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  1. #1
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    Question Specialized Dilemma - 2012 Venge Pro vs 2014 Venge Expert

    Hey All,

    I'm thinking about pulling the trigger on a Specialized Venge after some serious research on brands, components, etc. but stumbled into a tough dilemma.

    I stopped by my LBS to check out their 2014 Specialized catalog and also see if they had any good deals on the outgoing models. They only had one Venge in stock, a 2012 Pro SRAM Red. Being a 2012 model year bike (2011 hardware), it's "old Red" (Black Edition), not the new stuff with Yaw & much improved FD and certainly not the very new Red 22.

    Retail in 2012, that bike sold for north of $6,000 but I was told they wanted to get rid of it and would sell it for $3,800.

    Here's where things get tough. The 2014 Venge Expert (spec sheet attached) comes with full Shimano Ultegra 6800 (the new stuff announced in May), which I've been hearing will be a big change from the 6700 series as it received a LOT of trickle down from Dura Ace beyond the 11-speed feature. That bike is selling for...$3,800!

    There are some other differences (10r carbon vs 11r carbon, Roval EL 45 vs Roval SL 35 wheels, etc.), but drivetrain is the main one I'd think.

    So my dilemma and question to all of you is which one is the better direction to go? Is two-generation old Red better than brand new Ultegra?

    Any other thoughts about things I should consider?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Specialized Dilemma - 2012 Venge Pro vs 2014 Venge Expert-2014vengeexpert.jpg  

  2. #2
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    I am in a similar position. I currently have a 2013 Roubaix on hold at the LBS, but I just found out about the 2014 model, which is going to be roughly the same price, but with a better frame (SL4) and slightly better components.

    After agonizing over this all day, I think I'm ready to cancel my hold on the 2013 and wait it out for the 2014 model. In the long run, it just seems like a smarter choice since I'm not really saving any money on the older model.

    So, that's what I'd recommend to you. You get a better frame (marginally at least) and potentially better components. The bigger question there is do you prefer SRAM shifting to Shimano shifting? If you have no preference, I think the answer is to wait it out for the 2014.

  3. #3
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    Front shifting on the black edition sucks, sucks so much that reviews have stated that if you add the newer red crank by itself, it improves shifting. Giving that mixed setup a 5/10 haha. I run both 6770 and a 2012 red and I really like red, but would probably avoid the black edition.

    Red black
    Pro
    - light
    Cons
    - front shifting sucks
    - 10 spd

    6800
    Pro
    - 11spd so no need to upgrade or have to worry about this.
    - improved braking feel
    - improved shifting over 6700

    Cons
    - heavier groupset.

    11r carbon is their highest grade carbon, but bike will feel stiffer then 10r carbon. If that equals to better power transfer, I'm not sure.

    10r carbon will probably be not as stiff, the benefits of that is that it will be less harsh on your body. This is all an assumption, as I'm going by how giant carbon layups feel between their t600, t700 and t800.

  4. #4
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    I agree with r1Lee that the FD on the Red Black sucks, big time. The brakes are very good, RD is good, but the FD sucks. If you can upgrade the FD to a newer model (ideally with yaw) for a reasonable price it may be worth it, but if you're stuck with it I don't think you'll be happy. I disliked the FD so much I recently changed my entire groupset from Red to Campy Record.

  5. #5
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    FWIW: I Agree Red Black FD with Ti cage is less than ideal. The steel caged version or Force FD is significantly better. The Yaw FD has the stiffest cage (half aluminum and half steel) and stiffest mechanism and shifts the best. Have no experience with 22 yet.
    ... 'cuz that's how I roll.

  6. #6
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    Correct me if I am wrong but only the S-Works frames use the 11R carbon.

    According to the Specialized website the Expert and Pro are both using the 10R carbon.

  7. #7
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    I definitely agree with what you guys are saying about the FD on Red Black Edition...test rode that 2012 Pro Venge and the back was fine, but I seriously had to completely break cadence and free spin for 4-5 revolutions before it finally caught up front. Pretty shameful for a bike that sold for $6,000!

    How much do you guys think they improved the shift feeling on Ultegra 6800? Any hope they went more tactile like SRAM?

    +++

    @apetro3 - I tend to prefer the solid shifting (love the click, boom feedback) of SRAM, but don't necessarily dislike the Shimano setup. Overall I think I agree with you on going with the better frame...hopefully they really did improve the 6800 shift feeling!

