Pinarello's new XC race bike has already achieved incredible success before even being launched. But while it's a rocketship on the climbs, it descends back to earth erratically, unless your skills are out of this world.

Product Overview

Pinarello Dogma XC


  • * Ruthless focus on climbing performance and frame stiffness


  • * Progressive suspension and traditional geometry make it hard work on tech and descents


I tested World Champion Tom Pidcock’s Pinarello Dogma XC and now I’ve got even more respect for his skills


Price as reviewed:


Designed with the help of Olympic Champion Tom Pidcock, and ridden to victory in last summer’s World Championship XCO event in Glentress, you can’t deny the new Pinarello Dogma XC is officially the fastest cross-country bike in the world. And, like its creator, it’s an aggressive, ‘take no prisoners’ race bike that chews you up and spits you out if you’re not on your A-game. So if you’ve come expecting a fun, trail-ready ride like some of the best cross-country bikes on the market, you’re fat outta luck.

Pinarello Dogma XC race bike

Pidcock’s sweat equity can be seen in the Pinarello Dogma XC’s rainbow/gold paint.

Pinarello Dogma XC need to know

  • World Championship winning XCO race bike
  • Tom Pidcock’s personal geometry
  • 2kg frame and shock, builds into a 10.4kg bike
  • Super-stiff power transfer
  • Premium race components
  • Super-progressive suspension

Frame and geometry

In terms of time spent, there’s not a lot to unpack about the development of the Dogma XC, as it literally went from a team request from the Ineos Grenadiers to rideable prototype in three months, with Tom winning the World Cup at Nova Meste on the bike’s debut. In terms of a product development cycle, that’s unheard of. Which begs the question, how much of the Dogma’s success can be put down to the talent in the saddle, and how much should be credited to the designers? Something to ponder as you read this.

Tom Pidcock XCO World Cup in Mont Sainte Anne, Canada 2023

Tom Pidcock performs at UCI XCO World Cup in Mont Sainte Anne, Canada Credit: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool

The bikes I rode at the launch were the first medium and large sizes Pinarello had made, as both Tom Pidcock and fellow World Champion, Pauline Ferrand Prevot, ride small-sized frames. Pinarello even said it had barely ridden the development bikes in house, as it didn’t want to dilute the priorities of the athletes who would end up riding them. Bold stuff, but a mantra that’s worked very well for the brand with its multi-race and championship-winning road, cyclo-cross and track bikes, so it’s hard to fault Pinarello’s strategy in that respect.

Pinarello Dogma XC race bike

It’s a surprisingly heavy frame for a World Cup XCO racer.

Both Tom and Pauline listed frame stiffness – particularly when standing – as a key performance goal, as both riders have a low cadence, high power pedalling style. That’s the reasoning behind the triangulated bottom bracket and asymmetric chainstays to balance left to right rear end stiffness. That rear end is made in two halves, with no bridges, to keep it super short (425mm). Instead Pinarello locks it together with a massive toothed Hirth joint pivot axle through the centre of the oversized axle. It’s not a svelte solution, and the Dogma XC definitely isn’t the lightest XCO frame around as a result (Pinarello says 1,749g for a small without shock, while the new S-Works Epic 8 frame that I tested recently is the same weight with a shock), but it is seriously stiff under power.

Pinarello Dogma XC race bike

Flex-stays save weight, as does the minimal chainstay protection.

Despite bushings in the neatly interlaced alloy upper linkages, the flex-stays move freely with a lively rebound spring. The machined shock mount can be unbolted and moved forwards to fit a 210x50mm damper if 10mm extra travel is required. As standard, the Dogma XC will ship with Pidcock and Prevot’s preferred* 190x45mm set-up, giving 90mm of travel.

Pinarello Dogma XC race bike

A different shock mount lets you run more travel.

There’s room for 2.4in tyres, and five bottle bolts let you customise your single bottle height, or run two nose-to-tail for Marathon events (Pauline has won World Champs honours in that too). The frame will take a 40 tooth chainring for when Tom is feeling torquey, with a 3D printed guide block to match. Armour is limited to a single skinny strip along the top of the chainstay, and the rear brake mount is a road-style flat mount. The huge number of control lines (five on the left, two on the right) run internally into the frame via the custom one-piece bar and stem.

Pinarello Dogma XC race bike

The flat-mount brake mount is a carryover from road bike tech.

Before you freak out at the geometry numbers, Tom’s coach, Kurt Bogaerts, was on hand at the launch to emphasise that keeping Tom’s position on the MTB as close to his road and cyclo-cross bikes was crucial. Not just for handling familiarity, as he only gets to ride his MTB occasionally, but also to reduce the risk of physical injury. The 480mm reach of the large, combined with an 80mm stem length at a -18º angle certainly feels closer to a road bike than a trail bike. The 68ª head angle is also at least 2º steeper than the latest crop of XCO bikes, and matched to a very restrictive 60º steering lock built into the frame.

Pinarello Dogma XC race bike

You’ll need to take yoga classes to get into the riding position created by the one-piece bar and stem.


