Ahead of the 2018 Tour de France, Specialized has pulled the covers off its latest wind-cheating aero bike to wear the Venge moniker. Now in its third generation, the Venge was first released as an aerodynamic superbike back in 2011 and was then revamped as the Venge ViAS in 2015.
With an all-new frame design that’s said to be lighter, more aero and faster than ever, we dive into ten things to know about the all-new Specialized Venge aero road bike.
1. The History of Winning Continues
With a history of winning bike races, it’s no surprises that the latest incarnation of the Venge looks set to continue the trend. After all, the Venge family are the most-winning aero bikes in WorldTour history with its predecessor racking up over 20 victories to its name in the 2018 season alone.
Designed to be ridden by some the world’s fastest riders, the new Venge has been spotted being ridden by Specialized trade teams, Bora-Hansgrohe and Quickstep Floors in both the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Tour de Suisse.
2. Lighter Than Ever
Specialized say that one of the key considerations when updating the Venge was to make it lighter than its predecessor. With a claimed weight saving of 460g for a complete Venge module, it’s safe to say this has been achieved.
Wondering what this translates to as a complete build? A complete S-Works Venge Disc with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 is claimed to weigh a traditional road bike rivalling 7.1kg (Size 56).
3. ...And More Aero Too
Specialized claim to have set themselves the lofty target of making the new Venge as aerodynamically efficient as the S-Works Shiv TT bike. As a result, the new model sees a claimed eight-second improvement over 40km compared to the outgoing Venge ViAS.
The all-new Venge is said to achieve this thanks to its newly optimised tube shapes, helping it excel in crosswinds, as well as a refined cable-free design (more on that below).
4. ...Thanks to a Refined Frame Design
The new Venge is said to of been designed with the aid of optimisation software that generated millions of tube shapes and analysed them based on aerodynamics, surface area and stiffness. From here, the building blocks of the 2019 Venge were established, with the swooping frame lines of old making way for more a more traditional looking frame profile, albeit aerodynamically optimised in every conceivable way.
5. Electronic Groupset Only
In order to achieve such efficiency in the wind, Specialized have opted to make the Venge compatible with electronic groupsets only. As for braking compatibility, there’s no official word on whether a rim-brake option will be offered either, with only disc brake equipped models touted at the release.
For Shimano equipped builds, Specialized have teamed up with the industry giant to develop a Di2 junction box that sits in the seatpost itself. This makes for a super-clean cockpit profile that is said to provide easier adjustability of components such as the headset, stem and handlebars.
6. Updated Aerofly Cockpit
In conjunction with the frame improvements, Specialized also updated its Aerofly handlebars. The Aerofly II handlebars are said to be more aerodynamic, lighter and stiffer than the previous iteration. The new bars also feature a textured pattern atop the bars themselves for increased grip and control.
With a 31.8mm clamp diameter, the Aerofly II bars are compatible with most aftermarket stems, and come in four widths: 380mm, 400mm, 420mm, and 440mm.
7. Refined Geometry and Fit
An updated geometry and fit comes with the all-new frame design. Whilst the stack and reach numbers are different, Specialized say the fit of the Venge is now identical to the Tarmac SL6. This is achievable thanks to removable headset spacers and a choice of two seatpost offsets (0mm and 20mm). No doubt, such a change will be a blessing for the pro riders who regularly switch between the two bikes.
Chainstay length is 410mm across the board for snappy acceleration whilst an overall wheelbase ranging from 972mm (Size 49) through to 1012mm (Size 61) looks to straddle the line between quick handling and stability at speed.
8. Boosted Tyre Clearance
In line with modern trends, Specialized say the new Venge has no problem swallowing 32mm wide rubber, claiming there’s theoretically space for tyres up to 34mm wide. This increased width should allow problem-free use with the widest of aerodynamic wheels, along with aiding in rolling-resistance on changeable surfaces and making for a more compliant (comfortable) ride.
9. Rider First Engineering Remains
Sticking true to its goal of building bikes for riders, by riders, Specialized continues with its Rider First Engineering philosophy. Specialized say that Rider First Engineering aims to ensure that every Venge is designed to handle and perform in the exact same way regardless of frame size thanks to size-specific carbon layups and geometry tweaks.
10. Pricing and Availability
The all-new Specialized Venge is available right now as two complete S-Works builds, as well as a bare frameset module. We also expect a non-S-Works Venge to become available in August 2018. Check out the bikes on offer over at Specialized.com, or contact your bike store for local availability.
S-Works Venge: $15,369
S-Works Venge ViAS Disc Di2: $14,349
S-Works Venge Pro Disc: $9,219
S-Works Venge Expert Disc: $5,639