    @r1lee - You're right about the layup being stiffer with the higher numbers, but some of the reviews I've read actually say the newer Venges are less harsh, so I'm not sure if they did some other black magic?

    @mikey/looigi - Looks like the Red22/Force22 FDs can be had for $144/$63, respectively. Wonder if they'll play nice with the Black Edition stuff?

    @ewitz - 11r is new for the 2014 models, which aren't up on Specialized's site yet. Check out my pic of the 2014 catalog tho.

  8. #8
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    Has Specialized made any changes to the various Venge frames since they were first introduced?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoilerCS View Post
    @ewitz - 11r is new for the 2014 models, which aren't up on Specialized's site yet. Check out my pic of the 2014 catalog tho.

    The Key Features states 10R and the Specs states 11R.

    I would ask which it is but am pretty sure that it will be the 10R.

  10. #10
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    Red FD is not bad at all, the key point is in adjustment. Please find SRAM manual and try to adjust it. Mine is working still fine after fine tuning and no need for 4-5 revolutions before it finally caught up front.
    2012 Tarmac SL4 pro red
    2007 Stumpjumper
    2002 Rockhopper

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoilerCS View Post

    @apetro3 - I tend to prefer the solid shifting (love the click, boom feedback) of SRAM, but don't necessarily dislike the Shimano setup. Overall I think I agree with you on going with the better frame...hopefully they really did improve the 6800 shift feeling!

    @r1lee - You're right about the layup being stiffer with the higher numbers, but some of the reviews I've read actually say the newer Venges are less harsh, so I'm not sure if they did some other black magic?

    @mikey/looigi - Looks like the Red22/Force22 FDs can be had for $144/$63, respectively. Wonder if they'll play nice with the Black Edition stuff?

    @ewitz - 11r is new for the 2014 models, which aren't up on Specialized's site yet. Check out my pic of the 2014 catalog tho.
    I maybe the only person on earth who thought the red fd was fine

    The yaw fd will work with the older two click fd brifter, you just have to ignore the first click

    I prefer the single lever shift of sram

    If the new frame set is really 11r I'd be inclined to go with the 2014

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewitz View Post
    The Key Features states 10R and the Specs states 11R.

    I would ask which it is but am pretty sure that it will be the 10R.
    Asked my LBS over the weekend and they confirmed 11r frame for the 2014 Venge Expert. Wondering if whatever he looked at on the computer was equally as ambiguous as the catalog though.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by meelis View Post
    Red FD is not bad at all, the key point is in adjustment.
    Quote Originally Posted by purdyd View Post
    I maybe the only person on earth who thought the red fd was fine

    The yaw fd will work with the older two click fd brifter, you just have to ignore the first click

    I prefer the single lever shift of sram

    If the new frame set is really 11r I'd be inclined to go with the 2014
    I had them tweak the FD over the weekend and it did indeed make a pretty big difference. Still not fantastic, but it reliably upshifts within a second or two without really having to break pace. As it is now I find it mostly acceptable given the limited amount of action my FD gets compared to the back, and I do like the single shift lever action of SRAM more too.

    Based on the FD tweaks, nicer deep carbon wheels, and my LBS shaving off another $300, I pulled the trigger and bought the 2012 Venge Pro with Red Even if the 2014 is 11r, I can't imagine it making a dramatic difference in riding performance (hopefully true?).

    Might end up swapping the FD for a newer Force/Red version with Yaw if it gets annoying in the future, but for now I feel like I got a pretty solid deal.

    There should be 5 pictures attached...if not I'll try again when I get home tonight. Big thanks to everyone for your thoughts & opinions...helped me get to a decision without too much head banging.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Specialized Dilemma - 2012 Venge Pro vs 2014 Venge Expert-photo.jpg   Specialized Dilemma - 2012 Venge Pro vs 2014 Venge Expert-photo_1.jpg   Specialized Dilemma - 2012 Venge Pro vs 2014 Venge Expert-photo_2.jpg   Specialized Dilemma - 2012 Venge Pro vs 2014 Venge Expert-photo_3.jpg   Specialized Dilemma - 2012 Venge Pro vs 2014 Venge Expert-photo_4.jpg  

    Last edited by BoilerCS; 07-29-2013 at 12:43 PM.

