The 2023 cross-country mountain biking season has just started, and we're already seeing some new bikes break cover, such as Nino Schurter's 2023 Scott Spark RC Special Edition. But last weekend, British XC hero Tom Pidcock and legend Pauline Ferrand-Prevot have been spotted riding what looks to be a prototype Pinarello mountain bike.
This isn't the first time we've seen a road-going brand going for a taste of the cross-country podium as last year Factor released the Lando and Lando HT and Cervelo entered the mountain bike market with the ZHT-5. Though, the Cervelo at least was created in order to get the brand's athletes cross-training on the sponsor-correct kit.
Though for Pinarello, the team has torn Tom Pidcock and Pauline Ferrand-Prevot away from their podium-topping BMC Fourstrokes and onto its prototype bike, as evidenced by the camouflaged black and white striped colourway.
At the moment, there's not an awful lot to see but it looks like the bike is running a flex chainstay, something that's growing in popularity for its reduced weight, and that the bottom bracket looks a little overengineered, we assume to improve stiffness when pedaling.
What is particularly interesting is the little black box sitting in the rear shock. Our guess is that it's a similar kind of tech to RockShox Flight Attendant, but what's important is that this bike uses SR Suntour suspension, the same kit as what we saw Pidcock take home his Olympic gold in 2021.
We've also seen that Pinarello's component arm, MOST, is working on an integrated bar and stem, another bit of kit that's becoming common place in XC.
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