While Giovanni Pinarello finished the 1951 Giro d’Italia in last place, his bikes continually find ways to do the exact opposite. Since 1988, a Pinarello has graced the top step of a 3 week Grand Tour twenty times, not to mention countless World Championships and other monument victories. From the Montello to the Paris to the Dogma 65.1, F8 and F10, Pinarello refuses to slow down. And with the latest release of the Dogma F12, this trend appears to only be quickening.
However the real question here isn’t about Pinarello’s winning ways or Italian history. Similar to the release of the newest iPhone or Samsung Galaxy, there is one question on consumer’s minds: Is the Dogma F12 worth an upgrade? There are five major improvements that this F12 review will center around - developments that keep Pinarello at the forefront of the modern road bike and the answer to that question pointed at yes.
1. The first is the ability to run wider tires. While some old school riders cling to their 21mm tubulars, science has proven that, in the real world, wider tires run at a lower pressure - we’re looking at you tubeless - are more comfortable, smoother, faster, grippier, better. The declared max tire width is 28mm. However, given bike manufacturers must allow 4mm between the frame and declared rim width, the possibility of running a 30mm tire on a modern, wide rim, while (so far) untested, is possible.
2. The second emulates a trend that we’ve seen a lot in the last two years - completely hidden cables. (The Rim brake frameset features a single cable to the front brake.) Aesthetically, I absolutely love the look and feel of hidden cables. It removes the detracting mess of lines allowing you to focus on the simple beauty of the bike. While this does require the use of the Most Talon Ultra integrated bar/stem, Pinarello took it a step further and offers this magic to mechanical as well as electronic groupsets. Headset spacers have been designed to smoothly connect the Talon Ultra and frameset as well as ‘snap’ together or apart so raising or lowering the cockpit doesn’t require fully disassembling the cable routing. On top of this, the Talon Ultra is lighter and stiffer than previous iterations.
3. The third improvement revolves around braking, both with their rim and disc framesets. For riders who prefer a more traditional braking experience, Pinarello increased braking power by using direct mount brakes. Since direct mount brakes are braced between two points, instead of one, they are stiffer, offering greater stopping power. Direct mount also capitalizes on the Dogma F12’s larger tire clearance. Most brands can fit a 28mm tire and some can fit up to 30.
When it came to the disc version, instead of simply slapping some caliper bolts to the ends of the fork and chain stay, Pinarello designed its Dogma F12 Disk around the fact that disc brakes exert very different forces on a frame. During testing, Pinarello found the front fork wants to deviate to the left under heavy braking load. The Dogma F12 Disk’s new fork shape combats this twist, reducing it by up to 40% when compared to the F10.
The left chainstay also received a new shape; one that differs entirely from the drive side. It’s a prime example of Pinarello’s Think Asymmetric approach to frame design. Bicycles are lopsided. There’s a whole lot more on the right than appears on the left side of a bike! So there’s no reason to mirror the two sides.
4. The fourth improvement is a more aerodynamic frame. In fact, the new Dogma F12 saves 8 watts at a very achievable 40kph (24mph), which translates into 1 second every kilometer. Much of these savings comes from hiding the cables and cleaning up the front end. More aero gains come from a newly shaped headtube, downtube, and a lowered seat tube water bottle (tucking it behind the one in front of it). All this results in a 7% aero increase over the F10, more in crosswinds.
5. The final improvement is stiffness. As I mentioned before, Pinarello looks at a frame as an asymmetrical problem and then tackles it that way. Driveside and non-driveside have different needs and therefore different solutions, thus creating the asymmetric lines Pinarello bikes are known for. For the Dogma F12, Pinarello strengthened the BB area and drive side chain stay with new tube shapes which resulted in a 10% increase in stiffness while dropping weight compared to the F10. Unpainted F12 frames weigh 820 g (rim) and 840g (disc).
When you add everything up, the Pinarello Dogma F12 is more aerodynamic, lighter, and stiffer than the Pinarello Dogma F10, a bike with an already astounding reputation. Some might balk at Pinarello’s generous use of curves but it’s refreshing to see something break the mold. Plus, it’s 2019 - curves are sexy!
The Pinarello Dogma F12 is available in 13 sizes and 9 color ways. Pairing it with the Most Talon Ultra takes full advantage of its engineering but the bike can also be used with a conventional bar and stem. Prices for the F12 frameset are $6500. You can shop the entire range here.
Want to talk about adding a groupset or some wheels? Send us an email or give us a call and we would love to help build your dream Pinarello Dogma F12!