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Pinarello X3 105 Di2 2023

7
£4,500.00

VERDICT:

7
10
Very comfortable for a stiff road bike, but deserves lighter wheels and tyres – especially for the money
Good compliance
Enjoyable to ride
Fully internal cable/hose routing looks clean
Middling kit for the money
Weight: 
8,970g
Contact: 

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The Pinarello X3 105 Di2 is part of the company's new endurance range of bikes, and while its chunky frame looks like it's going to be very firm, it in fact delivers a surprisingly comfortable ride, even on rough sections of roads. With the geometry backed off a touch in terms of aggressiveness, it's also a fun bike to ride at any speed. As always, though, you are paying a premium for the Pinarello, so it's not necessarily what you'd consider the best value for money.

> Buy now: Pinarello X3 105 Di2 for £4,500 from Sigma Sports

Looking for something that's perfect for sportives, audax and mile-munching? Check out our guide to the best endurance bikes.

Ride

Pinarello has released two new ranges recently, the F Series and this X Series (both look quite similar), with the F being performance focused while the X is more about the comfort, something that it does very well. In fact, if you don't race or need a bike that delivers ultimate stiffness then the X is likely to be all the bike you are going to need.

So, let's kick off with the comfort.

The X3 is still a firm bike to be aboard – it's a road bike after all – but considering the size of the tube profiles and the bottom bracket area, there is definitely some compliance that just takes the edge off any harshness. It has a decent ride quality overall, with a good amount of damping from small amounts of flex in the frame. It's not exactly class leading, but it's a pleasurable place to be on UK roads.

2023 Pinarello X3 105 Di2 - riding 2.jpg

From a performance point of view, for all but the most powerful of riders, stiffness and efficiency is good too. When you're out of the saddle, the rear wheel feels planted and the bottom bracket area doesn't hint at any flex either.

2023 Pinarello X3 105 Di2 - riding 3.jpg

It's the same when you are powering along seated too: it feels as though it is delivering the power you are inputting onto the tarmac.

When descending, the front end feels stiff as well, coping well with technical sections and heavy braking. There is no 'dive' from the fork, and no signs of any understeer either.

2023 Pinarello X3 105 Di2 - riding 4.jpg

Sticking with the descents, the handling is competent and has a good feeling of directness to it. The front end isn't quite as steep as a pure race bike, it has a 72.25-degree head angle, so it's not absolutely razor sharp, but its more neutral setup makes it easier to ride at speed for more riders.

2023 Pinarello X3 105 Di2 - front.jpg

The endurance geometry puts you in a slightly more upright position (the X series has 13mm shorter reach, and a 33mm taller stack than a mid-sized F Series) which gives you a slighter higher centre of gravity, so you can't be quite as nippy in the corners, but it does benefit comfort on the flat for those longer rides.

I've mentioned nippy there, and to be honest in a lot of places that is something the X3 never quite manages to feel. At nearly 9kg on our scales it's not that light a bike, especially one with a carbon fibre frameset and a build price of £4,500. The Vitus Venon Evo-RS that I reviewed earlier this year, which costs £4,399.99, is almost a kilo lighter, for instance.

2023 Pinarello X3 105 Di2 - riding 5.jpg

Once up to speed, though, the X3 still feels quick, its weight just noticeable when pulling away from a standing start or when on those long, draggy false flats.

It's a pleasure to ride, whether you are flying along or taking things slightly more sedately. It hides its 'endurance' nature behind a race bike persona well, but for this type of bike the comfort is impressive on the whole.

Frame & Fork

The X Series bikes are created using T600 uni-directional carbon fibre, which Pinarello says has been layered to create a frame and fork that absorb all road vibrations for a pleasurable and comfortable ride. And, as I've mentioned above, this is noticeable.

2023 Pinarello X3 105 Di2 - down tube detail.jpg

To put that into some kind of context, Pinarello claims the X Series has 21.1% greater compliance – or has 21.1% less vertical stiffness – compared with the performance-orientated F Series.

