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Marcel Kittel's custom Specialized S-Works Venge ViAS disc – Gallery

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Marcel Kittel's custom Specialized S-Works Venge ViAS Disc

Marcel Kittel's custom Specialized S-Works Venge ViAS Disc
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The rear disc brake close up

The rear disc brake close up
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The front disc brake and the thru-axel give the bike a different appearance

The front disc brake and the thru-axel give the bike a different appearance
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The fork has been strengthened for the disc brakes

The fork has been strengthened for the disc brakes
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The bottom bracket is chunky to resist the power a sprinter like Kittel puts down

The bottom bracket is chunky to resist the power a sprinter like Kittel puts down
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Kittel opts for a Specialized S-Works Romin Evo

Kittel opts for a Specialized S-Works Romin Evo
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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A close-up of the gear hanger and thru-axel

A close-up of the gear hanger and thru-axel
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Kittel likes his bars deep and low

Kittel likes his bars deep and low
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Marcel Kittel's custom Specialized S-Works Venge ViAS

Marcel Kittel's custom Specialized S-Works Venge ViAS
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The 4iiii power metre sensor

The 4iiii power metre sensor
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The white marker signals Kittel's saddle height

The white marker signals Kittel's saddle height
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The Vision Metron 5D integrated bar and stem hides the Shimano Di2 brain

The Vision Metron 5D integrated bar and stem hides the Shimano Di2 brain
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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A look down the down tube

A look down the down tube
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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A close-up of the rear hub and disc brake

A close-up of the rear hub and disc brake
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The 53-39 Shimano chainset

The 53-39 Shimano chainset
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The wheels are shod with all-black Specialized turbo Gripton 26mm tubulars

The wheels are shod with all-black Specialized turbo Gripton 26mm tubulars
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Close up of the CERN-inspired down tube

Close up of the CERN-inspired down tube
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The seat stays are also coloured

The seat stays are also coloured
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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With no rim brakes, the stays are aerodynamic

With no rim brakes, the stays are aerodynamic
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Kittel's Venge ViAS from the disc side

Kittel's Venge ViAS from the disc side
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The Vision Metron 5D integrated bar and stem

The Vision Metron 5D integrated bar and stem
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The computer attachment is flattened and aero too

The computer attachment is flattened and aero too
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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A vertical view of the front disc

A vertical view of the front disc
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The front derailleur chain catcher

The front derailleur chain catcher
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The CERN-inspired graphic on the top tube

The CERN-inspired graphic on the top tube
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The holes for rim brake cables have been plugged

The holes for rim brake cables have been plugged
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The front disc brake

The front disc brake
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Roval tape stops the valve rattling

Roval tape stops the valve rattling
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)

Marcel Kittel has confirmed he will use disc brakes at the Dubai Tour, convinced that disc brakes offer a "very strong improvement" compared to traditional rim brakes. He does not seem concerned by the weight of the bike, which is close to 8kg, but no doubt enjoys the aerodynamics of the frame despite the disc reducing part of the gains.

Tom Boonen used a Specialized Venge ViAS disc brake bike last week in the Vuelta a San Juan and Peter Sagan went training on a similar bike before the Tour Down Under in Australia. Specialized seems keen for their big-name sponsored riders to use disc brake bikes, while rival brands have so far held off supplying their professional teams and riders with disc brake bikes.

Boonen described the disc brake bike to Cyclingnews as "the biggest improvement I've seen in my career on bikes," adding "it would be stupid not to use it."

Kittel described the switch to disc brakes from rim brakes as an improvement when he confirmed he would use the bike in this week's Dubai Tour, even if he reservations about a mixed peloton in more extreme weather conditions.

"What I can say from all the training sessions I did already in training camps now is that it's a very strong improvement. It improves a lot of your steering of your bike; you can handle it really well – so I think it's a good choice," he said.

We got a closer look at Kittel's bike as the Quick-Step Floors mechanics carried out the final touch to the team bikes the evening before the start of the Dubai Tour.

Kittel's custom Specialized S-Works Venge ViAS disc frame has the same colours as the bike he used in the 2016 Tour de France. The rainbow colours were inspired by the European-based CERN particle accelerator and some of the experiments performed there. It is in bright contrast to the silver base colour of the frame.

The frame has clearly been used in training in recent times with the odd scratch and some paint missing from one of the brake mounts and the thru-axle holes in the rear dropout. The seat post has also seen use, with a touch of white marker indicating Kittel's saddle height.

While our sister site Bikeradar recently got to test the new Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 R9170 electronic/hydraulic groupset, the new components have yet to be supplied to the professional teams and Kittel, like Boonen, will use the older model of Shimano's disc brakes and their much chunkier levers. The disc brakes and levers are not marked Dura-Ace as they were not considered worthy of the top-level groupset.

The other components are also of earlier design with Kittel's bike fitted with a widely seen and used Dura-Ace 9000 groupset. The drivetrain is made up of 175mm crank arms, 53-39 chain rings and a Dura-Ace 11-23 block for the flat roads of Dubai. The left crank arm is fitted with a 4iiii power meter sensor, with another white sensor between the crank arms.

The Shimano Dura-Ace rear derailleur tucks tight under the block, while the front derailleur is fitted with a chain catcher to prevent sudden changes to the small chainring.

The disc brakes are all black, with 160mm disc front and back. The discs have flattened edges as required by the UCI. However, the inner edges of the cooler fins still feel sharp to touch. The 50mm Roval CLX carbon rims are shod with all-black Specialized Turbo Gripton 26mm tyres.

Kittel's bike is finished with a Specialized Romin Evo saddle, a Vision Metron 5D integrated and curved forward carbon bar and stem. It is covered with black and orange Supacaz tape, with bright orange bar ends. The saddle is a solid looking S-Works Romin Evo.

Full Specifications: