Team Ineos's Geraint Thomas rode to second place in today's Tour de France individual time trial on a Pinarello Bolide TT.
Pinarello says that the latest version of the Bolide, added to the UCI's List of Approved Models of Frames and Forks in 2016, draws heavily on lessons it learned while putting together the Bolide HR, the track bike that Bradley Wiggins rode to set the Hour Record (broken earlier this year by Victor Campenaerts).
Unusually in the case of a TT bike, the main objective Pinarello had when designing the latest version of the Bolide was to drop weight. It claims that the frame kit is 350g lighter than previously. The Italian brand makes extensive use of Torayca T1100 carbon fibre in the construction.
The down tube has a concave mid-section that allows for a closer fit with the water bottle, smoothing the airflow in that area. This is a feature that has been transferred over to Dogma road bikes.
The brakes, designed by Pinarello, are integrated into the design of the frame and fork, the rear one with a cover that’s said to have derived from aircraft technologies.
The bottom bracket is Italian thread, the rear dropouts are alloy and the Twin Force seatpost clamp is internal.
Pinarello altered the structure of the fork, and the dropouts have an airfoil section that's taken from the Bolide HR.
The Talon TT aerobar is from Most, Pinarello’s in-house brand, and it's an engineering feat in itself. It is 3D printed from titanium and made especially to fit Geraint Thomas's favoured aero riding position.
"The handlebar was manufactured with Powder Bed Fusion technology, where titanium powder is locally melted in a layer-by-layer fashion to create the final product," says Pinarello.
3D printing allows the various parts of the bar to be made in about two days. That might sound like a long time but complex components can be made using this technique, Pinarello doesn't need to invest in new manufacturing tools, and the design can be changed easily to suit different riders. All of this helps to keep costs down.
The base bar – which we measured at just 32cm wide from centre to centre – features Di2 buttons that allow G to change gear when riding out of the saddle or before/after cornering.
He also has shift buttons at the ends of the extensions, of course. Plenty of grip tape helps avoid slipping without adding much weight.
In contrast to the rest of the bar, the armrest pads are decidedly low tech. They're just cut out of a sheet of foam and glued into place.
Team Ineos uses Shimano's top-level Dura-Ace Di2 groupset, including the chainset-based power meter.
G uses 175mm cranks (the same as on his Dogma F12) and this bike is fitted with 58/46-tooth chainrings – most pro riders use either a 56-tooth or a 58-tooth outer ring on flat TT courses – and an 11-30-tooth cassette.
A K-Edge chain catcher stops the chain dropping off the inner ring.
The Di2 junction box sits in a small pocket in the down tube where it's easily accessible and out of the wind.
The wheels are from Shimano's sub-brand Pro. That's a Disc Textreme Tubular wheel at the rear, made from spread tow carbon – where ribbons of carbon fibres are woven together, the idea being to reduce crimp and thereby improve the mechanical performance.
The front wheel is a 3-spoke Textreme. Like the rear, it has a 24mm-wide rim and is fitted with a Continental ProLtd 25mm tyre.
Unlike some riders who switch to a time trial-specific saddle for the TTs, G uses the same carbon-railed Fizik Arione model that's fitted to his road bike. Those two lines on the cover allow the mechanics to get the position right for each rider.
G doesn't go for elaborate personalisation on his Pinarello Bolide TT, just his name sticker on the seat tube and a Welsh flag on the top tube distinguishing his bike from those of other team members.
Check out loads more Tour de France 2019 tech.
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