A brand that is today associated with podium finishes, Pinarello started with one man, himself a cyclist.
Giovanni Pinarello (called Nani by his friends) started racing bikes shortly after the Second World War, winning his first major race in Treviso, Italy ‘la Popolarissima at just the age of 20. It was a race that garnered attention from pro level riders, and soon he would compete on the professional circuit.
In 1951, Nani raced in the 34th Giro d’Italia. Giovanni did not win this race, or even come near the front of the peloton. He in fact came in last place, winning the Maglia Nera, the Black Jersey. The Black Jersey was an honour, almost as significant as having won the race. Riders would compete for the jersey by purposefully stalling, puncturing their own tyres, and hiding out on sections of the course so that they could come in last. Nani rode a lap of honour with the winners around the Vigorelli velodrome.
Encouraged by his performance at the Giro, Nani naturally wanted to ride again the following year, but a young rider who had just been dropped from Bianchi, Pasqualino Fornara was given his spot instead.
But every cloud has a silver lining: Nani was offered £100,000 to step aside; money that he would use to open his own bicycle workshop and begin building bikes that would one day carry riders into the Pink Jersey. Nani started Pinarello with the aim of building quality hand-made Italian bicycles close to home.
In 1975, the Giro d’Italia was won by a rider using a Pinarello bike turning the wheel that would lead Pina into a golden age of cycling.
Pinarello has always sought to push the boundaries of what a road bike is capable of, seeking out new design and construction techniques and working with the latest materials and technologies.
Perhaps the greatest advancement made by Pinarello was their development of the asymmetrical road bike frame. The Pinarello Dogma was the first bike to feature a frame constructed specifically to provide greater rigidity when put under the uneven pressures of pedalling. Engineers at Cicli Pinarello realised that pedalling action was not symmetrical, therefore the pressures a bike frame was subjected to would not be symmetrical. To make a frame more rigid and to improve a rider’s power output, they developed assymetrical frames to cope with those forces.
They don’t just conquer the road. Pinarello creates a range of bikes to suit every style of riding, whether you are hitting the trails on a mountain bike, riding to work, or racing in a triathlon, Pinarello makes a beautiful bike to take you there.
Pinarello has always had a close connection with the cycling world as Nani was a passionate cyclists himself. Since 1960, Pinarello has sponsored a number of cycling teams, some that have been remarkably successful.
In 2012, Bradley Wiggins famously championed the Tour de France riding a Pinarello, and most recently in 2013 and 2015, Chris Froome rode his Pinarello Dogma F8 to victory, calling it "astonishing" after only his first ride.