At the start of 2021, many Slowtwitchers were skeptical of the commitment that Specialized had to the triathlon community. Many of their long-time sponsored athletes were moving onward, namely Lucy Charles-Barclay’s move to Cube. Additionally, as we’ve mentioned here, the Shiv Disc has yet to move downward from its stratospheric pricepoints of $8,500 and $13,000, respectively. You could wonder, as many Slowtwitchers did in this thread, whether Specialized was in triathlon for the long haul.
It appears that we now have our answer: affirmative.
Paula Findlay is moving to Specialized for 2021 and onward. Findlay’s deal follows in the footsteps of the recent announcement of Josh Amberger riding a Shiv Disc (moving from Felt). They join the likes of short-course superstars Flora Duffy, Javier Gomez, and Vincent Luis, alongside fellow long-course athlete Tim Don. Paula’s equipment will go beyond the bike, as she will also have Specialized helmets, shoes, and tires on board for the trip to T2.
Paula returns to the brand she rode during her dominant time in ITU of 2010 and 2011. During that stretch of time, she won 5 ITU World Cup races, including the first three events of 2011. However, she then endured a series of injuries and illnesses that derailed these promising seasons. It culminated in a last-place finish at the 2012 London Games, a stunning fall from the prior heights.
Following many up-and-down seasons, in the later half of the 2010s, she moved to long-course events and started to come into her own. The first glimmer of success came with a win at the 2018 Ironman 70.3 North American Championships in St. George. She followed up with two impressive victories in 2019 at 70.3 Indian Wells and Challenge Daytona. And, of course, she is the reigning PTO Champion, taking victory from a star-studded field at Daytona International Speedway.
You can find more details on Paula's move, and her bikes, in this video.
It appears, then, that Specialized is prepared to double-down on its triathlon investment, at least when it comes to their athlete base. The question left to answer: will there be more Shiv Discs to ride, or will it remain at a premium-only pricepoint?