Our Early Verdict
Serious superbike credentials and finished in a beautiful custom Borealis Yellow Gold that oozes opulence
For many, the idea of riding some of the best road bikes available easily ticks the ‘dream job’ boxes. As tech writers of Cyclingnews, we are in a very privileged position to ride the bikes that we do and get our hands on products that will be nothing more than candy for the eyes and hypothetical spec sheets of dream builds. With the constant flow of bikes coming and going, occasionally something arrives which is just that little bit more special than the rest.
Campagnolo, who recently announced its new Bora Ultra WTO wheelset, were generous enough to send us out a set of the new wheels to test out. While the wheels themselves would be deserving of Object of Desire eminence on their own, the bike which Campagnolo decided to use as their testbed is truly spectacular.
The Dogma F12 frameset
Campagnolo sent a Pinarello Dogma F12, a thoroughbred race bike that is more commonly seen being piloted by Ineos Grenadiers in race coverage (albeit the rim brake version) rather than your local Sunday club ride. The FlatBack aero tube shapes produce what is an incredibly stout and purposeful looking frame. Pinarello has always had a strong visual presence and is arguably the champion of asymmetric frame design, and the Dogma F12 is no different with an aggressive mix of flowing organic and blocky industrial tube shaping. The Dogma F12 frame and Onda F12 fork are made from Torayca T1100 1K Dream Carbon with Nanoalloy Technology - which sounds fancy and expensive.
The frame has been finished using Pinarello’s MyWay custom paint options which allow customers to choose from three standard designs - diagonal, solid and team - and then pick from a range of custom colours. Our bike uses the diagonal design with a shiny Borealis Yellow Gold for the main colour which has been contrasted with a matte black. The main Dogma decal is also black and the detailing is in brushed silver. The end result is a finish that has an intense golden glow when in direct sunlight and is sure to turn heads.
Object of Desire series
- Selle Italia Flite Boost MVDP Edition saddle
- Mathieu Van der Poel's white-shorts race suit
- Rapha Explore Powerweave shoes
- Rotor ALDHU Carbon cranks
- The hidden gems on EF's new jersey
- CeramicSpeed 3D-printed Ti OSPW system
- SRM X-Power power meter pedals
- Rapha x Palace POC Ventral Spin helmet
- Corima 47mm MCC DX tubular wheels
Our Campagnolo test bike obviously came decked out with Campagnolo’s finest, including a drivetrain and brakes from its Super Record EPS electronic groupset. Super Record was the first road groupset to make the jump to a 12-speed rear cassette and this EPS version keeps all of Campagnolo’s popular traits while combining them with the fast and smooth experience of electronic shifting.
The drivetrain combines 53/39 front rings with an 11/32 rear cluster and, by using the Campagnolo smartphone app, shifting and controls can be fully customised. The remainder of the kit comes from Pinarello’s in-house brand Most, which supplies the Talon Ultra integrated bar (44cm) and stem (120mm), carbon seatpost and a carbon-railed short-nosed saddle. The wheels are Campagnolo’s aforementioned new best road bike wheels in a 45mm depth and set up tubeless with Vittoria Corsa tyres in a 25mm width. The full build, including pedals, bottle cages and GPS mount weighs in at 7.87kg.
For those interested in how much something like this might cost, well the current Campagnolo Super Record EPS 12-speed equipped Pinarello Dogma F12 retails for a cool £12,000, but that has the older Bora WTO 45 wheels specced rather than the new Bora Ultra WTO which retail for an additional £1,000. On top of that, standard custom colours are £500 extra, however choosing a Borealis paint option bumps the price up to £1,000. It's safe to say, you will need the best part of £15,000 if you want one to call your own.
When bikes reach this price point, any conversation around value for money is pretty moot. Those who are in a position to buy a bike like this don’t make the choice based on rational decisions, they buy it because of how it makes them feel. It’s hard to put a finger on it but there is a point where performance meets decadence that makes a bike feel truly special to ride. Just like the world of supercars, superbikes may not be the most practical, affordable or even the fastest, but they hold an untouchable quality of passion and desire that accentuates their presence which raises them up on a pedestal.
So far, I have been on a few rides aboard this Dogma F12 and, while I am still tweaking the setup, I’m already a little infatuated. The bike feels commanding, controlled and beautifully effortless on the road. Inputs from the rider, whether they are accelerating, braking or steering, are precise, in tune and natural feeling which is only complemented by the wonderfully smooth wheels which seem to just hold onto any momentum you give them.
Campagnolo has been generous enough to let us have this bike for a while to give the new Bora Ultra wheels a comprehensive review before the sad day where I eventually have to send it back. Until then there will be some ‘good days in the office’ as I log as many miles as possible, all of which I have the pleasure to call ‘work’.
Tech Specs: Pinarello Dogma F12
- Frame: Pinarello Dogma F12
- Drivetrain: Campagnolo Super Record EPS
- Wheelset: Campagnolo Bora Ultra WTO
- Finishing kit: Talon Ultra integrated bar (44cm) and stem (120mm), carbon seatpost and a carbon-railed short-nosed saddle
- Weight: 7.87kg (54cm, actual weight including pedals, bottle cages and GPS mount)
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What is a hands on review?
'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view.
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