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Madone SLR vs Venge Pro

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Madone SLR vs Venge Pro

Old 10-24-19, 01:27 AM
  #1  
guadzilla
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Madone SLR vs Venge Pro

Am trying to decide between these 2 bikes.

Pros and cons of the Madone:
+ Red (which is obviously faster)
+ Force eTap, which is the groupset i want
- Potential BB90 issue - if it happens, i will have to ship the bike internationally for service
- Comes with lower trim wheels

Pros and cons of the Venge:
+ Light
+ Service issues will be a lot easier to handle
+ Comes with wheels that have the same aero profile as their top end ones
- Comes with Ultegra Di2 - so i will likely switch to eTap at some point

Honestly, were it not for the BB90 issue, I'd get the Trek. It looks bad-ass and is specced exactly as I want.

Anyone ridden both bikes and have any comments on how they feel? Which one feels more nimble/lively/quick to accelerate? Or any ownership experiences that i should know of, before i pull the trigger?

Re the BB90 issue - is it just a matter of adding loctite or swapping the BB cups to slightly larger ones?

TIA.
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Old 10-24-19, 05:29 AM
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BB90 is a deal killer to me and I am a fan Ultgra DI2 so easy choice for me. But I thought the Venge was available with etap.No?

oh, no cups on BB90, just bearings pressed into frame. I like these bbinfinite guys. I might try their stuff for my BB30 Cannondale.

Last edited by DOS; 10-24-19 at 05:46 AM.
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Old 10-24-19, 06:27 AM
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The Venge on eTap is teal. Teal! Gah. It's a proven fact that bikes need to be red/black - and the black frame is Ultegra Di2 only.
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Old 10-24-19, 06:28 AM
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The Force costs more, weights a lot more, is less reliable, with inferior braking and shifting quality. Other than that, it’s good
I ended up buying a 2019 Madone SLR (rim brake, DA Di2) after testing it against the Venge. The Venge is a bit more lively but rides super harsh, and feels less compliant. Both bikes hold speed really well. On looks alone the Madone wins hands down. Other than having to clean my bottom bracket couple of times due to riding in rainy muddy waters, I’ve had zero issues with the bb90. Love the Madone!
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Old 10-24-19, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
The Venge on eTap is teal. Teal! Gah. It's a proven fact that bikes need to be red/black - and the black frame is Ultegra Di2 only.
I don't see a single Venge with teal coloring.

I could do without any more blackety black black black frames though.
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Old 10-24-19, 11:56 AM
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OP- What small tropical island are you on?
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Old 10-24-19, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Noctilux.95 View Post
The Force costs more, weights a lot more, is less reliable, with inferior braking and shifting quality. Other than that, its good
I ended up buying a 2019 Madone SLR (rim brake, DA Di2) after testing it against the Venge. The Venge is a bit more lively but rides super harsh, and feels less compliant. Both bikes hold speed really well. On looks alone the Madone wins hands down. Other than having to clean my bottom bracket couple of times due to riding in rainy muddy waters, Ive had zero issues with the bb90. Love the Madone!
That really is the key to press fit bottom brackets; stay on top of the maintenance. Pull the crank at regular intervals and inspect the bearings. Unfortunately for me, I am not mechanically inclined, so I usually just have them replaced because they are so cheap.
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Old 10-25-19, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
I don't see a single Venge with teal coloring
https://www.specialized.com/us/en/ve...=271666-171339
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Old 10-25-19, 01:23 PM
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Missed it, thank! Man, that is not an attractive color.
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Old 10-25-19, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
Missed it, thank! Man, that is not an attractive color.
I concur.
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Old 10-25-19, 01:26 PM
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I think the mods should rename this thread "the ultimate first world problem".

I've always liked the looks of the Venge, but both of these are outrageously great bikes.

Enjoy whatever one you choose.
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Old 10-25-19, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by joelcool View Post
I think the mods should rename this thread "the ultimate first world problem".

I've always liked the looks of the Venge, but both of these are outrageously great bikes.

