KONA, HI (BRAIN)—Leading up to the Kona Ironman World Championships this weekend, Specialized invited some of its best triathlon dealers to attend the festivities surrounding the race, and enjoy the Hawaiian sun.
What the attendees didn’t expect was a first-hand introduction to the all-new 2012 Shiv—a brand new bike designed by triathletes, for triathletes.
“I just thought we were down here as a thank you from Specialized, and then we started to get wind of the bike on Slowwitch. When we finally got to see it, it was a big surprise,” said Randy McDougald, owner of Carolina Triathlon, of Greenville, South Carolina.
“This bike is a paradigm shift. It’s the first time that I’m aware of, that a company has made a bike specifically for triathlon without any thought for the UCI rules," he added.
Following a group breakfast, the dealers were greeted by a veritable who’s who in the world of Professional Triathlon to a product launch for the much-anticipated bike.
“The aero shapes are crazy-fast and super stable in crosswinds, the Fuelselage allows you to maintain aero while hydrating,” said Mark “The Aero Pharaoh” Cote, Specialized’s MIT-educated aerodynamicist, who presented at the launch. “Since the bike can easily fit your position, you stay can aero for longer, making you minutes faster on race day.”
Specialized also had head road engineer Luc Callahan, road product manager Brent Graves, director of boulder center for sports medicine Dr. Andy Pruitt and team manager Bobby "Beast" Behan, who, along with Cote, were instrumental in creating the new Shiv, to speak with dealers.
“They learned about every aspect the new bike right from the engineers and Dr. Pruitt, heard from athletes about their experiences and got to put them through the paces first hand after lunch,” said Andrew Hammond, U.S. marketing director.
“The bike is incredibly adjustable, and it corners better than any tri bike I’ve ever ridden…and it just looks awesome,” said Andy Wardrip, retail operations manager at Wheatridge Cyclery.
Aboard traditional TT bikes, the 26-mile ride might have been a less-than-enjoyable one for dealers who spend the majority of the riding season keeping their business running. Fortunately, thanks to Shiv’s size range and fit adjustability, every rider’s fit demands were easily met and a good time was had by all.
Along for the ride were Specialized Triathlon pros Nikki Butterfield, Tim Don, Paula Findlay, Jan Frodeno, Javier Gomez, Ben Hoffman, Dan Hugo, Jordan Rapp, Conrad Stoltz and Simon Whitfield.
The public launch of the new bike was held at Area 140.6, Specialized’s re-purposed shipping container-made event expo/party-central at 6 p.m. with all athletes present. The launch event was hosted by Chris “Macca” McCormack, reigning 2010 Ironman World Champion, introducing and interviewing each athlete after they descended the spiral stairs.
After all the official business was out of the way, the Shiv was blessed in an traditional Hawaiian ceremony, complete with a luau and fire dancer.
Click on above link for video of the event.