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TDU 2017 Tech: Peter Sagan’s Disc Brake Specialized Venge & Gold Wheels!

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Peter Sagan needs little introduction – two time and current World Champion, even a Junior Mountain Bike World Champion back in 2008. Along with these and many other wins and accomplishments, Peter is a rider with serious skills and charisma on and off the bike. To kick off 2017, Peter returns to Adelaide, South Australia and the Tour Down Under, the race where he made his Pro Tour debut with Liquigas way back in 2010. Disc brakes are being re-introduced into the World Tour this year, and many teams are experimenting with the technology. Peter Sagan has a disc brake Venge at his disposal, which he has used during training in Adelaide, and may or may not see action when the race starts? It gets the same custom deeply shiny paint job we saw on his rim brake a couple of weeks back.

Click on through for more about the bike…

The gold treatment of the Venge name on the top tube is a clue to what may be in store for this bike.

The Bora Hansgrohe mechanics have two pairs of gold painted Roval CLX 64 wheelsets, which were being glued for tires when I took these photographs.

Unfortunately, the mechanic could not confirm if the wheels would be used, but I suspect they may appear at the People’s Choice Classic, a circuit race through the streets of Adelaide that precedes the Tour Down Under proper.

No matter your thoughts on these wheels, they draw a crowd…

At the heart of these special wheelsets are Centerlock compatible Roval hubs.

The tires being glued to those gold wheels – Specialized branded Turbo Cotton, 700c x 24mm, 320TPI.

Super clean front end, even with the Shimano Di2 hydraulic brake system installed.

However, we expect the Venge isn’t exactly a joy to work on with its complex system for internalized cable routing.

Only the computer on Peter’s bike juts out into the wind.

Very clean routing of the front brake hydraulic cable.

Absolutely no sign of the brake line from the front end of the bike – there was no binding when I rotated the handlebars on the bike.

Flat-mount 160mm rotor up front and DT Swiss RWS thru-axle.

Curious mix of sizes with a flat-mount 140mm rotor at the rear and 142mm x 12mm thru-axle with DT Swiss RWS thru-axle.

The discreet cable routing extends to the rear of the bike.

Bora joins Quick-Step Floors as another team running the 4iiii power meter technology on an older Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 series crankset.

Naturally, a professional level team runs the Precision Pro version of the 4iiii system… and Peter uses 172.5mm long cranks.

Thus far, I’ve only spotted one complete bike at the 2017 Tour Down Under fitted with the Shimano Dura-Ace 9170 Di2 system, and it isn’t Peter Sagan… more on that later (hint: it’s the bike of Geraint Thomas of Sky.) 11-25 11-speed cassettes are the norm across many bikes at the race.

The trusty 11-speed Dura-Ace 9070 front derailleur.

The Venge is a fast looking rig no matter the angle it is viewed from.

Peter perches atop a Specialized Body Geometry Romin EVO saddle.

Tacx Deva carbon bottle cages keep Peter’s bottles in place.

For wondering, Peter’s disc brake Venge weighs approximately 8.42 kilograms / 18.5 pounds.

Specialized Bicycles


Article and photos by Gravel Cyclist. Jayson O’Mahoney is the Gravel Cyclist: A website about the Gravel Cycling Experience.

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44 Comments
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JF
JF
6 years ago

Dang, that’s a clean bike. I hope they set it up with the gold wheels.

TriHarder
TriHarder
6 years ago
Reply to  JF

Agreed.

Dave
Dave
6 years ago
Reply to  JF

crazy clean indeed.

Cherk Chup
6 years ago
Reply to  JF

Almost perfect if not the cable ports on the frame.

typevertigo
typevertigo
6 years ago

Seems like with Di2 and hydraulic braking, there’s much less faff required to maintain this bike after the challenging initial internal routing of the wires and brake hose. Really clean.

Maybe the Spez guys had this particular combination of drivetrain and braking in mind when they thought of going the disc brake route for the Venge ViAS?

G
G
6 years ago
Reply to  typevertigo

Specialized actually started development on the disc frame well ahead of the rim brake variant.

A few years back when they started work on the ViAS, they assumed disc brakes would be the norm in the pro peloton by the time the bike would hit market in 2015.

typevertigo
typevertigo
6 years ago
Reply to  G

I heard the same too, yeah. Spez’s aero guru Chris Yu was one of the heads of the Venge ViAS program and I remember him saying the above on video.

At any rate, that might also explain why they ran into so many problems with the rim brake versions – early Venge ViAS rim brakes were notoriously poor. Sounds to me they were added to the bike “after the fact,” almost – which would be fine if the bike was a normal road frame, but the overt aero specialization and integration needed rather painted them into a corner.

Doug
Doug
6 years ago

Hawt…….and slow clap for road bikes popping up everywhere with disc brakes. Let’s pick 142 or 135 and the same mounting standard for disc brakes, from here on out. Light hubs, wheels that can be swapped between CX, mtb, road(in a pinch). Sorry what were we talking about?

