2012 Specialized Tarmac SL4 limited edition blacked out road bike with new SRAM Red and logo-free Zipp wheels stem and handlebar

UPDATED: Bigger picture uploaded, click to enlarge!

Coming in May (tomorrow) is a limited edition blacked out 2o12 Specialized Tarmac SL4 with new SRAM Red and Zipp wheels. Nothing new about the frame, but it looks good. Retail price is $8,999 and only 300 are on offer. Consider this your heads up to get an order in now.

The frame is done with minimal graphics in black on a matte black frame. The Zipp stem bar and wheels have had the logos removed, which pairs well with the dark gray rings on the new SRAM Red.


  1. Limited graphics, you mean?

    “Let’s upcharge for a Specialized branded bike, without the BRANDS!”


    “Let’s go play swords in the shower before the lunch ride.”


  2. Too bad they can’t get the red out of the crank and shifters.

    For 9k, that’s actually a pretty good deal, considering that for about $1300 more you’re getting the zipp firecrest wheels/ stem bar and sram red crankset, instead of the roval alloy clinchers and in-house crankset/stem bar.

  3. If you had my personal experience with that company, you’d hate too. Nice looking bike, sure, but it’s nothing that any other company in the industry hasn’t offered already. Let’s be honest, Specialized has built their brand around creating fan-boys who wan to ride carbon billboards. Good for them. Now they are flipping the script and following a design initiative that was started by the boutique companies and custom builders.

    The Roubaix tagline goes something like, “Nothing is smoother and faster?”

    The Tarmac is, “Nothing is lighter and stiffer.”

    What’s the tagline for this going to be? “Nothing is stiffer and blacker?”

    Wilt Chamberlain might argue that.

  4. That’s right specialized keep growing the niche with these stupidly overpriced bikes and forget community development and non-race bike products.

  5. I’d like to publicly announce my bid for candidacy. With harro as my running mate. Time to save the world, one kool-aid drunk Fred at a time.

  6. Mark D, how can you say that they don’t develop non-race products? Specialized has a huge line up of bikes and gear.

    And folks, if you don’t want the bike, then don’t buy the damn bike!

  7. You haters are more Bozo’s than anything else! Specialized has fantastic support for local grass roots racers! They have helped out our Team for the past 5 years! Maybe if you guys spent more time riding, racing & spreading the good word, someone my support you!

  8. John, talk to anyone in the biking industry….profit margin on bikes is low, especially on high-end bikes.
    They make most of their profit on volume sales of their lower tier bikes. Second, material cost has gone up (way up), as well as labor cost overseas.

  9. Specialized’s manufacturer is the majority shareholder of the company. What they pay for in landed cost for an S-Works frameset is surprisingly not much higher than an Expert level frame. They just bend the IBD over a table and ram them hard in their Assos. If you want to sell the name, you have to pay the price.

  10. Hey Hungry, what bike do you ride? What color is it? Does it have a brand on it that you feel proud to be affiliated with? If so, why? I am curious what our savior of cycling rolls on and how it compares to this bike.

    You actually nailed it with your first post. They don’t claim it to be any advancement, only a limited edition color scheme with a few cool components, and what’s wrong with that? Are you upset about the price? Everything is is pointless BS. You’d be about as successful in a presidential campaign as Sarah Palin…

    There is more that goes into the price of a frame than manufacturing cost… So what does landed cost have to do with anything? Unless you ride a TIME, your carbon frame is built in the same region and costs a similar amount to build by delicate Asian hands. You must ride a steel bike that you had custom built by a builder in your town who you have a good relationship with that sources his steel from the local mill. How ethical of you. .

  11. I think these guys think all companies pay to make a bike is whatever the materials cost them for the frame. That is the easiest part. All the research and development that goes into even the smallest things like a stem is enough to start setting the price point of a bike way higher than just 9k. If you knew the figures of how much a mold of only a helmet costs, I think your view on the subject would change. You try spending literally millions a year on only molds alone and than tell us your going to sell that bike for only $2,500. Not only that but the price of patents so that something like an updated linkage is covered. These bikes and the equipment or tested and proven and I know that for a fact and no matter what Wikipedia quote you use as a counter-argument, it doesn’t change the fact that the cost of a bike is most certainly not just materials of a frame. Sure these guys are making some money out of it, but you are doing the same thing at your 9-5pm job. Doing hopefully the best work you can do, hoping to not only do a good job but make a good living off of it. I doubt you would spend your life savings on charities with no chance of seeing that money again just so people could have great bikes for nothing. Also the price of living to have people living in Taiwan, just to oversee every product. In that respect, bikes are cheap.

