Deep down we all have a desire to own the best bikes on the market—those ridden by our heroes at the biggest races. But you know how it goes: They cost a pretty penny. Most of us can’t afford super-bikes like the Pinarello Dogma F12. And even those of us who can afford them can understandably have a hard time ponying up the cash when the prices head into the five-figure range. Luckily, Pinarello has not so much “trickled down” tech from the Dogma F12 to the new Prince Disk but “cranked the faucet” wide open.
With so many updates to the Prince, there are a lot of places we could begin, but let’s start at the completely internal cable routing. Yes, it’s a pretty standard feature at this point, but it’s incredible how significantly this improves the look of a bike. And in this case, the cables are so well hidden that you only see them just as they enter the brakes and rear derailleur. The bike even adopts the same stem-spacer system as the Dogma, imparting the feel of a bike several thousand dollars more than the actual $5,500 price of the Ultegra Di2 version.
In addition to the tidy cable routing, much has been done to the tube shapes to increase the aerodynamics. An enlarged head tube, necessitated by the internal cable routing, created enough space to integrate the fork into the down tube for better airflow. Meanwhile, a redesigned bottom bracket allows the seat-tube bottle cage to sit lower, better shielded from the wind. And the concave shape of the down tube helps hide that bottle from the wind as well.
Speaking of the down tube, its widest point remains the same size as on the Dogma, but the overall diameter gets smaller, helping build in more comfort. In the back, square-shaped chainstays—borrowed from the Dogma F12—increase stiffness by 10 percent over round tubes, providing the power transfer expected of a race-oriented frame. And like we have seen on Pinarello bikes for a while, the Prince’s tubes are asymmetric, with the drive-side being larger to counteract the uneven forces applied to the drive-side while pedaling.
But perhaps the most significant changes have been made to the geometry. The Prince is intended as a race-oriented frame, but with a slight edge taken off compared to the Dogma. That means it features a slightly higher stack and less reach. And to maintain a similar ride quality for every frame size, Pinarello has kept the trail constant throughout the range on nine frame sizes, which meant increasing the rake in the smallest sizes.
It would be easy for a brand with as much prestige as Pinarello to fall back on the reputation of its name when making lower-tier frames. But the Dogma lineage, as well as Pinarello’s decades of experience dialing in race-bike geometry, really shines through in the Prince. The fit is well thought out, allowing for an aggressive position while being slightly more comfortable than the Dogma.
Though heavier than the Dogma, the Prince manages to provide an energetic, responsive ride. It lacks the edge of the Dogma, but it still inspires plenty of speed and makes for one of the more stand-out second-tier frames we have come across.
There is no denying, however, that this bike looks beautiful and distinctive. The seat post painted to match the frame is an especially nice detail. And the large, asymmetric tube shapes of the Prince deliver a look that is quintessentially Pinarello. If you want Dogma-inspired looks and a ride that is very much descended from that stellar race bike, the Prince awaits.