What with Mark Cavendish set to hop back a Specialized bike for the first time in a few years, we thought that we’d take a look back at the bike that took him to so many wins, the Specialized Venge.
While Cavendish took a huge number of wins on the Venge, this one here barely made the finish of stage one of the 2014 Tour. The Manx sprinter crashed out around 200m from the finish line in Harrogate after a coming together with Simon Gerrans of Orica GreenEdge.
The crash left royalty with their heads in their hands and denied Cavendish of a chance to take his first Yellow Jersey - though he would put that right in 2016 at Utah Beach - which was taken with stage honours by an unstoppable Marcel Kittel.
The Specialized Venge frameset is a 49cm model and has a special pearl and British racing green paint job.
The team were using SRAM for the 2014 season and in the pre-eTap days, Red 22 mechanical shifting was the pro choice. The only deviation is the S-Works crankset on which is mounted a Quarq power meter sider and SRAM chainrings.
SRAM gearing was complemented by the Zipp components and Cav chooses the Sprint SL stem, a popular one with the fast men for the stiffness that it provides. It’s certainly a long one, measuring, we think, at 130mm.
Zipp 404 tubular wheels were also a popular choice for the sprinters, providing a 56mm-deep rim to cut through the air. These are shod with Continental Competition Pro Ltd tyres.
The bar is something that you don’t see much these days. The Zipp Service Course SL-88 features a deep drop with a very long bottom section. The bar is wrapped with Supacaz tape.
Specialized provides the saddle and Cav opts for the S-Works Toupe model with carbon rails. Even though he is on a very small frame, the saddle is pushed quite a way forward.
Cavendish will be on the Tarmac SL7 for the 2021 season and it will be interesting to see how his setup compares to this bike.