I 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.