Just yesterday, Team Sky’s best man on GC, Mikel Landa rode the wet stage 9 time trial at the Giro aboard a new Pinarello Bolide TT bike. While the new bike wasn’t enough to vault him into the lead just yet – he finished 20th place on the day – it did help him keep to just single digit second losses to the other big GC contenders.
Pinarello who is shifting their product cycle away from the autumn trade shows, say they will be using the Giro d’Italia as their ideal showcase for their upcoming bikes, then demoing for dealers and customers through the summer and fall for a more direct approach to riders. While debuting new bikes at a Grand Tour means we might not get all of the details right away, it does offer a direct link to the idea of Race it on Sunday, Sell it on Monday. The new Bolide likely won’t be available before the end of the year to consumers, but join us across the break with a closer look at what will change in this newest version of the fast bike…
Pinarello has claimed that their current Bolide already sets a benchmark for pro time trial bikes, with 2014 & 2015 World Championships to back that up. When you add in the fact that Bradley Wiggins also holds the current Hour Record, ridden on a modified HR track version of the bike, it seems that might not just be marketing speak. So when we heard it was time to overhaul the bike, we were interested to see what improvements they would make.
The new bike takes the old Bolide and is able to further decrease its aerodynamic drag, but it also does make a big improvement in the bike’s overall weight. The new bike uses a revised set of tubing shapes in what otherwise looks visually similar to the outgoing model. Up top, the new toptube has a curved sloping shape to it, which is said to more smoothly transition air off the back and over the rear wheel. It also transitions to a new internal seatpost clamp with a pair of set screws on the back of the seattube for a slightly more slippery setup.
A concave downtube in its lower half let Pinarello trim down the gap around a standard water bottle, getting rid of some turbulence in the area without resorting to a UCI-unfriendly aero-bottle setup. It also provides a wide area for Pinarello to incorporate an access panel to store an internal battery for the drivetrain.
The rear brake gets a new cover, derived from airplane tech, that you may notice looks like the scalloped shaping on the back of a jet engine in order to control turbulence. The seatstays also get dropped a bit lower down the seattube for a smaller profile in the wind, while the front brake cover remains mostly unchanged.
Carrying over from that Bolide HR that Wiggins rode on the tack, the new fork also gets aerodynamic front dropouts, with a little teardrop section behind the axle to smooth airflow.
To shave that overall weight down, the new bike uses all Torayca T1100 1K carbon versus the previous 65HM1K fiber. That let Pinarello meet their stiffness requirements with less material. Based on the framekit of frame, fork, seatpost, and Bar+stem, the new Bolide TT drops more than 350g off the current bike. While more detailed weight figures haven’t been released, the current frame-only is just over 1kg, so saving that much over the framekit sounds like a big drop.
The Bolide TT uses Pinarello’s own integrated brakes inside of those aero covers, and sticks with a standard (but Italian) threaded bottom bracket. It will come in 4 sizes and appears to be available exclusively for electronic groupsets, which to any mechanic who has setup a TT bike is probably welcome news. It is of course UCI compliant, being raced by Sky. The team-edition bike available to consumers will come spec’d sponsor-correct with Shimano components and Pro wheels. It is unclear if an Italian purists version with Campy will also be available.