Love or hate the looks of the Pinarello Graal, no one can deny the credentials that the frame earned in 2012. First came Bradley Wiggins riding it to his Tour victory on the strengths of his TT, and then it was Leanda Cave winning both the 70.3 and Ironman World Championships. The Graal has a resume most other frames will only dream of. However, we all know that this year’s high-tech rocket ship can quickly become common place, and Pinarello is well aware of this.
May we introduce the successor to the Graal – The Bolide (the name comes from a term related to meteors and meteorites, IE things that go FAST). Pinarello claims that they have reduced aerodynamic drag by 15% and total weight by 5% over the Graal. Pinarello has taken many of the techniques we have come to expect with today’s superbikes and placed their own unique twist on them.
First up are the airfoil tube sections including enlarged junctions for the downtube/headtube and seattube/toptube. If you look at the Graal versus the Bolide, you can see how much deeper the seattube/toptube junction now is. Both the front and rear brakes hidden under fairings, the rear being located behind the seattube/toptube junction This is a departure from most other designs that tuck the brake under the bottom bracket, and we would believe this may actually make maintenance a touch easier (though we could be very very wrong).
Unlike the Graal, Pinarello has gone with a fully integrated front end on the Bolide. The stem is now flush with the toptube, and the steering assembly is completely integrated into the frame. On Wiggin’s Giro bike, the brake levers appear to be fully integrated into the basebar (we are not sure if this will make it into production). We are curious how these integrated brakes would work with Di2 but we will have to wait and see. Speaking of Di2, the Bolide has built in compartments for the battery and controller. An interesting touch is the multiple bottom bosses on the downtube allowing you to position your cages as aerodynamically as possible while still leaving them within reach (something the XLABS Aero Cage Optimizer lets you adapt to other frames). Another touch is an integrated area specifically designed for an SRM sensor – Pinarello knows it’s market and how their frames are going to be used.
Based on looks alone, we are already fans of Pinarello’s upgrade from the Graal to the Bolide. Taking into account that this upgrade reduces drag and weight, we are even more excited. Pricing and availability have not yet been announced, but when it is we will be sure to update you.