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When Specialized announced its new Tarmac, they cited McLaren’s key role in developing its “Rider First” data collection system.
Specialized used this system to study how different-sized riders rode their bikes, in an effort to better the bike’s overall ride quality, rather than just improving stiffness and lowering weight. Specialized was cagy about the procedure used to collected this data, but knowing its partnership with McLaren, we were left with no other option than to trust them. After all, 30 podium appearances at the F1 World Championships aren’t achieved by sub-par auto racing teams.
At the time of the new Tarmac launch , we expected a McLaren edition, but Specialized declined to discuss the possibility of another super-bike project carrying the McLaren name. Today, just a few days ahead of the Tour de France, Specialized has unveiled the S-Works McLaren Tarmac.
Specialized athletes Jacob Fuglsang of Astana, and Nicholas Roche of Tinkoff-Saxo will race the McLaren Tarmac at the Tour this year.
Using the 2015 Tarmac S-Works as the starting point, McLaren’s composite design engineer, Joe Marsh, sought to extract more performance using data that Specialized and McLaren had collected when developing the new Tarmac. The result is a very expensive and very exclusive bike that has a parts list that will make even the detail-oriented weight-weenies jealous.
The bike’s estimated price tag is an astronomical $20,000. The McLaren Tarmac will be limited to 250 bikes, with pre-orders starting today and running through the end of July.
The Tarmac is outfitted with a reliable high-end drivetrain, Dura-Ace 9070 Di2, with a custom EE Cycleworks brakes. The tubular wheelset, Roval CLX40R, is exclusive to the McLaren Tarmac and saves 90 grams compared to the general public’s CLX40 wheels. Components like the crankset, stem, and handlebars will all be selected by a Body Geometry fitter when the buyer orders their McLaren from a Specialized S-Works dealer.
Additionally, color-coordinated S-Works shoes and a Prevail helmet will be included with the McLaren Tarmac, along with a wall-mounted stand to display your investment, preferably next to your McLaren 650S. If you’re going to ride a super-bike, might as well drive a super-car too.