In its first race appearance, Matt Goss piloted his Specialized S-Works Venge to a narrow victory at the 2011 Milan-San Remo. He won by just a fraction of a second over race favorite, Fabian Cancellara. And that is what the Specialized Venge was designed to do. To shave away the small gaps between the top step on the podium and second place. Over the last seven years, the Venge and the second generation Venge ViAS have continued to demonstrate the effectiveness of a well-designed aero road bike—within select settings. But the ViAS has not been without a few faults and detractors. That opened the door for improvements, which is how they ended up with the all-new 2019 Specialized Venge.

Lighter, faster, better

The all-new S-works Venge is faster and lighter than ever before

Announced today, the top aero road bike from Specialized carries forth the mission of the original Venge. It offers uncompromising performance, not just in the wind tunnel but on the open road. To that end, it is more aerodynamic than the previous Venge ViAS and lighter than the all-new Tarmac SL5. Over the course of a 40km course, the new bike is 8 seconds faster at a 0-degree yaw. After agressively reshaping the tubes, the new bike is also 20% lighter. If you need a visual, the ViAS below was carefully carved to demonstrate what a 20% weight reduction looks like on the ViAS.

2019 Specialized Venge aero road bike is their fastest lightest road bike ever
This is what it would take to achieve the same 20% weight savings off the prior Venge ViAS.

The third generation design gave the S-Works team a chance to incorporate several critical improvements to ride quality and overall user experience. The Rider-First Engineered handling performance was updated for increased comfort and responsiveness. The cockpit is completely redesigned and the tube shapes are entirely new. Oddly enough, the new tubes appear less aerodynamic than before.

2019 Specialized Venge aero disc brake road bike tech details

As is often the case with any bike, the desired attributes of the Venge are at odds with one another. Increased aerodynamics comes at the expense of added weight. Reduced weight frequently disrupts stiffness. To achieve the optimal characteristics, the S-Works engineers decided they needed more than just new frame shapes, they needed a fresh process to design them.

The FreeFoil Shape Library

The all-new S-Works Venge uses truncated foil shapes designed through the brand's new FreeFoil Shape Library.

By leveraging heady aerodynamic science and plenty of testing hours in their own in-house Win Tunnel, they created the FreeFoil Shape Libraray. It’s not just a collection of vetted tube shapes, it is a process which allows their design team to plug in desired attributes and arrive at the ideal tube shape for a given application. From down tube to seat stays, they can prioritize weight, aerodyamics, and stiffness to achieve the perfect foil shape. The new system allows them to avoid the trial and error so prevalent in bike frame design.

2019 Specialized Venge aero disc brake road bike tech details

Each tube in the FreeFoil Shape Library builds on reoccuring theme in the cycling world—the truncated foil. At fist blush a truncated foil appears little more than a wing-shaped blade with the trailing edge cut off. And to some degree that’s what it is. The trick is to know where to place the flat trailing edge. The width of the tube and the arc of the leading edge are equally important. It can’t be too blunt or pointed relative to the length and width of the tube. On the new Venge each tube represents the best shape for the specific application – meaning, the seat tube cannot be made any more aero without adding weight. And it can’t be made lighter without altering the ride quality.

Rider First Engineered Handling

The all-new 2019 Specialized Venge will debut at the 2018 Tour de France

With such a radical reboot to the weight and earodynamics, the design team knew this new Venge would see use outside of niche pursuits where aerodynamics were the main goal. So, it’s light enough to take into the mountains. On high-speed roads (like when you’re descending those mountains), predictible feedback and crisp handling are critical. As they did with the Tarmac SL5, the new Venge recieved a complete Rider First Engineering workup with each frame size receiving its own layup schedule to ensure a uniform ride experience across the size spectrum.

As Specialized aerodynamics engineer Chris Yu mentioned, stiffness does not always translate to positive handling qualities. The new layup process, engieneered from start to finish in their Morgan Hill facility, allowd the team to retain the ride qualities of the Tarmac platform, but in a more aerodynamic frame.

