I picked up the new Pinarello FP5 today and took it for its first ride.
It was built with mostly inexpensive components, many of which I already owned, since these were intended for a rain/trainer bike, until I was offered the FP5 frame at an excellent price. I have wanted an F4:13 for a while but could never commit to buy one. I like bikes with a solid, stiff ride, which the F4:13 - the predecessor of the FP5 - was known for. However, I was put off by the Pinarello reputation for twitchy handling. I also had an older aluminium Prince SL for a short time, but really did not like it, probably because it was a size too big. For comparison, I also have a Colnago Cristallo, and recently sold a Look 585.
The groupset is a mix of Campagnolo Centaur (shifters, derailleurs, chain), Chorus (bottom bracket), Record alloy cranks, and Mavic brakes (I have never liked Campag brakes, and use Mavic brakes on all my bikes). MOST seatpost, Bontrager alloy bars (I love the shape of these bars), Ritchey comp stem, Velocity Fusion wheels, Michelin Pro 3 Race tires and Look Keo classic pedals.
I only got in a 20km ride, since I managed to unscrew the bottom bracket while riding, and the LBS had to apply some loctite to fix it. (I had exactly the same problem with the Cristallo, curiously).
First impressions are extremely positive - stiff with very precise handling, fast but not twitchy at all. The Colnago handling feels sluggish by comparison (no surprise), but the Cristallo also felt noticeably stiffer. I experienced brake rub for the first time on the FP5 (although the brake blocks were very close to the wheels). The bike felt lighter than I expected, and was noticeably lighter than the Cristallo. I was pleasantly surprised by the Centaur shifters and derailleur (these are the older kind, with alloy blades and multiple shifts) - the shifting felt every bit as precise and positive as the Record I have on the Cristallo.
The bike feels a lot stiffer than the Look 585 (which I did not like - I found it to be too soft, and squirrelly in the rear), with more road feedback and more precise handling. That may just be down to geometry and my preference for solid bikes which provide a lot of road feedback.
The FP5 was a marginally more comfortable ride than the Cristallo over patches of rough road that I ride regularly. This was surprising given the F4:13's reputation for having a harsh ride. But it is consistent with the FP5 being a bit less stiff than the Cristallo. However, I did not miss the slight extra stiffness of the Cristallo and felt very confident on the FP5 on descents and around corners. (I do not want to overstate these differences in comfort and stiffness, which were very minor and could have as much to do with the wheels.) I do love the Cristallo and have no plans to sell it, but the first indications are that the FP5 could take its place as first choice.
I'm now waiting for the loctite to harden and am looking forward to taking the FP5 out for a longer ride tomorrow. Overall, from the first ride, I am very excited about this bike.
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