Specialized Tarmac SL8 vs BMC Teammachine SLR (2023)

Written by : Mr Mamil
Last updated :

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This article compares the differences between the Specialized Tarmac SL8 and BMC Teammachine SLR.

The comparison covers the model lineups, specifications, and retail pricing. It compares the carbon fiber technology (Specialized FACT vs BMC ACE+) and frameset technologies on each bike.

The objective is to provide you with a clearer understanding of Specialized Tarmac SL8 vs BMC Teammachine SLR before making the purchasing decision.

Specialized Tarmac SL8BMC Teammachine SLR
Type of bikeAll-rounderLightweight, all-rounder
Frame materialFACT 12r carbon
FACT 10r carbon
Premium 01 carbon
Premium carbon
Frame sizes44, 49, 52, 54, 56, 58, 6147, 51, 54, 56, 58, 61
GroupsetShimano, SRAM (12-speed)Shimano, SRAM, Campagnolo (12-speed)
BrakesHydraulic discHydraulic disc
CablingInternalInternal
Price (USD)TBD$4,599 to $15,999
Overview of Specialized Tarmac SL8 and BMC Teammachine SLR

Specialized Tarmac SL8

S-Works Tarmac SL8 Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 (White)
S-Works Tarmac SL8. Photo : Specialized

The Specialized Tarmac SL8 is the latest, all-rounder race bike.

Now in its eighth iteration, hence SL8, the Specialized Tarmac improves on the features of the Tarmac SL7 that made it one of the best bikes in professional cycling and a leading bike brand among amateur cyclists.

According to Specialized, the Tarmac SL8 has a 33% improvement in stiffness-to-weight ratio compared to the Tarmac SL7. The most significant improvement is in aerodynamics; a larger head tube with a sharper nose cone. Specialized calls this the Speed Sniffer.

The S-Works version retains the same FACT 12r carbon, while the Specialized Pro and Expert versions use the FACT 10r carbon. The difference between the S-Works and Specialized versions lies in the carbon fiber grade, choice of groupset, wheels, and components. The S-Works versions come with the newly launched Roval Rapide Cockpit, a one-pice carbon handlebar.

A size 56 bike weighs 6.62 kg (14.6 lbs) with a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset, and 6.85 kg (15.1 lbs) with a SRAM Red AXS.

There are six models in the Specialized Tarmac SL8 lineup based on its groupset setup. All models are electronic shifting only. It’s also available in frameset only for S-Works and for Specialized versions.

ModelFrame materialGroupsetWheelsetMax. tire sizeRetail price (USD)
S-Works Tarmac SL8FACT 12r carbonShimano Dura-Ace Di2 (R9200)Roval Rapid CLX II
(51mm front, 60mm rear)
32mm$14,000
S-Works Tarmac SL8FACT 12r carbonSRAM Red eTap AXSRoval Rapid CLX II
(51mm front, 51mm rear)
32mm$14,000
Specialized Tarmac SL8 ProFACT 10r carbonShimano Ultegra Di2 (R8100)Roval Rapid CL II
(51mm front, 60mm rear)
32mm$8,500
Specialized Tarmac SL8 ProFACT 10r carbonSRAM Force eTap AXSRoval Rapid CL II
(51mm front, 60mm rear)
32mm$8,500
Specialized Tarmac SL8 ExpertFACT 10r carbonSRAM Rival eTap AXSRoval C38 (38mm)32mm$6,500
Specialized Tarmac SL8 models lineup
More reading : Specialized Tarmac SL8 vs SL7 - What's Changed?

BMC Teammachine SLR

BMC Teammachine SLR01 FIVE Shimano Ultegra Di2
BMC Teammachine SLR01 Three. Photo : BMC

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.

ModelFrame materialGroupsetWheelsetRetail price (USD)
BMC Teammachine SLR01 LtdPremium 01 carbonCampagnolo Super Record EPSCampagnolo Bora Ultra Disc WTO$15,999
BMC Teammachine SLR01 OnePremium 01 carbonSRAM Red eTap AXSZipp 353 NSW$14,999
BMC Teammachine SLR01 TwoPremium 01 carbonShimano Dura-Ace Di2 (R9200)DT Swiss ARC 1100 DICUT$12,999
BMC Teammachine SLR01 ThreePremium 01 carbonShimano Ultegra Di2 (R8100)DT Swiss ARC 1650$9,299
BMC Teammachine SLR01 FourPremium 01 carbonSRAM Force eTap AXSCRD-351 SL$8,499
BMC Teammachine SLR01 FivePremium 01 carbonShimano Ultegra Di2 (R8100)CRD-351 SL$7,499
BMC Teammachine SLR OnePremium carbonShimano Ultegra Di2 (R8100)CRD-351$6,499
BMC Teammachine SLR TwoPremium carbonSRAM Force eTap AXSDT SWISS P1800$5,999
BMC Teammachine SLR ThreePremium carbonShimano Ultegra Di2 (R8100)XRD-522$5,599
BMC Teammachine SLR FourPremium carbonSRAM Rival eTap AXSXRD-522$5,199
BMC Teammachine SLR FivePremium carbonShimano 105 Di2 (R7100)Mavic Open Disc$4,599
BMC Teammachine SLR01 and SLR models lineup

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

BMC ACE+

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 SL8 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 SL8

NameDescription
FACT carbonFunctional 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 TunnelSpecialized 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.
Specialized Tarmac SL7’s frameset features and technologies

BMC Teammachine SLR

NameDescription
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 SystemAn 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 SeatpostBMC’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.
BMC Teammachine SLR’s frameset features and technologies

Where to buy

Specialized shops

  • 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

  • BMC retailers. Use this tool to find your nearest BMC retailers.