When we first shared the Venge ViAS two weeks ago we knew that Specialized had something truly special on their hands. Specialized claimed that when compared to a Tarmac SL4, the new Venge ViAS with the included Roval CLX 64 wheels would save you 120 seconds over 40km.
But while data charts are nice, results are all that really matters. And for Specialized, Mark Cavendish showed us exactly what it could do when he won Stage 7 aboard his new ViAS.
The S-Works Venge ViAS
Simply put, the new Venge ViAS (Venge Integrated Aero Solution) is just plain fast. In fact, Specialized tells us that the new ViAS will beat the legendary Shiv TT (on which Tony Martin and others have won numerous TT races).
The first thing you notice when looking at the new Venge are the brakes. The front brake is located behind the fork and creates a single air foil shape all the way back to the down tube.
At the rear, the brake is not located on the seat stays or below the bottom bracket, as we have become accustomed to with aero bikes. Instead, it’s located on the seat tube itself where it can be shielded from the wind by water bottles.
Next up is the integrated stem and aero cockpit. The cockpit of the Aerofly ViAS is incredibly clean with all the cabling being routed internally. The ViAS features a truncated head tube with an integrated negative 17-degree stem. To compensate, the handlebars actually feature a 25mm rise to come up and meet your hand instead of being level.
This does make sizing the Venge ViAS a touch more complicated. To handle that, Specialized has created a customized website where you can input your current bike’s measurement and find the perfect ViAS for you (similar to what Zipp did with their Vuka Fit system).
The cockpit also includes an integrated computer mount. Below the cockpit, the forks lateral rigidity on the ViAS has been increased by 30% as compared to the previous generation Venge. And underneath the bottom bracket is the Di2 junction box.
Currently the Venge ViAS is only available in one build and comes fully loaded. For $12,500 (and yes, we know that’s not chump change) the ViAS includes the new Roval CLX 64 wheels, Dura Ace Di2, and an S-Works carbon crank with included Quarq power meter.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way – we cannot wait to get some seat time aboard this rocket ship. A road bike with the speed of a World Championship winning TT bike? Sign us up! For now, our only two concerns are the current price of entry and the maintenance challenges this bike presents. From a cost perspective, yes, this bike is expensive. Although we know that price will come down as Specialized starts building more of the ViAS frames and starts introducing more affordable group sets. Maintenance is the larger concern as both the front and rear brakes look like a handful to adjust, and lets just say that the super aero cockpit doesn’t look much better. But of course maintenance headaches are sometimes the price you pay when it comes to having the fastest bike on the road. And all things being considered, if it can get Cavendish across the line first, we would have no issue waking up every morning and finding it in our garage.