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Who put that curb there?
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The Tarmac SL3 is supposedly stiffer though and less weight.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
The Tarmac SL3 is supposedly stiffer though and less weight.
Hmmm....my Specialized dealer told me the Venge is stiffer than the Tarmac; especially at the BB.

*edit: Just did a little more reading, Tedzo, and you're right; Specialized press release with the Venge still claims the Tarmac is "lighter and stiffer." I would think that frame stiffness would be most important to Cav. Need to do some more research.

*further edit*: It appears the key is "lighter AND stiffer". Specialized says that the Venge is as stiff as the SL3, but apparently not as light. Here's their statement on stiffness:

THE TARGET NUMBERS FOR TORSIONAL STIFFNESS — EQUIVALENT TO THE SL3 — WERE EXTRAORDINARY CONSIDERING THE BIKE’S AERO PROFILE. THE EXTREMELY PRECISE PLIES CREATED BY McLAREN’S ENGINEERS ALLOWED US TO REALIZE THESE GOALS VIA AN EXHAUSTIVE LAYUP SCHEDULE. AS THEY PUT IT, “THE MORE ACCURATELY CUT PLIES COULD BE PLACED MORE PRECISELY.” A POSITIONING OR DIRECTIONAL TWEAK OF A FEW MILLIMETERS ON ANY GIVEN PLY DIRECTLY RELATES TO IMPROVED STIFFNESS, ALLOWING EACH PLY TO BE METICULOUSLY PINPOINTED ACCORDING TO THEORETICAL WEIGHT AND STIFFNESS COMPUTER MODELS.
 

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When you reach that level of skill and fitness, unless the guy is on total junk (which none of them are) my personal opinion is that its far less about who saved a gram somewhere, or whether one frame is stiffer than the other and far more about the heart and desire of the rider. Cav is successful because of his desire, heart and talent. He wants to win bad enough he might beat the majority of the field on a 70s Huffy.
 
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