above: the Tarmac Disc Pro comes in this stealthy black
How Specialized is able to offer the S-Works Tarmac Disc at
lower prices is down to the carbon fibre. It uses the highest grade
carbon in the S-Works, which it calls FACT 12r. FACT, in case
you're wondering, is short for Functional Advanced Composite
Technology and is the process the US company uses to develop its
The premium carbon fibre, typically high-modulus, is pricey
stuff, so to be able to offer the new Tarmac Disc at lower prices,
it substitutes some of that expensive carbon fibre for slightly
less expensive grade carbon. There's no shortfall in quality, the
main difference is on the scales, they are slightly heavier, and a
small hit on the ride quality.
Other than the differences in carbon fibre, the frames are near
identical. You're getting a frame with the same Rider-First
Engineering, ensuring each frame size is optimised with custom tube
shapes and layup. There's the same aero optimisation, from the
shape of the down tube and seatpost and the lowered seat stays.
There's more generous tyre clearance, you can fit a 28mm tyre, and
Specialized has worked to improve the comfort by adding in flex
zones to the frame and seatpost.
below: the Tarmac Disc Expert is available in a choice of
two colours. This is our favourite, Black Camo with Rocket Red