McLaren Hero 1.1

First it was the S-Works McLaren Venge. That was followed with the S-Works McLaren TT helmet. The latest result from the technical collaboration between Formula 1 great McLaren and bicycle super power Specialized? That would be the all new S-Works McLaren Tarmac. Building on the already impressive and recently updated S-Works Tarmac, the McLaren connection takes the Rider-First engineering to the next level by offering an even lighter frame.

Of course, you’re also getting a number of custom touches including limited edition McLaren/Specialized apparel. That’s if you can get one though as there will only be 250 of the McLaren Orange packages available to the public. Want one? Find out how to get in line plus more after the break…


When it came time to give the new Tarmac the McLaren treatment, McLaren’s engineers admitted it would be a challenge  to eke more performance out of the frame. Composite design engineer Joe Marsh said, “Our design benchmark, 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.”

It may have been a greater challenge, but that didn’t stop McLaren from trimming the weight of the frame and fork by 9-11% depending on the frame size. The proprietary carbon layup devised by McLaren is said to have no effect on the ride characteristics or the performance of the bike in spite of the reduced weight.



The attention to detail continues over to the components with a hand picked selection curated to offer performance fitting of the bike. S-Works McLaren Tarmacs with have custom touches like color matched components and exclusive Roval CLX40R tubular wheels – a 90 gram savings over the standard CLX 40s.


gwp-SpecializedMSO2014-40 gwp-SpecializedMSO2014-81


No limited edition bike is complete without a custom paint job and the paint and graphics applied by McLaren Special Operations in Woking, Surrey UK should qualify.

McLaren Kit 1

Completing the package is a matching set of custom sized S-Works Road Shoes and an S-Works Prevail helmet. In order to guarantee you have the right fit, each bike includes a Body Geometry Fit Session to select the proper frame and component sizes for the final bike. To ensure your new bike gets the attention it deserves, each kit will also include a personalized name plate and a wall mounting plaque to show off all of the McLaren Orange.

Limited to 250 units, S-Works McLaren Tarmacs will be offered through an online reservation process. Starting today, customers can sign up to purchase one of the collaborations until July 31, or while they last – whatever comes first. Ready for the price? How does $20,000 sound? Definitely not for everyone, but that’s why there’s only 250, right?



  • McLaren optimized carbon layup resulting in a 9% – 11% weight savings over standard S-Works Tarmac depending on frame size;
  • Rider-First Engineered for complete performance;
  • Dedicated electronic drivetrain design for seamless integration.


  • Custom, superlight carbon rim layup for a 30g weight savings per rim over standard CLX40 tubular wheels;
  • Reduced spoke count from 18 front, 24 rear to 16 front, 21 rear for total wheelset weight of 1,150g;
  • CeramicSpeed coated bearings for reduced rolling friction;
  • Second complete set of CLX40 carbon clinchers for training included.


  • Specially designed “Tarmac Black” and “Papaya Spark” colors co-developed with McLaren only ever found on the S-Works McLaren Tarmac collection;
  • Frame and fork are painted in the same McLaren Special Operations (MSO) in Woking, Surrey as the $1.2 million McLaren P1 supercar;
  • One of a kind, Electroform metal foil graphics applied at McLaren Special Operations.


  • Exclusively designed crankset with new carbon fiber spider design which reduces weight by 10g over standard version;
  • CeramicSpeed coated bearings ensure smooth rolling with reduced friction;
  • Color matched to frame in exclusive McLaren Papaya Spark Orange.


  • Superlight carbon layup exclusive to the S-Works McLaren Tarmac, saves 25 grams;
  • Wind-tunnel tested for improved aerodynamics coupled with extreme rigidity.


  • Included are a pair of custom sized, color matched S-Works Road Shoes as well as a color matched S-Works Prevail Helmet. This exclusive colorway is only available with the S-Works McLaren Tarmac project;
  • Specially designed wall mount display developed exclusively for the S-Works McLaren Tarmac holds the bike, shoes, and helmet elegantly;
  • Included BodyGeometry Fit consultation with a qualified Specialized representative;
  • As one in a numbered series of 250 a personalized nameplate and certificate of authenticity is included.


  1. @Gunnstein

    It’s nothing to do with cyclists wanting to drive cars, It’s because Mclaren are probably the best carbon fibre engineers in the entire world.

  2. What’s the weight? I’m guessing a lot heavier and more expensive than the new Trek or else they would say what it is. Very impressive/ballsy of Trek to compare their new bike head-to-head with other lightweights. But then again, at 10.25 lbs for a complete bike that is for sale everywhere now, I can see why Trek is braging a bit.

  3. @Another Ryan: yet, this Tarmac is the same price. While we are hanging out in fantasy land – I’m just saying that I would MUCH rather have the Trek. Also, if we are talking about prices, I’m most impressed with that $7500 13.5lb bike they have

  4. Although I applaud the efforts that Trek has made recently (i.e. the new Emonda) I would suspect that most cyclists (pure weight weenies aside) would openly admit that weight is only one singular component in a long list of characteristics that makes for a superbike.

    Anybody else worried about stiffness/flex on that ultralight Emonda?

