Is this the bike that Filippo Ganna will ride to victory in today’s opening stage of the 2022 Tour de France?
We’re in Copenhagen, Denmark, for the start of the Tour and got up close and personal with Ganna’s ride, which also features a brand new Princeton tri-spoke carbon front wheel, hand-delivered by the US-based company to Ineos-Grenadiers just days before the Grand Départ.
Other spec choices include a 58/46t crankset, the Bolide F’s new time trial extensions, which feature a kink in a bid to smooth airflow, and as-yet-unseen Continental Grand Prix 5000 TT TdF tubeless tyres.
We first spotted the Bolide F at the Tour de Suisse, where 2018 Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas rode to second in the time trial to win the race overall.
While the brash stickers that marked out Thomas’s pre-release bike in Switzerland have been removed, Ganna, as the reigning world champion and current king of time trial, still gets his own design for the new Bolide F at the Tour.
A ‘Top Ganna’ graphic on the top tube calls out the Italian’s two World Championship victories – in Imola and Flanders – and includes the time recorded to pull on the rainbow jersey.
The frame itself, which now bears a closer resemblance to the team’s Dogma F road bike, gets a silver and black contrast.
Notably, the Bolide F is disc-brake-only, giving the overall frameset a cleaner look and removing the heavily sculpted, aero-shaped brake covers on the existing rim-brake Bolide.
The bike also gets a new matching integrated cockpit.
The new Princeton tri-spoke is known as the Mach 7580 TS and the company’s director of operations, Richard Furchtgott, told BikeRadar he’d jetted to Denmark on the eve of the Tour to deliver the box-fresh, straight-out-of-production wheels to Ganna and the team.
The TS is described as an evolution of the existing Mach 7580. It features a “20.5mm hook to hook tyre bed and proprietary integrated one-piece aerodynamic axle.” The ceramic bearings feature an “ultra-low friction dicronite coating”.
That axle is particularly interesting. The UCI banned the Aerocoach hub ‘fairing’ used by Ganna at the 2021 Tour but, as it’s part of the axle itself, perhaps Princeton’s design is seen as a structural part of the wheel. Over to you, UCI commissaires.
Otherwise, the wheel retains Princeton’s trademark wavy rim design, with a rim depth that varies between 75 and 80mm. The aero valve cover is a neat touch, too.
The rear disc is also from Princeton CarbonWorks and is labelled as an “experimental prototype”.
Both wheels are wrapped in new Continental Grand Prix 5000 TT TdF tubeless tyres, in what looks to be a 25mm width.
Elsewhere on the build, Ganna is using an 11-speed Shimano Dura-Ace drivetrain with a 58/46t crankset. With component availability issues as they are, every team we’ve seen at the Tour is using 11-speed Shimano components on time trial bikes, at the least.
Finally, Ganna uses Dura-Ace pedals and sits on a Fizik Ares saddle.