Weight: Approximately 18 lbs.
Components: Shimano Ultegra 10 with Pinarello MOST bits
Frame & Fork: Carbon monocoque frame with Onda Carbon fork
Geometry: 73/73 (head/seat) for 55cm frame
Sizes: 51, 53, 55 (tested),
57 and 59
Comments: A bike that looks and rides like something more expensive.
When it comes to supercars, Lamborghini is arguably the most coveted name to own. Though expensive, they’re not so outrageously priced that only a select few own them, yet the performance and looks of the exotic Italian brand make them the dream of 15-year-old boys and the inspiration for hip-hop songs. So what does this have to do with bikes?
Pinarello has much in common with its Italian countryman. The two brands are lusted after by the buying public, and the two offer varying levels of masterpieces.
Similar to when Lamborghini came out with a Gallardo model that was $125,000 cheaper than its more-exotic sibling the Murcielago, but still with amazing performance numbers, Pinarello came out with the F3:13 in 2007, a sibling to the exotically-minded and highly-rated F4:13.
Distributed in Canada by UNO Imports Inc. (formerly Gita North Canada), Pinarello’s F3:13 comes in at $3,599 for a well-spec’ed bike with a Shimano Ultegra drivetrain and the Italian brand’s own house line of wheels, stem, bars, seatpost and saddle.
The F4:13 is available as a frame-only in Canada, and carries a hefty price tag of $3,400. Though the F3:13 is a complete bike, the focus is still on Pinarello’s strength, which is clearly frame and fork technology.
The F3:13 uses the same molds as its more expensive and lighter-weight sibling for both the frame and the curved Onda carbon fork. The difference is the type of carbon-fibre weave used. Where the more expensive model uses a high-modulus carbon, the F3:13 uses an intermediate-modulus carbon. To get technical, the F4 has a tensile strength of 30 tons per square centimetre, whereas the F3 has a tensile strength of 24 tons per square centimetre. As they say: “Strong, light, low-priced. Pick two.” The F4 is strong and light. The F3 is strong and low-priced.
On both bikes, however, the detail work in the carbon lay-up is incredible, with ridges and curves that really do remind one of a fine Italian supercar.
Because the F3:13 doesn’t have the top coat of the aesthetically-pleasing tight-weave carbon, all of the frames are fully painted in Pinarello’s typical attention-grabbing style that tends to border on over the top.
Our test rig was the bright-red option with white graphics, but the bike is also available in white-on-blue or black-on-white.
But just like a Lambo, Pinarello owners don’t mind getting noticed, especially because the bright colours and graphics are certainly backed up by performance.
Despite its slightly heavy wheelset, the stock F3:13 climbs with authority and confidently descends down the other side of the hill. The frame quality really comes through in hard sprints and accelerations, as the bike’s stiffness allows you to transfer all your power to the road. It feels like every pedal stroke is going directly to the rear wheel instead of to unwanted flex. Cornering and handling are also crisp and lively.
Overall, the F3:13 is clearly a bike with racing in mind. All-day tour riders will likely find it a bit too stiff for their liking, but that’s not the market Pinarello is pursuing. Racers are who this bike was designed for, and they’ll find it a perfect starting point. Upgrade the wheels and a few of the components and you’ll have a lightweight rocket that handles as well or better than most of the bikes on the road.
The only question left to ask is if you can get a roof rack to hold your F3:13 on top of your Gallardo.