Advertisement

Sign up for our newsletter

Advertisement

Pinarello Gan Disc road bike review

17 Jul 2020
Verdict:

It’s got the looks, but with its low spec the Dogma stardust somehow doesn’t rub off on the Pinarello Gan Disc

Cyclist Rating: 
For 
Dogma looks • Good power transfer
Against 
A harsh ride on UK roads • Quite heavy • Low spec for the price

Its shape may be familiar but the Pinarello Gan Disc is the brand’s starter bike albeit with the distinctive looks of the all-conquering Dogma.

Drop down a notch and the Razha’s even more wavy profile and more rounded tube shapes mirror that of Pinarello’s older generation bikes like the Dogma 2. Not that that bike was any slouch, being Bradley Wiggins’s Tour de France winning bike in 2012.

The Gan inherits its shapes from the Dogma F8 – again a Tour winner under Chris Froome in 2015 and 2016. Pinarello has moved on two generations from the F8 now, with the Dogma F10 getting new aero flourishes mirrored in the Prince, the next step up from the Gan.

The current Dogma F12 increased the level of front end integration for, Pinarello says, even better aerodynamics and yet another Team Ineos Tour win in 2019.

Buy the Pinarello Gan K Disk from Hargroves Cycles 

 

Asymmetric design

At the forefront of the Gan Disc’s design are the aero tube profiles developed alongside Jaguar and tested in the car maker’s wind tunnel. The FlatBack truncated aerofoil tube profiles explain the frame’s chunky looks.

There’s some sculpting in the top tube and the head tube has a frontal prominence to help cut through the wind. Those wave forks with their deep section integrate into the front of the frame and bow out bandy-legged from the crown to reduce aerodynamic interference with the front wheel.

 

The Gan Disc inherits the Dogma’s asymmetry too. It’s not too obvious until you take a closer look, but the chainstays and seatstays have very different shapes and thicknesses left and right, to cope with the differential forces on the rear triangle from the drivetrain and brakes. They meet in an elegant, slim bridge that melds smoothly into the seat tube.

 

As you’d expect, the Gan Disc is made from lower spec carbon fibre than Pinarello’s pricier bikes – in this case Torayca T600. That ups the weight over pricier machines, particularly when building more complex aero frame elements like the Gan Disc’s.

With a bike weight pushing 9kg, that’s something you notice when the road heads up – fortunately the 50/34 chainset and 11-30 cassette give you the gear range to compensate.

 

A bumpy ride

When I’ve ridden Dogmas, I’ve always been impressed by how lightly they wear their superbike credentials. Despite being fast, they’re just about compliant enough that you don’t feel beaten up after longer rides. Even after four hours in the saddle, I was ready for another three hour ride the next day the last time I rode a Dogma F12.

Buy the Pinarello Gan K Disk from Hargroves Cycles 

Pinarello’s bikes are built for speed, something that has trickled down to the Gan. It feels properly stiff, with good power transfer meaning that you can make pretty rapid progress on flat roads. Its aero features make for a fast ride feel and it’s very planted and assured on rapid descents.

 

But the chunky aero carbon seatpost transmits quite a lot of road buzz through to the Pinarello own brand Most Lynx Aircross saddle. That’s a shorter design at 245mm long and has fairly minimal padding and a large central cut-out. I found it didn't really suit my anatomy so it wasn't the most comfortable place to spend long hours.

In contrast, I found the front end of the Gan Disc pretty compliant. There’s a Most-branded stem and bars with the teardrop shaped carbon headset spacers adding an aero flourish.

The Most Jaguar XA bars have broadened tops. Whether they contribute much to aerodynamics is moot, but they do lead to a comfortable hold and better pressure distribution to the palms of the hands than a round section.

 

A sub-par spec

Pinarellos don’t come cheap – witness the Dogma F12’s £10,000-plus price tag. But even so, the Gan Disc must be one of the only Shimano 105-equipped bikes to command a £3,000 sticker price – most brands will offer you Ultegra or better when you’re spending this much.

Shimano 105 is very good and does the same things as Ultegra, but it’s not quite its match in shifting quality and you’re adding around 200g additional weight to the bike too.

 

But it’s not so much the groupset as the wheels that let the side down. You can buy a set of Mavic Aksium Disc wheels off the shelf for £245 and they’re a bit of a disappointment in a bike at this price.

They’re a perfectly serviceable pair of wheels for winter use and Mavic’s wheels have a reputation for durability. But there’s no pretension of aerodynamics to the low profile rims, and their 1,900g weight along and the narrow 17mm internal width just don’t complement the aero design and racing bent of the rest of the bike.

The Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Graphene 2.0 tyres come out pretty much exactly at 25mm wide on the Mavic rims. That looks oddly narrow nowadays, with tyre widths trending upwards and even nominally 25mm tyres pushing closer to 28mm on wider rims. Again, they’re serviceable but a bit low budget.

Swapping to deeper section aero wheels with wider internal dimensions helps with ride quality, comfort and speed and matches the rest of the bike much better too. A set of Fulcrum Wind 40 DB tubeless wheels really brought out the Gan Disc’s strengths as a fast aero racer and made for a more comfortable and even ride too, with the lower tubeless tyre pressure and wider section, even with nominally 25mm tyres, helping to smooth out the road.

But an aero carbon wheelset is going to add around £1,000 to the Gan Disc’s price tag, putting it in the same league as some excellent aero competition, like the Cannondale SystemSix and the Trek Madone, which will often already come with a serviceable deep section wheelset.

And that’s where the Gan Disc feels a bit left behind. Being based on a five-year-old frame design, it’s missing out on the latest road bike trends. You can fit 25mm wide tyres in the frame, even on more modern, wider rims, but anything wider would be a push; Pinarello says 25mm is its maximum.

Buy the Pinarello Gan K Disk from Hargroves Cycles 

In contrast, most disc brake framesets, even the Dogma F12, are now built for at least 28mm tyres. That gives you a more comfortable ride – a major consideration for UK-based riders.

If you simply must have a Pinarello, the Gan Disc satisfies that need for the least outlay. But you’d be better off pushing the boat out and heading up the range to get the proper Pinarello race winning feel to your ride, or looking at newer, higher specced aero machines from the competition.

Spec

Frame Gan Disc, T600 carbon, Onda carbon fork
Groupset Shimano 105
Brakes Shimano 105 hydraulic disc
Chainset Shimano 105, 50/34
Cassette Shimano 105, 11-30
Bars Most Jaguar XA alloy
Stem Most Tiger
Seatpost Gan carbon
Saddle Most Lynx Aircross Light Manganese
Wheels Mavic Aksium Disc, Vittoria Zaffiro Pro 2.0 25mm tyres
Weight 8.96kg
Contact www.pinarello.com
Price: 
£3,000

Read more about: