Year of the Dawg.
Though the zodiac would have you believe it's the year of the Fire Rooster, the January release of Pinarello's Dogma F10 means that 2017 is destined to be the year of the Dawg—at least when it comes to cycling's biggest race. The Dogma F10 effectively replaces Froome's current Tour-winning machine, the Dogma F8, and it's only gotten lighter and stiffer for the new year. We're celebrating the launch by adding a bit of our own fire to the Dogma F10 SRAM Red eTap Complete Road Bike.
We've selected a build kit comprising SRAM's wireless Red eTap electronic drivetrain—itself one of the key releases of last year—and a set of 404 NSW carbon hoops from SRAM's sister company Zipp. We even went carbon for the cockpit, matching the Zipp wheels with carbon at both the stem and handlebar, and the build is finished off with Vittoria's Corsa G Plus tires, the super tires with a graphene compound that made its own case for product-of-the-year in 2016.
Our homebrewed build kit is impressive, we know, but ultimately we're just dressing the cake that Pinarello served up for the New Year's birthday. The F10's got a similar geometry and material composition to the outgoing F8, so the overall flavor profile will be recognizable to those who were able to sample the latter, but the Dogma F10 features a few subtle improvements to the recipe. All told, these tweaks result in some claims that, given the impressive gains the F8 made over the Dogma 65.1, are almost comically impressive: 7% more stiffness and 6.3% less weight.
As far as ride quality goes, the F10 takes up where the F8 left off. When spinning up out of corners, punching it on Ardennes-esque walls, or turning the screws ever tighter on climbs, the F10's bottom bracket exhibits buoyant solidity. Even while accelerating to sprint speeds or red-lining a double-digit gradient, the frame's efficiency eliminates lurching between pedal strokes, and on diesel days, the 404 NSW wheels take advantage of the frame's drive stiffness by effortlessly holding speed in the mid-20s.
At times, the F10's tapered head tube and oversized tubing make it feel like it's driving itself forward, an eager urgency that means it also responds best to a firm hand and a vigilante captain at its helm, especially while forcing the issue on a high-speed descent. While our own abilities only let us push it so far, the F10's carry-over geometry—almost an exact replica of the F8—means that we've essentially already seen it smash the most talented fields to pieces on cycling's biggest stages.
Though the frame angles remain unchanged between model generations, the classic Dogma asymmetry returns in the F10 with a few subtle alterations that produce disproportionate changes. Asymmetry has been a staple tool in Pinarello's arsenal since 2009, and it's a surprisingly simple solution to one of cycling's most essential conundrums. Since the drivetrain is located on one side of the bike, the load created by pedaling isn't uniform across the frameset's left and right hemispheres. The drive side sees the majority of power transfer duties, so by building it up, Pinarello is able to maintain drive stiffness while cutting material on the non-drive side, so lost grams don't translate to lost watts.
Compared to the F8, the F10's asymmetry is technically more pronounced on the top tube, which cheats a bit more to the right, and the seat junction, which sees a slight tweak. Pinarello's tests indicate that these minor adjustments make the frame stiffer and lighter. If they're not solely responsible for the 7% and 6.3% improvements listed above, they're certainly key contributors. Despite those remarkable claims, the changes are hard to detect with the naked eye (hence "technically" above), and the frame's asymmetry is much more apparent in places like the seat stay/seat tube junction.
The F10's enhanced asymmetry give it one of the most immediately recognizable silhouettes in the industry, but tose lines aren't just avant garde artistry; they're inspired by the Dogma F10's Bolide TT DNA, which surfaces both in its sinuous lines and in myriad, cumulative gains in aerodynamics. These gains start where drag starts: at the front dropout. While designing the Bolide TT, Pinarello's wind tunnel tests indicated that the introduction of a quick-release lever causes a disproportionate gain in drag. This is addressed through the addition of a "fork flap," which is a somewhat inelegant term for the extra fin of material Pinarello tucks behind the 404 NSW's quick-release lever.
Elegantly titled or not, Pinarello's subsequent testing found that the fork flap reduced drag on the Bolide fork by 10%, and the brand reasons that adding it to the less-aerodynamic Dogma makes for even greater drag reduction. That's not to say that the original fork design is slow—after all, Wiggins put up a commanding hour record while riding the flap-free Bolide fork—but it is indicative of Pinarello's R&D ethos. It's an obsessively minute detail to focus on, but the Italian brand's reputation is built on obsessing over minute details in order to exploit every possible marginal gain.
