Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Specialized Shiv Tandem Time Trial

Posted by Matt | December 23, 2009 | 6 comments so far

Specialized Shiv time trial tandem
Ho! Ho! Ho! Well, wouldn’t Santa be pretty pleased if he replaced that creaky old sleigh with one of these? First off, it’s got the right colour scheme and these things are important. It looks fast standing still.

Ok, so it wouldn’t have the capacity of a large sleigh pulled by eight reindeer but with a suitable stoker on the back I’d reckon this would be one fast machine. One. Very. Fast. Machine.

A single glance tells you all you need to know but there’s more to it than meets the eye. Obviously with those curves it can only be carbon fibre and those fared in brakes, integrated aero bars and saddle speak volumes about it’s speed chasing intent.

But there’s one small detail that makes me think we may soon see some of this technology on ‘normal’ bikes and that’s the internal shaft drive connecting the front and rear bottom brackets. The idea even has it’s own logo dreamed up if you look at the pictures on BikeRadar which makes me think there’s a commercial future for it in some form.

Surely it’s only a short step from there to running a shaft drive right through to the rear axle to power an internal hub gear of some kind? Or a singlespeed. Now there’s a thought…

Filed under 2009, News in December 2009


About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Pace RC-627.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

There are 6 comments on ‘Specialized Shiv Tandem Time Trial’

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  1. tony says:

    Have you already been sipping the drink left out for Santa?

    Singlespeed? Do you know how fast these things go downhill? You’d need to be able to pedal at 300rpm.

  2. Matt says:

    Well, I didn’t phrase that right did I?!

    I didn’t mean that a shaft drive singlespeed tandem was on it’s way, but that using shaft drive on bikes as a concept has a lot going for it.

    Imagine for instance a shaft drive carbon MTB driving an Alfine type rear hub? Practically zero maintenance.

    Which would lend itself to a silly stupid light shaft drive singlespeed MTB…

    Or more practically, commuter bikes with shaft drive from the big S. Not so silly as it seems?

  3. JaMeS says:

    My brothers old motorbike was shaft driven but they still rely on a big fat chain.

  4. Dave says:

    My understanding, which I believe came from the motorbike world, is that shaft drives just isn’t as efficient as chain drive. Having said all that it still looks fast!

  5. Rob says:

    Its being used on hire bikes in French cities, mainly because they are low maintenance and hassle free, also no oily trousers!

  6. PIJ says:

    Tellingly they use chain drive for the rear transmission. I’m guessing you could easily build a shaft drive MTB – bit of carbon tube, some internal gearing in the frame and a rear hub and away you go. However, I suspect that perhaps weight isn’t too much of an issue but cost of production is. Have you seen the price of some of the decent German geared hubs? £700 to £1100. Add in building up the carbon shaft…. You end up with a situation similar to when the Quattro was introduced; a product costing 2 to 4x that of the competition. And that technology has yet to filter down to mainstream cars, even two decades on. You do see cheaper cars with 4wd, but they use a different system now, not the original Audi variant. Tellingly whatever system they use is heavy and adds substantially to the final price of the product.

    You can bet Shimano and The Other One have systems in place already for shaft drive production, or have explored it thoroughly and ditched it for a zillion reasons. Just look at the work that has gone into the Sram XX cassette – if they are happy to spend a day milling out a single cassette, then shaft drive must be ridiculously expensive in comparison.

    Personally for me the key thing about this bike is the rear hub!

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