A series of photos quietly shared by Daniel Oss and Peter Sagan have fired up the new bike rumour mill big time, showing off a skinny Specialized model that is yet to be released.
The launch of the Tarmac SL7 has seen Specialized discontinue their Venge aero road model, as it turns out you can have both fast and light... well, as light as the UCI's 6.8kg limit will allow anyway.
Posing with his mysterious new bike, Daniel Oss of Bora-Hansgrohe says: "Man, the TDF is good, but, I can’t wait to break the rules a bit and #JustRide on my new machine after all the racing is done"... words that don't appear in any way contrived or sent to him for copying and pasting by a marketing department.
Man, the TDF is good, but, I can’t wait to break the rules a bit and #JustRide on my new machine after all the racing is done. I love that Specialized is all about the ride! (Also, Peter, please don’t touch!) Always more to come. Photos by @cyclingimages pic.twitter.com/5kvQ7Zb3Kg
— Daniel Oss (@Daniel87Oss) September 17, 2020
Judging by the language used, the #breaktherules hashtag and the photo of Oss easily holding the bike above his head, we're betting on this bike being super light and not intended to be used in competitions under UCI rules. The frameset is more traditional-looking with skinny tubes and less integration than the completely cable-tidy pro bikes we're used to seeing now, but hydraulic Shimano Dura-Ace disc brakes are still chosen ahead of rim brakes.
There also doesn't appear to be any branding other than a big gold 'S' on the head tube, with the lack of paint also suggesting Specialized have endeavoured to save every gram possible.
If this is indeed a tactical 'leak' of a new model then Specialized have been here before with the Tarmac SL7, dropping a mystery preview on their Ride App before the bike's official launch in July.
What do you reckon? Does it look any good, or is this all just a big old misunderstanding? Let us know in the comments as always...
Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.