Tremendous fit range; comfortable yet responsive handling
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Lighter, stiffer, faster. We’ve come to expect such claims from each year’s superbikes, and Pinarello delivers just that with its latest Dogma F, which launches today.
Compared to the current Dogma F12 Disc, the new Dogma F Disc is 11 percent lighter, 12 percent stiffer at the bottom bracket, and nearly 5 percent more aerodynamic. One complaint about the F12 has been that, while it rides wonderfully, it isn’t super light. Team Ineos Grenadiers, for instance, has been sticking with the rim-brake F12 for weight.
The new Dogma F Disc, in a size 53cm, sits right at the UCI limit of 6.8kg (14.99lb) when built with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 and the 48mm DT Swiss ARC1400 wheels. With SRAM Red eTap AXS, it’s 6.9kg.
I tested the 56cm bike shown here with eTap AXS and weighed it fully built at 16.45lb (7.46kg) with cages and Shimano Ultegra pedals.
UCI regulations aren’t a concern for those of us who actually buy bikes, but lighter almost always feels better.
In my few days of riding the bike — including a 200-mile adventure in the Colorado mountains — I found the Pinarello Dogma to be a delightful steed: poised, comfortable, fast, quiet, and relatively light.
And yes, the thing costs a small fortune.
What’s new from the F12 to the new Dogma F
The Dogma line is now more than 20 years old, and the new model is a refinement, not a completely new machine. There are subtle visual differences to the current Dogma F12, but the overall philosophy and design remain the same: embody the best all-around race bike Pinarello can make.
There are aero elements to be sure, from the tip and tail of the completely new fork to the sculpted frame hiding internal brake lines to the fully integrated cockpit.
But Pinarello has never separated aero bikes and lightweight climbing bikes. There is just the race bike, the Dogma. I appreciate the philosophy, if not the price tag.
The most notable change is the 265g shaved from the chassis. Pinarello carved out 58g from the fork, 27g from the seat tube, and other savings in carbon fiber. Then 3D-printed titanium saved another 35g on the seatpost top clamp.
The bike’s geometry, and ride and feel, stayed the course: a straight-ahead race bike.
What it feels like to ride vs the competition
Multiple factors shape how a bike feels: the fit, the geometry, the materials, the parts, the wheels, the tires, etc. With the DT Swiss ARC1400 wheels and Red AXS group being familiar factors, I could concentrate on the Pinarello parts.
For starters, the stock MOST saddle was a pleasant surprise, shaped roughly like my favorite Specialized Power saddle, with a fair amount of padding.
Getting the fit dialed was a similarly pleasant experience: Pinarello offers a whopping 11 frame sizes (down from 13 on the F12), which dwarfs the options from the big brands, where six or seven is the norm. Further, the integrated bar/stem comes in 16 different configurations, which again is not the norm for the current integrated cockpit trend.
(Note that Pinarello measures its bars outside to outside. I ordered a 120/42, and while the stem length was as expected, the 38cm center-to-center bars were a surprise. Oops.)
All that to say, save my bar width error, my fit was dialed right out of the box.
The pedaling stiffness and in-saddle comfort I found in line with other top-end models, like Trek’s Emonda or Specialized’s Tarmac. A firm pedaling platform isn’t remarkable, but having that and aero characteristics and a comfortable ride is notable. The bike isn’t sleepy or vague, just absorbent of much of the road chatter.
In terms of geometry, the 73.2-degree head tube (in size 56) and 73-degree seat tube put it firmly in the race handling box, with those figures plus stack and reach numbers right in line with what you see for a race bike from any top-end brand. This means that steering is quick and easy, whether leaning the bike with your hands or your hips.
While I appreciate the multiple-configuration options and the top shaping of the Talon Ultra bar, the narrow, elongated drops section kinda bugs me. My fourth and fifth fingers went numb a couple of times on long descents. The first time I attributed this to the cold, coming down from 12,000ft to 9,000ft on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park. But a later, warmer descent rendered the same issue. Whether that was from pressure on the meat of my hand or the palm, I’m not entirely certain, but I don’t get this on more rounded drops.
Happily, you can also use other bars with a Most integrated stem. I don’t have that to photograph or review, but presumably, the brake lines run through the stem, making it compatible with any bar that accepts internal routing at the stem.
SRAM Red eTap AXS, DT Swiss wheels, Pirelli tires
SRAM’s new-school gearing was welcome for climbing days. This bike has SRAM’s 46/33 crank and a 10-33 cassette, a steep-grade-friendly combination indeed. For the price of this bike, it should also come with the Quarq power meter that SRAM sells as an option.
The DT Swiss ARC 1400 wheels don’t feel like a hindrance when climbing and do add a bit of a sail effect in crosswinds. The only time I felt a little unsure of myself was a particularly gusty day when we were descending fast in a canyon. The hub is loud! As in, you will not need a bell when riding on bike paths to alert people that you are coming — just coast for a few seconds.
Although ready for tubeless, the DT wheels come with Pirelli clincher tires and Pirelli polyurethane inner tubes, the latter of which were new to me. I pinch-flatted one on a rock-strewn stretch of highway. They are indeed light, but you can’t patch them and they aren’t cheap.
Bottom line: The Dogma F
The Pinarello Dogma F is a superb race bike, balancing all the characteristics a competitive rider wants in a machine: agility, efficiency, poise, and comfort. The 11 frame sizes and 16 bar/stem configurations effectively offer a semi-custom fit selection within the bike’s race geometry parameters.
The price puts this bike out of reach for most of us, but I salute Pinarello for making it nonetheless.