This focus extends to the F10's down tube, which was designed to reduce drag on its own and to serve as a shield for the trailing bottles and seat tube, reducing the net drag of the frame's entire main triangle by 12.6% when compared with the already impressive gains made by the F8. Securing these gains involved a complete reimagining of the down tube, but the key contributor is a newly introduced concavity in the back of the down tube under below the bottle cage bosses. By scooping this section out, Pinarello found that the frame better controls airflow, reducing the turbulent wake that results in drag. Like the F8, the F10 also boosts bidon aerodynamics by lowering the rear cage, which the brand credits with part of the F8's overall 47% reduction in drag when compared with the Dogma 65.1.
These reductions come in addition to the aerodynamic gains already enjoyed by the Dogma F8, which is itself more aerodynamic than the 65.1 that Wiggins and Froome both rode to Tour victories. The key to these gains lies in the tubes' FlatBack profile. As we've laboriously detailed elsewhere, the FlatBack shape is the brainchild of another Italian/British collaboration: Pinarello and Jaguar. Using 70 frame configurations and 300 CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) analysis cycles as its marriage bed, the partnership combined the DNA of the Dogma 65.1 with the design expertise of one of Britain's leading automotive design firms to conceive the FlatBack shape. FlatBack is an apt description, as a cross-section reveals an ovalized face paired with an abruptly truncated back half. This shape manages the detachment of turbulent lamina at multiple yaw angles, reducing the drag effect of dead air in the tubes' wake.
When we introduced the F8 for the 2014 season, we lavished praise on the frame's material composition because it essentially defines the current zenith of carbon fiber technology in the cycling industry. Given that, it's no surprise that Pinarello sticks with the same materials for the F10. The carbon itself is provided by another proven industry partner, the venerable carbon geniuses at Toray, whose Japanese factory produces arguably the most consistent, highest quality, and most reliable carbon composite in the world. By taking advantage of Toray's composite expertise, the Dogma F10 builds on its predecessor's reputation as one of the stiffest and lightest all-purpose race bikes we've ever ridden. It owes its superlative quality to a combination of a super-stiff base carbon, T1100G Dream Carbon reinforcement, and NanoFlex impact-diffusion technology.
Lower weight and higher stiffness often mean an unfortunate amount of road noise and bumps travel straight up the seat stays and into the saddle; however, the F10—like the F8 before it—addresses this tendency by rerouting the seatstays to connect below the seat junction and incorporating the traditional Pinarello wave. The repositioning sends road noise and bumps into the main triangle, and that slight curve adds engineered flex to further diffuse fatiguing chatter.
The frame is so focused on efficiency that it maintains it across frame sizes. This represents another departure from other manufacturers who typically focus development on smaller frame sizes because that makes it easier to produce impressive stiffness-to-weight ratios. Frames 55cm and below are stiff and light, while frames for the six-foot crowd get soft and noodly. To overcome the curse of the long tubes, the F10's size chart itself entails elements of asymmetry. As the frame size increases, the joints, tubes, and key structural areas are strategically shaped and reinforced in order to account for the additional leverage of longer dimensions and bigger cyclists. Regardless of size, you'll enjoy the same stiff responsiveness and on-point handling. Bigger frames no longer punish tall riders with undue floppiness.
The bike's finishing details include internal routing, a clean fork/head tube transition, and an integrated seatpost clamp—all of which conspire to preserve the frames aesthetic and aerodynamic lines. The wishbone seatstat gives a final nod to drag reduction by concealing the rear Red Aero Link brake caliper from the wind. We've built the bike with 25mm tires and recommend sticking with that size throughout the frame's life. They've effectively replaced 23s as the new racing standard due to the increased cornering traction and decreased rolling resistance inherent in tires with greater air volume.
- Our in-house build of Pinarello's latest flagship frameset
- Stiffer and lighter than the Tour-winning Dogma F8
- All-purpose race geometry proven in sprints and high mountains
- Equal parts aerodynamics, urgent handling, and stiff efficiency
- Italian frame expertise and top-tier Japanese carbon fiber
- Internal routing for mechanical and electronic drivetrains
- SRAM's revolutionary electronic drivetrain eliminates wires
- Zipp 404 NSW wheels update the brand's winning aero formula