Pinarello has unveiled further details to BikeRadar about the unique cockpits used by Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas during the opening stage of the Tour de France in Dusseldorf.
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MOST — Pinarello’s component outfit — opted for titanium production to reduce cost and lead times versus CNC machining or carbon moulding.
Although titanium is an expensive raw material, its lightweight and stiff characteristics result in a high performance component that's capable of producing the gains seen in the Tour.
The 3D printed cockpits were designed specifically for each rider using computational fluid dynamics, as well as finite element analysis, which can predict real-world forces and ensure the structural integrity of the product.
The printing process uses powder bed technology, which results in the unique finish seen on the components. It is thought to be the same technology as seen on Bradley Wiggins’ Hour Record bike, a specially modified Pinarello Bolide.
Although there is no available information on the cockpit used by Wiggins, MOST celebrates the achievement on its website with ‘Volare!’ — which translates to Fly! — suggesting the name of the component when it eventually becomes available to consumers.
The handlebars are expected to be available to the public later this season, with Pinarello suggesting a 90-day lead time following an individual scan of the customer to allow for production.
Although Pinarello could not divulge the specific cost of the handlebars, the component is clearly not for the entry-level time triallist and will be in the upper price bracket.
Thomas won the opening stage in Dusseldorf, while Froome finished twelve seconds back in sixth place. Mikel Landa and Sergio Henao also completed the time trial with the new cockpit.
It is expected that Froome, Landa and Henao will again use the cockpits on the penultimate stage in Marseille. Geraint Thomas unfortunately abandoned the race following a stage nine crash.
Head to Cyclingnews.com for all the latest from the 2017 Tour de France.