Monday, October 21, 2013

2014 Specialized S-Works Shiv: The Batman Bike

Few bikes turn heads quite like the Specialized S-Works Shiv. Looking closer to a pedal-powered stealth bomber than a bicycle, there is little mistaking it. The 2014 model does not stop at appearances. We built up the Specialized 2014 S-Works Shiv module as a dream triathlon bike and, not-surprisingly, it ended up almost identical to the complete model.

The first thing that stops everyone is the unique shape of the Shiv. Entirely based on wind tunnel testing, Specialized created a shape optimized for cross winds. The frame is comprised of 11r carbon with FACT IS construction, which means it's as stiff and responsive as the stealth fighter it resembles.

Fuel Cell
Within the main triangle of the bike, the new Fuel Cell keeps nutrition prepped for mid-ride consumption and provides storage that actually adds to the aero shape of the bike, rather than fight it. The commanding down tube houses a water bladder that can be accessed from a camelbak-like tube just behind the cockpit. The more time a triathlete can hold the aero position, the bigger their advantage becomes. These support features help to stay effective through more of the race.

The first TRUE "One size fits all" setup
While many brands lump triathlon-specific frames with designs meant for time trials, Specialized understands that it is a completely different sport, with different requirements of the athlete. The Body Geometry fit staff had a large influence on designing, not only the geometry of the frame but the flexible modulation of the cockpit.
Though comfort rarely seems to be considered for time trials, it is paramount for triathlons. Extra stress caused by a non-comfort based position on the bike can not only rob the rider of speed during the bike section but also impede muscle groups during the run. Passing competition on the swim or bike sections of the race doesn't matter if they pass you during the run.
Every angle of the Shiv cockpit is adjustable to guarantee an effective body placement. Not to mention the reversible set back seat post as well as the second position seat post included with the module. There are so many minor adjustments available each S-Works Shiv comes with a full spread of bolts, risers and shims.
The new Specialized Body Geometry Sitero saddle is the perfect compliment to the "comfort equals effective" position.

This model comes with 11 speed Shimano Dura Ace Di2. It seems to make sense if you've got the best
frame on the market, might as well give it the best components. With it's self trim, automatic crash protections (if you fall, it attempts to save itself!) and the ability to manually adjust while still riding, it's no wonder why Dura Ace Di2 is quickly becoming the new standard of "Top of the line."

The icing on the top of this bike comes in the form of Magura RT8TT brakes. Hydraulic rim brakes with carbon levers that give a brand new level of control. The hydraulic rim system more than compensates for any lack of control due to carbon stopping surfaces in less than optimal conditions. The levers have cutaways, optimizing aero dynamics on the forefront of the bike.

Like all S-Works frames, the Shiv is stocked with the new 2014 S-Works carbon crank, one of the stiffest per weight on the market. We wanted to pair them with their cousins, the Roval Rapide CLX 60 wheel set due to their stock CeramicSpeed bearings and 1,495g weight but had to settle for Zipp (404 Firecrest front and 808 Firescrest rear). I think it came out alright.
Zipp, Di2 and S-Works.
Definitely drool worthy

Saddly, this bike has already left the store. But if you are interested in any level of the Shiv please let us know! Or stop by the shop.

Here's a great video explaining a little more about the Shiv and it's superior technology: