Unreleased Trek off to a winning start at the Dauphiné – plus new Pinarello and Canyon race bikes spotted

As the teams gear up for the Tour de France, new bikes are ridden in race conditions before their official launches – here are three of the most eagerly anticipated

The Critérium du Dauphiné is the dress rehearsal for the Tour de France – the last chance for riders to test their form and teams to test new, unreleased equipment that they hope will give them an advantage over their rivals in Grande Boucle when it gets underway in Florence on June 29. It’s therefore a happy hunting ground for tech spotters and the brands of course are happy to play the game. Every leak and spyshot guarantees a few more virtual column inches on cycling publications' websites, whetting the bike-buying public’s appetite for the launch proper.

Mads Pedersen sprinted to victory on stage one on a new Trek that looks as though it shares much of its DNA with the seventh-generation aero Madone, launched in 2022. The model name on the top tube of Pedersen's bike has 'Madone' overlaying 'Emonda' to add intrigue. Or will Trek come up with a brand new anagram when the bike is launched to the public?

Trek Madone or Emonda top tube

The bike has the IsoFlow ‘hole’ in the seat tube, a Madone-specific feature intended to “direct some high energy flow into a low energy region of the bike” in Trek’s words, meaning a jet of fast-moving air would pass through the IsoFlow cutout, reducing drag at the seat tube/top tube juncture. But the new bike’s tube profiles are not as deep as the Madone’s. The down tube in particular looks considerably shallower, and the seat tube too has mostly lost its rear-wheel cutout – now not necessary since its depth has been reduced.

Mads Pedersen's Trek after Dauphine stage one

Meanwhile the top tube is less angular than the gen-seven Madone’s, curving downwards as it leaves the head tube area and perhaps tapering a little more as it reaches the seatstays. The head tube itself hasn’t undergone a visually dramatic change. As with the new Pinarello, it now has a longer rear section with the down tube flaring less at the juncture. The Madone integrated cockpit looks unchanged, with the same arcing stem.

Mads Pedersen and Toms Skuijns at the Dauphine

In summary, the new Trek looks less like an all-out aero bike and more like an aero all-rounder. The smaller, shallower tube profiles will make it lighter, probably hitting the UCI’s 6.8kg weight limit with ease. Possibly Trek has recouped some of the aerodynamic losses by designing specific aero bottles and cages, as pictured above. This is an area that Pinarello has also targeted with the shape of the new Dogma’s bottom bracket shell (see below) and is clearly an area where aero gains can be found while weight can be reduced elsewhere.

You can be sure all will be revealed before long. And until then, the new Trek – whatever it's called – has got off to the perfect start.

New Pinarello Dogma F: return to the glory days?

A Pinarello Dogma hasn’t won the Tour de France since 2019, but the Italian brand will be hoping that with the new, unreleased version of the bike that Ineos Grenadiers are using at the Dauphiné, it can turn back the clock and step back up. The outgoing version of the Italian brand’s flagship race bike, the Dogma F, was launched in 2021. It was claimed to be marginally faster than its predecessor, the F12, on which Egan Bernal won his first and only Tour de France in 2019, but only by a handful of watts. The frame weight remained at 850g and was made from the same Torayca 1100 carbon, but Pinarello saved 265g off the frameset by speccing a titanium 3D-printed saddle clamp, a lighter Most Talon Ultrafast integrated cockpit, and the Onda fork, seatpost and thru-axles were lighter too. So what can we expect from the new, unreleased Dogma? 

Ineos Grenadiers at the Dauphine stage 1

Almost every new aero bike launched in the last three years has exploited the scrapping of the UCI’s 3:1 rule, which dictated that tubes and components could not be more than three times deeper than they were wide. These include the Cervélo S5, the Giant Propel and most recently the Factor Ostro VAM. Pinarello has never in its history of Team Sky/Ineos sponsorship supplied a separate, dedicated aero bike – the brand has always claimed the Dogma is capable of winning on all parcours and its results back this up. However, like those new aero bikes, the new Dogma’s head tube has a longer, straighter and more vertical aerofoil section behind it than before. Since the front of the bike has the biggest impact on airflow, it’s likely that Pinarello has focused on this area to potentially save more watts than the F did over the F12. That said, the Onda fork – another key element in the bike's overall aerodynamics – looks surprisingly similar to the existing version. Deeper blades or a remodelled crown might normally be expected with a 2024 redesign.

