The Women’s Tarmac takes all of the performance and technology of the unisex Tarmac models and applies it to a geometry specifically designed to fit women. While the changes are subtle, when combined with the female specific saddle and bars you will find the Women’s Tarmac fits like a glove right straight off the shelf. But don’t assume the added comfort represents a compromise in performance. The Women’s Tarmac is an out and out race machine. If you are looking for a bike to help win your next race, you are in the right place. And while not an aero bike in the pure sense of the term, the Women’s Tarmac does come with clever aero design features which will help shave time of time trial efforts without compromising the race winning handling the Tarmac is famous for. Specialized describe this approach as “Aero for free”, meaning that the bike has aerodynamic improvements over a standard road bike without any cost to performance. So if you aren’t drawn to the bling of an aero road bike like the Venge but still want the best balance of weight, aero design and speed, the Women’s Tarmac should be high on your wish list.
All that performance often comes with a trade off in compliance but this isn’t the case with the Tarmac. Clever design features enable vertical compliance that will smooth out rough roads and keep you feeling fresh and ready for the next attack. While adding a definite cool factor, the Tarmac comes with dropped stays allowing up to 30mm tyre clearance and a seat post and clamp system designed to flex. These features work together to provide a very compliant ride. This compliance coupled with the bike’s razor sharp response to power will blow you away on a test ride and, in our opinion, is the number one feature that will convince you to part with your hard-earned cash. As the pinnacle of Specialized’s road bike line up, the Tarmac frame packs in all the futuristic technology on offer. The S-Works model utilises Specialized’s most advanced construction schedule, the FACT 12 carbon layup.
The Women’s Tarmac offers a choice between two models, the Tarmac Expert and the S-Works model, with a significant price jump in between. The Tarmac Expert comes with our favourite groupset, Shimano Ultegra 8000. This groupset really does provide unparalleled performance at a reasonable price. One aspect that lets the Expert down a little are the aluminium Rovel rims. At this price point most competitors are offering a lighter carbon rim. However, the wheelset on offer is a quality aluminium set and shouldn’t be instantly discounted on that basis. The Women’s S-Works Tarmac, on the other hand, comes with all the light-weight high-end bling you would expect: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9150 with all the carbon goodies to match. If you can afford it, buy it… Simple!
Drive trainDura Ace Di2
Gear ratiosSemi Compact
Frame buildCarbon Pro