In this article, I’ll guide you through a comparison between the Specialized Tarmac SL7 and BMC Teammachine SLR; both popular road bikes among cyclists.
I’ll walk through the Specialized Tarmac SL7 and BMC Teammachine SLR models lineup, their specifications, and retail pricing (USD). I’ll explain the carbon fiber technology used (Specialized FACT vs BMC ACE+), and unique frameset features for each bike.
The goal is to help you get a better understanding before you make your final purchasing decision.
|Specialized Tarmac SL7||BMC Teammachine SLR|
|Type of bike||All-rounder||Lightweight, all-rounder|
|Frame material||FACT 12r carbon|
FACT 10r carbon
|Premium 01 carbon|
|Frame sizes||44, 49, 52, 54, 56, 58, 61||47, 51, 54, 56, 58, 61|
|Groupset||Shimano, SRAM (12-speed)||Shimano, SRAM, Campagnolo (12-speed)|
|Brakes||Hydraulic disc||Hydraulic disc|
|Price (USD)||$5,500 to $14,250||$4,599 to $15,999|
Specialized Tarmac SL7
The Specialized Tarmac SL7 is the complete race bike. It’s without a doubt the most popular model among all Specialized bikes.
Now in its seventh iteration (SL7), the Specialized Tarmac combines an aerodynamic, lightweight, and disc-only road bike for all terrains. Light enough to climb the steepest mountain passes in Tour de France, fast and aero for the sprints on Champs Elysees.
The S-Works frame uses the lighter and stiffer FACT 12r carbon, while all other Specialized frame uses the FACT 10r carbon. The difference lies in the choice of groupset, wheels, and components.
There are six models in the Specialized Tarmac SL7 lineup based on its groupset setup. All models are electronic shifting only. It’s also available in frameset only for Specialized and S-Works editions.
|Model||Frame material||Groupset||Wheelset||Retail price (USD)|
|S-Works Tarmac SL7||FACT 12r carbon||Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 (R9200)||Roval Alpinist CLX||$14,250|
|S-Works Tarmac SL7||FACT 12r carbon||SRAM Red eTap AXS||Roval Alpinist CLX||$14,000|
|Specialized Tarmac SL7 Pro||FACT 10r carbon||SRAM Force eTap AXS||Roval Rapide CL||$9,000|
|Specialized Tarmac SL7 Expert||FACT 10r carbon||Shimano Ultegra Di2 (R8100)||Roval C38||$8,300|
|Specialized Tarmac SL7 Expert||FACT 10r carbon||SRAM Rival eTap AXS||Roval C38||$6,500|
|Specialized Tarmac SL7 Comp||FACT 10r carbon||Shimano 105 Di2 (R7100)||DT Swiss R470||$5,500|
Specialized Tarmac SL7 vs others
BMC Teammachine SLR
The BMC Teammachine SLR is an all-rounder, pure-breed race bike.
Cadel Evans won the Tour de France in 2011 on the same BMC Teammachine SLR01 model, albeit an older generation model. At first glance, the naming convention of the Teammachine SLR01 can be confusing and looks to be all over.
There are two versions available; BMC Teammachine SLR01 (higher grade) vs BMC Teammachine SLR (standard).
Both models have the same frame geometry but differ in carbon fiber grade (Premium 01 Carbon vs Premium Carbon vs ), internal vs external cable routing, and components.
The range-topping model is the BMC Teammachine SLR01 Ltd, the same bike the AG2R Citroën Team rode at the 2023 Tour de France. It’s followed by the One, Two Three, Four, and Five models. Top-of-the-line BMC Teammachine SLR01 models are equipped with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 or SRAM Red AXS. Mid-range models are equipped with Shimano Ultegra Di2 or SRAM Force AXS.
|Model||Frame material||Groupset||Wheelset||Retail price (USD)|
|BMC Teammachine SLR01 Ltd||Premium 01 carbon||Campagnolo Super Record EPS||Campagnolo Bora Ultra Disc WTO||$15,999|
|BMC Teammachine SLR01 One||Premium 01 carbon||SRAM Red eTap AXS||Zipp 353 NSW||$14,999|
|BMC Teammachine SLR01 Two||Premium 01 carbon||Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 (R9200)||DT Swiss ARC 1100 DICUT||$12,999|
|BMC Teammachine SLR01 Three||Premium 01 carbon||Shimano Ultegra Di2 (R8100)||DT Swiss ARC 1650||$9,299|
|BMC Teammachine SLR01 Four||Premium 01 carbon||SRAM Force eTap AXS||CRD-351 SL||$8,499|
|BMC Teammachine SLR01 Five||Premium 01 carbon||Shimano Ultegra Di2 (R8100)||CRD-351 SL||$7,499|
|BMC Teammachine SLR One||Premium carbon||Shimano Ultegra Di2 (R8100)||CRD-351||$6,499|
|BMC Teammachine SLR Two||Premium carbon||SRAM Force eTap AXS||DT SWISS P1800||$5,999|
|BMC Teammachine SLR Three||Premium carbon||Shimano Ultegra Di2 (R8100)||XRD-522||$5,599|
|BMC Teammachine SLR Four||Premium carbon||SRAM Rival eTap AXS||XRD-522||$5,199|
|BMC Teammachine SLR Five||Premium carbon||Shimano 105 Di2 (R7100)||Mavic Open Disc||$4,599|
BMC Teammachine SLR vs others
Specialized vs BMC carbon fiber
Specialized FACT Carbon
Specialized FACT (Functional Advanced Composite Technology) is an advanced carbon fiber technology used in high-performance Specialized bicycles. It offers a lightweight yet strong frame construction with precise carbon layup, resulting in optimal strength-to-weight ratio and improved ride quality.
