Pinarello’s Gan range incorporates disc and rim versions, including the K version (with a more relaxed geometry and comfort orientated back-end) and even two GR models aimed at gravel riders – the GRS features the DSS1.0 suspension system first seen on Team Sky’s Roubaix special Dogma K8S.
- The Pinarello Gan 105 is one of our Bike of the Year bikes for 2019. To read reviews of the other contenders and the categories tested across road, mountain and women’s bikes, visit our Bike of the Year hub.
This, the standard Gan, is derived from Pinarello’s racing thoroughbred the Dogma F8 — the bike Team Sky was winning on before the F10 — and as soon as you start riding, its racing qualities shine through.
The responsive nature of the solid frame, constructed with T600 grade carbon, is as good as many pro-level bikes I’ve tried.
The geometry is equally aggressive, with a steep 73.7-degree head angle and 73-degree seat combined with a low stack (for a large frame) of 590mm and a decent reach of 395mm, which is pushed out further by the spec of a long 130mm stem on my 57.5cm test bike.
This means a flat-backed and speed-orientated ride position, which perfectly suits the Gan’s demeanour.
All this race-orientated character could mean a bike designed only for battle-hardened racers, but that’s really not the case with the Gan. Yes, it’s a firm ride, but it’s never uncomfortable.
I’m impressed with its chameleon-like nature: it can feel stiff and uncompromising when you’re out of the saddle and in the drops sprinting, or up on the hoods and stomping on the pedals on a steep incline, but when you’re sitting up and rolling along, this tiger of a bike is every bit the pussycat when it comes to reducing road noise and vibrations.
The gearing is more recreation than race, mixing a 50/34 with an 11-30 cassette. That’s no bad thing when it comes to the climbs, and a 50/11 is a big enough top-end for all but the most capable of high-wattage sprinters.
The Gan’s handling is quick: that steep head-angle combined with the kinked-Onda fork (43mm offset) makes for a bike that reacts instantly to steering inputs.
You can change direction fast, slotting through the tightest gap, or darting around potholes and ruts.
Being derived from the older Dogma does mean a few carryovers, though. Tyre clearance isn’t quite what I’ve come to expect and the 25c Vittorias its running are the largest it’ll take, so if you favour bigger volumes you’ll be looking elsewhere.
You can often pay a premium for Italian bikes, but at £2,500 for a full Shimano 105 and quality Fulcrum wheels (the broader rimmed R7 LG), the Gan is as good as the competition when it comes to components.
Pinarello provides its own MOST branded bar and stem, and I like the mid-compact shaping of the Jaguar bar, the semi-flattened, ovalised top provides a great alternative handhold.
The generous proportions of the drops also make it easy to get a comfortable, unrestricted grip.
The Tiger stem is generous at 130mm, and the teardrop-shaped head tube is mirrored by the headset spacers and the stem’s clamp section.
The stem and steerer connection is unconventional, with two T25 hex bolts pushing against an internal wedge, but it works well, and it’s a neat and simple solution for clamping an aero-shape to a round tube.
The drivetrain is, as we often repeat, solid and dependable Shimano 105. The Gan’s internal cable routing is well thought out so there’s no friction slowing the shift speed or the braking response.
The 105 rim brakes are based on the latest Dura-Ace design and work seriously well; good on feel and powerful with it.
The best rim brakes combine quality calipers with machined alloy braking surfaces and while they can’t quite match disc brakes for controlled power and all-weather accuracy, they’ve served us well for decades and shouldn’t be dismissed.
If you’re the type of rider who wants to continue with rim brakes over discs then the Gan is a fine example of just how good classic rim brake bikes can be.
Yes, the Gan might be based on a slightly outmoded design, but that design was damn good and a Grand Tour winning one at that.
It’s light for the specification and has sharp handling, all of which adds to my respect for this great bike.
Pinarello Gan 105 specifications
- Sizes (*tested): 44, 46.5, 50, 51.5, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57.5*, 59.5cm
- Weight: 8.53kg
- Frame: T600 carbon
- Fork: T600 carbon
- Chainset: Shimano 105, 50/34
- Cassette: 11-30
- Derailleurs: Shimano 105
- Shifters: Shimano 105
- Wheelset: Fulcrum Racing R7LG
- Tyres: Vittoria Zaffiro Pro 25c
- Stem: MOST F-Series Tiger alloy 130mm
- Bar: MOST Jaguar AR alloy
- Saddle: Fizik Arione
- Seatpost: Carbon aero
- Brakes: Shimano 105
Pinarello Gan 105 geometry
- Seat angle: 73 degrees
- Head angle: 73.7 degrees
- Chainstay: 41cm
- Seat tube: 57.5cm
- Top tube: 57.5cm
- Head tube: 18.4cm
- Fork offset: 4.3cm
- Bottom bracket drop: 7.2cm
- Stack: 59cm
- Reach: 39.5cm
- Price: £2,500