The Pinnacle has a muted matt black frame, cable disc brakes and a general air of menace. Arkose is the sedimentary rock of which Ayers Rock is composed, so the name is apt. This is a cyclo-cross bike by design, but isn’t just for having fun on in the mud.
It’s specced with more than one eye on being an all-rounder. There’s clearance and eyelets for mudguards and a rear rack, and while it comes with 'cross tyres, their tread pattern ensures they ride well on the road too. Frame and fork are Kinesis aluminium and along with the wheels did a good job over just about every surface.
The Kenda Small Block Eight tyres impressed on tarmac, grass, grit and gravel, and riding them on our local ’cross course they coped with everything apart from really boggy mud, when they clogged up. Their 32mm width also served to take the sting out of what might have been an overly firm ride on the road.
A lot of thought has gone into speccing the Arkose. It has Jagwire cables with frame protectors. We don’t know why more bikes don’t have protectors – the continued rubbing of cables on a head tube will soon leave a bike looking second hand, all for the want of a couple of bits of plastic or rubber.
The chainstays have sculpted indents to make room for the pedals, keeping the gap between your feet tight for efficient pedalling. The 36/46-tooth chainset and 12-27T cassette are well chosen for cyclocross but can be limiting at the top and bottom of the range for other types of riding.
Not long ago, disc brakes were banned in UCI ’cross races, but this changed last year, and the Arkose comes with cable disc brakes. They’re good, albeit with nowhere near the power of hydraulics. They have the bonus of not relying on your wheel rims staying true – handy if you ride potholed roads and cyclo-cross courses.
The Arkose, then, is a true all-rounder. You’d probably put lighter tyres on unless you were using it largely for ’cross, but as an urban do-it-all it’s tough and has a wide enough gear range for most situations. It comes with a full complement of mounts for mudguards and a rear rack, so would make a handy tourer.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine.