Pinarello Dogma F12 Disc Review -- 4,000 miles @ Sea Otter Classic 2022


I could have written yet another review on how great and dividing F12 looks, analyzing the curves, and comparing its aerodynamics and characteristics to other bikes.  

But that has been done many times already.  

Instead, I ma going to write about my impressions from a recent Gran Fondo, especially since I have ridden 4,000 miles on this bike at this point.

So here we go.  I am an XL rider, weighing 230 lbs.  And here is my story.


April 9, 2022.  Sea Otter Classic 2022.  GranFondo Carmelo.  Mile 24 of 92.  I have been riding for a little over an hour.  After a slow mass start, I have been passing most of people on my way.  I don't feel tired a bit.  It almost feels like the bike is riding itself.  It is not the lightest bike, but the aero and asymmetric design helps the bike to slice through the wind.  Every bit of my effort seems to go into the forward motion. 

The first rest stop is coming up.  I reflect for a moment.  3 years ago, I did the same ride on a 2018 Specialized Roubaix.  It was slower and not more comfortable than my Dogma.  I did not feel fresh by the first rest stop then.

Back to Gran Fondo.  My Dogma F12 is flying, so I am deciding to skip the rest stop.  


Rolling hills
dominate the landscape between the rest stops 1 and 2.  I accelerate quickly and keep the speed at 25 mph easily, which helps me fly up the small hills and blow by many riders.

Zipp 404 Firecrest wheels are deep and light enough to maintain the high speed.  These rolling hills are fun!

The second rest stop comes up very fast at mile 43.  I still don't feel tired, but I force myself to stop and stock up on water and some food, as I know a big climb is coming up. 


The stop is at a beautiful Zabala Winery.  It is one of the highlights of this ride.  As I turn left, I ride through a gravel corridor with rows of tall trees on each side.  

There is food, water, and amazing volunteers that smile and keep the spirits high.  I meet Zabala, who is the owner of the winery.  She is nice, friendly, and welcoming.  I make a mental note to come back and enjoy some wine.


I feel like I want to stay here, slow down and take in the stunning view of the fields, vineyards, and the mountains.

But it is time to roll.  Mountains are calling me.  I am back on the bike.  The gravel is grinding under my tires for a minute and then I am back on the road.

I force myself to pace and slow down and feel OK with people passing me.  I will pass many of them later.


The climb starts.  First it is at 2-3%, then it gets longer and steeper.  People start stopping to get rest.  I am powering through. 

My back is starting to hurt.  I remind myself to sit straight and the pain eases.  My Dogma feels stable, smooth, and efficient.

Halfway through the climb, I meet Jenny and we climb together.  It feels easier this time around.  The place where I used to stop is behind me and I am not even tired.

We are almost at the summit and an amazing scenery opens up.  I stop for a second to take a picture. I get back in the saddle.  I ride for 10 minutes and then the climb is done.


Rest Stop 3. I discover pickle juice shots at the rest stop 3.  I run into some old friends.  Several people are admiring the Dogma F12.  The curves, the color, the standout design.  It is like no other bike.  It never fails to get attention.

I leave the rest stop after 5 minutes for a very fast descent.  Dogma feels solid and confident.   The bike feels like it is on the rails.  Schwalbe Pro One Evo TL 28mm tires feel fast, comfortable, and confident at 40 mph even over severely chopped up asphalt.


Then comes the head wind.  It starts as a breeze, then it strengthens.  "Gail warning" pops up on my Garmin Edge.  My Dogma is unaffected.  I am going 20-25 MPH against the wind with a moderate effort.  A pair of riders that was trying to keep up with me falls behind and disappears.

Soon I roll into the Carmel Valley village with cute restaurants, shops, and cafes.  I notice a coffee shop with an Italian flag and stop for a cappuccino.

As I roll into the final rest stop at mile 84, I mentally prepare to what lies ahead.  The last five miles pack a lot of climbing at grades between 8% and 13% with the grand finale of 16%-17% for the last mile.  That part is never easy.   

These two climbs prove to be tough.  Not quite brutal, but long, steep, and painful.  I keep my pace. I go slow. I don't give up.  I embrace the pain.  

Here is the last climb.  Here is the 16% climb sign.  Here are people giving up mentally and getting off their bikes to push them up.  Here I am forcing myself to keep pedaling.  My body is screaming, but I am smiling. And before I know, it is the finish line!  

92 miles and 6,170 feet of climbing are done in 6 hours and 25 minutes.

I grab my finisher's medal and head down into the festival area.  

Sea Otter Classic is an amazing celebration of everything cycling. 

I run into some of my favorite cycling brands and have good chat with folks Fizik, Continental Tires, Zipp, Smith, and Enve.  I run into friends from Mikes Bikes in Los Gatos, CA.

I head out to Pinarello booth.  The F12 is there.  The new F is there.  The new Prince is there.  The Borealis color is there.  Pinarello's innovation and style are revolutionary.  Dogma transforms your ride.  F12 is a pinnacle of road bike innovation and truly a transformative experience.


  


This year's Gran Fondo is done.  I head home to prepare my 2022 Santa Cruz Blur for a 26-mile / 3,100 feet XC mountain biking adventure with my son next morning.  But that is a whole different story!

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