Thanks jesse@thr for your initial impression. I'd be interested to hear more feedback like this. Now that you guys are starting to get some time in the saddle, is the shiv living up to your expectations, how does it compare to some of your other bikes. How do you guys feel this bike will do on a course with a lot of rolling hills (e.g., Kansas 70.3, Branson 70.3 etc.?
Last week, I did a 10 mile TT test course on a 3/4 mile loop with a small hill in 18mph winds using my Stinger 9s on both front an rear. Averaged over 24.5mph. Ok with that for March and conditions. I expect to easily be over 25mph when I get in race fitness, calm conditions and I'm more used to the bike. By comparision, I did a 6 mile TT last September on the same course in calm conditions when I was in top fitness (1 week before Poconos 70.3 race) on my previous TT bike and averaged 24.3. I did also upgrade the wheelset on the Shiv with Stinger 9s which were superior to the wheelset I used on my previous Tri bike, so this will play a big factor in speed.
Today I rode an easy
50 miler on hilly terrain (Garmin 905 tells me 4300 feet of climbing) with stock wheels on the Shiv. I do this ride to get comfortable in the aero position for long periods, but not to go fast. I have done this course many times before on my previous TT bike and several times within the past few months. I would say the ride quality was generally better including climbing. Riding in the wind seemed better, particularly a headwind. I'm still getting used to the bike, so was cautious around sharp turns at speed, particularly this time of year - lots of loose gravel. It took me roughly the same amount of time to cover the 50 miles with less effort. The standard Shiv wheelset are fine for training on a course like this, but they aren't made for racing. I would say the Shiv wheels are inferior to the training wheels I used on my other TT bike.
I shortened the tube from the hydration system so that it just reached the magnet on the aerobar as I've seen some others on the forum do. This worked well and I was able to get the bite valve in my mouth with no problem.
I plan to replace the bite valve - it is waaay too much work to suck water out. I'm pretty confident a camelback bite valve will work much better.
I did confirm that swapping between training and race wheels will be a hassle and require reconfiguring the brakes.
I did drop my aerobars significantly (removed both head tube spacers) for this the 50 mile ride. Still trying to find the 'right' position for me for long rides. It was very easy to remove the head tube spacers, but I need my LBS to cut the head tube down to size.
I did use the bottle cage on the long ride along with the hydration system, using only water in the hydration system. This was 'just enough' water for a 50 mile ride on a 60 degree day. Have not tried to refill while moving yet.
I'll post more as I learn.