Road-CC Votes Specialized S-Works SL7 ‘Super Bike of the Year’ 2020/2021
It came as no surprise to ourselves, we love them and have first hand experience of the ride! Light, Aero and super cool…Threaded bottom bracket, aero but not crazy oversize, super light out the box! We have been an S-Works dealer for nearly three decades, we have ridden every model and owned most. Customer feedback is extremely positive with a quite a few customers, once having bought into the S-Works, never go back!
Road, Triathlon or MTB the whole range are at the top of their game.
This is what Road-CC had to say
TheSuperbike of the Year 2020/21 is the S-Works Tarmac SL7 Dura-Ace Di2. Yes, it’s expensive, but the performance is amazing.
This is one of the latest top-end offerings from Specialized that focuses as much on aerodynamics as it does on weight – or the lack of it. The frameset has seen various tweaks over its predecessor, and when paired with aero components like the handlebar and wheels makes the SL7 a very fast bike indeed.
The Tarmac has always been the lightweight road bike in Specialized’s range, with the Venge the aero model. However, the US brand says that the Tarmac SL7 is so aerodynamically efficient that there’s no longer a need for the Venge (which is available only as a frameset now).
As a complete package this S-Works is phenomenally efficient and fast. Coming in a smidge over the UCI’s minimum weight limit of 6.8kg (15lb), the 56cm S-Works we reviewed was no slouch off the line, so acceleration was very brisk.
Once you get the bike up to speed it just rolls along, like you are always on top of the gear. As the aero benefits start to diminish on the climbs, the low weight helps you power uphill.
Alongside the low weight and wind-cheating design, the Tarmac SL7 delivers on the stiffness front. Compared with a lot of the tightest frames out there, Specialized hasn’t exactly gone for massive tube profiles to create the stiffness and nor has it gone for a wider bottom bracket shell that would use press-fit bearing cups located inside the frame. It has instead plumped for a threaded option, with the cups mounted externally.
Even with all of this stiffness, the SL7 hasn’t sacrificed comfort. It’s a peloton-ready race machine, so don’t go expecting a cosseting ride, but it’s firm without any irritating levels of harshness. If you want to bring in a little bit more cushioning then you can exploit the Tarmac’s 32mm maximum tyre width.
The steering is quick, which makes the S-Works an absolute blast when descending. Very light, stiff bikes can sometimes feel a little flighty over rough road surfaces at high speed, but the Tarmac never does. The whole bike feels balanced and thanks to the handling being precise, you can carry a lot of speed into the corners.
This bike really does deliver on all the attributes you’d want of a top-flight race machine: speed, stiffness, handling and comfort. Yes, this model is very expensive, but SL7s are available at half the price.
Why it wins A bike with an eye-watering price but an exceptional performance!
We have bikes and frames available at both stores. No secret that bikes have been in very short supply the world over, but we do have a reasonable range, ready for riding away!
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