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So far it’s a solo ride.

BOTW: A Red Rocket Pinarello Dogma F

Brennan Wertz |

AC's Brennan Wertz may have concluded his gravel season, sealing the year with a fine 7th at Big Sugar Gravel that came only a week after he secured 3rd place in the Quadrupel Crown of Gravel series, but he's already back on the road, building his engine for the big efforts ahead. And his bike of choice? None other than a tricked-out Pinarello Dogma F. Keep reading as Brennan takes you on a tour of this exceptional build.

This season, I've had the privilege of riding the bikes of the iconic Italian brand Pinarello. I've been racing and training on numerous Pinarello road and gravel bikes all year, but we haven't been able to do a full BOTW feature on one of my bikes yet. However, a few weeks back, AC's Service Manager, Robert Gee, completed the build of my new Pinarello Dogma F, giving me the perfect opportunity to walk you around the bike.

While I may be a 'gravel guy', I still do most of my riding on the road. The reason is simple: the road makes it much easier to complete my training efforts. Of course, I spend plenty of hours each week exploring on my gravel bike and honing my off-road riding skills, but when it's time to smash out a big set of intervals, I almost always reach for my road bike and opt for the quality, consistency, and repeatability that the surface affords.

Fortunately for me, my bike sponsor Pinarello makes some darn good road bikes! So in this feature, I'll highlight the careful choices I made when scoping out this read rocketship.

THE FRAMESET

Pinarello Dogma F // Eruption Red // 59.5cm

The Dogma F is the flagship road bike from Pinarello. The Dogma line has won numerous Grand Tours, Classics, and Monuments in the world tour. And of course, the Dogma F is the frame the riders from the Ineos Grenadiers squad are racing at all of the biggest World Tour races in Europe. And it's the bike I get to do the majority of my training on.

Pinarello Dogma F

DRIVETRAIN

This bike is dressed head to toe in Shimano's finest: the new 9200 Dura-Ace groupset. Shimano has always been known for its lightning-fast shifting, bombproof durability, and clean aesthetics. So when building up my Dogma F, this new groupset seemed like the best choice. And my initial rides have confirmed that, but more on that in a moment.

While Shimano's flagship road groupset is incredible as a standalone system, at Above Category, we like to take things to the next level and upgrade our bikes to eke out additional performance gains. Fortunately for me, I work closely with our Danish friends at CeramicSpeed, and they were in full support of helping me create an all-out race bike with no stone left unturned. When it comes to performance, their coated ceramic bearings are very hard to beat. Pretty much every bearing on this bike has been upgraded, from the bottom bracket, Oversized Pulley Wheels, headset, and hub bearings, all the way to the pedals bearings in the Dura-Ace pedals. And to top it all off, CeramicSpeed offers their products with some colorful anodization options, so naturally, I went with red to match the bright frame. With all these coated bearing upgrades and a chain optimization (I always use their UFO Drip chain lube), I believe I'm making somewhere in the neighborhood of 15-20 watt savings. That is massive!

Pinarello Dogma F

Pinarello Dogma F

And on top of that, these products are seriously durable. So durable that CeramicSpeed backs them with a lifetime warranty. Now that's what I'm talking about.

In addition to the CeramicSpeed upgrades, I opted for the SRM PM9 power meter, paired with Shimano's 12-speed 54/40t Dura Ace chainrings. The German power meter is a must for a bike that will see countless hard training sessions and interval sets. The SRM units are second to none in terms of accuracy and precision due to their meticulous design and manufacture. The gearing is undoubtedly a bit on the 'stiff' side, but I appreciate having the bigger gears for higher-speed training on flatter and more rolling terrain. Maybe not as much for the steep pitches of Mt Tam though.

COCKPIT

The Dogma F is a fully integrated bike featuring Pinarello's own Most Talon integrated bar/stem combo. Due to my rather extreme fit, I opted for the 140mm effective stem length and 440mm effective bar width option (measured outside-to-outside). This is the longest and narrowest option available, something I appreciate when motoring along on fast roads, trying to maintain as aerodynamic of a position as possible.

Pinarello Dogma F

WHEELS

For the wheels, I chose the new Lightweight Obermeyer Evo, although I'll probably rotate the wheels on this bike and use my Fernweg Evo 63s as well. The Obermeyers are a recently-released option from the legendary German carbon wheel brand. Additionally, these wheels are what Lightweight refer to as 'Schwarz Edition', meaning they have more understated decals and feature hubs upgraded with CeramicSpeed bearings. Earlier this summer, I was able to tour their HQ and factory in southern Germany, further strengthening my love and appreciation for their attention to detail and quality. And the best part about these wheels is the ride quality. There is truly nothing quite like them.

Pinarello Dogma F

These über-light, über-stiff wheels are wrapped in the finest rubber from Rene Herse. I opted for the 700x28c Chinook Pass with the Extralight casing for this build. These tires are silky smooth, supple, and as grippy as they come. Over the last year or two, they have become my go-to tire for pure road riding.

Pinarello Dogma F

EPHEMERA

Most bar tape, titanium hardware, Arundel team-edition bottle cages, a Form Cycling Throne RS Carbon saddle, and a Garmin Edge 1040 Solar round out the build.

Garmin Edge 1040 Solar

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

There's no other way to describe this bike than an absolute rocket ship. The Dogma F frame, paired with the Lightweight Obermeyer Evo wheels and the SRM PM9 Crank, is a seriously stiff combination. In the last few weeks, I've logged over a thousand kilometers on this bike, mainly in the mountains around Boulder, Colorado, as I prepped for the final gravel races of the year. What has struck me most about this bike is how unbelievably quickly it accelerates due to the aforementioned stiffness.

Another element of the Dogma F I have come to appreciate on the mountain roads in Colorado is how well it descends. The bike has been ripping the Rockies' high mountain descents.

The final attribute of the Dogma F that has really struck me right off the bat is how smooth it is. Sure it is stiff and feels like an all-out race bike, but the Rene Herse rubber and silky smooth CeramicSpeed bearings make for sublime ride quality. Sure, I'll feel a big crack in the road or rogue pothole, but when cruising along a smooth road, the Dogma F almost feels like it's riding itself.

I hope you enjoyed reading about this build as much as I have enjoyed putting it together with the help of my amazing sponsors. Please don't hesitate to reach out to me or the friendly folks at the shop in Sausalito if you have any questions about the build or are interested in building up a dream bike of your own!