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Pinarello Nytro e-road bike: Launch and first ride review

21 Nov 2017
Verdict:

Fausto Pinarello promises the Nytro is the raciest and best looking bike in its class

At a venue to the side of the brutal Muro Di Ca’ Del Poggio climb in North Eastern Italy, Pinarello has launched an e-road bike platform called Nytro.

At just 13kg, the Pinarello Nytro e-road bike is one of the lightest e-road bikes currently available and looks remarkably similar to Pinarello’s Dogma frames; indeed, by sourcing a cutting-edge motor and battery, Fazua’s Evation system, Pinarello has been able to largely preserve the geometry it uses in its race bikes.

Despite a high level of secrecy surrounding the launch its nature became clear when Fausto Pinarello, the company’s CEO, began to place emphasis on the fact that despite his brand producing pure race bikes, technology can play a massive part in enhancing the riding experience.

‘We were thinking about the feeling you get when you conquer alpine climbs,’ Pinarello explains.

‘We wanted to make that feeling achievable for a lot more people, which meant designing something that can give some riders a helping hand.

'We think the Nytro will bring new types of cyclists to our brand.’

Pinarello says that enticing new cyclists hasn’t come at the expense of the brand’s traditional methods, however. Aside from a 1% longer wheelbase and 10% taller headtube, the geometry is the same as the Dogma F10, and the Nytro’s aesthetic is very reminiscent as well.

Rather than bolt a system onto an existing frame, significant attention was paid to the Nytro’s tubes, so they could be shaped to accommodate and account for the motor and battery in an attempt to make the aerodynamics, ride quality and look of the bike as normal as possible - Pinarello still applied its ‘Asymmetric’ tube concept to the Nytro, it just altered it to suit.

The frame is predominantly made from Toray T700 carbon fibre, which is a lower grade of fibre than is normally seen on top-end Pinarello frames but the brand says it provides the necessary balance of tensile strength and impact resistance to cope with the forces of the motor.

Fazua’s Evation

Pinarello has partnered with Fazua to incorporate its Evation system into the Nytro, which the brand explains it did for a number of reasons.

This system is one of the lightest on the market at 4.7kg and is compact enough to preserve Pinarello’s favoured geometry; its centre of mass is very low, which minimises the effect on bike handling, and it is easy to remove - you can take out the motor and battery and use the Nytro as you would a normal bike, with just a 1kg penalty coming from the BB gearbox.

The Evation system has four modes, defined by coloured LEDs on the bar-mounted remote.

White means the motor is providing no assistance, green (its most efficient setting that provides a range of up to 50km) gives 75% assistance up to 125 watts (so if you were generating 100 watts, the motor would be providing an additional 75 watts, totalling 175), blue gives 150% assistance up to 250 watts (your 100 watt output would be increased to 250 watts), while pink gives 240% assistance up to 400 watts (100 of your own watts would be boosted to 340).

This is provided you are going less than 25kmh, as after that speed the motor, by law, cannot assist your pedalling.

Pinarello Nytro e-road bike: First ride review

The rationale behind the choice of venue became apparent after the Pinarello Nytro e-road bike was launched. The Muro Di Ca’ Del Poggio is a short but incredibly sharp climb at the southern edge of the Dolomites.

It’s less than two kilometres in length but has ramps up to 24%, with an average gradient of around 17%, so if the assembled group of cycling journalists required electronic assistance anywhere, it was here.

The climb served as the denouement to a short 12km loop so first we got a feel for the bike on a sinuous descent down to the valley floor to see if Pinarello’s claims of preserved handling and ride quality were well founded.

A e-bike weighing double that of a normal machine is always going to feel different - there’s just that bit more inertia to get over, which I’d say manifests in an innate ponderousness - but the geometry of the Nytro and the Evation’s low centre of mass combined to do a sterling job of largely mitigating the extra heft: I would have been hard pressed to determine this bike weighed as much as it did.

You are quickly used to the handling of the Nytro and it’s extra weight makes it feel brilliantly planted through sweeping bends.

On the flat over 25kmh, when the motor can’t provide any assistance, there isn’t any noticeable pedalling resistance so the Nytro behaves just like a normal bike.

When the time finally came to tackle the Muro Di Ca’ Del Poggio, I changed my remote LEDs from green to pink very quickly, and I was impressed at the input of the motor, which was aided by the stiffness of the Nytro’s frame.

The Evation motor is smart - it has torque measurement and cadence sensors integrated into its design so its additional input feels very natural.

There’s very little lag so the more you put in, the more the motor does, just like a good pension scheme.

It creates a very genuine riding experience: hard riding is still hard, because you have to put in the effort in order to get the help, but it becomes far more achievable than just under your own steam.

Being young and moderately fit I’ve never seen the value in the e-bike concept, but riding the Nytro has helped me understand its validity; it puts any type of riding within the reach of a far greater audience, and more people riding bikes can only be a good thing.

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