HOW IS THE VENGE DIFFERENT THAN A TARMAC OR A ROUBAIX?
The Tarmac is designed to be the stiffness to weight leader to deliver advantages climbing, cornering and accelerating during all out sprints. The tube profiles and lay-up are optimized to maximize torsional stiffness to resist the twisting forces experienced by the bike during hard cornering and out of the saddle efforts, allowing riders to take the tightest lines while descending and get the jump on the competition during sprints. In competitive situations, the rougher the road the faster the Roubaix gets, thanks to its longer wheelbase and industry leading vertical compliance. It is designed for stable handling over any road surface and to provide some isolation for the rider from fatigue inducing vibration.
The Venge is designed to offer complete performance, which requires a careful balance of low weight, high torsional stiffness and aerodynamic advantage. Adding aerodynamic features, such as an aero downtube, typically results in a noticeable decrease in stiffness and an increase in weight. Using clever tube shaping and an incredibly precise lay-up schedule our engineers were able to combine the handling characteristics you expect from a Specialized in a 2179 gram frame module, with an aerodynamic design. The result is an entirely new category for riders looking for advantages in every situation.
HOW DO YOU ADD STIFFNESS TO AN AERO DESIGN? The Venge features our most advanced frame construction method: FACT IS 11R. This design combines the chainstays and bottom bracket together in one large monocoque section for direct power transfer from the pedals to the rear wheel. The front end combines the top tube, head tube and down tube together as one piece to resist twisting forces for sharp handling at high speed.
The seat stays use the triangulated design first developed while working with Tom Boonen on the Tarmac SL2 to maximize rear triangle stiffness. You can see stiffness charts comparing the Venge to the competition under the photos tab above.
Finally, an integrated front end with a tapered 1 1/8" to 1 3/8" head tube builds stiffness into the fork and tube junctions for nimble handling.
WHAT MAKES IT AERODYNAMIC? Like the Shiv, the Venge is designed to perform best in crosswind situations; specifically at yaw angles of around 15 degrees, since it is much more common to encounter these conditions than a straight on headwind. With a bike designed for road racing it's also important to consider that most riders will be mounting two water bottles in the front triangle. The down tube profile is widest near the center of the tube, instead of a traditional tear drop shape, because it actually minimizes the low pressure wake behind the tube better in crosswinds.
During multiple trips to the windtunnel our engineers realized that the seatstays represent a significant amount of drag when presented with wind from the side, so the Venge features Cambered Airfoil X-Section seatstays that camber the leading edge of the seatstays out to present the smallest profile to the wind, minimizing turbulance. The cross section resembles an airplane wing, with one side flat and the other curved, to smooth airflow around the spinning rear wheel.
Finally, the front profile has been minimized with the tapered headtube and a special FACT Carbon 3:1 Airfoil fork with noticeably narrow stance fork blades. An integrated aero spacer optimizes airflow from the steerer to the top tube while maintaining great strength and stiffness for great steering. The Venge also features internal cable routing.
HOW MUCH FASTER WILL IT MAKE ME? During tests performed by Specialized's Director of Advanced R&D, Chris D'Alusio, we found that the Venge saved 20 watts at 40kph during indoor velodrome testing when compared to the Tarmac SL3. This means that the rider can either use less energy or go 1kph faster with the same effort. In a full sprint situation, the aero savings of the Venge can result in more than a bike length over 200 meters. Because the design is optimized for crosswinds, actual performance on the road can be even more significant.
Of course, most of the time riders benefit from drafting during road races, so the Venge was actually tested in drafting situations staged in the windtunnel to see if the benefits were significant. Our results show that though the total drag while in the draft is considerably less, the percentage of power saved on a Venge is the same as when the bike is measured alone. That means that even sprinters hiding in the draft are saving valuable energy. See charts comparing the Venge to it's competition under the photos tab above.
WHAT ABOUT THAT AERO SEATPOST? The Reversible/Adjustable Carbon Seatpost has 10mm of setback built in that when combined with 10mm of offset provided by the frame can create either 20mm or 0mm of setback. This provides a great aerodynamic shape plus a wide range of adjustability - without the need for cutting the seatpost or dealing with a seatmast during travel.
WHAT MODELS ARE AVAILABLE? The Venge is only available at the S-Works level. You can get it in either SRAM or Shimano trim, or build up a frameset with parts of your choice.
WHAT DOES THE VENGE HAVE TO DO WITH FORMULA ONE? After the S-Works Venge design was in the final stages of development, McLaren Racing approached Specialized about the possibility of collaborating on a bike project. Our engineers decided to challenge them with further optimizing the Venge to try to hit weight targets on par with typical competitive road platforms. Through this project (which is still ongoing) our engineers have benefited from McLaren's incredible processes and attention to detail during lay-up that is required when building cars that pull 5G's in a corner.
McLaren's input has resulted in a unique lay-up that uses more pieces of smaller, specific carbon plys, placed in an ultra precise manner. It takes 22 hours of hand labor to lay-up the latest prototype version. A super limited number of McLaren special edition bikes will be available later in the year. Expect them to cost about twice as much as the current S-Works version.