FACT carbon frames are engineered to efficiently transfer power, absorb road vibrations, and provide a comfortable riding experience. With continuous innovation and refinement, FACT Carbon demonstrates Specialized’s commitment to delivering top-notch performance and enhancing the overall cycling experience.
The carbon is available in three grades. The choice between FACT 12r, 11r, or 10r carbon depends on the bike model, your preferences, riding style, and budget.
- Specialized FACT 12r Carbon is the highest-grade carbon used by Specialized. Bikes (S-Works models) with frames made from FACT 12r carbon are the lightest and stiffest in the Specialized line-up. These frames are manufactured using the most advanced techniques and materials.
- Specialized FACT 11r Carbon used to be the highest-grade carbon until the S-Works Tarmac (SL5). Today, it’s the highest-grade carbon for the S-Works Roubaix.
- Specialized FACT 10r Carbon is two steps below 12r in the Specialized carbon hierarchy. While it doesn’t provide quite the same level of weight savings and stiffness as 12r, 10r frames are still very light and stiff, providing a high level of performance. FACT 10r carbon is used in all non S-Works models and is ideal for riders who want a balance of performance and value.
The BMC ACE+ (Accelerated Composites Evolution Technology +) is the latest carbon fiber layup technology used on all BMC road bikes.
ACE+ operates by determining the cross-sections of the frame, the arrangement of the carbon layers, and the geometric structure based on targeted performance values. Subsequently, it generates thousands of virtual models to pinpoint the ideal equilibrium of performance, focusing on three fundamental aspects; Stiffness, Weight, and Compliance.
BMC has two different carbon grades, 01 Premium Carbon and Premium Carbon, in their road bike frames. The choice between the two carbon grades depends on the rider’s preferences, budget, and desired level of performance.
- 01 Premium Carbon is a high-grade carbon fiber material with superior performance, stiffness, and weight savings. It provides enhanced ride quality with improved power transfer and responsiveness. Premium 01 carbon is used on all BMC models with 01, such as Teammachine SLR01 and Roadmachine 01.
- Premium Carbon is a mid-range carbon fiber material that balances performance, weight, and affordability. It is used on all BMC models without the 01.
Frameset technologies and innovations
Specialized Tarmac SL7 and BMC Teammachine SLR framesets incorporate advanced technologies to enhance their bikes’ performance and ride characteristics.
Here’s an overview of the technologies used in each bike model.
Specialized Tarmac SL7
|FACT carbon||Functional Advanced Composite Technology (FACT). A carbon fiber construction method that balances lightweight, stiffness, and compliance in Specialized bike frames. |
Available in two carbon grades; FACT 12r and 10r. A higher number indicates a higher grade of carbon.
S-Works models use the FACT 12r carbon and Specialized Pro and Expert models use the FACT 10r carbon.
|Rider-First Engineered™||Rider-First Engineered™ is a design philosophy used by Specialized that ensures every frame size delivers the same predictable and responsive ride characteristics. This concept was first introduced with the 2015 Tarmac, and the idea has been incorporated into all models since.|
Instead of simply scaling frame sizes, Specialized takes into account that riders of different sizes have different weights, which are distributed differently. This means that each frame size experiences different forces. Therefore, each frame size is engineered independently with different carbon layups and tube dimensions, ensuring the optimal balance of rigidity, weight, and responsiveness for each size.
In short, no matter what the frame size is, the ride quality and performance remain consistently excellent.
|Win Tunnel||Specialized utilizes advanced tools and technologies to pursue aerodynamic excellence, such as the Win Tunnel, FreeFoil Shape Library, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), and Data Acquisition (DAQ) system.|
The goal is to optimize aerodynamic performance by conducting wind tunnel tests, developing new airfoil shapes, simulating fluid flow, and collecting real-world data to improve rider position and enhance overall performance.
BMC Teammachine SLR
|Accelerated Composites Evolution Plus (ACE+)||ACE+ utilizes advanced computer algorithms and simulation techniques to optimize the layup and design of carbon fiber frames and components. With BMC ACE+, engineers can explore various design possibilities and fine-tune the carbon layup to achieve specific performance objectives. |
This technology allows precise control over stiffness, compliance, weight, and aerodynamics. ACE+ enables BMC to create frames that offer optimal balance and performance characteristics by analyzing numerous virtual prototypes and conducting virtual testing.
|Aerocore Design System||An advanced aerodynamic design approach used by BMC to optimize the aerodynamic performance of their road bikes. |
It is a holistic system that integrates multiple bike elements, including frame shapes, tube profiles, component integration, and overall bike geometry, to minimize aerodynamic drag and maximize efficiency.
|Integrated Cockpit System (ICS)||Seamlessly integrates the handlebar, stem, and fork to improve aerodynamics, enhance stiffness, and provide a clean, integrated look. The elimination of external cables reduces drag and improves handling responsiveness.|
|Tuned Compliance Concept (TCC)||TCC optimizes vertical compliance by strategically tuning the carbon layup and tube shapes. This technology improves the frame’s ability to absorb road vibrations and bumps, resulting in a smoother and more comfortable ride without sacrificing performance or power transfer.|
|D-Shaped Seatpost||BMC’s D-Shaped Seatpost features a flattened shape that enhances vertical compliance and comfort by absorbing road vibrations. |
This design provides a smoother ride experience, particularly during long-distance or rougher road surfaces, while maintaining aerodynamic performance.
Where to buy
- Specialized online shops. Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States
- Specialized retailers. Use this tool to find your nearest Specialized retailers.
- BMC retailers. Use this tool to find your nearest BMC retailers.