  12. @Fred

    I have no problems with Asian bikes, all of my carbon frames, with the exception of my steel mountain bike are from Asia. So, it’s not a geographic biased argument whatsoever. If you actually read my posts, you would know that. In fact, I work with a lot of these Asian manufacturers, they are the best when it comes to carbon. Period. Most of what I’ve said has been very tongue in cheek until people started throwing the “hater” term around or making claims that weren’t rooted in truth, only influenced by marketing lingo.

    Personal tidbit, I work in the bicycling industry, in fact in the marketing and product development fields. I appreciate good marketing. Specialized is one of the best. Point being this article and the wake of comments that have followed.

    I happen to have several problems with Specialized as a business, not just the prices or the branding. Some things they did to friends and acquaintances were just raw. People that worked for them or sold their products at the dealer level. If you have been in the business as long as I have or knew the personal side behind the business, your feelings might change too. That being said, most businesses have their skeletons, in the bike industry or not. Live in Northern California long enough and you’re bound to hear the stories. At first, you think it’s just disgruntled former employees, but you see it too often to be coincidental.

    Fact is, Specialized makes some of the best products around. I just don’t see why their name garners a higher cost than any other carbon racing bike. Notice I didn’t say “high-end” because too many people think high-end is congruent to high-price. There are plenty of bikes around that perform just as well if not better than any of their products, for a thousand or two less. And I can say that because of my “privileged” position in the industry because I have ridden most of these bikes. In fact, I’ve ridden every iteration of the Tarmac.

    My spite gets the best of me in the early mornings when I make my rounds on the web sites. If you love the brand, by all means, love it. As long as you’re supporting the industry and the IBD I am a happy camper because you are supporting cycling. I’ll try to keep my opinions to myself, or better yet, you can actually read my posts and not derive off the wall claims about ethics and delicate Asian hands because what I had to say about Merida having majority shares of Specialized had nothing to do with bashing Asian manufacturing, Fred. Don’t assume.

    Oh, and by the way, I had a Time. Great f****** bike.

  13. @Nate, funny you should say. I’m learning now exactly how much helmet molds cost. Holy shizzers. I think we’ll be going with open molds until the time is right. Thanks for an honest post, it’s appreciated.

  14. Hungy, I don’t work for Specialized, never have. And I don’t race. I ride. I ride a variety of bikes from a variety of materials and manufacturers. Don’t assume and make your other arguments come across as uneducated. Just stick to the facts.

  15. brave haters on the internet who seem to be upset becuase they are a competing manufacturer. lol.
    proabbly one of the companies that specialized dominates in testing or something.
    thing look sgood in all black, and it’s not the first time they’ve done it. nor are they claiming it. not sure what the hate is for. tubulars aren’t my bag though. sold specialized for years, very nice comapny to deal with, as long as you stand behind them in return. and they support the ibd unlike other bike companies like santa cruz that sell thier bikes on chain love for less than dealer cost.

    keep it going specialized!

  16. As someone who has been shopping around, I’d say this bike is priced well for how it’s equipped. I ordered one from my LBS and they are switching out the tubulars for clinchers for $300. In addition to that, Brent Graves from Specialized, is getting me the proper sized matching stem. This will be my 5th Specialized and I have bought a variety of their products including apparel. I find their products to be well priced, of good quality and great design. If this company is only a marketing machine, they certainly have fooled me.

  17. All you guys talking crap about this bike are just pissed because you cant have one. I got this bike last week and is the best bike I’ve ever ridden. Mine has the zipp stickers on the wheels though which I think looks better.

  18. There are some really dumb comments in this thread. I have ridden many high end race bikes. This Tarmac package is hardly the most expensive offering out there, even with the Zipps. If you want expensive, try the Dogma. Build a bike on Dogma frame and you’ll hit 9K pretty easily with alloy rims. But to me, the Dogma feels dead compared to the SWorks Tarmac. The 2011SL4 was fast but harsh. This current bike is faster still and incredibly comfortable. In fact, it matches the comfort of the Parlee Z5 I rode, but it feels faster and more responsive. The only reason I would have to opt for a custom frame would be fit, and since the 58cm Tarmac fits me perfectly, I get my dream bike built on a frame and fork that retail ( I get a nice frequent flyer discount at my lbs) at $3900.00 Do your homework: That’s a bargain. My only gripe: It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a bike from Specialized with a paint job that I love. They need to hire an Italian graphic designer.

What do you think?