Better user interface

The new Venge has a fresh cockpit with new bar and stem

2019 Specialized Venge aero road bike tech details with integrated cockpit

One of the missteps with the previous generation Venge was the complicated cockpit assembly which required extensive shift wire and brake line adjustments just to raise or lower the stem. The new bar and stem combo has been redesigned from scratch and built to endure the stresses of the world’s elite sprinters. It is, according to Specialized, the stiffest road stem they have built to date. The new bars lose the exagerated gull-wing shape of the previous bike for a more subdued flat foil shape.

2019 Specialized Venge aero road bike tech details with integrated cockpit

The Devil is in the details and the new bars even have a small recessed lip to keep the bar tape on the same plane as the un-taped bar. Most importantly, the housings and brake lines route outside of the stem and steerer making for quicker bar and stem adjustments. The new system permits to the use of a standard stem, but the included matched version includes mounts for computers, lights, and cameras to further streamline the package.

2019 Specialized Venge aero road bike tech details with integrated cockpit

The most eye catching addition to the front end is the new aerobar system. Designed to attach with minimal fuss, it melds into the bike seamlessly. For the high performance weekend stage racer it’s a one-bike-does-all machine.

2019 Specialized Venge aero road bike tech details and integrated Di2 junction box in seatpost

Adding more convenience, particularly for riders lucky enough to have their own team mechanic hanging out of a team car window, the Di2 junction box is located in the upper aspect of the seatpost where it is easily accessed. The rest of the wire and line routing is clean with virtually nothing exposed.

2019 Specialized Venge aero road bike tech details

2019 Specialized Venge aero road bike tech details

To keep things simple if not expensive, the new Venge is being introduced only with disc brakes and electronic drivetrains.

Weights & Measures

2019 Specialized Venge weight comparison chart

2019 Specialized Venge disc brake aero road bike geometry chart

With regard to geometry choices, the Venge borrows heavily from the Tarmac family. It is a no nonsense racing machine.

The 2019 Venge Story in Videos

“Behind the Tech”

“The New Shapes of Speed”

“Rider First Engineering”

“Integration”

Specialized.com

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44 COMMENTS

  1. Yep all the best stuff is designed by gap year students on a white board, then ridden by professional consumers to a coffee shop near you.

    • Gap year students? This is an incredible feat of design and engineering. Even if you don’t like the styling, the performance and attention to detail is impressive. Really like the small recess for the handlebar tape that leads to a perfectly smooth transition. Nice touch.

      • The tunneling electron microscope uses electrons to create images of some of the smallest things in the known universe. It can see the hairs on the foot of a fly. That is an incredible feat of engineering.

        This is a bicycle.

        • Please, show us the insanely light, insanely stiff, insanely aero, but still ride compliant carbon structures that you’ve built in the last couple years. All you clowns on this site and the forums act like a graphic designer comes up with these frames in a 20 minutes stint on photoshop. This is absolutely high end engineering.

    • No bags, it’s a race bike. If you’re training on it, store things in your jersey. I really don’t think you’re intended to use anything like that. Maybe a swat/cage at most. If you’re fast enough that you need to scrape away fractions of a second to win, a flat will ruin your placing.

  2. The Venge comes with 1 year of team car support, so you don’t need a bag.
    Why only 1 year of team car?, Since next years
    Venge will be 12% faster and 11.2% lighter you’ll want the new one.

    • They can’t afford an S-Works to begin with, electronic or not. Like most people they’ll be more than served by an Allez DSW with 105 or mechanical ultegra.

  3. “Lighter” should really read as “shorter life span”, but that’s today’s consumer market for you. Also, despite how many times they like to use the word “engineer” or one of it’s derivatives, it’s been my experience that engineers don’t make great bikes. Anyone should remember how unloved by the pros this model was when it debuted. Sure, they would ride it, but when it came time for a race they wanted to win, they’d switch to something better. Cool looking bike though. Checks all the boxes for the (deleted) roadie scene.

    • That was like 5 years ago and the major complaint was the brakes were so terrible that it was dangerous. Shimano hydraulics don’t have that issue.

      Engineers make all bikes.

    • What is your experience with engineers in the bike industry? Can you cite a quality product that was designed without engineering input?

    • There is no your old day metal fatigue issue, friend.
      Carbon has nearly infinite fatigue life. Go figure.
      Light metal frame flex and stressed too much it don’t last long.
      Carbon has no issue with that. As long as the stress doesn’t snap it in half.

      It will out last steel frame if taken care of properly.

