Pinarello Rokh $4099

Improved package for 2013

BikeRadar score 3.5/5

The Rokh takes its design cues from Pinarello’s flagship – and Tour-winning – Dogma bike, featuring the same kinked Onda fork, asymmetric rear-end and curved main tubes. But to create a bike that’s more sportive-orientated, Pinarello have extended the wheelbase – which, they claim, adds cushioning – and added around 10mm to the head tube.

We’ve criticised the value of Pinarello bikes in the past, but the Rokh has a better package than we’ve seen from the company before: full Shimano Ultegra is a good start, followed up with a carbon seatpost, nicely finished carbon/aluminium stem and a well-shaped bar. The Selle Italia Most saddle is comfortable too. Pinarello has specced Continental’s Ultra Sport tyres, a huge improvement over the own-brand rubber it was using before.

At 8.32kg the Rokh is heavier than some of its rivals, and a lot of that is down to the frame – Pinarello claim that the 53.5cm size weighs 1,225g. Add in the fork, and the chassis weighs well in excess of 1.5kg, but it’s all too easy to get hung up on weight. The Rokh simply doesn’t ride like a heavy bike because factors like the asymmetric rear end work so well. 

This is a long-wheelbase sportive bike with a solid frame; accelerate hard and you can feel the rear tyre deforming, such is the immovability of the stays. That all makes it sound like it’s going to be a stiff, uncompromising ride, but thankfully this isn’t the case. Vibration from the rear is minimal; it’s not plush, but it is smooth.

 The feeling from the front is pretty well matched, albeit perhaps a little firmer, though we suspect some of that is down to the slender aluminium bar and thin bar tape. The frame’s solidity creates a rewarding response when pressing hard, backed up with a front end that stays welded to the road.

Pinarello’s in-house brand Most provides its Wildcat wheels, which are perfectly good and stayed flex-free and quiet over bumpy terrain. The bike’s not in the same smooth-rolling league as Trek’s Domane but its clever ride combines a big slice of race bike flavour with just the right amount of endurance attributes added to the mix.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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