Specialized has collaborated with British Formula 1 racing team McLaren to produce a new flagship bike.
Venge is a new aerodynamic frame whose profiles have been developed by
Specialized’s own design team, but McLaren’s years at the pinnacle of
composite development has been utilized to produce an aero frame that
Specialized claims is lighter and stiffer than any other.
story goes that Specialized R&D Guru Chris D’Alusio came up with
the plan to create an aero frame during the development of the
Transition time trial frame. The big problem faced though,
is that many aero road frames also tend to come out heavy and flexible;
Specialized was determined that this was not going to happen.
August 2009 the UCI rejected Specialized’s original design, forcing
them to go back to the drawing board; it was at about this time though
that the company was contacted by McLaren, which was looking to apply
the technology and experience it has developed over 45 years at the top
of Formula 1 to other sports as part of its Applied Technologies
frame was developed after extensive work between the computer and the
wind tunnel, and even the seatstays have been given the treatment; by
giving them an asymmetric profile to help them cut through crosswinds,
with a flat outer surface and a rounded inner surface.
S-Works model has been constructed using the same FACT IS 11R method as
the Tarmac SL3, creating a frame, fork, seatpost and crankset module
that is lighter than its rival aero road frames.
its state of the art wind tunnel and years of experience in
aerodynamics, the frame design has all come from Specialized. What
McLaren has been able to do is take the design and apply its own finite
element analysis to “design carbon layup schedules and fabrication
methods resulting in 15-percent better optimised tubesets”. In essence, McLaren has been able to take the frame design and make it much lighter, and much, much stiffer.
the S-Works module weighs in at 2179 grams for a 56cm frame, the much
stiffer McLaren comes in at 2071 grams; while heavier than the lightest
road frames, it’s almost half a kilogram lighter than many of it’s rival
the S-Works Venge is available now, we will have to wait until the fall
for the McLaren Venge; with the Formula 1 team reportedly making an
improvement to the race car every 20 minutes, the frame will likely be
even better by then.
Immediately into action
Nine Specialized sponsored riders, across its three ProTeams, will ride the McLaren Venge in this Saturday’s Milano-Sanremo. The
list of nine includes HTC Highroad’s big favourite, and 2009 winner,
Mark Cavendish; the chances of the bike picking up a win in its very
first race are pretty high.
Riders on Specialized McLaren Venge in Milano-Sanremo:
HTC-Highroad: Mark Cavendish, Bernhard Eisel and Mark Renshaw
Saxo Bank-SunGard: Baden Cooke, Juan Jose Haedo and Matteo Tosatto
Astana: Allan Davis, Andriy Grivko and Tomas Vaitkus