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Pinarello Dogma F Disc review

9 Nov 2021
Verdict:

As good as a race bike currently gets, there’s nothing not to like and everything to desire in the all-new Pinarello Dogma F

Cyclist Rating: 
For 
Handling, acceleration, sprint, speed, poise
Against 
None

Twelve-grand bikes are like buses – you wait ages and then two come along at once. Last month it was Bianchi’s new Specialissima; this month it’s another Italian brand’s stalwart – the return of the Pinarello Dogma, now in its 11th generation.

That’s a dynasty and a half, so you’d expect any bike to have hung around that long and cost this much to be good. And you’d be right. 

Weight obsessives

To me the Dogma always represented something about our Britishness. We’re secretly obsessed with the flamboyant because we routinely fail to be so ourselves, and we come to dislike things that are too successful.

We champion the underdog, so while the early Dogmas with their crazy, swoopy tubes took the UK by storm (Fausto Pinarello once told me Brits are among the Dogma’s biggest customers), disparagement of this bike has increased proportionally the more it has won – seven Tours de France and counting since 2012.

Those people need to get over themselves. There’s that phrase, ‘They could have won that on a butcher’s bike,’ but honestly, if you’re Ineos Grenadiers and are given the Dogma F to ride, goodness wouldn’t you feel confident?

Straight onto the scales the Dogma is finally hitting its marks. The previous F12 Disk I tested here weighed 7.62kg. Not bad, but at pro level you might expect better. Thus the Dogma F has shed more than 600g, coming in at 7kg on the nose. But it hasn’t saved it where you might think. Pinarello has been painstakingly clever.

In all, it says, the Dogma F ‘frame kit’, which includes integrated bars/stem, seatpost, headset and thru-axles, saves 265g over the F12 Disk it replaces. So while 27g has been saved by changing the shape of the seat tube for example, 20g has been saved by modifying the thru-axles, 35g by 3D printing the saddle clamp in titanium, and 25g from re-engineering the headset – small parts, tiny gains, but they all add up and they’re all indicative of a long-held Pinarello belief that a size 53 frame shouldn’t weigh less than 850g to be ‘correct for our standards of quality’. This frame is a claimed 865g.

‘Balance’ is the watchword here. It appears all over the Dogma F literature, but it is apt. While many brands have long-since branched out into specialist categories of road bike – aero, lightweight to name two – Pinarello has stuck to the idea that you can only ride one bike at a time so that bike needs to do everything well.

Thus the Dogma has never been the lightest or the slipperiest, but it has always been at least a contender, and each version (I’ve ridden them all since the F8) has been progressively better.

The F10, for example, was much more aero than the F8, while the F12 did a huge amount to soften the harsh ride that hung over the F10. Now the Dogma F has dealt with the weight. Still, no high-end bike is complete without upping the ante in all quarters, thus the Dogma F claims to be 12% stiffer at the bottom bracket and to save 2.6W at 50kmh, or 1.3W at 40kmh.

The Dogma has always been stiff and I can’t verify that 12% stiffer claim, but put pedal to metal and it sprints like a pit-bull tugging on a leash. It is fierce, not solely because pedalling energy is channelled to the wheels efficiently, but because it translates into forward motion with the sense that very little is lost.

This design may not be no-holds-barred aero, but it certainly feels like an aero bike. I’d place a lot of that feeling at DT Swiss’s wheels – 50mm deep, stiff as a plank, fast as a mother hubbard and decently light at 1,572g. Or perhaps a better explanation is the Dogma F Disc feels like an efficient bike.

I know it’s a terrible thing to say, but this is the ultimate commuter. I’ve seldom pedalled to work for less effort, and that’s what makes bikes fast – they cost you less energy. The Dogma F really feels like it’s making a contribution to the forwards equation. 

Sweet spot racing

But back to that word, balance. This isn’t achieved simply by blending characteristics, it’s also about blending them in the right ratios, and here I’d say Pinarello has finally nailed it.

The Dogma F is still stiff but is now light, agile and comfortable in a way previous Dogmas could only read about in storybooks. It still feels powerful out of the saddle – sprint hard enough with weight edged forward and you can lift the back wheel – yet in corners it tracks lines without jittering like stiff frames can.

But of all the things this bike does well, it is the handling that it excels at. It just feels right: responsive, never nervy, stable and yet no slouch. That is balance.

Criticisms? Well I’d prefer tubeless tyres and maybe even 28mm (the frame’s max clearance) but I’m always saying things like that. And you can always buy them. Otherwise, this bike is utterly remarkable.

Pick of the kit

I can’t quite make my mind up on the colour – I think I need a better tan – but I am sold on the fit and feel of the Espresso jersey (£93.56). It’s silky and light and is relaxed without feeling flappy. The pockets don’t sag, the side mesh breathes nicely and I’m a fan of the longer arms.

The Scudetto bibshorts  (£141.68) are very good too, light in fit and feel, although to really nitpick I’d do away with such pronounced seams down the part of the leg (the quad) most prone to flexing. Oh, and the VV socks (£9.62) – big fan, love that length.

Alternatively…

Vive le rim brake!


With rim brakes the Dogma F is a claimed 5g lighter per frame, and marginally less aerodynamic thanks mainly to the fork. Still, it can be built up lighter than the F Disc and is the one raced by Ineos Grenadiers.

Get in early


At £4,000 with mechanical Ultegra, the Prince Disk TICR is easier on the wallet, yet borrows heavily from the Dogma’s aero design. TICR (‘total internal cable routing’) and disc brakes bring the Prince up to date.

Spec

Frame Pinarello Dogma F Disc
Groupset   Sram Red eTap AXS
Brakes Sram Red eTap AXS
Chainset Sram Red eTap AXS
Cassette Sram Red eTap AXS
Bars Most Talon Ultra Fast bar/stem
Stem Most Talon Ultra Fast bar/stem
Seatpost Pinarello Aero with 3D-printed clamp
Saddle Most Linx Ultrafast Superflow Carbon
Wheels DT Swiss ARC 1400 50, Pirelli P Zero Race 26mm tyres 
Weight 7KG
Contact pinarello.com

All reviews are fully independent and no payments have been made by companies featured in reviews

Price: 
£12,000

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