2023 Pinarello X3 105 Di2 - seat stays detail.jpg

Pinarello has always liked a 'swoopy' frame design, and the X Series isn't immune, most notably the Flex Stays. That's what the company calls the seatstays, whose twin radii are designed to promote flex.

2023 Pinarello X3 105 Di2 - seat stays.jpg

It's the same idea at the front, with the similar styling of the Onda fork. A design that has been around since 2000.

2023 Pinarello X3 105 Di2 - fork.jpg

Away from those areas the X3 has quite a boxy design, with the majority of the tubes getting a squared-off edge on at least one side. In a world of aero road bikes, it's quite a chunky looking frame, although the fully internal cable and hose routing does at least give it a very clean look.

2023 Pinarello X3 105 Di2 - head tube badge.jpg

You do get an integrated aero seatpost, with the clamp being a wedge-style design. Pinarello also hides the Di2 battery inside it.

2023 Pinarello X3 105 Di2 - seat post detail.jpg

Being a road bike, mounting points are kept to a minimum, with just a couple of positions for fixing your bottle cages to.

2023 Pinarello X3 105 Di2 - downtube.jpg

Tyre clearance is good for this type of bike, with space to run up to 32mm wide rubber, and the frame is available in this matt black or gloss red finish.

2023 Pinarello X3 105 Di2 - fork clearance.jpg

Geometry

The X3 is available in nine sizes, but Pinarello doesn't label them XS, S, M and so on. On test we have the sixth size from the smallest, which has a 525mm seat tube and an effective top tube length of 555mm.

The head tube length is 173mm, which gives that slightly taller front end when paired to the 373mm fork length. As for stack and reach, you are looking at 588.2mm and 376.7mm respectively.

The head angle is 72.25 degrees, while the seat angle is 73.25 degrees.

Groupset

The X3 is available in two builds, SRAM Rival eTap AXS or this Shimano 105 Di2 model. There's also a third model, the X1 (no X2, oddly), which comes with 105 mechanical and shallow alloy wheels.

2023 Pinarello X3 105 Di2 - lever.jpg

I've reviewed Shimano's R7100 Di2 groupset, and in terms of performance I really can't criticise it. Nor can I criticise SRAM's Rival eTap AXS, so whichever X3 build you go for you'll be happy. Each has its pros and cons, and you can use our reviews of each to work out which is the best one for you.

2023 Pinarello X3 105 Di2 - rear mech.jpg

Like Rival AXS, 105 Di2 is 12-speed and electronic, which gives you fast, precise shifting all of the time, even under load.

2023 Pinarello X3 105 Di2 - front mech.jpg

The braking from the hydraulic system is also very good indeed.

2023 Pinarello X3 105 Di2 - front disc brake.jpg

Finishing kit

Other than the groupset, you get a plethora of Pinarello's own finishing components. Someone in the design team is obviously a big cat fan because we have the Jaguar XA Aero TiCR handlebar, made from aluminium alloy, and the Tiger Aero Alu TiCR stem, which comes with a computer mount attached.

2023 Pinarello X3 105 Di2 - stem.jpg

The handlebar has a flattened wing top design and is very comfortable to use, with channels underneath to run wires and hoses under the bar tape in such a way that you can't feel it. These are then directed into the stem where they can be passed down through the head tube and into the frame or fork.

2023 Pinarello X3 105 Di2 - bars 1.jpg

The seatpost is carbon fibre, while the Most saddle is a short-nosed and very comfortable affair.

2023 Pinarello X3 105 Di2 - saddle and seat post.jpg

Wheels & tyres

Wheels-wise, it's a set of Fulcrum Racing 800s which are OEM, so not available for the public to buy.

Their aluminium rims are 33.7mm deep, with an internal width of just 19mm. Quite narrow from a modern point of view, but does at least make them suitable for narrower tyres – 23mm anyone?

2023 Pinarello X3 105 Di2 - rim.jpg

At 1,960g they are chunky, and the main reason for the highish overall weight of this bike. They are fine for general day to day use, but if you want to use the X3 for any kind of performance then you'll want to buy something lighter.

