Specialized launched the S-Works Venge ahead of the 2018 Tour de France and Peter Sagan and Fernando Gaviria duly racked up five stage wins (and in Sagan's case, the green jersey) between them on the American firm’s flagship aero machine. Now Specialized has announced a more affordable version of the Venge, launching the second-tier Venge Pro.
Affordability is relative, not least when we’re talking about the model year 2019 Venge, and this is undoubtedly a top-end machine, with the Shimano Ultegra Di2 build coming in at £6,250. Still, that’s a £3,250 saving over the range-topping S-Works Venge, so we’re not talking small change - and you get exactly the same frameset.
"Affordability is relative, with the Shimano Ultegra Di2 build coming in at £6,250. Still, that’s a £3,250 saving over the range-topping S-Works Venge, so we’re not talking small change"
Like the S-Works Venge, the Venge Pro frameset is made from Specialized’s lightest, stiffest 11r carbon fibre, with a claimed weight of 960g for a 56cm frame - that’s a 240g saving over the outgoing Venge ViAS - and 385g for the fork. All told, the new Venge is 460g lighter than the Venge ViAS for the module (frame, fork, handlebar, stem, seatpost and small parts).
That diet has helped bring the complete bike weight down to 7.45kg for the Venge Pro, while the S-Works Venge we rode back in July comes in at 7.1kg. Either way, Specialized has significantly closed the gap between the Venge and the Tarmac, historically the company’s lightweight machine.
While weight reduction was one of Specialized’s key objectives when designing the new Venge, it’s also said to be faster than the Venge ViAS - eight seconds over 40km at zero degrees yaw, as measured in Specialized’s in-house wind tunnel. Those gains come as a result of the boxier, truncated tube profiles, which according to Specialized offer the fastest possible aerodynamics for the lowest possible weight.
Let’s take a closer look at the Venge Pro’s build then. In order to chop more than £3,000 off the S-Works Venge price tag, Specialized has started by doing away with the flagship bike’s CeramicSpeed bearings - the Venge Pro runs on regular bearings. Otherwise, you get a Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset (52-36t chainset with an 11-30t cassette), not Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, and Roval CL50 Disc wheels - these share the same 50mm deep, 20.7mm wide (internal) profile as the superb CLX50 wheels, but once again minus the ceramic bearings.
You also get Specialized’s new Aerofly II cockpit - one of the key updates to the new Venge, hiding all cables and hoses from the wind, while improving accessibility for home mechanics - along with S-Works Turbo 26mm tyres and a Specialized Power Expert saddle.
That's the spec sheet dealt with - the final thing to mention is the Venge Pro’s iridescent decals. Very smart.