REVIEW: PINARELLO DOGMA 65.1 THINK2

This article was originally published on BikeRadar

Pinarello's new Dogma 65.1 Think 2 flagship may have an awkwardly long name but you forget all about it once you're out on the open road. Despite what has always felt like overwrought hyperbole and hype, it seems the generous praise that has surrounded Sky's curiously curvaceous team-issue rig is all true. Few – if any – superbikes we've ridden in the past can match the Dogma 65.1 Think 2's freakishly improbable combination of ride quality, stiffness, and handling.

Ride and handling: magic in two-wheeled form

It's difficult to describe in words the rolling contradiction that is the Dogma 65.1 Think 2.

On the one hand, it's remarkably smooth on rough pavement and even flattens out nastier bumps like frost heave while still maintaining a firm and racy personality. However, while bikes this comfortable are also often lacking in road feel, the Dogma 65.1 Think 2 somehow manages to still send a steady stream of information through the handlebars and saddle as to what's going on down at the tire contact patches.

For example, one of our typical test routes involves a long stretch of irritating chip seal that can typically buzz your hands into lifeless stumps on an ultra-stiff machine. However the rough texture was barely noticeable on the Dogma 65.1 Think 2, gliding across the pavement as if it were fresh blacktop but yet still letting us know the ground below was less than ideal – almost as if you were watching the whole thing from afar on HD.

Likewise, the bike is at the same time inordinately comfortable but yet exceedingly efficient, not so much getting the job done with brutally obvious rigidity but more with a stealthy and highly refined quickness that's somewhat muted by the eerily capable vibration damping. The Dogma 65.1 Think 2's impressive stiffness doesn't so much slap you in the face as it does brush your cheek with a feather and despite the subtler approach, we still found ourselves absolutely flying on familiar short-but-steep pitches that require a quick burst of power. Moreover, that smoothness also left us feeling fresher – and faster – at the end of longer rides, particularly ones involving lots of dirt roads.

That rigidity isn't just isolated to the back end, either, as the ultra-stout front end also helps define the Dogma 65.1 Think 2's otherwise standout quality: the precise and predictable handling. At moderate speeds, the bike feels unusually agile with a turn-in that requires the utmost in attention – the bike doesn't so much want to lean into turns as it wants to dive bomb them with an aggressive turn-in. However, higher velocities thankfully mellow the Dogma 65.1 Think 2 out a bit with better – but not amazing – stability to help keep things calm when in a full tuck or swooping through corners.

That all being said, Pinarello's latest Dogma iteration may be lighter than its predecessor but it's still a bit heavier than some other modern superbikes. Our accelerated test period unfortunately didn't allow time for our usual teardown procedures but Pinarello claims 920g for a "raw" 54cm sample. Add in the bike's typically generous coats of flashy paint plus the requisite derailleur hangers and seatpost collar and you're easily over the 1kg mark.

In addition, the requisite fork comes in around 370g and the proprietary carbon fiber seatpost isn't particularly svelte at nearly 200g.

Unless weight is your primary concern, though, it's easy to forget that there's any additional mass beneath you. If that's the price to be paid for such awesome refinement, that seems like a worthwhile trade-off.

Frame: asymmetry taken to the extreme

Asymmetrical chain stays and seat tubes are the norm these days but Pinarello has taken the concept to extreme measures on this latest Dogma. Even the top tube is shifted slightly towards the driveside in order to offset inherent differences in how forces are applied to the frame – or at least that's what Pinarello says. If that's the secret to the Dogma 65.1 Think 2's uncanny ride quality then so be it, but it's certainly a tough pill to swallow.

We were similarly skeptical initially about the frame's characteristically wavy fork blades and seat stays but in this case, there actually seems to be some substance afoot. In theory, such abrupt changes in cross-sectional area and shape helps to attenuate certain vibrational frequencies and it sure seems to work – exceptionally well, we might add – despite how hokey the concept sounds on paper. In fact, Orbea has adopted a similar concept on its latest Orca stays.

Aside from the even more asymmetrical tube shaping relative to the previous Dogma 2, the new model's biggest changes are a move to Torayca's more advanced 65-ton carbon fiber material (hence the bike's awkward name) and a newly convertible internal routing setup that accommodates either conventional mechanical cables or electronic wires with a series of interchangeable, bolt-on ports scattered throughout the frame's surface.

Other tech tidbits include the use of polystyrene internal molds for better fiber compaction and a more consistent internal tube finish, nanotube-enhanced resins that supposedly boost impact strength, and a tapered 1 1/8-to-1 1/2" head tube. Surprisingly, Pinarello outfits the Dogma 65.1 Think 2 with a conventional Italian-threaded bottom bracket.