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RCUK100 - Pinarello Dogma K8-S road bike

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Pinarello Dogma K8-S

Innovative cobble-buster designed for Team Sky

Way back when, certain teams used a bike in Paris-Roubaix equipped with Rock Shox suspension forks. This was, and still is, a source of great hilarity among many in cycling despite the fact powerful French hero Gilbert Duclos-Lasalle won two editions of the race on that bike in a row, and Andrei Tchmil added another for good measure a year later.

Anyway, the point is scepticism/cynicism and cycling tend to go hand in hand. Which surely has to be at least part of the reason why most brands, despite ever increasing new technologies and  tube shapes, tend to stick to the fundamentals when it comes to making bikes, and avoid anything too outlandish. Not Pinarello. Step forward the Dogma K8-S.

Most brands, despite ever increasing new technologies and tube shapes, tend to stick to the fundamentals when it comes to making bikes and avoid anything too outlandish. Not Pinarello.

Last year, the Italian cycling institution unveiled a bike that really turned heads. It was designed in conjunction with engineers from Jaguar (just like the Dogma F8) from the partnership the two began through their mutual association with Team Sky.

The design, as you can tell, is based heavily on the Dogma F8 bike Team Sky ride day-to-day but with one key difference: it has an elastomer-based suspension system at the back called the DSS 1.0.

RCUK100 - Pinarello Dogma K8-S road bike

What you have on the K8-S is even more rudimental: an elastomer. Essentially, it’s a polymer designed to take the edge off uncomfortable road surfaces by dissipating a bit of the vibration before it gets to the rider.

The partnership between Jaguar and Pinarello was instrumental in the design of the K8-S, with the British firm providing valuable knowledge and data about how to measure and remove the road vibrations using shock absorbing suspension technology.

Actually, thinking about it as a suspension system in the Rock Shox sense isn’t actually all that helpful, it’s more of a shock absorber. Suspension on mountain bikes is most commonly either an air spring (essentially a chamber filled with compressed air) or metal springs. What you have on the K8-S is even more rudimental: an elastomer. Essentially, it’s a polymer designed to take the edge off uncomfortable road surfaces by dissipating some of the vibration before it gets to the rider.

And Pinarello haven’t stopped there. Along with that suspension comes what they’re calling flex stays, chain stays designed with greater compliance than those on the F8, to add a little more comfort on top of the DSS.

RCUK100 - Pinarello Dogma K8-S
RCUK100 - Pinarello Dogma K8-S
RCUK100 - Pinarello Dogma K8-S

Impressively, seeing as the back end of the Dogma K8-S is like nothing else on the market, Pinarello have stayed strong with the conventionally mounted rear brake, rather than opting for something placed on the bottom bracket.

The main reason for this is the front end of the bike is the same design as the Dogma F8, so to change that would have meant a redesign of something they were already intending to use. The front triangle on the K8-S is also the same as the Dogma F8. Given the Dogma F8 is Pinarello’s aero road bike, it’s clear the Italians see the K8-S as way more than the gimmick some tried to boil it down to on its release.

The F8 claims to be 47 percent more aerodynamic than the previous Dogma 65.1, so it’s a fair assumption that, given the K8-S uses the same front triangle, it is at the very least reasonably aero, which is something a lot of classics bikes don’t focus on, instead putting the onus squarely on comfort.

Impressively, even with the added technology, the Dogma K8-S frameset still weighs in at under a kilo – 990g in fact – for a medium. It’s not going to arouse the interest of weight weenies, but it’s far from heavy and weight is far from the biggest of worries across the cobbles, anyway.

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