2013 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide: Bikes

Specialized Shiv Comp Rival Mid Compact
$3,300, Specialized.com
The draw: Satisfies every need, from fit to function to straight-line speed

This bike was created purely for function—ego and tradition were left behind. Frame geometry is decidedly geared toward age-group triathletes. Bikes oriented for positions ridden by pro cyclists or elite triathletes force the vast majority of riders to shim and stack their way to their ideal position, impairing ride quality and in some cases aerodynamic performance as well. The Shiv, however, matches most positions without shoehorning the rider onto the bike. Its extremely adjustable aerobar allows for micro refinements to position and a host of practical additions such as external brakes and an integrated hydration system make the Shiv not only fast in a lab, but functional on the race course.

RELATED: Ben Hoffman’s Specialized Shiv