Gan K Disk Ultegra Complete Road Bike
Though its innovative climbing frames have now spent dozens of years at the top of the GT leaderboard, Pinarello's endurance machines have received no less R&D attention. The Gan K Disk Ultegra Complete Road Bike proves this point by also proving that the venerable Italian firm has no interest in leaving the long-distance cyclist in the lurch.
The Gan K Disk's racing pedigree surfaces in the precise carbon fiber construction and Shimano Ultegra drivetrain (including the Ultegra 8000 crankset, no third-party slop here) and Ultegra-grade hydraulic disc brakes. The endurance aspect is apparent in the frame's all-terrain geometry and the inclusion of hydraulic disc brakes. When these attributes are combined, the result is a bike that loves to go fast all day.
Though it's a stiff beast, the Gan K's as focused on comfort as it is on efficiency, a fact that manifests in its geometry. Compared to the Gan S, the Gan K has slacker seat and head tubes, longer chainstays, comfort-oriented FlexStay seatstays, a shorter reach, and a taller stack. These variations are all subtle, manifesting as millimeters or even fractions of millimeters, but the net result is a longer, more stable wheelbase and a cockpit that situates the rider in a more upright position.
The Gan S is largely modeled on the Dogma F8, so it's a race bike, through-and-through; the changes to the Gan K mean it's less of an unforgiving missile and more of smooth rouleur, a bike built for laying down miles of tempo across rolling terrain rather than punching the afterburners out of every corner and into every ascent. The Gan K doesn't twitch violently at every rider input; rather, it flows through corners and across rough roads, holding lines as though it's self-guided. These tendencies are reinforced by the front and rear thru-axles, which reinforce the wheel/frame interface, an area that's traditionally guilty of sacrificing handling and power transfer through flex.
For all that comfort and stability, the Gan K is still built by one of the world's premium bike brands, so it benefits from all the race-frame expertise that Pinarello dumps into its world-beating Dogma models just with a lower grade of carbon fiber. Comparing it to the Gan S again, the Gan K features T600 carbon instead of the S model's T700. That lower modulus means that it takes slightly more material to hit the same level of stiffness, which means a little added weight.
Frankly, most of us won't even notice the extra grams, especially considering that the slightly beefier construction dissipates more road noise and gravel chatter while benefiting bigger riders who dump more punishment into the pedals. That rider profile is also the kind who benefits most from the improved modulation and more confident stopping power of disc brakes. No top-tier climber ever wants to hear the "added weight" disclaimer, but if you're after a long-suffering frame that ensures you aren't subject to long bouts of suffering during interminable stretches on questionable surfaces, frames like the Gan K are a beacon of hope in a sea of unforgivingly stiff featherweight frames.
Finally, a note on bottom brackets. We know you're weary of trying to keep up with the latest trends and standards. Hell, we are, too. For all its innovation and forward-thinking design choices, Pinarello remains decidedly low-tech in the bottom bracket shell. The Gan K Disc features an Italian threaded bottom bracket, which forgoes the lighter and less expensive method of molding PressFit recessions into the frame in favor of CNC-machining inserts. The result is a more precise interface that reduces creaking and pops while simultaneously increasing the longevity of all parts involved.
- An endurance road bike with a racing pedigree
- Disc brakes offer powerful braking in all conditions
- The slightly longer wheelbase and a generous stack offer stable comfort
- Burlier carbon fiber is stiff but absorbs road noise and abuse
- Ultegra 8000 build kit is raceable and reliable
- Fulcrum wheels spin up to speed and are lightweight and durable
- Pinarello's carbon fiber expertise has been proven in everything from spring classics to grand tours