Pinarello Dogma F8 Disc Road Frameset - 2016 $5,750.00
Go fast, stop faster.
From the halcyon days of cycling's romantic past to the, um, "unique" profile of Big Mig's Espada Carbon, Pinarello has long occupied the pointy end of cycling's espada of design and innovation. Given that history, it's no surprise that the Italian firm's latest flagship model, which also bears the imprimatur of Jaguar, is one of the first top-tier machines made available with disc brake compatibility. There are some changes involved, including a tweak to the internal lay-up and reinforcement to the brake mounts, all of which are necessary in order to account for the extra load of disc braking forces. The changes also come with a slight weight gain, but Pinarello assures us that it's hardly more significant than the difference in weight between paint schemes.
Disc brake compatibility excluded, this is the same frameset Pinarello designed in cahoots with Jaguar. While we aren't privy to the details of this partnership, it certainly bore fruit. The Dogma F8 improves on Pinarello's previous flagship bike, the 65.1, by mating its Tour-winning geometry with material upgrades and fresh tube shapes for a claimed 47% improvement in aerodynamics, a 16% more balanced feel, a 12% increase in rigidity — all while losing a claimed 120 grams of weight. The Dogma F8's carbon fiber is provided by another proven industry partner, the venerable carbon geniuses at Toray, whose Japanese factory produces arguably the most consistent, highest quality, and safest carbon in the world. The F8 is made from an all-new Toray masterpiece: T1100 1K Dream Carbon with Nano-alloy technology.
While the name is certainly impressive, its application is even more so. T1100 is the current go-to outer skin for many modern aircrafts, and its stiffness-to-weight ratio is nothing short of stunning. Compared to a 54cm Dogma 65.1 — which was built with Toray's 65HM1K — the F8's T1100K construction weighs nearly 80 grams less while retaining the same structural characteristics. The savvy engineers at Pinarello and Jaguar didn't waste any of these gains, laying-up the carbon in order to maximize the benefits of these penalty-free weight savings.
The partnership's engineering expertise came into play through the use of CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics). Using Pinarello's existing 65.1 Dogma as a baseline, the engineers plotted 70 frame configurations and 300 CFD analysis cycles to realize the most versatile aerodynamic tube shape, which has been given the utilitarian name of FlatBack. This is an apt description, as a cross-section view of this shape 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.
As important as weight and aerodynamics have become in top-end bikes, power transfer may still be the most important aspect of a racing machine, and the F8 doesn't disappoint. Pinarello's asymmetric design philosophy is ever-present in the Dogma F8, as its engineers again restudied the forces in action as a rider sprints on the pedals, pulls on the handlebars, and muscles the bike through corners. FEA (Finite Element Analysis) confirmed that the 65.1 Dogma's asymmetrical design was beneficial in leveling the variances in frame deflection from one side to the other, which is why the F8's tubes have been arranged in a similar, albeit more asymmetric (16% more), layup to better balance drive-side forces.
Aerodynamics and efficiency are combined with comfort in the rear triangle, where a pair of fat, asymmetric chainstays are matched with the new Onda RS F8 seatstays. The seatstays are positioned low — meeting the seat tube farther down — and describe a subtle, sinuous curve as they travel from the seat tube to the rear dropout. This allows for repositioned seat tube water bottle cage bosses, which Pinarello claims makes for yet another reduction in drag, and the super minimalist can remove the front derailleur mount altogether for a one-by setup.
The Dogma F8 Disc Frameset is finished with a redesigned Onda F8 fork built to handle disc brakes. We assume the reinforcement and the addition of a rotor mean that the disc model doesn't quite enjoy the standard Onda's claimed 10% reduction in weight and 40% reduction in drag, but it's no heavyweight parachute, either. It's still made of the sameT1100 carbon, and its basic design still bears the evidence of improved aerodynamics from some creative cross breeding between the old Onda fork and the TT-specific Bolide fork. Like the standard model, the Onda Disc's blades are slightly convex, which Jaguar's engineers say creates the sweet spot where air stays attached — reducing the size of the wake — without creating too large a leading face.
For all this talk of developing new technologies, the bottom bracket is one area where Pinarello has thankfully refused to "innovate," sticking with the classic threaded Italian option. It's proven, it's stiff, it's Italian, and it stays. That's not to say that the F8 is a last-gen machine — quite the contrary. Its internal cable routing accommodates either mechanical or electronic shifting systems, and the carbon Air8 seatpost accepts both Shimano Di2 and Campagnolo EPS battery packs — though the later won't likely be an issue until Campy releases its in-the-works hydraulic disc brake system.
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