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Specialized Venge Comp – First 50

August 2013
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IMG_3054I am here to smash a few myths in the face about the Specialized Venge Comp. This will be a short post because I’m excited to have a great new bike but I’m not stupid – I’m on the pink cloud right now and it’s going to last a while before I come down – my bike is AWESOME.

That said, here are just a few:

The Venge Comp is a stiff ride and no good for a century unless you’re a racer in which case you’ll live with the pain: Nope. The Comp is smoother than my Trek 5200. I’d choose the Venge for a century over the 5200 seven days a week and twice on Sunday. Now, is it as stately as a Roubaix on rough roads? Hell, I couldn’t tell you because I’ve never ridden one, but the truth is, the Venge Comp is a race bike – it’s a Ferrari. A very well mannered Ferrari (Call it the FF of Ferrari’s). It is not the S-Works F-50 though. I will have no problems riding my bike on century rides – guaranteed.

The Venge slices through the wind! Well, yes I’m sure it does, but it’s still a bicycle. It does not pedal itself and the nameplate is a big “S”, not “Harley Davidson”.

Now, one thing I can confirm about the Venge… Rough pavement on any bicycle sucks – bad. On my Cannondale SR 400, rough pavement was demoralizing, on my 5200 it was a nuisance. On my Venge Comp? Surprise! It’s still a pain in the butt. It’s rough freaking asphalt! On the other hand, put the Venge on decent pavement… It’s a rocket ship. It’s fast and smooth.

Finally, and I don’t know if I just happened to hit the perfect setup on my bike or whether it has something to do with the geometry, but of my three bikes, the Venge is by far the most comfortable to ride in the drops. The other two aren’t even close (the Trek does beat the Cannondale for comfort in the drops but only because the overall ride is so much more comfortable).

So, as we all know, these bikes are not cheap – the real question is this: Do I have any remorse or second thoughts now that I’ve got a few miles on the bike?

Not even a little bit. The Venge Comp far exceeds my expectations. It’s an exceptional bike for the money.

I did have one surprise however. I was cruising down the road with a smile on my face when something occurred to me… I no longer have an excuse. Three days ago I was riding a 14 year-old bike with round composite tubes. Now I have one of the most aerodynamic bikes on the market with fantastic race gearing. Now the only weak link is me.. I didn’t see that one coming.

UPDATE:  Because I am comparing the ride between my new Venge and my 5200, there are a few important details that will matter to those who have a decent working knowledge of bikes…  First, both bikes have the tires inflated to the maximum 125 psi.  Second, the 5200 sports a 2011 Specialized Romin saddle while the Venge came with a 2013 Specialized Romin saddle.

UPDATE 2:  I developed a bit of slop in the rear hub.  My LBS pro tightened it up a bit but I won’t know if that did the trick unless I get my new rear wheel taco’ed.  I picked up a new set of rims that ended up being just shy of a full pound lighter and are a whole lot smoother.  I am immensely more happy with my bike with the new wheels.  Faster too.

UPDATE 3:  My full 700 mile review is here.

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27 Comments

  1. Nothing like bike love. . . .

  2. Daniel Weise says:

    Glad its proving to be everything you thought it would and more! Bike envy is a terrible thing… 🙂

  3. Glad you like it! Tyre choice and pressure makes a big difference. Try the stock tyres at 110. Then try conti gp 4000 when you need to replace.

    Fwiw I found the Roubaix was like riding with a puncture. Weird sensation.

    My tarmac gave 20-30% improvement immediately.

    Told ya they’re great bikes. 🙂 ♡♡♥♡

    • bgddyjim says:

      Yes you did! The Roubaix is a really nice bike, it just wasn’t for me – it was always going to be the Venge, Tarmac or Madone. I’ll have to think about the tires… I’ve got Specialized Turbo Elite’s on there now and I really like the ride on them – also, I’ve got their cheaper cousin the Espoir Sport on my Trek and I have over 5,000 miles on them without one flat… I had Conti Gatorskins on it before, at more than double the cost and I had two flats and a busted side wall inside of 2,000 miles. Let’s just say I wasn’t impressed.

  4. Ok, now for the important question….what are you naming her?

  5. BikeWar says:

    That’s your new bike? Awesome! Pics please….just so I can critique it the staging! And that stem better be slammed! 🙂

    • bgddyjim says:

      Dammit and I so thought I remembered everything! Crap! Truth is I have to leave the stem where it is… For now – honest to God brother, the bike shop set it up with my last fitting’s measurements – it’s perfect. Riding it feels so good it’s spooky. Just picked it up four days ago. 😉

      https://fitrecovery.wordpress.com/2013/08/23/i-am-specialized/

      • BikeWar says:

        That is real nice!! What made you jump from Trek to Specialized?

      • bgddyjim says:

        Brother, that’s the sexiest bike I’ve ever seen (that I could actually afford without risking the kids’ college fund). I ride with the owner of our local shop and stopped in to see him one day and there it was on display above and behind the counter. I knew right when I saw it (six or eight months ago now) that one day she’d be mine. At that point, the badge didn’t matter

      • BikeWar says:

        It’s also good to know the owner of the bike shop! It really is a beautiful bike and unsurprisingly rides as nice as it does. May it bring you many miles of happiness and safe travels.

      • bgddyjim says:

        Thanks brother. I smile every time I walk by it.

    • bgddyjim says:

      One other thing on slamming the stem (been dealing with father/hospice issues lately – losing my marbles)… The Venge is made to double as a Tri-Bike… The seatpost is reversible so it’s got a 20 mm offset towards the front and the stem’s spacers allow the owner to drop the bar and fit clip-on aero bars without having to buy a TT bike, and the Venge is based on the Shiv aerodynamically. It’s meant to be a more complete bike. 😀

      • BikeWar says:

        I’ve seen pics of Venge’s with the tri setup…looks good. Sometimes when I’m on the drops I do wish for that extra couple of degrees shift on my road bike to get the power down more effectively. I’ll keep your father in my thoughts and prayers. I think we’re in that ‘sandwich’ generation of ageing parents and younger kids still.

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