Launched only on Friday, the Pinarello Dogma K8-S is touted as the secret weapon that will get Team Sky their first Monument win.
We cast an eye over Geraint Thomas’ bike ahead of the Tour of Flanders and got a bit of extra info from the team mechanics as the riders got back from one last ride before the 2015
Update: Thomas finished 14th at the Tour of Flanders and will form part of a three-pronged attack for Team Sky at Paris-Roubaix, alongside Sir Bradley Wiggins and Ian Stannard.
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Ready and waiting
At first glance, the Pinarello K8-S looks very similar to the standard aero Pinarello F8 that Thomas and his Team Sky team-mates use for the rest of the year. However, take a closer closer and the flattened chainstays and elastomer ‘rear suspension’ present themselves. This is a bike designed for the cobbles.
The most interesting feature of the K8-S is this rear shock, dubbed the 'Dogma Suspension System 1.0' by Pinarello. With the total travel offered indicated by the distance the o-ring has moved from the shock ‘cone’, Pinarello's claims for a maximum of 10mm of suspension seem about spot on. '295 S' is the internal diameter of the shock ‘cone’ on Thomas' bike.
Pinarello say the rear suspension is a bespoke system and this was the shock 'cone' from Ian Stannard’s spare K8-S. The larger, 300 L internal diameter allows for a little more movement. The ’squidgyness” or durometer of the elastomer is customised for each rider. No two Sky riders have the same elastomer according to the team mechanics.
The K8-S isn’t purely about comfort. The front triangle retains the same Kammtail, truncated airfoil tube profiles as the F8, introduced in May 2014.
The fork, pictured here on Bernhard Eisel's bike, also shares a similar design to the F8, but it actually has 47mm of rake, rather than the 43mm or 45mm rake used on the F8's fork. This extends the wheelbase of the K8-S so it should offer a bit more stability over the cobbles.
Furthering the comfort cause on Thomas' bike is this super-soft Fizik Arione special edition saddle. The cushioned saddle has a custom super-thick foam top on top of a standard base. It's used by Thomas and Sir Bradley Wiggins for most races, not just the Spring Classics.
The Pinarello K8-S may be brand new, but it's UCI legal as proven by this sticker. Thomas told us they received these race bikes on Wednesday, but they tested prototypes on cobble reconnaissance rides as early as February this year, even if this week was the first time they saw the finished production frames.
Rubber side down
FMB's Paris-Roubaix tubular tyres are popular throughout the peloton during the cobbled Classics and Team Sky opt to use these, rather than their regular Veloflex tubs. Thomas' tyres are wrapped on Shimano Dura-Ace C50 wheels. While the team will use 27mm tyres at Paris-Roubaix, the Tour of Flanders only requires a 25mm tyre.
Like many riders who like to traverse the cobbles holding the centre of the handlebar, Thomas uses Shimano's climbing shifters mounted to the 'bar for ease of shifting without needing to move his hands. Thomas' bike is equipped with a full Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset.
Stages continue to supply Team Sky with power meters and that data is transmitted to a Garmin Edge 510 computer, which sits on a K-Edge out-front mount.