Tom Pidcock and his Ineos Grenadiers team-mate, Pauline Ferrand-Prevot, are riding what appears to be a prototype Pinarello mountain bike wrapped in a camouflage paintjob.
Both riders were spotted riding the new cross-country bike at the Guéret round of the MTB French Cup.
Pidcock used it for both the XCC (short-track) and XCO races, while Ferrand-Prevot started her season in the women’s XCO event ahead of the opening UCI World Cup race of the season in Nové Město, Czech Republic, on 12-14 May.
Here’s what we know so far about Pidcock and Ferrand-Prevot’s new cross-country bike.
It replaces Tom Pidcock’s BMC Fourstroke
Pinarello is the bike sponsor of Ineos Grenadiers and hasn’t made a cross-country mountain bike since it launched the Dogma XC in 2012.
With no bike to ride contractually, Pidcock has chosen to ride an unbranded BMC Fourstroke for the past two seasons, including for his Tokyo 2021 Olympic win.
Pinarello presumably wasn’t too happy about this arrangement, with the production of this bike rumoured since last year.
The new cross-country bike will enable the brand to provide for all of Pidcock’s racing, giving the multi-faceted man every opportunity to win on a Pinarello frame.
There’s a top-tube mounted shock and flex-stay suspension
The new bike has the rear shock positioned under the top tube, which is the current trend for cross-country bikes because it enables two bottle cages to be fitted inside the front triangle.
Brands such as Specialized have gone as far as developing a new ‘skinny’ shock alongside RockShox to sit within the top tube for the new Specialized Epic World Cup.
Pinarello doesn’t appear to have gone this far, instead using an external top tube mount with a skeletal construction for possible weight savings.
The bike uses a yoke-style rear linkage, and the lack of pivot bearings in the rear triangle suggests it relies on the flex stays to provide suspension travel.
This concept has been seen before on cross-country bikes, with Cannondale’s Scalpel providing 100mm of rear suspension.
It’s not known how much travel Pinarello’s system will provide, but the trend for longer-travel bikes on ever-more technical courses doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Orbea’s new Oiz features 120mm of rear suspension.
A mysterious triangle section around the bottom bracket looks similar to the air tank for the automatic dropper post on BMC’s Fourstroke – though the bike is specced with a traditional dropper post.
Pinarello is developing an integrated handlebar and stem
The bike’s integrated handlebar is branded MOST, which is Pinarello’s in-house component label and appears to feature an integrated computer mount on the top of the stem portion.
While the front of Pidcock and Ferrand-Prevot’s bikes are largely obscured by race numbers, images from the rear of the bike show how the integrated cable routing feeds the cables/hydraulic hoses into the frame from the underside of the stem.
While integrated cable routing makes a bike look cleaner, it also reduces the chance of pulling a cable out when crashing or jostling for places. On the other hand, maintenance is more involved because you need to bleed the brakes every time you service or replace a headset bearing.
The integrated bars are yet to be released and do not feature on Pinarello’s website.
SR Suntour’s wireless suspension continues to hide in plain sight
The bike appears to be using SR Suntour’s prototype electronically controlled suspension system for the suspension fork and rear shock. Pidcock has employed this since the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.
Little is known about the unreleased system, but it’s likely to be broadly similar to RockShox’s Flight Attendant, which actively adjusts the suspension’s settings to firm up the bike for pedalling efficiency and maximises the travel for extra grip on descents.
The fork looks to be an evolution of SR Suntour’s Axon cross-country fork, featuring a carbon crown, with the rear shock appearing to use SR Suntour Edge externals.
While we don’t know the travel of the fork, the existing SR Suntour Axon comes in 100mm, 110mm and 120mm travel options.
There’s a new Princeton CarbonWorks wheelset, too
The new bike rolls on a pair of prototype 29in Princeton CarbonWorks wheels, wrapped in Continental RaceKing tyres.
Princeton CarbonWorks offers a range of road, gravel and disc wheels, used by Ineos Grenadiers since 2021, but this would be the US brand’s first mountain bike wheel.
The new wheelset features Princeton’s signature variable-depth rim profile that is claimed to reduce weight and add strength without sacrificing aero performance. It’s not known what the internal rim width of these wheels will be.
Pidcock has been running a tyre with a 2.2in width at the rear, though the frame looks able to handle the more aggressive 2.4in size now increasingly common on the latest XC bikes.
It looks like a Pinarello
The new bike follows Pinarello’s new design language, with a sweeping top tube kink that is similar to the brand’s new comfort-oriented X-Series endurance bikes and Nytro e-road bike, launched in March.
Beyond aesthetics, we’re not sure what the design feature does on this bike, if anything – but regardless, it marks it out as a Pinarello.
When will it be released?
Quite simply, we don’t know. We have asked Pinarello for comment and will update this article if we hear back.
However, with the World Cup season due to begin in May, and the next Olympic Games around the corner in 2024, a release this summer is likely.