Last week, Pinarello announced the new F-Series of bikes, set to replace the Prince range. With the same geo as the flagship Dogma, the F-Series is set at a more approachable price point with a different carbon layup and slightly different frameset features than its big brother. And the best part? We have some of the new F5s running Shimano 105 Di2 should you want to take a gander.
With room for 30mm tires, the new F-Series is versatile & capable and, as per Pinarello, “maintains excellent responsiveness and performance, but with a greater capacity to absorb road vibration.” We're stoked on them.
I’ve often heard the refrain that history repeats itself (looking at you, Dad), but I’ve been a bit less keen on believing that actually happens with any sort of regularity. Looks like I was wrong and my Dad was right (again). As per a recent BikeRadar article, Shimano is currently working on a three-pulley rear derailleur. The last time that we (I) saw something like this was with the Suntour derailleur that was made in 1985 & 1986.
Branded as XC (or sometimes LaPree), Suntour aimed to provide improved chain wrap without the need for a longer cage. Suntour was attempting to accommodate the increased gearing (triples) and larger freewheels (7-speeds) while preventing the derailleur from striking rocks, etc. Suntour hoped that the shortened cage would help however it didn’t matter much: Shimano was beating Suntour with market share due to its latest innovation, SIS.
With Shimano’s latest derailleur, “[t]he revised, tighter routing of this new rear-derailleur design presumably also puts the chain under more tension, reducing noise from the chain slapping the driveside chainstay . . . The three-pulley derailleur is also considerably shorter than a conventional derailleur.” I guess Shimano’s taking a page out of Suntour’s book in the hopes of fewer trailside incidents with derailleurs striking rocky outcroppings. Shimano appears to have also dropped the ability for the clutch to be turned on and off.
I reeaallly like the innovation here and wonder if its aim is to also allow for an even wider range of cogs. Personally, I think peak cassette has been reached (Ekar, anyone?). TBD on release date and specs, but consider my interest piqued.
I was looking at a customer’s new Dogma F build that has the latest Dura Ace Di2 groupset on it. I mentioned to Bryan (shop mechanic and pal) that contemporary derailleurs are no longer pretty though they look really cool. Many are various shades of black with high sheen finishes and made of mostly plastic, innards obscured. I wish derailleurs were still pretty, jewel-like mechanisms the likes seen with the above Suntour or Huret derailleurs of years past (the latest Ekar does look cool, but sure isn’t beautiful). The new ones look like bulky aggressive hunks of plastic and I can barely tell what’s what.
I feel sorta discouraged by what’s out there and the continued trend of making stuff that isn’t nice to look at. I guess I like that there’s a GRX groupset in silver now, but it still isn’t pretty. What’s so bad about having Dura Ace look like it did in the 1990s? Or have a derailleur with the finishing seen on the inside of the parallelograms from Campagnolo stuff from years ago? I kinda hate seeing so many pretty titanium, steel, and carbon bikes with components that don’t mesh well with the smooth lines of those bikes. Until that time, I’ll keep running older, prettier (and very effective) derailleurs.
Until next time,