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Tour Tech 2016: Chris Froome’s Pinarello Dogma F8 XLight

The bike ridden to victory in the Tour de France

Chris Froome won the 2016 Tour de France mostly racing a Pinarello Dogma F8 XLight that got progressively more yellow the longer the Team Sky led the race.

The Dogma F8 XLight saves about 100g across the frame and fork compared to the regular Dogma F8, according to Pinarello. Froome rides a 56cm frame but Pinarello’s figures relate to the next size down. A 54cm frame weighs a claimed 780g (compared to 860g for a regular F8) while the fork has dropped 20g down to 340g. 



The new F8 XLight retains the same silhouette as the regular F8 – it comes out of the same mould, which is why Pinarello hasn’t had to send it to the UCI for separate approval. The weight savings have come primarily from changes you can’t see, under the paint, with a fine-tuning of the carbon fibre layup. 

The Dogma F8 XLight comes with a 69.8kg (154lb) rider weight limit. This does seem odd considering brands like Cervelo and Cannondale can produce frames that are lighter than this with no rider weight limits. 

Chris Froome’s weight is often given as 71kg but we wouldn’t take much notice of that. Plus, of course, his weight alters throughout the year and even over the course of a long race like the Tour de France.

Pinarello will produce just 200 frames for the public in a choice of Team Sky colours, red or black. We don’t have a UK price yet, but in the US it will cost $8,499.

The rest of the pics in this article are from a black version of the Pinarello Dogma F8 that Froome rode earlier in the Tour. This bike is set up the same as his yellow one.pinarello chris froome 2016 7.JPG

The rhino motif on the top tube is a nod to his Kenyan birthplace and to his support for Unite for Wildlife, a charity that was set up to fight the illegal wildlife trade.pinarello chris froome 2016 5.JPG

Shimano might have just unveiled a brand new Dura-Ace groupset but Froome’s bike is equipped with existing Dura-Ace Di2. This is a bit of a surprise because equipment manufacturers typically use the Tour de France as a huge advert for new products, but new Dura-Ace won’t be available to buy until much later this year (maybe next year; who knows how supply will pan out?). The FDJ team has been using some of the new Dura-Ace components and providing Shimano with feedback, but all the others will be taking delivery in the off-season and getting used to it in training before racing with it next year.pinarello chris froome 2016 37.JPG

One neat thing about an electronic groupset is the ability to add extra shift buttons. Froome has the optional climbing shifter pod, stripped of unnecessary plastic casing and therefore saving weight, fitted to the centre of the handlebars. It can’t save more than a few grams but this is a team obsessed with marginal gains.pinarello chris froome 2016 1.JPG

While all other Team Sky members use regular round Dura-Ace chainrings, Chris Froome is still spinning the odd looking Osymetric chainrings, in a 52/38 configuration. The 52 tooth big chainring provides the equivalent of a 56-tooth chainring at the top of the stroke and a 48-tooth chainring at the bottom.

Team Sky staff we’ve spoken to aren’t impressed by Osymetric’s claim that the design leads to increased power but, on the other hand, Froome clearly prefers them and he has three Tour de France wins to his name. From his point of view, why change a winning formula?pinarello chris froome 2016 28.JPG

One detail we’ve not noticed on Froome’s bike in previous years is the installation of pieces of plastic fitted above and below the bottom bracket shell, with a recess for the chain catcher on the piece of plastic fitted below the front mech.

When we asked the team mechanic about the reason for this, he told us it was to prevent the chain falling off using the non-round chainrings. We can’t recall Chris Froome having any incidents with a dropped chain during a race, but we know the racers don’t like to take any chances so it’s probably a case of better to be safe than sorry. pinarello chris froome 2016 19.JPGStanding 1.86m tall, Froome uses 175mm crank arms rather than the more common 172.5mm. pinarello chris froome 2016 38.JPGFroome’s bike is fitted with a 121mm aluminium PRO stem with a couple of carbon spacers below, and an aluminium PRO handlebar. pinarello chris froome 2016 23.JPGA K-Edge out-front mount is used to attach his Garmin computer, which receives power data from the Stages power meter attached to the left crank arm. pinarello chris froome 2016 40.JPGWe’ve spotted double sided Stages prototype power meters in the past, but Froome was using a regular single sided version, the same as you can buy in the shops. pinarello chris froome 2016 41.JPGFroome started the Tour de France on Shimano Dura-Ace C50 wheels but then switched to a shallower section front wheel for the mountains. The tyres are Continental Pro Ltd in a 25mm width.

David worked on the tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes

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