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Tarmac SL7 vs Emonda 2021

Both great bikes I would think, I guess most people would say the S Works beats the SLR9. However at the £6K price point you get the Emonda SLR frame with UDi2 compared with the second tier frame of the Tarmac Pro with UDi2 so which of these would be the better buy?
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  • zest28zest28 Posts: 363
    Go for the Emonda ofcourse if it has the high-grade carbon.
  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,753
    zest28 said:

    Go for the Emonda ofcourse if it has the high-grade carbon.

    I would go for the spesh, but I'm biased because I love my tarmac.

    The sl7 is supposed to be awesome and the only difference really between the framesets is basically just weight, the sworks model is 120g lighter than the pro.
  • Hmm, I agree with both of you hence my dilemma. There are a few Tarmacs around to try out but the Emonda SLR is proving more elusive. The SLR handlebar/stem combo has a long reach too so trying for size is important. Both get top reviews...
  • Which Emonda, and which Spesh Tarmac are you looking at / comparing?
  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,753
    redvision said:

    zest28 said:

    Go for the Emonda ofcourse if it has the high-grade carbon.

    I would go for the spesh, but I'm biased because I love my tarmac.

    The sl7 is supposed to be awesome and the only difference really between the framesets is basically just weight, the sworks model is 120g lighter than the pro.
    Just to add to my comments, I've booked a test ride on the new tarmac on Saturday!! Wanted to test ride the sworks version really but the lbs only have the pro version in for test rides.

    I adore my sl5 sworks tarmac but have been considering a new bike for a time and was going to go with a venge, so will be interesting to see how this compares to my current ride and the venge (which I test rode before lockdown).
  • Which Emonda, and which Spesh Tarmac are you looking at / comparing?

    Which Emonda, and which Spesh Tarmac are you looking at / comparing?

    The Emonda SLR 7 and the Tarmac Pro SL7.
  • bsharp77bsharp77 Posts: 533
    redvision said:



    Just to add to my comments, I've booked a test ride on the new tarmac on Saturday!! Wanted to test ride the sworks version really but the lbs only have the pro version in for test rides.

    I adore my sl5 sworks tarmac but have been considering a new bike for a time and was going to go with a venge, so will be interesting to see how this compares to my current ride and the venge (which I test rode before lockdown).


    Best of luck on the test ride...I think you’re in for a treat!

    I went from SL5 that I loved to an S-Works SL6 and it’s a completely different beast....all in a very good way. So much fun, very comfortable, inspires confidence, climbs so well and just feels fast in general.

    So all things considered, going from an SL5 to an SL7 should provide an even bigger smile!



  • papajimbo said:

    Which Emonda, and which Spesh Tarmac are you looking at / comparing?

    Which Emonda, and which Spesh Tarmac are you looking at / comparing?

    The Emonda SLR 7 and the Tarmac Pro SL7.
    Okay so like for like as far as material level is concerned really. I’m pretty interested to know how they compare, because they both seem to be ‘aero-ised’ non aero rigs. I think this may be an emerging trend. Spesh are saying the new Tarmac will leave the Venge “superfluous”.

  • I’m not sure it is like for like though. The Emonda SLR is Trek’s top level frame whereas the Tarmac Pro is 2nd tier. I’d be really interested in https://forum.bikeradar.com/profile/redvision thoughts after the test ride of the Pro vs the s-works 5 and the venge. I rode a Tarmac SL7 a week ago but it was a size too big so hard to judge. Riding home afterwards on my Supersix HM Evo 2 I felt a bit underwhelmed by the Tarmac, I’d put a lot of this down to the fit though.
  • bsharp77bsharp77 Posts: 533
    The wrong size of bike is a horrible experience so I’d argue your test ride was more or less pointless other than to see the colour and finish of the bike.

    Coming from a hi-mod supersix I reckon you’re going to be pretty underwhelmed with either considering what you have and the price you’re going to have to fork out for an “upgrade”.

