Tour de France bike: Tony Martin’s Specialized Shiv

Specialized’s Shiv TT bike had a difficult gestation when the UCI seemed hell-bent on just saying no. Partly as a result, the Shiv hasn’t changed much from the original version but that hasn’t stopped the team mechanics, sponsors’ technical staff and even the riders fine-tuning the bike to make it better.

No one can doubt that the Germanreigning time trial world champion Tony Martin is a serious powerhouse, so when we were offered the chance for a quick walk around the bike we jumped at the chance.

With the UCI taking a dim view of saddles that stop riders from sliding forwards through the use of ribs, Martin’s Specialized saddle takes a different approach and has a ‘griptape’ top layer to the saddle. Primarly used on skateboards, the highly abrasive finish stops the shorts from moving – as you might expect the shorts get destroyed and are literally only good for one use with the saddle.

Last year, Martin used carbon clincher Zipp wheels, this year he’s back to tubulars and has been trialling the latest version from Specialized, markings were minimal and were obviously prototype versions before the marketing people get there hands on the finished goods.

Elsewhere the Shiv is fairly standard stuff from the OPQS team of sponsors but the attention to detail that has been put in still stands out. For instance on the stem there are two holes the front most of which has been filled and smoothed off where as the rear, that’s needed for adjustment if covered by tape – not many teams would go to so much effort.

Whilst the bars, which are notoriously hard to get adjusted right have been drawn around so that small changes can be made and monitored.

Main stem bolt and ‘spare’ cable hole get taped up to smooth air flow.

Not stuck on but built in, the top surface of the TT saddle is super aggressive

Max out. The 58 tooth chainring is as big as the Shiv and SRAM Red mech will allow.