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Tarmac SL4.

bristolpetebristolpete Posts: 2,255
edited March 2013 in Your road bikes
After selling my Venge due to its unyielding nature, I decided to stick with what I consider to be one of the best pro rata frames out there and dropped the cash on a 'race black' Tarmac SL4. Everything was stripped from the Venge, the cranks bought used on here and also the Zipps were bought used from a chap on here. 2011 Firecrest 404 with just 500 miles for £750!!!! Thomson inline from the bay for £31.

I turned 40 back in March and after what was a poor spring due to really ill health including chicken pox and shingles I am really enjoying being back out on the bike now and hit 210 miles on this in three rides last week such is the sheer enjoyment factor. Far from the worlds greatest bike, but I love it and it makes me smile, which is nice. Although very similar in geo to the Venge, the lower stand over suits my 31 inch inseam more and just a better fit. I Have a pair of Mavic open pro handbuilts as my all day wheels and that combo works a treat. So there we go, an all day bike, but still cant climb for sh*t :wink:

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Posts

  • alihisgreatalihisgreat Posts: 3,872
    Love the second picture!
  • itsnotaraceitsnotarace Posts: 516
    Not really a Specialized fan but that's very nice
  • MarksMintnessMarksMintness Posts: 484
    Lovely bike mate, and yes I love the moving action shot
    Current bike: 2014 Kinesis Racelight T2 - built by my good self!
  • BBHBBH Posts: 476
    as always, very smart build :D:D:D

    whats happened to the q rings??
    2012 Scott Foil 10 (Shimano dura ace) - in progress
    2011 Cervelo S2 (SRAM Red/Force)
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  • bristolpetebristolpete Posts: 2,255
    BBH wrote:
    as always, very smart build :D:D:D

    whats happened to the q rings??

    Thanks. An interesting experiment which came about from last years knee issue. The physio I was seeing said my glutes were not firing at all, and in turn looked at the Rotors with me on the bike. She claims they were causing me issues but with physio and what not within 1/2 weeks I was back on the bike after sudden chronic knee pain. However, I have been trying to scratch the round ring itch again and in all honesty, oval are slightly more fluid in circles, but I prefer climbing on the round inner ring. Difficult one, but using round for now to simply see how my legs feel....

    Just did another solid 50 on it this morning and again, faultless.
  • TMRTMR Posts: 3,986
    Pete, I do hate it when people put their bikes down unnecessarily. Far from the World's greatest bike? You know very well that once you start talking over £2000 whether a bike is good or not is very subjective, especially when it comes to the frame.

    The Tarmac has won more GTs and other races than you can shake a stick at. Contador, Boonen, Cancellera have all ridden to victory on that frame.

    I love it, for what that's worth. Enjoy it! :)

    P.S. My children have all had chicken pox over the last few months, so I feel your pain.
  • bristolpetebristolpete Posts: 2,255
    Pete, I do hate it when people put their bikes down unnecessarily. Far from the World's greatest bike? You know very well that once you start talking over £2000 whether a bike is good or not is very subjective, especially when it comes to the frame.

    The Tarmac has won more GTs and other races than you can shake a stick at. Contador, Boonen, Cancellera have all ridden to victory on that frame.

    I love it, for what that's worth. Enjoy it! :)

    P.S. My children have all had chicken pox over the last few months, so I feel your pain.

    Cool - was being self depreciating to a point. In fact, I actually think this is likely the best bike ive ridden yet in so much it does everything it needs to do without fuss. Just a great frame at an ever better price. In the past given the frames I have had I think people assume I am either minted or a censored . The reality of that is I am a rather lonely divorcee who loves his bikes but actually only own one nice one at once as I have to sell to fund if that makes sense. I'd rather be out in my bike than stare at four walls if that makes sense ....

    Thanks for the comment.
  • TMRTMR Posts: 3,986
    The reality of that is I am a rather lonely divorcee who loves his bikes but actually only own one nice one at once as I have to sell to fund if that makes sense. I'd rather be out in my bike than stare at four walls if that makes sense ....

    Thanks for the comment.

    Been there, wrote the book (twice) and designed the T-Shirt. The truth is that you'll bounce back. It takes time. Believe me.

