Pro bike: Primož Roglič's Red Bull Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL8

Red Bull Bora-Hansgrohe's team bike in its new livery launched for the 'other' Slovenian GC favourite

At the same time as officially unveiling Red Bull’s partnership with Bora-Hansgrohe, the team unveiled the new-look Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL8 in its updated livery that its riders will be using from this Saturday when the Tour de France leaves Florence.

Red Bull Bora-Hansgrohe’s GC leader will of course be Primož Roglič, who arrives at the Tour with victory at the Critérium du Dauphiné in his legs, a huge confidence booster for the 34-year-old who joined the team this season. The Slovenian is a three-time winner of the Vuelta, he won last year’s Giro and has multiple other stage and one-day race victories in his palmarès, but he has never won the Tour de France. Will the support of his new team and their new title sponsor, a brand that has already had a huge impact on F1 – and that’s only the peak of Red Bull’s sports-sponsorship empire – give him the wings he wants?

Primož Roglič's Red Bull Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL8 top tube

The S-Works Tarmac SL8 is a formidable race bike that already has multiple race wins in its own palmarès since it was launched last year. Switching from dark green to the new Red Bull metallic white livery, the frame includes almost disappearing white logos that catch the sun. The Red Bull logo with signature blue, yellow and red adorn the head tube but at a glance the main tubes look plain – it’s a super clean look.

Primož Roglič's Red Bull Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL8 handlebar

Roglič, who is 177cm tall, rides the size 52, which leaves him plenty of saddle-bar drop for an optimised aerodynamic position. Like many pros, including Remco Evenepoel who also rides a Tarmac SL8 with the rival Soudal–Quick-Step team, Roglič runs a zero-setback seatpost that’s a pro-only option. Many pros prefer a more powerful position seated further over the bottom bracket with a low stack height up front – there are no spacers underneath the slammed Roval Rapide one-piece cockpit. The anodised blue bolt is a nice custom touch.

Primož Roglič's Red Bull Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL8 drivetrain

Unlike Shimano-sponsored Soudal–Quick-Step, Red Bull-Bora-Hansgrohe run SRAM equipment, and as you’d expect Roglič has the latest SRAM Red groupset, released earlier this year. He has the one-piece double chainring in 52/39 ratios and a 10-33 cassette that gives him a top gear equivalent to 57x11 – huge, but enabling him to ride in the middle of the cassette at higher speeds with more efficient chainline.

Primož Roglič's Red Bull Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL8 main triangle

The wheels are the latest Roval Rapide CLX II Team, also launched this year, which at 1,360g are 130g lighter and 0.5 watts faster than the originals. They’re distinguishable by the polished silver hubs with DT Swiss EXP internals and SINC ceramic bearings, which saves 2g compared to the powder coating and painting of the standard black versions. The tyres are S-Works Turbo Cottons with tan walls giving the wheels with their silver hubs a classic look. And completing an almost all-Specialized Build, the bottle cages are Rib Cage IIs.

Primož Roglič's Red Bull Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL8 Phenom saddle

Roglič uses an S-Works Phenom saddle – a more traditional, longer-nosed model than the 3D-printed Power with Mirror, as used by other Specialized-sponsored pros including Evenepoel. That said, could this be the seat of power in the coming weeks?

Shop now