Words by Simon Smythe
The bike Chris Froome and Team Sky will ride to defend the Tour de France title was unveiled yesterday, Wednesday May 28. The development of the Pinarello Dogma F8 has been a closely guarded secret for almost a year, but Cycling Weekly was invited to view and ride the new bike in Asolo, northern Italy.
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The Dogma F8 – which stands for ‘faster’ with ‘8’ denoting the eighth version of the Dogma – is the first bike in the modern peloton that integrates the superlative aerodynamic performance that the sprinters demand with the nimbleness and punch favoured by the climbers.
Pinarello claims its new bike is faster in the wind tunnel than all its competitors yet improves on the previous Dogma’s weight and stiffness. Whereas Team Sky’s rivals use aero bikes or climbers’ bikes depending on the rider and the terrain, all Sky’s riders will use the F8 on all types of road stage. Fausto Pinarello told CW: “It’s not an aero bike – it’s a fast bike.”
What’s more, it’s not just a fast bike but it’s the most British Pinarello ever made. Just as
wars drive technological advancement, Team Sky’s ambition to continue to rule pro racing means Pinarello has accelerated its flagship bike’s evolution.
To help the relatively small Italian company do that, Sky brought in increased firepower in the shape of Jaguar, which originally supplied its luxury team cars. Having recently benefited from vast investment from its Indian owners, the British firm was in a prime position to collaborate with the Italian bike sponsor and supply top aerodynamicists, state-of-the-art computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software, and a full-scale automotive wind tunnel.
The previous Dogma had been evolving slowly since 2010, but despite its 65 wins in the UCI WorldTour in 2013 – including the World Championship – it was clearly losing out to newer, more sophisticated rival machines. Therefore instead of just tweaking certain areas and using superior carbon-fibre as had been done in the past, Pinarello and Jaguar have created a brand new, much more capable Dogma that they claim is the best bike in the pro peloton.
Read more about the new Pinarello Dogma F8 in this week’s Cycling Weekly magazine (May 29 2014 issue)