Filippo Ganna obliterated the UCI Hour Record on Saturday October 8, recording a stunning distance of 56.792 km to better Dan Bigham’s previous benchmark by over a kilometre. Few doubted Ganna’s ability to break the record, he is a world-renowned time trial talent – twice world champion in the discipline – but this doesn’t mean it was an easy feat for the 26-year-old.
A whole team of staff members, aerodynamicists, engineers and mechanics were behind him, with Ganna’s trade team, Ineos Grenadiers, throwing everything at the Italian’s attempt to crack the Hour. Aside from Ganna’s ability to produce the watts when it mattered, perhaps the most crucial piece of his Hour Record was the bike he chose to ride throughout his 60-minutes on the velodrome: a 3D-printed Pinarello Bolide F HR.
It’s a bike that turned heads as soon as it was unveiled to the public as an impressive feat of innovation and an insight into the future of aerodynamics and where we could see bicycle geometry going in the future. With a 3D-printed frame and handlebars, bike-specific Princeton Carbon Works wheels, a huge 65-tooth front chainring, there’s plenty of tech to dive into when it comes to this machine. We got a closer look at Pinarello’s Bolide F HR on the ground in Grenchen, Switzerland, before Ganna made history on the bike, here are all the details.
If you want to see this bike up close in real life, it will be shown at Rouleur Live 2022.
Pinarello claims that the new Bolide is the “the first and the fastest 3D-printed bike ever built”, printed using Scalmalloy, an aerospace material specifically designed for 3D printing. The brand’s press release stated that it aimed to create strength, stiffness, and comfort with aero gains. The frame is ultra-narrow, with Pinarello aiming to reduce frontal area for better aerodynamic efficiency, but from the side the tubes are thick and deep. Uniquely, Ganna’s Bolide also features ridges on the seat tube and down tube which Pinarello says reduces the drag of bike and rider to help airflow which comes off the rider’s legs.
Pinarello didn’t hold back on the customisation for Ganna, with chrome decals which read “Top Ganna” adorning specific areas of the bike. This nickname comes from the Italian rider’s dominance in time trials in recent seasons. The handlebars were custom-made and 3D-printed especially for Ganna, designed to be as aerodynamic as possible, with kinks in the extensions there to reduce overall drag by controlling the airflow hitting Ganna’s legs.
Ganna’s bike had a big 65-tooth front chainring alongside a Wattshop Cratus Aero modular crankset with very narrow crank arms which are adjustable in length. In the first few laps of his Hour Record, it almost looked like this gear was too big for Ganna, but once he got on top of it, the Italian averaged approximately 98 RPM throughout the record.
The bike featured a Muc-Off treated Izumi Kai chain which is said to have taken 700 hours to develop, apparently making it 30% more efficient than a stock chain.Princeton Carbon Works created especially narrow wheels to fit in the tiny gap between the hub shell and fork leg on Ganna’s Bolide F HR. The hubs themselves are significantly narrower than the standard, too. The wheels were dressed with 23mm Continental GP 5000 TT tyres.
The back end of Ganna’s bike has truncated aero profiles on the seat tube and seat post which aids aerodynamics and smooths airflow.Ganna’s bike featured a Fizik Ares saddle, the same one he uses in time trials on the road.