- Super-smooth ride
- Has the famous Dogma shape
- Easy geometry
- Expensive for a 105 bike
- Low-spec wheels
Price as reviewed:
The Gan is the entry-level Dogma-shaped carbon Pinarello but it’s more than just a cheap copy of the multiple Tour-winning bike Froome Dog, G and the rest of the dudes ride.
In fact, Pinarello is virtually promising a religious experience: The name Gan comes from Gan Eden, Aramaic for Garden of Eden because, according to Pinarello, it provides “maximum pleasure for cyclists.”
Pinarello says the Gan frames derive directly from the original Dogma F8, but they are less “extreme” and aimed at everyday riders.
Dogma and Gan share the familiar and iconic shape: the wavy Onda fork, the gently arcing top tube, the swan-neck seatpost and the elegant curve of the rear stays. The Gan is also built around very similar geometry to the Dogma F8, which handled famously well, while the endurance-focused Gan K that we’re reviewing has slightly slacker geometry – 72° instead of 73° at the seat and head tubes.
It also has the flatback tube profiles first seen on the Dogma F8 as well as the asymmetry concept, where the tubes of the main triangle are ‘moved’ to the right of the bike to offset pedalling forces and supply a more balanced ride.
A mix of Toray carbon-fibre is used which is strong but not as stiff as that used in the more expensive race bikes and also heavier – but crucially that makes the Gan more affordable.
At 8.45kg in this Shimano 105 disc version with Mavic Aksium wheels, the Pinarello Gan K Disc is never going to trouble the UCI’s weight limit. But, as we always point out, which of us couldn’t lose a few kilos ourselves if we really wanted to climb faster?
Mavic Aksiums, the French brand’s entry-level wheelset, are good, solid training wheels but lighter, carbon ones would supply more responsiveness and better aerodynamics. We rode the Pinarello Gan K Disc with Shimano Dura-Ace C40s and Giant SLRs as part of our carbon-deep section wheel test in the April 11 issue of Cycling Weekly. Its weight dropped well below 8kg and the ride was, as we expected, transformed.
Bar and stem are by Pinarello’s house brand MOST: the stem has a teardrop-profiled back with matching, watt-saving spacers, while the bar is compact and keeps the drops within easy reach.
What the Pinarello Gan K Disc does really well is long, lumpy rides at a decent pace. My first time out on it was a three-hour Sunday jaunt with ‘the fast group’ into Kent.
Doing three hours on an unfamiliar bike isn’t always sensible, but the Pinarello Gan K fitted so well that it immediately felt right. Possibly the most surprising thing about it was that it didn’t have the tight, twitchiness of a race bike yet the average speed was pushing up towards 20mph. It felt smooth above all, the flattened FlexStays allowing extra rear end compliance, making up for a relatively short seatpost.
I’m still not always convinced of the need for disc brakes on all road bikes but in this setting they enhanced the smooth feel. There was standing water and debris all over the lanes, but the 105 discs with big 160mm rotors front and rear performed brilliantly. After a couple of hours the painful grinding noise of abrading rim-brake tracks announced the group’s arrival at each sharp bend and it was nice not to be contributing.
I rode the Pinarello Dogma F8 at its launch in Italy in 2014 and was struck by its balanced, ride feel – it was not the aggressive top pro race bike I’d been expecting. The Gan K has that same refined, nuanced handling despite being ‘entry level’, quite a bit heavier and aimed at endurance riding rather than racing. Although many brands claim the DNA of their top race bike runs through the whole range it’s not always this detectable.
Pinarello has captured the magic of the Dogma in a much cheaper bike that has its own identity and purpose. It’s not the cheapest for what it is at face value but, hey, it’s a Pinarello. Naming it after the Garden of Eden might be slightly overstating it, but the Gan K deserves to win Pinarello a few more devotees.
Frame: Toray T600 asymmetric
Fork: Onda carbon
Groupset: Shimano 105 hydraulic disc
Wheels: Mavic Aksium
Tyres: Vittoria Zaffiro Pro 25mm
Bar: MOST Jaguar alu
Stem: MOST Tiger alu F-series
Saddle: Fizik Antares
Sizes: 51, 54, 57, 60cm
Weight: 8.45kg (size 57)