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Making the BikeExchange 2016 Top Bike Shortlist - the Specialized Venge Vias.
Shop for the Specialized Venge Vias here.
The new Venge has had a huge makeover and is being called the 'fastest road bike ever made' by Specialized. Engineered in the 'WIN' tunnel, the new Venge claims to be as aero as the 'Shiv' and looking at it, who would argue?
Specialized have claimed that the new Venge Vias can save you five minutes over 40 kilometres when combined with their new S-Works range - Evade helmet, Evade speed suit and S-Works 6 shoes... 'the complete aerodynamic ecosystem'. This time comparison is made against the Tarmac, and although we'd love to see how it stacked up to the previous Venge, there is no doubt the saving is real and it's significant. Specialized even claim the new Venge is '50 seconds faster over 40km than our next closet competitor'.
The bike itself is responsible for 120 seconds of the savings, with the Roval CLX 64 wheel set and S-Works Turbo tyres accounting for another 35 seconds.
The brakes and the handlebar arrangement are by far the most notable difference the with new Vias. The brakes are marketed as 'zero drag' trailing on from the forks for the front brake, and seat tube and drink bottle for the rear. This new design creates exceptionally low drag and contributes heavily to that five minute saving.
The 'Vias' cockpit looks like something out of a science fiction movie, but it has all been created with aerodynamics front of mind. The stem is set at a negative 17 degree angle, optimising the aero profile, while the 'Aerofly' handlebars feature a positive 25mm rise to balance out the aggressive position.
The down-tube has a large cut out for the front brake, but from that point on, it is huge! Not only is the frame shape aero, it is extremely rigid and perfect for sprinting or jumping out of corners. In order to create an equal ride across the entire range of sizes, the Rider First Engineered concept is utilised so that a 49cm frame gives the same ride quality as a 61cm frame.
The Vias also comes with a built in power meter, which is a first for modern road bikes, but a trend that will no doubt become standard issue in no time at all. Mark Cavendish was suitably impressed when he first gazed upon the new design, which is a pretty fitting recommendation.
For breaking new ground and setting a very high bar, the Venge Vias makes our Top 5 bikes for 2016.