SHIV-tastic's why. By Mack Clarkson

By in , ,

Why I love my Specialized Shiv.

Well I’ve had my Specialized Expert with ui2 now for nearly a year now so thought I’d do a quick review. Sure it doesn’t have S WORKS along the down tube for + status but it’s a damn good bike!

After coming back from back surgery it was important for me to buy a bike that had a lot of adjustability so I could get comfortable on the bike and ease my way back into an aero position again. Obviously my priority had now shifted somewhat over to comfort on the “comfort to aero” scale!

The shiv is one of the most adjustable rigs around. The front end can be adjusted a number of ways and there is loads of play there.
There are spaces under the tt bars that can be added or subtracted, spaces under the pads, and with my model you can also change out the head stem. The tri bars can be easily extended in or out also.
The bike also does not conform to UCI frame regulations as it is specifically designed for triathletes so Specialized did not have to abide by the same restrictions in design to make it super aero and comfortable.
I’m not sure what they put in the Fact 10 carbon frame but it absorbs impact well and runs incredibly smooth.


I’d heard a bit of controversy about the brakes before I bought the shiv but they have been fine. Sure they don’t have the typical release feature you see on shimano etc but I just leave them and turn the adjustment screw in or out depending on the thickness of the rims I’m using. I set the brakes far enough apart that I don’t need to adjust them to get either wheel out and the break performance is fine. It’s not like I’m wanting finely tuned breaking performance on a tt bike anyway

The rear wheel is has vertical slots so easy to get out. My last TT bike had horizontal slots and it was a massive pain in the arse to get the wheel in and out.
The fuselage built into the down tube is the most aero way to carry fluids on board and works really well. I wasn’t sure if I wanted the hassle but after a couple of goes I quickly got the hang of it and now use it all the time.

The shiv fuel cell isn’t great for carrying tools and tubes as it is a little narrow and not overly deep but it does fit a can of pit stop nicely in the top section and testing shows it adds to the aerodynamics of the bike so I’ll run with it for all races up to Half Ironman.

Ui2 is the bomb. It’s so nice to have it shift perfectly every time and tuning servicing is few and far between compared to cable shifters. To have shifters on the hoods and on the extensions is fantastic for undulating or hilly riding. You can stay in the drops and ride it like a road bike, then come the flatter terrain you can get down low and go go go!
I swapped out the Sitero saddle with a fizik arione. I like the idea of the cut out but the nose was just too wide for me and felt like I was sitting on a bench.
In summary I’ve never ridden a tt bike that is as smooth or as comfortable as the Shiv.

Get in to Top Gear cycles and get measured up for one today!


Mack Clarkson

(0 votes. Average 0 of 5)