Pinnacle Dolomite 5 £900

All-rounder road bike with compact frame

BikeRadar score 4/5

The obvious difference between the Pinnacle Dolomite and other similarly pitched/priced road bikes is its compact frame. This uses a sloping top tube to give tighter frame triangles and a longer seatpost than a conventional bike, with a traditional horizontal top tube. 

This is a really smart move by Pinnacle – particularly on an alloy framed bike. The smaller frame uses less material and the Dolomite has a relatively light frame. Physics dictates that smaller frame triangles mean less flex from similar diameter tubes, which is great for steering accuracy and power delivery. 

More exposed seatpost – particularly in the 27.2mm diameter here – means more flex between rider and bike to offset that stiffer frame in terms of in-saddle comfort over rough roads. 

  • Pros: Lightweight, responsive compact frame on surefooted wheels with great Shimano spec
  • Lows: Lighter wheels would unleash even more of the Pinnacle’s performance potential
  • Buy if: You’re after a lively, fun but surefooted and smooth bargain with decent upgrade potential

The Dolomite 5 showcases all these theoretical advantages in a very tangible way on the road. The wide, deep drop bar and stout fork give impressive accuracy for pushing the naturally stable handling hard into corners. 

The tight frame also lets you recruit shoulders as well as legs for launching attacks. The lower centre of gravity also makes it great fun to get out of the saddle and flick about for village sign sprints or into and out of chicanes, making it a clear green jersey winner.

The relatively heavy wheels inevitably dull pick up, particularly on steep climbs, but once they’re spinning it’s got real ‘turbo diesel’ grunt. The Shimano wheels with 25mm tyres run noticeably smoother and hold traction more tenaciously over rough sections to boost speed sustain further. 

Because there’s useful (but not pedal interrupting) seatpost movement we found ourselves being bucked out of the saddle much less on rutted roads. All this meant we were often surprised to look over our shoulders and find we’d pulled a significant gap out of pursuing bikes whose sharper, rattlier character actually made them feel faster.

It’s a big credit to the very enjoyable overall ride character of the Dolomite 5 that the thing that’ll attract most buyers to it in the first place is the last thing we’re commenting on here. Shimano 105 is an absolute stalwart of smooth, quiet long-term shifting and the FSA Gossamer cranks get a full-size axle and stout spider for great power transfer. Cartridge pad brakes keep stopping tight and complete a package genuinely free of weak links, at a cracking price.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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