Jesse Thomas' Specialized Shiv

 Mar 29, 2013 article & images by Nick Salazar


"I always get a bit nervous on race weekend. All the little things kindof stress me out." Hearing that Jesse Thomas has chinks in his armor is nearly unbelievable. The Oregon-native exudes about as much nervous energy as a Zen master, and perpetually wears a casual smile that would convince anyone that he hasn't a care in the world. But if the two-time Wildflower champ is worried, he doesn't let it slow him down. Mr. Aviators is rocking some of the fastest gear on the planet, and gave us a quick look at his rig ahead of Oceanside 70.3. The bike is mostly the same as when we last saw it built up in Las Vegas, with at least one noteworthy change.

Thomas is riding a prototype TriRig Omega SV, the version of our brake built for the two-post mount on the Shiv and some other bikes. This is a product we're working on for the last part of 2013, (so don't expect to be riding it on your Shiv this season, unless you're a card-carrying pro with a few major triathlon wins under your belt). The 33-year-old Thomas (who still looks like a 23-year-old) is lighting up the pro field with some very impressive wins and shows no signs of slowing down. So we're honored and delighted that he's testing out the new brake for us.

Thomas is riding a brand new Omega SV prototype brake on his Shiv. These will probably be available towards the end of Q3 this year.

Also relatively new to Jesse's Shiv is the prototype Fuelcell we saw in Hawaii last year. Although the Fuelcell wasn't on the bike when we shot these photos, the mount for it was, and that's something we haven't seen before. Apparently it's a very slender little piece that bolts to the seat tube, and the Fuelcell slides and locks into place. When off the bike, the Fuelcell mount stays out of the wind much better than, say, a bottle cage would. It's a very smart bit of design work by Specialized, and looks great.

Other than that, the bike is basically just as we left it in Kona - Thomas is riding Shimano Di2 7970, Rolf wheels (with a rear disc cover), his highish-stack, high-hands position (he can't get too low due to neck pain from an old injury), and the rest of what Thomas showed us in Kona. Enjoy the gallery, and check back for more race coverage from Oceanside 70.3!

  • Jesse Thomas and his Specialized Shiv, all ready for Oceanside.
  • Not sure which one is leaner - Jesse or his bike - but both are looking primed for the race.
  • Thomas keeps things pretty simple: BTA up front, single bottle in the rear, and the Fuelcell in the main triangle.
  • One thing the Shiv does REALLY well is keep things clean for higher-stack positions like Jesse's.
  • Our Omega SV prototype gives the finishing touch up front with clean routing and no excess frontal profile.
  • A frontal shot of the Omega SV.
  • From the side, you can see how nicely the shape integrates with the Shiv, minimizing any gaps between the brake and the frame.
  • Di2 shifting, with the CycleOps computer right up front for an easy read while riding.
  • Thomas states that Rolf was his first sponsor, and proudly continues to ride their wheels.
  • This is the mount for Specialized's yet-to-be-released Fuelcell. It's a slick piece of hardware, and stays out of the wind when you aren't using the Fuelcell itself.
  • Jesse's high-hands position helps keep him aero despite a slightly higher position than some more aggressive pros. He has to stay up to relieve neck strain due to an old injury.
  • Thomas is co-founder of energy food brand Picky Bars.
  • He says he's nervous, but it's tough to find Thomas without a relaxed smile on his face. Good luck on Saturday, Jesse!

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