Since he moved to the World Tour in 2014, Earle’s had some of his better results in longer races, such as the Liège – Bastogne – Liège and the Amstel Gold Race. In fact, Earle was the only Sky rider to finish the 2014 Liège.
Here, we look at Earle’s 2014 race bike, which, in the guise pictured, has relegated to being his 2015 training bike.
Sitting at the centre is Pinarello’s latest road creation, the F8. Launched for the 2014 Tour de France and designed in collaboration with Sky-sponsor Jaguar, the F8 is Pinarello’s lightest, stiffest and most aerodynamic road bike to date.
Earle said: “This is easily the best road bike I’ve ever ridden”. Sure, he’s a sponsored rider, but we don’t doubt his word, given how highly the F8 ranked in the recent CyclingNews poll.
Pinarello offers the F8 in an industry-leading choice of 13 production frame sizes. Earle, like the rest of the team, rides a stock size – in his case 53cm.
Nearly every component on the Pinarello frame is supplied by Shimano, or Shimano’s own component brand, PRO.
Earle’s bike features a complete Shimano Dura-Ace groupset
Where we’ve seen Sky’s Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins experiment with assymetrical chainrings, Earle sticks with a completely stock Dura-Ace M9070 Di2 groupset. His 53/39 front chainring and 11-28T cassette offer just enough gearing for local climbs, while the shifting is kept as simple as possible without the addition of any Di2 climber or sprinter shifters.
Clinchers for training, tubulars for racing
The bike has been photographed in training format, but there are a few component differences compared to how it is on race day. The most obvious is the wheels – Earle uses Shimano Dura-Ace C35 clinchers rather than his likely C50 tubular setup on race day.
Keeping these wheels afloat are Continental GP Force 24c and Grand Prix tyres front and rear respectively. The front choice is odd because it’s more commonly used (and recommended) as a rear tyre. Sky doesn’t have an official tyre sponsor and traditionally uses Veloflex tubulars for race day, however it’s likely that Earle was supplied these.
Sometimes a saddle bag is the best way to carry things
Other training accessories include a fi’zi:k clip-in saddle bag and a Park Tools mini pump – proving that even the pros use these things from time to time.
Complete bike specifications
- Frameset: Pinarello F8 (53cm)
- Headset: Pinarello integrated, 1 1/8 to 1 1/2in tapered
- Stem: PRO alloy, 120mm
- Handlebars: PRO Vibe alloy, 40cm
- Brakes: Shimano Dura-Ace 9000
- Shift/brake levers: Shimano Dura-Ace 9070 Di2
- Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 FD-9070
- Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 RD-9070
- Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace CS-9000 11-28t
- Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace CN-9000
- Crankset: Shimano Dura-Ace FC-9000, 172.5mm, 53/39T
- Power meter: Stages
- Pedals: Shimano Dura-Ace
- Wheels: Shimano Dura-Ace C35
- Front Tyre: Continental GP Force 24c
- Rear Tyre: Continental Grand Prix 23c
- Saddle: fi’zi:k Arione R3 Braided
- Seat post: Pinarello F8
- Computer: Garmin Edge 510 on K-Edge mount
- Bottle cage: Elite Custom Race
- Other accessories: K-Edge Garmin mount (blacked out)
- Rider’s height: 1.80m (5ft 11in)
- Rider’s weight: 70kg (154lb)
- Saddle height from BB, c-t: 747mm
- Saddle setback: 60mm
- Seat tube length (c-c): 530mm
- Tip of saddle to centre of bar: 560mm
- Saddle-to-bar drop: 90mm
- Head tube length: 139mm
- Top tube length (effective): 545mm
- Total bicycle weight: 7.13kg (15.69lb), without saddle bag, Garmin 510, bottles or mini pump