I've spent a lot of time with the Specialized Shiv. TriRig covered its original launch back in October 2011, we reviewed a complete S-Works bike, and we've seen it under countless pros over the last year. Just run a tag search for Shiv and you'll see the myriad articles I've written about these fine machines. But now I'm revisiting the bike, to use as the backbone of a special project build I have in mind. There are a couple manufacturing endeavors that we have in the works, which will be unveiled as 2013 rolls on. One of them I can tell you right now: we're building a Shiv-compatible version of our Omega brakes, so of course I need a Shiv to show that off when it's done. And the other projects we have in mind are top secret for now, but I can tell you that they'll also be Shiv-compatible hardware, and so the lovely frame you see in this article will get dressed up with those bits as well.
Oh, and one other spoiler. I'm basically going to eradicate all the complaints I had about the Shiv when I originally reviewed it. This bike is going to be an absolute monster when I'm done with it.
But that's all in the future. Right now, I just want to explore the merits of the frame at hand. As mentioned, I've already covered the Shiv from tip to tail, but I've never built one from scratch. The S-Works bike I reviewed in January 2012 was mostly built when I got it. I just swapped out the bar and saddle. And since that bike had Di2 on it, I didn't even have to recable the shifters � just the brakes, which were dead simple. This time, I'll be building from the ground up. And starting from the bare frameset was an eye-opening experience. I've built up quite a few frames in my day, and I can say that Specialized has done an absolutely fantastic job spec'ing the Shiv Pro. There is so much to like here that I barely know where to begin. As usual, I'll go from front to back, but before we get to the meat of the review, I have to comment on what is at once the most superficial, and maybe the most exciting thing about this frame.