The 2012 Tour de France was won by Bradley Wiggins, in no small part due to his performances in the time trial stages, aboard the Pinarello Graal. Since its debut in the prologue of the 2010 Giro d’Italia, the Graal was ridden to the top step of the podium, reaffirming the Pinarello supremacy that began with the time trial bikes of another Tour de France champion, Miguel Indurain. However, despite the continued successes of the Graal, including Chris Froome’s recent victory at the Tour de Romandie, Pinarello is always looking to the future.
For over a year Pinarello Lab technicians and engineers, in close collaboration with Team Sky, have worked to improve the time trial bike and are now claim to have reduced the total aerodynamic impact by 15%, compared to the Graal.
The major developments for the aerodynamics are:
- The use of new airfoil tube sections, profiles are designed to ensure the lowest aerodynamic resistance in all wind conditions (frontal, lateral, etc.), as well as, in certain conditions, to generate a forward thrust.
- The use of a “concave back” on the seat tube, to allow a closer position of the rear wheel, significantly improving the airflow in that area.
- Complete integration of the brakes, which “hides” them from the airflow, greatly reducing aerodynamic resistance
- Internal cable routing that optimizes the interaction between the airfoils and the airflow, in addition to an aesthetic impact, innovative for a racing bike.
- Integrated handlebar, which gives a unique continuity with the frame and greatly reduce the resistance, compared to a traditional stem and bar.
- The integration of battery and electronic controllers, completely hidden inside the frame of the BOLIDE with electronic shifter controls integrated into the handlebar, which further reduces the turbulence in the frontal area of the bike.
Another important improvement is the stiffness of the frame:
- The structural optimization of the tubes: unlike traditional aerodynamic airfoils, the sections we have developed optimize the aerodynamics, while maintaining almost constant stiffness compared to the Graal.
- A tapered headset with 1 1/8 “and 1 1⁄4” bearings, which gives a perfect compromise between handling and aerodyna- mic performances.
- Asymmetric chainstays, now part of Pinarello’s DNA, oppose the asymmetric forces created by the power applied to the chain.
- The lay-up optimisation of the carbon layers, to reinforce specifically the more stressed areas of the frame.
- The use of our new and unique Torayca 65HM1K, which allows an overall weight reduction of the frame, with unequalled structural characteristics compared to the conventional fibers.
For more info check out the Pinarello site.