A stealthy looking new Specialized has been spotted at the 2015 Tour de Suisse. Specialized hasn’t officially released any details of the new bike, but some of the new design features can be seen from looking at it. The Swiss stage race provides the opportunity for a testing ground ahead of the Tour de France, where we expect to see Mark Cavendish and other riders officially riding this new bike.
The bike can be seen to feature dropped seat stays, similar to those found on other aerobikes such as the Merida Reacto and Cervelo S5. We can speculate that this feature is to stiffen up the rear triangle and reduce drag. Another feature common to the latest aero frames – the seat tube appears to have a larger recess to accommodate the rear wheel than the previous Venge.
During Stage 6, Cavendish and Sagan were spotted discussing and comparing their new bikes. The same picture gives a good view of the bladed aero handlebars. Specialized is yet to confirm, but we suspect that this bike will be the new Specialized Venge.
In a continuation of the trend being seen in other new aerobikes the cockpit appears to have been completely redesigned too. The stem can be seen to integrate smoothly into the head tube, presumably all in an effort to minimise drag on the frontal area of the bike. Notably, wind cheating bars and stems are currently found on the Cervelo S5 and Canyon Aeroad.
The biggest difference is not the most obvious however. This new Specialized is thought to have new integrated hydraulic rim brakes. The placement of the brakes is very intriguing and looks very aero. Rather than situate the rear brake on the seat stays or the bottom bracket, Specialized has opted to position the integrated rear brake behind seat tube, below the stays.
Specialized was guarded about the new bike and was not keen in it being photographed, as it is yet to be officially released. It would appear to be fast though, as Peter Sagan sprinted to victory while riding it on Stage 6 of the Tour de Suisse. The question is, will this be the bike that gives the edge and carries Mark Cavendish to stage victory in the Tour de France?
Mark Cavendish on the 2015 Tour de France