The $13K Pinarello Dogma XC Bike Exists to Win Gold [Test Ride Review]

Unless you're on the World Cup race circuit, the Pinarello Dogma XC mountain bike probably isn't designed for you.
All photos Jeff Barber unless otherwise noted.

Pinarello is an Italian brand known for their world-beating road bikes, and now they’re applying that winning knowledge to the realm of cross-country mountain bike racing. This isn’t the first time Pinarello has marketed a mountain bike; in fact, the Pinarello Dogma XC isn’t even a new model for the brand, having first debuted in 2013 before quietly disappearing. However it’s clear the latest Dogma XC is not messing around, with Olympic gold medals in its sights. I wanted to see what it feels like to ride a $13,000 top-level XC race bike with the new Fox 32 Step Cast fork so I took the Pinarello Dogma XC bike for a spin at Sea Otter just before the official launch.

Pinarello Dogma XC specs

  • Suspension travel: 100/90mm front/rear or 120/100mm front/rear
  • Claimed weight: 10.45kg (just over 23lb)
  • Price: $13,000 as tested. $6,000 frameset

The Pinarello Dogma XC frame is designed to deliver stiffness where it counts… which is apparently pretty much everywhere. Pro racer and defending Olympic champion Tom Pidcock reportedly had one main request which was to make the bike as stiff as possible. The bottom bracket gets a lot of attention in particular with a unique triangle-within-triangle design that allows for an oversized main pivot bearing. Another upshot to the design is that the dropper post cable should be easier to route through the frame.

Pinarello is using an unusual two-piece, split rear triangle design that eliminates the bridge found on most full suspension mountain bikes as shown above. This allows for short chainstays — just 425mm for all frame sizes — and also improves clearance for wider tires while reducing the number of spots for mud to accumulate.

Like most modern full suspension cross-country bikes, the Pinarello Dogma XC makes use of flex stays to keep the weight low. The bike can be set up with either 100/90mm of suspension travel front and rear or with 120/100mm which allows racers to adapt the bike to various courses throughout the World Cup season. Doing so reportedly doesn’t change the kinematic of the bike and simply involves swapping out the fork and shock.

I tested a size XL bike with a 505mm reach, 68° head tube angle, and roughly 74° seat tube angle. The low (for XL) 620mm stack height makes for a significant saddle to bar drop, made even more dramatic due to the drop-angle cockpit and my 6’3″ height.

Pinarello utilizes an integrated handlebar stem combo that’s been designed specifically for the Dogma XC. The cockpit is 760mm wide and is available in 60mm and 80mm stem lengths. There’s also an internal steering limiter that prevents the bars from rotating more than 60° in either direction.

Based on my quick test ride at Sea Otter this week it’s clear the Pinarello Dogma XC is designed for racing, pure and simple. The pedal power transfer is instantly recognizable, especially starting from a stop. The feeling is not too far off some of the gravel bikes I’ve ridden, and it’s easy to imagine jumping off the starting line ahead of the pack with such a stiff and efficient platform.

A 3D printed chain keeper with the lower frame triangle at right.

Naturally the Pinarello Dogma XC excels at climbing as well. I surprised myself by spinning the rear tire on some of the steeper, gravel-covered climbs, unaccustomed to delivering so much power directly from pedal to wheel. Body positioning is key on a race bike like the Dogma XC, and pros like Pidcock and Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, who both won the World Championship on the bike last year, are able to easily transition to the Dogma from their cyclocross and road bikes. For a trail biker like me? It’s a very different experience.

Descending on an XC race bike feels a lot different compared to the trail bikes I’m used to riding. Here again, body positioning and weighting the bike is the key to control. Despite the flyweight of the Dogma XC, it still includes a proper dropper post and sufficiently wide tires that handle well in a variety of conditions. For me the biggest thing to get used to on a bike like the Pinarello Dogma XC is the saddle-to-bar drop that has me feeling like I’ll scrape my chin on the front tire at any moment.

The Dogma XC is one of the first bikes we’ve seen with the new Fox 32 Step Cast fork featuring the Grip SL damper and reverse crown design. Based on my brief test ride the new damper feels familiar with responsive handling and is nice and stiff in the locked out position.

At first I was afraid the World Cup and Olympic gold medal paint job would make me feel like an imposter pedaling around the XC race course at Sea Otter. Instead I mostly just felt like a badass. Pinarello is also offering the bike in a black and red paint job for riders with more modesty than me.

It’s clear the Pinarello Dogma XC is a racer’s mountain bike with few if any compromises to appease the general buying public. And for good reason: it’s likely this bike will win an Olympic medal (or two) in Paris this summer.