    Good luck fella ;)

    P.S. Just getting back to the bike for a second, I think it's interesting how little the Venge has actually been used in the Pro Peloton. None of the teams that ordinarily used the Tarmac have switched to the Venge full time. I can remember Cav riding it on a few stages at the TdF last year, and Gossy riding to victory at MSR, but other than that it's been a low profile.
  • bristolpetebristolpete Posts: 2,255
    The reality of that is I am a rather lonely divorcee who loves his bikes but actually only own one nice one at once as I have to sell to fund if that makes sense. I'd rather be out in my bike than stare at four walls if that makes sense ....

    Thanks for the comment.

    Been there, wrote the book (twice) and designed the T-Shirt. The truth is that you'll bounce back. It takes time. Believe me.

    Good luck fella ;)

    P.S. Just getting back to the bike for a second, I think it's interesting how little the Venge has actually been used in the Pro Peloton. None of the teams that ordinarily used the Tarmac have switched to the Venge full time. I can remember Cav riding it on a few stages at the TdF last year, and Gossy riding to victory at MSR, but other than that it's been a low profile.

    Yeah, it is a stunning bike, but in the right hands I think. Never quite had a bike sprint as quickly as it did, super fast. Funny thing, but I met the guy who designed it and he said it was expressely made for Cavendish' sprinting technique in so much that he fish tail sprints on a bike rather than hammer the BB akin to say Hushovd. Was a really interesting chat, but wont divulge too much or the BR fan boy police will accuse me of knowing to much without credence. :mrgreen: The Tarmac and Venge though from the same stable as such are chalk and cheese. The Tarmac will never get up to the speed of the Venge on the flat, but on the rollers at 12-15mph, the Tarmac feels lively. Hard to explain, but thats how I see/felt it. Ultimately the old horses for courses applies here.
  • speshstevespeshsteve Posts: 352
    Did you have an SL3 at some point, if so how do they compare? Is it worth picking up a 2011 sl3 and saving some cash or is the sl4 a real improvement.

    Also how did you install the cranks into the OSBB, do you get the adapters with the frame?

    So many questions.....


    PS Very nice bike :)
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  • bristolpetebristolpete Posts: 2,255
    speshsteve wrote:
    Did you have an SL3 at some point, if so how do they compare? Is it worth picking up a 2011 sl3 and saving some cash or is the sl4 a real improvement.

    Also how did you install the cranks into the OSBB, do you get the adapters with the frame?

    So many questions.....


    PS Very nice bike :)

    Yes, that's my other Tarmac. Both great but sl4 marginally stifffer both stunning.

    Cups sit in pfbb with bearings installed, which is not actually bb30 but close enough, the adapters sit on that and then cranks go on. Easy enough.
  • lovestheclimblovestheclimb Posts: 483
    Great Pictures as always, and the set up on the bike looks perfect.
    Best colour scheme SL4, in my opinion
  • Cornish-JCornish-J Posts: 978
    awesome bike, crazy cheap firecrests!
  • west greenwest green Posts: 134
    Sex on wheels, not usually a fan of the biggest brands, but I've always liked this bike. One of the blokes working at the cycle surgery near work bought this very same design, upgrading from a Cannondale when he decided to take up racing this year. Seeing it the metal (flesh) made me love it, but your photos are amazing. Very nicely appointed as well, enjoy your riding
  • bristolpetebristolpete Posts: 2,255
    west green wrote:
    Sex on wheels, not usually a fan of the biggest brands, but I've always liked this bike. One of the blokes working at the cycle surgery near work bought this very same design, upgrading from a Cannondale when he decided to take up racing this year. Seeing it the metal (flesh) made me love it, but your photos are amazing. Very nicely appointed as well, enjoy your riding

    Thanks.

    Really delighted with the frame. Super bike, really as good as it gets I think. Rides like a charm and when partnered with my Mavic open pro on DT swiss hubs it just flies. Effortless cycling really. :D
  • Dick ScruttockDick Scruttock Posts: 2,533
    That looks beautiful Pete.

