Pinarello’s F-series bikes are the most successful in the peloton, propelling Team Ineos (formerly Sky) to seven of the last eight Tour de France titles. So the new F12 has a lot to live up to.
Outwardly, it’s similar to the F10. It’s only when you drill down that you notice subtle yet, according to Pinarello, significant improvements.
The one-piece Most (Pinarello’s component brand) Talon Ultra cockpit supersedes the Talon Aero, integrating the cables and hoses fully internally through the frame. It’s a claimed 5 per cent more aero than the Aero and 40g lighter.
The one-piece Most Talon Ultra cockpit integrates the cables and hoses internally through the frame for claimed aerodynamic gains. David Caudery / Immediate Media
Bike of the Year 2020
The Pinarello Dogma F12 Dura Ace Di2 Disc is part of our annual Bike of the Year test.
Head to our Bike of the Year hub for the full list of winners, categories and shortlisted bikes, as well as the latest reviews – or read our behind-the-scenes feature on how we tested Bike of the Year 2020.
The headset’s grown to accommodate the internal routing, which also bolsters lateral rigidity upfront.
The fork’s curvy design, seen on the F10, is designed to dissipate road buzz by lengthening the path and offsetting the front axle.
A larger headset has been used to accommodate the internal cabling. David Caudery / Immediate Media
On the F12, it’s deeper below the fork crown to better channel air and reduce the impact of front-wheel turbulence. On tarmac, the front-end retains the F10’s stiff, direct feel, yet doesn’t tip into discomfort.
As you’d expect, slipstreaming tricks are many. The transition between head tube and fork is more aerodynamic than the F10, while the down tube’s Kammtail design is a proven wind-cheater.
There’s plenty of slipstreaming built into the design with a more aerodynamic transition between head tube and fork, and a Kammtail design on the down tube. David Caudery / Immediate Media
Cleverly, the down tube’s concave section shields the bottle cage, while Pinarello’s repositioned the seat-tube water bottle lower than the F10, sheltering it behind the down tube cage.
The down tube’s concave section shields the bottle cage. David Caudery / Immediate Media
The bottom bracket shell’s shaped like that seen on Pinarello’s Bolide TT bike, albeit on a smaller scale, resulting in a 7.3 per cent aero gain over the F10.
The asymmetric rear, pioneered by Pinarello in 2009, counteracts drivetrain forces. Disc bikes also need to account for imbalanced braking forces, which is why the fork’s asymmetric, too.
The chainstays are large and almost box sectioned; on the F10 they were curvier. Pinarello says that this has elevated lateral stiffness by more than 10 per cent.
The chainstays are claimed to elevate lateral stiffness by more than 10 per cent. David Caudery / Immediate Media
Tyre clearance is also more generous with the F12 now rated to 28c tyres, though in reality the 37.5mm clearance means a 30c tyre should fit with room to spare.
Pinarello Dogma F12 Dura Ace Di2 Disc ride impressions
The MOST Lynx NS carbon saddle was a comfortable and light weight perch. David Caudery / Immediate Media
The bike’s powered by Dura-Ace Di2. The 50/34, 11-30 gearing is a great spread, while the Most Lynx NS saddle’s a superb addition to the short-seat revolution. The carbon hull and rails keep weight to 150g, while the padding’s comfortably compliant without feeling overly soft.
The F12 rolls on Pirelli’s brilliant P-Zero tyres sitting on Fulcrum’s Wind 40 DB wheels. We rate the wheels highly, as arguably we should at £1,099.
Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 with 50/34, 11-30 gearing. David Caudery / Immediate Media
At 1,680g a pair they’re reasonably light, roll beautifully, pick up quickly and cope well with crosswinds. But on a bike at this price tag, I’d expect something higher grade and lighter such as Fulcrum’s Speed line with ceramic bearings.
Back to the 865g frame, you can see the Grand Tour heritage because it’s so impressive in every condition imaginable. On the flat, it’s speedy; on ascents, the stiff chassis maximises every ounce of effort; when things turn technical, it reacts quickly but controlled.
The F12 has embraced disc brakes. David Caudery / Immediate Media
The downside is the cost. It’s one of the most expensive superbike propositions around and, for five figures, I’d like every component to be the pinnacle.
That said, I have a feeling that an F12 customer is happy to buy into Pinarello’s story whatever the cost.
Pinarello Dogma F12 Dura Ace Di2 Disc geometry
Sizes (* tested): 42, 44, 46.5, 47, 50, 51.5, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57.5*, 59.5, 62cm
Seat angle: 73 degrees
Head angle: 73.7 degrees
Seat tube: 55.5cm
Top tube: 57.5cm
Head tube: 16.3cm
Bottom bracket drop: 7.2cm
With thanks to…
BikeRadar would like to thank 100%, Q36.5, Lazer, Garmin and Facom for their support during our Bike of the Year test.