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A full review of my new Pinarello Prince Carbon (2008 model) has been posted to Here is a direct link.

Here is a summary of the full review

my new Pinarello Prince CarbonThe official Pinarello website suggests that with the release of its new Pinarello Prince carbon, its previous high end offering, the Paris FP Carbon, is now ‘unavoidably in its shadow.’ That’s a bit harsh and I was keen to test this assertion as I now have both the Paris and the Prince (a totally extravagant but wonderful overindulgence in Pinarellos, I know).

After two weeks, I now have around 500km of connection with the new Prince; in the hills, on the flats, rough roads and not so rough. With some good intervening rides on my Paris to keep my ride impressions grounded or benchmarked against what I had long thought was the best bike I had ever ridden.

The Prince is dedicated only to one thing: going fast. This is a racing bike. It has no other purpose.

With that in mind, it is quite severe on the road. It gives a fairly harsh ride, at least compared with my Paris but not as harsh as the Time VXR I tested a few months ago. It is a harshness that is actually desirable. It is a harshness that never overwhelms or reduces the desire to ride for three hours or more. It is not a harshness to cause discomfort or the desire to retire.

The most obvious feature of this bike, that literally hits you first, is the stiffness of this frame. Everything you have in your legs gets to the road. This bike is a statement of efficiency. My first reaction is that the 300 grams of lower bike weight plus its total lack of frame flex is the equivalent of one gear, everywhere you go. It feels like I am in a lower gear. So, naturally, I drop down to a smaller rear cog and go even faster. That’s the whole point of this new design.

Descents are even more precise than before. And the Paris was renowned as a brilliant descender. The Prince is even better. The precision with which you can fly down hills is inspiring and miraculous. You always feel totally in control. Hill ascents are even more revelatory. The Prince is born for the hills. Perhaps the Fulcrum Racing Light’s fitted to my Prince are to blame to some degree, but these days, I look forward to the hills more than ever before. This thing presents a veritable soundtrack for climbing.

But does it put the Pinarello Paris in the shade as Pinarello’s own web site suggests? I would say most emphatically not. The Prince is the Yin to the Paris’s Yang. The two intermesh as a perfect pair. They are compliments not strict competitors. If I were heading off to Europe on an extended tour of the French classic climbs, I would take my Paris. If I were racing there, I would take the Prince. These are two bikes with quite different personalities. One is unremitting perfection to the art of the race, to be relished when in need of speed and the other is there to be a more compliant companion to more multi-purpose rides.

9 Responses to “Pinarello Prince Carbon Review”
  1. Peter says:

    Thanks for the review, I have one question. Did you ever weigh the frames alone. You mentioned that the Prince was three hundred grams lighter than the Paris, was that frame weight or for the complete bike.
    Thanks, Peter

  2. admin says:

    hello Peter. That difference of 300grams was for the whole bikes. I have not weighed the individual frames as that would involve stripping both down and that would be a touch involved! I understand that the Prince frame is around 980grams for the 57.5cm frame and the Paris is just over 1kg. So there is not a huge difference in the frame weight. The biggest difference between my Prince and Paris is the lighter wheels on the Prince. The Fulcrum Racing Lights’s on the Prince are about 200 grams lighter than the Ksyrium ES’s on my Paris. But really, the weight difference is not as important as the increased frame stiffness and lightly different geometry of the new Prince. That makes all the difference.

  3. Ian says:

    Hi and thanks for a great review of the Prince and I was particularly interested in your opinions of it’s lateral stiffness. I currently ride a Ridley Damocles which is reviewed by everyone as being super-stiff. I am now on the market for a new bike and seriously considering a Prince. Do you have an opinion on the differences that I will notice between the Damocles and the Prince?

    Hello, the Prince has extraordinary lateral stiffness. I had the Damocles on my short list a year ago when I purchased my Pinarello Paris, and the Paris was stiffer. And the Prince is stiffer than the Paris. But really, there is not all that much in it for mortal riders. I would say that all pro tour bikes are stiff enough to win a grand tour or a classic on. The Damocles obviously wins sprints (just ask Robbie McEwen). Given basic stiff-enoughness for all these top end bikes, I’d be thinking about the other parts of the picture when making a final decision. Like descending and ascending prowess, and yes, looks! I went Pinarello because I am biased… But I am sure I could also be a happy Ridley rider.

