Prince FX Ultegra Di2 Complete Road Bike
The cycling industry can be fickle, always in pursuit of the next superlative king of the superbikes while ignoring frames that are equal to the top champion's bikes from just two years ago. Pinarello's aptly named Prince FX Ultegra Di2 Complete Road Bike, newly revived for 2019, is one such model. Given that it shares similar tech to its Dogma F10 that has seen success at the Tour, we're compelled to point out that it's designed for use at the highest levels of competition. And with its friendlier price-point, the Prince may be one step removed from the top, however, it hits a price point that is way more palpable.
Since it shares design queues with the Dogma, the Prince benefits from all the revolutionary tenets of Pinarello's asymmetric design. This involves building-up and re-shaping critical areas of power transfer on the drivetrain side in order to accommodate the asymmetrical nature of the force exerted on a frame's drivetrain. Everything from the usual suspects (chainstays, seat tube, bottom bracket junction) to some unexpected newcomers (even the top tube joins the parade) has been affected by this design philosophy.
Another distinctive feature common between the Prince and Dogma is the sinuous wave described by the stays and fork. These features operate along the same lines as today's curved seatstays and the plush high-rake forks from decades ago, providing more points of compliance to horizontally redirect and diffuse force. Less road noise and fewer abrupt, jarring impacts translate from your bars and saddle into your body, which makes for less fatigue. The Prince also shares the Dogma's 1.5-inch lower headset bearing, which allows a larger diameter steerer tube at the fork crown and a 19% boost in front end stiffness. This complements the plush ride with predictable braking and more precise steering feel that responds immediately to even the slightest input.
The Prince FX is built with T900 carbon fiber which is the main difference between it and the Dogma F10. When every gram counts, stiffness is paramount, and cost is no object, Team Sky, and those with deep pockets, will opt for the Dogma. For the rest of us, we're glad the Prince FX exist. Not only does the use of T900 make this complete Prince FX, which by the way comes with Shimano's excellent Ultegra Di2 drivetrain, around $700 more than a Dogma frameset alone, but the material itself might also be better for the rest of us.
The Prince's carbon is less brittle than the Dogma's, so it isn't ultra-sensitive to damage from impacts. This also improves the ride quality and prevents every road imperfection from transfering up to your backside. The naysayers will be quick to point out that the Prince is also a little heavier and slightly less efficient than the Dogma, however, we're sure we could/should drop a few kilos of mass from the engine and unless you possess the watt/kg of a World Tour pro, we doubt you'll even notice the difference.
The Prince is finished off with a few additional details enjoyed by the line-topping Dogma models, including the wonderful creak-free Italian threaded bottom bracket, ForkFlaps at the dropouts of the ONDA fork, future-proof Think 2 internal wiring system, 3XAir two positions waterbottle mounts, and FlatBack aero tube profiles.
- Pinarello's Prince bringing performance to the masses
- Stiff and light carbon frame increases efficiency
- Refined geometry is at home on crits and Alpine descents
- Asymmetric design sheds grams without compromising efficiency
- T900 carbon composite provides excellent value/performance
- Aerodynamic tubes echo tech shared with the Dogma F10
- Shimano Ultegra Di2 drivetrain shifts with precision
- Quality in-house MOst components round out the cockpit