An inside look at the Specialized Zwift Academy Shiv Disc

Specialized S-Works Shiv Disc - Zwift Academy Edition

Specialized S-Works Shiv Disc - Zwift Academy Edition

You may have seen the Specialized Zwift Academy athletes tearing up the scene in 2019 at various IRONMAN events around the globe in their pursuit of the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. And if you haven’t seen them, from this point forward it will be very hard to miss them. Title sponsor Specialized Bicycles have just outfitted the 8 Zwift Academy athletes with the latest and greatest in triathlon tech and engineering - the all new SHIV Disc, and it has a custom paint job you can’t miss. Full Send Triathlon was able to get unrestricted access to one of these machines and is here to bring you through the ins and outs of what a bicycle worth $14,000 is all about.

Disclaimer: We do not know who this bike belongs to.

(To learn more about the Zwift Academy Triathlon team, click here)

(To check out the Shiv Disc(s) offerings on the Specialized website, click here)

*All images contained in this post are the exclusive property of Full Send Triathlon © 2019 All Rights Reserved

We will start with the front of the bike and work backwards

The Fork

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There are two things to note about the fork:

  1. It is very large

  2. It is very wide (far away from the wheel)

The main purpose behind this design is a combination of aerodynamic optimization and stability in crosswinds. Creating a lot of space between the fork and the wheel allows the air to find its optimal smooth pathway through the fork, reducing drag. The width of the fork provides (so we’ve heard) amazing stability in crosswinds. The bike is equipped with disc brakes, which allows for the insane clearance between the wheel and the fork.

The nose cone above the wheel pops off, and inside you can find easy access to the Di2 junction box that connects all of the cables from the shifters.

The Front End

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The front end of the bike offers a lot of adjust-ability, and offers it easily. Many ‘super bikes’ either are limited in their adjust-ability, or make it very difficult to get in there and change things around. This bike was engineered with that in mind and allows for easy adjustments, and a lot of possibilities with regard to pad stack, reach, and width.

The pads come off to reveal a plethora of adjustment positions.

The pads come off to reveal a plethora of adjustment positions.

The arm cups can be placed in two locations depending on desired pad width - Farther out on the wing (as shown) or set up very narrow in the middle

The arm cups can be placed in two locations depending on desired pad width - Farther out on the wing (as shown) or set up very narrow in the middle

These three images showcase the adjust-ability of the arm cups (1)

These three images showcase the adjust-ability of the arm cups (1)

These three images showcase the adjust-ability of the arm cups (2)

These three images showcase the adjust-ability of the arm cups (2)

These three images showcase the adjust-ability of the arm cups (3)

These three images showcase the adjust-ability of the arm cups (3)

If you need to get longer, this ‘wing’ piece can be taken off and moved to the front side to allow for longer reach adjustment.

If you need to get longer, this ‘wing’ piece can be taken off and moved to the front side to allow for longer reach adjustment.

It is held on by tension via wedges so simply unscrew, and then you can pull it off of the bars.

It is held on by tension via wedges so simply unscrew, and then you can pull it off of the bars.

There are holes drilled for the Di2 wires to run through to keep them out of the wind. This requires you to re-thread the Di2 shifter wires through the extensions (and the exception to the “easy adjustability”). The things we do to save half a watt…

There are holes drilled for the Di2 wires to run through to keep them out of the wind. This requires you to re-thread the Di2 shifter wires through the extensions (and the exception to the “easy adjustability”). The things we do to save half a watt…

You can get very frustrated trying to push the Di2 wire though the extensions, or alternatively you can just drop a rubber band through, tie it to the end of the wire, and pull it back out. Thank us later.

You can get very frustrated trying to push the Di2 wire though the extensions, or alternatively you can just drop a rubber band through, tie it to the end of the wire, and pull it back out. Thank us later.

