While I don't race formally, my Tarmac is made for racing. My only real competitor is me yesterday: I work every day to beat what used to be my best. Sure this bicycle has won the Tour de France and just about every other race, major and minor, but for me my bike is the daily context of the most fun there is to be had doing just about anything, as well as an exceptional vehicle for fitness.
Critics (such as my favorite, Bike Snob NYC) like to mock Specialized's Tarmac tag line, "laterally stiff while vertically compliant," but these qualities became thunderingly clear to me the first time I got on my bike: The lateral frame stiffness transmits power output to the bicycle like nothing else on the road, while vertically there is enough compliance, "give," to render the ride smoother than that of most racing bicycles. I can ride all day and remain comfortable. At just over fifteen pounds the bike is impossibly light, tempering the brutality of the hills, making even me look good on the way up.
My Tarmac at Glorietta Bay in Coronado, May 2012.
This article addresses the S-Works edition of my bicycle, a gram or two lighter and twice the price, but otherwise all the features are exactly the same.
Here are the actual specifications of my Tarmac.
Don Smith and me (at left) at Glorietta Bay, Memorial Day 2012.
Don's riding his Specialized Roubaix S-Works.
1020 A-2 Tierra Del Rey, Chula Vista, CA 91910
Ask for Mike or Liam.
You can't go wrong with these guys!