- Pinarello’s Dogma has won nearly every Tour de France this decade, but it’s also a great bike for those of us who don’t want to race around Europe for a month. If you have $9,799.99 to spare, you can buy it today for 25% off the list price ($13,000).
- The disc brakes, a new addition with the F10, mean that the bike feels confident when descending on the road and can stop on a dime no matter the conditions. For beginners, this will be confidence-inspiring.
- Picking your own parts means the bike will be a perfect fit. When you buy the Pinarello Dogma F10, you’ll be treated to a fully custom build, at no extra cost.
- Just like a Ferrari, this bike won’t be tested to its limits by most owners, but they’ll get pleasure from it nonetheless.
As a kid, turning up in the parking lot of a local amateur race 15 years ago, I can remember being aghast at the volume and value of the bikes on display. I didn’t know as much about road bikes then, as I was embarking on the very first shaky steps of what has been, so far, a very enjoyable career of racing, writing about, and sometimes even designing road bikes. I don’t remember how I did in that race, but I do remember locking eyes on a Pinarello bike, with its wavy fork and shiny carbon wheels, and thinking that one day maybe I could have a bike like that.
Here I am, 15 years and four broken clavicles later and I’ve never been able to race a Pinarello, but when the opportunity came to review one I jumped at it. Every great bike racer I have looked up to, from Miguel Indurain to Bradley Wiggins, won bike races on a Pinarello, and while my own career might have been more modest than theirs, I still wanted to know what riding one of those bikes felt like.
The Pinarello Dogma F10 isn’t the most versatile racing bike. The low tire clearance of just 28 mm makes it pretty much a "road-only" machine; in an era when modern race bikes can accommodate 32 mm rubber for off-tarmac adventures, the Dogma sticks with a stated 25 mm max tire. You can squeeze in a 28 mm tire for a bit more comfort and grip in the wet, but nothing more than that. But when you spend this much money on a bike, you probably don’t want to rally it on rocky trails anyway.
The disc brakes, a new addition with the F10, mean that the bike feels confident when descending on the road and can stop on a dime no matter the conditions. For beginners, this will be confidence-inspiring, and experienced cyclists will love the way they can brake later and harder on technical descents. Where rim brakes can struggle in the wet, or on long descents where rims heat up and braking performance can be compromised, disc brakes offer reliable performance in almost any conditions that amateur riders are likely to encounter. They might weigh a few ounces more than rim brakes, but most of us have a few pounds over those Tour de France riders anyway!
When they were designing the F10, Pinarello combined insights from the Tour de France-winning F8 and their Bolide time-trial bike to yield aerodynamic tube shaped for the F10 that will help riders on Tour de France-winning Team Sky, now Team Ineos, as much as they do everyday cyclists. The tube shapes of the F10 are designed to cut a small hole through the wind, making you go faster for the same amount of effort.
Don’t believe aerodynamics are important on a bike? Ride downhill and then sit as upright as you can. See how you slow down? That’s drag, and it’s about 80% of the resistance that slows you down on your bike rides. Even at slow speeds a more aerodynamic bike is faster. Pinarello claims a 3% to 4% percent gain over previous models for the F10.
The bike is light as well. Depending on the spec and size, it can easily weigh in under 15 pounds. Sure, there are lighter bikes, but adding things like disc brakes, a comfortable saddle, and a sensible set of tires that won’t puncture at the sight of a rough road will make your riding more enjoyable.
How it rides
The ride experience of the Dogma is very refined. In cycling, tiny changes in frame geometry change the way a bike handles and how the rider’s weight is distributed. Higher angles are termed as "steep" as they push the rider farther forward and make the bike a little more responsive, if sometimes nervous at speed. Slack angles make a bike more stable and predictable, but a little less ready to turn on a dime. The Dogma’s steep angles make the bike a fast handler. If you run a short stem to feel comfortable reaching the handlebars on road bikes, this might feel a little nervous, but with a longer stem and lower position that racers favor, the bike feels responsive and quick to adjust its line even at high speed.
You’ll want to get a fit before ordering the Dogma F10. The proprietary seatpost and barstem mean that you’ll have to order the right parts from the start as aftermarket seatposts seem almost impossible to come by and the bars and stem provided won’t suit everyone. They also use a bizarre array of Allen and torx head bolt, which make changing them one of the most frustrating bike mechanical tasks I have ever experienced. If you like working on your own bikes, you might want to look elsewhere.
Luckily, the Dogma is sold as a frame and you can pick your own bars, stem, saddle, wheels, and groupset. What this means is that the bike you get is tailored to you. You can position the handlebars where you like them, have a saddle you don’t mind spending hours on, and select gearing that you can ride up the biggest hills on. If you’re light, you might want wheels that don’t require as much strength to manage in a crosswind. If you’re bigger and stronger, those same deep wheels make sense as you’ll turn all that power into speed and should be amply strong enough to handle the bike on gusty days. When you buy the Pinarello Dogma F10, you’ll be treated to a fully custom build, at no extra cost.
The bottom line
I had a lot of fun on the Dogma. There are two ways you enjoy a bike like this. The first was is riding it: The steering felt dialed with a 130 stem and no spacers, albeit those who prefer a higher handlebar might have to up-size as the geometry is very racy (with the front end low, requiring a decent amount of core strength and flexibility from the rider). The bike was stiff and rewarded power input with swift changes in speed. At times, it felt a bit harsh on bumpy roads, but something about that racy feel made me want to push on the pedals even on the worst terrain and keep moving forward as fast as I could.
The second way you enjoy the bike is aesthetically. Whether at home or at the post-ride coffee stop, knowing that your bike is the one everyone is looking at has immeasurable value.
Could you find a lighter or more aerodynamic bike for the same money or less? Probably, but you buy a Pinarello to have a Pinarello. Just like a Ferrari, this bike won’t be tested to its limits by most owners, but they’ll get pleasure from it nonetheless. It can’t make you your heroes, but having the bike you had pinned to your bedroom wall at 15 might be as close as you’re going to get.
This bike costs a lot of money, but if you want a high-end bike and know that you’ll feel bad if you see three more of the same bikes at every century ride you do, the Dogma won’t disappoint you. The best riders in the world could win the Tour de France on any of the bikes at the start line, but for most of us, it’s a win when we lose a few pounds or ride a bit farther. For me, the thing that gets me out after a hard day at the desk or up early on a Saturday morning is looking at a bike and feeling like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory as I get a chance to live a little part of my teenage dream for a few hours.
Buy the Pinarello Dogma F10 for $9,799.99 at Competitive Cyclist (originally $13,000) [You save $3,200]
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