With Suntour’s TACT smart sensor suspension still not production-ready, no sign of a new XTR groupset, and Tom often changing wheel brands depending on course/sponsors, the Dogma XC gets a ‘practical’ premium build rather than a true team edition spec. That equates to SRAM XX SL Transmission and Shimano XTR brakes. Fox adds its latest 1,300g 32 Step-Cast 100mm fork, Float SL rear shock and Transfer SL dropper post. DT Swiss XRC 1200 wheels are wrapped in Maxxis Rekon Race EXO tyres, 2.35in front and 2.25in rear. The saddle is carbon railed and the Most Talon XC all-in-one wing bar cockpit comes with a 60mm stem on S and M frames or 80mm on L and XL.

Pinarello Dogma XC race bike

Guy gets lairy on the Pinarello Dogma XC on one of Garda’s rocky trails.

How it rides

Starting lake-side in Garda,  Italy, the first parts of both my test rides were uphill on road and gravel tracks. The perfect place to confirm that the triangulated bottom bracket, massive main pivot, and short, asymmetric rear stays and muscular front end do not waste any watts. There’s certainly no sense of twist between the bars and back axle when giving it the beans, and even with EXO casing tyres, acceleration is savage. While most racers will make use of the front and rear lockout at every opportunity, the suspension still felt tight off the top in fully open mode. That’s because the 2:1 overall shock ratio means that my 70kg body weight only required 130psi to get 25% sag. That’s well below normal in terms of my pressures, and Fox’s optimum operating range.

Pinarello Dogma XC race bike

The Pinarello Dogma XC definitely shines on the climbs.


100% average anti-squat means that once the rear nudges open over rocks or roots the mid-stroke is actually pretty smooth and grippy. High progression in the linkage means that supple mid-stroke never goes deep enough to disturb pedalling, and the lack of chain growth means there’s no pull-and-sink tidal effect either.

With my hands somewhere down near the front wheel, the long stem making the steering resist wandering, and the tight turning circle of the short back end means the Dogma XC is a phenomenal climber that rips around hairpin bends typically found on an XC course – as long as you don’t run out of steering lock!

Pinarello Dogma XC race bike

But it put Guy’s heart in his mouth on the descents.


It absolutely hauls on flat and flowing trails too, with acceptable comfort from the handlebar and suspension, making it suitable for marathon missions. That racy position almost certainly provides an aero advantage too. But there’s a downside to this head-down, flat-back stance; even on relatively mellow singletrack the Dogma is an intense experience to pilot, requiring cat-like reflexes and mm-perfect line choice. On the steeper, pick-and-mix rock sections of the Garda test loop, that turned into full survival mode, and from looking steezy on the climbs, I was soon feeling queasy from frazzled nerves.

Pinarello Dogma XC race bike

We found it impossible to get full travel from the rear suspension.

The Dogma is not just dogged by the gravel bike-style riding position and old-school geometry either. I couldn’t get the rear shock past 70% of travel, even on drops and impacts which were hard enough to convince me I’d shattered the carbon rear rim. I didn’t see any other testers at the launch achieve close to full travel either. With no spacers to remove from the shock, it’s hard to see a way around that either. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to try the longer damper that’s designed to be run with a 120mm fork, but on paper that should be more forgiving. Although Pinarello says the kinematic and geometry are unchanged, so it may not be a dramatic transformation. You could buy a frame-set and fit your own cockpit, but the base kinematic would still need some clever shock tuning (Pidocock’s Suntour TACT system currently costs around £4k for a custom set-up) to get a more conventional feel.


The Dogma XC comes with a gold and rainbow stripes paint job option for a reason, and if you want a very stiff, very fast climbing race bike it’s a proven winner at the highest level. Pinarello has also had decades of success selling pure road race bikes to well-fed hedge fund managers that are uncompromisingly designed for the likes of Wiggins and Froome. And that seems to be the case here as well, although it's too early to tell if the Dogma XC will be a sales success.  Suffice to say, if you want a lightweight race bike that’s also fun and confidence-boosting on descents, keep looking, because the Dogma XC ain't it.


Frame:Toray M40J carbon fibre, 90mm travel
Shock:Fox Float Factory SL
Fork:Fox 32 Step-Cast Factory GRIP SL, 100mm travel
Wheels:DT Swiss XRC 1200
Tyres:Maxxis Rekon Race EXO 29x2.35in front and Maxxis Rekon Race EXO 29x2.25in rear tyres
Drivetrain:SRAM XX SL chainset with 175mm arms and DUB bottom bracket, SRAM XX SL AXS, T-Type 12-speed derailleur and shifter pod, SRAM Eagle XO CS-1299 12-speed 10-52T cassette
Brakes:Shimano XTR, 180/160mm IceTec rotors
Components:Pinarello Most Talon XC 760 x 80mm one piece carbon cockpit, Fox Transfer SL Factory 125mm dropper post, saddle
Sizes:XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL
Size ridden:L
Rider height:180cm
Head angle:68º
Seat angle:73.5º
Effective seat angle:75.2º
BB height:323mm
Front centre:753mm
Seat tube:475mm
Top tube:639mm