    That’s a belter of a bike you have already, and if none of these 2 are already pulling at your heartstrings, then what’s the point?

    Maybe spoil the supersix to a DI2 groupset instead!
  • Too late, I did that a couple of years back, (to Etap Red) after a crash wrecked the DA mechanical.

    You make some good points though I don’t imagine you don’t think the Supersix would be better than your SL6, in which case the SL7 could be a step forward. I think the S Works frame would probably ‘pull at my heartstrings’ it’s whether the Pro version really matches it in all but weight. In an ideal world I’d get the S Works SL7 (well beyond my budget though) it’s whether the Emonda SLR or Pro offer the better alternative.
  • papajimbo said:

    Which Emonda, and which Spesh Tarmac are you looking at / comparing?

    Which Emonda, and which Spesh Tarmac are you looking at / comparing?

    The Emonda SLR 7 and the Tarmac Pro SL7.
    Okay so like for like as far as material level is concerned really. I’m pretty interested to know how they compare, because they both seem to be ‘aero-ised’ non aero rigs. I think this may be an emerging trend. Spesh are saying the new Tarmac will leave the Venge “superfluous”.

    The Emonda SLR is the top level 800 OCLV whereas the Spesh is the 2nd tier FACT 10r. I think Spesh have pretty much stopped making the Venge and all the top marques seem to be following the aero trend.
  • bsharp77bsharp77 Posts: 533
    edited August 2020
    papajimbo said:

    Too late, I did that a couple of years back, (to Etap Red) after a crash wrecked the DA mechanical.

    You make some good points though I don’t imagine you don’t think the Supersix would be better than your SL6, in which case the SL7 could be a step forward. I think the S Works frame would probably ‘pull at my heartstrings’ it’s whether the Pro version really matches it in all but weight. In an ideal world I’d get the S Works SL7 (well beyond my budget though) it’s whether the Emonda SLR or Pro offer the better alternative.

    Ha ha! Ah sounds like the supersix is already an amazing machine, so you really are dealing in matters of the heart at this stage as performance improvements would be small - this is not to say you shouldn't do it of course!!

    Sounds to me like you would lust after an S-Works - which makes me think you should just buy an S-Works frameset (transfer your etap onto it perhaps, keep the supersix as your second bike?). This will surely bring you in under budget while still giving you everything you want.

    If you go for a Tarmac Pro, you will always think "what if" - and even though it probably isn't any faster, it gives you that feeling of knowing you have the best bike you can and something that you would be proud of and look forward to riding - thats the feeling I have with my S-Works SL6 now and although it would make zero difference to my performance I would dearly love to upgrade to electronic shifting on it at some point.
  • Unfortunately the Etap is rim brake. One of the reasons I wanted a new bike is disc brakes and aero optimisation (I do appreciate the aero gains are minimal in the grand scheme of things).
  • brundonbianchibrundonbianchi Posts: 689
    edited August 2020
    papajimbo said:

    papajimbo said:

    Which Emonda, and which Spesh Tarmac are you looking at / comparing?

    Which Emonda, and which Spesh Tarmac are you looking at / comparing?

    The Emonda SLR 7 and the Tarmac Pro SL7.
    Okay so like for like as far as material level is concerned really. I’m pretty interested to know how they compare, because they both seem to be ‘aero-ised’ non aero rigs. I think this may be an emerging trend. Spesh are saying the new Tarmac will leave the Venge “superfluous”.

    The Emonda SLR is the top level 800 OCLV whereas the Spesh is the 2nd tier FACT 10r. I think Spesh have pretty much stopped making the Venge and all the top marques seem to be following the aero trend.
    I thought the Trek SLR 7 got a lower grade of Carbon, than the Trek SLR 9, it seems they both get the top grade.

  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,753
    papajimbo said:

    papajimbo said:

    Which Emonda, and which Spesh Tarmac are you looking at / comparing?

    Which Emonda, and which Spesh Tarmac are you looking at / comparing?

