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Specialized Tarmac SL4

JMcP92JMcP92 Posts: 339
edited December 2017 in Your road bikes
Hey all,

A long long time since I've been hanging around Bike Radar. I was on here on a daily basis some years ago however since then I sold up my MTB's due to lack of use, and ended up bikeless due to an accident with a driver pulling out directly in front of me and my brand new Defy Advanced 2, turned it into shards of sad sad carbon fibre.

Since then I've not had a bicycle of any sort, all been motorcycles on the daily as I lived too far from work in any area only accessible by motorway and so the bicycle never got replaced.

However, I've recently gotten a new job, a mere 10km of twisty, hilly coastal roads away. I've also gotten a little larger than I'm happy with having not cycled for 2 years but never really having dropped the calorie intake from the previous 30km a day cycling. All this considered, it was time for a new bike.

I began the search, and ultimate I wanted a few things:
Endurance position
Wide tyres
105 or better groupset
Shimano hydaulic discs

So, after some time looking, what I ended up buying was a Specialized Tarmac SL4 running SRAM RED 22 and rim brakes... totally sticking to my original plans and not at all compromised by the fact it was a serious deal. Although it may not have been my original aim, I'm seriously happy with the bike, it's light, fast, flickable and much more solid feeling than I remember my old rim brake road bikes ever being.

The obligatory pictures :)






I have run into a small issue, I'm 182cm and wear size 10.5 UK shoes, it appears my feet are too large for my bike (cleat all the way forward)


I also got a set of GP4000S II's in 28mm. I've thrown the front on and fits perfectly. I'm yet to throw the back on as I'm waiting for my partner as she's asked to learn how to change a tube having not done much cycling in the past.


I just found my old 105 pedals this evening and threw these on, cycling around inside the house trying to get used to things again. I then took it out along the road and succeeded in "nearly" falling over about 37 times, however, I did manage to avoid laying on my side in the middle of the road and I'm getting used to it once again.

Basic specs:

Frame: 2014 Specialized Tarmac SL4 Fact 9R
Forks: 2014 Specialized Tarmac SL4 Fact 9R
Chainset: Shimano Ultegra
Cassette: SRAM RED 22 11-26
Front Mech: SRAM RED 22 11-Speed Front Mech
Chain: KMC Gold 11-Speed
Shifters: SRAM RED 22 11-Speed Shifters
Rear Mech: SRAM RED 22 11-Speed Rear Mech
Front Brake: SRAM RED 22
Rear Brake: SRAM RED 22
Headset: Specialized
Handle Bars: 3T Eurgonova LTD
Bar tape: Unknown
Seatpost: Specialized
Pedals: Shimano 105
Skerwers: Specialized
Wheelset: Fulcrum Racing 4's

New job should be starting in the next few weeks, and honestly can't wait to be back out on a bicycle every day!


  • Good work, ignoring all the practical wish list of requirements and buying something you want to ride.

    And toe overlap isn't the end of the world, unless you fall off and die.
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • Love these bikes.

    Toe overlap is inevitable on a proper race bike with a short wheelbase. I've never found it an issue.
  • dannbodgedannbodge Posts: 1,152
    I love my tarmac, such a good bike.

    I did laugh however at "Endurance position" and then bought a tarmac with a pretty much slammed stem
  • JMcP92JMcP92 Posts: 339
    Dannbodge wrote:
    I love my tarmac, such a good bike.

    I did laugh however at "Endurance position" and then bought a tarmac with a pretty much slammed stem

    It's alright! I managed to get a single 5mm spacer in there, so it's practically an upright bike now...
  • JMcP92JMcP92 Posts: 339
    edited November 2017
    I've seen a few people asking this question myself - Can you fit 28mm tyres on a Tarmac?

    Well, I've now fitted both and I can confirm you can fit GP4000S II's on a 2014 Tarmac SL4. Plenty of clearance on the front, and just enough on the back. Tight on the seat tube but just enough!

    EDIT: They do fit... when you're not cycling. Adding weight and a bit of pedal power to the bike causes rub on the front fork bridge and the rear brake bridge from each tyre. Swapping out to 25's instead, updates below.




  • Hmmm - keep an eye on the seat tube. That's the sort of clearance that will wear the frame. Suspect you'd be better with 25s.
  • I have the 28mm GP4000 on my bike, they are actually closer to 31mm. So if you do find you have to change the rear due to rubbing, a 28mm by another manufacturer may be a better fit.
  • JMcP92JMcP92 Posts: 339
    Chadders81 wrote:
    Hmmm - keep an eye on the seat tube. That's the sort of clearance that will wear the frame. Suspect you'd be better with 25s.

    You "may" have been correct.

    Took this out the other day to find with weight on it, and power on the pedals I do get a little rub from both front and back.

    I've swapped out to some 25's that I'll fit this evening, hopefully will resolve. I shall post to update :)
  • JMcP92JMcP92 Posts: 339
    I can confirm, a Tarmac runs much much better on 25's, no rub or any such issues, and still much comfier than the old rubber.

    I went for my first proper (albeit short) ride in a couple of years, only around 4km, however I live in an extremely hilly area and so this was just about enough to kill me. Regardless I forgot how much fun it is to get in that right cadence grove and just saw through pedal strokes at the right tempo for you, I've missed it very much.

    I'm still getting used to clipping in, and road bike seats, but super happy with the bike!

    Time to put in the bed in the garage of toys:


    Side note: Not ridden something with quite this short a wheelbase before, god damn it's twitchy! Though I'm sure I'll get used to it soon enough.
  • velogeevelogee Posts: 133
    What a garage!
    Madone 4.9 2014
    Jeffsy 27.5 2018
  • Nice :D mk2 escort what’s it running n/a cosworth or 2 liter pinto on twin Webber’s ?
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