Evans Cycles house brand Pinnacle has earned a reputation for sensible, smartly-specced bikes that offer considerable value for money. When we tested its Dolomite Six in 2015, it impressed us with its cheerful versatility and solid Shimano 105 build.
Serious stopping upgrade
Our one real criticism was of its sub-standard Tektro rim brakes, so the fact that this year's Dolomite 5 gets similar kit along with proper hydraulic discs is very promising.
The braking upgrade has meant a few concessions along the way. The full carbon fork is no more, an alloy-steerered one in its place, while the slick 105 crankset has lost out to a less posh, but perfectly serviceable, FSA unit.
Shimano’s hydraulic disc brakes are very impressive indeed
The weight's gone up a little too (by around 0.6kg), but otherwise the recipe is largely unchanged. The frame is a tidily executed 6061 alloy affair with minimally disguised welds, partly internal cabling, and a tapered head tube. It sports a paint job that's pleasant rather than beautiful.
Most importantly, Pinnacle hasn't compromised at all on versatility. As well as clearance for 28mm tyres (maybe even 30mm if you suck your belly in), the Dolomite has a full complement of eyelets and bosses to mount a rack and mudguards, making this a prime pick for year-round riding or commuters.
A rock-solid all-rounder
The bike hasn't lost its pleasant road manners. We don't expect premium levels of refinement or race-bike stiffness at this price, but it's a solid all-rounder that won't beat you senseless over potholes or sap your enthusiasm on the climbs. The subtly curved seatstays and skinny post do a fair job of cushioning your rear, while the saddle is too soft if anything – we'd swap in something more supportive in the long run.
The bottom bracket welding is functional to say the least
Following Evans' sizing recommendations will give you a fairly upright position, or you can do what we did and size down (and fit a longer stem) for a more aggressive fit, albeit one that still leans towards the endurance end of the spectrum. (Our small has 376mm and 549mm of reach and stack respectively.) The top tube lengths look long on paper, but fairly slack seat angles and shortish stock stems compensate.
Shimano's new RS505 levers warrant a mention. Although they don't strictly belong to a groupset, they're pitched at the 105 level, and make road hydraulics that much more affordable for the masses. The lever aesthetics take some getting used to, with a bulbous hood design that's reminiscent of the old 2200 groupset (the entry-level one with the horrid thumb levers).
Sizing down and fitting a longer stem gives a racier position
The ergonomics have proved divisive among our testers, with some loving their reassuring bulk and others lamenting their curious lumps and bumps, so we'd encourage you to try before you buy, but in any case, braking and shifting are outstanding. The former comes courtesy of the very same RS785 calipers found on bikes costing over three grand and is reassuring and well-modulated, while the latter is at least the equal of 105 in refinement.
Pinnacle had to make a few compromises on the spec to get hydraulics in the mix, but we think its designers have pitched it pretty much perfectly. The weight is still reasonable, and none of the changes undermine the bike's likeable personality.
It's not a particularly sexy machine, but it's a thoroughly capable one that's well suited to putting in the miles, whatever the weather.