La Velocita joined the guys from Specialized Australia at their 'Test the Best' day near Kinglake, north of Melbourne to ride some of their top bikes. Today we are riding the aero offering from Specialized, the Venge.
This bike is all about going fast. Aero frame, deep dish wheels, light weight, stiff, this bike even looks fast.
We are riding a 2014 Venge Pro Race Force. The frame is one step down from the S-Works model and is equipped with SRAM Force components. Specialized explain that the Venge is all about going fast. It has been designed applying science, testing and aerodynamic improvement. It's designed to be fast for sprinters and over flat stages. There is various data around that shows the benefits of riding an aero bike. Over approximately 40km the rider will save somewhere between 30 and 60 seconds for the same energy output.
The Specialized Venge is well finished and looks good up close. We found the SRAM Force performed well. It has a light group set that gets the job done. People seem to love or hate SRAM so we'll leave you to make judgment on Force. There are a few Venge's in our local La Velocita ride and the guys on them have had no issues.
The Venge 2014 is built up with SRAM Force, Roval Rapide CL 60 wheels and finished with Specilaized in-house stem, seat post, bars and a Body Geometry saddle. It's worth noting that there has been an update for 2015 with Shimano drive chains. If you are looking for a deal on the 2014 bike you'll need to talk with your Specialized dealer.
The loop Spezialized set out at Kinglake gave us a great opportunity to test the bike on a variety of surfaces, climbs and descents, and in changable wind conditions.
The Venge feels stiff. It's stiffer than the Tarmac and we found on lower quality roads, vibration was transferred through the bike, but not to the point where the bike was unpleasant to ride. Infact the opposite was true; on the flat the bike just flew. We found it to be planted and stable and were pushing a few extra kilometres per hour than usual with a big smile on our face.
Bring in cross winds and the aero effect drops off. Smaller, ligher riders will need to be on the alert for wind gusts, but any larger riders should not have much trouble. The Roval Rapide CL 60 wheels do a good job and add to the aero profile of the bike. We made a couple of fast descents on the King Lake main road in variable cross winds and while having to make adjustments to keep on our lines, this would have been the case on most bikes.
When we hit the hills the Venge performed really well. It's an aero bike that is quite capable of climbing. The stiff frame gave good power transfer and our times were close to other bikes we have ridden on the same test loop. Although pure climbers will get more out of the Tarmac or something similar.
Available in 6 stock sizes including 49, 52, 54, 56, 58 and 61.
- The 2014 Venge Pro Race Force is available for around $6,000
The Venge is a great bike, it looks good, is fast, climbs, descends, is fast on the flat and is produced by one of the biggest names in cycling. The big question for you will be around what sort of riding you do. The Venge is ideal for a flat land ride, someone that rides the criterion circuit, or someone likes to sprint and get out front in fast races. If you ride in the hills a lot, love climbing and all day epic rides, you may ultimately find the Venge is not the bike for you due to its geometry and comfort.