Moving the wing to the front allows for longer reach adjustments

Moving the wing to the front allows for longer reach adjustments

Pads set up with longer reach adjustment now, while retaining the same width adjustment

Pads set up with longer reach adjustment now, while retaining the same width adjustment

The water bottle cage holder can mount to either the front or the back of the wing, and then it has a sliding adjust-ability from there to position the bottle either closer or farther from you. Can also be used for a computer mount instead of a bottle cage.

The water bottle cage holder can mount to either the front or the back of the wing, and then it has a sliding adjust-ability from there to position the bottle either closer or farther from you. Can also be used for a computer mount instead of a bottle cage.

To adjust the stack height, the pedestal comes off by removing two bolts. You’ll have to pop off the nose cone and unplug one Di2 wire, and then you will be able to pull the pedestal and the wires right out to access the spacers. You also remove the pedestal when packing the bike in a bike box for travel.

To adjust the stack height, the pedestal comes off by removing two bolts. You’ll have to pop off the nose cone and unplug one Di2 wire, and then you will be able to pull the pedestal and the wires right out to access the spacers. You also remove the pedestal when packing the bike in a bike box for travel.

With the pedestal off, you can add or remove spacers to adjust stack height.

With the pedestal off, you can add or remove spacers to adjust stack height.

These screws need to be swapped out for either shorter or longer ones, depending on how many spacers you are adding.

These screws need to be swapped out for either shorter or longer ones, depending on how many spacers you are adding.

The full range of front end adjust-ability. Note the two 15 degree wedges (bottom middle of the right side) can be used underneath the arm cups if you wish to angle your arms upward to achieve a “high hands” position.

The full range of front end adjust-ability. Note the two 15 degree wedges (bottom middle of the right side) can be used underneath the arm cups if you wish to angle your arms upward to achieve a “high hands” position.

The handlebars fold down for travel in the bike case. To do so, first fold back the rubber flap on the base bar.

The handlebars fold down for travel in the bike case. To do so, first fold back the rubber flap on the base bar.

Unscrew this bolt which loosens the wedge, causing the base bar to fold down.

Unscrew this bolt which loosens the wedge, causing the base bar to fold down.

Base bar folded down for easy travel

Base bar folded down for easy travel

The last bit about the front end of the bike - The hose that will thread through the frame to reach the bladder located behind the saddle.

The last bit about the front end of the bike - The hose that will thread through the frame to reach the bladder located behind the saddle.

Send it down through the hole in the middle of the pedestal.

Send it down through the hole in the middle of the pedestal.

You will access it through the nose cone, and route the hose through the lower level as shown here.

You will access it through the nose cone, and route the hose through the lower level as shown here.

You’ll then thread the hose through this hole in the frame, and keep pushing until it pops out the back side.

You’ll then thread the hose through this hole in the frame, and keep pushing until it pops out the back side.

Hose pops out the back

Hose pops out the back

Then you will thread the hose through the big carbon fairing on the back, and connect it to the bladder like so

Then you will thread the hose through the big carbon fairing on the back, and connect it to the bladder like so

And that concludes the front end of the bike. Pheeewwwsh that was a doozy. But all of those cool features are what make this bike so fast and easy to adjust.

The Middle of the Frame

Moving on to what we will call, “The middle of the frame”. Everything between the front end of the bike and the seat post.

The fuel cell is located on the down tube. It’s primary usage is for the storage of nutrition. It is large enough to fit 13 standard stuffed Oreo cookies.

The fuel cell is located on the down tube. It’s primary usage is for the storage of nutrition. It is large enough to fit 13 standard stuffed Oreo cookies.

The fuel cell can be removed to access the Di2 Junction box. This is where you plug in to charge the Di2, as well as change the synchro shift modes, perform trim adjustments, and all of that good stuff.

The fuel cell can be removed to access the Di2 Junction box. This is where you plug in to charge the Di2, as well as change the synchro shift modes, perform trim adjustments, and all of that good stuff.

Underneath the fuel cell is storage room for a flat kit.

Underneath the fuel cell is storage room for a flat kit.

Make sure you are able to reach the flat kit or else you may have to resort to shaking the bike upside down until it falls out. This green strap (velcro cable tie) allows an easy way to pull the flat kit out from the frame.

