We know Pinarello have struck gold with their current road bike designs so the real question was would the Dogma XC continue the winning formula or was it just a place holder in the Pinarelllo line up? My summation was it's no place holder and Pinarello have once again shown they are a innovative, creative design house with top quality manufacturing and real bikes that do a lot more than get the job done.
About the bike. What Pinarello say and how this feels when you ride it.
The first feature Pinarello raise in the propaganda they put out with the Dogma XC was how many manufacturers raise down tubes to avoid the fork destroying the frame in the case of a crash and how this compromises geometry. The answer a cool looking red anodized "fork stopper" on the downtube. Pinarello claim geometry must take priority over other variables. I think this works, it feels like it does.
Pinarello found a way to inject "funky cool" into the design of the seat stays, similar to the Onda fork design it's not quite clear if this is an exact science but like the road bikes you will be a believer once you get to test ride this bike. The seat stays are asymmetrical and designed to divert the shock traveling up from rear wheel to the handlebar. I think it works, at least if feels like it does.
Pinarello had the good sense to move the rear break from the traditional seat stay to the chain stay. The reasoning for this is they can reduce seat stay rigidity and beef up the chain stay. Sounds like a good idea and in practice it works. I can't help but ask whats missing here? Why have the MTB companies not figured this out?
Front derailleur placement is another area Pinarello focused on in the design of the Dogma XC and have come up with a direct mount that has cable routes specific to Shimano and SRAM components. Sounds great.
For the very first time Pinarello have built a bike that has something other than the old faithful Italian threaded bottom bracket. The Dogma XC has a PF30 press fit bottom bracket while the new Dogma 65.1 Think 2 still has the older format. Why? - because Shimano and SRAM don't make Italian bottom brackets. When riding the bike it feels stiff just like a bottom bracket should. When riding the road bike the Italian BB feels just the same. It seems to me like the new style press in bottom brackets require more maintenance and I have to imagine this was a consideration for Pinarello when designing the bike. Either way the company has now made the jump and it's going to be interesting to see how the mountain bike impacts the road bike design. Think disc brakes for road.
Pinarello use much of the same materials and manufacture process to build the Dogma XC as they use in the road bikes. While MTB designers have a lot of areas to work on in design like shocks, brakes etc road manufacturers have a lot less, after geometry it's down to weight, stiffness and compliance so arguably Pinarello step into the MTB arena as the leader in carbon design and manufacture. Something like an Olympic track sprinter coming to a local crit.
Cables are all internal - great because you don't have the cable lugs on the top tube that snag your leg and look awful.
Rear drop-outs are standard quick release which seems fine for the rear and the Fox fork offered with the frameset is a 15mm thru axle which makes me believe Pinarello are a road company that understand more than just road they get the of-road thing as well. The demo bike had a standard quick release but the product manager at Pinarello USA insisted on the stiffer 15mm thru axle. Good call guys!
About the ride.
Loved everything about it. The Dogma XC was perfectly balanced and the ride was flawless, it's by a long way the best 29er I have ridden.
Fork: FOX 32 29er fork included with frameset.
Headset: Pinarello Internal headset included with framset
Rear Stay: Onda XC™ Carbon 60HM1K very interesting in how it is designed to be stiff yet offer comfort.
B.Bracket: PF30 Press FIT
Weight for raw frame: 1050gr (Size M)