A decade ago, before the days of the carbon fibre Dogma and Kobh ridden by Team Sky, when aluminium was still king of the peloton, Pinarello’s top race machines combined an alloy front triangle with a carbon rear end. Well that’s exactly what you get with the Italian company's latest entry-level bike.
For your £1,399 you get a beautifully finished 6061 aluminium front triangle paired to Dogma-like asymmetric chain- and seatstays. The bike is finished with a full 2012 Shimano Tiagra 10-speed groupset and matching Shimano R500 wheels, plus own-brand MOST parts. It’s all good value, solid-performing kit but it’s not the best spec we’ve seen at this price and it adds up to quite a weighty package – 9.4kg (20.7lb) for our 58cm test bike.
You might expect that carrying an extra kilo or so over the competition would make the FP Uno feel a bit more ponderous, especially on the hills. Heavier aluminium chassis also have a reputation for feeling hard and uncomfortable. So what we found most surprising about the Pinarello was just how well-mannered it is.
The FP Uno definitely feels robust. It flows across the road surface without any glimmer of vibration, and broken tarmac doesn’t cause any jitters. The MOST Ewiva AF tyres may be budget items but they have a big volume for their nominal 23mm size and offer a supple and forgiving ride which complements the frame’s tight feel.
We had heaps of fun blasting up to speed out of the saddle on the FP and it’s blessed with a sharp front end that rewards courageous cornering speeds and in-the-drops downhill excess.
Some will undoubtedly be put off by the FP’s weight and specification, despite its obvious charms – slick looks, clean lines and the cachet of the Pinarello name. Judging this bike by its on-paper spec does it a disservice though, as it’s a confident, composed and exciting ride.
Just because the main frame material may be considered a bit last-decade, that doesn’t mean the ride is dated. Lighter and smaller riders might benefit from choosing a lightweight carbon bike over the FP, but if you’re taller or stronger than the average road rider then the Pinarello would make a very clever choice.
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This bike was tested as part of Cycling Plus magazine’s 2012 Bike Of The Year feature – read the full results in issue 260, on sale Friday 2 March.