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Pinarello's Dogma 65.1 is now available with disc brakes and we've taken it for a spin

The big news in the road bike market this year is disc brakes, and Italian company Pinarello showed their cards at Eurobike with the launch of the new Dogma 65.1 Hydro, a disc-equipped version of the bike that has clinched the last two editions of the Tour de France. This isn’t a replacement for the regular Dogma, far from it, but instead a new addition to the Dogma range.

Changes over the regular Dogma are clear. Key features both have in common are the Torayca 65-ton 65HM1K Nano-alloy carbon fibre it’s made from, and the asymmetric design - although that is noticeably less apparent than before. The Dogma was originally made with a much chunkier chainstay on the driveside to handle the higher forces on that side of the bike, but the disc brake means the non-driveside now has higher forces to handle.  

The Onda HD fork is an all-new design, with far less wavy legs than we've become used to. The geometry is identical to that of the regular model.

As we've already alluded to, the Dogma 65.1 Hydro has new chainstays, with the same RAD (Rear Arm Disc) rear disc mount as found on their DogmaXC 9.9 mountain bike frame. The post mounts are moulded to the chainstays, leaving the seatstays to provide better vibration damping, according to Pinarello. Think 2 ensures compatibility with all groupsets and braking systems.

The hydraulic hoses are internally routed, the rear hose entering the chainstay a couple of inches away from the caliper, while up front the hose passes through the entire length of the fork leg. There are tidy little barrel adjusters on the gear cables, just where they enter the frame.

The Dogma 65.1 Hydro will be offered in three builds; Shimano Dura-Ace hydraulic disc SRAM Red 22 Hydro (as pictured) and a Dura-Ace Di2 with TRP Hy/RD hydro brakes. The latter is the model I rode, shod with Vision Team 30 wheels, Continental Special Edition tyres and a MOST (Pinarello’s inhouse brand), one-piece carbon fibre handlebar and stem, with a matching seatpost and pointy Selle Italia saddle. If one thing is going to force you to ride fast, it’s that saddle. Unlike the Storck Aernario with its bolt-thru axles front and rear, the Pinarello has regular quick release axles.

First ride: Fantastic ride with fast handling

I was fortunate to get a first ride on the new Dogma 65.1 Hydro at Eurobike, during one of Rapha’s organised evening rides. The roads around this part of southern Germany are beautiful. It’s not an area anywhere near the top of most people’s list of must-ride locations, but it really is worth consideration if you’re looking for somewhere quiet with rolling undulating, traffic-free roads set against a gorgeous backdrop.

Hugging the coast of Lake Konstanz to being we, we soon head inland into the lush countryside with fields brimming with tall hop plants, apple and plum trees. There’s a fruity smell hanging in the air. The roads are gloriously smooth, the hills short and brief, and the quality of the riding is superb. This area of Germany has won me over.

Anyway, enough about the location... The new Dogma 65.1 Hydro immediately impresses with handling that is refined, engaging and sharp. The frame stiffness is impressive. It’s balanced from the fork to the rear end, which makes it track through tight bends and sweeping fast corners with accuracy and stability. You’re able to propel it through tight bends and fast open sweepers with pinpoint accuracy, and it offers confidence in just how far you can lean it over on the tyres.

The ride is smooth. Despite the stiffness, there’s no harshness to detect through the contact points. It would be interesting to ride it on typical UK roads because these German roads offer little to challenge a bike's potential to offer comfort.

The steering felt a little nervous at first, a bit lively, but after some time I became comfortable with it. This is a race bike after all, and it earns that tag well on this short ride. It requires you to be switched on, alert and engaged. There’s so much that impresses about the ride, and I’m left knowing I need to arrange a longer test ride on the Dogma 65.1 Hydro, and especially on roads I’m more used to.

And the disc brakes?

And what of the disc brakes? Never has a new technology so divided opinion. One thing's for sure, disc brakes on road bikes are here to stay, but it’s clear that rather than wipe out caliper rim brakes, they’ll be offered as an option. And when was choice ever a bad thing?

I rode a Dogma 65.1 Hydro with TRP’s new Hy/Rd brakes, with a 160mm front rotor and 140mm rear. These are really interesting brakes. They’re a self-contained design, the reservoir containing the hydraulic fluid mounted to the caliper with the brake cable running all the way to the caliper. As such they can be used with any mechanical brake lever. Such an approach is smart. It means you can use your favourite brake levers.

These brakes have been reviewed on road.cc already, but this was my first experience with them. Putting aside the fact the brakes were the wrong way round for us Brits (the right lever was linked up to the rear brake), I initially found them lacking in power, or more accurately, they were lower than my expectations before the ride. Rolling out on the busy roads with many junctions to negotiate, they initially compared to a set of good caliper brakes, but lacking a little bite. What they do, though, is provide plenty of modulation which allows you to apply the power safely and with control.

