PRO RIG: Ben Hoffman's Specialized Shiv
As we've seen before, pro triathlete Ben Hoffman is no goof when it comes to gear. He's a new school kind of professional, who wants to know all the ins and outs of his equipment, both to give him the technological edge he needs to perform well, but also to do the best job he can representing his sponsors.
Back in October, Hoffman was part of the select group of top-tier pros who helped Specialized unveil the new Shiv. Nearly a year later, and Hoffman has had plenty of time to learn what this machine is all about. For me, the most interesting part of Hoff's setup is the Zipp front-end. As I discussed in depth, the bike is designed for a fairly upright fit. Pros like Ben and World Champion Craig Alexander have to resort to third-party hardware to get as low as they need to hit their proven positions.
For Ben, the solution was to turn to another one of his sponsors, Zipp, and use their very straightforward Vuka Bull and Vuka Clip hardware to reduce the overall stack height a little bit. He's even removed the dust cap from his headset, just like Crowie did, to eliminate that last 5mm of stack he needed to get perfectly dialed in.
Other than that, the bike is really straightfoward. Much of the bike is Specialized hardware, adorned with beautiful Zipp Firecrest hoops and a SRAM RED drivetrain and a Quarq power meter. Note that this is actually Ben's spare bike, and has 2011 RED on it. His actual race bike is already tricked out with the new kit.
Hoffman's snazzy checkered-raceflag kit is an homage to auto racing, and a way to stand out in the crowd, according to Ben. He said he just wanted to do something a little different, and the checkers deliver. Nice rig, Ben. Best of luck with the remainder of the season, and we'll catch up again soon!