Shiv Sport Dominates the Triathlon Scene as the Most Affordable Carbon Bike

Shiv Sport 7 photos
Photo: Specialized Bicycle
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Let’s see how many people are interested in a carbon triathlon bike. Now, let’s see how many people are interested in a carbon triathlon bike under $2,500.
That’s right, folks, the very bicycle we’re faced with right now is a triathlon bike composed of carbon fiber with a price tag of only $2,200. Who? What? When? How did this happen? Well, let’s start answering some of these questions, shall we?

The who is quite simple, Specialized. If you didn’t know this team also puts its attention into some very awesome triathlon bikes, now you do. How awesome? Like $13,500 awesome. But we’ll get to those later one. For now, let’s keep it simple and bring to light something a bit more for the common people like ourselves, the Shiv Sport.

As I noted earlier, this bike is really affordable. This is something that didn’t just happen on its own. It was a goal for Specialized to offer a bike that isn’t just capable of completing a triathlon, but one that can do it without you having to leave an arm or a leg at the bike shop. And so, the Sport was born.

Shiv Sport
Photo: Specialized Bicycle
The first component to pop into view is that wonderfully wide and fluid frame. One thing that most certainly needs to be mentioned is that this frame is composed entirely of FACT 10 carbon fiber.

A bit of quick info on FACT frames is needed. Each frame that Specialized pushes out undergoes extensive research in what carbon to use, the utilization of proper carbon layering techniques, and ultimately, the level of performance each frame can achieve.

That’s what we see when we look at the Shiv. But remember, this is a triathlon bike meant to help you shave precious seconds off the clock. To do that, this bicycle has been optimized for straight-line speed and even includes airfoils to limit side force when encountering crosswinds.

Shiv Sport
Photo: Specialized Bicycle
If you think that this is all we can mention about the frame, you’ll be mistaken. Since it’s the sort of bike meant to keep you going when you may feel like you can’t, this frame, as most other triathlon-worthy bikes, also includes a storage system for essentials such as water, food, and even a flat repair kit. But these perks are sold separately for the Sport.

Finally, we can break away from the frame for a second. What we also need to take notice of on this bike is the cockpit. Specialized includes the Control Tower fit system that lets you readjust your stack in order to find your optimum riding position.

For bicycles like these, you will rarely see any form of suspension. At best, we might find some sort of decoupler to compensate for vibrations. But then again, here we find nothing. This, believe it or not, is a great thing. Sure, it may not offer your lower body the most pleasurable ride of its life, but you won’t lose any traction or energy that is normally lost when using a suspension, and that’s just perfect for a race.

Shiv Sport
Photo: Specialized Bicycle
Take one wild guess at which company is supplying the drivetrain. If you guessed Shimano, you’d be right. Here, we find a 10-speed Tiagra front and rear derailleur with an HG500 cassette. Everything is also controlled by internal cable routing, so don’t worry about getting caught up in any headwinds.

The wheels are covered by a pair of DT R460 with sealed cartridge hubs and 14g spokes. Throw on a pair of Espoir Sport tires, and you have a bike worthy of competing in your first, maybe even second triathlon.

Personally, I haven’t had the guts to embark on a triathlon, but that’s not to say I wouldn’t be seen riding this around town on a Saturday. Just make sure you know how to handle something like this before you kick it into traffic.
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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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