The Prince is legendary.
The first Prince was for several years, the pinnacle of the Pinarello range. It was constructed from Sacndium and was an immediate favourite with Pina riders everywhere - from pro racers to enthusiasts. In 2008 it was re-launched in Carbon (I am keenly aware because I had always wanted a Dogma and had spent the previous year hoping that the mutterings from Italy about a carbon model would be the fabled beast) and was at once an immediate success; its novel, CFD based re-imagining of the ONDA fork and stays and slightly bolder colourways instantly finding favour with Pina fans, as well as those not so enamoured with the brand previously. If you care, I settled for a Paris (still one of my favourites and still going strong) in the short term, knowing one day the Dogma would be mine!
In 2010, the Dogma 60.1 was finally launched (and purchased by yours truly) and - as you would expect with the associated success under Team SKY - was refined rather than replaced. Now in its 4th modern guise, the Dogma F10 remains the flagship and the Prince was all but forgotten, save for a brief and somewhat overshadowed re-surfacing back in 2015.
So then, the Paris has faded into obscurity and the price of an F8 is such that if you have the funds for one, you'd likely save and buy an F10. The Prince strides back into the frame, head high, shoulders back, with a cool calm assuredness that its place is solid, courtesy of plenty of development and a fresh new look - not to mention more realistic price points.
If we are honest with ourselves, while it is very nice to own the best frame, few riders save for the Pros and Elites will notice the difference between a Dogma and a Prince - especially if it is the first 'dream' bike build since the reference point is different. Arguably - if you have the budget for both, the Prince FX with a Dogma-budget-balance spent on excellent wheels, will give you a better ride than a Dogma with lesser hoops.
Pitched as an all-round road bike, the Prince FX (and all Prince) take much of their design lead from the Dogma F10. Geometries are so close that from a handling perspective there is unlikely anything between them - as an example the Stack and Reach measurements on size 54 frames are within a couple of mm. Both frames have flat back profiling for aerodynamic advantage, the dual position and recessed water bottle mounts on the downtube which curves over the front wheel, the fork flap at the drop-out for improved airflow over the quick release lever and the Di2 junction box integration too. The 'nose' of the frame - the headtube - protrudes over the claiper to enhance airflow and it is a similar story at the rear. The most significant change is in the construction of the frames : The Prince FX uses a Torayca T900 carbon and the standard Prince / Prince Disc models a T700, as opposed to the Dogma's T1100. In real terms this reduces cost and makes the frames slightly less 'harsh' for the same shape and - more importantly, it improves impact resistance. For those of us who don't have a car behind us with a spare bike on it when the worst happens, this is a good thing. While T1100 is light and stiff, it is also more brittle.
Pinarello have introduced a strong line of Prince models which is confidence inspiring and it looks like they are properly comitted to the platform - unlike 2015. The Prince FX tops the line-up and is available as rim brake only, either as a frameset or as a complete bike built with Ultegra and Fulcrum Racing 500 wheels. It is as close as most need to get to a Dogma and - if my 11 year old Paris is anything to go by (it still puts a smile on my face) - will serve for years to come. As I mentioned before, the handling is basically the same and while the carbon is 'only' T900, it is worth mentioning that most bikes in the Pro Peloton are using T900 Toray carbon - so you won't really be compromising that much performance!
If you desire the Pinarello brand but have hitherto struggled to justify it or if you prefer more comfort offered by the slightly less stiff T700 fibre, then the standard Prince comes in 2 forms : rim or disc brake - but only as complete bikes. There are 2 options here as well, Ultegra or Ultegra Di2 finished with Pinarello's own bar and stem and with Fulcrum Racing 500 wheels. The good news is that these bikes are sensibly priced given the nature of the frame and they make access to the legendary Pinarello handling (and it is incredible) much more attainable. As a rule we don't recommend people buy Italian / French etc premium brand bikes at the mid to low end (when buying with your head that is- the heart is a whole other issue!) since value for money is often lost; but the Prince, like the Bianchi Infinito, is most definitely a shift of the goal-posts and will not dissappoint regardless of which model you choose.