- Clearance for up to 28mm tyres
- Budget wheels
- Slightly undergeared for steep climbs
Price as reviewed:
The Pinarello Prince might not quite be heir to the Dogma’s throne – think Jorah Mormont to Jon Snow – but at less than half the price of an F10 teed-up for WorldTour duties, and boasting its own laudable set of bells and whistles, this bicycle can hold its own on the battlefield — indeed the venerable Italian marque’s pure blood traces through the Prince’s lightweight T700 series carbon-fibre frame.
Comprising FlatBack Profile aerodynamic tubing, the Prince is instantly recognisable as a road rig that aims to be piloted as fast as possible – and despite not being allocated the no-holds-barred budget of its all-conquering uncle, it’s more than adequately specced to meet this target.
The build kit also features a bar and stem from Pinarello’s house brand MOst with aerodynamic contours, while the Onda carbon fork — noticeable by its wavy profile (onda meaning wave in Italian) — is said to offer more rigidity and power, with many WorldTour riders praising its descending virtues. Bottle cage bosses are present on the both down and seat tube, with the former perhaps a little low in the frame, necessitating exaggerated movement to free up the bidon… but if anything this keeps you streamlined. In addition, since it launched the original Dogma F8 in 2014 Pinarello has paid particular attention to the placement of its bottle cages, recognising that since bottles will be carried more often than not, the tube shapes in that area of the frame need to be designed around them for best aerodynamics.
Fulcrum’s Racing 5 wheels have been specced, predictably so at this price point. Dressed in Vittoria Zaffiro Pro clinchers, this pairing represents the only facet of the bike that truly begs an upgrade, with Pinarello’s frame-orientated focus eating much of the Prince’s budget.
Powered by a Shimano Ultegra mechanical groupset, it could be suggested that Pinarello has scrimped with what might be considered as mid-range componentry, despite this, Ultegra remains a stalwart performer offering seamless transitions at the back and barely perceptible chainring changes.
I’ve taken the Pinarello Prince over a variety of terrain, from pothole riddled suburban roads (which it quietly and quickly conformed to), to smooth Continental bike paths (which it nimbly skimmed across), to windy alpine ascents (which it was light enough to negotiate without too much drama).
I took it to ride the Vosges climb of La Planche des Belles Filles for a feature in the June 20 issue of the magazine. This not only packs a 20 per cent gradient in the final section, but for this year’s Tour de France the organisers have added a kilometre of unmade track leading to the summit proper, replete with loose gravel and craggy ruts and a hairpin bend with a 25 per cent gradient.
I’d be lying if I said this was negotiated without drama – my colleague and I both fell off and we think the photographer toppled backwards into a gulley at one point – but the Pinarello Prince acquitted itself admirably with just a bit of scuffed bar tape and a grazed pedal. A true jack of all trades.
The Prince sits firmly in the middle of Pinarello's opulent empire and yes, at £3,300 you pay a premium for the name on the down tube. But you also pay for a thoughtfully engineered carbon-fibre frame powered by one of the most consistent and accurate group sets on the market. A fair compromise if you have the cash to spare.
Frame: Pinarello Prince T700 carbon-fibre
Fork: Pinarello Onda carbon with ForkFlap
Groupset: Shimano Ultegra
Wheelset: Fulcrum Racing 5
Tyres: Vittoria Zaffiro Pro 25mm
Handlebar: MOst Jaguar XA
Stem: MOst Jaguar XA
Seatpost: Pinarello carbon 12K with TwinForce seat clamp
Saddle: Prologo Zero II STN