Specialized Tarmac Pro SL3 DA

Hot on the heals from an impressive 2010 racing season, Specialized released the new 2011 Specialized Tarmac road bike. The Pro SL3 is in for review and it sits right below the S-Works lineup in the series of Tarmac’s. With two colors depending on build kit, you can get your Tarmac Pro SL3 kitted out with SRAM Red in white, carbon/blue with the Dura Ace kit (on review) or as frame only.

From Specialized.com:

With the word “Pro” in its name, the Tarmac SL3 Pro boldly sets its performance standard with FACT 10r frame, Dura-Ace components, and Specialized Pro FACT carbon cranks.

  • New SL3 FACT IS 10r carbon frame is now even stiffer and lighter for pure, unbridled speed and power
  • The FACT carbon fork with a tapered steerer is light, stiff and compliant
  • Roval Fusee SL wheelset combines our lightest alloy rims with aero features for a durable and compliant ride for everyday training
  • Specialized Pro FACT carbon crankset with oversized BB and removable spider has outstanding strength to weight ratio for superior efficiency and power transfer
  • Campy-style 1-1/8″ to 1-1/2″ headset with steel bearings ensures precision, low maintenance and lighter weight
  • Pro FACT carbon seatpost is super light and stiff for optimal power transfer

Initial Impressions: Specialized Tarmac Pro SL3 DA

The first thing I noticed straight out of the box is that there is a lot more white and blue on the frame than I had anticipated. Up until this point, all of the pictures I had seen online only showed the side view, and this frame has blue and white inlays on the tops and bottoms of every tube. Additionally, the inside of the fork legs and chainstays have the Tarmac logo set in for an extra kick. This graphics treatment creates traffic stopping good looks not normally found on raw carbon road bikes.

The Shimano Dura-Ace kit found on the Tarmac Pro SL3 is mostly Dura-Ace with a couple of Ultegra parts thrown in the mix. You get the Dura-Ace hoods, rear derailleur and front derailleur, but the brakes, chain and cassette (11-28 for the mountain stages) are from the Ultegra line. The crankset is out of Specialized own stable (FACT 53/39) and is an incredibly light, stiff option that works perfectly with the BB30 bottom bracket design. The rest of the components also come from Specialized as the build rounds out and matches the frame perfectly including the Roval Fusee SL wheelset that uses DT Swiss internals and has four white spokes in series to match the frame.

Overall build weight out of the box for this $5,000 road bike came in at 15.36 pounds on the 58 which makes it a very light overall build for that size.

Stay tuned for more on the Specialized Tarmac Pro SL3 DA as we get rubber to road and start putting the miles in on this new rig from the Big S. For more information visit your local Specialized dealer or Specialized.com.

Note: The red accented saddle pictured is a Specialized Toupe Team (130 width) and not the Specialized Romin Expert (143 width) that came with the bike.

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Review: Enve Composites 45 Clincher Carbon Road Wheels | Bike198 August 30, 2011 - 11:52 am

[…] rims on White Industries hubs as provided by Enve for this article. The wheels were ridden on the Specialized Tarmac SL3 review bike.Enve 45 SpecsRim Weight: 440gWeight with DT Swiss 240s hubs: 1,458gRim depth: […]

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Sa_Katz October 19, 2010 - 4:11 am

Just purchased the 2011 Tarmac Pro. I went with the SRAM group and was very pleased by the shifting mechanics and the solid feel of the braking. Most impressive is the frame stiffness and responsiveness. I have a Roubaix pro and this Nike feels an order of magnitude more zippy. I run Mavic Kserium SLs on my Roubaix (really like them for stiffness) and was pre-determined to hate the Roval wheels that came with my Tarmac – but amazingly I didn’t hate them. I actually like them very much and must say they have a comparable feel to my Mavics. Also since the Rovals do not have bladed spokes, the Specialized wheels are far less sensitive to cross-winds. Also liked the Saddle that came with the bike. Have Fizik on my Roubaix, nut the Romim on the Tarmac is not bad. Bike feels great – little flex stiffness lost in climb and very stable on descents. Also like the SRAM hoods – they’re more comfortable than DAs. Jury still out on the TRP brakes… so far they’re ok but DAs have a smoother brake experience. Wish they would have stuck with SRAM all around… But time will tell TRP brakes not awful. Overall very impressed with 2011 Tarmac Pro

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