We started this test 3 months ago to the day. Back in January it was cold, wet and windy. Up to about a week and a half ago, it was also cold, wet and windy, not so uncommon for most of the Northern Hemisphere, but a little out of the ordinary for the Bay Area. The last week and a half has made up for that though and we’ve now put some good rides in under the sun and blue sky.
We’ve talked about each of the bikes and how we built them in past installments and besides a last second wheel change (more on that later) on the K10 we were consistent with the builds.
Back in January we said that we were going to give each bike a good couple weeks of riding and then conclude the test with a back to back to back ride of all three bikes on our medium length test circuit. This proved to be a great way to really get to know the bikes and components in a bit of varied weather conditions. Then, finish up with a long ride to make sure our initial thoughts were accurate. Nothing scientific here, no labs or wind tunnels, sometimes we had a power meter on the bike other times we didn’t. Just some good saddle time, seeing how the bikes felt and reacted to the course and then thinking about which one or which combination of the three we’d want to have as our everyday Dogma.
For the course, it has a bit of everything. Starting off from the shop we have short but steep climbs, then a longer ten minute climb followed by a fast and technical descent. Another power climb and one more shorter but fun and fast descent. When we reach the valley floor we have a shorter climb on a mixed surface road and then a steep and bumpy descent down the the beach. Then we head back up the valley with a short detour up a short but steep climb and on to some beat to hell back roads before getting back to the smooth tarmac. Then we turn back up the hill for a 5-7 minute climb to a roundabout and down towards the ocean. Before we hit the bottom we take a hard right onto a dirt descent all the way down to sea level and loose gravel the whole way. Turn around at the bottom and back up. Then just one little descent under the Golden Gate Bridge and up a short power hill and we’re back to fighting the tourists before hitting AC HQ and grabbing the next Dogma.
All in all, the three laps totaled just under 70 miles with over 8,000 feet of climbing and about five and a half hours of saddle time. Within the ride we covered pretty much all the road surfaces you can get. Good climbs, technical descents, smooth roads, rough roads, gravel roads and such so is pretty ideal for this purpose.
Long Climbs, Smooth Roads
I did the first loop on the F10 disc bike followed by the K10 and finished things off with the standard F10. Out of the gun it was early in the morning and a bit cold out so it took a while to warm up. Nevertheless, I really feel like I could feel the extra weight of the disc equipped Dogma. At 16.8 pounds its almost exactly a pound heaver than the F10 and K10 which funny enough weigh the exact same at 15.81lbs. I know a pound is not much but we’ve ridden enough bikes to really feel when one goes better up the hills than another does. Over the course of the month of riding the disc bike, I felt the same thing but as I put more miles on it I grew numb to that feeling, until I jumped back on either the K10 or standard F10 and then I would always feel a bit more snap on the climbs.
On test day, I felt the same thing. I did a little unofficial test and timed a segment that included an ~10 minute climb followed by a technical descent and then a short one minute power climb. I didn’t use power or HR to monitor the effort, just kept it on the easier side of tempo. On the F10 disc it took 16 minutes 19 seconds and a bit later 15 minutes 54 seconds on the K10 and finally 14 minutes and 29 seconds on the rim braked F10. Again, nothing scientific, just feel. But it just felt faster on the standard Dogma. Take it for what it is, but I felt better climbing on this bike than the disc version. So, if I had to choose a pure climber from these three, the standard dogma is my choice.
All three bikes feel great descending. The Dogma has always had a good reputation for great handling. For the test loops in particular, one does not really stand out over another on the smooth roads. The descents aren’t really long enough to get a good feeling of one being better than another. During the longer testing period though I was able to do a lot of long, technical descents and I will admit, disc brakes stop way, way, waaaaaaayyyyy better than rim brakes. I mean it’s kind of duh, right? But my thing is that I don’t descend any faster with them. Without turning this into a rim vs. disc brake article, everyone rides differently. I tend to put my brakes on earlier but don’t apply much pressure and try to keep my speed up through the corners while a lot of people like to carry as much speed as deep into a corner as possible, scrub off a lot of that speed and then power out of the corner. That style is helped enormously by using disc brakes. There is also much less pressure on the lever and the modulation is great. But again, on a road bike, and the way that I like to brake I honestly like the rim brakes on the standard Dogma.
