This is the 2013 Dogma 65.1 Think 2. It’s a mouthful, but as it turns out, an important one. The Dogma 2 was launched in 2011 as a 2012 model, and now they were revamping it only 12 months later. The first question we had was why—was the Dogma 2 a dog? A torrent of wins from Team Sky and Movistar, including Tour stage wins and yellow jerseys, is proof the Dogma 2 is a pedigreed racehorse. So why the new model? In a word, materials. Working very closely with Torayca, their Asian carbon source, Pinarello developed a new 65-ton carbon for cycling use. That refers to the tonnage the carbon can withstand per square centimeter. The Dogma 2 was 60 ton, so this, as they say, would be more. The result is more stiffness with less material—a win-win. Considering 60 ton is still absolutely cutting edge, a halo material, 65 ton is truly something special. In a world where marketing slogans allow lower grade carbons to masquerade under generic terms like “high modulus,” it’s refreshing to read a label and know what the ingredients are.
The Dogma 65.1 Think 2 is more than new material, it is a new layup as well. Since the material offers more strength per gram, Pinarello was able to use less carbon, and therefore you will see fewer grams on the scale, 50 less to be precise. All of this graces the old Dogma 2 mold, and when we say old we mean brand new—after all it was a 2012 model year. That mold is the culmination of Pinarello’s long history of asymmetrical design, and it was that mold that first had us questioning our form-over-substance opinion of Pinarello carbon. The reason it challenged that notion was the incredible subtly of that asymmetry. If you don’t run your fingers across the tube shapes you could miss it completely. Clearly there is a purpose to this design well beyond showroom flash.
FEA, CFD and asymmetry
We’re used to seeing asymmetry in bikes, typically chain stays, to deal with the vastly greater load exerted on a bike’s drive side. Pinarello realized that chain forces don’t stop at the bottom bracket. As fibers run through joints so do pedaling forces, and the entire Dogma 2 is asymmetric to deal with this. Unlike the original Dogma that wore its asymmetry on its sleeve, the Dogma 2, while even more asymmetric, is very understated. The drive side has ribbing running along the down tube, top tube, stays and even the right fork blade. This ribbing is all about lateral stiffness while retaining a smooth vertical ride quality; think of it like a piece of paper, fold it down the middle and it gives the smooth wall structure. The rear drive side chain stay, that traditional home of asymmetry, is a very robust shape, a beefy conduit from your cranks to your rear wheel.
All of this asymmetry was refined through finite element analysis (FEA). It’s simply using math to understand how an object bends and twists under load. (My apologies to engineers that spent years studying to understand a process I just vastly oversimplified.) It’s safe to say each and every ripple has a reason for being. Another hot acronym these days was also applied to the Dogma 2, CFD, or computational fluid dynamics. Excuse me while I offend another branch of engineering, CFD is a basically a virtual wind tunnel.
Pinarello discovered the asymmetry of the original Dogmas created some aero anomalies and they set out to solve those issues. The subtle shapes of the asymmetry are part of this—the stays even have some of their asymmetry moved to the interior of the tubes—but the most drastic changes are up front. The head tube has much less shaping and the fork crown now sweeps back to integrate seamlessly with the down tube. The result is a six percent improvement in aero. Not a huge number, but as those gains are seen with every pedal stroke over many hours, they add up quickly.
The frame retains the famous Onda shapes. Meaning “wave” in Italian, the name is obvious. It’s one of the features we always felt was more industrial design than engineering; the theory is the waves present in the forks and stays fool impacts and vibration into thinking they are traveling through a longer tube while letting power and steering input travel a short distance. The Onda 65-ton fork is a one-and-an-eighth to one-and-a-half-inch tapered affair, meaning those Onda fork blades had best work to limit impacts up front. Undoubtedly laterally stiff, many one-and-a-half-inch lower bearing forks are overpoweringly stiff under impact.
