Ahead of the cobbled classic Paris-Roubaix on Sunday, Pinarello has launched its brand new Dogma FS with electronically adjusted front and rear suspension. The new bike provides 20mm front and 11mm rear suspension travel and is claimed to be able to “absorb in average 42% of the vibration coming from the ground that directly means an increase in comfort and bike stability,” and can be automatically or manually controlled.
In their own testing, of which data we haven’t seen, Pinarello claims the new Dogma FS is 15 seconds quicker through the Carrefour de l’Arbre cobble sector that is a key part of the Paris-Roubaix race compared to a regular rigid road bike.
We first saw the rear suspension technology on the Dogma K8s four years ago with DSS1.0 and then two years later that was followed by eDSS2.0 on the K10S developed by fellow Italian company HiRide. It utilised a small suspension damper at the top of the seat stays with flexible pivot-less carbon chainstays and could adjust automatically or manually to suit the terrain.
The new DSAS (Dogma Smart Adaptive System) technology has been revised with the addition of front suspension, providing a genuine full suspension road bike. The front suspension comprises a metal coil spring housed inside a wider head tube. Hydraulic damping controls the suspension and it can be electronically adjusted from open to locked out to suit different terrain.
At 20mm it offers the same amount of suspension travel as the Future Shock 2.0 on the Specialized Roubaix, but the key difference is that the Pinarello system suspends the bike and rider, whereas the Future Shock only suspends the rider.
The rear suspension provides 10mm of vertical deflection and the movement is controlled by a simple elastomer. It’s an electro-hydraulic system allowing the damper to be locked out or fully open, again to suit the terrain.
Both front and rear suspension can be opened and locked out automatically. Gyroscopes and accelerometers are apparently able to detect when the terrain changes from smooth road to rough cobbles and can open and lock the suspension as required.
Alternatively, the rider can take complete control and choose the mode from a control interface located on the downtube. That doesn’t seem like the most accessible place to have a control device. It can also be adjusted and adapted using a smartphone app, but we doubt the Team Sky boys will be using that in the race. There’s also a Garmin app so settings can be changed from the Edge computer unit which seems more sensible.
The threshold required to activate the suspension can also be changed. It’s all powered by a “smart battery pack” housed inside the seat tube.
“DSAS is able to adapt the suspension behaviour on each type of ground, automatically locking or unlocking it, ensuring maximum performance and stiffness on smooth tarmac and optimum comfort on bumpy and rough roads.”
The new tech is wrapped up in a frame made from T1100 1K “Dream Carbon with Nanoalloy Technology” with all the same asymmetric frame features as before, with an Onda fork, full internal cable routing, Italian threaded bottom bracket and maximum 28mm tyre clearance.
That the bike only takes a 28mm maximum width tyre seems awfully outdated when most endurance bikes take at least a 32-35mm. Also, don’t expect any mudguard mounts, and there’s no sign of a disc brake version - all the press pics are for rim brakes. It’s clearly a bike designed expressly for Team Sky and there appears to be little attempt to market it to consumers who might ask for these practical considerations.
And yes, before you rush down to the comments, Cannondale has been down this route before with its HeadShox. Is it a bad thing to revisit old concepts with the latest technologies before writing them off as been there done that?
We’ve got a couple of people on the ground in the Arenberg forest today and tomorrow who will be seeing the new bike first-hand and putting it through its paces, so stay tuned for a more in-depth first look and first ride impressions.
“The Paris-Roubaix is absolutely the race where the bike can take on a decisive role for victory or defeat. A gruelling race where everything is played on the deadly stretches of cobblestones, where the control of the bike is crucial. DOGMA FS represents the perfect combination between the best road frame on the market today and the best electronic technology at the service of a bicycle. The tests first in the laboratory and then on the road with Team Sky leave no doubt, Dogma FS is able to make the difference on this terrain, then as always sport teaches us, we need a bit of luck …” says head honcho Fausto Pinarello.
“Road racing takes many forms, and in Pinarello, we have a great partner who recognises the need to support the team, and the diverse demands of our race calendar. The Dogma FS combines the latest in frame and electronic technology to give our riders a dynamic bike that is fully adaptable for all terrains and can be controlled directly by the rider or fully automatic. It’s the perfect addition to our portfolio and is the latest result of our evolving partnership with Pinarello, giving our riders a unique handling and racing experience to help them optimise their performance,” Carsten Jeppesen, Team Sky.
We’ve no word on pricing or availability at the present time. More info on Pinarello's website.
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.