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Help Needed: Specialized Tarmac Sport vs. Cervelo R2

abgreenberg4425abgreenberg4425 Posts: 2
edited July 2016 in Road buying advice
Hi all,

I'm a new member of the forum, and about to make a serious upgrade in my road bike ownership.

I've got it down to the Spec Tarmac Sport vs. the Cervelo R2. Both are $1800, new. The cervelo is especially a good deal, because I'm told it's usually $2400.

About me: 27, 40-80 mile ride 1x per week, as well as a shorter 15-20miler during the week as well. I live in Northern California and do a LOT of hills and rides with significant vert. I'm currently training for a triathlon. Have had some lower back pain in the past, so I'm worried the aggressive, racing geometry of the Tarmac will cause some discomfort (especially during a triathlon) - but I loved it when I demo'd it for 15 minutes.

I know I can't go wrong with either, but curious what the sentiment is between these two, given the type of riding I'm doing.




  • bmxboy10bmxboy10 Posts: 1,955
    Had too many bikes to count but my Tarmac SL4 Comp is the best bike I have ridden even with stock wheels- so comfortable it's ridiculous.
  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    There are quite a few guys I ride with who ride the Cervelo R5 or R3, which is the same geo as the R2 and they consider it the "go to" bike for all occasions. I ride an Allez Elite (very similar to the Tarmac) and also consider it to be a "do it all" bike as it has a racy feel but is in no way aggressive in its geo. Hence, I would consider both bikes (Tarmac and R2) to be fairly similar, in fact I am looking at buying the R2 as my next bike as it looks a good match to the Allez Elite but the next step up, so very much in the Tarmac territory. Slightly higher stack on the R2 (in a 54, compared to my Allez which is SL3) but only 10mm and similar reach difference so nothing that cannot be sorted with a stem.

    So, sounds like very similar bikes, both slightly overpriced but the Tarmac and Cervelo will hold their values well and be worth upgrading as you go. Oh, if you do go for the Cervelo, be prepared to get some decent climbing wheels because the RS11s really don't fall into that bucket. I am looking at Mavic Ksyrium Elites, etc.

    Given the bad back it might be worth a decent bike fit first to see what you favoured stack/reach is, but it shouldn't be far off either bike really.
  • stueysstueys Posts: 1,332
    I ride an R5 and have ridden a Tarmac, both are great bikes with very solid frames. I would go cervelo, I think that frame blends stiffness and compliance like very few others.

    I'll caveat slightly, my time is heavy on the cervelo and the Tarmac has been rentals/a mates ride loaned.
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