Enjoy whatever one you choose.
If we're gonna go there...this whole forum could be called that.
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Old 10-25-19, 04:41 PM
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If bang for your buck is an issue, Canyon has them beat all day long. Take a look at the Aeroad.
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Old 10-25-19, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by colombo357 View Post
If bang for your buck is an issue, Canyon has them beat all day long. Take a look at the Aeroad.
I've got a Madone SLR and two buddies ride the Aeroad. With that said, I have to agree with your comment. The Madone has the isospeed decouplers, but bang for the buck - Aeroad.
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Old 10-25-19, 07:22 PM
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I honestly keep thinking about "bang for my buck" as I wait for my bike to come in...and there were countless other bikes that would have offered a much cheaper starting point with the same core components...but meh. Life's too short, or something like that.
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Old 10-25-19, 09:54 PM
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shouldn't you be comparing SLR with S-work? the Venge pro has lower tier carbon layup.
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Old 10-25-19, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by colombo357 View Post
If bang for your buck is an issue, Canyon has them beat all day long. Take a look at the Aeroad.
Bang for the buck - not so much, really. I am upgrading after a long time, and want a bike that puts a big grin on my face and motivates me to get out and ride more - I am under no misapprehensions that this bike will make me any noticeably faster than a cheaper bike. So it isnt a perfectly rational purchase (although i did eliminate the Red/Dura Ace trims as not being worth it).

Here's a re-cap of my elimination process:

- Ridley Noah Fast: I've only owned Ridley carbon bikes: a Damocles (my second road bike ever, which i still have), an Excalibur (their endurance trim, which I sold) and an X-Fire (which i am in the process of selling). The Noah Fast hit all the buttons - aero, red/black, good value, but i just wanted something different

- Most other brands: rightly or wrongly, I feel that the most cutting edge R&D on aero bikes is being done by the big boys (Spesh, Trek, Giant, etc). So i felt more comfortable getting an aero bike from one of these brands.

- Canyon Aeroroad Alphabet Soup: it's an older frame and due for a refresh soon. I know it is still relevant and fast, buuuut.... it would just nag at me.

- Giant Propel Advanced 0: even though i know they make very good bikes, I havent been that excited about the Giant brand. But this was an absolutely killer-spec bike, with a Force powermeter, for a lot less than the other options. While I am not particularly budget-constrained with this buy, I also dont want to spend more than i need to. But then they didnt have the red frame in my size. That, and the lack of wind tunnel data on the 2019/2020 bikes ruled it out for me.

- Cannondale System Six: this is the bike i wanted, after the Aero magazine test. But it was a struggle to find the right frame size and spec I wanted - the "local" AD couldnt get me a red or even all-black frame, only a meh grey/black one. I could get a red frame from Germany and have someone ship it to me, but then it wouldnt be a hi-mod frame (so heavy) and this was mechUltegra, so i'd have to upgrade all the parts, etc. Too much effort.

- Cervelo S5: I just couldnt find a regional dealer. Emailed a couple but very slow and incomplete replies.

- Trek Madone SLR 7: I loved (and still love) the red. Was gonna pull the trigger on it, as I was getting a good deal from an overseas dealer. Then I read about the BB90 issues here and had some concerns, mainly about the complexity of shipping the frame internationally for service. The other issue was that mail order, i wouldnt be able to have the frame dialled in for me. And buying from the regional dealer would have made the bike a lot more expensive and also entailed a 45 day or longer waiting period.

- Specialized Venge: the Cervelo S series and the Venge were my original dream bikes when they were released. The VIAS killed me interest in the Venge, but reading about the newer Venge got me interested again - it was only a few watts off the System6, comparable to the S5, and better than the Madone in aero as per Tour magazine, plus it handled a lot better. Color looked good, stock wheels looked good, I'd have preferred eTap but Di2 sounds pretty good and i can always upgrade later and i got a killer combo deal on the Venge for me and a Shiv for the missus (who won her AG and qualified for the 70.3 world championship). Plus, and I know this is silly, I have always been a fan of Quickstep back from their Boonen days, and it just felt good to get a Spesh. The deciding factor was a bunch of people telling me that it was a *lively* ride. That's what i want the most. Stiffness and lack of comfort dont bother me too much (my Shiv on HED wheels is possibly the most jarring ride ever), but i want a bike that leaps forward when i 'drope the hamer and dial it up to 400W'. That puts a grin on my face. And by all accounts, the Venge does this really well.