So, a little underwhelming at first, but there was one situation where the discs really impressed. Coming to a sudden halt at a T-junction following a 60kph descent with a sweeping bend 400 metres before the stop line, and 50 riders ahead all suddenly reaching for their brakes. The TRPs allowed me to stop both quickly and with plenty of control, with only a small increase in pressure on the brake lever. With regular caliper brakes there are those moments when, wanting to stop rapidly because a car has pulled out in front of you, for example, you pull on the brake levers with increasingly pressure and panic until you manage to scrub off the speed. The discs offered the power and modulation that allowed easier and safer stopping from high speeds.

Do I think the TRP brakes are perfect? No, not really. I feel they could be a bit more powerful, with more bite nearer their maximum. Dave rode them for a lot longer than me for our recent review and in fact he's still riding them his conclusion was that short of a full hydraulic set up they offered about the best braking performance currently available and I'd say that's a fair assessment. Mind you full hydraulics are about to become much more available. The TRP's compatibility with any mechanical brake levers is a huge bonus, though. One thing is clear, it’s still early days for disc brakes on road bikes. We’re going to see a lot of development of the brakes over the coming years. Based on this (admittedly limited) test ride, there’s much to like, but room for improvement.

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

20 comments

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Al__S [1212 posts] 3 years ago
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The real test for calipers versus discs comes when it isn't so sunny. In the rain, discs are unarguably superior.

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neilv [11 posts] 3 years ago
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Also surely the benefits will come when they are totally integrated in the design. For example wheels will become lighter as designers stop worrying about rims that can handle rim brakes and design wheels fully for disc only. Bikes still feel like kits of parts designed to a bunch of standards. Make a frame and buy bits from various people to bolt on. It feels like buying a car stereo in the 80's. Surely in the future we will see more bikes designed as a unit with the components optimised for the design of the bike. Much like aero and TT bikes nowadays.

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DaddyLeonard [3 posts] 3 years ago
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Just think you can invest in an awesome set of light wheels and not worry about wearing out the braking surface as well. I am well excited by prospect of discs. But do live in the Peak District

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Henke T [2 posts] 3 years ago
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It is an ugly bike though.

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DeanF316 [136 posts] 3 years ago
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So in reality disc brakes do not live up to all haype. Any chance of Road CC not mentioning disc brakes for 24 hours. Before disc brakes no ome eved really mentioned brakes.

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jarredscycling [456 posts] 3 years ago
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The problem with TRP’s Hy/Rd brakes is that they still leave you with a disadvantage of caliper breaks namely cable stretch. If you are going to make the switch to discs then go Hydro all of the way

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dave atkinson [6301 posts] 3 years ago
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jarredscycling wrote:

The problem with TRP’s Hy/Rd brakes is that they still leave you with a disadvantage of caliper breaks namely cable stretch. If you are going to make the switch to discs then go Hydro all of the way

cables don't stretch. they're made of steel. steel doesn't stretch. at least not under the sorts of forces that your hands can apply.

the 'stretch' comes from the bedding in of the outers and the ferrules when they're set up: they snug down and effectively shorten the cable run leaving the cable a bit slack. it's rarely a problem with good quality compression-free housings and even when it is you usually only need to adjust once. And it's much less of an issue with brakes than with gears, where indexing comes into play

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koko56 [330 posts] 3 years ago
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DeanF316 wrote:

So in reality disc brakes do not live up to all haype. Any chance of Road CC not mentioning disc brakes for 24 hours. Before disc brakes no ome eved really mentioned brakes.

Hype is kind of subjective though. While I think they are a good idea as fully hydraulic disks should offer a lot lighter lever action, modulation and all weather stopping + rims not wear out so fast - it's just early days.

Electric/hydraulic shifting with hydro disks is ideal for winter too, just the price is a bit high!  4

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Al'76 [110 posts] 3 years ago
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At the risk of sounding like a bit of a luddite, isn't this a solution to a problem yet to be invented.....bit like electronic shifting  24
Couldn't be another example of manufacturers trying to find an excuse to encourage us to part with our "hard earned" could it?
Strangely, I don't find a good mechanical groupset (with dual pivot calipers) too problematic  39
Get a set of winter wheels (or, better still, a winter bike) and keep road bikes looking like road bikes!!

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Nick T [1056 posts] 3 years ago
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Does the less silly, straightened a bit for disc braking fork feel any different to the sillier and more wobbly one?

