Pinarello bikes are certainly an aspirational brand that many cyclists dream of owning. But, we all don' have the pocketbooks to support a top-tier Dogma build so thankfully Pinarello offers a great bike with excellent value in the heavily contested $2-2.5k category with its 2018 Angliru 105 Complete Road Bike. This bike happens to be fully-equipped to race if you choose so, and with the money saved, it can add up to a bunch of race entries, a second wheelset, or a wardrobe full of clothing.
Pinarello constructs the Angliru's frame and fork from T600 carbon fiber which provides a rigid backbone for sprinting and a quick-response in the handling department. While not quite as rigid and lightweight as some of its higher-moduli carbon used on the Dogmas, it's better at damping road vibrations and it could be argued that it is more durable because it's less fragile. Up front, the curved carbon Onda fork helps smooth road chatter on all-day rides, while the rear has distinctive bowed seatstays helping quell road vibrations there. Speaking of stays, the chainstays receive the same asymmetric design we are accustomed to seeing on its premium frames. The Think 2 concept used on its top-level frames continues with the head tube's shaping that emphases both stiffness and aerodynamics and houses the tapered headset and fork's steerer tube. An oversized down tube increases torsional torque for a solid pedaling response and the water bottle area is flattened to shield the cage and bottles from the wind. A bowed top tube further aids in comfort by allowing for more vertical compliance. Another touch of give comes by way of a round, rather than aero, seat tube and seatpost in 31.6mm diameter. Two other frame features of note: it has routing for an electronic drivetrain if you choose to do so in the future and its threaded Italian bottom bracket is superior from an installation and maintenance standpoint than a PressFit version and it is way less likely to creak.
The geometry is typical Italian, which places stability slightly ahead of agility. It also has more of a nod towards the fondo and endurance scene with more stack and less reach so you're in a slightly higher and upright position perfect for all-day comfort. The stays are a touch longer than the road norm, but again it contributes to the stability and affords the ability to fit 28mm tires easily.
The Shimano 105 components deserve a shout out. It receives some heavy trickle-down from its Dura-Ace group and, as such, the performance and ergonomics between the two are very similar. In fact, we'd argue that 105 is as good or better than Dura-Ace just a few generations ago. Weight is really the only quality worth quibbling about here. Pinarello specifies their house brand components, Most, for the cockpit which does an admirable job of performing and looking smart.
The Angliru is simply a classic Pinarello racer without taking a loan out to get one. It'll be a bike you enjoy and be proud to ride. While the Angliru climb itself might be as steep as the price tag of Pinarello's top-tier steeds, the money saved on this bike could easily fund a trip to tackle this fabled climb.
- A road bike that makes Pinarello pedigree affordable
- Endurance race geometry for comfort on long days
- Asymmetric design sheds grams without compromising efficiency
- Aerodynamic tubes help with more speed with less effort
- Internal routing for mechanical and electronic drivetrains
- The threaded bottom bracket is less likely to creak than PressFit
- Shimano 105 remains the go-to for functional reliability
- Pinarello quality for all to afford and enjoy