It is unusual that a company has an unlimited amount of time to design a frame, but that is just what Specialized?s designers had with the Transition. Taking three years to develop, the result is one that few could argue with.

Features are aplenty with the Transition, including full internal cabling entering the frame just behind the head tube with the unusual routing for an SRM unit.

Narrowness is the key with any time trial bike and the Transition hits the wind with a short, narrow 1in steerer tube.

A structural gusset aids airflow down the down tube, entering through the fork, which has an aluminium crown that is horizontal to the ground to smooth airflow. Out of the wind, the chainstays remain in line with the bottom bracket, only flaring out at the dropout to accept the wheel and cassette.

The large flat surfaces of the frame have been profiled to the maximum allowable by the UCI technical regulations.

Possibly the most striking initial impression is the positive and accurate front end. The rider can stay on the extensions without any unnerving sensations being translated through the front end, while it tracks through corners like a thoroughbred road race frame. This can also be partly attributed to a stiff top tube.

Ultimately, after aerodynamics ? something this frame clearly processes ? and before weight, stiffness is key. This, the Transition also nails, with the compact rear end providing little movement and a solid feeling. Stiffness, however, does not translate into a harsh ride but one that achieves a good compromise between feel and comfort.

SPECIALIZED S-Works Transition

Distributor Specialized UK 020 8391 3500

Price £4999.99

Frame FACT

Fork FACT 9R N?Aero

Size range S-XL

Weight 7.9kg

Groupset SRAM Red

Alterations S-Works FACT

Gear ratios 53/39 with 11-26

Wheels Zipp 404

Tyres S-Works Mondo

Bars Zipp Vuka Aero

Stem S-Works Pro

Seatpost S-Works Transition

Saddle Specialized TriTip

Size tested M

CW FIRST IMPRESSION 10/10