Specialized unveiled their 2011 road bikes and showed the production version of the Roubaix SL3 ridden by Fabian Cancellara in his Paris-Roubaix win…which happened to be his first ride aboard the new model (and the third consecutive win at the “Hell of the North” on a Roubaix road bike.

There’s also a new Tarmac SL3, Transition triathlon bike, Secteur performance endurance bike and a redesigned Allez enthusiast road bike that sports the same racy geometry and stiffness as the Tarmac SL3. Oh, and UCI-banned Shiv and Transition bikes that make for very fast triathlon sleds.

Shown above, the 2011 Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL3 will be available both as complete bikes and as framesets, including a new OSBB frameset option. Specialized had three goals with the new Roubaix: Increase vertical compliance, reduce weight and increase torsional stiffness. See how they did it and the rest of the lineup after the break…

2011 Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL3 with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2

The Roubaix is Specialized’s flagship endurance road bike, and for 2011 the frame gets significant changes to keep it winning races. New, larger In-Zertz elastomer frame inserts are molded into redesigned seatstays. The seatstays now use less carbon fiber to save weight and In-Zertz that sit within a cavity on the stays combined with a flatter stay profile to dampen vibrations. Decreasing vibration decreases fatigue, and Specialized also puts them in the seatpost and fork legs on the Roubaix.

The 2011 S-Works Roubaix SL3 drops 99g from the 2010 frame, going from 1064g down to 965g for the complete frame weight.  The frame module, which includes fork, seatpost, stem, handlebar and crankiest is 2,191g, which is 60g lighter than the 2010 module.

Rear end vertical flex has increased by 7.5% over the 2010 SL2 model, going from 5.14mm/kN to 6.03mm/kN.  Despite the increased bump compliance, Specialized managed to increase the stiffness to weight ratio of the frame, particularly in the bottom bracket and rear triangle area, making it more efficient and more comfortable. Up front, they used their Cobra Head Tube, a highly shaped form that uses specific mixes of carbon fibers to keep it stiff without contributing a harsh feel to the ride. Besides the fiber mix, they shaped the top- and downtubes to flow into the wider upper and lower sections of the headtube without tapering, making for a very smooth and torsionally stiff frame section.

Speaking of smooth, all cable routing will be internal on SL3 frames, and rear cable stops are removable to ease cleaning and service. The new Roubaix SL3 will come in both Di2 and Dura-Ace S-works versions, plus three frameset options and Pro and Expert trim levels. The Comp and Elite trims will use last year’s SL2 frame.


2011 Specialized Secteur

Introduced as a 2010 model, the Secteur is Specialized’s base endurance bike. Based on the same geometry as the Roubaix, it mixes an alloy front triangle with carbon stays with Zertz inserts on the Comp model, and a full alloy frame for Elite, Sport and base versions.

The 2011 Secteur gets a new Specialized 123mm shallow drop Ergo Comp handlebar with shorter 75mm reach. This puts the rider in a more upright, comfortable position and reduces the amount of distance between the drops and the top of the bar. The top of the bar flows flat into the hoods for better hand ergonomics. The front of the 2011 Secteur rides on a redesigned, tapered FACT carbon fork with Zertz inserts.


2011 Specialized Tarmac SL3

The SL3 was introduced in 2009 as a 2010 model and has since been ridden under the Saxo Bank team and won the 2010 Paris-Nice race with Alberto Contador. Shown above is the SRAM Red build, and below is the Shimano Dura-Ace bike.


Not too much big news on the top-of-the-line 2011 S-Works model other than the fork, which gets thicker and stiffer, with the legs’ cross section growing a bit over the previous version.  The real big news is for those lucky folk on a budget:  the lower models all benefit from trickle down tech. The Pro and Expert Tarmacs now share the same SL3 construction as the S-Works model but with a different carbon layup (not quite as light). The Comp and Elite share technologies like the triangulated seatstays and use the same molds as their SL2 bikes, which were top of the line just a year and a half ago.


2011 Specialized Allez

After the Roubaix, the biggest news on the road side is the complete redesign of the Specialized Allez.  The new frames are 20% stiffer…they have the same torsional stiffness as the Pro Tour-proven Tarmac SL3…and they get the same tapered headtube design on the Elite models with bearings set further up the steerer tube for enhanced stiffness due to increased surface contact area (details are a bit sparse on that aspect, we’re working on it). The seat tube gets butted, swaged and formed into a squared shape at the bottom bracket, strengthening one of the highest stressed areas on the bike.

