Pinarello’s first all-carbon bike comes in at a budget price, but also offers superior handling and a quality Italian ride feel – what more could we ask for?
Frame & equipment: Lots for your money
Last year, we were impressed with the standard Pinarello FP Uno – it had old-school appeal with its aluminium main frame mated to the distinct Onda carbon rear stays, and the ride and handling impressed, though its extra weight flattened the performance somewhat. For 2013, there’s now a full carbon option, the company’s first below the £2,000 mark.
The frame is finished with Pinarello’s usual attention to detail: a faultless paint finish and distinct design flourishes such as the Onda curved fork and stays, and the hourglass tapered head tube. The cable routing for the gears is external, which makes maintenance easy but upgrading to an electronic system more involved.
The Campagnolo Veloce drivetrain looks a little below par at this price point but its performance is anything but. Sharp, snappy shifts are the order of the day and braking is faultless, irrespective of weather conditions. In the grand scheme of things, Veloce is the equivalent of Shimano’s 105 and, importantly, it edges that offering on the scales.
At 8.38kg (18.47lb), the overall weight of the FP Uno is impressive – it’s more than a kilo lighter than the previous model, helped by the group and an impressive smattering of Pinarello’s MOST-branded finishing kit. This includes a carbon post, butted aluminium compact drop bar and tidily finished stem, not to mention a slim, comfortable saddle. None of it is top of the line but it works well and complements a beautifully finished package.
The Wildcat F3 wheelset also comes from MOST. They’re in the ballpark for weight, though the rear did require a post-ride tune-up – we induced a little brake rub under higher power due to a couple of unevenly tensioned spokes.
Thankfully, Pinarello have specced a great set of tyres with Conti’s Ultra Sports – again, they’re not range-toppers but the good medium compound gives tenacious grip in the wet, which is a bonus, especially in the UK.
Ride & handling: Aggressive position but stable with it
The FP’s geometry, like its aluminium/carbon predecessor’s, is very traditional despite Pinarello’s signature swoopy lines. Our 58cm test bike had a long (58.5cm) top tube that’s horizontal too. Combined with a long, 120mm stem, it gives an aggressive ride position that majors on stability.
The tapered steerer makes the front of the FP Uno stiff and sharp to turn in, boosting confidence without being a brute. The new all-carbon frame is fluid over the rough stuff but it’s certainly not soft when you stamp on the pedals.
Gearing that combines a standard 12-25T cassette with a 50/34 chainset gives a good all-round range. Combined with the Pinarello's superior handling, you get a bike that’s significantly better than the sum of its parts.
This bike was tested as part of Cycling Plus magazine’s 2013 Bike Of The Year feature – read the full results in issue 273, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.