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Pinarello Prince FX Disk Ultegra review

16 Dec 2019
Verdict:

The updated Prince is a worthy heir to the Dogma's throne and will impress with its speed

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£6,200
For 
An aggressive and fast bike that shares plenty of similarities with the higher-spec Dogma
Against 
Heavy wheels and finishing kit

The Pinarello Prince FX Disk is a bike that serves a very clear purpose for its Italian manufacturer. ‘It should be considered as the affordable Dogma,’ Pinarello’s research and development co-ordinator Michele Botteon tells Cyclist.

And thanks to trickle-down technology, Pinarello has incorporated much of what is found in the top shelf Dogma range into the Prince. An asymmetric frame, aerodynamic Onda fork, Think2 cabling system and Toray carbon frame are all paralleled between the two ranges and to all intents and purposes produce a very similar end product.

At a retail price of £6,200 when specced with full Shimano Ultegra Di2, while it’s rich to call that ‘affordable’, it’s definitely more palatable than the £10,000 price tag slapped onto the Dogma F12 Disk.

Especially when the Pinarello Prince FX Disk happens to ride like your fully-fledged race bikes.

Frame, weight and fit

While the latest F12 has been given a new kinky top tube and therefore forms a noticeably different shape, the frame of its F10 predecessor and the new Prince FX Disk are pretty identical to each other.

With a slightly more shaped fork on the Dogma F10 for better aerodynamics, both share the asymmetric frame, a concaved down tube, with dropped seatstays and a fairly chunky head tube. And the similarities continue when you delve into what has gone into forming the carbon frame, too.

The Dogma F10 uses Torayca T1100 1K DreamCarbon, the Prince FX Disk uses T900 carbon in its construction. Both are also moulded asymmetrically, favouring a larger portion of the frame towards the right of the bike to deal with the added forces put through the drivetrain without detrimental drag.

Being a lower grade carbon it does concede in weight and stiffness but not noticeably. I’ve ridden the Dogma F10 a lot on a range of terrains from Alpine climbs to punchy Kent hills. It’s nippy when you put the power through the pedals and as stiff as a Scotch when climbing the long, steady stuff. I got the same feeling from the Prince FX Disk.

The bike responded in an instant when I put power through the pedals and remained rigid in the longer efforts, too.

Overall, the Prince FX Disk is not as fast a climber as the Dogma F10, and looking back at Strava, my times on this bike were not record-breaking either but I have a feeling this was due more to the overall weight of the bike or the fact I’m not in world-beating form rather than it being down to the frame.

The Prince FX Disk climbed well but impressed me most on the flats. Pinarello has said this bike was designed with aerodynamics front of mind but it is not billed as an out-and-out aero racer like your Specialized Venge or Trek Madone.

Regardless, the bike manages to whip along with the thrust of a man-powered 747 when you decide to give it some lick.

This is in part thanks to the racy geometry that the Prince has also incorporated from the Dogma, with the 55cm frame on test totalling a 387mm reach and 567mm stack, standard for your high-end racers, and when paired with my low and long 120mm stem and high seat height, really had me over the bottom bracket and able to churn big watts in a fairly aero position.

The speed is also thanks to the little finesses that Pinarello has brought to the Prince FX Disk. The most noticeable two being the wheel-shaped down tube and quick release-covering, both borrowed from the Bolide time trial bike, that claims a 10% drag reduction.

There’s also stuff like a second position for your down tube bottle, better guarded against airflow from the down tube, and an integrated head tube to fork that further the bike’s aerodynamics.

Added up, all these aero ‘marginal gains’ give it a ride feel on flat roads that is twitchy and excitable like you get from the best race cut-and-dry aero rigs and just a lot of fun to ride.

Components

Such a fast frame that climbs considerably well, I feel like all would be made a few per cent even better if it were for some higher specced finishing kit.

The Pinarello Prince FX Disk I tested came with an alloy Fulcrum Racing 5 disc brake wheelset. Don’t get me wrong, they are a solid set of wheels that rumble over the crumbling road surfaces of Kent but they are neither that light nor aero.

In fact, they are fairly ‘entry-level’, considering they retail for £335 when sold separately, and a level of wheels I’d probably expect to see on your mid-range endurance bike rather than an aggressive carbon fibre racer.

They are tubeless-ready, though, which is good especially considering Pinarello has allowed for 28mm tyre clearances, a combination that, alongside dropped seatstays, promotes comfort despite the bike having such an aggressive setup.

Ultimately, it was likely that these wheels have contributed to a more affordable overall price but I do feel the compromise may have veered too far in the way of economics away from performance.

More suited to this level of bike was the groupset on show, Shimano Ultegra Di2 disc, a build that’s light, reliable, efficient and perfectly happy in a racing scenario. And with the ICR internal cable routing the bike looks picture-perfect neat with no flapping wires as well.

Price

I’m not going to call the Pinarello Prince FX Disk Ultegra at £6,200 affordable because firstly, I couldn’t afford it so that would be hypocritical and secondly, affordability is a sliding scale dependant on the buyer and their personal finances.

What I would say is that at while it is around 60% of the price of the top-specced Pinarello Dogma F12 Disk, I would not necessarily say the Prince FX Disk is only 60% of the quality of the F12 Disk.

And using that logic, the Prince FX Disk could be considered reasonably-priced.

Conclusion

The Pinarello Dogma has been a dream bike for most UK-based riders since Wiggins rode it to Tour de France glory in 2012.

With the Prince FX Disk, a lot of those dreams can become reality as this bike does a great job at emulating its bigger, more expensive sibling albeit with a few compromises along the way.

Buy now from Sigma Sports for £6,200

Specification

Frame Pinarello Prince FX Disk
Groupset Shimano Ultegra di2 disc
Brakes Shimano Ultegra di2 disc
Chainset Shimano Ultegra 
Cassette Shimano Ultegra di2 disc
Bars Most Jaguar XC Aero 3K carbon  
Stem Most Tiger Ultra Aero 3K carbon
Seatpost Pinarello Prince FX Carbon
Saddle Most Lynx
Wheels Fulcrum Racing 5 DB, Vittoria Zaffiro Pro 25mm tyres
Weight TBC
Contact pinarello.com

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