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Bikemaker-carmaker collaboration produces the S-Works + McLaren Venge


March 25, 2011

Specialized bikes has teamed up with McLaren Automotive to create the S-Works   McLaren Venge road bike (All photos courtesy Specialized)

Specialized bikes has teamed up with McLaren Automotive to create the S-Works McLaren Venge road bike (All photos courtesy Specialized)

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Given that legendary Italian bicycle-maker Colnago has collaborated with Ferrari on limited-edition bikes in the past, it perhaps shouldn't come as a surprise that another bicycle company might also see the technological (and marketing) value of hooking up with a maker of racing and luxury automobiles. This time around, it's America's Specialized, that has joined forces with the UK's McLaren Applied Technologies. Together, the two have created what is being promoted as "the fastest complete performance bike in the world" – the S-Works + McLaren Venge.

Specialized had been working on a design for what would become the Venge road bike since 2006. The company was approached in 2009 by McLaren, which was interested in a future collaboration on a cycling project. Last July, the companies set to work on making the bike stiffer and lighter. This month, the completed S-Works + McLaren Venge prototype was premiered in Milan.

The bike has an aerodynamic high modulus FACT 12R carbon fiber frame, that weighs in at less than 950 grams (2.09 lbs) – the 15 percent weight-saving over Specialized's existing design is said to be due to the use of McLaren's custom software, usually used for designing F1 race cars. The weight of the frame module (frame, fork, seatpost and crankset) sits at 2.07 kg (4.56 lbs).

Its bottom bracket, chainstays and seat tube are constructed in a single piece with continuous fiber alignment, reportedly maximizing stiffness and power transfer. The tapered head tube adds to the frame's torsional stiffness.

The cambered airfoil X-section seatstays have a wing-like cross-section, in that they feature a flat outer surface with a rounded inner surface. This design is intended to channel crosswinds smoothly around them. A bladed seatpost and fork, and internal cable routing also help the bike cut through the air.

Deep-pocketed riders will have to wait until September to purchase an S-Works + McLaren Venge of their own, at which time it will be available in the UK for GBP 5,000 (US$8,021). No word yet on pricing for the U.S.

Via Bicycle Design

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

You failed to mention so much!

Recently the Aussie HTC/Specialized pro rider Matthew Goss won the 298km Milan San Remo on the Venge\'s debut race. He won by a bike length in the sprint..

The interesting thing about this bike\'s design is the power/watts saved compared to a non aero Specialized Tarmac or other road bike. Compared to the SL3 that is 20 watts at 40km/h. Over a 200m sprint the Venge will be over a bike length ahead of the top of the line Tarmac using the same power. That\'s a significant advantage.

The entire purpose and interest of this bike is the greater efficiency.


Untold millions of dollars just to get a few seconds advantage. It boggles the mind. Makes you wonder where bike efficiency could be today if the UCI hadn\'t outlawed recumbents and major aerodynamic devices from racing so many decades ago. Because of a few close-minded individuals, decades of technological innovation didn\'t happen.


HA! fastest performance bike.... I dont think so. I think that the world record speed that was set on a bike is 83mph and it was a recumbent bike. This bike style is over 100 years old, its hardly changed.

I wonder if any bike style were to be allowed in competition how long would it be until this style was obsolete.

John Kerher
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