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Ineos Grenadiers powerhouse Ganna will ride a world-first 3D-printed Pinarello Bolide bike when he speeds around the Swiss Grenchen velodrome Saturday.
“This is such a unique project,” said Pinarello marketing chief Federico Sabrissa. “We believe it’s the beginning of a new manufacturing era.”
Also read: Filippo Ganna set to take on UCI Hour Record
The new Bolide F HR 3D breaks new ground in being the first fully 3D-printed frame, stepping things up a level from the custom-printed components like handlebars and saddles that are becoming increasingly commonplace.
Designed in collaboration with and for track and time trial ace Ganna, the bike will also be available on the mass market, as regulated by the UCI for all Hour Record machines.
Pinarello first dived into 3D printing when it produced custom handlebars for Bradley Wiggins’ Hour Record attempt in 2015.
The Italian brand this year turned to UK manufacturers Metron A.E. to create a frame using a high-strength Scandium-Aluminium-Magnesium alloy used in aerospace material and specifically designed for 3D printing.
By using 3D printing rather than traditional methods, Pinarello claims to have produced totally unique shapes that couldn’t have been created otherwise, something crucial in reducing the wind-resistance drag that can make or break Hour Record attempts and time trials.
The result is a bike bringing “millimeter-perfect sizing” with boundary-pushing design that would be impossible out of a typical manufacturing process.
“Constant innovation and research are the foundations of success if you want to build the fastest time trial bike for the track. From Miguel Indurain’s World Hour record to the recent gold medals in the team pursuit in Tokyo, Pinarello has always set the gold standard in this segment,” said Pinarello chairman Fausto Pinarello.
“Working closely with Filippo Ganna and the Ineos Grenadier’s team to develop this revolutionary product is part of our company DNA. And the result of that extreme research, the spirit of innovation it engenders, and the technology it produces is then spread through the whole range of Pinarello products.”
The new Bolide takes every advantage of the removal of the UCI’s 3:1 tube profile rule by slimming wheel hubs and the bottom bracket and developing the most extreme AirFoil sections possible.
The seat tube and seat post have a distinct ridged design Pinarello christened “Airstream technology.” This unique feature is said to minimize the drag created by an area of the frame that contributes almost 40 percent of total wind resistance.
Ineos Grenadiers engineer and aero nerd Dan Bigham rode a prototype of the Bolide F HR 3D when he set the current record of 55.548km this summer.
Also read: Bigham breaks Hour Record
Saturday will see his teammate Ganna ride the finished product in his effort to blow Bigham’s mark out of the recordbooks.
The new Bolide F HR 3D is available for ordering at Pinarello’s official retailers starting Monday. Due to the 3D-printing production technique, will be built only on demand.
Expect it to be pricey.
“The next step will be to make it more affordable by finding ways to scan riders with more affordable equipment and automatically design each unique bike. From a world champion, to every World Tour rider, and eventually to each and every cyclist out there,” Sabrissa said.