I like looking for the sweet spot in any given bike line. For 2015, I like the Tarmac Pro Disc Race for what it offers for the money. No, $6300 is not chump change and will require rubbing some pennies together, but it is a far cry from the pricey S-Works models and will perform nearly as well.
Let’s look at some of the key features of the new Tarmac Pro Disc Race:
- FACT 10r carbon Rider-First Engineered™ frameset that offers size-specifc performance
- Roval Rapide CL 40 SCS Disc carbon clincher wheelset is light, stiff, and aero
- Specialized Turbo Pro, 700x25c tires offer grip, rolling speed and added comfort
- Specialized Pro FACT carbon OSBB crankset for maximum efficiency and power transfer
- Shimano 785, hydraulic disc brakes for incredible modulation and stopping power
- Shimano Ultegra, 11-speed derailleur for crisp and precise shifting
- Specialized Body Geometry Toupé Expert Gel saddle w/ hollow Ti rails
The subtle (to the eye at least) changes introduced with the new 2015 tarmac should take this venerable and proven race-weapon to a new level of excellence and the Shimano Ultegra hydraulic disc brakes will take that performance even further.
While some have criticized the new Tarmac for not going thru-axle at either end (myself included), it’s really a smart move. The truth is, road bike manufacturers have not settled on the proper standard for road discs (and may not do so for several years). Until that time, sticking with standard QR’s front-and-rear seems the most logical choice. And, as of the 2015 model year, it’s the safest bet for a race frame.
Having spent some time already on the Ultegra hydraulic discs, I can most definitely say that they will add confidence and improve braking performance. It’s really only a matter of time before road discs become the standard.
As usual, lateral stiffness is increased with additional vertical compliance (partially due to the integrated seatpost clamp). It’s quite the looker — particularly in the black/highlighter yellow color scheme. This one should be a winner for cyclists and shop owners.