Ken bought himself a new rig, and a road rig at that. I have to say, I’m pretty stoked for him. He was the first to move to full-suspension, and then the first to move to cyclo-cross and now, although I already have a road bike (it’s more just a training tool)  he’s the first to jump headlong into the roadie world. As you can see, it’s expensive keeping up with Ken. Everytime you turn around, it seems he’s adding to his quiver. It might be categorized as an addiction, but I’d have to call it a healthy one.

So in the last bikeridr post, Ken challenged me to see if I could guess what he bought, based on the few closely-cropped photos he provided. I accepted the challenge and now beers at the Prairie Rubaix are on the line. (Insert pressure here) The photos didn’t really gave away too much, other than the bike is really, really red, and kitted out with Ultegra, and a Mavic Ksyrium wheel set. So, what did he buy? What’s my final answer?

Knowing Ken, I know he has a soft spot in his heart for Specialized, so I immediately needed to start there. I know too, that Bow Cycle in Calgary caries Specialized and that’s Ken’s home shop. The Specialized Tarmac Expert on the Bow Cycle website sure does appear to fit the bill in a lot of ways. It has the Shimano Ultegra kit, the Mavic wheel set, and from what I can sort of tell from one of the photos, it also has the same stem. Though, based on the photo Ken provided, that’s a tough one.

There are some things that don’t match up though and that’s, well, irksome. The headset is wrong, for one. Stock, according to the Specialized site, the Tarmac Expert comes with Aheadset, and not a Cane Creek. There is also the glaring problem of the paint job. Nowhere could I find a bike, under any brand, that matched that paint job, including of course Specialized…

I made a quick trip to Revolution Cycle and checked out their Specialized stock, hoping in a small way to just walk in and see it on the rack. No dice though, and unfortunately I didn’t get a ton of help. So, I left empty handed. Not deterred though, I decided to call what I guessed to be the source – Bow Cycle. I talked to the sales department and asked a few careful questions. And, after a bit of banter back and forth with a helpful fellow there, I felt I had my answer.

So, wrong headset, and paint, was that enough to make me think it’s anything except a Specialized Tarmac? Nah… If it is, then I can’t wait to find out what it is, but based on everything else, the headset is something anomalous as bike companies will sometimes need to swap out a component or two based on availability or whatever. And, as for the swanky red paint job with the slick white striping, that’s going to be a demo model paint job put out by Specialized making Ken’s new rig very cool, and unique indeed. Can’t wait to see it, and take it for a spin.

Final Answer: Specialized Carbon Tarmac Expert.