Pinnacle Kapur 3 first ride review£675.00

Impressively upgradable trail hardtail at a bargain price

It’s always a good sign when you go to check a bike’s price and are surprised by how cheap it is. Finding out that the Pinnacle Kapur 3 costs less than £700 was a real shock, considering how well it rides as delivered and how much potential it has for upgrading.

Pinnacle Kapur 3 frame

With its tapered steerer and 15mm axle, the Recon RL fork is a big bonus
With its tapered steerer and 15mm axle, the Recon RL fork is a big bonus

It’s easy to assume that all affordable alloy frames are much the same and concentrate on kit spec, but that would be overlooking the best bit of the Kapur. The subtly swollen 44mm head tube allows use of a tapered-steerer fork — rare at this price — while the top tube and down tube are carefully tuned triple-butted (three different wall thicknesses) pipes. 

A flexy 27.2mm seatpost is provided, for a smoother ride, but it’s shimmed to fit in a 31.6mm seat tube, making a future dropper post upgrade easier. As well as using quality tubes, the frame is a really good shape.

Pinnacle Kapur 3 kit

The Kapur’s front end is equally impressive. RockShox’s Recon RL is a well-controlled and reliable fork for a bike at this price, and has a 15mm axle — another rare feature for the money. Shimano’s M365 brakes are totally reliable, although a 180mm front rotor and some sintered pads would be on my wishlist, to boost power and modulation. 

The 3x9 Shimano Alivio/Altus transmission and basic-spec WTB Ranger tyres are par for the price, but worth upgrading in time, given how good the frame is.

Pinnacle Kapur 3 ride

With its tapered steerer and thru-axle, the Kapur’s fork is significantly stiffer and more accurate in feel than most at this price. It’s also held at a 66.5-degree angle, which gives the steering a lot more self-straightening control and keeps it stable when the trails get tough. 

The 45mm stem and the leverage of the wide 760mm bar mean the Pinnacle never feels heavy or sluggish to turn, but eager to attack sections that threaten to fold the fork under and send you over the bars on bikes with the 69/70-degree head angles common at this price.

The longer wheelbase makes the bike more stable through fast, loose or slippery turns
The longer wheelbase makes the bike more stable through fast, loose or slippery turns

The frame is also stretched slightly longer than normal for a less expensive bike, with a 445mm reach on the Large. Again, this puts the front wheel further in front of you, letting you hit sections harder without being tipped forwards. 

The longer wheelbase makes the bike more stable through fast, loose or slippery turns too. It also helps keep the front wheel down on steep climbs, although the slack 72-degree seat angle means you need to balance on the nose of the saddle more than if it were steeper.

Not only does the RockShox fork isolate you from impacts more consistently than most units you’ll find on bikes up to £1,000, but, from experience, it’ll do it for a lot longer too. 

The butted frame tubes mean you’re not getting battered through the frame either, and while bigger, better-quality tyres will create an even smoother ride, the Kapur is impressively comfy as it is.

My only real gripe is that the Pinnacle rides so well that, while the clattery multi-chainring transmission and cheap, plasticky tyres wouldn’t seem out of place on most bikes at this price, here they’re put to shame by the quality and control of the fork and frame. Or to rephrase, it’s a bike that’s going to make you want to push your limits a long way further than most and is well worth upgrading as you do.

Pinnacle Kapur 3 specifications

  • Frame: 6061-T6 aluminium
  • Fork: RockShox Recon RL, 120mm (4.7in) travel
  • Shifters: Shimano Altus
  • Mechs: Shimano Alivio mechs (3x9)
  • Cranks: Prowheel Suolo-901
  • Wheelset: Double-wall alloy rims on loose-bearing hubs
  • Tyres: WTB Ranger 27.5x2.25in
  • Brakes: Shimano M365, 160mm rotors
  • Bar: Pinnacle MTB, 760mm
  • Stem: Pinnacle MTB, 45mm
  • Seatpost: Pinnacle rigid
  • Saddle: WTB Volt 142mm
  • Weight (Large size without pedals): 13.93kg (30.7lb)

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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