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Pinarello Grevil+ review

4 Sep 2020
Verdict:

Incredibly accomplished gravel bike, perfect for those seeking stiffness and speed on and off road. But you pay for it

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£7,000
For 
Stiff • Quick • Agile • Light
Against 
Pricetag • Lack of mounting options

Let’s play the game What Will £7,000 Buy You?. Perhaps you could opt for a sloping plot with planning permission for three houses in Pembrokeshire, or a gold and enamel portrait snuff box (possibly Jean-Louis Hauchard) circa 1780, or – as I have just discovered on a car dealer website – a 1974, 6.75-litre V8 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow in metallic brown.

Or £7,000 will buy you a Pinarello Grevil+ with no change. Not a single penny.

 

Exotically sourced

Grevil sounds like the phonetic spelling of how Borat would say ‘gravel’, but the more important part of the name is the ‘+’ on the end.

It indicates that there are two Grevils in Pinarello’s range, the standard Grevil made from Torayca T700 carbon fibres and the pimped up Grevil+ made from T1100 fibres.

The price difference between the two bikes is quite something – £4,500 versus £7,000 with a similar spec – so before even riding the bike I was scratching my head.

Pinarello says the extra cost lies in the frame, not just higher-grade carbon but also ‘nanoalloy technology’, which material supplier Toray describes as a production method that produces composites with a ‘continuous 3D structure’.

The result is that the frame walls can be made thinner and hence the frame lighter, yet stiffness, strength and impact resistance are all increased, along with the frame’s vibration-damping qualities.

These are bold claims, but Toray is a well-respected name so I’d be inclined to accept them. Certainly Toray has enough data to back them up.

Frame aside, the spec is right on trend. The mechanical Sram Force 1 rear mech is equipped with a clutch to help prevent chain slap and drop, and the wide-range 10-42-tooth cassette and single 42-tooth chainring provide all the gears you’ll ever need.

The wheels are 650b and the tyres 47mm, although the frame has clearance for up to 2.1in tyres (53mm) on 650b rims or 42mm tyres on 700c.

It also makes use of dropped chainstays – as pioneered by Gerard Vroomen’s Open bike – such that the frame boasts very short (for a gravel bike) 420mm chainstays.

All told the bike is a litany of gravel goodness, although it’s a little short on mounting points – just one additional mount under the down tube for an extra bottle cage. But it seldom rains in Italy, and this lack of options is an indication of where the Grevil’s heart lies.

Some gravel bikes are like mountain bikes shoehorned into drop bar moulds, but the Grevil+ is more of a race bike designed to go off-road.

For example, those short chainstays, says Pinarello, help keep the Grevil’s wheelbase only ‘2.5% longer compared to a traditional road bike’.

 

Brotherly love

The roadie character is emphasised by the tubeless Vittoria Terrenos, which despite being 47mm wide and running at a lowly 38psi, roll with aplomb thanks to a slick centre tread.

And given this bike only weighs 9.1kg (thanks nanoalloy), it didn’t feel a million miles away from its big brother, the Dogma.

Like the Dogma the tube shapes are aero-fied and asymmetric to compensate for the biased lateral forces that come from the drivetrain being on the right.

Thus, like the Dogma, the Grevil+ is stiff and aggressive in the drops and it whistles along on flat tarmac. I have absolutely no doubt that if he ran 28mm tyres on 700c wheels, Egan Bernal could win a Grand Tour on this thing.

But this bike is designed to go where the Dogma can’t, and that’s really where it excels. It’s more than happy to be ridden aggressively through singletrack, yet is every bit at home hacking along kilometres of access roads and forest paths.

In both cases those smaller diameter, high-volume wheels are a real boon, offering fantastic grip and handling.

The Grevil+ is also more comfortable than the Dogma. The 71° seat tube plus layback seatpost helps, so too the flattened chainstays, but I think there might be something in the secret Toray sauce. And of course those high-volume tyres.

I loved riding the Grevil+ both on and off-road, right up to the point where I binned it in a corner, scratched the lever and scarred the tape.

This got me thinking. It’s a bike that begs to be thrashed, but to my mind £7,000 is simply too much to risk. The answer, I suspect, is to opt for the Grevil at £4,500 and get a second set of decent 700c wheels with the change. Because Team Ineos will need to replace Froome…

 

Pick of the kit

La Passione PSN jersey/Prestige bibshorts, £80/£145, uk.lapassione.cc

I know this is supposed to be about one piece of kit, but trust me, these bibs and jersey feel like a one-piece garment when you’re wearing them.

Some outfits fall foul of having a lighter, tighter half paired with a heavier, less compressive half, but the top of the La Passione kit feels like a natural extension of the bottom, to the point I almost forgot there were bib-straps involved. It’s the same story with the bibshorts’ seatpad from Elastic Interface, which is every bit as comfortable as the rest of the kit.

Alternatively…

Little brother, big saving

The Pinarello Grevil Ultegra Di2 uses less fancy carbon than the Grevil+, making it a touch heavier, a bit less stiff and somewhat less comfortable. But for a saving of £2,500 you might not care about any of that.

Nothing by halves

At £3,800, the Grevil GRX is almost half the price of the Grevil+ but more than half the bike. It’s made from lower-grade carbon, but the wheels are the same and the Shimano GRX 1x groupset is on the money.

Spec

Frame Pinarello Grevil+
Groupset Sram Force 1
Brakes Sram Force 1
Chainset Sram Force 1
Cassette Sram Force 1
Bars Most Jaguar Ultra GR
Stem Most Tiger Alu Aero
Seatpost Pinarello Carbon Aero
Saddle Most Lynx NS Carbon
Wheels Fulcrum 7B DB 650b, Vittoria Terreno Zero 47mm tyres
Weight 9.11kg (size 56)
Contact pinarello.com

All reviews are fully independent and no payments have been made by companies featured in reviews