In the wet though, not even close. We got a lot of practice in the wet over the past couple months as well. Even there though, I’m just so used to how rim brakes feel that I don’t have any issues and I don’t need to be pushing it so hard into corners in the wet anyhow. But if I was that person, I’d at least have a disc braked bike for winter rides.
Descending is not all about just brakes though. For the F10 disc I was running 27mm tubulars (Pinarello says this frame will accept up to 25mm tires officially) with not much room to spare. But on the K10 I was running 30mm tubulars with a bit more room to go and that contact patch made descending feel that much easier, especially on the rougher or gravel roads. I ran the 27’s at 80psi while I only went up to 70psi on the 30’s. The braking on both rim braked bikes was very good as well, the Shimano C40’s had great stopping power using the EE brakes and same with the new wheels from Campagnolo, the WTO Bora 60’s. We get a lot of people who say that they went disc because the braking was so bad on their old rim brake wheels only to find out that they used really old tech that never worked well. Before you write off rim brakes, you should really go try a set of the newer wheels which are quite phenomenal at a fraction of the weight.
But, of the three Dogma’s, if it were a downhill only bike and taking into account the way I descend I’d choose the K10 with the 30mm tubulars all day long.
Less Than Stellar Road Conditions
Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on what kind of rider you are) not all of us live in areas with pristine and freshly paved tarmac to rail on with our 23mm tires pumped to track pressures. We have potholes, chip seal, long cracks in the direction of travel or plain old gravel roads. Remembering that this is a road bike test we can’t just say that we should bring out our 1X with 40mm tires and hit it. But, when it comes to which Dogma is the best in these circumstances, size matters. 30mm to be exact. Spending a few weeks on the K10 on our roads made me wonder why this isn’t the best selling Dogma. At first, sure, it felt a little slower than the other two, a bit more mushy, less assertive if you will. But after a week or so, you lost that feeling and just feel so much more refreshed after a long ride. It also feels so much more reassuring on bumpy descents and the grip from a fat tubular pumped to 70psi is pretty fantastic.
If staying as comfortable as possible while still riding a Pinarello Dogma is what you are looking for, then the K10 is the model you really should be riding. Put some 30mm tires on there, bring the psi down a bit and hit it!
So, which one would we ride?
OK, three weeks of riding three different Dogmas and it should be easy to pick which one we’d ride if we could only have one, taking into account where we live and our riding style. Well it is, and then as you’ll see it isn’t…
The easy answer is the K10. Done. This was the best all around, do it all Dogma that I’ve ever ridden. Room for 30’s with rim brakes none the less. Good to go, here’s my money and see you later. It is so comfortable for a race bike, so smooth and does everything as well as it’s other two siblings.
The hard answer though is that I’m not really looking for that in a bike like this. I like bouncing around a bit at speed, it has a way of making you feel like you’re going even faster than you are. I want light weight, I want aggressive geometry and stiff oversized tubes that really don’t make sense for anything other than going fast. So for me, the standard F10 built as this one was is where I’d go. I loved the ultra stiff and fast Campagnolo WTO Bora wheels. I do think that the even newer 45mm depth version will be better for the wind, but I got used to muscling these around and they look so badass. Really, the only change I’d make is putting on a Campagnolo EPS group instead of mechanical. For those of you who really know me that may sound weird, but I’m just not a fan of mechanical groups with internal cable routing. Never feels as smooth. But anyway, that is what I’d do, standard F10 with Campagnolo Super Record EPS and WTO Bora 45 wheels.
Thanks for reading and as always, if you are looking to build something like this, or even something totally different than this give us a shout as we’d love to help make it happen.