Specialized Tarmac 15: Performance Benchmark

Another descent

Santa Cruz Twisties

I just spent a few hours on one paragraph because I use this technique so instinctively, I’ve never broken it down or tried to explain it. The para is in my new Specialized Tarmac review dropping tomorrow in issue 12 of our magazine. So what happened was, I dived into an s-turn where I couldn’t see the other side and in a millisecond knew I’d run out of room. I was so hot into that turn and overcooked, that I considering not sharing the story, cause hey please don’t do that at home!

I recovered because the bike did exactly what I told it to do and didn’t bounce when leaned and on rough road. A lesser bike and I would’ve had to brake hard, skid, or lose it entirely into the guardrail or ditch. Here’s an excerpt from my review

I overcooked a turn, heard the disc rotors chatter, and clamped my knees to the top tube to stabilize my lower body and relax my upper body. Then pivoting my weight quickly to not drift out of the apex, I forced all my weight on the right pedal, unloaded the saddle, and the bike tracked right where I wanted it.

The rest of the article includes my notes from the presentation about the Tarmac from Chris D’Aluisio and Chris Reikert and why the Tarmac is a new benchmark in road performance for Spesh. To that point, we’ve been making the most of our riding lately on some extraordinary machines.

Extraordinary machines is what Issue 12 is about and includes contributions from Matt Haughey, Patrick Brady, Zannestar, Anthony Dickson, and Mark V.


Here’s the cover and TOC. The issue drops tomorrow

  • A Year – Our 12th issue. – By Byron
  • Aerobars for Safety – Four years prior to Spinaci’s introduction, Greg Lemond had famously used Scott “aerobars” to produce the closest margin of overall Tour de France victory with an incredible time trial win on the final stage. – Mark V.
  • Tour of Friendship – One thing you must know about Hong Kong cyclists. They roll deep in big dollar whips. – Anthony Dickson.
  • My Not-Getting-Gapped Year – I watched one person after another get off a couch, onto a bike, and quickly get progressively faster. – Matt Haughey.
  • Dear Henry, Love Jane – After 18 years, we are finally traveling like we always wanted to. – Zannestar.
  • Aero 1919 – Thanks to the bicycle torpedo, Berthet takes a series of records, including the 5 km. – Byron.
  • 12 Covers – A year of micropublishing a magazine about bike culture. – Editors
  • [Descending with D’Aluisio() – This bike climbs as well as it descends. – Byron.
  • Riding the Santa Cruz Fun, I Mean Mountains – Smooth pavement, knowledgeable riders, sticky 24mm tires and a bike with geometry I trust. It’s a pretty good recipe. – Patrick Brady.

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