    I have been to the specialized concept store today looking at them and trying to decide which size is the best for me. I could fit on either a 54 with a 120mm stem and a few spacers or a 56 with a 100mm stem and no spacers to drop the bars a little. It is just typical of me to be between sizes! Can I ask how tall you are and what saddle height you ride? Sorry to be a pain but It would help my decision.
  • Rich.HRich.H Posts: 443
    I like that a lot - superb build. Enjoy.....

    Oh and by the way, nice shoes :wink:

    Rich
  • TMRTMR Posts: 3,986
    Can I ask how tall you are and what saddle height you ride? Sorry to be a pain but It would help my decision.

    With the greatest of respect, don't let it guide your decision too much; his flexibility may be completely different from yours. Can't you try both sizes? The Specialized stores seem to be pretty good at letting people go for test rides.
  • bristolpetebristolpete Posts: 2,255
    That looks beautiful Pete.

    I have been to the specialized concept store today looking at them and trying to decide which size is the best for me. I could fit on either a 54 with a 120mm stem and a few spacers or a 56 with a 100mm stem and no spacers to drop the bars a little. It is just typical of me to be between sizes! Can I ask how tall you are and what saddle height you ride? Sorry to be a pain but It would help my decision.

    Hi, I am 5'9' but I have a shortish inseam compared to my overall height. My inseam is 31 inch just about. As I have a longer torso in relation to my legs I prefer the 56cm bike as the drop on the 54 was too much for me and I felt imbalanced on the machine with my head too far over the cockpit, but like you, I could ride either or, but I choose the 56cm with an inline post and a 110mm stem with the 160 head tube and 15mm of spacers. Ideal for me as such though my previous tarmac was cut and shut at 170mm stem, this time I have decided to elevate the front by 5mm as Specialized shaved 10mm off the HT length on the 2012 bikes. Saddle height is when run from middle of seat to middle of crank 76cm inline with seat tube. I am very flexible, have no issues touching the toes due to many a year in a rugby scrum in my youth.
  • Dick ScruttockDick Scruttock Posts: 2,533
    Thanks Pete.
  • snakedocsnakedoc Posts: 200
    Fantastic bike! (and great pics as usual)

    Makes me v jealous and thinking about changing my 2011 s works SL3.... must resist....
  • bristolpetebristolpete Posts: 2,255
    Slight revision. I have succumbed to the delights of a Compact chainset though sticking with 12/25 combo for now. As per the training threads, had a poor year ride wise, ill health and other stuff going on dictate that I want compact, but oddly no less quick nor slow today after a nice 40 miler. Funny really....and I must get a photo with my open pros on it and I might swap out the stem for a nice 3T jobby with the red stripe.

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  • TMRTMR Posts: 3,986
    Pete,

    The only red on the bike is the labels on the rims/tyres. IMHO if you're going to change the stem either go for the 3T Pro (white stripe) or the 3T LTD (silver stripe). The 3T Team stem really isn't going to work on that.

    The bike is looking stunning though, and the best of us ride compacts ;)

    Hope you're well.
  • bazbadgerbazbadger Posts: 553
    A fantastic looking bike and great photography!

    Be good to see it with the Open Pros on too.
    Mens agitat molem
  • RideOnTimeRideOnTime Posts: 4,712
    Very nice bike.
    Can't believe it's had 24 posts and I've only just spotted it. :D
  • Dick ScruttockDick Scruttock Posts: 2,533
    Looks very nice Pete.

    I pickup my second SL4 race black tomorrow. The first one had a paint defect and Specialized once they saw a picture of it immediately dispatched a new frame and fork set to the shop. I cannot wait :D
  • Sonny73Sonny73 Posts: 2,604
    Awesome. Great stuff mate.
  • bristolpetebristolpete Posts: 2,255
    10 days in Gran Canaria off the bike. Does wonders for the body and the mind. And the tan.

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  • TMRTMR Posts: 3,986
    You're wearing a Cervelo Test Team jersey in that image?
  • bristolpetebristolpete Posts: 2,255
    You're wearing a Cervelo Test Team jersey in that image?

    Yes, I used to R & D/Test bikes for Cervelo but broke so many BB's with my power they fired me though they let me keep the top. 8)
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