Pinnacle probably doesn’t pop up on your brand radar much, unless you regularly go into an Evans shop. The bikes always impress with cost-effective performance and an impressive eye for practical detail though.
It’s worth going carefully through the box when you buy, because there’s not only a multitool in there but a spare gear hanger too. That’s a detail we’ve not seen anywhere else recently, except on custom frames, and it’s a real bonus if the rear gears get bent out of shape.
The rest of the spec will please keen price-comparison shoppers too. The RockShox XC32 fork with Maxle 15mm axle is stiffer and more controlled than the Canyon we tested at the same price, and Pinnacle has managed to cram in a usefully controlled 100mm stroke that really makes a difference in how fast you can push the Ramin into trouble.
While the bike comes shimmed for a flexier small diameter 27.2mm seat post, if you pull the plug out it’ll take a 31.9mm diameter dropper post and the head tube will take a tapered fork with the right lower bearing. The Samox chainset gets a thru-axle for stiffness and easy upgrading and gears, brakes and hubs are all super durable Shimano.
The Ramin's 29er wheels make for a smooth-rolling experience
Interestingly, Pinnacle has gone for big ride-smoothing 29erwheels on even the small frame sizes. Alex rims and lightweight, supple Continental X-King tyres mean they spin up easily when you press those stiff cranks too.
Large-volume rubber also improves float over the rough, although the thin sidewalls are puncture prone if you plough into rocks too recklessly. The 180mm rotor front brake means you won’t be short of speed control if you decide to play safe though.
Obviously all this quality spec is for nowt if the basic bike doesn’t feel right – and the super compact frame with high front end did feel slightly less natural than some we've tried at first. Give it some trail time though and the extra front end control and tight rear end were increasingly appreciated for their mix of gung ho confidence and easy agility.
One thing that literally didn’t sit right with our team was the saddle, but with such a good spec for the money and a current price drop to £675 you can treat yourself to your favourite perch and still have a great value ride from the Ramin.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.