As with the mountain bikes, Specialized highlighted their key road bike models in a formal presentation, then left us to our own devices to see what else was new across the line. And, like the off road segment, there was plenty more to learn.
The big news for road was the all-new Roubaix SL4 with enhanced Zertz damping, size specific frame tuning and tube shapes and sizes and the new Cobl-Gobl’r seatpost. Check the full details on that bike here. A lot of you have asked if anything changed on the Tarmac. Introduced last year, the top of the range SL4 frame remains unchanged, but the lower models see some trickle down improvements, and as you can see from the range above, there’s a color for everyone.
Across the entire range, all bikes with a tapered headtube get a carbon fork. Click on through for actual weights on the Tarmac range, plus weights and details for the Roubaix, Allez, Secteur, Crux and more…
2013 SPECIALIZED TARMAC
Tarmac SL4 frame stays the same, gets spec and paint updates. All Tarmacs now have BB30 – some lower models had standard threaded). The lower end models all get a lighter overall package thanks to the OSBB and lighter crankset, wheels, stems, posts and other bits depending on model.
Frame weights are 950g for the S-Works SL4 and 1050g for the Pro level. All road bikes weighed should be 56.
S-Works SL4 SRAM Red- 13lb 13oz
Pro – 15lbs
Expert Di2 – 16lb 14oz
Comp – 17lb 9oz
Elite – 18lb 7oz
For the Roubaix, there are three frames -SL2, SL3 and the new SL4- with Expert level and up getting the SL4, which includes the new disc brake bike. Only the SL4 get the new construction with the straighter stays.
S-Works – 14lb 8oz
Expert Disc –
14lb 17lb 14oz
Pro – 15lb 5oz
Expert Di2- 17lb 13oz (left) and Expert mechanical – 17lb 6oz
Left to Right: Sport – 19lb 11oz / Elite – 19lb 5oz / Comp – 18lb 1oz
2013 SECTEUR DISC
The Secteur was introduced a couple years ago as the alloy alternative to the Roubaix. Higher end versions come with hydroformed seatstays that have Zertz inserts. The Secteur Disc is new, will come in two models but won’t have the inserts.
It gets the same carbon disc fork as the crux but adds rack and fender mounts.
Complete bike weight is 20lb 11oz.
The Langster track bikes get some very pro looking color schemes.
2013 ALLEZ ALLOY ROAD BIKES
Amazingly, the Allez Race was completely absent from the presentation. It uses the same frame as the new S-Works but comes in at just $2,000. Product manager Brent Graves says this model provides the best speed per dollar. It has an aluminum seatpost. The money was spent on high end Turbo tires, a carbon fork and FSA SL-K cranks. It’s built for riders that are concerned with getting the most crit performance for the buck and aren’t worried about getting all the gee-whizzery to soothe their ego or impress friends.
There’s been a lot of conversation and curiosity about the new Allez frame. Here’s the deal: Instead of mitering the top and downtube into complex, compound cuts to join to the head tube, they hydroformed the headtube to include the first bits of both top- and down tubes. By doing this, they get a more robust head tube for better stiffness, and the welds to connect the three pieces are essentially round. This makes for simpler welds, they’re just welding around a circular (or oval, same idea) tube rather than the compound shape where the tubes meet the head tube. This reduces the chance for error. At the edges of the three tubes, the metal is fluted inward a bit (imagine the top of a soda can without the cap) to increase the strength of the tube. This makes it less susceptible to compressive forces (imagine squeezing the middle of a soda can versus the top), which makes for a stronger, stiffer frame. Unfortunately it was bolted down so we couldn’t weigh it.
We could weight the S-Works model, though. It came in at 15lb.
All other Allez models get the standard alloy frame. Elite – 21lb 5oz (left) and Sport – 21lb 9oz
The Venge remains the same. The big news is the special edition (shown further down with the Shiv collection) and this S-Works Campagnolo EPS version. With the full electronic group and Zipp wheels it comes in at just 14lbs 8oz.
The S-Works SRAM Red edition comes in at 14lbs 10oz with their new Roval Rapide wheels.
Venge Expert is 17lb 1oz.
2013 CRUX & TRICROSS CYCLOCROSS BIKES
Crux Elite gets a new tubeset that’s a little lighter with a revised top tube shape for easier shouldering. Cable routing is refined with inset, brazed in cable guides for the full length internal housing. It gets the same form as the carbon Crux. It comes in at 20lb 7oz.
Pro Carbon – 16lb 15oz
Expert Carbon Disc – 18lb 9oz.
I had a chance to ride both of the carbon bikes and, as big a proponent as I am of disc brakes on ‘cross bikes, the rear braking performance of the Expert left a lot to be desired…I could slow, but not stop. On flatter courses, it should be adequate, but if you’ve got hills, it could make for a scary ride. After testing both on the small ‘cross course they built at Snow Bird, I opted to use the Pro with canti’s for the race they held. Braking was far better, which let to much more confident riding. That said, they both handled well on the varied terrain they had for us. When native hydraulic systems come to market, I predict the Expert will be the better bike. The good news is, if you buy it now, you could easily upgrade later…and both are available as framesets.
The Tricross remains in the line with a mix of cantilever and disc brake versions and seems to move more toward being a do-it-all commuter bike.
2013 SHIV & TRANSITION TRIATHLON / TT BIKES
Shiv (background) remains the same frame and spec.
The big news for triathletes is that the Transition makes a comeback to offer a lower price aero bike. It’ll be in the low $2,000’s with SRAM Apex. An alloy Shiv Elite will also be available (not shown).
The Transition comes in at 21lbs 9oz with shallow alloy wheels, but we suspect most will want to put their own deep carbon rims on it pretty quickly.