So order placed, and we'll fly over in mid-November or so to pick up our new bikes.
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Old 10-25-19, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Chi_Z View Post
shouldn't you be comparing SLR with S-work? the Venge pro has lower tier carbon layup.
Not the new Pro Venge. It has the same carbon as the S-Works, i believe. In any case, even if it doesnt, that extra 100gm doesnt bother me. My old-gen Shiv Pro was about 100gm heavier than the S-Works, and $3000 cheaper - i can live with that.
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Old 10-25-19, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
Not the new Pro Venge. It has the same carbon as the S-Works, i believe. In any case, even if it doesnt, that extra 100gm doesnt bother me. My old-gen Shiv Pro was about 100gm heavier than the S-Works, and $3000 cheaper - i can live with that.
EDIT: Looks like I was wrong. The Specialized Pro and S-WORKS Venge both come with FACT 11r carbon frame. So yea...weird indeed. Not sure how that fits into their marketing for upselling S-WORKS bikes...but huh. I did eyeball the Tarmac Pro for a while...but they only offer Expert here in Japan.

https://www.bikeradar.com/news/the-2...s-in-disguise/

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Old 10-25-19, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by N00b_Cyclist View Post
EDIT: Looks like I was wrong. The Specialized Pro and S-WORKS Venge does come with FACT 11r carbon frame. So yea...weird indeed. Not sure how that fits into their marketing for upselling S-WORKS bikes...but huh.
I think limiting the top frame to just one top spec puts them at a disadvantage compared to brands like Trek, Cannondale and Cervelo, which offer their top frames with Force/Ultegra Di2 specs.

But by giving the top spec the S-Works brand name, they set that bike apart a little more from a Force/Ultegra version of the same bike.

So on one hand, yes. it does reduce the gap between the Pro and the S-Works model to more in line with what other brands offer. However, it also makes the top-end more unique, which sets their options apart a little better than other brands (which rely on just color to separate the top trim from a lesser trim).
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Old 10-26-19, 01:09 AM
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Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
I think limiting the top frame to just one top spec puts them at a disadvantage compared to brands like Trek, Cannondale and Cervelo, which offer their top frames with Force/Ultegra Di2 specs.

But by giving the top spec the S-Works brand name, they set that bike apart a little more from a Force/Ultegra version of the same bike.

So on one hand, yes. it does reduce the gap between the Pro and the S-Works model to more in line with what other brands offer. However, it also makes the top-end more unique, which sets their options apart a little better than other brands (which rely on just color to separate the top trim from a lesser trim).
Yea, that makes sense. I am glad that Trek doesn't do that, as I wasn't about to spend $12k on a bike because it says "S-WORKS" on it. I like the fact that I can get the SLR model of Trek with top tier carbon and the "SLR" branding, as well as Project One options (I splurged in that builder lol) for a reasonable entry point. Even if it is "just" Ultegra Di2 equipped.
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Old 11-25-19, 03:41 AM
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Well, I finally got my bike - went with the Venge Pro and upgraded the wheels to Roval CLX64s.

Had a checkout ride on Saturday and then did the Laguna ****et tri on it yesterday and my first impression: wow. It is responsive, holds its speed amazingly well and is very, very stiff/agile - which.makes cornering and fast descents an absolute dream.

And the Rovals make a very satisfying "whoosh whoosh". To say I am satisfied with the decision is an understatement.

Whole bike with the 64mm wheels, bottle cages and pedals clocks in at 7.98kg. Plan to switch to latex tubes and Turbo cottons, which should take some additional weight of and also reduce drag/RR further.

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Old 11-25-19, 09:54 AM
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Stunning bike, well done and safe riding!
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Old 11-25-19, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
Well, I finally got my bike - went with the Venge Pro and upgraded the wheels to Roval CLX64s.

Had a checkout ride on Saturday and then did the Laguna ****et tri on it yesterday and my first impression: wow. It is responsive, holds its speed amazingly well and is very, very stiff/agile - which.makes cornering and fast descents an absolute dream.

And the Rovals make a very satisfying "whoosh whoosh". To say I am satisfied with the decision is an understatement.

Whole bike with the 64mm wheels, bottle cages and pedals clocks in at 7.98kg. Plan to switch to latex tubes and Turbo cottons, which should take some additional weight of and also reduce drag/RR further.
Nice bike dude. How much did you pay for the CLX upgrade?
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Old 11-25-19, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by rower2cyclist View Post
Nice bike dude. How much did you pay for the CLX upgrade?
$719 to go from CL40s to CLX64s...
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