Pinarello Dogma F8 Sky Di2 review

Reigning Tour de France champ Chris Froome’s swoopy-looking Pinarello Dogma 8

 

Pinarello’s latest Dogma follows the philosophy of ‘if it ain’t broke…’, as the F8’s frame has stayed the same since its launch. This is no bad thing as far as we’re concerned, as the F8 featured marked improvements over its 65.1 predecessor. And as Froomedog claimed his second yellow jersey on this bike last year, it’s not like it’s slouching its way through France…

  • Highs: Impressive on-road manners and a great turn of speed
  • Lows: The one-piece bar/stem is very stiff; some rear brake rub; that price
  • Buy if: You want a Tour-winning machine that’s fast, aerodynamic and comfortable

 

Aero-optimised frame with neat details

As with many pro machines Team Sky‘s bike has an aero-optimised frame, in this case featuring main tubes with what Pinarello calls a ‘FlatBack Profile’. It’s a profile that’s usually referred to as Kamm-tail, a truncated aerofoil that has an aerodynamic advantage but that doesn’t contravene the UCI’s 3:1 aspect ratio rule [the depth of the tube can’t be more than three times the width]

But for what is essentially an aero road bike, the design is clean and fuss-free, even though it has some very neat touches. The bow-legged fork is designed to reduce turbulence from the rotating front wheel, while the fork crown is shaped to closely match the standard brake. The asymmetrical frame is typically Pinarello, and is claimed to equalise the drivetrain forces.

While the frame is essentially unchanged, the same isn’t true for the rest of the bike. MOST’s new one-piece Talon bar is designed to be as aerodynamic as the bike, complete with teardrop-shaped stem and spacers. But what truly impresses with the F8 is the comfort that the frame and fork deliver. A bike with oversized aerodynamic tubes could easily be rigid and uncompromising, but the F8’s rear end plushness, in particular, is impressive and the comfort really shines through.

 

Rock-solid front end

The front does feel stiffer than the last F8 we tested, which has to be down to the rock-solid-feeling one-piece wing bar, but the hooks have a great shape and the flats on the bar tops aren’t so wide that they’re uncomfortable on long climbs – something the F8 has seen plenty of.

There’s little that we haven’t already said about Dura-Ace Di2 and we couldn’t fault Selle Italia’s SLR saddle either. Froome and Co will be riding Shimano wheels, while our bike has 47mm-deep rimmed Corima A+ clinchers with Vittoria’s graphene-infused Corsa tyres. These are among the best tyres we’ve tried recently, offering compliance, speed and grip.

The wheels roll smoothly, at 1400g they’re pretty light and they’re fine performers in crosswinds. And, like the frame, Corima’s rims have pedigree, being ridden by Astana to victory in the 2014 Tour, the 2015 Giro and Vuelta and this year’s Giro. The carbon brake tracks did whistle occasionally under hard braking, though this lessened as the brake blocks wore in, and we could induce a little rear brake rub sprinting hard, though some fettling with a spoke key reduced this.

We believe that Pinarello’s Dogma excels as an all-rounder with aero considerations rather than as an all-out aero road bike, with a balance of reactive handling and speed that closely matches the Bianchi Oltre we tested last month. Cannondale’s Evo and the Focus Izalco may be more nimble through the bends, but the F8 has the better of both when it comes to flat-out straight-line speed.