    My takeaway from the article was this – that the carbon composite work currently existing with the Specialized S-Works Tarmac was already so well done that even McClaren (cutting edge carbon fiber brain trust) had a hard time improving on the existing S-Works frame. Based on the information above, I’m not really sure that the McLaren Tarmac is worth the extra money. Yes you get a cool paint job, slightly lighter weight, limited edition ownership and some shiny new apparel – but ROI is not really that substantially different than a normal s-works.

    Having ridden a lot of bikes, in my opinion there’s nothing that combines lightness, compliance and stiffness like the Tarmac. There are lighter bikes – yes. There are stiffer bikes – yes. There are more compliant bikes – yes. But, in my opinion, nothing comes close to the Tarmac when trying to combine all three of those things into one bike.

    So.. let’s do the math
    Trek Emonda frameset – $4,200
    Specialized S-works Tarmac – $3,750

  5. If you are going to compare the Trek with this, make sure to point out that the Trek is made in Wisconson, United states of America, and the Tarmac is shipped over from the people that stole your jobs.

  6. McLaren, like many other F1 teams, are branching out into other industries to generate revenue.

    What I would like to see is the UCI rules regulating bike design to go away and then see what the F1 teams can come up with.

    $16,000 is way too much for a bicycle. A Yamaha R1 capable of 180+ mph is only $14,500.

  7. @Scotty No need to wait for UCI, just look at what wins HPV competitions. Hour record of over 90 km, max speed record of 133 km/h, etc.

  8. @Scotty, you mentioned $16,000 for the McLaren, but actually you should remove the dollar sign and change it to the GBP sign. In U.S. dollars the retail price is $20,000.

  9. This thing is the biggest Cat. 5 masters Porsche out there. CPA’s, venture capitalists and dentists will be so excited. What a waste of money. I actually saw a guy riding the older version last year and just shook my head. More money than brains.

  10. @CJ Why do you think it would be a bad thing to have more money than brains? I would love to have more money than brains. And for people who are lucky enough to have more money than brains, why would you be upset if they choose to use their money to buy bikes–even trophy bikes? I would prefer more rich people were into bikes than, say, cars or trucks. Or guns.
    And by the way, some of those people who have more money than brains and who like trophy bikes can and do actually ride them and ride them well.
    You dont have to act like a jealous baby just because you cant afford the most expensive bike that Specialized makes but someone else can.

  11. @cj- did you talk to the older guy? not sure who was the snob in your scenario. maybe he thought that piece of firewood you were on meant you had no money and no brains. it’s hobby and lifestyle for all. if you could bank it you’d buy it.

  12. Dustin, how dare you bring rational thought and logical conversation into a Bike Rumor comment section.

    In all seriousness, the only way you could get me riding a Trek is if you paid me. Tarmacs forevah!

  13. Personally, my money would go into the pocket of a small, high-end, local custom builder who will make my next “superbike” fit me like a custom suit (not that I want anything to do with a suit unless it’s made of armor). These crazy machines by Trek, Specy, Pinarello, etc. are great in the engineering-pushing the envelope-technology sense, but why would I ever buy an off the peg bike that didn’t care who I am, what my physical attributes/needs are or where I am going to ride when it was created? Besides the fact that I am not a dentist…
    Nearly $16k (before tax!) could get me not only a custom machine but also a sweet shop/garage built for storing and curating my custom bikes.

  14. I think what really drives demand for ultra expensive bikes, car, homes, etc, is the people that have the desire for these things that can’t afford them. They covet these items, while publicly hating them on forums like this.

    “The man who dies with the most toys wins” Don’t really know who said that, but I heard it all my life.

    If the rich didn’t have poor schmucks like us telling them what it is they should have in life, how would they know what it takes to win?

    Then the mega rich buy bikes like this “Just to be a dick”. Just to rub your nose in it
    “look what I have, I beat you because you have been found wanting”

    It’s a cool bike, but if my 14.5 Tarmac Pro is heavy I better start doing some push ups

  15. @ThinksTooMuch. i used to live in bozeman, mt and there is no sales tax. go there and pick one up, will seem like a deal? right?

  16. @mike, according to the Specialized McLaren website, retail for the bike will be $20,000 USD. Not sure where the 16,000 GBP number came from, as $20k USD is the only number we’ve gotten from Specialized.

  17. For that much money, Specialized MIGHT have even made the shoes available in HALF SIZES!!! Unlike their color-dipped series….

  18. Vvvvrrrrrooooooooooommmm! Oooooooooo! It just looks fast standing still. I’ll bet your power to weight ratio increases from the McLaren logo

  19. That EECycleWorks brake is also apparently a new brake, at least according to Fair Wheel Bikes. They’ve got a close-up of it on their Facebook page and say it will be available in August or September.

  20. LOVE the “specially designed wall mount display”. At least they realize that’s all the bike will ever see. No self respecting cyclist would own this thing, only a wanna-be with a lot of cash to waste would buy it. I’d rather drop $6k on a small US custom builder and get my moneys worth.

  21. Once in a while, times like this one, we do “only wanna-be the one with a lot of cash to waste”. This one and and Venge, and the World Cup, and the Enduro SW. Spesh gets it right.

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