Specialized's new road bike is lighter than anything else on the World Tour

The Specialized Tarmac SL8 frameset weighs around 1.5 lbs– 15% lighter than its predecessor

Specialized launches Tarmac SL8 road bike
(Image credit: Specialized)

The Californian bike wizards at Specialized never shied away from pushing the limits of what's expected from the best road bikes. In May, they launched the new Allez, a super-lightweight affordable alloy road bike. Now, with the latest iteration of the "winningest bike in the modern era," the new Tarmac SL8 is said to be so light and aerodynamic that it's now 16.6 seconds faster over 25 miles than the SL7.

What this means is that the new Tarmac SL8 is 16 seconds faster than Tarmac SL7 and even faster than the 2019 Venge over a flat 40km course. Specialized even boasts that if there is any elevation gain or accelerations/changes in speed, Tarmac SL8's weight savings will save even more time!

The company also claims the Tarmac SL8 is the most aerodynamic they've ever made, has the lightest frame on the world tour with its 685-gram weight and the bike is also said to have a 33% improved stiffness-to-weight ratio. And if none of this makes a lot of sense, the gist of the story is that the eighth iteration of the Specialized Tarmac is super fast, super light and super aerodynamic.

We won't be crunching numbers here – you can always check out the white paper on the new Tarmac SL8 – but the new nose cone is worth mentioning. Called the 'Speed Sniffer', the new aerodynamic construction is achieved by moving the steer tube - the tube that determines head tube width - backwards, meaning the leading edge of the headtube can be much sharper, delivering a much lower drag shape.

This is one of the many changes applied to the Specialized Tarmac SL8 to reduce weight, improve stiffness and, most importantly, improve speed. And while you might expect a top-specced bike to be astronomically expensive, prices for the new Tarmac SL8 start at £3,000/ $3,500/ AU$ 5,600, which isn't too bad for a superb road bike such as this. For more info, visit Specialized today.

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for T3.com and its magazine counterpart as an Active Editor. His areas of expertise include wearables, drones, fitness equipment, nutrition and outdoor gear. He joined T3 in 2019. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.