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.
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 uses a standard 53/39t shimano dura-ace 9000 crankset with a matching stages power meter left arm:David Rome / Immediate Media
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.
Earle uses shimano dura-ace c35 clincher wheels for training : earle uses shimano dura-ace c35 clincher wheels for trainingDavid Rome / Immediate Media
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.
A saddle bag on a pro bike? yep… need to carry those spares somehow when you’re training solo:David Rome / Immediate Media
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