Currently sitting in fifth place in the Giro d’Italia, Vincenzo Nibali must be pleased with his work after one week of racing. But from stage 10, the former winner will have a new weapon at his disposal: an updated Specialized S-Works Tarmac with a new custom paintjob.
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While Nibali, nicknamed the Shark of Messina, has been riding a custom bike for the last few years, these haven’t had the classiest desgins, usually featuring a cartoon shark bearing its teeth at the head tube, so for 2016 Specialized has decided to go down a different route.
“The design direction for the 2016 Nibali Shark Bike was to do something a little more organic”, said Joe Lynch, Senior Graphic Designer at Specialized. “Taking cues from Mother Nature, I wanted to bring in the power and the energy of the ocean combined with traditional core race elements that is S-Works. We decided early on that adding more black to the bike would keep it aggressive. The design at its core needed to look fast, clean and ultimately reflect the athlete.”
Watch: Vincenzo Nibali’s Tour de France bike
What that basically means is a black, blue and white paintjob with no cartoon sharks in sight, apart from on the custom FSA shark handlebars and stem that have presumably been carried over from Nibali’s old bike. In fact, the only additions to that lovely paintjob are the outlines of France, Italy, and Spain on the top tube to remind Nibali of his previous victories in the three Grand Tours.
Attached to that frame is a Campagnolo Super Record groupset, with Nibali preferring to stick with mechanical rather than electronic gears, an SRM power meter attached to the crankset, and 32mm Corima carbon wheels topped with Specialized Turbo tyres.