The same can be said for the tyres. I'm a big fan of Pirelli's latest rubber, but the P7s are like the wheels, ideal for day-to-day use with good durability, but definitely not for performance riding.

2023 Pinarello X3 105 Di2 - tyre.jpg

They have quite a dead feel to them, and while grip is okay in the dry, they don't give you much confidence to risk chucking a four-and-a-half-grand bike into the corners with abandon. Keep them for the winter and buy something stickier and livelier for the warmer months.

Value

Even with today's prices, I still think £4,500 for a bike with 105 Di2 and basic alloy wheels and components is quite steep, though it's not the only bike to cost this sort of money. The Cervelo Soloist that I reviewed a month or so ago is the same price. It does get Shimano Ultegra instead of 105, but of the mechanical persuasion rather than electronic.

Alongside the X3, I've also been reviewing Merida's Scultura Endurance 4000. It's a very similar kind of bike with a performance ride, but geometry-wise things are a bit slacker and easier to live with.

The 4000 is only £2,500, with mechanical Shimano 105, but the Scultura Endurance 8000 is similar money to the X3 (£4,600) and for that you are getting Ultegra Di2, Merida wheels with 45mm-deep carbon fibre rims, and Continental GP 5000 tyres.

The badge might not have the same level of kudos as the Pinarello, but you can't argue that the Merida is a lot of bike for the money.

Conclusion

Overall, I like the ride quality and general way that the X3 behaves. It didn't necessarily blow me away, but it does everything well. I'd say it's the wheels and tyres that hamper the fun, so I'd be looking to upgrade those straight away. The trouble is, after spending £4,500 on a bike, adding another £700 or so to make it lighter and more fun isn't that appealing – especially when you can get carbon wheels and top-end tyres on other bikes for the same money.

Verdict

Very comfortable for a stiff road bike, but deserves lighter wheels and tyres – especially for the money

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Pinarello X3 105 Di2

Size tested: 536mm

About the bike

List the components used to build up the bike.

CRANKSET: Shimano 105 Di2 12S

FRONT DERAILLEUR: Shimano 105 Di2 12S

CASSETTE: Shimano 105 Di2 12S

CHAIN: Shimano 105 Di2 12S

BOTTOM BRACKET

BRAKES: Shimano 105 2 pistons caliper, 160mm rotor F/R

HANDLEBAR: Jaguar XA Aero TiCR

STEM: Tiger Aero Alu TiCR

BAR TAPE: Most bar tape

SEATPOST: Pinarello Aero Seatpost

SEAT CLAMP: Fsc frontal seat clamp

WHEELS: Fulcrum Racing 800 DB

TYRES: Pirelli P7

Tell us what the bike is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?

Pinarello says, "Not every cyclist wants to push their body to the extreme, trying to fit on a bike that was designed for the pro peloton, so we went back to the drawing board for the Pinarello X and designed a new geometry that offers all-day comfort without renouncing our legendary performance DNA. Thanks to a combination of specifically-selected materials, unique geometry, and a truly innovative rear-end, the Pinarello X strikes the perfect balance between reactivity, performance and comfort."

It definitely has a comfortable ride, impressively so, while still retaining performance characteristics. The wheels and tyres sap speed, though.

Where does this model sit in the range? Tell us briefly about the cheaper options and the more expensive options

An X1 build starts the line-up with 105 mechanical, while two X3 builds are available with this 105 Di2 or SRAM's AXS Rival.

Frame and fork

Overall rating for frame and fork
 
8/10

Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?

A high-quality frame build, and while I like the matt black finish, the gloss red option does look very cool.

Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?

Both the frame and fork are made from Toray T600 grade carbon fibre.

Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?

It has a relaxed feel to it in general, with a shorter top tube and taller head tube than the racier F Series.

How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?

The stack and reach figures, which are mentioned in the review, are fairly typical for a bike of this size.

Riding the bike

Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.

Yes, it was comfortable. The fork and seat stays bring extra compliance for a great ride quality.

Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?

Stiffness is very good throughout.

How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?

Power transfer is good thanks to a large bottom bracket junction and boxy lower half of the frame.

Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so was it a problem?

No.

How would you describe the steering? Was it lively neutral or unresponsive? Neutral.

Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?

The X3 tracks well without any surprises.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?

I liked the Most saddle shape, but the tyres don't give the most comfortable ride as they aren't that supple.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?

The handlebar and stem resisted any flex for out-of-the-saddle efforts.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's efficiency? would you recommend any changes?

The heavy wheels dampen the acceleration and climbing performance.

Rate the bike for efficiency of power transfer:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for acceleration:
 
7/10
Rate the bike for sprinting:
 
7/10
Rate the bike for high speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for cruising speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for low speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for flat cornering:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for cornering on descents:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for climbing:
 
7/10

The drivetrain

Rate the drivetrain for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the drivetrain for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for weight:
 
8/10

Tell us some more about the drivetrain. Anything you particularly did or didn't like? Any components which didn't work well together?

Shimano's 105 Di2 is a great groupset that offers impressive shifting regardless of the conditions, and braking performance is very good. The components aren't as good value as they once were, but they still won't break the bank to replace.

Wheels and tyres

Rate the wheels for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the wheels for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels for weight:
 
6/10
Rate the wheels for comfort:
 
7/10

Tell us some more about the wheels.Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the wheels? If so what for?

Reliable wheels, but their weight takes the fun edge off the ride.

Rate the tyres for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the tyres for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the tyres for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the tyres for comfort:
 
5/10

Tell us some more about the tyres. Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the tyres? If so what for?

Slightly dead feeling tyres, and the X3 deserves better.

Controls

Rate the controls for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the controls for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the controls for comfort:
 
7/10

Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders?

Decent finishing kit, if not exactly flash for the overall price.

Your summary

Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes

Would you consider buying the bike? Possibly, but there are better value options out there.

Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes

How does the price compare to that of similar bikes in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

It's not overpriced when compared with something like the Cervelo mentioned in the review, but brands like Merida offer much better finishing kit for the money.

Rate the bike overall for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the bike overall for value:
 
4/10

Use this box to explain your overall score

The frame and the fork have a great ride quality, and the geometry works very well too. For the money, though, it's not the greatest level of finishing kit and you can do better if you aren't worried about brand heritage.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 44  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,

As part of the tech team here at F-At Digital, senior product reviewer Stu spends the majority of his time writing in-depth reviews for road.cc, off-road.cc and ebiketips using the knowledge gained from testing over 1,500 pieces of kit (plus 100's of bikes) since starting out as a freelancer back in 2009. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 170,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him, he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. With a background in design and engineering, he has an obsession with how things are developed and manufactured, has a borderline fetish for handbuilt metal frames and finds a rim braked road bike very aesthetically pleasing!

Add new comment

6 comments

Avatar
Dunnoeither | 6 months ago
0 likes

4/10 value rating is the the ultimate proof that Stu is a true gentleman

Avatar
JL77 | 6 months ago
0 likes

Thanks for the review. Was really curious about this bike.

Avatar
check12 | 6 months ago
0 likes

New wheels, tyres and swap the heavy 105 crank and you might come under 8kg, but you should have to when you've already spent £4,500 

would be interested what weight the mechanical 105 build is 

Avatar
Surreyrider | 6 months ago
0 likes

Pinarello aren't the only ones to spec cheap, heavy aluminium wheels on bikes at this price or higher. Spesh, among others, do it regularly.

Avatar
Dicklexic | 6 months ago
0 likes

"As always, though, you are paying a premium for the Pinarello, so it's not necessarily what you'd consider the best value for money."

You're not wrong. For example a very similarly (or maybe even slightly better) specified bike from Canyon, the Endurace CF SLX 7 Di2 is a full £1000 cheaper. As per usual it's down to the rider to decide how much they want to pay for a particular brand/image.

Avatar
RoubaixCube | 6 months ago
1 like

'ORRO Venturi STC Di2 Tailor Made' comes to mind. Comes with a 55mm set of hoops too. Prices are around the same ballpark give or take. 

Id rather have the Orro although its geometry might be more race orientated than endurance.

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