    • Whaaat? So they didn’t like the engineer designed bike (Venge) so they would rather choose to ride another bike by the same engineers (Tarmac)?

  4. it s good that they admit they have to make it easyer than the previous….. in terms of innovate or die… ahhahaha

    • Canyon Aeroad comes with Ultegra Di2 disc, 62mm deep wheels, and an integrated bar/stem for $4600. But that price point is pretty damn hard to hit when you expect it to come with a $2000 groupset and a $2000 set of wheels. That’s $4k right there and doesn’t even include the frame, which can sell for 3-5 grand alone.

  5. Beautiful bike. Amazing engineering. But I don’t see that any changes were made in terms of ride comfort. That unforgiving seat tube / seat post combo makes anything less than smooth tarmac a nightmare. When it was originally launched, I really, REALLY wanted the Venge to be my next bike….until I test rode one. Thankfully my S-Works Tarmac delivered the performance + comfort I desired for 5 hour rides on pitted pavement; something I cannot imagine doing on a Venge. Just my opinions, of course. But I am very impressed by some of the little details offered here….and it’s gorgeous.

      • But the Madone uses Kammtail, this uses FreeFoil, Kammtail is obviously inferior.

        Truncated aerofoil… wish someone had though of that ages ago. Innovate or die amiright?

        • Kamm-tail is a 1960’s innovation. Not a new idea at all, but useful in cycling where the 3:1 rule makes conventional airfoils problematic.

  6. Obviously this is a bike for the few instead of the many, and the restrictive packaging is truly indicative of how much its designers see it as such. In the very least, its a engineering exercise that will possibly influence future products down the road.

    I doubt it will have the greatest compliance, but you can get around that a bit with the possibility to go wide on the tires. The geometry has a similar spec to the current Tarmac, but with a reduced stack height. Appropriate for this kind of machine.

    Discs are as such, positive points and some detraction all around. I don’t quite feel we have reached quite the same steering qualities with the asymmetric requirements needed for discs as compared to symmetric rim systems. I do wonder if a rim might pop up eventually is it did with the Roubaix under some riders.

    Now the fun will be to see which American aero road disc ends up truly the fastest on the flats.

  7. How they achieved any measurable compliancy / comfort is a questionable with that seat post/frame design.
    IMO “comfort” should not even be mentioned in the specs of this bike, they are irrelevant. also at what point does the “stiffness” become over engineered? Save the compliancy BS for the Tarmac and Roubaix.

  8. whats most interesting is that the progress is shown as better engineering design as if we didnt know to do this last year. its not the case.

    its about the building process and cost. fine tuning the build, molds, machined is where the real progress is at. you want them to be faster cheaper and use less material,then sell the product for more.

    small things like the recesss fir the bar tape made properly and at decent cost and weight is where ghe progress is. the ability to make multiple sizes. etc.

  9. The close up of the bar with the blue tape shows a much shorter “wing” section on the tops than the bars with the black tape. What’s up with that? Also, why no side profile pics of their aero bar setup? That looks like a cool addition, but it is really tough to tell what is going on with it from that angle.

    • What you think is a shorter wing is actually the aero bar elbow pad that hovers above that area…it’s a little fuzzy but that’s what’s going on there 😉

  10. I was all excited for this and then I just had to go and read the comments. Vibe harshed. The BR community is nothing if not reliable…..

  11. Great bike. Top of line costs close to 20 grand!! Equivalent Canyon costs 60% less, the brilliant chinese copy costs 90% less. Begging to loose.

  12. Well Sagan and Fernando Gaviria have won 5 stages of the Tour de France 2018 and counting on the new Venge 😉 so I guess they like it over the Tarmac option for sprinting given its much stiffer.

    I have the old Venge Vias its actually more comfortable them my old roubaix on long rides, proper bike fit and good tyres make all the difference.

    Will still use my Roubaix when the weather gets bad. I dont feel the need to go to the new Venge just to gain 8 secs per 40k and I climb ok even though its considered heavy at 7.2 kilo for a 54 frame, hey its still a light bike!, set a few Strava KOMs. But bikes are like cars, all models do the same thing get you to A to B, but if a certain bike makes you smile when you ride it and you can afford it.. buy it. So long as your pedalling!

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