Flatbiller
Flatbiller
6 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Yea, but…there’s a small chance that I could fall in a very specific manner and cut my calf on a hot rotor.

Regards,
UCI Intern

Allan
Allan
6 years ago
Reply to  Flatbiller

I know you are being sarcastic, but are we still doing this?

Bob
Bob
6 years ago

GOLD WHEELS FTW

pmurf
pmurf
6 years ago

Still can’t forgive the stem, but I like it a lot better w/o that god awful notch to clear the front rim brake.

Peter Adamkovics
Peter Adamkovics
6 years ago

18.5 lbs? holy cow… my 58cm large 2010 SW Tarmac with sram red and zipp 303 tubulars weighs 14.1lbs (pedals, cages everything)

that’s some progress in 7 years… 😉

yes, i know this venge is way more aero, and has disc brakes, but its 31% heavier.

Kernel Flickitov
Kernel Flickitov
6 years ago

Peter, the rim brake version of this Venge is 18lbs on the nose. By all accounts both are boat anchors.

My Focus Izalco disc is 14.6lbs with tubulars

Flatbiller
Flatbiller
6 years ago

Which is a lot of manufacturers don’t publish bike weights on their sites. Because consumers get caught up in it, and use it as the only valid metric when comparing. It’s the online equivalent of the parking lot curb mountain bike test. Get on the bike, ride it 10 feet, pump on the fork and shock 4 times, then declare, “Oh my, this is a great bike!”

Thus, 15 pounds MUST ride better than 18 pounds. All from the comfort of your Aeron.

Kernel Flickitov
Kernel Flickitov
6 years ago
Reply to  Flatbiller

When a person walks into a shop the first thing they look at is price, then they pick it up. But I agree, a proper test ride is key. We’re not talking about the weekend racer though, Sagan. I have also chosen heavier bikes over the lighter one but facts are facts, this Venge disc or rim brake is heavy for an elite pro bike.

Skip
Skip
6 years ago

None of which matters on this bike, because he’s Peter Sagan…

Andrew
Andrew
6 years ago

I respect the technological prowess of this bike; but d*mn its still ugly, AND 18.5 lbs? My ‘Cross bike is lighter than that with training wheels on 😛

Peter Adamkovics
Peter Adamkovics
6 years ago
Reply to  Andrew

a pretty much stock s-works stumpjumper 29er hardtail is less than 1lb heavier… with SID fork, 2.3″ tires, pedals, etc…

shafty
shafty
6 years ago

@Andrew Yeah, your cx bike is lighter, so that means Sagan will definitely place poorly in the race, right? Clearly the team would have evaluated the pro and cons, and is much more fit to do so than you or I.

Andrew
Andrew
6 years ago
Reply to  shafty

Well; nowhere did I say that, so you’re jumping to assumptions. I’m just saying its an expensive ‘superbike’ thats 3lbs heavy and fugly. Thats all.

Ladi Dadi
Ladi Dadi
6 years ago

Let’s see Andrew’s bike…

Andrew
Andrew
6 years ago
Reply to  Ladi Dadi

Its a thing of beauty 😉

Jon
Jon
6 years ago

Beautiful bike. Looks real fast with some stopping power. Not sure the problem with disc safety. Nobody thinks so much about this in cross or on mountain bikes.

Kernel Flickitov
Kernel Flickitov
6 years ago
Reply to  Jon

Few years from now all the road disc brake whiners aren’t even going to have a choice for a top tier bike. It will all soon be forgotten, just like with mtb and cx.

jason
jason
6 years ago

There will be plenty of top tier smaller manufacturers gladly making non-disc brake road frames for all of the old curmudgeons like myself who will never go over to the dark side. I have already told my good friend, who is a rep for the big S, that the day they quit offering a caliper brake option on a top end frame is the day I walk away.

Kernel Flickitov
Kernel Flickitov
6 years ago
Reply to  jason

There’s already a generation of riders that don’t know anything else but Di2 and hydro disc. Don’t let the door hit you in the you know where on your way out.

jason
jason
6 years ago

I have 3 Di2 equipped bikes bro. And I have plenty of discs on my mountain bikes. I just don’t need it on my road bikes where I live. Thanks for the kind words.

Allan
Allan
6 years ago

Sadly you are right. I’m a rim-brake holdout, but understand how badly the industry wants to push new bikes on people. Like Jason, I’ll be shopping with manufacturers who continue to offer caliper brake frames to those of us who know how to brake, and don’t want a fugly disc bike.

Kernel Flickitov
Kernel Flickitov
6 years ago
Reply to  Allan

Funny. I PR’d all my descent times with the disc bike over the rim brake up and down the front range of Colorado. Soon the rim brake dorks will be amassing on ebay bidding on ee brakes and paying 300% over today’s retail price. Meanwhile d-brake prices keep falling. Good luck with that strategy.

jason
jason
6 years ago

ee brakes are fantastic, and they’re cheaper to get a hold of now the QBP is carrying them.

