Italian bike brand Pinarello has unveiled a high-end electric-motor assisted road bike called Nytro that is aimed to help people ride longer and overcome problems of age or fitness.
Road purists may disagree with the idea of electric motors making it easy to ride but e-mountain bikes have become hugely popular in Europe in recent years, with many predicting e-road bikes will follow the trend.
Pinarello has decided to embrace e-bike technology and open up the sport to new cyclists; those who do not have the time or health to train consistently but still want to ride with friends or tackle long and hilly rides. They suggest that the Nytro is ideal for holidays in the high mountains and to ride alongside far fitter friends and family.
The Nytro weighs around 13kg and is powered by the innovative modular Fazua Evation motor, which fits into an oversized downtube. It can produce up to 400 watts of power with three levels of power controlled by a LED bar clipped to the handlebar that also indicates battery levels. Fazua call the levels: Breeze, River and Rocket, with Rocket providing a boost of 250 per cent of the power the rider puts on the pedals. To respect EU rules, the motor cuts out above a speed of 25km/h.
Focus, Cube, Orbea and Bianchi have already presented electric road bike models designed for touring, gravel riding and road use, with some also using the Fazua Evation system that powers the Pinarello Nytro. However Pinarello is aiming for the high-end e-road bike sector, with the carbon fibre Nytro frame very similar in shape to the Pinarello Dogma F10 and Gan models.
The frames allows for 28mm tyres and 12mm thru-axel hubs, with flat mount 160mm disc brakes giving extra stopping power. Pinarello said the bike, fitted with a mechanical SRAM Force groupset and a FSA chainset suited to the tight fit at the bottom bracket area, would cost around 6,000 Euro depending on the choice of wheels.
Fazua is based in Munich and won a gold award for component design at the 2017 Eurobike Show. Pinarello has apparently secured a large chunk of Fazua’s limited production of the Evation motor to corner the market. Dealers are already taking orders with full production of the bikes starting in January.
A significant power boost
Cyclingnews tested the Pinarello Nytro during the official presentation held atop the Ca del Poggio climb in the heart of the Prosecco vineyards, north of Pinarello’s home in Treviso.
Pinarello designed a rolling 11km loop to show off the bike’s added power and performance. It ended with the 1.1km climb back up to Ca del Poggio that averages 13.4 per cent but includes sections at 16 per cent.
My first ride ended with lots of lactic acid after the Fazua motor stopped working after 200 metres. The failure forced me to chase the other electrically powered journalists and Pinarello distributors on a bike that weighed 13kg. The difference without the power was significant.
Fortunately, my second ride was far easier and far more assisted, with the motor giving me a considerable boost on the climbs and the flat. The extra power cancelled out the extra weight of the battery and motor, making the bike feel responsive. The disc brakes gave excellent stopping power on a twisting descent through the vines, with the low-slung position of the battery and motor acting as ballast when cornering.
The Fazua Evation motor has torque measurement and cadence sensors integrated into its design so the extra power provided feels natural. There’s very little delay before the motor kicks in but the more power you put on the pedals, the more the motor does too.
You still have to push on the pedal to get the help, there's no free ride, but it makes every climb possible and longer rides more bearable.
Pinarello offers the Nytro in five sizes, starting with the rarely seen 465 and 500 smaller models. The frame is made with Pinarello T700 carbon fibre with the tubes beefed up and strengthened to take the added power loads.
The red and black launch colours looks like a classic Pinarello frame, with aerodynamic lines and an asymmetrical design. The wheelbase is slightly longer than the Gan endurance model and the head tube is 10 per cent higher to make for a more comfortable ride. The only visible difference is the oversized down tube that hosts the Fazua motor although the width of the bottom bracket is increased to accommodate the motor drive.
The Nytro will perhaps fuel the debate about the use of e-bikes, especially on the road. The Nytro is clearly not designed for racing and the Fazua system is clear to see, not hidden in the seat tube. The Nytro cannot be used in timed Gran Fondo events in Italy because they are classified as races. However, Pinarello plans to create a special e-bike category for their Gran Fondo next summer.