Product Copy: Pinarello Dogma 65.1 Think 2

Published on Competitivecyclist.com (copyright reserved)

Pinarello is a true Italian company, and in the spirit of a country obsessed with style, the engineers at Pinarello are possessed to relentlessly pursue perfection -- even if the product has already reached a pinnacle in the eyes of onlookers. Such is the case with the Dogma. Working with professional cycling teams around the world to rewrite what had already been ground-breaking asymmetric conventions, they developed the Dogma 65.1 Think 2. Now Pinarello has taken it one step further, if that is even possible, with the Pinarello Dogma Hydro 65.1 Think 2 Road Bike Frame.

In its quest to create the next Dogma successor, the Italian engineers reached out to their Japanese carbon fiber suppliers at Torayca and flatly challenged the composite giant to improve upon its flagship 60HM1K cloth. The end result? The Dogma 65.1 Think 2, hewn from Torayca's all-new 65-ton 65HM1K Nano-alloy Carbon Fiber -- a carbon that's more rigid and reactive than anything that Pinarello has ever used on a bike frame. A full 65-tons per square centimeter, to be exact. The increased rigidity allows Pinarello to use less carbon fiber in key areas, thereby lowering the weight of the Dogma and dispelling myths that the Dogma is not a bike for climbers. When you think of the 65.1 Think 2, you may think of Britain's Team Sky, perhaps because this bike has been ridden by a Sky rider to Yellow in France for two consecutive years.

Even with new carbon, the Dogma 65.1 Think 2 follows in the same mold and distinct identity of the Dogma 2, which, of course, retained much of the asymmetrical shaping of its predecessor. And while the bloodlines of the Dogma are very much intact, Pinarello continues to push the envelope to further enhance the frame's formula. Once again, it has succeeded in the creation of a bike that is stiffer, lighter, and even more responsive than its predecessor. Furthermore, carefully engineered internal cable routing on the new Dogma 65.1 allows for you to easily choose between either mechanical or electronic shifting systems, without any penalty to the bike's aesthetic or its aerodynamic profile. Gone are the days of separate Dogma frames for each system. Instead, the 65.1 features interchangeable cable stops at the frame openings that are capable of being intuitively swapped out should you prefer SRAM Red for one season, then Campagnolo Super Record EPS the next.

During the two years in which the original Dogma sat atop the Pinarello family of frames, Pinarello studied and restudied the forces in action as a rider sprints on the pedals, pulls on the handlebars, and muscles the bike through corners. FEA (finite element analysis) confirmed that the Dogma's asymmetrical design was beneficial in leveling the variances in frame deflection from one side to the other. However, Pinarello knew that it could take the asymmetry to new levels with the Dogma 2 -- continued in the Dogma 65.1. One big change is in the top tube, which has been moved slightly off-center towards the right side of the bike in order to further this effort towards equilibrium.

In addition to this, Pinarello addressed another area for potential improvement -- the aerodynamics and stiffness of the front end of the bike. This Dogma is fitted with a 1.5-inch lower headset bearing, which allows a larger diameter steerer tube at the fork crown. The resulting benefit for you is a 19% boost in front end stiffness, which translates to predictable braking and a more precise steering feel. Another part of the fork redesign includes smoother, more aerodynamic fork legs, and a sculpted crown that integrates seamlessly into the reshaped down tube. With this much attention to the asymmetrical design aspects of the Dogma, it's easy to overlook it from a distance. Only when you're close enough to touch it will you really be able to discern the subtle differences. The left and right sides of the bike bear different tube shapes as well as general tube sizes. You're able to see these differences in the top tube, the fork legs, and both seatstays and chainstays.

