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by Wade Wallace
June 23, 2015
Photography by Wade Wallace
By now many of you will have already seen Mark Cavendish and Peter Sagan riding Specialized’s new Venge ViAS at the Tour de Suisse. It’s perhaps the most radical departure from conventional bike design that we’ve seen in years and it’s sure to be polarising.
After a claimed 1000 hours of testing, prototyping and refining the design in Specialized’s own wind tunnel in Morgan Hill, CA, the new Venge has been shaped with the goal of being “the fastest bike in the world.” It’s said that this bike was the impetus behind Specialized creating their own “Win Tunnel”. With no expense spared, it boasts a completely redesigned Venge frameset (and integrated bar/stem), Roval CLX 64 wheelset, Quarq powermeter and Di2.
The claim is bold: “5 minutes”. This is what Specialized says you’ll save over 40 kilometres with the Venge ViAS package, no matter what type of rider you are.
It’s misleading to state that the bike alone will save you five minutes. The five minute message is a way of showcasing Specialized’s “aero is everything” obsession and the product ecosystem they offer that contributes to this tremendous time saving.
We delve further into these claims with wind tunnel baselining, real world testing, and McLaren’s F1 simulators. You can read our verification of their 5 minute claim here, but in the interest of keeping this succinct, I can say right now that it’s true.
Here’s a breakdown of what Specialized says each component of this offering will save you over 40 kilometres:
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 tyres: 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 knicks)
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 dependant on the rider
Total: 5:32 over 40 kilometers
As you can see, the 5 minute claim comes from an already high standard of equipment as a baseline.
Again, we verified these claims here and assessed the ride qualities of the new Venge ViAS, but for now we’ll concentrate on the features of their radically new design:
– SW Venge ViAS and Pro Venge ViAS will have very limited availability starting in late August
– SW Venge ViAS Modules will arrive in October
– CLX64 Wheel System will be very limited availability July
– SW Evade Skin Suit will have very limited availability starting in February (2016)
– SW6/Sub6 Shoes will have availability starting in August
– SW Evade Helmet in stock now
Head over to this post for our verification of the “5 minute” claim and for our first impressions on how the bike rode.
Full Disclosure: We would like to thank Specialized for hosting our visit to Morgan Hill, CA and providing us with this experience. Specialized has been a long time advertiser with CyclingTips.