Is no longer steel. I’m a little young to have sampled the frames Pinarello chiseled from the earth’s crust for Der Kaiser, but I now understand what riders talk about when they say “…it’s a Pina,” and reference their Torayca-laid wunderbikes.
I’ll admit, I used to be a bit of a hater. “Oh, nearly all carbon frames ride the same”, I’d preach, whenever consulted about the purported dream-like quality of the newer Pinarellos. Of course, I’d never had a real chance to swing a leg over one. Now, thanks to their generous sponsorship of the Competitive Cyclist Racing Team, I can finally sample the bikes many only get to fantasize about.
Down to brass tacks. This frame is a mind-blower. My first time on it, with too-big bars and stem, it was still an epic experience. Stepping on the cranks provides razor-sharp response from the bike, but without the feeling of being beaten around on the pavement. It’s not mushy like a lot of carbon bikes - I’ve never once looked back at my rear wheel thinking I’ve got a flat. No waifish chainstays here. From the front end, the massive 1.5” tapered headtube and fork steerer rail corners with nary a hint of flex.
The bike strikes a perfect balance, in my opinion, between all the polar qualities of a superb all-around race bike. The geometry is incredibly well-balanced. It’s stable on descents and when taking a no-handed feed, but not to the point of feeling slow in corners or in the pack. It’s comfortable over the long haul, but not comfortable enough that you lose road feedback or stiffness. The fit and finish is second-to-none…I often find myself gazing at the bass-boat silver paint accents and getting a little lost. I honestly can’t think of a better bike for us to be on this year.