2016 Specialized Venge ViAS

Aero Bike Launched With Bold Claims

Recently spotted at the Tour de Suisse under Mark Cavendish and Peter Sagan, the 2016 Specialized Venge ViAS has been officially launched along with some bold claims from its manufacturer.

Specialized claims that the 2016 Specialized Venge ViAS, along with a full ecosystem of Specialized components and clothing, will save you 5 minutes over 40 kilometers.  Yes, you read that right, 5 minutes.  That amount of time isn’t just talking about going from winning to missing the podium, that is a substantial improvement that is more like the difference between winning and finishing in the top 50.

As part of their “aero is everything” mantra, Specialized has developed a whole package to go along with the 2016 Specialized Venge ViAS that when used all together will save a rider 5 minutes.  The breakdown of components and promised savings is as follows:

Venge ViAS with CLX 64 wheels: 120 seconds (compared to Tarmac SL4 with lightweight alloy wheels) *Assumed low to moderate winds on flat course

S-Works Turbo tires: 35 seconds (compared to Continental GP4000SII 23mm)

Evade helmet: 46 seconds (compared to S-works Prevail or Giro Synthe)

S-Works Evade GC Skinsuit: 96 seconds (compared to an average short sleeve jersey and shorts)

S-Works 6 Shoes: up to 35 seconds (compared to current S-works shoes).*Due to rider foot sizes, differing pedalling motions, the airflow over shoes is highly dependent on the rider

Total: 5:32 over 40 kilometers

So is this just marketing mumbo-jumbo from the masters in order to increase sales (this package comes with quite the price tag)?  Or is their some truth to these claims?

According the a number of journalists that Specialized invited to their California “Win-tunnel,” these claims are backed up by some sound testing.  Unfortunately I wasn’t one of the journalists invited so you will have to read it from someone else, like Wade Wallace from CyclingTips.

I am often hesitant to believe the marketing surrounding new products, but in the case of the 2016 Specialized Venge ViAS I have to believe that there is some truth to the claim that this package can save you 5 minutes versus a traditional set up.

I previously wrote a series entitled “Aero on a Budget” (Part 1 and Part 2) in which I explored some ways to cheat the wind with out breaking the bank.  While researching this series, I realized that there were a lot of small changes that could make a significant change.  And even if a certain piece of kit only makes a small difference, but all the little savings eventually add up.

Its always good to be critical when it comes to marketing hype around cycling products and believe what you want when it comes to the 2016 Specialized Venge ViAS.  Personally, I believe that Specialized can deliver on their promise of 5 minutes over 40km, in fact, they are being on the conservative side.  Just remember, a couple seconds here and a couple seconds there will eventually add up significant savings.