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Pinarello Dogma K10S Disk review

3 Apr 2020
Verdict:

Pinarello's Dogma K10S Disk is a world class frame but we still haven't seen the much-hyped electronic suspension system

Cyclist Rating: 
For 
A world beating frame with clever engineering to improve comfort • Fantastic ride quality and handling
Against 
Difficult to buy electric suspension system • Expensive build considering components

The Pinarello Dogma K10S might not be the bike you were expecting. We may as well clear that up first. The story starts back in 2015 when Pinarello unveiled the Dogma K8S, a road bike with a suspension unit at the rear that was designed to take on the savagery of the cobbled Classics.

Two years later the K10S was unveiled to much fanfare. It boasted an electronic version of the suspension unit, called eDSS, which used accelerometers and gyroscopes to control the behaviour of the suspension, adapting it to changes in terrain.

Now we have the K10S Disk (their spelling, not ours), which comes with disc brakes and is presented in Pinarello’s marketing blurb as having the eDSS as standard.

However, the bike we have here is the K10S Disk without the electronic suspension system. It does have a suspension unit, but it’s the non-electronic DSS 1.0 version (as seen on the K8S). What’s going on? It’s hard to tell.

 

If you look online for a K10S Disk, it will almost certainly have a picture of the bike complete with the eDSS, and a pricetag of £5,000 for a frameset. But that price is actually for the non-electronic suspension version, as shown here. Apparently the K10S Disk is available with the eDDS unit, but for £6,700 (frameset) and with a 90-day wait.

However, we couldn’t find anywhere that had one in the flesh, and Pinarello wasn’t willing to divulge how – or even if – we could get hold of one.

Moving on

Let’s return to the K10S Disk we have here. It may not have an electronic ‘smart’ suspension system, but the original DSS 1.0 unit is still a fairly decent – and simple – solution for comfort.

The unit at the top of the seatstays contains a polymer that compresses under load, and it can be altered to increase or decrease the level of compression.

It was created for then-Team Sky’s Classics riders, although in the event most of them preferred to use the version of the bike with no suspension at all, the K10. Most likely, they disliked any sacrifice in stiffness that the junction could have created.

With that in mind, it’s interesting to see that the rear triangle on the new K10S Disk has been beefed up, with much wider, flattened chainstays. It also shares the F10’s chunkier aerodynamic tube shapes. However, the most stark departure is the addition of disc brakes.

 

Much like the Dogma F10 Disk (Pinarello’s top-end race bike), the new braking system has been well integrated into the frame design. Crucially, the front fork and rear stays have not been overbuilt, despite no doubt needing extra strength to tolerate the disc brake callipers.

The whole assembly looks discreet and understated, with the aerodynamic ‘fork flaps’ going some way towards covering up the front wheel disc rotor.

In terms of geometry, the K10S frame has more fork rake than the F10, longer 415mm chainstays and a slacker head tube angle. This makes for a longer wheelbase and so more stable behaviour on rough terrain or descents.

Suspension of disbelief

In the time I spent riding the K10S Disk, I kept a close eye on the rubber O-ring  that measures travel on the DSS1.0. Most of the time it moved within a range of around 3mm during a ride, and over really tough terrain around 6mm or 7mm.

That isn’t actually a huge amount of travel, and I would describe it as taking the edge off a super-stiff aero bike such as the F10 rather than transforming the ride. It’s more like a dash of soda in your whisky than it is a full-on cocktail. It does deserve praise, though.

Pinarello’s system isn’t meant to turn a race bike into an easychair. It aims to diminish harshness while retaining road feel, and it does so very well. The bike remains stiff from front to rear, and if I were blindfolded I would have a tough time telling it apart from the F10 (granted, I’d also crash quite a lot). The K10S Disk really is a blazingly quick bike.

While perhaps the minor weight and geometry differences between this bike and the F10 Disk give the latter the edge when it comes to sharp handling and steep climbs, the K10S Disk is still very much a race bike and not a Sunday cruiser.

The K10S also feels a little more stable than the F10, which can sometimes be a tad skittish over rough surfaces. It tracked the road with more certainty, as if glued to the tarmac.

Perhaps that’s down to the rear shock unit; perhaps it’s due to the longer chainstays. Whatever the reason, it works. Overall, the sensation of riding the K10S Disk is an almost perfect marriage between sharp and smooth. It seems to coast over cobbles and rough roads, yet rumbles just enough to remind me of the road terrain and give a sense of speed.

 

Like most top-end Pinarellos, the ride quality is what sets it apart from many competitors – it almost feels reverse engineered from the instincts of a WorldTour racer. However, as much as I love the ride, I feel the real merit of the K10S Disk over the standard K10 is the use of disc brakes rather than the suspension.

Clever as the latter may be, I feel I could achieve the same improvements in comfort simply by adjusting tyre width and pressure. Certainly the DSS 1.0 doesn’t offer the game-changing level of comfort that, for example, Trek has managed with the Madone’s IsoSpeed decoupler.

Another issue I have with the Dogma K10S Disk is the price. To some extent, price is irrelevant for a dream bike like this, but even if you’re happy with paying £5,000 for the frameset, I’m slightly at a loss as to how the overall price hits £10,500.

I reckon I could put this bike together for a little over £8,500, buying the frame and sourcing the same components separately online. And I’m pretty certain I could find someone to put it together for less than £2,000.

Still, these gripes shouldn’t detract from the fact that Pinarello has created a bike that rides superbly in a wide range of conditions. I just wish that I’d had the chance to try out that elusive electronic suspension.

Spec

Frame Pinarello Dogma K10S Disk
Groupset Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 Disc
Brakes Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 Disc
Chainset Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 Disc
Cassette Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 Disc
Bars Most Talon Aero 1k integrated bar and stem
Stem Most Talon Aero 1k integrated bar and stem
Seatpost Pinarello carbon 
Saddle Most Eight 3K
Wheels Mavic Cosmic Pro Carbon SL UST Disc, Pirelli P Zero Velo 25mm tyres
Weight 7.8kg (56cm)
Contact pinarello.com
Price: 
£10,500 (£5,000 frameset)

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