We take a look at the Specialized S-Works Shiv time trial bike that Tony Martin will ride on stages one and nine of the 2015 Tour de France
Tony Martin may not officially be the world’s best time triallist anymore, but that doesn’t mean that the 30-year-old German doesn’t deserve a special bike for the Tour’s two tests against the clock. This is the Specialized S-Works Shiv that was getting a lot of press attention as it was parked up at the Etixx-Quick Step team hotel ahead of stage one of the Tour de France in Utrecht.
The bike comes with a custom paintjob, although nothing alluding to Martin’s Panzerwagon nickname. Instead the frame is adorned with a raging bull livery, with searing crimson eyes staring from the elongated tail of the head tube and nostrils snorting at the fork crown.
However the biggest talking point on this bike has to be that whopping 58 tooth FSA chainring, which, when engaged with an 11 tooth sprocket at the back, gives Martin the option of a massive 134 inch gear should he need it during the pan-flat 13.8km first stage. The chainring is matched with FSA K-Force Light cranks and a Power2Max power meter.
Martin is obviously a rider with very particular demands, and there are a couple of other smaller modifications to make this bike fit for its rider. Most notably the Specialised TTS saddle is plastered with grip tape to make sure that Martin’s backside stays firmly on place though his time trial effort. This is a setup which causes a lot of increased wear on the team’s skinsuits, so for training purposes the strips are covered with smoother blue tape.
There is also grip tape wrapped around the wings of the aero bars – a similar material to what you’d find on skateboards. We can’t imagine that this is particularly comfortable, but it will help to keep Martin’s hands in place when braking even with sweaty palms.
The Di2 setup means that the cable holes just behind the stem can be covered over, allowing slightly smoother airflow at the front end.
The brakes are Specialized’s own aero brakes, not the Shimano Dura-Ace options you’d normally find with bikes adorned with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2. These are positioned in the standard place on the fork at the front while the rear ones are under the bottom bracket, and come with a dual pivot centre-pull design that apparently creates less drag than standard brakes.
The wheels are Visions at both ends, with a Metron Disc at the rear, and a Metron 55 at the front. Interestingly these are clad with Specialized 26mm clincher tyres with cotton casing – not the tubulars that the majority of the peloton will be running.
Final touches include a Garmin computer mount jutting out from the side of the left aero bar, and a K-Edge chain catcher.