The Dogma 2 is the latest version of the flagship road racing machine from Team Sky bike partner Pinarello. We take a look at the details that make this bike special.
Team Sky has been riding Pinarello’s new Dogma 2 bike since the Tour de France 2011 and team riders have already bagged multiple victories aboard the new bike, including Edvald Boasson Hagen's two stages win in cycling's biggest race.
The latest Grand Tour success was Chris Froome's epic victory on stage 17 of the Vuelta a España and he says the new bike, “feels more responsive than the Dogma 60.1 and it certainly seems lighter as well. Those two things are exactly what professional riders look for in a bike so I really do think it is about as close to a dream bike as you can get right now.”
The Dogma 2 is the successor to Pinarello’s acclaimed Dogma 60.1, which introduced asymmetrical frame design to the Pinarello range. The thinking is simple. A bike is not symmetrical; the transmission is on the right hand side of a frame. Therefore the frame should be stronger and stiffer to handle chain forces on the side where they are greatest.
Using finite element analysis and lab testing Pinarello studied the forces acting on each side of the frame. The design of the Dogma 60.1 reflected this research with tube shapes and carbon fibre lay-up tailored to handle the forces acting on the frame.
For example, the Dogma 60.1 and Dogma 2 have different left and right chainstays, with more material where the right stay meets the bottom bracket, and a beefier tube toward the left hand rear dropout. The top tube is shaped differently on each side, and the right fork leg is bigger than the left.
For the Dogma 2, Pinarello has taken this idea further, and made some additional changes to improve stiffness and aerodynamics while saving 30g over the original Dogma.
The biggest change – literally – is the new fork and head tube, which now uses a 1.5 in lower bearing instead of the previous 1.25in. Increasing the size of the bearing means the steerer and head tube are bigger and therefore stiffer. That improves handling in corners and in straight line sprints, and makes the front end stiffer against braking forces.
Froome appreciates the resulting handling. “You can really push the bike to its limits whilst feeling safe at the same time,” he says.
A completely new fork slips into the new larger head tube. The Onda 2 fork is more aerodynamic than the original Onda, and has a shaped crown which fits into the down tube to improve airflow to the frame.
Moving backwards along the frame, the down tube has been reshaped for better aerodynamics, and is asymmetrically shaped, and the top tube is slightly off-centre in a further development of the asymmetric design concept.
Internal routing for gear cables or wiring is a further aerodynamic improvement on the Dogma 2. Pinarello makes two versions of the frame, for cable-activated gears or electronic systems; Team Sky is fully equipped with Shimano’s Dura-Ace Di2 gears.
If you really want to understand the nitty-gritty of a bike, the people to ask are the mechanics who work on them every day. Team Sky head mechanic Rajen Murugayan is very pleased with the way Pinarello have taken team feedback on board.
“The Dogma 2 is totally different from the Dogma 60.1 because the guys at Pinarello have really listened to what we have had to say about tweaks and improvements we needed on the bike,” says Murugayan. “For instance, the head tube is a little bit higher and the bearing is larger now on the down tube which improves the core stiffness and helps with descending. It has been a great collaboration so far, for sure.”
The Dogma 2 is tidier internally too, thanks to the advanced construction technique Pinarello uses to make Dogma 2 frames. The moulding process for most carbon fibre frames involves using a rubber bladder to pressurise the structure from the inside. The Dogma 2’s multiple layers of carbon fibre are laid over a polystyrene form and pressurised from the outside. This means the inner surface is smooth, which helps strengthen the frame and improve longevity. The polystyrene form is dissolved out with a recyclable solvent.
For Froome, the sum of the new features more than adds up to a great bike. “Everything just feels so smooth,” he says. “There are absolutely no speed wobbles, no matter how fast we are descending, and the balance of the bike is second to none. Those aspects really boost your confidence.”
It’s not just about handling and technology though. Froome also likes the look of the Dogma 2. “The fact that it looks cooler is also a big plus,” he says. “The paint job, design, and build of the bike are top-notch and we definitely still have the best-looking rides in the peloton.”
The Pinarello story
While Pinarello prides itself on leading the pack in modern bike design, it has remained true to its family roots, and the story of the company known as 'Cicli Pinarello,' stretching back to 1952, is synonymous with cycling history in the second half of the twentieth century.
It is a story of humble origins and hard work; of romance and of glorious success.
Giovanni Pinarello was born, the eighth of 12 brothers, in Catena di Villorba in 1922. Like so many rural Italians, he developed a passion for cycling, began racing, and in 1947, aged 25 and after over 60 victories as an amateur, he turned professional, scoring five wins over the next seven years.
His career as a pro' cyclist overlapped, however, with his new vocation - building bicycles. In fact, Giovanni took his first steps as a frame-builder when he was just fifteen, and helped in the Paglianti factory; but the Pinarello family's connections with the industry stretched back even further, to 1922, when Giovanni's cousin, Alessandro, made bikes from a small factory.
In 1952, as his professional career came to an end, Giovanni opened his own factory in Treviso, where Pinarello is still based to this day. But the opening of the factory owed rather a lot to a major disappointment. Giovanni was forced to give up his place in his country's national tour, the 1952 Giro d'Italia, for a promising young Italian rider, Pasqualino Fornara. His sponsor, Bottechia, offered him a small fortune, 100,000 Lire, to miss the race - a sum of money that was invested in the Treviso factory and store.
As he began building bikes, Giovanni Pinarello's connections with the world of professional cycling proved crucial; he knew that by working closely with the top cyclists and teams he would be able to develop race-winning bikes, and that the resulting publicity would cement his reputation as a leading frame-builder, and help his company to grow exponentially.
In 1957 the small la Padovani team raced on Pinarello bicycles, and in 1960 Pinarello took a step into the world of big-time professional racing with his sponsorship of the Mainetti team. Six years later came a first international win - Guido de Rosso's victory in the Tour de l'Avenir.
And in 1975 came success in the big one as far as Italians are concerned - the Giro d'Italia, courtesy of Fausto Bertoglio.
In the 1980s Pinarello confirmed itself as one of the world's leading bike manufacturers by winning some of the top races, including the 1981 Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España; the 1984 Olympic road race in Los Angeles; and in 1988 the biggest of all bike races, the 1988 Tour de France, thanks to Pedro Delgado.
Then, of course, came Indurain in the 1990s, who, as well as his five Tour victories, won the Giro on two occasions, the Olympic time trial, world time trial and claimed the hour record - all on Pinarello bikes.