The Specialized Tarmac SL8 has officially been unveiled at the 2023 World Championships in Glasgow. The most aero bike Specialized has ever made is not only extremely fast on the flats but is featherlight, more comfortable, and stiffer than any Tarmac that came before. It is exactly these properties which make this bike the weapon of choice for BORA – hansgrohe. As the bike care partner for the largest German World Tour team, we were able to create exclusive content of these new bikes getting built.

Aero in Everything

The Tarmac SL8 has been engineered to be as aero as possible without compromising weight. Most aerodynamic gains can be made in clean air, which is why Specialized created a deep head-tube profile called the Speed Sniffer. By moving the steer tube rearward, they were able to give this nose cone a sharper profile resulting in maximum aerodynamic benefits.

Not only the headtube was optimized for aerodynamics. The new seat tube is the same size as the SL7’s seat post. Resulting in the narrowest, most aero seat post Specialized has ever made.

These innovations make the SL8 the most aerodynamic bike Specialized has ever created, surpassing even the Venge.

Add Lightness

Because research showed that impact on drag reduction is made mostly in clean air, the rest of the frame was optimized for stiffness, comfort, and weight. With a frame weighing in at 685 grams, the new SL8 is 15% lighter than the SL7. Making it the lightest bike in the World Tour. Giving BORA – hansgrohe an edge in races where elevation plays a big role.

The SL8 is also 33% stiffer than the old SL7 while also being 6% more compliant. Combine this with the clearance for 32mm tires and the result is a bike that ensures the rider can comfortably produce power, which is then turned into speed with great efficiency. These properties are especially important for long races where you need to arrive fresh for the finale.

Versions and Release Date

The new SL8 will be available in two types of carbon: FACT 12r and FACT 10r. The S-Works version uses the top-of-the-line FACT 12r carbon, with a frame weight of 685 grams in a size 56. For a full frame kit, including the frame, fork, seat post and seat post clap, you are looking at 1410 grams. The FACT 10r version frame only weighs 95 grams more, coming in at 780 grams and 1690 grams for the frame kit.

The SL8 will be available later this summer in five versions, featuring Shimano and SRAM electronic drivetrains.


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