Robin
Robin
6 years ago
Reply to  Allan

Can someone actually claim to know braking while not understanding that better modulation means better braking and that disc brakes offer superior modulation?

JBikes
JBikes
6 years ago
Reply to  Robin

Exactly. If you know how to brake, discs will brake that much better

CG
CG
6 years ago

Gold Wheels!
Vino would be proud

Allan
Allan
6 years ago

18.5lb is a boat anchor! But weight ain’t everything, especially in a race like the TDU.

Kernel Flickitov
Kernel Flickitov
6 years ago

@jason, at least your ee brakes are better than Delta. But it doesn’t matter what you or I think, the days are numbered for top shelf road bikes with rim brakes. Will you be able to get really good rim brake bikes for a while, absolutely. As a Di2 and disc owner yourself you seem to be in denial of what is clearly inevitable.

jason
jason
6 years ago

Delta brakes sucks. There’s no doubt about that. I never owned them, but worked on many, and could never get them dialed. If it were between Delta and discs, I wouldn’t fall on the sword and go with Delta, I’d choose discs. But it’s not about those 2. There are lot’s of choices with many nuances and intricacies, and no denial. I see the absolute benefit to many to ride road discs, however, I am not in that population. Tomorrow I can choose to ride Di2 on one of my bikes or I could go with 8 speed friction on another. And currently there are manufacturers happy to take care of parts for both. And despite your proclamations of “few years from now”, “days are numbered” and “soon the rim brake dorks” I am confident that I will be able to continue to procure quality frame sets and brake sets that will keep my caliper brake stoke high.

Kernel Flickitov
Kernel Flickitov
6 years ago
Reply to  jason

Sure, I love riding my 80’s and 90’s steel road bikes on occasion, but is it too much to ask to stay on topic? This is about the future of top level pro road bikes, and now you want to rant about keeping old gems alive. When you can subjectively think past the next few years and realize this isn’t about the guy who hangs on to old tech with the typical ‘if it ain’t broke’ mantra, the easier you’ll deal with what’s coming. The most insane thing about that is that in 2027 this isn’t even going to be a talking point anymore.

Kernel Flickitov
Kernel Flickitov
6 years ago

whoops. *objectively.

Ok @jason, you have two decades of disc brake history to look back on and 2 glaring examples of where all this is headed. At the consumer level 2016 was the demise of rim brake road bikes, by far worst hit segment in the industry. Our shop has been steadily rolling out more disc road than rim braked versions for the 2 previous years. We’re still going to be able to replace pads and buy wheels and parts for old bikes, nobody is taking that away from us and I don’t know why you chose to bring that up. But if you think rim brakes are still going to be available on elite level road bikes another decade from now you’re simply not paying attention. Barring a disc rotor decapitating someone in a crash, the path has already been set.

jason
jason
6 years ago

Kernel – sell the hell out of those disc brake road bikes. I think it’s awesome. This is you original post – “Few years from now all the road disc brake whiners aren’t even going to have a choice for a top tier bike. It will all soon be forgotten, just like with mtb and cx.”. My original reply simply stated that parts would be available. And my next point was not off topic. I gave an example of how it was still possible to procure “old” technology and roll with it. I never stated discs wouldn’t take over or that discs would go away. I stated that caliper components would be available. And your 2 glaring examples are cases that I am sure are 100% true, however, I could also produce many more examples of “antiquated” technology that is still readily available.

Kernel Flickitov
Kernel Flickitov
6 years ago

@Jason, people are going to have access to that “antiquated” tech long past when we hang up our cleats. No argument there because I still need replacement rim brake pads too. Sure, road disc isn’t for everybody, but the new pro bike rim brake options for that demographic are going to become less and less the more years go by. The industry is heavily pushing road disc because of numbers, consumer demand. Most people benefit from road disc even if the advantage isn’t even due to braking performance at all. There are some very important ancillary benefits like being able to fit a wider range of tire sizes, and the complete elimination of rim wear. I’m still going to be riding and racing 10 years from now, and maybe you will too, but the landscape is going to look much different. Eventually, elite pro road bikes will not have rim brakes anymore.

P.S. Bikerumor admin, I’m not sure who or if this janky comment section is programmed to block direct ‘Reply’ links in this conversation when it goes past 3 posts, but it’s highly annoying. Is it too much to ask from BR to upgrade this site to a proper comment section like Disqus?

jason
jason
6 years ago

Well said Kernel. I cannot disagree with any of that. And I chuckled at the BR comment section blast.

Thomas
Thomas
6 years ago

Discs are a no-brainer, £800 rims are an expensive wearable brake rotor don’t you think?

Seraph
Seraph
6 years ago

“Hydraulic cable”? Hose.

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