Make sure you are able to reach the flat kit or else you may have to resort to shaking the bike upside down until it falls out. This green strap (velcro cable tie) allows an easy way to pull the flat kit out from the frame.

S-Works Sitero Pro saddle

S-Works Sitero Pro saddle

Adjust the saddle height by loosening the wedge. Don’t loosen it too much or you may lose the wedge in the frame. Completely remove the seat post and you will reveal the Di2 battery, which is located in the seat tube.

Adjust the saddle height by loosening the wedge. Don’t loosen it too much or you may lose the wedge in the frame. Completely remove the seat post and you will reveal the Di2 battery, which is located in the seat tube.

The Shiv Disc comes stock with the  Specialized S-Works dual sided Power Cranks . However, they do not make those crank arms in a size of 155mm, which the rider of this bike (who we don’t know) requires. So this specific bike is now fitted with a Rotor crankset in 155mm and Powertap P1 pedals. Tiny-ass T-Rex crank arms.

The Shiv Disc comes stock with the Specialized S-Works dual sided Power Cranks. However, they do not make those crank arms in a size of 155mm, which the rider of this bike (who we don’t know) requires. So this specific bike is now fitted with a Rotor crankset in 155mm and Powertap P1 pedals. Tiny-ass T-Rex crank arms.

And that about sums up the middle of the bike. The bottom bracket shell is Specialized’s proprietary OSBB which is essentially a BB30 bottom bracket shell with a 61mm width instead of the traditional 68mm width. So any BB30 crankset should be able to fit with an additional 7mm of spacers. The S-Works Shiv Disc comes stock with a ceramic speed bottom bracket installed.

A note on stock chainring sizes: This bike ships stock with 52/36 chainrings. You would think that the majority of people purchasing this bike, one of the most elite, high performance bikes out there, for $14,000, would want larger stock chainrings than 52/36. Just a thought.

Back of the Bike

Most notable on the back of the bike is the hydration system and the very low seat stays. The hydration unit actually improves aerodynamics when it is on the bike. That is, the bike is faster with the hydration unit on, than it is with it off. It acts as a sail in crosswinds and that is where it really speeds up the bike.

Note how low the seat stays are. And you thought the Venge had low seat stays.

Note how low the seat stays are. And you thought the Venge had low seat stays.

To remove the hydration unit, you must undo these two screws. The one near the seat post, and the lower one which is actually the top bolt for a bottle cage mount. So that one will secure your bottle cage, and then go all the way through the frame to also secure the hydration unit.

To remove the hydration unit, you must undo these two screws. The one near the seat post, and the lower one which is actually the top bolt for a bottle cage mount. So that one will secure your bottle cage, and then go all the way through the frame to also secure the hydration unit.

Hydration unit comes right off

Hydration unit comes right off

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Dura-ace Di2 rear derailleur and “S-Works” emblazoned on the chain stay.

Dura-ace Di2 rear derailleur and “S-Works” emblazoned on the chain stay.

Hydraulic disc brakes, Roval CLX 64 wheels, and a thru axle with no lever on it for all of the marginal aerodynamic gains. (6mm allen key is used to undo the thru axles, so make sure to always carry one)

Hydraulic disc brakes, Roval CLX 64 wheels, and a thru axle with no lever on it for all of the marginal aerodynamic gains. (6mm allen key is used to undo the thru axles, so make sure to always carry one)

And that is most of the main features of the bike. To check out the entire range of features, specs, and geometry you can head to the description on the Specialized website.

If you prefer Ultegra to Dura-Ace, or you have your own groupset, or you would like Sram RED eTap AXS, you can check out all of the variations and color ways of the Shiv Disc that Specialized offers here.

And with that, we leave you with some photos of the bike in action. Again, we do not know who this bike belongs to. We just happened to see it out in the wild and snap these pics. Enjoy.

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Again, we are still unsure of who this bike belongs to

Again, we are still unsure of who this bike belongs to