Name :Tiw Pek Hong
road riding & triathlons
I wanted a personalized, simplified, and integrated TT bike.
After 4 years of dabbling in triathlons ranging from sprint to half-ironman distance, I was looking to retire my road bike to just normal road rides and to get a dedicated triathlon bike.
The decision was to build the bike from the frame up. I wanted a personalized, simplified, and integrated rig that I could easily maintain, but without compromising on performance and the aerodynamics of the chosen bike/frame. With this in mind, the build journey began.
First, frame personalization.
Based on a pre-purchase bike fit research, the Specialized Shiv was selected as I required a narrow reach and tall stack.
I managed to purchase a 2nd hand 2017 frameset in good condition at a good price, but I was not really into the original red and white logo decals. Hence, taking cues from the mainframe color which fades from a glossy black at the bottom bracket area to a grey at the headset, the custom decals in a bronze-to-black fade and a matte black color were printed and applied over the frame.
This was the birth of my new bike, which I named Fayde. This was a play of the word ‘fade’, as I took inspiration from the new bronze gradient decals and how the new matt Specialized logo on the down tube fades into the original ‘fade’ base paint scheme of the frame.
I wanted to simplify the mechanics and reduce the moving parts.
As a heavy and salty sweater, I have destroyed shifters, derailleurs, cranks, and pedals on my roadie due to corrosion. On Fayde, I wanted to simplify the mechanics and reduce the moving parts to minimize damage due to sweat and corrosion.
The decision was to go with Shimano Di2 electronic shifting with selected components for a 1X drivetrain. This allowed me to eliminate the front derailleur entirely, which meant one less component that could fail. This also enabled the Di2 battery to be installed in the left aero bar extension, which was a drier location, unlike the seat tube where evaporating moisture would corrode the battery connection point.
A GRX rear derailleur with its built-in clutch and a Wolf Tooth 1X specific chainring with the Narrow-Wide Drop Stop teeth greatly reduce the chances of chain drops.
Integration & Performance.
To keep exposed cables to a minimum, I went with the Tririg Alpha X cockpit. This resulted in a clean aero front end while still retaining the adjustability of the cockpit to match my exact fit measurements. A pair of Tririg Omega X was also installed to eliminate the centering issues that plagued the stock side pull caliper brakes.
A custom 3D printed stem spacer and modified top tube bento box allowed me to seamlessly integrate storage (for onboard nutrition) into the back of the Alpha X stem, achieving a stealthy and sleek front end.
The original Fuelcell (frame integrated storage box that came with the Shiv) was also improved with velcro straps to ensure that the spares & tools would be more securely attached to the frame.
The final piece to the build was Fayde’s wheelset. I wanted a set of deep-section aero wheels, suitable for day-to-day training, as well as for racing. More importantly, they had to be bombproof. My research online eventually led me to Light Bicycle wheels.
To Be Continued...