The new Specialized S-Works Shiv disc is... wow

Original article updated with video

Specialized has just launched its all-new tri-specific and oh-so-very-non-UCI-legal Shiv that features remarkable levels of aero and storage-optimised design.

Specialized S-Works Shiv key details

  • Extensive storage in two ‘Fuelcells’
  • dual crown-like fork that extends from axle to cockpit
  • Folding cockpit for easy transport
  • 500 limited-edition bikes for initial production run, delivery due March 2019
  • Whopping £10,999 / $14,000 price tag

Minivan-like storage

In keeping with wider trends in the tri bike market, the new Shiv features masses of integrated storage for nutrition and tools. This storage is focussed in two areas that Specialized is calling Fuelcells.

The giant aerofoil-like structure that's mounted behind the seat tube is actually one of these. As well as improving the aero qualities of the bike, it also doubles as a 1.5-litre storage tank for hydration.

A hose runs from this to the front of the bike and neatly through the bars, again improving aerodynamics it is claimed.

A storage compartment is also built into the down tube
A storage compartment is also built into the down tube

For food, another storage area is integrated into the down tube. This is sized to fit up to five bars, six packs of chews or 12 gels.

This box is removable, which allows you to access the lower half of the down tube for storing tools.

Extra bottle bosses are peppered across the frame
Extra bottle bosses are peppered across the frame

There are also bosses on the seat tube and top tube for mounting additional bags or bottles.

A dual crown-like fork

Without a doubt, the most striking feature of the bike is the dual crown-like fork.

Extending all the way from the axle to the bars, this is said to significantly improve performance in crosswinds.

Clearly not content with just a weird fork, the head tube also extends slightly beyond the front of the fork legs, protruding outward like a blunt nose-cone, presumably in the name of aero-improvements.

A folding cockpit

The cockpit is designed to fold and sit flush with the frame
The cockpit is designed to fold and sit flush with the frame

Thorough integration of controls and cables at the cockpit on time trial and tri bikes can result in meaningful gains to the aero qualities of a bike.

However, more often than not, this causes headaches when it comes to taking the cockpit apart for transport.

Specialized has got around this by creating a folding front-end that allows the base bar to fold flush with the frame. A dedicated travel box is also available for the bike.

Extensive fit adjustments

The cockpit offers 115mm of height adjustment and, by the looks of things, plenty of reach adjustment.

The aero bars also use standard 22.2mm extensions, which will allow you to easily customise your fit.

The bike has only been shown in Di2 builds so far. Like the new Venge, it’s probably safe to assume the bike will not be compatible with mechanical drivetrains.

The new Shiv is also disc-only, with the caliper neatly tucked in behind the fork leg and inside the rear triangle.

All of this aero magic results in a bike that is claimed to be a minute faster around the Kona Ironman course compared to the fastest possible 2011-era Shiv setup.

One heck of a price tag

The new bike cuts quite the silhouette
The new bike cuts quite the silhouette

If you’re reading this standing up, find a seat, because the price is probably going to knock you off your feet — the initial limited run of 500 bikes will set you back a whopping £10,999 / $14,000. Speed doesn’t come cheap! Delivery is expected in March 2019.

The new bike has only been given a soft launch, so we’ll update this story with more details as we get them. Stay tuned.

Jack Luke

Staff Writer, UK
Jack has been riding and fettling with bikes for his whole life. Always in search of the hippest new niche in cycling, Jack is a self-confessed gravel dork and thinks nothing of bivouacking on a beach after work. Also fond of cup and cone bearings, skids and tan wall tyres.
  • Discipline: Long days in the saddle by either road or mountain bike
  • Preferred Terrain: Happiest when on a rural road by the coast or crossing a remote mountain pass. Also partial to a cheeky gravel adventure or an arduous hike-a-bike.
  • Current Bikes: Custom Genesis Croix de Fer all road adventure wagon, Niner EMD 9.
  • Dream Bike: A rigid 44 Bikes Marauder, all black please.
  • Beer of Choice: Caesar Augustus
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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