  14. #14
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    Looks awesome. Love the blue. Nice pedals.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by apetro3 View Post
    Looks awesome. Love the blue. Nice pedals.
    Haha...about the pedals...there are some Shimano 105 SPD-SL's are on the way from Amazon as we speak

    I tried ignore the paint job while deciding, but I do like the blue...

  16. #16
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    Nice, that's what I use too. I also bought another pair of them on Amazon for my eventual Roubaix.

  17. #17
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    i'm pretty sure that the expert frame is going to be 10r carbon...specialized made the same mistake last year as well on their brochure AND website, stating 11r carbon, but it's actually 10r. S-works are the only models offering 11r...12r for Mclaren. ;)
    There doesn't seem to be any frame design change for the Venge since it's introduction..which is good since i just got mine last year...the only difference would be the groupset and color selections.

  18. #18
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    Really nice looking! The blue is perfect. It's one of the best looking bikes I've seen.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by young-nyc View Post
    There doesn't seem to be any frame design change for the Venge since it's introduction..which is good since i just got mine last year...the only difference would be the groupset and color selections.
    Agreed. Makes me even more satisfied knowing there isn't something better right off the bat.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by stanseven View Post
    Really nice looking! The blue is perfect. It's one of the best looking bikes I've seen.
    Thanks! Love the blue too, glad I went that direction. Maybe it'll give me that extra mental boost at the end of a long race haha

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoilerCS View Post
    Agreed. Makes me even more satisfied knowing there isn't something better right off the bat.
    great looking bike,
    can't wait for your ride impressions!

  22. #22
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    Specialized Dilemma - 2012 Venge Pro vs 2014 Venge Expert

    Good choice! A buddy of mine once told me that if I was worried about using the FD while riding a Venge, I was probably riding the wrong bike. I still laugh at that comment today

  23. #23
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    So after my first week with the Venge I can safely say I'm happy with my decision. It was a pretty busy week of riding...three 20 mile rides on my own and then I decided to throw caution to the wind and do a Sprint Triathlon on Sunday.

    Normal Street Rides:
    If anyone is familiar with road quality (or lack of quality) in the Houston area I'm sure you know you'll get tossed around a bit on pretty much any bike. That being said, I didn't find the Venge to be overly harsh, but you do feel all but the smallest cracks in the road. 80% of the time I wasn't bothered or slowed down, but the other 20% involved some choice words and the need to pop out of the saddle for a second while my tailbone read me the riot act. I think once I map out some smooth loops I'll be 100% happy.

    Beyond the bumps, ride quality was very good; smooth and quiet. As noted in some of the reviews I read, the Venge is damn near silent when under power with almost no audible noise from the drivetrain. As far as stiffness goes, I haven't had many opportunities to really hammer and test the frame, but starting from a stop at traffic lights I was able to beat most cars through the intersection and be up to cruising speed before getting passed, so initial impression is that it's no slouch.

    I plan to start doing regular group rides so I'll post again in a few weeks.

    Sprint Triathlon:
    Can't say I planned on jumping in so quickly, but I'm glad I did. No aero bars for this one, but not really necessary for a Sprint distance anyway. When passing and near other riders it wasn't twitchy; likewise when hydrating and riding one handed - no problems maintaining a straight line and continuing to pedal.

    I averaged 20.3 MPH over the 13 miles on the bike and felt like I could have easily pushed it several MPH faster if I wasn't concerned with having legs for the run afterward. Overall for the tri I finished in the top third out of 1,200 and some people.

    @2Slo4U / meelis / Purdyd - happy to confirm the FD is definitely a non-issue. Only times I've used it so far is to do a quick down/up shift when I feel like the trim is off a little. Never even thought about touching it once during the tri.

    So that's it for week 1. Anyone have any recommendations for good aero bars?

  24. #24
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    I would go with the 2012. I am riding one of those now (it's not mine I just wanted to compare between my Tarmac) and it has been a great ride. The wheels are definitely better on the 2012, the SRAM Red black is fine, it all adjusts correctly and sets up evenly.

    This is the kicker though, the 2012 will be way lighter (almost 2 lbs). If you aren't counting grams and really do want Shimano shifting than I guess it's a wash. But if you can get a bike that is significantly lighter for the same price I don't see why you wouldn't.

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