Ineos Grenadiers at the Dauphine stage 1

Despite the new-look head tube and what looks like a flatter top tube at the front, the frame retains the very distinctive Dogma silhouette until it reaches the bottom of the main triangle. Since 2014’s F8, Pinarello has worked to improve airflow around the bottle cages, claiming that that original ‘aero’ Pinarello was faster with two bottles than without, positioning the seat tube cage so that it was shrouded. Now there looks to be an actual shelf in the carbon frame to smooth the dirty air off the down tube and around the lower part of the bottle as it comes off the the moving cranks and rider’s legs. The extra carbon will additionally stiffen the bottom bracket area. It's more visible from the non-drive side.

In previous iterations of the Dogma the down tube was designed to partially wrap the front bottle cage. This area looks to been slightly reshaped but not radically altered, with a shallower housing for the bottle – perhaps to bolster torsional stiffness. When I rode the Dogma F in 2021 I didn’t find it particularly stiff – in fact it was beautifully smooth. By contrast, I found Colnago V4RS to be incredibly stiff, almost requiring a Pogačar level of power to unlock its ride quality. Perhaps Pinarello has found that its pro riders have asked for a little more torsional rigidity and a bigger BB area – along with a deeper head tube – could be the key.

Those most obviously redesigned areas could supply improvements to aerodynamics and stiffness. As for weight, the other pillar of race bike design, with Fausto Pinarello historically refusing to make the compromises he sees as inherent in a superlight carbon frame, it’s hard to see where it will shed grams, unless the tubes are considerably narrower. With its new Ostro VAM, Factor designed a very narrow seat tube – just 19.5mm wide  – with a 15mm-wide seatpost. Again, changes to the UCI’s rules allowing cross sections of less than 25mm could allow Pinarello to do something similar. At this moment it’s impossible to tell from the photos.

The new Dogma has big shoes to fill: since 2010, when Team Sky launched with Pinarello as bike sponsor, it has won the Tour de France seven times. This decade it has yet to win – though the rise of Pogačar and Vingegaard has more to do with than anything else. While 2024 is unlikely to see the return of the Dogma to the top step of the podium, we can be pretty sure that the new iteration of the 21st century’s winningest bike will not be giving anything away to its competitors.

New Canyon Aeroad: incremental aero tweaks

Unlike the Trek Madone, the last version of which only dates back two years, the Canyon Aeroad is due an update. The the last version was launched in 2020 and four years is often the maximum we see in product cycles from the big brands.

New Canyon Aeroad at the Dauphine

However, the changes to the Canyon aren’t as obvious as those to its counterpart new races bikes from Pinarello and Trek.

Whereas Trek might already be retiring the Madone and going down the route of the aero-all rounder with a more aero Emonda, by the look of the updated Aeroad, Canyon is keeping both aero and lightweight bikes – the Ultimate CFR is the latter – for its pro teams. It's going any less aero – certain tube sections have even more material than before.

The 2020 Aeroad suffered some high-profile teething problems when it launched: the sight of Mathieu van der Poel clutching a snapped bar as he finished Le Samyn in 2021 sticks in the memory, unfortunately for Canyon. But the German brand fixed the issue – and another one with wear at the seatpost, which flexed inside the frame. So perhaps with solutions found and the bike fixed and scoring many successes including this year's Paris-Roubaix, it’s not a surprise that there’s no radical redesign. From what we've seen so far, the adjustable-width handlebar remains, but now the Aeroad cockpit features Canyon’s Gear Groove as seen on its Gravel Pro cockpit. This allows fitting of Canyon accessories such as mounts and lights and makes sense from a practical point of view. Not all bikes used by Movistar on stage one had this particular bar. however.

Beneath the bar – likely to be height adjustable like the previous one, which had 1.5cm of up or down without the steerer tube needing to be cut – is a reshaped head tube that looks to be deeper in line with the UCI rule change and also narrower below a more pronounced, thicker rib that leads into the top tube.

At the rear, the seatpost clamp has been moved up to the top tube and looks to use the more traditional wedge system. The outgoing version used a bolt directly into the back of the seat tube. This may indicate that Canyon as scrapped the clever flexing seatpost of the previous version and gone for practicality and serviceability at the expense of a little bit of compliance – which is becoming less of an issue with the bigger-volume tyres that are now common.

We'll bring you all the official details of these three bikes once they're launched – and there are bound to be more, too.

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