Pinnacle Arkose 3 review

Superb-value steed undermined by beast-of-burden character

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0
GBP £1,000.00 RRP | AUD $1,542.00 | USD $1,159.00

Our review

Amazing on paper but love/hate lever hoods and dull ride quality disappoint
Buy if, You want a killer spec all-weather workhorse and the hood shape works for you
Pros: Excellent hydraulic disc brakes and 105 spec; neat utility features
Cons: Dull-feeling frame; potentially uncomfortable brake levers
Skip to view product specifications

If we were writing this test straight from a spreadsheet rather than after a couple of months battering around bridleways, cyclepaths and back roads, the Arkose 3 would be aceing it.

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Seriously impressive spec

The 22-speed Shimano 105 shifter and gear setup would be enough on its own to put it clear of its largely Tiagra pricepoint peers, and that’s before taking into account the hydraulic 785 Ultegra brakes – complete with finned pads. That’s remarkable value.

The increase in braking control is obvious too – not just in the greater feeling of consistency that comes with every lever pull, but also in terms of wear over time. That’s because the fully hydraulic system automatically compensates for pad wear – unlike some cable-braked bikes where we’ve had to stop and manually adjust the pads mid-ride on particularly wet and gritty days.

Hydraulic brakes with finned rotors at this price?
Hydraulic brakes with finned rotors at this price?:
Immediate Media

Hydraulic brakes with finned pads at this price?

And that’s not the end of the good news, either. The Alex Draw rims are tubeless-ready if you’re looking to reduce impact punctures on rougher tracks, and the loose-ball Novatec hubs potentially prolong lifespan if you learn how to adjust them. Together with the Kenda Small Block Eight tyres they’re responsively light and fast rolling, but still have enough tread to give you some control over where you’re going in gravel or mud.

The relatively relaxed head tube and tapered-top fork combine with a short stem and compact curve bar to give the Arkose fast reactions when control does start to slip away. That means there’d be nothing stopping you from tackling a summer cyclocross race or a long-distance bridleway adventure without any modifications. It’s equally well covered when it comes to everyday versatility thanks to rack and mudguard mounts in the big L-plate recessed dropouts and Low Rider rack bosses on the carbon fork blades.

Workhorse ride character

So with such an excellent specification, why does the Arkose end up not come out with a higher score? The first negative is subjective in that not all of our testers were bothered by it, and some simply learned to live with it. For others, though, the massive square-edged lump of the hydraulic reservoir under the palm of their hands on the 505 levers was a total turn-off, especially off-road where they complained that it concentrated bruising badly.

Related: Shimano RS505 review

Even those who weren’t too bothered by the unique lever shape complained about the jolting off-road ride, saying that it sapped both control and morale as soon as the Pinnacle was pointed at even slightly rough cycle paths.

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For some, the massive hydraulic reservoir under the 505 levers was a total turn-off:

For some, the massive hydraulic reservoir under the 505 levers was a total turn-off

Unfortunately, it’s not the kind of rigidity that repays with a powerful feel through the pedals, either; it’s an enthusiasm-deadening dullness that seeps into the whole character of the ride, and it feels flat and uninvolving even on the smoothest of roads.

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With reasonably voluminous tyres already fitted and an overall weight that should make it spark, not sputter, it’s hard to see any obvious way to upgrade some real joy into it either, and despite the excellent spec the Arkose always felt like a workhorse at best, and never a giddy-up thoroughbred.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Arkose 3
Brand Pinnacle

Available Sizes S M L XL
Trail 6.1
Rims Alex Draw 1.9
Saddle Pinnacle Race Men's
Seat Angle 74.5
Seatpost Pinnacle aluminium 27.2mm
Shifters Shimano 105
Stem Pinnacle Road Ahead 80mm
Weight (kg) 10.22
Rear Tyre 35mm Kenda Small Block Eight folding
Bottom Bracket Height (cm) 27.5
Chainstays (cm) 42.5
Seat Tube (cm) 46
Standover Height (cm) 79
Top Tube (cm) 54.5
Wheelbase (cm) 103
Rear Wheel Weight 2180
Rear Hub alloy loose ball
Bottom Bracket Shimano Hollowtech II
Frame Material 6061-T6 triple- and double-butted aluminium
Brakes Shimano BR-785 hydraulic discs, 160mm rotors
Cassette Shimano CS-5800 11-speed, 11-32t
Chain KMC X-11
Cranks Shimano RS500 50/34t
Fork Carbon blades, tapered aluminium steerer
Fork Offset 5
Front Derailleur Shimano 105
Rear Derailleur Shimano 105
Front Hub alloy loose ball
Front Tyre 35mm Kenda Small Block Eight folding
Front Wheel Weight 1670
Handlebar Pinnacle 6061 aluminium short drop 42cm
Head Angle 72
Headset Type FSA
Frame size tested M