The folks at Pinarello are in the habit of using the Tour de France as a launch pad for their superbikes. This year, the brand claims that it’s created its fastest craft ever.
Last year, Pinarello’s Dogma F hit the tour and ignited hopes of clinching another victory for the brand, which carried seven of the last 10 tour winners to the yellow jersey.
Tadej Pogačar and Colnago had other ideas. But the bike was clearly a performer for the riders of INEOS Grenadiers, as INEOS rider Richard Caparaz took third place, 7 minutes behind Pogačar.
This year, Pinarello will field the Bolide F TT time trial bike, calling it the fastest bike the company has ever made.
‘Fastest Bike Ever’
Pinarello said its engineers primarily focused on dialing in the handling capabilities of the bike and cutting down on rolling resistance.
The Bolide F TT uses disc brakes, unlike previous Bolide models with integrated rim brakes. Disc brakes allow for more reliable braking and larger tires. The Bolide F has clearance for up to 28 mm. However, disc brakes also created a slight aerodynamic penalty.
The brand says a redesign of the seat tube, seat post, and chain stays evened out the deficit, bringing the total drag produced by the bike and rider to within 0.04% of the previous Bolide TT, according to Pinarello.
Additional updates to the handlebars and extensions produce 2-3% improvements in total drag, Pinarello said.
For pros, every single opportunity to cut drag matters. Pinarello said most of its professional riders use custom 3D-printed bar extensions designed around scans of athletes’ forearms.
The brand now offers that feature to the general public, too. Buyers, however, have to make it out to a scanning center in the U.K. or Italy for that feature.
Reduced Frame Weight (Claimed)
Aside from improved aerodynamics, Pinarello says the Bolide F TT frame kit with brakes included weighs 2,265 g. That marks a 170g reduction in weight compared to the previous, rim-brake Bolide TT. That bike weighed 2,435 g in size 55.
The Bolide F TT is stiffer all over. New tube shapes and carbon layup patterns on the bike produced gains in stiffness at 17% in the bottom bracket area. The head tube is 7% stiffer. The fork also is 12% stiffer from front to back and 5% stiffer from side to side.
Other key features include Carbon Toray M40X, Pinarello’s signature Asymmetric frame, Bolide F TT Onda fork, and TiCR total integrated cable routing.
Riders and Testing
Pinarello designed the Bolide F TT using Computational Fluid Dynamics and lab testing, along with a hefty helping of real-world racing.
Among the Grenadiers using the Bolide F are Filippo Ganna, along with Geraint Thomas, Adam Yates, and Felipe Martinez. While the official launch of the bike is set for the opening stage of the Tour de France, the Bolide F has already gone through the wringer.
A disguised form of the bike appeared under Thomas and Martinez in the Tour de Suisse earlier this month. Days later, Ganna also used it during his win at the national time trial championships in Italy.
Riders can snag their own Bolide F TT in matte black with white decals. The bike is currently available for preorder direct from Pinarello, and will hit shops and dealers in a few weeks.