The Pinarello Dogma is the most successful race bike of recent years, winning five of the last six editions of the Tour de France with Team Sky. The story of the Dogma is one of constant evolution in the pursuit of greater performance, produced by a company that has racing in its DNA.
Though company founder Giovanni Pinarello’s most notable achievement was finishing dead last in the 1951 Giro d’Italia, success and multiple race victories started flowing once he hung up his race shoes and picked up the welding torch. In 1961 Pinarello the bike brand was born, and over the years its bikes have been ridden to multiple race victories, including this year's Tour de France. Through the decades Pinarello has kept abreast of the constantly developing technologies that have transformed the road bicycle from a skinny tubed steel road bike with metal rims to ultra sleek and lightweight carbon fibre creations with electronic gears.
Their current flagship race bike is the Dogma. The Dogma name was actually first used on a magnesium frame in 2002, a material the Italian company clung to for a few years during the transition from steel to carbon as the choice of material for racing frames. The Prince was actually Pinarello’s flagship carbon fibre road bike at this time and followed on from the Paris Carbon before it.
In 2009, a year before the Team Sky partnership commenced, Pinarello decided to launch an all-new race bike. It called it the Dogma 60.1 and was an evolution of the Prince, with a full carbon fibre frame and fork made from Torayca 60HM1K carbon and had a claimed frame weight of 950g. The Dogma would be constantly refined over the years, with higher grades of carbon fibre leading to lower frame weights, and the name reflected these changes. Following the original Dogma 60.1 was the Dogma 2 and the Dogma 65.1 Think 2 (a mouthful of a name) and it was this bike that Sir Bradley Wiggins won the 2012 Tour de France, a feat which Chris Froome repeated in 2013. Such success sells bikes, and it became the company’s best-selling frame since the company founded in 1961.
A key design feature of the Dogma was the asymmetric design. The forces put into the frame, from the act of pedalling or heaving on the handlebars, puts different pressures on the left and right side of the frame. To provide the right blend of stiffness, weight and handling balance, Pinarello modified the tube profiles and added reinforcing carbon in key places. You could say it’s a load of marketing mumbo jumbo, and there were certainly earlier examples of asymmetric bike design but, love or loathe it, Pinarello certainly invested a lot of effort into it and made it something of a signature feature. It has been noticeably softened with the latest versions of the Dogma.
“Asymmetry, a famous characteristic of all Pinarello frames, significantly increases the overall stiffness of the frame: different sections between the left and right sides allow a more balanced response to the forces during a ride. Since 2009 Pinarello has studied and implemented this concept on its bikes, to offer each rider a bike as balanced as possible,” explains the company.
As this focus on asymmetry pushed frame design in one direction, the other force being tackled was air flow, and the era of aerodynamic study began to heavily influence frame design. Pinarello’s increasing focus on aerodynamics has steadily evolved the shape of the Dogma but it was the release of the Dogma F8 in 2014 that saw the biggest evolution in the history of the Dogma. The F8 owes its name to the fact it's the eighth generation Dogma and the first initial of company boss Fausto Pinarello, the son of founder Giovanni.
To develop the F8 the company collaborated with Team Sky’s other partner, car manufacturer Jaguar and its aerodynamic team, and so the F8 gained from substantial CFD testing and wind-tunnel testing. The new Dogma F8 was claimed to be 47% more aerodynamic than the previous Dogma 65.1, as well as being stiffer and lighter. This big focus on aerodynamics also served to change the aesthetics of the Dogma, and the once iconic curves were softened, resulting in a reduction of its distinctiveness, though there was no loss of the asymmetric design approach, which Pinarello says is necessary to balance the forces applied to the drive side.
The new Dogma F8 introduced the Flatback truncated tube profile. It reduced drag, satisfied the UCI’s 3:1 ratio rule and offered the necessary frame stiffness. Other changes included new fork and dropped seat stays to clean up the air flow around the rear brake. The Dogma F8 also got a carbon fibre upgrade, with ‘new T11001K Dream Carbon with Nanoalloy Technology’ from Toray resulting in an 80g weight reduction in the frame, bringing it down to 860g.
I tested the Dogma F8 last year and said: “With its aero shaped frame and fork, low weight, deep-section carbon wheels and integrated aero handlebar, the Dogma F8 is certainly quick enough, but it's the way it delivers that speed that is most impressive. There's an immediacy to the way it responds, with absolutely no lag or flex noticeable through the bike when you stamp on the pedals.”
Which brings us to 2017, and the launch of the latest in the long line of Dogma road bikes, the F10. It replaced the Dogma F8 with a lighter, stiffer and more aero frame. And yes, we’ve no idea what happened to the F9 either.
Visually the F10 wasn't the radical redesign the previous F8 offered over its predecessor, but Pinarello managed to make it 6.3% lighter, 7% stiffer and reduce drag by a whopping 20% by finetuning every aspect of the frame and fork. An updated FlatBack downtube profile aimed to better smooth airflow around the water bottle, which is now positioned lower, and the Di2 junction box now get its own port on the down tube. A new fork with redesigned dropouts, called ForkFlap, helped to reduce front-end drag. Lots of aero changes then, and of course the new F10 was claimed to be lighter than the previous F8, with a claimed weight of 820g for a size 53cm frame. The Dogma has never been the lightest bike - the new Specialized Tarmac is 740g and the Trek Emondo comes in at just 640g.
“Our new Dogma F10 is the eighth bike we’ve provided for Team Sky in seven years, and as usual, the last one is always the best one,” said Pinarello President Fausto Pinarello at the launch of the new bike.
Over the years the Dogma name has grown to become almost a brand in its own right, so important is it to Pinarello that it’s the company’s main and best-selling bike. It has also spawned different versions over the years: the Dogma F10 X-Light is a special lightweight version, disc brakes are catered for by the Dogma F10 Disk, and most recently was the addition of the Dogma K10, with and without smart suspension and aimed at those cyclists that want more of an endurance focused ride than the outright race focus of the Dogma F10.
Where next for the Dogma?
See more Design Classics in our series here. So far we've looked at the Castelli Gabba, Mavic Ksyrium wheels and Selle Italia Flite saddle.
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.