With the 2019 edition of the Tour de France looming, the bicycle industry goes into overdrive, with a swathe of new bike releases coinciding with the world’s largest sporting event.. Twelve months after unveiling it’s reborn Venge aero bike, American outfit Specialized has turned up the wick on its time trial specific aero option, the SHIV, cleaving over half a kilogram of weight from the frame, optimizing the aero even further and creating what the big S claims is the fastest TT bike in the WorldTour peloton. Join us as we take you through six things to know about the all-new SHIV TT from Specialized’s skunkworks division, S-Works.
1. Much Lighter
When Specialized looked at improving on its already impressive SHIV platform, along with tweaks to the aero, significant gains were made in the weight department. Over 500 grams has been shed from the new SHIV TT compared to its predecessor, with over 200 of these grams being cut from the cockpit. The all-new set-up is a one-piece bar and stem set-up, with lightweight hardware, also used. Elsewhere, revised carbon lay-up techniques and a smattering of hi-modulus fibers at the frame, fork and seatpost make up the additional 300 grams.
All told Specialized claims that the new SHIV TT is just as aero efficient at the outgoing model; however, saved 10 seconds with the weight savings alone on the simulated back to back runs on the opening individual time-trial course in Bologna at the 2019 Giro d’Italia.
2. The Fastest is now Faster.
Specialized claims the outgoing SHIV TT was the most aerodynamically efficient UCI specified time trial bike available. For 2020, the new SHIV looks to grow on that with a radical new frame shape designed to let its “Win Tunnel” optimized components cut through the air, mainly the Roval 321 Disc rear wheel. Specialized claim it’s the fastest UCI certified disc rear wheel in the world; as a result, the SHIV is designed to work in conjunction with the wheel to provide unmatched aero efficiency. Consumers aren’t limited to using the Roval 321; however, with Specialized claiming most modern disc rear wheels provide similar aero benefits.
3. Disc Brake and Electronic Groupset Specific
In line with current industry trends, the SHIV TT is only compatible with electronic groupsets and disc brakes. The move to limited groupset and braking options was made as a result of the increased aero benefits on offer with minimal cabling and no rim brakes to integrate into the frame design. Disc brakes also allow for wider tires to be used with Specialized claiming the SHIV will swallow tires up to 28mm wide.
4. Seat Stays At The Limit
The SHIV TT has a much simpler seat tube design than its predecessor in an effort to let the other aero components on the bike shine. The seat stays themselves are right on the UCI limits and are position far down the seat tube which is said to provide weight reduction, improved ride quality and greater frame stiffness.
The seatpost on the SHIV TT comes courtesy of the Venge announced last year after the American outfit discovered it was lighter, more compliant and just as aerodynamically efficient as the skinniest seatpost design the UCI allows.
5. Mechanic and Bike-Fit Friendly
One of the key talking points in the presentation accompanying the announcement of the SHIV TT was the fact that it’s just as fast on the work stand as it is on the road. With a mechanic friendly English thread BB in use, electronic gearing only and an easily adjustable cockpit, this certainly looks to be the case. The same can be said for bike fitters too, with the new cockpits oversized hardware mounting holes allowing for quick changes to the position of a rider including altering the armrest tilt, yaw, height and position as well as up to 30mm of stack height adjustment.
6. Pricing and Availability
At the time of publishing, the SHIV TT is limited to its WorldTour teams only, with retail “modules” (Frame, Fork, Bars, and Seatpost) and complete bikes set to hit local shores in early 2020. The SHIV TT will come in four sizes; X-Small, Small, Medium, and Large and pricing is yet to be announced. Check with your nearest bike store for local availability.
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