BAGNERES-DE-BIGORRE, France (CT) – At the start of stage 7 of the Tour de France, in the charming town of L’Isle-Jourdain, a new superlight Pinarello frameset was being fussed over by two Team Sky mechanics. The F8 XLight is a new and limited edition climbing bike from the Italian team sponsor.
The bike had its first showing at the recent Criterium du Dauphine, and even though Chris Froome won the race on it, few people noticed the new frameset.
At a quick glance, the F8 XLight is not massively different to the current team edition F8 and very little information is available about it. What we do know is that there will only be 200 frames available, in either a Team Sky blue edition or a red and black version.
The weight of the frame is a claimed 780g for a 53cm model, which is roughly 70-80g lighter than the current F8. It would seem that Pinarello will also be suggesting a maximum rider weight of 75kg for the frame. We guess it’s under the paintwork that weight-savings have been made, as the frame resembles the Dogma F8 in many ways. A lighter carbon and/or resin, and a slightly different layup, are more than likely the factors that have contributed to the weight-saving.
Geraint Thomas’s bike is built up with a stock-standard Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 groupset. There are no deviations in the chainring, unlike his team leader Chris Froome who uses an oval-shaped Osymetric chainring. Instead Thomas used a 38/53 chainring setup. Out back he has a 11-28 cassette. Wheels are the Shimano Dura-Ace C50 shod with Continental ProLTD 25 mm tubulars.
Team Sky doesn’t actually have a tyre sponsor so the riders and mechanics get to choose what they run, according to personal preference. This season we’ve seen them on a variety of tubulars, from an assortment of Veloflex to FMB Roubaixs for the Classics. Contact points are from Pro, and the saddle is from Fizik — a classically shaped Arione Tri. Pedals come from Shimano.
We’ll keep our eyes peeled throughout the Tour to see if Team Sky’s man for the GC Chris Froome ends up also using the F8 XLight.