philosophy to ensure that the new Tarmac is the most balanced, best handling Tarmac yet—no matter the size. With an army of the world’s best test riders from the three Specialized World Tour Teams — Boels-Dolmans, Deceuninck-Quick-Step, and Bora-hansgrohe — Specialized made changes to the Tarmac based on their thousands of kilometers on the road.


Specialized balanced the ride quality between the front and rear end, so even the longest days in the saddle continue to be comfortable—all without giving up anything to the Tarmac’s legendary handling and race-winning snappiness.

Building on the learnings from the Venge, the new Tarmac Sl7 Pro utilizes simple integration to create a clean, fast cockpit that’s easy to live with. Specialized have improved the routing for any configuration — mechanical shifting, traditional stems, round bars, etc. — all while keeping its aerodynamic attributes. These same traits also make the new Tarmac easy to work on and easy to travel with. It’s a win-win.

The Verdict:

This really is an all out racing machine. Not designed for the faint hearted, it’s all out go fast and go home. Carefully combined engineering from the top two Californian race bikes all merged into one single weapon.


  • 90%
    Value - 90%
  • 92%
    Performance - 92%
  • 89%
    Durability - 89%
  • 94%
    Aesthetic - 94%