With naturally fast tyres and firm suspension, the Pinnacle Tharpu Peak 1.0 is better suited to faster flowing trails than rooty, rocky stuff. Keep that in mind, and it’s a thoroughly enjoyable, nimble ride with UK-friendly touches.
Pinnacle is the own brand of Evans Cycles and the bikes therefore bikes benefit from British design input, making the Tharpu Peak especially suited to UK cross-country trails.
Ride: fast riding, flexible friend
Initial ride impressions are much brighter than the less-than-neat finishing of the frame might suggest. The fast-rolling tyres and usefully long position combine with naturally firm suspension to create a fast and nimble feel.
With shorter 90mm stems on the medium and small sizes, handling felt assured, encouraging you to push the pace even with slippery hard compound tyres.
Sideways flex from the skinny back end and thin linkages created a definite articulated ‘trailer’ effect when we found enough grip to really push it, but it never strayed into worryingly wayward territory. There’s a softness under power from the frame and crank, though.
Also, while our smaller-than-average Medium bike had shorter-than-average 170mm cranks, it still caught its pedals on rocks and off-cambers occasionally.
The longer stroke of the X-Fusion shock adds control over mid-sized hits and the rebound gives useful balancing if you tune it carefully. However, it’s reluctant to screen out small bumps unless you run it really soft and create a horribly stodgy, sucked-down pedalling feel.
The rising rate linkage means you’ll struggle to get near full travel even then, and it gets caught out by fast or flat-edged impacts whatever you do.
After a fair amount of fettling, we gave up and accepted its default ‘not helping much, but not hurting either’ suspension characteristics.
Frame: Practical not pretty
Butted pipework helps keep the full bike weight just below the 30lb benchmark. It has a decent length for its short seat tube height which will please speed fiends.
Getting properly fitted – not buying over the phone – is recommended if you’re near their sizing thresholds, though.
The bike has some decent practical touches for life in Britain: there’s plenty of mud room, sealed cartridge bearings throughout, the seat post clamp slot faces forward and the cables have little rubber bumpers to protect paintwork.
It certainly isn’t the neatest or prettiest-finished frame, with some slightly scabby welding and less than perfect junctions round the chainstay bridge. There was slight knock and looseness from the shock and skinny linkages from new, too.
Like the other air-sprung Tora forks, initial feel was sharp and spiky, but the more you ride, the smoother they’ll get and reliability is excellent.
Lots of Shimano kit is good news in terms of longevity, and the Mavic rims should also last well.
Pinnacle own-brand kit caused no complaints and the fat saddle will please plump bums.
We like the fact that Pinnacle fits smaller stems and cranks on smaller bikes, and supply a spare gear hanger and shock pump.