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5 high-end bikes we got excited about in 2018

Here are five bikes that made a splash in 2018 - the Specialized S-Works Shiv Disc, Felt IA FRD Disc, Pinarello Bolide TR+, Ventum One and Cervélo P5X Di2 Fluoro Green

Specialized S-Works Shiv Disc – $17,999, LIMITED EDITION

Specialized S-Works Shiv Disc – $17,999, LIMITED EDITION. Photo: @carrollcx

A little over a week out from her debut race in Kona, Sarah True was caught by a few journalists out on Specialized’s new Shiv Disc, which was released on the Monday night before the race.

“You can’t take pictures of this,” True yelled at us as she rode by on a training ride up to Hawi.

“We know,” we all replied, despite grabbing photos of the speedy new bike. “These are for Tuesday.”

Related: Spy shots: New bikes spotted at Kona

The new Shiv is certainly designed with Kona in mind. The fork, nose cone and seat tube are designed to be quick in crosswinds. There’s a huge rear Fuelcell behind the saddle which holds a whopping 50 ounces of fluid. There’s a hose that makes all that liquid available up front, so athletes don’t have to move from the aero position to drink. There’s another Nutrition Fuel cell in the downtube for bars, gels and the like.

An aero and easily adjustable cockpit are must-haves when it comes to super-bikes these days, and the new Shiv does just fine in that category. Travelling is a breeze, too – “pack mode” requires loosening just five bolts. A 5 mm Allen wrench is all you’ll need to get this bike ready to throw in a bike case. Javier Gomez, Lucy Charles and True all had stellar rides on their new bikes in Kona, which bodes well for Specialized’s first revamp of the Shiv since 2011.

Felt IA FRD Disc – $18,499

Felt IA FRD Disc – $18,499. Photo: Kevin Mackinnon

The day after Specialized announced their new bike, Felt held a press conference to show off their new flagship bike, the IA FRD Disc. Daniela Ryf, Mirinda Carfrae, Josh Amberger and Kaisa Sali were all on hand to show off the bikes they would be racing within Kona. ITU Grand Final champion Ashleigh Gentle was also there with the bike she planned to use at the Noosa Triathlon.

The obvious big change to the previous version of the FRD is the addition of disc brakes to the frame, which provides better braking performance and makes it easier to switch out wheels – you don’t have to worry about rim widths (the new frame can handle up to 28 mm tires) or adjusting brake pads. The frame also features a new rear triangle with added lateral stiffness, so more of your power goes into moving you forward. There’s a new fork, too, designed to handle the added stopping power of disc brakes and provide even better aero performance. There’s a new head tube cover for easier maintenance.

The changes certainly make for a speedy ride. Ryf ripped through the Kona bike course in a blazing 4:26 on her way to the fastest ever Ironman time.

Related: Daniela Ryf wins at the 2018 Ironman World Championship

Though we may never actually have the means of buying one these bikes, it is fun to admire the engineering that goes into creating a beast of a bike.

Pinarello Bolide TR+ – $15,800

Pinarello Bolide TR+ – $15,800. Photo: Pinarello.

Pinarello has built some of the fastest bikes on the planet. Successes like the hour record and time trial wins at the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana prove it.

Not only has Pinarello proven itself on the cycling scene, but they’ve also shown their potential on the triathlon circuit. Last year, Australian triathlete and former professional cyclist, Cameron Wurf, rode his Bolide to break the bike course record in Kona. He rode the 180K in 4:12:54, over five minutes faster than the previous record. This year, he broke his own course record – 4:09:06.

Related: The 10 best performances of 2018

This performance pushed Pinarello to invest the resources in developing a version of the Bolide specifically designed for triathletes, the Bolide TR+.

Related: Pinarello releases the Bolide TR

In addition to the top end Bolide TR+, Pinarello has also released theBolide TR. Both the TR and TR+ shares the same frame shapes, geometry, flatmount disc brakes, thru axle and integrated storage. What separates the TR+ from the TR is the type of carbon used and the layup. The higher-end Bolide TR+ are built with Torayca’s T1100G carbon, and will be lighter and stiffer than the Bolide TR, which are built with Torayca’s T700 UD finish carbon. However, Pinarello’s Canadian distributor will only be making the TR+ version available, for now. As to the price for all this Italian speed? The suggested MSRP for a frameset, which includes the integrated bar and stem, is a cool $15,800.

Ventum One – FROM US$6,875

Ventum One – FROM US$6,875. Photo: Ventum

Related: The Ventum One: Lauren Brandon’s lethal weapon

With its minimalist design, we’re seeing more and more of these aero bikes in transition zones these days. Cody Beals has powered his Ventum One to a perfect Ironman record with wins at Ironman Mont-Tremblant and Ironman Chattanooga, but he’s hardly the only triathlete enjoying the aero benefits of this frame. With water storage an integral part of the frame, you get lots of hydration without having to move out of the aero position. Available as a frameset, you can also build up your own complete bike with Shimano Di2 components, Pioneer power meters and more.

Related: Cody Beals’ record-setting Ventum One

Cervélo P5X Di2 Fluoro Green – $19,000

Cervélo P5X Di2 Fluoro Green – $19,000. Photo: Cervélo

The P5X celebrated its second birthday at the Ironman World Championship this year, and it remains a standout performer in the ever-growing super-bike category. A new Fluoro Green paint job gives this bike a new look, but the aerodynamic features remain the same. Designed to be an aerodynamic wonder while carrying all the fuel, liquid and supplies you will need in a full-distance race, the P5X offers a versatile fitting system so you can dial in your best position on the bike, too. Add in the customized Bknd travel case, and you have the complete package to get you through your next long-distance tri both comfortably and extremely quickly.