Specialized Tarmac SL S-Works Chain Rings (Shifting Problems)


New Member
Aug 23, 2006
I have a 2006 Specialized Tarmac SL S-Works and from day one I experienced problems shifting up to the biggest front chain ring. It would shift up sometime but often it would not get across far enough to get up. I also experienced a lot of rubbing on the front derailer in a variety of gearing configurations. Trimming did nothing to solve the problem. I took it back to my LBS for a lot of adjustments.

The problems were varied (most relating to the setup). The chain was too tight when crimped. It didn't flex properly. They did that again and that fixed that issue. The front derailer was apparently not in the correct position so that was moved (it was too low). They said it was fine but as soon as I was on the road, I'd have problems.

Last time I went the chain was getting ditched into the gap between the two chain rings. This was frustrating as well as dangerous. I went in and they started to blame the chain rings, saying the Specialized S-Works Chain Rings are not very well made and you just won't get a good shift. They recommended changing to Dura Ace. I did this (at my cost) and now have the Dura Ace chain rings on the bike. I'm not entirely satisfied with this approach for a couple of reasons. The spider doesn't fit the chain ring properly (cosmetically that is) and it doesn't look as nice as the bike did at the start. Changing the spider is not so easy as the SL has an oversized crank so I'm not sure what my options are at this point. Has anyone else changed their cranks on the SL, what did you go for and how was it?

I called Specialized and they admitted there had been some initial problems with the S-Works Chain rings in the past but everything should be okay now. Has anyone else had this issue?

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