Pinarello Nytro – Electric Bike Review

Pinarello Nytro – Electric Bike.

The Nytro is Pinarello’s first motor-assisted road bike. Designed to handle like a high-end road bike, with a powerful motor and battery in the downtube, it offers assistance up to a speed of 25 km/hr. All the regular Pinarello features are here, including an asymmetric frame and hat-back aerodynamic tubing. Yet with three assistance settings, there’s also up to 400 watts of extra pep to power up your local climbs.

First impressions

Looking like a racing bike on steroids, the Pinarello manages to accommodate its bulky Fazua drive system without looking ungainly. Clever decisions, like fitting 28c tires, help balance out the bike’s extra weight and keep its proportions looking consistent. Jumping aboard, it’s not as much of a stretch to the handlebars as you might expect. Not slouchy, but not likely to result in a trip to the chiropractor, its contact points are where you’d want them given this is a bike designed to support, rather than coddle.

On the road

Once moving it only took a few minutes to be won over by the bike’s charms. The Nytro’s frame is very good. It’s stiff, but it almost doesn’t feel like it because of its ability to cutout nagging, high-level buzz. Despite its racy looks, its handling is pretty much what you’d expect from a modern endurance bike.

No surprises with the handling, balanced cornering, and a comfy position on the bike. The motor is excellent, too. Class-leading even. With three modes providing minor, medium, and major amounts of assistance, the hub-drive design generates no extra resistance while keeping the extra weight centered between the wheels.

So the frame and drive system both get top marks. A bit more sauce could have been added to the wheels, though. These look fine but are basic given the bike’s cost. Redeemed somewhat by great tires, it still feels a bit like making Mo Farah run in a pair of high-tops rather than his racing flats.

Handling

Despite being styled like a supercar, the Nytro proved more of a sport-tourer. It rolls along without ever being too troubled by changes in the road beneath its wheels. Like on almost every e-bike, the stretched wheelbase and relaxed front end also help keep it stable.

Useful for holding a steady course as the motor adds in power, it probably provides some extra comfort, too. Speaking of power, the Fazua system is happy to impart a good dollop of it. Adjusted via a slightly clunky-looking controller on the handlebar, its maximum mode allows you to pedal for show only, with the motor doing almost all of the work.

Split into two parts, the element that drives the cranks is integrated into the frame’s bottom-bracket area. The battery and motor then form a separate tube-like assembly that’s housed in the frame’s oversize downtube. With the whole system weighing about 4.7 kg, the drive and battery can be jettisoned if you wish. Leaving the bike 3.3 kg lighter and riding exactly like a conventional machine. It’s a nice option to have.

The frame

You pay a lot of money for the frame, so you’ll be happy to know that it works very hard for the dough. Based around the Gan Disc, which itself steals many of its tricks from the Team Sky approved Dogma F10, it’s properly high-tech.

However, as denoted by its vertiginous headtube, the Nytro’s demeanor is a somewhat mellower. You still get all the neat features, like an asymmetric rear triangle designed to balance out the forces acting on the frame. And although the downtube might be fatter than normal, it still sports the brand’s flat-back aerodynamic profile.

In fact, every tube gets the full treatment, with not a single profile appearing unworked. From its slightly odd-looking schnoz, to the wing-like seat stays. The same can be said of the fork, which looks to have much the same broad and curving design used on the brand’s other top-end bikes.

Unsurprisingly, the bladed seatpost follows the same principles, slotting almost seamlessly into the flat-sided seat tube cluster. It is by all accounts, very stiff, very light, probably quite aerodynamic, and reasonably handsome if you like that sort of thing.

Pinarello Nytro groupset

Groupset

Sram’s 11-speed mechanical Force groupset is light and fast to shift. With both mechanical gubbins and hydraulic bits hidden inside its control levers, these are a little on the chunky side. Still, they’re easier to fit to your hands than they are to reconcile with your eyes. For our money, they’re slightly less lumpen than Shimano’s, anyway.

The brakes they also operate are good, although lag a touch behind the very best available, just lacking the absolute stopping power of Shimano’s. Required to fit with the Fazua mid-drive system, Pinarello’s house brand – Most- supplies the chainset. Arriving with a compact set of chainrings bolted to its aluminum arms, it’s a workmanlike piece, although not quite as fancy as Sram’s carbon-armed alternative. Twinned to an 11-32t cassette there’s enough range to get you up and over the hills even if you do manage to run the battery flat.

Finishing kit

Again, made by house brand Most, the cockpit is slippery if you’re the wind, but easy to keep hold of if you’re a human. Its short and shallow bars benefit from comfy and aerodynamic uppers. Similarly, despite looking normal from the front, the stem has an aerodynamic teardrop profile towards the back. Matching the spacers below, this requires it to be tightened with a T20 Torx key, rather than a conventional Allen key. Made by Selle Italia for Most, the saddle comes with a medium serving of padding, a slight channel down the center, and a relatively flat profile.

Wheels

Pinarello is a premium brand, and its frames aren’t cheap. So, despite costing six grand, there’s not a huge amount of money left over to spend on the wheels. Not that there’s much terribly wrong with the Mavic Aksium Disc models.

It’s just that there’s not much sparkle to them, along with no hint of the aero benefit imparted by deeper options. A little more exciting are Pirelli’s Pzero Velo 4s tires, whose 28c size nicely matches the weight and proportions of the bike. They’re also fantastically grippy. Designed for year-round use, they’re not as fragile as some race tires, while their rolling resistance also appears to be low.

Specs

Frame: T700 carbon fiber, asymmetric

Motor: Fazua Evation (400-wattmax)

Battery: Downtube removable

Groupset: Sram Force

Brakes: Sram Force Hydraulic Disc

Chainset: Sram Force 34/50t

Cassette: Sram Force 11-32t

Bars: Most X/A

Stem: Most X/A

Saddle: Selle Italia Most

Seatpost: Pinarello Nytro

Wheels: Mavic Aksium Disc

Tires: Pirelli Pzero Velo 4s 28c

Weight: 13.92kg

Geometry

Size tested: 55 cmChainstays (C): 412 mm
Weight: 13.92 kgHead angle (HA): 72.8°
Top tube (TT): 560 mmSeat angle (SA): 73.4°
Seat tube (ST): 550 mmWheelbase (WB): 1016 mm
Stacks (S): 572 mmBB drop (BB): 72 mm
Reach (R): 389 mm 

Rating: 7.3/10

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