Trying to figure out what the original brand of frame this is. The original owner said it was repainted and it doesnt seem to be an s-works frame enter image description here

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    Is this really an s-works frame? May 10, 2021 at 8:40
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    Ask yourself: "who would repaint a frame as a Specialized S-works frame?" and you will understand that it does not matter, because it may be one of the following: (1) the bike has an illicit origin --> morally integrity compromised; (2) the repainter pretended to be rich owning a S-works --> intellectual integrity compromised, structural integrity of the frame unknown; (3) the repainter wanted to blend in with some peers having branded bicycles ---> financial integrity compromised (parts likely to be sub-par, to make up for proper paint job costs).
    – EarlGrey
    May 10, 2021 at 8:50
  • While entering the frame number at the factory site may come up with a frame that was registered by its owner and signalled as stolen.
    – Carel
    May 10, 2021 at 11:33
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    @EarlGrey I wouldn't assume all that. The pedals are flats, but appear to be decent flats. 105 groupset isn't very expensive, but is also very functional. The paint job looks great. Someone could have built this as a nice but inexpensive commuter.
    – Phil Frost
    May 10, 2021 at 17:07
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    @EarlGrey doesn't have to be dishonest, just for fun :)
    – cat
    May 10, 2021 at 17:53

2 Answers 2


With a lot of patience (i.e., if your time has no value to you) you can try to match partial parts of the serial code (you probably find it under the bottom bracket) with serial codes on the site bike-index.org. This way you may (I stress, you may) have a clue about the original manufacture/assembler of the bicycle you are interested in.

My suggestion is to let it go, it may look like a S-Works, it may have parts that looks like a S-Works, but there is no guarantee that it is even properly assembled. In my opinion, it is likely to be a zombie-bicycle that will let you stranded in the middle of an intersection and consequently being maimed by a truck.

Good luck!


I'd bet that this is not an s-works frame.

  1. Seat stays terminate at the top tube. Most of the s-works bikes have dropped seat stays, so they meet the seat tube well-below the point where the top tube and seat tube intersect.
  2. The welds are visible. On a bike that sells for 5-digit price tags, the welds are blended and invisible
  3. The welds are there. Any recent expensive road bike will be carbon fibre, which does not take to being welded. So this frame is probably aluminium. I am discounting steel because the downtube and top tube have gentle curves which looks like hydroformed aluminium.
  4. Groupset is 105. A top-flight bike would have had Dura Ace in the day.
  5. Pedals - they're flats. I cannot imagine anyone riding a $10k bike with flat pedals.

Certainly some of these differences can be explained away, but not all of them.

Photos to show the differences:

2016 s-works tarmac
https://www.bikeradar.com/reviews/bikes/road-bikes/specialized-s-works-tarmac-dura-ace-review/ source Clearly has seat stays meeting top tube, but the frame is clearly carbon fibre and has no welds and dura ace groupset.

2008 sworks tarmac SL2 BB
https://www.bikeradar.com/features/pro-bike-bettinis-specialized-tarmac-sl2/ Even 13 years ago the bottom bracket was smooth and flowing, and the frame was made from carbon fibre.

2003 First Tarmac
https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/1995302/ Back in 2003 the tarmac E5 had a combination aluminium backbone and carbon fibre frame. It was clearly not your bike.

On the positive side

What you do have is a nice-enough aluminium road bike frame, with some kind of tapered head tube. The fork may be carbon fibre, or it might be aluminium too.

It has mounts on the fork for a front fender/mudguard, which is nice. The rear dropouts don't have any eyelets visible.

Shimano 105 is a great workman groupset, and is fully functional. Due to trickle-down, your 105 gear is probably equal or better to dura ace of last decade.

The frame's paint looks excellent - a nice depth of colour that really has dimensionality to it. Decent-looking Mavic branded wheels too and a fisik saddle are all well-known brands.

I suspect someone has purchased decals or water transfers from an online seller, like https://www.etsy.com/nz/listing/464033041/specialized-s-works-frame-decals-x-12 or any number of ebay listings. These cost under $20 and will let anyone label a bike as something it is not to claim it is fancy.

I really-really-doubt that this is a legitimate S-Works electric fatbike with branded mag wheels and a kickstand.
enter image description here

  • 1
    It's worth pointing out that aluminum S-Works frames did exist, and this wasn't even that long ago. The page doesn't give a date, but given that it is Dura Ace 9000, it could be around 2013. Although you are right about the fact that it is odd to see 105 on an S-Works. Although those parts might have been replaced with a cheaper groupset when the original components got worn out.
    – Kibbee
    May 10, 2021 at 12:42
  • @Kibbee interesting - the e5 pictures I found were as pictured above, with clearly two different materials in the frame, a top tube-seat stay bow made of CF and everything lower made of aluminium. Good find. But OP's bike is not a s works frame, it just doesn't match the look.
    – Criggie
    May 10, 2021 at 13:31
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    I agree that it's not S-Works. but just thought I would bring up that there were aluminum s-works bikes. To me the biggest give-away is probably the rear drop outs which seem to be rather generic and low end compared to what one would expect to find on such a high end bike.
    – Kibbee
    May 10, 2021 at 13:37
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    The seatpost clamp looks quite a bit odd. Kind of not belonging to this kind of bike.
    – Carel
    May 11, 2021 at 8:00
  • @Carel Excellent spotting - it almost looks like it is around the seatpost and above the frame.
    – Criggie
    May 11, 2021 at 10:16

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