Ineos Grenadiers race new Pinarello Bolide TT bike ahead of Tour de France
Geraint Thomas was one of two Grenadiers racing on Pinarello's first complete redesign of the Bolide rig in almost a decade at the Tour de Suisse.
Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
This article was first published on CyclingTips.
New bike silly season is in full swing and Pinarello has now joined the party with a much anticipated new time trial rig. Pinarello’s current TT offering, the Bolide, was first launched in 2013 with only one relatively minor update since then. As such, an update was at least partially overdue even if the current model seems plenty fast enough as Filippo Ganna claimed both the past two time trial world championships aboard the existing bike.
Rumours first surfaced that a new TT rig was in the works over in Treviso just last month, and the bike has now made its debut in the Tour de Suisse under both overall winner Geraint Thomas and Dani Martinez. While the new bike features a motor industry-esque camo design, presumably intended in this case to both disguise and attract attention to the new rig, luckily the Bolide-camo paint job can’t hide everything with Pinarello’s signature curves still easily standing out.
Also read: Geraint Thomas confirms ‘road will decide’ Ineos Grenadiers leadership play at Tour de France
The new bike is unmistakably Pinarello, featuring the Italian brand’s signature curvy tubes. Furthermore, both Ineos riders retained their custom time trial handlebars and aero extensions, with these factors combining to give an impression that not much has changed with the new bike. But looking a little closer, this is a major overhaul of the Bolide platform.
The first and perhaps the most obvious update is the move to disc brakes. Of course, very few would have been expecting anything other than a move away from rim brakes, but given Pinarello only offered discs on their triathlon-specific Bolide until now, the change is noteworthy.
Beyond that, things get a bit more interesting. Starting up front, the new fork is significantly deeper than that on the outgoing model and the one aspect of the frame to get slightly less wavy. TV images from Martinez in the start house show the aero fairing-like tabs extending out behind the forks from the dropouts have also grown much deeper, even when compared to the tabs on the latest Dogma F.
Sticking with the deeper theme, the head tube, already pretty deep and ahead of its time on the first Bolide, has grown quite considerably on the new frame. I feel like a broken record on repeat with the number of times I’ve typed “deeper head tube” over the past several weeks as so many new frames break cover. That said, I am only as repetitive as a deeper head tube is faster and it’s no surprise to see so many brands adopt a similar philosophy.
Of course, with the move to disc brakes, the rim brake cover on the head tube is now surplus to requirements and has disappeared from the new bike. While we haven’t seen any true head on shots, it seems the headtube narrows into an aero shape replicating the benefits of that outgoing brake cover.
The down tube also underwent a complete redesign, with the front wheel cut out now much deeper and a profile akin to that found on the Dogma F. The down tube varies in both depth and width as it switches from hiding behind the front wheel to itself hiding a bottle behind the lower section.
That new down tube runs into, you guessed it, a pretty tall bottom bracket. the original and updated Bolides were both ahead of their time when it comes to the taller bottom bracket design and it’s no surprise to see it retained in the new rig. That said, although just as tall, the bottom bracket area on the new bike does appear to have been treated to a new aero profiling. We’ll have to wait for confirmation from Pinarello on the exact updates to this area.
The seat tube is also significantly redesigned. While the tube appears similar or only slightly deeper, and retains a similar-looking rear wheel cut out, it again drops the rim brake cover and the swooping flow into the top tube in favour of a much sharper junction. The seat tube also appears slightly wider with a pronounced truncated profile.
The new seat stays have seemingly also experienced a major overhaul with a deeper and thinner profile, and a more profiled junction into the seat tube. The removal of the brake cover leaves the new stays looking much more exposed, but they do appear to be ever so slightly further dropped than before.
The top tube of the initial Bolide was perfectly horizontal and flat with some curvy Pinarelloness on the underside, before being replaced with a rounder and equally curvy top tube on the updated Bolide. The new bike, though, is like a Bolide top tube greatest hits featuring squarer edges to flatter tubes with only a slight curve to the almost, but not quite, horizontal top tube. The new top tube is clearly from the same family as the top tube on the Dogma F.
Interestingly, Thomas and Martinez’s bikes featured slightly different seat tubes offering two different setback options. The seat tube itself matches the new seat tube’s wider and perhaps slightly deeper aero profile.
While very little about the new bike screams radical new concept, or even massively pushes boundaries, Pinarello seems to have ticked all the aero boxes and unsurprisingly there are no big question marks over any aspect of the frame. Based on the evidence emerging from Thomas’ second-place time trial finish and GC victory at the Tour de Suisse, the new bike is performing well on the road.