McLaren Applied Technologies teams with Specialized
Why? Because the team pioneered the technology – firstly in Formula 1, when it flew in the face of prevailing chassis technology to create grand prix racing’s first-ever carbon tub, the MP4/1, in 1981.
With neat circularity, 30 years later McLaren once again showed the way, this time in automotive technology, when it unveiled the carbon-fibre Monocell at the heart of the Group’s brand-new MP4-12C high-performance road car.
With carbon in our blood, then, the McLaren Technology Centre was the natural resource for Specialized Bicycle Components when it was looking to collaborate with a carbon-fibre expert in the design and lay-up process of its all-new Venge aerodynamic road bike.
While Specialized’s top-of-the-range S-Works Venge already mated the best combination of stiffness, weight, and aerodynamics, their unprecedented collaboration with McLaren Applied Technologies (MAT) enabled them to take the frame to an even more extreme level.
By optimizing the way the carbon was cut and applied, and by choosing the most suitable plies, MAT was able to improve efficiency by 10-15 per cent – more than anything previously seen in the cycling world.
The results are simply sensational: the slippery-looking Specialized + McLaren Venge is the fastest complete-performance bike in the world.
“The S-Specialized + McLaren Venge project is unique,” said Brad Paquin, the California firm’s composite design engineer. “We paid no attention to the typical limiting factors and focused solely on producing the most advanced bike possible – Formula 1-style!
“The collaboration with McLaren Applied Technologies allowed us to dive further into analysis, optimisation, and cutting-edge manufacturing techniques which make the Venge truly state-of-the-art.”
MAT design director Duncan Bradley added: “At McLaren, we like to push the boundaries as far as possible to create something special in everything we do. This project was about consistently balancing our desire to pursue engineering perfection with the realities of delivering a commercially viable product.
“Both teams have done a great job to deliver a very special bike with benchmark performance that everyone could ride.
”The world’s fastest bike will face a baptism of fire when it is put to the test for the first time ever in Saturday’s classic Milan-San Remo one-day race.
No less than Mark Cavendish, a Tour de France multiple stage winner and the man who won the event in sensational style in 2009, exclaimed, "I love this bike!" after testing the Venge for the very first time.
And when the fastest man on two wheels tells you he's in love with your new bike, you know you’re doing something right...