On a recent Zoom conference call from company HQ in Treviso, Italy, product and marketing managers from Pinarello told a global room full of journos that the 2023 goal of the venerable Italian brand was to “Optimize the portfolio of bikes.” While such statements in and of themselves don’t always induce a sense of anxiety, knowing that the 15x Tour de France winning brand had been sold a few years ago to the LVMH luxury conglomerate (and is up for sale again), the immediate fear that entered our minds upon hearing those words was twofold – kids bikes and beach cruisers?!
Thankfully, no. In short, what “optimizing the portfolio” meant was that their catalog has been slightly upended to wave goodbye to some previous models (Paris and Prince) while saying hello to a revised line-up that seeks to spread the high-end brand a bit further down market…as in optimizing the portfolio.
Similar to the many high-end car brands that too have sought sales strategies to expand the market for their product, Pinarello will be introducing two new categories of road bikes – the F and X series – for cyclists yearning to be associated with the performance brand, but with less racier rides.
What the X line seeks to embrace is the performance oriented endurance rider looking for a tad more compliance in the ride quality and more importantly, a few extra dollars left in the bank account. To achieve both, in addition to the new curved seat stays, two levels of the X series, the X1 and X3, will be offered complete with mid-line components from both Shimano and SRAM. The X1 bike will be available with mechanical Shimano 105 components and the X3 will be spec’d with SRAM Rival AXS. The only price that Pinarello made available was a $3700 price for the 105 X1.
Relying on their years long relationship with premier carbon supplier Toray, the new X series will be built using Toray T600 carbon with a special lay-up to maximize compliance. One Pinarello frame feature that remains constant is their signature asymmetric frame design. Although of minimal impact in reality, Pinarello is also touting a new seatpost binder that saves 36 grams
Citing the winning success of 32mm tires at Paris Roubaix the last two years, in news that may rankle traditional road stalwarts who eschew all things modern, Pinarello reminded that the race results “… proves definitively that when it comes to balancing speed and control on difficult terrain, tire clearance is the answer.” Actually, it’s not the tire clearance that is the answer, but the tires themselves, as such the new bikes all have room for 32mm tires.
AS FOR THE PINARELLO X SERIES
Whereas the Dogma is specifically designed for a cyclist to win the Tour de France, the X series takes a much more medial approach with an endurance geometry intended for more pleasure over long efforts. Pinarello claims the X frame is 21.1 percent less stiff than the Dogma which is achieved by a new layup using T600 Toray carbon. improved vibration dampening with slower, easier to control handling characteristics are the results. At 1050g the frame is no featherweight but it is comparable to many top-of-the line aero bikes, add in the 470g fork for a 1520g total frameset weight.
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