PINARELLO DOGMA K10-S DISK
THIS IS NOT A GRAVEL BIKE, let’s get that straight. (Starting at a staggering R222 000 with Dura-Ace Di2 and Mavic Ksyrium Pro Disc wheels, taking this bike on gravel would be like rallying a Ferrari in the Paris-Dakar.)
This is the successor to Pinarello’s K8-S Classics race bike, and a likely choice for Team Sky in this year’s events. An integral part of its race-focused speed and efficiency is its electronic suspension.
Wait, what? That’s right: The DSS rear suspension that Pinarello first put on the K8-S in 2015 now has automatic electronic control. Called eDSS, the guts of the system are similar: an elastomer spring that, along with flexing chainstays, provides 11mm of travel. A small piggyback reservoir contains an electronically controlled hydraulic damper, which is connected to gyroscopes and accelerometers located in the seat tube that sense vibrations from rough pavement. In either of its two preset automatic modes (Race or Tourist), the shock ‘opens’ within 100 milliseconds of hitting a bump that meets the threshold force, and stays open until the system senses the road is smooth again. There’s also a custom mode that lets you select the amount of force required to open the system, and a manual mode, when the suspension is always open or closed. You can switch modes via an iOS or Garmin app (Android versions are not yet available) or a button on the E-Link control on the down tube. In total, including the shock, battery, sensors, and wiring, eDSS weighs 320g.
The suspension might soften broken pavement and ease medium-size jolts, but this is not a comfort bike. From ride quality to intended use to frame design, the K10-S Disk is still very much a race bike. It uses a lot of the same cutoff-airfoil tube shaping as the F10 raced by Team Sky, and the one-piece, wing-shaped bar/stem. Handling is deft and sure, and if it’s less stiff under power than the F10, it’s only by marginal amounts.
Reasonable people can argue that eDSS isn’t worth the price. But that’s not really what this bike is about. Like a lot of things about racing, the question isn’t how to do it, but whether you can.
What this bike says about you: You wear carbon shoes. And you have a Lamborghini parked in the garage.