Pinarello has announced the Bolide F as its “fastest bike ever” ahead of Friday’s Stage 1 time trial in the Tour de France where it will be ridden by Ineos Grenadiers.
We’ve already spotted the bike – the first Bolide TT to feature disc brakes – out in the wild being raced by riders such as Geraint Thomas. World time trial champion Filippo Ganna also rode the Bolide F to his first victory at the Italian TT national championships.
The Italian brand says that it wanted to switch to disc brakes because of the performance benefits they provide and to allow for the use of 28mm wide tyres.
“Improving handling and decreasing rolling resistance were two of the primary targets for the new Bolide F TT,” says Pinarello. “To achieve this, the bike had to be designed to use disc brakes, which added a 1.4% aerodynamic deficit when compared with the previous integrated rim brake Bolide.
“This deficiency was recovered during the development process, thanks to a complete re-design of the seat tube, seat post, top stays [seatstays], and chainstays, which counter-balanced the increased aerodynamic drag of the disc brake to create an aerodynamically equivalent bike and rider system.”
Pinarello says that the total drag of the bike and rider is within 0.04% of the previous Bolide TT using its weighting scheme, which uses seven different yaw angles and eight different rider positions.
It says that improvements have been made at the new base bar and extensions, with a 2-3% improvement to the total drag.
The base bar was tested at 50km/h (31mph) with eight leg positions and seven yaw angles between -15° and +15°. Compared with the previous model, the weighted average has a 0.1% improvement in total drag, which Pinarello says it regards as equivalent.
However, at a 0° yaw angle – when the apparent wind is head-on – there’s an improvement of 0.5%. Pinarello points out that aero efficiency at very low yaw angles is especially important at the high speeds associated with time trials.
“For the extensions and risers on the standard available bar, the goal was to maximise adjustability to improve the rider’s aerodynamic position and comfort,” says Pinarello.
“The key changes were the bolt-from-below design for the risers and the simplified angle adjustment. Areas of sensitivity were also identified around the risers and forearms, which showed a potential for 2-3% in aerodynamic improvement.
“The new headset, which introduces Pinarello’s TiCR (Total Internal Cable Routing) system, meant the designers could reduce the thickness of the stem, consequently allowing a reduction in top tube thickness and improved aerodynamics. It also delivers a more direct and fast-handling feel to the bike.”
Pinarello’s top-level athletes use custom 3D-printed bar extensions. These are created by scanning the forearms in the most aerodynamic position and then 3D printing in titanium.
The idea is that this allows each athlete to ride in their optimum position with no gap between the bar extensions and their forearms to keep drag to a minimum.
You can now have bar extensions custom-made for you. How much? It’ll depend on the result of your preliminary assessment, but it’s not going to be cheap.
Improving aerodynamics often means adding weight but Pinarello says that it has managed to remove 170g from the frame kit and brakes.
Bolide TT (rim brakes) 2,435g
Bolide F TT (disc brakes) 2,265g
These weights apply to a size 55 frameset, including fork and bearings, seatpost, rim brakes with covers and cables, and disc brakes with hydraulic tubes.
The frame on its own has a claimed weight of 1,100g (size 55)
Pinarello claims that the Bolide F sets a new industry standard in terms of stiffness thanks to its new tube shapes and carbon lay-up patterns.
It says that stiffness has been increased by 17% around the bottom bracket and by 7% at the head tube. The fork is 12% stiffer fore/aft and 5% stiffer sideways, according to Pinarello. Well, it wouldn’t be a proper launch without some impressive-sounding statistics that we can’t verify, would it?
Here are the tech specs:
The frame will be available in Matt Black with white decals (the bike shown here in the studio pictures has a special finish for Filippo Ganna).
You can pre-order a Pinarello Bolide F now. The price? We’re working on it.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.