Skip to main content

2012 Reader Poll: Specialized's S-Works wins best team bike

Image 1 of 7

This year's Best Team Bike is the Omega Pharma-QuickStep Specialized S-Works McLaren Venge.

This year's Best Team Bike is the Omega Pharma-QuickStep Specialized S-Works McLaren Venge.
(Image credit: James Huang)
Image 2 of 7

Garmin-Sharp's Cervélo S5 is supposedly one of the most aerodynamic road bikes currently on the pro circuit.

Garmin-Sharp's Cervélo S5 is supposedly one of the most aerodynamic road bikes currently on the pro circuit.
(Image credit: James Huang)
Image 3 of 7

In addition to supplying the framesets, Specialized also outfits Omega Pharma-QuickStep's team bikes with its own carbon fiber crankarms.

In addition to supplying the framesets, Specialized also outfits Omega Pharma-QuickStep's team bikes with its own carbon fiber crankarms.
(Image credit: James Huang)
Image 4 of 7

Omega Pharma-QuickStep relied on SRAM Red groups this past season.

Omega Pharma-QuickStep relied on SRAM Red groups this past season.
(Image credit: James Huang)
Image 5 of 7

Team Sky's bikes are decidedly Shimano-heavy including not just Dura-Ace Di2 groups and carbon wheels but cockpit components from PRO, too.

Team Sky's bikes are decidedly Shimano-heavy including not just Dura-Ace Di2 groups and carbon wheels but cockpit components from PRO, too.
(Image credit: James Huang)
Image 6 of 7

Team Sky's Pinarello Dogma 2 machines took the second spot in this year's Cyclingnews Reader Poll.

Team Sky's Pinarello Dogma 2 machines took the second spot in this year's Cyclingnews Reader Poll.
(Image credit: James Huang)
Image 7 of 7

Team Sky was mostly on Shimano wheels this year but we occasionally caught 2012 Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins aboard non-sponsor correct gear, including handbuilt wheels using Tune and Chris King hubs plus various ceramic bearing upgrades.

Team Sky was mostly on Shimano wheels this year but we occasionally caught 2012 Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins aboard non-sponsor correct gear, including handbuilt wheels using Tune and Chris King hubs plus various ceramic bearing upgrades.
(Image credit: James Huang)

After seven straight years on top, Cervélo's dominant reign finally comes to an end with Omega Pharma-QuickStep's Specialized S-Works McLaren Venge winning the Best Team Bike classification for 2012.The make and model topping this year's poll may have changed but one thing is still clear, though: aero road bikes are here to stay.

Specialized introduced the McLaren Vengein March 2011 as an all-out race machine, supposedly saving 23 watts of rider effort as compared to the company's own Tarmac SL3 at 45km/h– and HTC-Highroad sprinter Matthew Goss put that claimed advantage to good use just two days later by winning Milan-San Remo. Weight and rider comfort were secondary concerns here but thanks to composite design help from development partner – and heralded Formula 1 engineering house – McLaren, claimed frame weight is still a very reasonable 950g.

OmegaPharma-QuickStep team bikes featured a straightforward build, featuring a SRAM Red group, Zipp cockpit components, Zipp carbon tubular wheels, and Look KéO pedals while Specialized provided the carbon fiber crank, saddles, and even tires.

Standing on the second step of this year's podium is Sky's Pinarello Dogma 2, as used by British cycling superstar (and newly crowned BBC SPOTY) Bradley Wiggins en route to his first Tour de France win. Pinarello's curvaceous flagship isn't touted as an aero bike like the Venge and in fact, it isn't remarkably light, either. However, its wildly asymmetrical design does strike a remarkable blend of stiffness, ride quality, and handling that seems well suited to three weeks of hard labor and few will argue with its enviable good looks, too.

We noted several curious component choices on Wiggins' machines this year (such as ceramic bearings and custom-built wheels) but Sky's team bikes in general use another by the book build, including Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groups, Shimano and PRO wheels, PRO cockpits, Veloflex tires, and fi'zi:k saddles.

Cervélo hasn't fallen completely off the map, though, rounding out the top three with Garmin-Sharp's Cervélo S5 – just edging out the Liquigas-Cannondale Cannondale SuperSixEvo Hi-Mod. Cervélo hasn't significantly changed the S5 since last year – it's still claimed to be supremely aero – but a new paint scheme that debuted late in 2012 looks to minimize much of the visual bulk.

We'll have to wait another year to see if that new graphic brings Cervélo back to the top but in the meantime, consider it the end of an era.

 

 

 

Results

#Best bike 2012Result
1Omega Pharma-QuickStep Specialized S-Works McLaren Venge31%
2Sky Procycling Pinarello Dogma 216%
3Garmin-Sharp Cervélo S513%
4Liquigas-Cannondale Cannondale SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod12%
5BMC Racing Team BMC TimeMachine TMR018%
6Europcar Colnago C-59 Italia6%
7RadioShack-Nissan Trek Madone 6-Series5%
8Orica GreenEdge Scott Foil4%
9Lampre-ISC Wilier Triestina Cento 1 SR3%
10Farnese Vini-Selle Italia Cipollini R10002%