July 14, 2011 (Monterey, California) – Day 2 of Specialized’s Global 2012 product launch included lots of short and informative presentations and long road rides as we got to test out some of the company’s fabulous bikes that look great on paper. Almost as fast as we could type the word Specialized, a series of product managers wheeled out more bikes, more parts, and more accessories.
The excitement in the road presentations echoed through both men’s and women’s lines with the awesome and furiously fast new Venge and stunningly sleek Tarmac SL4 competing for top spot in the men’s offerings with the Amira SL4 stealing the show on the women’s side.
When you grab the attention of a company like McLaren, of Formula One fame, you know you’re doing something right. Not that many of us can even dream of owning a McLaren Venge or Tarmac, there’s satisfaction knowing that the trickle down is going to hit levels that monetary mortals can get their hands on.
The Venge is all about speed and saving watts to get that speed, and if you live to hammer of the front, sprint for the line, or just impress your friends with monstrous pulls, the Venge has your name written all over it. This aero bike is constructed from FACT IS 11r carbon, features tapered head/steer tubes, and a stiff FACT carbon blade fork. Cambered Airfoil X-section seatstays, optimize crosswind aerodynamics without sacrificing stiffness. Other features such as the reversible/adjustable carbon seatpost and internal cable routing add to the sexiness of the new Venge that measured 22 watts of free power at 40km/hr during closed track testing when compared to the Tarmac SL3.
The Tarmac SL4 may not possess the same speed as the Venge on the track or the flats but it makes up for it with all-around ability to tackle everything from crits to climbs, with Tour de France proven prowess. This year’s Tarmac features a new SL4 frame with amazing 19% increase in stiffness-to-weight over last year’s Tour de France winning Tarmac and this year’s Pro level Tarmac has even a higher stiffness-to-weight than last year’s S-Works.
Ah… you have to love that trickle down as SL3 models now boast FACT IS construction plus features like triangulated seatstays and internal ribbing, previously only found on S-Works. The Tarmac SL4 also features an all-new carbon fork (S-Works and Pro model), internal cable routing, and tapered King Cobra Head Tube.
The Amira SL4 stole the show in the women’s line, offering a FACT IS 11r carbon frame, tapered head tube/steerer, and women’s specific components. See our press release on the Amira HERE.