Being Specialized’s competitive but affordable road model, the Allez comes with both high performance builds and one version with SRAM’s new performance touring compact double Apex group.


In addition to the same stiffness as the Tarmac SL3, the new Allez shares its racy geometry. In this comparison, the gray is the Allez A1, yellow is the Allez E5 and the red is the Tarmac SL3.

2011-specialized-allez-comp-road-bikeDirectly above is the Allez Comp with the A1 frame. Up above is the higher end Allez Elite with the E5 frame that gets the tapered headtube. Just as the trickle down tech benefits those that get the lower level Tarmacs, now wage workers and beginners can get a race worthy bike with the new Allez.

2011 Specialized Transition and Shiv Triathlon Bikes


Just because the UCI doesn’t like the fairings on the rear of the Transition’s fork legs or the nose cone on the Shiv doesn’t mean you can’t race them in triathlons…at least those run under the World Triathlon Corporation (Ironman and USA Triathlon events). The ITU hasn’t approved them, unfortunately.

For 2011, the Transition Pro, shown above is the top model, with the Shiv frame module (below) is the S-Works level offering. If you’re interested in the Shiv, get it while you can, there are limited quantities available.


Just as an FYI, Pro Tour riders have been riding Transitions with modified forks and Shiv’s without a nose cone for the time being. Specialized is working on a longer term solution (ie. redesign), but no timeline has been announced.

Oh, and pricing on all of these hasn’t been announced other than to say it’ll be “aggressively priced.” Good news for all of us!


  1. Oddly, Specialized (or maybe bikerumor.com?) has understated the rear-end-flex improvement of the new Roubaix. If last year’s version had a compliance of 5.14 mm/kN and this year’s version has a compliance of 6.03 mm/kN, compliance has increased not by the stated 7.5%, but rather by 17.3%. Here’s the math:

    (6.03-5.14)/5.14 =~17.3%

    It’s rare to see a manufacturer understate an improvement…maybe it was a typo.

  2. Those are nice looking road bikes…wish they would somehow figure out a design solution for the rear brake cable, looking like a guitar string hanging below the upward-curve of the top tube. Really drags down a refined-looking bike.

  3. Jason, those numbers were what was listed in Specialized’s info sheet they sent us…and they did look a little off, but I was in a hurry to post between flights. Good catch and thanks for doing math for us!

  4. Can anyone tell me why Specialized has eliminated the Team Geometry model from the Tarmac SL3 lineup?
    All 2011 SL3’s seem to come in what was the standard geometry for 2010. Help me understand this one please.

  5. Has anyone that is at least 250 pounds road the S works @ least 200 miles a week let me know how
    it’s held up and any problems that they may have had thanks !!

  6. In response to the heavy rider and the S-Works. I’m not 250lbs, but I ride anywhere from 210 – 225 and have ridden and raced the S-Works this past year. It has been a very solid frame, and I haven’t had any issues. I’m a high mileage rider, and as I said, I race. The point is, I put my frames through a lot. Prior to the S-Works I raced a Madone. The Madone seemed like a much smoother ride than the S-Works. The S-Works is STIFF, but I also feel like it’s a very solid machine I’m not afraid of breaking down on me. I cracked two Madone frames, and have not had that problem with the Tarmac. I have a buddy that’s about 235 (with over 2000 Watts peak power) that busted a bottom bracket in his old S-Works, but I think the new ones are much more stout. On an aside, I just recently bought the 2011 Allez Comp frameset and built it out for training. think it’s super cool that Specialized uses the same geometry, and it makes the perfect training/rain/winter bike for those racing the SL2 or SL3. It’s an excellent frame for the money, and I will definitely race the Allez in training races and crits. It doesn’t climb or accelerate like the S-Works, but it’s also about 75% cheaper.

  7. Do not buy a 2011 Specialized Tarmac Comp with Rival Components. I had a 2010, it didn’t work, so Specialized sent me a 2011, it doesn’t work either. Now Specialized is telling me tough luck.

  8. was there an error in the article? it says (referring to the picture of the white allez) ” Directly above is the Allez Comp with the A1 frame. Up above (referring to the blue bike) is the higher end Allez Elite with the E5 frame that gets the tapered headtube”. I think the 2011 allez comp is the one which gets the E5 frame and the tapered headtube. please enlighten us.

What do you think?