Pinarello is a synonym for the highest quality bikes, for riding pleasure and for efficiency. But what makes a Pinarello bike the most desirable object for many cyclists? We spoke with Florian Martin, marketing director of the legendary brand, to find out what makes Pinarello unique.
kring: Pinarello really is the synonym for the highest of quality in the cycling world. Before taking a step into what makes a Pinarello bike such a desirable ride, can you guide us through the foundation of this legendary brand?
First of all, Pinarello is a family history, which started in Treviso in 1953 with my father Giovanni. He started his career as a cyclist and won many local races, but his biggest achievement has been the Maglia Nera for being the last rider at the Giro d’Italia in 1951, a famous title at the time. Then in 1952 as he was preparing to start the Giro d’Italia, he’s been required to give his spot to the young Pasqualino Fornara, getting the amount of 100.000 lire in return, a considerable sum of money for those times. This money is used to bear the fruit of what shall be the crown of this his dreams: opening a small bike workshop in order to build his own bicycles. It was 1953 in Treviso and Cicli Pinarello was born.
kring: LVMH and Catterton have invested in Pinarello, making it less of a family-owned business. How, if any, did this affect the way Pinarello works?
The biggest changes occurred in the management, new engineers and new managers got in our team so that Pinarello would be always a step ahead of the competition, offering innovative and exclusive products to our customers. L Catterton is also the best partner to develop our marketing and distribution strategy, to ensure a profitable growth and expand our brand presence in the best way.
kring: Let’s get more technical. In a few words, to introduce our readers to the specific characteristics of a Pinarello bike, what makes a Pinarello an exceptional bike? What R&D innovations Pinarello has historically brought?
A Pinarello bike is the perfect combination of design, aerodynamic and ride feeling. We work on every single detail to offer to our customers and to our pro riders the best bikes in the World. Historically we sure brought the asymmetric frame philosophy to the market, many others followed, but the most important is to remain always a step ahead. And I think that our victories on all fields, starting by our thirteen Tour de France, are the best proof of our dedication to create exceptional bikes.
kring: Taking about technical innovations, could you take a few minutes to present to our readers what the new K10 brings on the table? I am quite interested in the eDSS 2.0 suspension system, used by the Sky Team riders on the Paris-Roubaix. It reads the road in real time, is that correct?
Once again, the K10S Disk with the eDSS (electronic Dogma suspension system) is the result of months of collaboration with the Team SKY. This is the first road bike with a smart suspension, capable to adapt as the road changes, and it can also be controlled directly via your Garmin, allowing you to choose soft, medium or hard setting, and even to lock and unlock it. We tested it during the last Paris Roubaix, for the next just wait and see!
kring: The most discussed ‘innovation’ concerning road bikes is the prevalence of disc brakes on most new models. What is your take on disc brakes? What does it bring to the table? Is this a real game-changer for Pinarello?
The disc brakes allow a more powerful and constant braking under bad conditions, when someone tries it then it’s difficult to get back to. Still, there are people who would never leave their traditional brakes, that’s why at the moment we have the double offer. I’m also sure that we can do a lot more with disc brakes in terms of weight and design integration.
kring: Pinarello is the official bike of the Sky Team, of course. First of all, how important is it for you to be on such a performing UCI team?
First of all I have to say am very happy we partner with Team SKY as they are the most demanding and precise of the World when it’s about bike development. They want the best for their riders as they aim at the greatest victories, and we do too. Working with them is like having a lab on the field, we get constant feedback from the riders and we improve constantly our products. The most important is that this collaboration is mainly an advantage for our customers who actually ride the same bikes that win the Tour the France, Vuelta, Milano San Remo, …
Kring : How does Pinarello work with cyclists such as Chris Froome? How does Pinarello prepare the perfect bike for a precision-oriented cyclist?
Chris is always one of our early testers, he receives the first versions of the new bikes and gives us feedbacks that we can implement on the final versions. For example, the amazing steering precision and aerodynamic of the F10 downhill is something we developed together. But during the season, apart from his personal mechanical settings, his frame is exactly the same than any Pinarello F10 customer.
Kring : What does the future look like for Pinarello?
The future is still to be written, but be sure that we will always try to surprise you.