    The Emonda SLR 7 and the Tarmac Pro SL7.
    Okay so like for like as far as material level is concerned really. I’m pretty interested to know how they compare, because they both seem to be ‘aero-ised’ non aero rigs. I think this may be an emerging trend. Spesh are saying the new Tarmac will leave the Venge “superfluous”.

    The Emonda SLR is the top level 800 OCLV whereas the Spesh is the 2nd tier FACT 10r. I think Spesh have pretty much stopped making the Venge and all the top marques seem to be following the aero trend.
    I wouldn't get to hung up on the different carbon claims. The sworks may use spesh's higher grade but that doesn't mean the carbon and layup on the pro version model is significantly inferior, and I will be staggered if there was a noticeable difference. No one will notice 120g, and both frames are supposed to be equally stiff.

    Ideally I wanted another sworks but the pro tarmac sl7 is far better value, at least on paper. The differences are just in the carbon, wheelset and groupset (roval cl wheelset, ultegra di2) but these are still brilliant pieces of kit and the bike is 4k cheaper! The only other difference is no power meter on the pro model. But I'm not bothered as i already have a set of faveros and the one which comes on the sworks is, interestingly, a dual sided pm on shimano cranks. Anyone who follows Shane Miller and threads on here and elsewhere knows the issues with such pm's, and the inaccuracies will still be there unless shimano have changed their production techniques.

    Anyway, will post back after my test ride how i found it and how it compares to my sl5.
  • papajimbo said:

    I think Spesh have pretty much stopped making the Venge and all the top marques seem to be following the aero trend.

    They haven't stopped making the Venge. It'll continue to be sold as a frame only option through 20/21 because it's still the fastest road frame Specialized make.

    It's now common knowledge that the SL7 frame is marginally more aero than the SL6 frame. The aero gains are via the new Rapide CLX wheels and to a lesser extent the Aerofly II bars. Buy one of the SL7's without the new wheels and with the standard bar/stem combo and all you're getting is a bit of bragging rights that you have the 7 not the 6.

    As mentioned on a few other forums - stick the new CLX wheels on the Venge and it'll blitz the SL7.
  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,753

    papajimbo said:

    I think Spesh have pretty much stopped making the Venge and all the top marques seem to be following the aero trend.

    They haven't stopped making the Venge. It'll continue to be sold as a frame only option through 20/21 because it's still the fastest road frame Specialized make.

    It's now common knowledge that the SL7 frame is marginally more aero than the SL6 frame. The aero gains are via the new Rapide CLX wheels and to a lesser extent the Aerofly II bars. Buy one of the SL7's without the new wheels and with the standard bar/stem combo and all you're getting is a bit of bragging rights that you have the 7 not the 6.

    As mentioned on a few other forums - stick the new CLX wheels on the Venge and it'll blitz the SL7.
    The tarmac sl7 isn't designed to be a specific pure aero bike though. The tarmac is about lightness. What spesh have done is to essentially develop the sl6, which was widely regarded as one of the best ever, into an even lighter and stiffer bike, whilst incorporating more aero features without compromising the ride.
  • It's being touted as 'the Venge killer' - it's turned out to be far from it.

    On the subject of the stiffer frame - feel free to pop over to weightweenies - sounds like it's now a harsher ride the the SL6.
  • The poor Emonda doesn’t seem to be getting a look in. Overshadowed by Specialized so maybe for good reason!?
  • It's being touted as 'the Venge killer' - it's turned out to be far from it.

    On the subject of the stiffer frame - feel free to pop over to weightweenies - sounds like it's now a harsher ride the the SL6.

    A lot like the Pinarello Dogma F12 vs the F10 then?
  • papajimbo said:

    The poor Emonda doesn’t seem to be getting a look in. Overshadowed by Specialized so maybe for good reason!?

    Spesh seem to be favoured by a lot of slebs though. That might have a bit to do with it. *insert Z lister* was spotted riding a Spesh, suddenly all the chods that crawl around R.P. on a Tuesday, then spend hours outside Grind, are wetting their over stretched Lycra about them.

