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Check out Cav's new bike for the Tour de France

Here is the Specialized Venge that Britain’s Mark Cavendish will be riding in this year’s Tour de France which starts in Yorkshire this weekend, as you might have heard!

Cav has his own colour scheme with the fork legs and sections of the frame painted in a colour close to British Racing Green but with an bit of iridescence about it. CVNDSH, the Cavendish/Specialized brand, is written down the seat tube.

We were driving along in Yorkshire this morning when we saw a lone rider up ahead in Omega Pharma-Quick-Step (OPQS) kit getting the occasional tow from a motorscooter. As we got closer we saw that it was none other than Mark Cavendish getting a feel for his new bike, so we pulled in for a closer look.

 

The Venge is Specialized’s aero road bike. They claim it gives you a 22 watt advantage over the Tarmac at 40kph (25mph). As well as being slippery, it’s also designed to be lightweight and stiff.

Cav is on a standard Venge (save for the finish) – the same one that you can buy from your local dealer. The design is about due a revamp, we’d have thought, although we’ve heard no rumours of a new model coming from Specialized any time soon.

Believe it or not, Cavendish rides a 49cm frame. Yep, 49cm – which is very small for a rider who is 175cm (5ft 9in) tall. He went down to 49cm last year and hasn’t switched back.

Cav’s bike is fitted with a SRAM Red groupset with cable-operated rim brakes, a Quarq powermeter and Specialized’s own S-Works cranks.

The wheels are Zipp’s well-respected 404s with Firecrest rim profiles rather than the new Firestrike profile that we told you about a couple of weeks ago. As you can see, Cav’s wheels are marked up with his name so they don’t get mixed up in the team truck.

The stem comes from Zipp too. It’s the super-chunky SL Sprint Stem that Zipp reckon has the highest stiffness-to-weight ratio of any stem on the market in order to stand up to the abuse dished out in a full-on sprint finish.

Zipp provide the handlebar as well. It’s a Service Course SL-88 which is a 7050 aluminium bar with a classic round drop and a lot of rearward extension down the bottom.

That’s a new Specialized Body Geometry Toupé saddle and Cav uses Tacx’s carbon Uma bottle cages that weigh in at just 19g apiece.

Those are Look pedals on there, Look being OPQS team sponsors, but Cav didn't seem to have them set up to his liking.

He was even fettling the cleats himself. We're going to be looking carefully to see that he actually sticks with Look over the next three weeks rather than switching to another brand.

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.

17 comments

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Shamblesuk [167 posts] 3 years ago
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Wow that's the ugliest bike I ever did saw. That stem. Bork.

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goggy [157 posts] 3 years ago
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I like it... not sure about the white though ... suspect it would get filthy in normal use. But then again, I have a Venge that I rather like...

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Distinctive Rob [5 posts] 3 years ago
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I can't say I'm sold on the colour, and to be honest the Venge always looked kinda 'chubby' as framesets go... I'd love to see a more old school paint job like Lotto's Ridleys

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theculture [1 post] 3 years ago
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loving the green carbony coloured forks and seatpost  16

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wingsofspeed68 [65 posts] 3 years ago
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A thing of beauty! Love the green metallic touches.

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notfastenough [3728 posts] 3 years ago
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Shamblesuk wrote:

Wow that's the ugliest bike I ever did saw. That stem. Bork.

Ha! I was just thinking how I never liked the looks of the venge, but this one in those colours is a belter! I love it.

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nortonpdj [193 posts] 3 years ago
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Never mind the colour of the bike, it's the colour of the maillot when they roll out of York that matters!

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Miles253 [198 posts] 3 years ago
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The Venge is a big looking frameset, I always thought it looked best in black. Personally I would of preferred this bike with the iridescent green all over, I like that colour.

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Beaufort [270 posts] 3 years ago
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Aerodynamic vehicles of all sorts are usually a bit odd looking. This is no exception.

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Tjuice [243 posts] 3 years ago
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This bike is clearly a bit Marmite...

Personally, I don't like that colour scheme at all (perhaps better in the flesh than in photos?) - I *much* preferred the previous one

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localsurfer [202 posts] 3 years ago
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ha, I ride a 49 too. I wonder if he gets the same comments about riding 'a kids bike' like what I do...

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wrevilo [108 posts] 3 years ago
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Bizarre colour scheme in my opinion. I don't like it.

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tazo101 [12 posts] 3 years ago
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How did you get it to stand up?

I am sure there was a great big mit attached to a 6ft bloke behind it.

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timtak [60 posts] 3 years ago
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Why does he ride a 49cm frame?

I am about the same height, ride a 54cm and use a 150mm stem and 250mm of seatpost and am told I look like a "circus bear on a minibike."

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bikeyourbest [23 posts] 3 years ago
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Wait...what? A 22 watt power advantage? I call Specialized Marketing bs on that one. Either that or the writer forgot the decimal point between the 2's

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bikeyourbest [23 posts] 3 years ago
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timtak wrote:

Why does he ride a 49cm frame?

I am about the same height, ride a 54cm and use a 150mm stem and 250mm of seatpost and am told I look like a "circus bear on a minibike."

"Snappier" handling. I have 54cm, a 53cm and a 51cm bikes that I ride. The smaller frame is much easier to throw around in tight situations...it also requires a more focus so you don't lose it.

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timtak [60 posts] 3 years ago
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Thank you. Still not quite snappy enough for Cav but I can see that manouvrability is important for a sprinter.