Very Special Things: “Rust Venge”

Read the stories behind the passion projects of the people of Specialized.

First, Pig bike died. Let’s have a moment’s silence for what was a paint-fail tragedy. Second, Pig bike was reincarnated as an experimental “paint-by-numbers” concept. Alas, reincarnation didn’t stick either and that bike died. But from those two deaths rose a magnificently rusted Phoenix of a thing. A hat tip to the rat rod life, it’s known as Rust Venge, a rusted carbon bike that, for a while, smelled a little bit like, well…blood.

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The cockpit. Pinstriping by Ray the Vulture

Background and Inspiration

But let’s get those macabre death tales out of the way. Eulogize the rejects, if you will. You may remember Brian’s other project, Operation Flying Pig? The original vision of that project was to have two pig bikes. Rust Venge is just the twin that died.

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Left: 1930s International Rat Rod. Photo by: David Berry Right: Patina on rat rod. Photo by Ben Hosking

Red roof, rusted

So, how exactly do you turn a carbon bike into a rust bike? Carbon isn’t exactly known for rusting in the wet, or succumbing to the vagaries of time.

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The Vulture Swoops In

Once the bike was a rust canvas, all that remained was to give it a little personality boost.

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“It’s really durable stuff, actually” says Brian, talking about the longevity of the treatment. “I’m actually thinking of providing a fork service, where people send me the forks of their expensive carbon bikes, and I paint them rust and send ’em back all weathered. You’ve just gotta commit to that rust life.” [laughs]
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The bike was finished off with a matte clear coat over the rust.

Rusty Reactions

The best thing about a bike like this is gauging people’s reactions to it in the wild. As his main race bike, Brian took it out early in the season and pitted it against the shiniest of race machines.

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The #rustvenge takes the stage. Photo: Brian Szykowny

The verdict

Brian admits he’s pretty happy with how the bike turned out and people’s responses to it, and gives himself a final score of A+. But that doesn’t mean he’s finished tinkering with it. Anything he would change?

Special Thing Rap Sheet

NAME: “Rust Venge”, #rustvenge on instagram

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