Britain’s Tom Pidcock races cyclocross on a Pinarello Crossista F that most of us can only dream of, decorated in the rainbow stripes that he earned at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships early this year with gold graphics that represent his Olympic Games cross-country mountain bike winner’s medal. He has a Tour de France stage win to his name on the road too, and he’s still only 23 years old. Ridiculous!
The bike pictured here is the one that Team Ineos’ Pidcock rode in the Dublin round of the World Cup last weekend. Wout van Aert won the race ahead of Laurens Sweeck with Pidcock finishing third.
When Pidcock signed for Ineos, cyclocross fans cast sideways glances at Pinarello’s cyclocross offering. The Crossista hadn’t been updated for a few years and looked slightly dated compared with what Pidcock’s rivals were using.
You can’t blame Pinarello – the cyclocross bike market has always been relatively small and the growth of the gravel market has had an impact in recent years. Many brands have discontinued their cyclocross bikes or converted them into gravel bikes, so it was great to see Pinarello launch an updated Crossista F earlier this year.
The carbon frameset is disc-brake only and comes with ‘felex stays’ – felex being the Italian word for flex. That wave in the underside of the top tube is designed for carrying the bike on your shoulder when tackling obstacles or unrideable sections, and other tube profiles are intended to minimise the accumulation of mud.
Pidcock uses a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset. Those are the latest 9200 Series shifters, brakes and derailleurs but with a previous generation 9100 power meter. 9200 is 12-speed while 9100 is 11-speed but plenty of people combine them in this way. Pidcock uses a double chainring setup. This looks like a 46/39T combination.
The wheelset is Shimano Dura-Ace C36. Cyclocross races feature a great number of accelerations, far more than road racing, and average speeds are generally a fair bit lower. That calls for a shallower rim profile and the C36 – the number referring to the rim height in millimetres – is a popular choice on the pro cyclocross circuit.
Tyres are the most important component choice in cyclocross and Pidcock has numerous pairs of each model in Challenge’s range. The Limus design pictured here is the choice for muddy conditions, offering deep and well-spaced out knobs to gain traction when things get sloppy. It comes in a 33mm width.
Challenge Limus tyres are available in clincher and tubeless-ready versions but this looks like a tubular setup. While tubeless has quickly become the choice for many amateurs, pros still prefer the ride feel of tubulars. They ride more predictably when run at super-low pressures without the danger of burping air. It helps to have a team of mechanics to change your tyres when you puncture a tubular, however.
The wheels are fitted with 140mm brake rotors front and rear. As a light sub-60kg rider, Pidcock finds that this size provides sufficient power
Shimano provides the pedals in the form of the XTR model. This is a light mountain bike design that is dual-sided and clears mud very well.
At the front end, a Most integrated carbon bar/stem allows all of the cabling to pass internally for a clean look.
Finishing off the spec, Pidcock uses a Fizik Arione saddle with carbon rails.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.