The new Specialized Tarmac SL8 is the 'fastest race bike in the world' but is cheaper than before

US brand boasts aerodynamic improvements and a significant weight reduction over the outgoing SL7

Specialized Tarmac SL8 in red, side on on dark background
(Image credit: Specialized)

After months of speculation, a mysterious no-show at the Tour de France, and some possible sightings in the last few weeks, Specialized finally launched what is perhaps one of the most hyped releases of 2023 - the S-Works Tarmac SL8.

Specialized hasn’t been shy with its claims either - tagging the Tarmac SL8 as the "fastest race bike in the world" - not unlike BMC back in May last year - along with declarations of decreased weight and improved aerodynamics. Given these claims, and the fact that the SL7 is regarded as one of the best aero bikes, the latest iteration has plenty to live up to - so let's go ahead and break down the jargon.

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Joe Baker
Tech Writer

Joe is Cycling Weekly's tech writer. He's always had a love for bikes, since first riding a two wheeled steed before the age of four. Years down the line, Joe began racing at 16, and enjoyed great experiences internationally, racing in Italy, Spain and Belgium to name a few locations. Always interested in tech, Joe even piloted his Frankenstein hill climb bike to a Junior National Title in 2018.  After taking a step back from elite level racing in April 2022, Joe joined our team as a freelancer, before becoming Tech Writer in May 2023.