Specialized’s new S-Works Shiv TT Disc is half a kilo lighter and just as fast

Specialized unveils flagship time trial bike ahead of the Tour de France

Specialized S-Works Shiv TT Disc in the wind tunnel

Specialized has launched the S-Works Shiv TT Disc ahead of the Tour de France. The new disc-only bike, which will be raced by Bora-Hansgrohe and Deceuninck-Quick-Step in stage two’s team time-trial, is said to be 500g lighter than its predecessor without compromising aerodynamics.

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The S-Works Shiv TT Disc is Specialized’s flagship time-trial machine and is based around an entirely new frame. Aerodynamics are typically prioritised when racing against the clock, but Specialized says the new Shiv is as fast in the wind tunnel as the bike it replaces, while improving handling and climbing prowess.

“The Shiv TT Disc represents speed for today’s WorldTour,” says Specialized. “Speed to attack the most technical time trial courses, drill the steepest climbs, and race with supreme confidence.”

Specialized S-Works Shiv TT Disc seatstays
Specialized claims the S-Works Shiv TT Disc is 500g lighter than its predecessor, thanks in part to this slim seat tube
Specialized

Half a kilo lighter, just as fast

The S-Works Shiv TT Disc’s frame is informed by Specialized’s FreeFoil Shape Library, a proprietary catalogue of tube shapes derived through wind tunnel testing and bespoke computer software, and designed to balance the competing demands of aerodynamics, weight and stiffness.

With aerodynamics at the top of the agenda in time trials, we’re used to seeing TT bikes with deep, aerofoil tube shapes. Fast, yes, but heavy and often with compromised handling as a result.

Specialized has sought to improve the new Shiv’s all-round capabilities — not just straight-line speed. Most notably, the frame features more compact, truncated shapes and has a significant gap between the rear wheel and the slim lower half of the seat tube, rather than the wheel-hugging cutout we normally see on time trial bikes.

Specialized S-Works Shiv TT Disc down tube
Slim truncated tubes are used across the frame to save weight
Specialized

This, according to Specialized, saves weight without unduly disrupting airflow when paired with Roval’s 321 Disc wheel. “The 321 Disc is the fastest disc wheel in the world,” says Specialized, “so even with the removal of the cutout the Shiv TT will still be as fast as any TT bike with a traditional seat tube cutout, only much lighter and with superior ride quality and handling.”

The frame also has dramatically stepped seatstays, right at the limits of UCI regulations and designed to improve aerodynamics and comfort. The seatpost, meanwhile, is borrowed from the Venge aero road bike and is secured by an internal clamp.

At the front end of the bike, Specialized has developed a new one-piece handlebar and stem, contributing a 200g weight saving, while also increasing stiffness and the range of adjustability.

Bob Jungels riding the Specialized S-Works Shiv TT Disc
Deceuninck–Quick-Step’s Bob Jungels rode the S-Works Shiv TT Disc at the Giro d’Italia
Specialized

Disc brakes and electronic shifting only 

The S-Works Shiv TT Disc follows the Roubaix and Venge in only being available with disc brakes — Specialized says the bike is faster with discs than it would be with rim brakes — and has clearance for 28mm tyres.

The frame is also only compatible with electronic groupsets, avoiding the extra weight and complexity of mechanical routing, according to Specialized. “Additionally, the ability to shift from the base bar with electronic groups is a significant advantage in both training and racing,” says the company’s press release.

Specialized S-Works Shiv TT Disc rotor
The new frame is compatible with disc brakes and electronic groupsets only
Specialized

You can take your pick from 1x and 2x drivetrains, though. Specialized has designed a removable derailleur hanger that mounts to the back of the seat tube, keeping things clean if you run a single chainring setup.

Finally, Specialized has sought to simplify the bike’s setup and claims build time is one-third that of the previous machine for Bora-Hansgrohe and Deceuninck-Quick-Step’s team mechanics.

Specialized S-Works Shiv TT Disc spec, pricing and availability

The S-Works Shiv TT Disc will be available this December as a frameset module or complete bike with a SRAM Red eTAP AXS 1x groupset, a set of Roval CLX 64 wheels, and a Roval 321 Disc rear wheel.

Frameset module pricing is to be confirmed but the complete bike will set you back a cool £11,999.

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Otherwise, look out for the new bike on the second stage of the Tour de France; a rolling 27.6km team time-trial in Brussels that follows the opening sprint stage in the Belgian capital.