What We Know About The Race Winning Pinarello Dogma XC

by | May 15, 2023 | Bike Check, Bike, Bike Events & Racing, Events, Sports, UCI MTB World Series 2023

It is very Italian.

Pinarello is not a company that likes plain and simple and the Pinarello Dogma XC is a bike that expresses that! Their exotic bike designs are well known around the world from their road racing frames that incorporate interesting curves and bends into their design, to the prototype Dogma XC frame being raced to World Cup podium glory by Tom Pidcock and Pauline Ferrand-Prevot.

What We Know About The New Pinarello Dogma Xc
An aggressive stance from the Dogma XC of Tom Pidcock. (c) Pinarello

Pinarello dabbled in the mountain bike world over a decade ago with a rather extravagantly designed XC hardtail and now they are working with two of the fastest mountain bikers in the world to develop a racing winning cross-country bike and it seems they are on the right track! The bike is still in its prototyping phase and won’t be available to the public until March 2024 reportedly but here are some interesting things to note on the design of the Dogma XC.

Overall design of the Pinarello Dogma XC

The Pinarello Dogma XC has a top tube mounted rear shock offering 90 or 100mm rear travel paired to either 100 or 120mm fork. The frame is carbon fibre and that is notably impressive given the recent commencement of development (Q3 2022 apparently) and the typically long turnarounds for carbon frames and moulds.

The headset angle of the bike is reported to be 67.5 degrees on the small and medium sizes but will steepen up to 68 degrees on the large and XL frames (possibly to keep the wheelbase a little shorter). The medium frame has a reach of 455 mm but other than that geometry info is thin on the ground for the prototype bike.

What We Know About The New Pinarello Dogma Xc
Tom Pidcock performs at UCI XCO World Cup in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic on May 14, 2023 (c) Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool

Stiffness in the BB region

In the development phase of the bike, Tom Pidcock was very clear that the bike needed to be very stiff around the bottom bracket area for effective power delivery when making aggressive attacks. To achieve this Pinarello have designed a brace of sorts above the bottom bracket that should increase lateral stiffness as Tom requested.

What We Know About The New Pinarello Dogma Xc
In engineering design triangles are strong and having more lateral material here will increase stability. (c) Pinarello

Unique rear triangle design

While flexible seat stays (connecting rear axle to the rocker link) are increasingly popular on modern XC bikes such as the Orbea Oiz, Giant Anthem, Specialized Epic, and others, what Pinarello have done by removing the bridges between the two chainstays and / or the seat stays is not a very popular design and in actual fact are a pending patent by Pinerallo. These bridges would typically enhance the lateral stability of the rear triangle for effective power transfer. Pinarello have removed them in order to increase mud clearing around the BB area, keep the chainstays short, and make room for a 2.35” rear tire as well as a 40 tooth chainring.

More lateral flexibility could make the bike perform better on off-camber trails and flat corners but I would assume that Tom and Pauline would prefer better power transfer. There might be some magic at work here to retain stiffness in the rear linkage of the Dogma XC but we are yet to see how it works.

What We Know About The New Pinarello Dogma Xc
Split Stays are a bold move from the Italians! (c) Pinarello

Electronic suspension from SR Suntour

Efficient suspension has been an increasingly crucial part of the puzzle at World Cup XC racing and Pidcock has been riding the electronically controlled TACT suspension from SR Suntour since the Olympics held in 2021. While this product is also in its prototyping phase and not available publicly yet, there are rumours that there will be some consumer versions of the system available in 2023 and more volume into 2024.

The system is housed within the fork, shock, and frame with no clear controls on Tom’s handlebars meaning that it is entirely automated, and apparently very effective! The system appears to be controlling the compression damping and locking out of the fork and rear shock. Cory Benson did a deep dig on it for BikeRumour and it seems to have a very innovative compression valve system that makes the range of damping much more usable, rather than an on / off switch.

Tom did lose traction on two significant occasions during the weekend’s XCO at Nove Mesto causing a dismount on a rocky climb and a crash later in a technical corner, but attributed these to hard tire pressures and wet conditions. Regardless of the cause of those issues, SR Suntour’s system seems to be operating excellently and will challenge the likes of Fox’ Live Valve and Rock Shox’ Flight Attendant, at least on performance.

What We Know About The New Pinarello Dogma Xc
90mm or 100mm at the rear. (c) Pinarello

Modular suspension mount for different travel options

Looking at the rear shock of the Pinarello Dogma XC you will notice that there is an interesting looking mount for the head of the shock. This is apparently a modular mount that can be swapped out and paired with a different shock for the frame to alternate between 90mm rear travel (and paired with 100mm fork) or 100mm rear travel (with 120mm fork).

I assume the different mounts would also help maintain the geometry of the bike with the variations in fork travel and don’t just allow for a 10mm change in rear wheel travel, that would seem a bit too extra (though fairly Italian).

On the topic of suspension travel, it is interesting to see that they are going with 100mm at most on the rear when we are seeing more bikes like the Scott Spark, Orbea Oiz and even the Cannondale Scalpels raced by the CFR crew. Maybe we will see a longer travel version at a later stage or this setup is working optimally for the Ineos Grenadiers!

What We Know About The New Pinarello Dogma Xc
The new Pinarello Dogma is quite the looker! (c) Bartek Wolinksi / Red Bull Content Pool

New wheelset from Princeton CarbonWorks

Lastly, we saw that Tom and Pauline were both riding carbon wheels from Princeton CarbonWorks on their Pinarello Dogma XCs. This is Princeton’s first foray into the world of mountain biking and I’m sure they will be pleased with the weekend’s results. The rim has a subtle wavelike design, possibly for achieving an ideal bracing angle of the spokes. It looks tasteful and according to the results sheet, good enough for the best! The rocks of Nove Mesto would have been a good qualifying test for their reliability but we will keep an on them throughout the season.

What We Know About The New Pinarello Dogma Xc
(c) Bartek Wolinksi / Red Bull Content Pool

That about sums up the bikes being raced by Pidcock and Ferrand-Prevot, It was tricky to tell what suspension travel they were running but the 100/120 mm would have made sense for the highly technical course in Nove Mesto.

It was interesting to see the bikes raced by Tom and Pauline’s closest rivals on the weekend Joshua Dubau (Rockrider) and Puck Pieterse (Canyon) were actually very similar in design to the Pinarello Dogma XC, both having flex stays and a top tube mounted shock, though likely being a significant margin cheaper than the yet to be released Dogma being aware of Pinarello’s very boutique brand and pricing. Keep an eye out for more on these other bikes and how they stack up to the Pinarello Dogma XC this week on wildairsports.com 

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