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Last year, Craig Alexander overhauled just about every aspect of his bike setup and the results were spectacular. He had less than two weeks on his Specialized Shiv before the race in 2011, so he used the additional time this year to refine every detail of his rig.
He is riding a Specialized Shiv S-Works, Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 components and a Pro Missile EVO aerobar with slightly up-turned extensions, just like last year. Two Salt Stick Dispensers are zip-tied to inside of his aerobar extensions to take electrolyte tabs during the ride. Alexander opts for a horizontal bottle between his aerobars, which is mounted to an X-Lab Torpedo Mount. He is also using the Specialized Fuelselage internal bladder hydration system, and fixes the hose in place with two little magnets taped to the hose. Their mates are glued and taped to his horizontal bottle cage.
Alexander’s second cage is an X-Lab Gorilla, zip-tied beneath his saddle in the position that many pros have adopted. A small piece of Velcro attached to the seat tube prevents the cage from clanking into the seatpost and rattling while riding. The final storage container on his Kona bike is a new contraption Specialized created to fit between the downtube and the seat tube. It’s called the Fuel Cell and it mounts to the water bottle bosses. Alexander will keep gel and Salt Stick electrolyte tabs in there on race day. A soft rubber lid keeps the supplies in place while still allowing him to reach down and grab them on the fly.
Alexander tweaked his Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 components with a few changes from the norm. He has a 54-tooth big chainring and is racing an 11-25 cassette. The standard Shimano rear derailleur pulleys with steel bearings were swapped for an Enduro ceramic alternative. The Di2 wire routes out of the aerobar and into the frame behind the stem, but it dangles out to the side ever so slightly. Alexander will use a small restraint that is held in place by the top cap bolt to pin the wires against the bike. His Di2 battery is mounted beneath the non-drive side chainstay next to the bottom bracket.
Crank length might be the most interesting aspect of his componentry. Alexander is racing 167.5mm cranks—substantially shorter than the 172.5 standard. These shorter arms help open his hip angle and allows Crowie to ride a lower front-end position than he otherwise could tolerate. Built in to those short crank arms is an SRM power meter, which he uses in tandem with a Garmin 500 GPS computer mounted on his stem. Alexander is racing the current version of Dura-Ace Di2, not the next-generation kit that was displayed at the Interbike tradeshow last month.
Mounted to his forward-offset seatpost is a fairly worn Fizik Arione Tri 2 saddle.
Crowie has opted for Shimano’s new Dura-Ace C50 / C75 wheelset with a broad 24mm-wide rim. Alexander raced an unlabeled prototype of the front wheel last year, but the broad rear is a significant upgrade over the older version he raced at Ironman Hawaii in 2011.