Specialized SHIV

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Specialized Shiv Review

Specialized Shiv bike model first came out in 2012. We remember it has this very distinctive “nose cone” feature, which was an aerofoil that looked like a ship’s prow to hide the brake caliper. Then the regulators pounced and the nose cone had to go. The newest bikes of this model which we used for this review instead have head tube tailing edge.

Despite this minor setback, we found this model to be a solid race bike, ideal for triathlons. The frameset has been optimized for crosswind, and the cockpit is integrated and honed with proprietary tech. An integration hydration bladder is hidden in the frame, so the rider can stay aero without a hassle.

One of the biggest issues we face as triathletes face with bikes is that we have to take breaks to eat between competitions. With this model, this problem is gone. There’s a built-in storage area for food (and tools too) to eat on the go.

The only problem is that with the storage space and the hydration bladder, the fronts of bikes of this model are unusually large. So, the bikes can ride a bit like a road bike, rather than a tri-specific bike.


  • Specific to triathlons
  • Stowage space for food and tools
  • Integrated hydration bladder
  • Crosswind optimized frameset


  • Distinct nose cone is gone
  • Front end is larger than average for triathlon bikes
  • Can ride more like a road bike

The Verdict

We loved this bike for the superior functionality it offered. We could easily take a sip of water while riding.

Of course, total track time was reduced because we didn’t need breaks to snack, thanks to the well-thought stowage area. Though the front area is indeed bigger than expected, navigation was not hindered. We certainly recommend Specialized Shiv for serious triathletes.