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imaca [79 posts] 3 years ago
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Except the wheel will actually be heavier since it will need more crossed spokes to transfer the torsion of the disks. and from what I have seen from tests so far a disk creates about the same amount of drag as going from a high end deep section carbon wheel to a box section rim. The good thing is, if these actually take off, it's going to be easier and cheaper to build a competitive race bike just by avoiding disk brakes and electronic shifting.

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DeanF316 [136 posts] 3 years ago
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A price most people can't afford or just justify.

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jackh [121 posts] 3 years ago
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Thumbs up for the recommendation of Lake Konstanz, my girlfriend comes from the region and its fantastic for cycling. The roads are butter smooth (all of them, without fail), and you can see the alps all day. There are some big hills with lovely smooth gradients which give you that lovely rhythmic feel so often lacking on the UK's leg crunchers!

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cat1commuter [1422 posts] 3 years ago
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Henke T wrote:

It is an ugly bike though.

I agree. Their new Bolide looks OK, but in general Pinarello to me says ugly wibbly-wobbly bits, heavy frames and asymmetric pseudo-science.

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Nick T [1056 posts] 3 years ago
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DeanF316 wrote:

A price most people can't afford or just justify.

So, what, it shouldn't exist then?

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step-hent [724 posts] 3 years ago
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neilv wrote:

Bikes still feel like kits of parts designed to a bunch of standards. Make a frame and buy bits from various people to bolt on. It feels like buying a car stereo in the 80's. Surely in the future we will see more bikes designed as a unit with the components optimised for the design of the bike. Much like aero and TT bikes nowadays.

Designing parts to meet certain standards means compatibility and choice. Personally, I think that's a good thing - I want to be able to buy a frame, decide which parts I want and install/maintain them myself. How many of the smaller component manufacturers will stay in business if they have to make a different version of their part for every frame? And the costs will go up, because of the increased R&D and smaller productions runs.

I'm generally in favour of more choice. As has been pointed out in many of the comments, discs have their advantages (better modulation, better wet weather performance, the potential to improve rims no longer designed for braking) and disadvantages (weight, aerodynamics, wide ranging standards and, for some, worse aesthetics). It's much less clear cut for the road than it is for 'cross or MTB - so I really hope we continue to get the choice, rather than having a wholesale switch to discs at all levels.

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mrmo [2092 posts] 3 years ago
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can we do away with arguments about weight please, Disc wheels will not be lighter than non disc wheels, or at least not in a measurable way.

Take a Gel280 rim now remove the brake track to save weight. Then add the weight of a disc rotor to the hub. have you actually saved any weight?

Take a 50mm carbon clincher, remove the brake track, which is actually just a couple of layers of carbon, then add a disc rotor.

Take a look at XC race bikes, discs were and are heavier than the the very lightest cantis.

Disc brakes may have some advantages but weight isn't one of them.

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Pierre [102 posts] 3 years ago
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mrmo wrote:

Disc brakes may have some advantages but weight isn't one of them.

But moving the weight nearer the centre of the wheel is - my GCSE Physics can't come up with the numbers, but I know if you need to have heavy bits on a bicycle wheel, you're better off having them near the middle than near the outside. Angular momentum, or something...

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mrmo [2092 posts] 3 years ago
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Pierre wrote:
mrmo wrote:

Disc brakes may have some advantages but weight isn't one of them.

But moving the weight nearer the centre of the wheel is - my GCSE Physics can't come up with the numbers, but I know if you need to have heavy bits on a bicycle wheel, you're better off having them near the middle than near the outside. Angular momentum, or something...

and moving the weight to the centre, when the weight saving is virtually nothing at the rim? Plus loose the rim weight the wheel has less fly wheel effect. Then add some weight in the middle as the spokes are under more stress so some of the lighter options aren't options anymore.

For every plus there is a minus.

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Nick T [1056 posts] 3 years ago
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step-hent wrote:
neilv wrote:

Bikes still feel like kits of parts designed to a bunch of standards. Make a frame and buy bits from various people to bolt on. It feels like buying a car stereo in the 80's. Surely in the future we will see more bikes designed as a unit with the components optimised for the design of the bike. Much like aero and TT bikes nowadays.

Designing parts to meet certain standards means compatibility and choice. Personally, I think that's a good thing - I want to be able to buy a frame, decide which parts I want and install/maintain them myself. How many of the smaller component manufacturers will stay in business if they have to make a different version of their part for every frame? And the costs will go up, because of the increased R&D and smaller productions runs.

If be inclined to agree with the modular approach rather than integration - you can pick up a 30 year old steel frame and put the latest groupset on it without too many issues but what about a Look 695 in 30 years time? Will Zed2 cranks or C Stems still be available?