A Modern Masterpiece: the Pinarello Dogma
Few bikes have been as successful as the Pinarello Dogma. Since Pinarello’s partnership with the upstart Team Sky started in 2010, the Dogma name has become the winningest road bike in the peloton. Each successive model has upped the ante, only making the Dogma more sought after. The new Dogma F10 is the best Dogma yet. However, to say that this success is just a flash in the pan is a mistake; instead, it is the culmination of decades of domination of both man and machine. The genesis of Cicli Pinarello S.p.A is historically rich and flanked by years of racing success. The history started when the founder, Giovanni Pinarello, who most notably placed dead last in the 1951 Giro d’Italia, was offered 100,000 lire to leave the team. This small fortune directly led to investment in road bike racing, and eventually, the Pinarello brand as we know it. While Giovanni Pinarello started sponsoring racing teams in 1957, it wasn’t until 1961 that the Pinarello name was emblazoned on a bicycle’s downtube. For years, Pinarello specialized in steel tubing, with Columbus Tubi being the predominant supplier. Models like the Pinarello Montello SLX were legendary thanks to their combination of Columbus tubing, race-tuned geometry, and superior build quality. With Iconic models like the Paris and the Prince, Pinarello progressed through different materials including aluminum and magnesium.
Around the same time of the launch of the Prince carbon frameset, Pinarello launched an all-new race bike that was famous for being stiff and delivering the utmost power transfer. This bike was called the Pinarello Dogma. While grand tour climbers were riding the Prince to mountain stage victories, riders like Alessandro Petacchi were sprinting to the line on the Dogma. The first all-carbon Dogmas was the 60.1 offering a combination of a frame weight of 950g and a now-iconic asymmetric design developed through extensive computer modeling to increase stiffness and improve ride quality. Since 2009, Pinarello has studied and implemented this concept on its bikes, to offer each rider a bike as balanced as possible.” After consecutive Tour de France wins in 2012 and 2013, the Dogma 60.1 (and later the Dogma 65.1) were sought after both in the peloton and among those in the know.
As road bikes became lighter and stiffer, Pinarello pushed toward the biggest evolution in the Dogma’s history: aerodynamics. By teaming up with Jaguar Cars and their wind-tunnel testing program, the Dogma F8 was a whopping 47% more aerodynamic than the previous Dogma 65.1, as well as the requisite “stiffer and lighter”. The Dogma F8 introduced the now-common Flatback truncated tube profile, a new variation on the Onda fork, and dropped seat stays to clean up the air flow around the rear brake. It was a radical departure from the shapely Dogma, but a leap ahead in efficiency and performance.
The Pinarello Dogma F8 set the standard in the professional peloton for two seasons, winning 90 races with Team Sky – including two Tours de France. It was also the best selling bike in Pinarello history. A lust-worthy combination of aerodynamic design, top-tier levels of stiffness, and race-ready handling made the Dogma perhaps the most famous name and silhouette in road bikes today.
The start of 2017 brought yet another generation of the Dogma. Called the F10, it was remarkable in how similar it looked to the F8. Pinarello managed to make it 6.3% lighter, 7% stiffer and reduce drag by a substantial 20% by fine-tuning every aspect of the frame and fork. Despite critics calling Pinarello complacent in their design, those cries against “marginal gains” couldn’t be further from the truth.
Numbers mean little if a bike is missing the incommensurable “ride quality”. If it doesn’t handle well, seasoned riders will still take the heavier, controllable option every time over the aero, stiff, and lightweight bike. That’s perhaps where Pinarello made the biggest advance forward. It takes the cutting-edge performance of the Dogma F8 and melds it with a combination of responsiveness, aerodynamics, and composed handling at the limit. Make no mistake: it is still unyielding as a race bike, and not the perfect bike for everyone. But in an era of cookie-cutter road bikes, the Pinarello Dogma F10 instills rider confidence in a way that few other road bikes match.
Giovanni Pinarello’s brand has come a long way. While starting as a footnote in Giro d’Italia history, Pinarello is one of the most famous and storied bicycle brands today. Other manufacturers may make a lighter or stiffer bike, but Pinarello has made a magical bike in the Dogma F10, one born of decades of performance at the highest level.