Trek Emonda vs Specialized Tarmac – Which one has the best Aerodynamics?

Aerodynamics is the best thing that has ever been incorporated in bikes. So, which between the Trek Emonda and Specialized Tarmac brands offers the best bikes in this regard?

For the serious cyclist, it does not matter to them if they are going out for a race to the park or competing in a city race. What is of importance to this group is an exceptionally good bike that makes them stand out from the rest.

This is descriptive of my friend, Pam, and I because it’s now been 15 years since we started attending the Tour de France races. In keeping true to our competitive nature, we get into it, not for the grand prize but as a chance for us to vacation together and compete against each other every year.

She’s a Specialized die-hard and I’m Trek’s number one fan! So, last year, we took to France on our favorite brand’s latest bike and created a review to help guide you along.

What is the difference between Trek Emonda vs Specialized Tarmac?

Trek Emonda
Specialized Tarmac
OCLV 500 Carbon
S-Works Tarmac FACT 12 Carbon
Bontrager Aeolus Elite
RovalRapide CLX
Shimano Ultegra R8020
Bontrager R2 Hard-Case Lite
Specialized Turbo Cotton
Bontrager Aeolus Comp
Body Geometry S-Works Power
Bottom Bracket
Praxis, threaded
Shimano Ultegra R8000 52/36
SRAM Red AXS Power 48/35
Bontrager Pro, Blendr compatible
Tarmac Integrated Stem
Shimano Ultegra hydraulic disc
SRAM Red hydraulic disc

Trek Emonda vs Specialized Tarmac – How they compare

Frame and Geometry

Trek Emonda is built with quality 700 Series OCLV carbon fiber while Specialized Tarmac is, in fact, 12R carbon that is just slightly lighter.

Emonda uses the H2 Trek Fit with advantages such as being gentle on your neck and back. All the while providing the most efficient riding performance.

Emonda SL5 has fitted with Shimano 105 chainset featuring 50/34 chainrings.When mounted onto an 11-28-11 speed cassette it gives you adequate powers to conquer steep terrain in considerable comfort.

For Specialized Tarmac, it also uses Shimano 105 groupset in 50/34 chainrings.However, the configuration is done with 11-30t cassettes which gives it an excellent setup.

As you can tell, there won’t be much significance in their ride difference. It is because both seem to use the same company for their drivetrains and setups that are almost similar.


There is a difference in their brake systems because while Emonda uses the Di2 mechanical rim type. Specialized has awesome, all-weather control of the hydraulic disc brakes. 

Comfort and adequate cushioning are guaranteed with Trek Emonda which rides on 25mm-wide tires, the seatmast allowance, and cap.

The saddle provided is steel-railed and offers a pressure-relief hole in its center.This gives a lot of flex to the shell and is designed to satisfy the seating needs of a wide variety of bike lovers.

The Specialized Tarmac rides on 26mm tires.It is fitted with a saddle that is compliant to the Toupe Sport Body Geometry which guarantees generous padding for supreme comfort.

There are varied designs across the series and your bike dealer should be able to help you pick out the right fit for you.

Ride experience 

Emonda provides a stable and reassuring ride downhill which is quite a welcome change from the S Tarmacs sharp and quick turns.

This ride experience is a surprise given its lightweight characteristic. Whether riding at high speeds or just cruising, the bike feels sturdy and calm.

The front end of the bike is effectively and responsively quick and accurate when maneuvering around sharp bends and when getting through twisty trails.

Specialized Tarmac feels very light and cuts through the air with its superb stiff frame, integrated aesthetics, and the cool set of aero wheels on it.

With the use of disc brakes, you remain in total control of the bike which adds to the feeling of efficiency and precision.

Trek Emonda vs Specialized Tarmac – A comparison Overview 

Trek Emonda Review

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Trek Emonda is a road bike created with racers and performance rides in mind who will appreciate how fast and nimble it is.

The bikes’ frame and fork is made of Trek’s 500 or 700 Series OCLV Carbon fiber which makes this road bikes the lightest in the market.

Chainsets are framed into Trek’s H2 fit that puts you in a relaxed riding position even in high-performance gears. Derailleurs, cassette, and shifters are also from the Shimano 105 groupset.

Comfort and adequate cushioning are guaranteed with Trek Emonda which rides on 25mm-wide tires, the seatmast allowance, and cap.

The saddle provided is steel-railed and offers a pressure-relief hole in its center giving a lot of flex in the shell and is designed to satisfy the seating needs of a wide variety of bike lovers.

A great quality for Trek Emonda is that it has a frame with replaceable parts for you to make upgrades as the bike ages. Different models are available for both men and women and they differ in size and structure.


  • Low frame weight
  • Internal cable routing
  • Chassis stiffness


  • No rim-brake option
  • Long-term headset hassles

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Specialized Tarmac Review 

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The frame of the SL7 bike is built to be lightweight using FACT 12R carbon giving the bike a total weight of 6.7kg.

Designed as a complete race bike, it features an aggressive riding position with on-the-fly controls, quick response, and enough cushioning to protect the rider from the effects of any rough terrain.

As Specialized Tarmac’s best model yet SL7 is aero enabled with an optimized cockpit, forks, seat post, and seatstays giving it rigidity in its rear.

For Trek, using the Roval Rapid CLX wheels and Aerofly II bars are great improvements made to this bike which make it 45 seconds faster than its predecessor the SL6.

There are two models- SL7 Pro and Expert, that have been designed using FACT 10R carbon and ride on the Di2 Ultegra set which makes the frame heavier by 0.6kg and 1.05kg respectively.

This series offers users up to 8 different models for both men and women but SL7 tops the charts by combining a lightweight, super-effective bike with aerodynamics.

To ensure that you get the perfect ride, Specialized Tarmac bikes have incorporated a Performance Road Geometry that seeks to provide quick response and optimal power.


  • Great riding experience
  • Sleek finish
  • Efficient frame


  • Wheels not tubeless-ready

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Verdict: So, which is better – Trek Emonda or Specialized Tarmac?

The best brand in aerodynamics has got to be the Trek Emonda bike range. This bike offers great speeds, control and maneuvers bend impressively. Did I mention how comfortable the saddle is?

The Specialized Tarmac does well too but not nearly as good as the Trek Emonda. I’d recommend the two bikes to lovers of a race but if you must win, go with the Trek Emonda.


What is the difference between Trek Emonda and Trek Domane?

While Emonda has a focus on lightweight, the Domane focuses on comfort and ride quality.

Is there any terrain I shouldn’t ride my Specialized Tarmac on?

Not at all. This bike is made for racing and competitions so regardless of the weather or terrain, you should be able to hop on it and show your mates how it’s done!