Spotted: 2016 Specialized Venge

Cycling: 79th Tour of Swiss 2015 / Stage 5 
Specialized Venge Bike Velo Fiets / CAVENDISH Mark (GBR)/ 
Unterterzen - Solden 2669m (237,3km)/ 
Tour de Suisse Ronde van Zwitserland TDS / Rit Etape / © Tim De Waele

Specialized’s Race Winning Aero Platform Gets a Makeover

Specialized has become the third company in recent weeks to show off a new aero bike in the run up to the Tour de France.  Trek Factory Team riders were spotted on a new Trek Madone at the Criterium de Dauphine while a new Scott Foil was spotted in the Orica-GreenEdge pits at the Tour de Suisse.  And now a new Specialized aero road bike has been spotted under Mark Cavendish and Peter Sagan, with the latter already capturing the new bike’s first win.

The 2016 Specialized Venge shares the same goal of its predecessor, to be the fastest bike possible, while following many of the trends present in the new crop of aero frames.  The most striking features of the 2016 Specialized Venge are the integrated brakes and the newly redesigned headset/stem/bar combo.

Like the new Foil, Specialized has moved the seat stay junction down the seat tube with it no longer connecting at the same location as the top tube.  But unlike the new Foil, the 2016 Specialized Venge has its rear brake mounted to the seat tube just below the seat stays rather than on the chain stays.  In an attempt to maximize efficiency, Specialized has used a propitiatory brake which has been sculpted to reduce drag.  A similar brake is used at the front which is positioned on the back side of the fork.

The front of the 2016 Specialized Venge is all about integration.  The stem and headtube seem to flow together seamlessly, likely in an attempt to further reduce drag.  Bike engineers have been going to new lengths with this new batch of aero bikes in pursuit of those marginal gains.

The most striking piece of integration is the complete lack of visible cables.  Like the Madone, the cables for the 2016 Specialized Venge are routed straight into the inhouse fabricated handle bars, through the stem and into the frame through the headtube.  The cables only become visible when they finally reach the propitiatory brakes, which, as a mechanic, look like a nightmare to work on.

The 2016 Specialized Venge definitely has some striking looks that may not be for everyone, especially Cav’s riser drop bars.  But it wasn’t a bike designed to win fashion shows, it was a bike designed to win races which it is already doing.  Expect to see a lot more of the 2016 Specialized Venge with the Tour just weeks away.

More new bikes: 2016 Scott Foil, 2016 Trek Madone

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