  4. Paulo Henrique S Cesar says:

    <p><p>Thanks for the review. I am an amateur and I like to ride long distances and in hilly roads. I would like to have a confortable frame. What is the best choice for me: a Paris carbon or a Prince carbon?</p><br />
    <p>Thnak You,<br /><br />
    Paulo Henrique.</p></p>

    Deciding between the new Pinarello Prince and Paris is a tough one. So all I can suggest is what I would choose in your circumstances. If all I was wanting to do was to ride hills and ride up hills fast, I would choose the Prince carbon as it is a lighter and very stiff frame that will be one of the most efficient climbing bikes in the world. It is, however, critically important to consider the wheels you specify for the bike. If climbing is your thing, then you need to match the Prince with climbing wheels of the same quality as the Prince. Because we are talking about one of (if not the) best bicycle on the planet here, you should choose the best wheels on the market. In my view, the choice for climbing wheels is between two: the Fulcrum Racing Light carbon or the Campagnolo Hyperon carbon wheelsets.

    There is a complication though. If your roads are rough like ours (big size aggregate with lots of degraded road edges and potholes), the Paris may be the better bike for you. The Paris is definitely more comfortable on rough roads and is very nearly as good at climbing. Especially when you choose good wheels. And I would also suggest that if your roads are rough, you might be sensible to choose the clincher version of those Fulcrum or Campagnolo wheels (both the Fulcrum Racing Light and the Campagnolo Hyperon are available as either tubular or clincher wheels). Finally, if your roads are really rough, I would complicate things even more by suggesting that aluminium wheels may be better than carbon. I have Mavic Ksyrium ES’s on my Pinarello Paris and that is a really nice match. The Fulcrum equivalent to the Ksyrium ES is the Racing Zero.

    Having said all of that, you really can’t go wrong with either the Pinarello Paris or the Prince. They are both stunning.

    hope this helps

  5. Kevin Eldredge says:

    Great and informative review. There are not many people who are able to compare the Paris and the Prince. My primary reason for getting a new bike was because I thought I needed a taller headtube because of my lack of flexibility (which I continue to work on). That ultimately led me to but the Paris over the Prince for the extra 11mm in the headtube of a 57.5 frame. With all the deserved hype over the Prince, I was beginning to feel bad about my decision, so I appreciate your views, however “biased,” that the Paris is still a great bike. Like you, I am running Ksyrium ESs on the Paris while I wait for some of the new titanium Campy Shamals to come in. As long hilly rides are done for the season in Colorado, I look forward to riding my Paris next spring/summer. Thanks again for the review and your posts on

  6. Chris Baker says:

    I just got my Prince today. WOW!!!!! This bike is sick.
    I got rid of my Colnago C50 to get the Prince and let me tell ya, it’s THE BEST BIKE I”VE EVER RIDDEN.
    It’s built with Campy Record, ITM K-Sword bars, and Mavic Ksyrium ES wheelset.

    I looked at the Paris before settling on the Prince. I choose the PRINCE because it’s way sexier, I mean just look at it. Plus there are 5-6 Paris’s on my group ride, but there’s only ONE Prince. I’m sure until next week.

    The review is dead on, It’s made for racing, I just don’t have the balls to ride a $9,000 bike in a CAT 4 race, I’ll stick to my BMC.

    Don”t walk, RUN and buy this bike

  7. michaeld says:

    Your comparison of the two Pinarello’s is spot-on. I, too, am embarrassed to reveal that I own both these incredible rides. Simply put, the Prince is a racing and climbing machine. It really is like having one extra cog, as the ultra stiff (but still quite comoftable) frame instantlly translates your physical inputs into forward movement. The Paris, on the other hand, is probably the finest all around bicycle ever made. Climbing, descending, sprinting and, especially, cruising at high speed in plush comfort. Wanna do a double century, or tour Europe on a bike…take the Paris. Wanna climb, descend or sprint faster than you ever thought possible…choose the Prince. They are both incredible.

  8. so why do you think so?

  9. elden says:


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