A devil of a good time: Pinarello Grevil+

There are polarizing categories, and there are polarizing bikes, and then there are polarizing bikes in polarizing categories. The Pinarello Grevil+ is such a bike. No one can look at Pinarello’s first true gravel bike and not have an opinion. While testing this bike, unsolicited opinions have run the gamut— from “It’s a stunner!” to “Has that been run over by a bus?” If you’re looking for an anonymous bike to blend in with the crowd, this is not it.

The Details
Grevil+ is Pinarello’s first true gravel bike. The Pinarello Gan GR and Gan GRS are capable bikes, but with tire volume maxed at 38mm they are hardpack racers born of existing road bikes, not do-it-all gravel machines. The Grevil+ and lower-priced Grevil deftly add significant tire volume—42mm on a 700c wheel and 53mm on a 650b rim—to a very aggressive, very versatile, very “Pinarello” bike. If the Dogma F10 is a Ferrari F1, the Grevil+ is a Lancia Delta Integrale rally—a fitting comparison, because the bike’s celeste-green look is dubbed “Petrol” by Pinarello.

The Grevil+ is chockfull of Pinarello hallmarks, from ultra-high modulus T1100 carbon and an asymmetric frame design to an Onda fork and aerodynamics inspired by the Dogma F10. There is also a lower-modulus Grevil, made of T700 carbon, but born of the same mold. To create the massive tire clearance and a good chain line, the drive-side chain stay is just 14mm wide and dropped considerably—a common strategy in gravel bikes. What is less common is this asymmetry being reflected in the seat stays. With the Grevil+ the drive-side seat stay is also dropped, ensuring both sides of the rear end share triangles of similar dimensions.

Pinarello needed to make sure the bike’s geometry made the most of its tire clearance by creating a stable and confident stance. Its fit is shorter and taller than a typical road bike, delivering what is thought of as an endurance position. Its fit is more in line with a super-versatile OPEN U.P. than a super-aggressive 3T Exploro. Pinarello has relaxed the head angle for stability and extended the chain stays out to 420mm.

While many people snigger at the thought of “aero gravel” it is a legitimate benefit at many gravel events where an eight-hour day and an average speed of 20 mph is required to be anywhere near the front. The Grevil+ inherits its aero from the Dogma F10, but adds a trick fork flap to shroud the front disc caliper, which also protects it from the demanding environs of gravel. The Grevil has mounts for three water bottles, acknowledging big days on gravel are frequently far from support, and the front derailleur mount is removable for a cleaner 1x set up.

As sensible and smart as all the Grevil+ design elements are, its styling had us staring at the bike before and after rides. It’s got the swooping, organic lines we associate with Pinarello, but the pronounced “kink” in the down tube is what most people comment on. What’s it for? It seems to exist mainly as a striking detail to make the bike stand out, and it does. Whether riders like it or not is another question. It’s grown on us, giving the bike a “bad boy of gravel” persona.

The Ride
The Grevil+ revealed its true character on the first ride. It’s a racer and it loves to go fast. What Pinarello did at the rear triangle works: Max energy from the crankset to the hub, and max efficiency to keep that power planted to the gravel. The chain stays and the laid-back position all contribute to that super-responsive feel with loads of stability and confidence in the dirt.

While Pinarello expects most picky gravel riders to buy just a frame and build up their own, our test bike was fitted with 42mm WTB Rubber on 650b wheels, shifting with SRAM RED eTap. The Grevil+ truly makes the most of the smaller wheel standard, providing high volume to wallop through rock gardens at high speed and a nimble feel when it’s necessary to pick your line carefully.

Perhaps what’s most impressive about this “real” gravel bike from the Italian masters of high-performance road is that it “feels” like a Pinarello. The intangible ride qualities come through loud and clear. It’s quick and reactive, as we’d expect from T1100 carbon, but with Pinarello’s diplomatic ride quality evident as well. It’s fast and aero on the flats, quick and confident on the descents, stable and capable in the dirt. It threads the needle between race and endurance, between nimble and stable, in a way that pays real dividends in the gravel. The Pinarello Grevil+ is an inspiring ride—and isn’t that what it’s all about? When the gravel ahead gets tough, just imagine the team director crackling in you ear: “Vai, vai, vai! Trenta secondi! ′e tuo!” and dig a little deeper.

SPECIFICATION
pinarello.com

$6,000 (Grevil T700 frame: $3,500)

Grevil builds with SRAM Force 1x start at $5,200

8.27kg (18.23 lbs)

Build: SRAM Red eTap 11-speed, MOST alloy cockpit, Fulcrum Racing 7 DB 650b wheels with WTB Resolute 42mm tires and MOST saddle

From issue 86. Buy it here.