Bike Test 02: RIDE 70 – Specialized
The second of the five bikes on test in RIDE Cycling Review #70 is the Specialized S-Works Venge ViAS. The test by Rob Arnold begins: “Open your mind! This is really quite a special bike. Don’t take a glance and be cynical. Look at it and consider what’s been achieved – and what may come next. This is a rethink of what a bike should be.” There’s a lot more to say about this particularly intriguing bike… see the full review in #RIDE70.
Click the image below to see a slideshow of images from the test.
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Jack Lynch talks about the Specialized Venge ViAS
“It’s Jack with the Specialized ViAS leant up against a barbeque. I’ve just a taken it for a little bit of a ride and I’m going to talk to you about it.
“I think everyone knows about this bike. It’s super duper aero. This plus the helmet plus the shoes plus the skinsuit and you save yourself five minutes over 40 kilometres so it’s a pretty big claim – a pretty rad bike! I was ready to get really sceptical on it and hate on it and that sort of thing because it does look a bit different, it’s really thinking outside the square with the whole frame design and the brakes and the handlebars. Everything. The stem looks like a quill from back in the day.
“It’s bloody fast and it’s a lot of fun to ride. Why’s it fun? Well, I like going fast – as fast as I can go – which is always cool. It’s got good acceleration. You can’t really feel any yield from the back part of the bike. Even though it’s got the aero stays, they’re quite chunky so the can’t move around at all. The bottom bracket’s stiff as and the front end feel good out of the saddle as well.
“Speaking of the front end, it is really responsive through the steering. It’s say it’s quite direct. The back does tend to lag behind a little bit in that respect which actually kind of make it a little bit fun so you can kind of turn the handlebars a little bit and sort of flick your body around to make the back move a little faster or whatever you like to do. I’m sure it’s something that you’d get used to but on the first ride it was a lot of fun.
“The Roval wheels CLX 64 are awesome. I have not always been the biggest fan of Rovals but these ones perform like any other 50-60mm deep wheelset and they had that nice hum that you get on a time trial wheel and a deep dish wheel which is always a lot of fun. They’ve actually got asymmetrical tyres. I think the front and rear are different widths. Whether it made a difference or not is hard to say but it’s a good idea and I certainly like the wheels. The rolled really quickly and they spun up really quickly and it had everything going for it in that respect.
“The saddle is a Power saddle with carbon rails. Power saddle is that stubby one which Specialized released probably early this year, I’d say. It’s really nice. Getting rid of the nose on the front, once you’ve ridden with it for a while – I’ve been lucky enough to ride this saddle on another bike, a Tarmac for, a month or so now and it just makes sense to get rid of that superfluous nose. You sit in the right spot all the time. It takes a while to get used to it because it’s a bit wider so you can bruise a bit in the early stages but it’s a good saddle.
“Shifting as always is really good. I didn’t have any problems with the S-Works crank which is as you’d expect because it’s been around for ages and no one whinges. The crank’s also a Quarq and I didn’t have the power tuned in this time but I certainly will in the future because everyone loves power data.
“It was a top bike. Really enjoyed myself on it. It’s expensive, there’s no shying away from that but if you’ve got the coin to shell out and you want a thoroughbred race bike that has a little bit more feedback than the Tarmac, and certainly more than the Roubaix, then this is the bike for you. It’s agile, fast, it’s aero and it’s a Specialized. It’s one of the most coveted bikes out there and for good reason.”
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