As with the 60HM1K carbon fiber, Torayca is again using its Nano-alloy technology on the 65HM1K. Alloy nano-particles are embedded into the carbon itself. Upon significant impact, these particles 'explode.' In other words, they absorb the kinetic energy of impact forces so that the carbon itself won't have to. The other advancement of note on this Dogma is the actual manufacturing process employed in its construction. Pinarello starts with a polystyrene form as a base for the initial layup of material -- a method which is significantly more precise, as each layer is placed exactly where it is designed to be according to the FEA testing. In this regard, it's a more reliable and consistent method than molding with an internal bladder. The use of polystyrene also results in even compaction of the laminate, with less wrinkling of the carbon material or trapped gas or resin that causes structural weak spots over time. The form is removed with a recoverable solvent. A cross-section of this Dogma frame will reveal a surprisingly smooth finish that nearly matches the outside.

The frosting on the cake is that this version of the Dogma is disc-brake compatible. It features Pinarello's Onda HD fork which has been exclusively designed to handle the unique stresses of a disc-brake system.

The Pinarello Dogma 65.1 Think 2 is available in 13 sizes from 42 to 62cm and in the colors Black/red gloss. The frame comes standard with disc ready Onda HD asymmetrical carbon fiber fork, a Pinarello integrated 1-1/8 to 1.5in press-in headset, and a Dogma 2 carbon fiber seatpost. It requires an Italian bottom bracket and a braze-on front derailleur.

Product Copy: Ridley X-Fire

Published on Competitivecyclist.com (copyright reserved)

Disc brakes have finally taken hold in cyclocross and answering the call, Ridley, the Belgium titan whose bikes have helped win multiple National and World cyclocross titles, has taken its much lauded frames and made them disc-ready. The Ridley X-Fire Disc frame's innovative design and disc brake compatibility easily make it Ridley's most advanced and compelling frame to date.

Ridley's X-Fire Disc frame has been constructed from 24-ton carbon fiber and features a full-carbon 4ZA Oryx fork. To manage the load forces from the new disc brake, 4ZA now uses a reinforced lower-leg design. This is beneficial in three ways. First, the massive legs guarantee that you won't experience any lurching or torsion from the caliper. Additionally, the larger blades aid in absorbing any chatter, vibration, or shock from nasty terrain. And lastly, the 1-1/8 x 1-1/2in, oversized design provides unparalleled rigidity. Coupled with the massive head tube juncture, the Oryx fork provides nimble handling and an explosive sprinting prowess — perfect for the short spurts of power required after barriers.

And while the newly redesigned fork is amazing, the frame construction and new features bring just as much to the table. For the carbon itself, the 'T' in 24T stands for ton — meaning that the X-Fire's carbon is capable of withstanding 24 tons of pressure per-square-inch. This level of strength might sound weighty, but the opposite is actually true. Ridley knows that with stronger carbon, less is required to receive greater results. Accordingly, this application sheds weight while increasing torsional and lateral rigidity. Aside from carbon, Ridley's decades of 'cross experience bred a few frame features that you'll be happy to have when you're running in the mud. For one, the X-Fire has a squared top and down tube for a heightened sense of comfort and grip when you're shouldering the frame. In turn, this feature also stiffens the bottom bracket juncture for greater power efficiency. For added protection from the elements, and for unencumbered dis/remounts, Ridley incorporated internal cable routing for the shift cables and the rear brake line. Ridley even designed the fork shape to shed excess dirt and mud.

Of course, the real star of the show is the X-Fire's disc brake compatibility. Disc brakes provide the best stopping power on the market. Cantilevers have never been regarded as the "ultimate" in power or efficiency, and frankly, we're surprised that it's taken this long to witness the shift. Now, the frame has increased mud clearances, and braking is no longer reduced in inclement weather. Also new for the X-Fire is a 135mm rear spacing. So now, you're able to keep your 29er wheelset in the pits as an easy backup or change-out option.

If you're able to think of it, Ridley has already done it. The X-Fire Disc is the culmination of a long list of Ridley innovations -- the first full-carbon cyclocross frame, the first oversized carbon cross fork, and the first 1-1/8 x 1-1/2in cyclocross head tube.

The Ridley X-Fire Disc frame is available in four even sizes from 52 to 58cm in the color Black/white.