Specialized and McLaren reunite for limited-edition $20,000 road bike


July 2, 2014

One of the relatively few S-Works McLaren Tarmac bicycles

One of the relatively few S-Works McLaren Tarmac bicycles

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Three years ago, US bicycle manufacturer Specialized teamed up with Britain's McLaren Applied Technologies to create what they called "the fastest complete performance bike in the world" – the S-Works + McLaren Venge. Now, the bike-maker and the high-end car-maker have once again joined forces, this time to produce the S-Works McLaren Tarmac. Only 250 of the road bikes will be made.

The bicycle is designed to be an even lighter, faster version of Specialized's existing S-Works Tarmac, which is no slouch itself. According to McLaren composite design engineer Joe Marsh, "The new S-Works Tarmac was already a very, very efficient structure to start with, and in some ways this was a much tougher challenge than the Venge we worked on."

The big difference in this version of the Tarmac is the use of a new carbon fiber layup process, developed by McLaren. Known as FACT construction, it results in a frame/fork/handlebar that's 9 to 11 percent lighter than the original (depending on frame size), but that reportedly still offers the same standard of overall performance. There's no word on just what the bike's total weight is.

In any case, more weight-savings are achieved through the selection of an exclusive CLX40R tubular wheelset (as opposed to the standard S-Works Tarmac's CLX 40 wheels), a reduced spoke count, and a new carbon fiber seat post and crankset spider. Friction is also reduced, via ceramic-coated bearings in the hubs and crankset.

Along with bragging rights and a lighter wallet, buyers of the McLaren version will also get a personalized fitting session, a custom color-matched helmet and shoes, plus a personalized name plate and wall mount plaque for displaying the bike. The S-Works McLaren Tarmac not surprisingly additionally features a unique paint and graphics job, applied at the same facility where the McLaren P1 automobiles are painted.

If you want one, be prepared to part with approximately US$20,000. Specialized began taking reservations as of today, and will continue to do so throughout the month – or until the bikes are all snatched up.

Source: Specialized

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

Thanks but no thanks. I'm a little more practical and don't have Tour de France fantasies. For that kind of money, I'd want an enclosed velomobile with wind, weather and impact protection, full LED lighting system with 1500 lumen Cree headlights, disc brakes, sound system, electric assist, puncture-resistant tires, maintenance-free belt drive and Nuvinci Harmony automatic CVT. And no, not something cobbled together like the Go-One. For $20k, I would expect the fit and finish of a production car.


When they find someone with that kind of spare cash and daft enough to spend it on a bike, of all things, then they can send them along to me and I will do them a nice deal on the Tower of London, or any other major landmark of their choosing (while stocks last, of course). It will come complete with authentic looking property deeds and I'll even persuade my mate to give them a discount on his legal fees. He'll even promise to complete the transaction while they wait.

Ps. tell them to bring a lock for their bike because there are some rogues operating in the area.

Mel Tisdale

I adore passing people who ride such nonsense whilst riding my 18-year old Columbus tubed, Campagnolo equipped bike.


Once again manufacturers catering to the rich and fatuous! For what reason? a bike is only as good as the legs powering it,unless you are Lance Armstrong....

Robert Meurant

Even if I had the money to spend I think getting passed on a $20k bike would be hard on my ego.

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