BIKE OF THE WEEK: JULIAN ALAPHILIPPE’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP S-WORKS TARMAC SL7

New colors for the champ

On Sunday Julian Alaphilippe proved himself as the best bike racer in the world. On Friday, he took to Belgian farm roads to train for Liege Bastogne Liege, scheduled for Sunday, on Specialized’s new Tarmac SL7 with a unique world championship paint job.

THE FRAME

Perhaps the best news for the SL7 comes in the form of the updated bottom bracket. All of the SL7 frame levels will now have a threaded English bottom bracket, meaning no deciphering what OSBB (Over-sized bottom bracket) is and no more creaking bottom brackets.

The overall geometry is nearly identical to the previous version, and it is obvious that Specialized has found a general set of numbers they are happy with, because nearly all of their road bikes share the same geometry. The slight changes are to the head-tube length, which is 1cm shorter on paper for our size 54 at 13.3cm (same as the current Venge.) This is a bit misleading, though, because with the needed headset cap, the lowest stem position
is identical.

The wheelbase remains the same at 97.8cm with a reach of 38.7cm and a stack of 53.4cm. The biggest changes come in the form of added emphasis on the aero refinement of the frame tubes. We’re told the SL7 has 17-percent less surface area than the current Venge while hitting the same weight as the current SL6 Tarmac. 

The bike has 41cm chainstays with more tire clearance. The bottom bracket junction remains a very similar design to the previous, but with slight refinements to offer the extra clearance. With no seatstay bridge, the new SL7 will be disc brake only. 

The biggest change is the adaptation of completely hidden, internally routed cables and hoses. There is no steerer stop, which we appreciate, and if you desired, a traditional stem and handlebar are easily swappable. 

STATS

Price: 12,000+ (as shown)

Weight: 800 grams (S-Works frame claimed)

www.specialized.com

Photos: Wout Beel

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