Could buy a S-Works Tarmac disc used for €5k - or should I get a different bike new?

Hey guys,

I am kinda in the market for a new bike.
I currently ride a 2013 Cervelo R5 with Zipp 303s - it’s a great bike, super lightweight, fast on decents, BUT it’s not exactly comfortable - the previous owner cut the steerer tube all the way down.

About myself:
I don’t race, I just ride for fun. I’ve been riding for 5 years now and have been doing structured training for 2 years. Do I need such a high performance bike with carbon wheels, Zipp, Dura Ace, etc? NO!
BUT: I like nice equipment and it simply motivates me to hop on the bike and get out there riding. I just get a big grin on my face when I see a nice bike that I can call “mine”. So this question isn’t about performance per se - all the bikes I’m looking at are at a pretty high level.

During yesterday’s ride I also realized that after being used to disc breaks from my gravel bike, I just don’t feel confident descending with the Cervelo’s rim breaks any more - so I want to buy a new bike.

Normally, I’d allocate a budget of €4,000 - that would get me a Canyon Ultimate CF SL 8.0 aero with Di2 or something similar - a great bike no doubt. But there’s also the factor that I don’t feel comfortable buying a Canyon online and then going to the LBS if something needs to be done.

Now I got offered an S-Works Tarmac Disc with Dura Ace Di2, Roval wheels, Power Meter, Pro components, S-works saddle - a used bike from a UCI pro team sold directly by the team itself.
I’d have to clarify if this would be a training or raceday bike.

So my question:
What would you do - get the Canyon for 4k, the Tarmac for 5k…or even possibly another bike for 5k (stretch). I’d only extend my budget to 5k because the Tarmac normally costs 11k.

For me, it really depends on how much you trust the seller regarding the history of the bike.
Is it a LBS, who will assure the service on the bike thereafter, or some unknown online dude? Or anything in between.
The deal seems very good - have a look online, is it too good to be true, compared to the market prices?

The deal is very legit - it’s from the team directly. No concerns regarding trustworthyness at all.
The team is based in my area and I would have important things done by a LBS who used to be owned by the team’s manager.

I’ll speak to him in an hour to see if he could make sure it’s a raceday bike and not a training horse.

well, in that case, seems like a new brainer to me :slight_smile:

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Get the Tarmac as long as it’s an SL6, avoid the SL5 disc, it’s a turd.

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It’s the most recent version, ridden from June 2019 - June 2020. (I’d be getting the bike in June)


Aren’t R5s from that era slightly shorter in reach and taller than typical race bikes? (hence Cav rode a 48 / 50 frame to get the front end down)

Just checked and geo charts suggest:
~10mm more stack and ~6mm less reach in a 54
~15mm more stack and ~8mm less reach in a 56

That’s of course base frame without spacers, considering stem length or angle. Even if the R5 is cut right down it is likely still to have a top cap of sorts (adding to frame stack and reducing reach), so it is worth considering the variance versus the Tarmac.

Great points!

You’re right, the Tarmac seems to be a little lower and longer than my R5.
The R5 is indeed cut all the way down, the fork doesn’t even reach the upper end of my stem - do alleviate this, I turned the stem around.

I won’t know how the fork of the Tarmac is until I receive the bike - might be that it belonged to a rider who slammed it all the way, or someone else who didn’t ride suuuuuper low.

I am looking at it like this (and tell me your thoughts about this!):
Worst case, the Tarmac has the same sporty geometry as my R5, but is more comfortable and has disc breaks - if the reach is two long I can just get a shorter stem.
Better case, the fork isn’t cut all the way and I’ll have the handlebar a little higher.

I won’t find out whether it’s a training or sprare race bike until I get it - the team mechanics do the allocation according to my measurements and what’s available.

So it might be an amazing bike for the price, but used and MIGHT not fit me 100% - in which case I’ll have to work around that.
So - this bike for 5k or something like an Ultimate CF SL 8.0 for 4k…or something else entirely for something in between?

I’m enjoying this discussion :slight_smile:

If you can see the bike before hand, know that steerer tube hasn’t been super shaved down then go with the Tarmac. Its been my favorite bike I’ve ridden!

Also see if they’ll take less! Since its a team selling it, sounds like a good place to negotiate.

I just got a canyon aeroad cf SL 8 disc with di2 and it is an awesome bike, weighed in at 7.7kg. I wouldn’t hesitate buying a canyon and any decent LBS wouldn’t have an issue working on it. It you prefer the tarmac over the aeroad it seems like a good deal but I wouldn’t hesitate buying a canyon. You would have a warranty and a crash replacement program if needed.

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Unfortunately not - the price is fixed at €5k.
I also can’t see the bike beforehand since it’s god knows where and the mechanics to the allocation of the bikes to the people who’ve ordered them.

An unseen bike that might not fit you? That has potentially to have a bad outcome.


Yeah I’d say site unseen bike you’re not sure how it would fit…I change my mind. That’s not a good move. Potential for massive disappointment.

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Even though the differences to my R5 are so small?

I’ll sell it to any of you guys if it doesn’t fit :stuck_out_tongue:

You suggest the R5 isn’t comfy as the steerer has been cut down yet are suggesting a bike with a lower and longer frame that may or may not have the steerer cut down to replace it. A few mm when on or beyond the limit can feel huge.

It sounds like you want convincing to buy it rather than not to buy it.

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I agree with @boombang. If sale on the Tarmac is final and the bike just plain doesn’t fit then you will be stuck with it. However, even though it is also buying without seeing, Canyon does have a return policy so you can at least get a feel for it before really committing.
Also, your concern about bringing a bike that you bought online into your LBS for service makes no sense since you will be doing that either way. They’ll see no profit from either purchase whether they sell that brand or not. Buying used probably ‘hurts’ bike shops in just the same way that buying a direct to consumer brand does.

There is a difference - the LBS used to be owned by the team’s manager so they’ll be very cool with me bringing a bike from the team in for work.

But yea I guess you’re right - I was looking for everyone to tell me “just get it, it’s a damn good deal”.

I’m still tending towards getting it since the reach issue can be mitigated with a shorter stem and I don’t think the bike is too low for me.

Oh it does seem like a screaming deal! But only if it turns out that the bike fits okay. I guess it really comes down to your confidence that it will fit vs how much you can sell it for.
Though honestly, if its MSRP is 11k like you said and depending on the condition/wear of the bike you may be able to sell it for a profit if you can’t adapt your fit to it.