The Dogma 65.1 Think 2 has numerous other tricks up its sleeve. The resin system uses Nanoalloy technology to prevent cracks that can occur between layers. While touted as the latest technology on many bikes, this has been present in the Dogma for years, since the Dogma 60.1. The bike is also impeccably routed for Campagnolo Super Record 11 EPS. In fact, we would call it the cleanest electronic routing we have ever seen. The front is void of the tangle we see on some bikes, and as the cables emerge behind the seat post for the front derailleur and from under the chain stay protector for the rear, they are almost invisible.
The rest of the bike’s build is a Campagnolo and Pinarello’s in-house MOST brand affair.
Spinning on Campagnolo Shamal Ultras is always a pleasing thing, and they are the perfect compliment to this Italian brass ring bike. The MOST components are more of a mixed bag. The saddle is a very firm race saddle, most likely a bit firm for many in Pinarello’s very affluent market here in the U.S. The cockpit is a one-piece bar-stem combo. When coupled with the bike’s head tube, the drops become dead flat, so if like many riders, you like a slight downward angle to the ends of your drops, you won’t be able to achieve it with the one piece. Another thing worth mentioning is the “Made in Italy” sticker. The frame itself is laid up and molded in Asia, then painted and assembled in Italy. This isn’t a bad thing, but an important distinction in today’s marketplace.
Balanced, composed, impeccable
All of this will set you back $12,500. How does all that scratch ride? It rides like a lot less. And by that I mean it rides like less equipment. The bike is whisper quiet. In a slight tailwind the Dogma 65.1 Think 2 sounds like a track bike. It is hard to believe a full 11-speed drive train is mated to it. The feeling is one of low friction, of efficiency. Obviously Campagnolo deserves much of this credit, but the entire package presents a more cohesive, unified feel than we have ever experienced before.
The exotic materials pay massive dividends, upping the performance of the Dogma 2 quite dramatically. While the Dogma 2 was undoubtedly stiff, it lacked some of the low-speed liveliness we found in other top-flight race bikes. The Dogma 65.1 Think 2 has this liveliness in spades. There is a drum-like quality to power application, as if there is energy return from the bike—it is feedback that makes you feel powerful, makes your legs feel fresh. Quick accelerations while climbing, or a jump on the pedals to respond to an attack from the bunch are instant, and beyond that, you feel as though you can stay out of the saddle longer, dig a little deeper. Multiple times on the Dogma 65.1 Think 2 I found myself responding to attacks with a pace I didn’t feel I could maintain, yet there I was hanging on to the back of the lead climber’s group right over the summit.
What the Dogma 2 did well was mute the road. For its level of power transfer it was a comfortable ride, especially when it came to small, high-frequency vibration. Pinarello has managed to maintain much of this with the new bike. That same pedal-stroke-by-pedal-stroke comfort is there, however the Dogma 65.1 Think 2 does hit bigger variations in the road with a more resounding crash. It’s a race bike, and if you understand that you will consider the trade-off in liveliness for big-hit compliance a worthy one indeed.
As the mold is unchanged from the Dogma 2, the geometry has been retained and this is a good thing. Our 59-cm test bike has a front center inside of 600 mm and chain stays of only 408 mm. That is a tight wheelbase complemented by a fairly traditional 575 top tube and steep 73.7 head angle. The result is a bike with razor sharp handling that remains totally composed. Flick it from side to side in the bunch, dive into steep, tight corners and the Dogma 65.1 Think 2 will react instantly and precisely. It begs you to dive into corners later and faster, to get on the gas sooner and it does it all without forgiveness for a poor line choice or grabbing a handful of brake in the apex. There is no bike with a better balance of handling and power output, of geometry and materials. Another great thing about the geometry? Pinarello has a whopping 12 different sizes—double the paltry six most brands offer. You will be able to find your fit with a 120-mm stem and no need for a stack of spacers. That makes for a good-looking bike.
You want a combination of mind-bending top-end performance with impeccable road manners. You’d drive an F1 car if Bentley made one, but you may very well have a Bentley in the garage if this bike is in your price range.
The Bottom Line
Weight: 15.8 lbs with Speedplay pedals and two carbon cages
Details: 65HM1K Torayca carbon frame and Onda fork. Campagnolo Super Record 11 EPS, MOST saddle and carbon cockpit with Campagnolo Shamal Ultra wheels