By: Matt Phillips, Bicycling Magazine
At this time we don’t have pricing information for the Dogma 60HM1K, but you can expect it to cost more than the Prince, which is now selling for $4500 (frame, fork headset, seatpost). The Prince Di2, sells for $15,900 complete. That comes with Pinarello’s Charisma Carbon Clinchers (re-badged Corimas), and not the more expensive Lightweights our build features. So we can approximate our test bike’s price as… north of a Toyota Corolla.
Previously, Pinarello attached the Dogma name to a frame built with super-exotic magnesium tubes, carbon fork and seat stays. The new Dogma is 100 percent carbon composite. The shape is familiar… very familiar: at first glance you might think it’s a Prince. The profile of the frame is virtually identical: Pinarello’s wavy Onda fork and seat stays, the gently bowed top tube, the distinctive snout jutting out of the head tube. The most obvious outward difference is the “aero” shaped seat tube and matching seatpost. A closer comparison between the two reveals that the Dogma’s tubes are, overall, larger. Like a Prince that’s been hitting the gym. Despite looking very similar, the Dogma is quite different in three major ways: design, material and construction.
The Dogma’s design is fascinating. It introduces Pinarello’s Asymmetrical Frame System concept. Pinarello says that a rider's pedaling inputs are fairly symmetrical, but a bicycle’s single-sided drivetrain turns those symmetrical inputs into asymmetrical loads on the frame. A combination of shaping and under-the-skin layup tweaks balance the loads, says Pinarello, for,"a more stable frame under severe loads such as sprinting.” While a few frames have asymmetrical chain stays for similar reasons, Pinarello’s execution applies the concept to almost the whole of the frame: chain stays, seat stays, fork and top tube. The asymmetry of the frame isn’t obvious, you need to look (and touch) very closely to see it: the non-drive side of the top tube is slab-sided, while the drive side is rounded; the drive seat stay is slightly fatter than the non-drive side seat stay; the drive side fork leg is larger than the non-drive leg.
The asym graphics treatment is far more obvious, highlighted by sparkly silver on our test bike. If you think asymmetric tube shaping and finish sound like a recipe for aesthetic disaster, you’re forgetting that Pinarello is an Italian company. If you didn’t already know the bike was asymmetric, you’d probably never notice. In fact, our informal road poll would indicate that the Dogma is drop dead gorgeous judging by the comments it’s received. Despite our best efforts to be stealthy testing, the our white, red, black and disco silver Dogma turns heads and sucks in riders like moths to a bug zapper.
Pinarello has enjoyed a close relationship with carbon supplier Torayca: Pinarello had exclusive use of 50HM1K in the bike industry (used in the Prince and several Tri/TT models) and, with the Dogma, Pinarello now has exclusive use of 60HM1K: which, not surprisingly, is claimed to be a more rigid material than 50HM1K: the rigidity is 60 tons per square centimeter, instead of 50 tons per square centimeter. Usually a higher modulus and more rigid carbon is a more brittle, which probably explains the next bit of info. 60HM1K has what Torayca calls ‘Nanoalloy’ which is described thusly, “Nanoalloy… disperses nanoscale elastomers between the carbon fibers. These elastomers have the ability to absorb impacts and prevent the propagation of cracks as they occur.” The result: Pinarello claims the Dogma frame weighs about 860 grams, 40 grams less than the Prince but is 23 percent more resistant to impacts.
On the construction side, Pinarello uses a new process they call E.P.S. for Expanded Polystyrene System. Here’s the info from their press information. Prepare for marketing-ness…
E.P.S…. improves production by eliminating wrinkles in the fiber that can occur in the more intricate portions of the mold during traditional manufacturing. These wrinkles can lead to micro fractures in the finished frame. E.P.S. consists of laminating layers of carbon fiber around polystyrene models. This leaves both the inside and outside of the frame smooth, without the introduction of wrinkles or the need for additional finish work. The polystyrene form is easily removed after the molding process as the high temperature will have fused it to the mold. This allows the frame to be manufactured to a more consistent thickness than can be obtained through other more traditional techniques.
All carbon frames that we know of are made in essentially the same way: layers of carbon is laid over a form of some variety and then placed in a mold and cooked under heat and pressure. We’ve heard of companies laying carbon over air bladders, metal mandrels and wax forms, but this is the first time we’ve heard of expanding foam. Is it better? Time will tell.
Side note, as carbon becomes more ubiquitous, we’ve noticed that companies are starting to push not just their particular blend of carbon as better/best than the other guys, but also the construction process as a way to differentiate their products from their competitors, and as a way to differentiate the hierarchy of products within a single brands line. Fair warning if you’re still struggling with the difference between high strength and high modulus carbon.
The Dogma 60HM1K shares it’s geometry with the Prince, which itself had the same geometry and the Dogma Magnesium… with is the obtuse way around to say: the Dogma 60HM1K’s handling should be very, very good.
We asked Fausto Pinarello to describe the new Dogma in his own words. He’s just a bit biased, of course, but Fausto is very fit, and a serious rider. He wants a great bike to ride, particularly for his assaults on the Gran Fondos, and especially the Gran Fondo Pinarello. He told us, “Every time that I am testing a new bike, I am like a child with his new toy. My first impression was the precision of the bike. When you are riding on a Dogma it seems that you are on a rail. You don’t lose power and adherence. The mix between the asymmetrical shapes and the new 60HM1K material with nano alloy technology is the best compromise when you want to have a fast bike (asymmetrical) and in the same time you don’t loose the comfort (nano alloy technology).”
We’re exited to put the new Dogma through its paces to see if it can measure up to, or exceed, the extremely high benchmark Pinarello has laid down with the Prince. Time will tell if the Dogma can usurp the Prince and Pinarello has spawned yet more royalty.