  • papajimbo said:

    papajimbo said:

    Which Emonda, and which Spesh Tarmac are you looking at / comparing?

    Which Emonda, and which Spesh Tarmac are you looking at / comparing?

    The Emonda SLR 7 and the Tarmac Pro SL7.
    Okay so like for like as far as material level is concerned really. I’m pretty interested to know how they compare, because they both seem to be ‘aero-ised’ non aero rigs. I think this may be an emerging trend. Spesh are saying the new Tarmac will leave the Venge “superfluous”.

    The Emonda SLR is the top level 800 OCLV whereas the Spesh is the 2nd tier FACT 10r. I think Spesh have pretty much stopped making the Venge and all the top marques seem to be following the aero trend.
    I thought the Trek SLR 7 got a lower grade of Carbon, than the Trek SLR 9, it seems they both get the top grade.

    Yep. SLR is the top level, SL the lower grade and by all accounts much, much heavier than the SLR or the 2nd tier Tarmac. It’s tempting but the 100mm reach of the integrated bar/stem is a worry when there’s no way to try it out before buying.
  • slowmartslowmart Posts: 4,137
    edited August 2020
    I’ve got the SL5 pro disc which is made from the same material as the new SL7 Pro. The CL40 wheels on mine are haven’t got the aero spokes nor ceramic wheel bearings, both aspects I can live without.

    Most of the narrative’s coming from manufacturers marketing teams is pure BS, rarely are figures quantifiable.

    The best thing about the SL7 is the threaded bottom bracket but even that move comes from a failure to successfully adopt to the which at the time was lighter, less friction etc

    So my SL5 had short chain stays which means better chain alignment but that I. locked into specific wheels from the Specialized. That thinking lasted for one year before reversing their thinking and retreating back to industry standards.

    One aspect which Specialized is better than Trek historically is with residual values.





    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu
  • hi all, we made this little comparison tool for fun: top 50 superbikes in google sheets: https://www.cyclingapps.net/calculators/top50-superbike-calculator/
  • dannbodgedannbodge Posts: 998
    slowmart said:

    I’ve got the SL5 pro disc which is made from the same material as the new SL7 Pro. The CL40 wheels on mine are haven’t got the aero spokes nor ceramic wheel bearings, both aspects I can live without.

    Most of the narrative’s coming from manufacturers marketing teams is pure BS, rarely are figures quantifiable.

    The best thing about the SL7 is the threaded bottom bracket but even that move comes from a failure to successfully adopt to the which at the time was lighter, less friction etc

    So my SL5 had short chain stays which means better chain alignment but that I. locked into specific wheels from the Specialized. That thinking lasted for one year before reversing their thinking and retreating back to industry standards.

    One aspect which Specialized is better than Trek historically is with residual values.

    My 2009 SL2 is the Fact 11 carbon so "better" than the new Pro.

    Whether it actually is is another story.
  • yellowv2yellowv2 Posts: 242


    This may be of interest to those considering the bikes covered in this thread and others.
    As always Raoul Luescher tells it like it is!
  • yellowv2 said:



    This may be of interest to those considering the bikes covered in this thread and others.
    As always Raoul Luescher tells it like it is!

    I’m not sure he understands how R&D costs mount up ( although he does acknowledge that wind tunnel testing is pricey).

  • laurentianlaurentian Posts: 1,912

    yellowv2 said:



    This may be of interest to those considering the bikes covered in this thread and others.
    As always Raoul Luescher tells it like it is!

    I’m not sure he understands how R&D costs mount up ( although he does acknowledge that wind tunnel testing is pricey).

    R&D costs have always been there . . .
    Wilier Izoard XP
  • yellowv2 said:



    This may be of interest to those considering the bikes covered in this thread and others.
    As always Raoul Luescher tells it like it is!

    I’m not sure he understands how R&D costs mount up ( although he does acknowledge that wind tunnel testing is pricey).

    It's the marketing budget that mounts up.
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