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Pinnacle Laterite 3 review

The price is attractive, but can Evans Cycles’ entry-level Laterite match it?

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £600.00 RRP | USD $900.00 | EUR €720.00
Pack shot of the Pinnacle Laterite 3 road bike

Our review

Simple tech but a good balance of speed and comfort – it’s a bargain
Pros: Surprisingly nice ride; easy to service; great value
Cons: Narrowish tyres; non-Shimano chainset; non-cartridge brake blocks
Skip to view product specifications

There are four bikes in the Laterite range, which starts at £400 with the Tourney-equipped Laterite 1 and tops out with the Shimano 105 model at £725. All bikes share the same aluminium frame and carbon fork with aluminium steerer.

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All have rim brakes, which are something of a rarity these days, but they’re tried-and-trusted technology and are easy for the even vaguely competent home mechanic to service and replace.

Pinnacle Laterite 3 kit

Like with the more expensive Boardman ADV 8.6 bike also on test, shifting comes courtesy of Shimano’s deservedly popular 9-speed Sora road bike groupset.

While Sora is well down the Shimano range, it shifts nearly as well as its more expensive siblings. It’s also easy to forget just how good gearing is today compared with bikes from a decade or more ago.

The Laterite 3 is a bike likely to be bought by a newer cyclist upgrading from a ‘bike-shaped object’, or perhaps an older rider returning to cycling, and the low bottom gear offered by the 34t chainring and 32t sprocket is vastly more appealing than the 34×28 that was typical just a few years ago, representing a significant drop from 32 to 28in, more than 14 per cent.

It makes climbing punishing hills much more achievable and enjoyable for the everyday rider. The jumps between gears will inevitably be larger, but this is easily a price worth paying.

Tektro R315 rim brakes on the Pinnacle Laterite 3 road bike
The rarely-spotted rim brake: competent and easy to fix.
David Caudery / Immediate Media

Another welcome recent development is the move to wider tyres, which will up the comfort of a quite basic aluminium frame. Although, since the Pinnacle comes with clearance for 32mm tyres, the choice of 25mm here is a little surprising.

I’d have gone for the maximum 32mm – or 28mm, which is the maximum width compatible with mudguards – for the extra comfort and barely discernible weight difference.

The more comfort a new or returning rider gets on our potholed road surfaces, the more likely they are to enjoy the experience and ride more.

The wholesale move to disc brakes over the last few years makes it easy to forget there’s nothing actually wrong with well set-up caliper rim brakes, even in the form of Tektro’s quite basic deep-drop R315s.

These work better than you might expect even with non-cartridge brake blocks, as one emergency stop in particular dramatically reminded me.

Pinnacle Laterite 3 geometry

The Pinnacle Laterite 3 road bike has surprisingly racy geometry
The Pinnacle Laterite 3 road bike has surprisingly racy geometry.
David Caudery / Immediate Media

The top tube is long as is the 386mm reach and with a 72-degree head angle and 73-degree seat angle, the Laterite’s quite racy geometry delivers a surprisingly lively ride for a bike at this price.

M
Seat angle (degrees)73.5
Head angle (degrees)71.5
Chainstay (mm)416
Seat tube (mm)440
Top tube (mm)545
Fork offset (mm)48.5
Trail (mm)64
Bottom bracket height (mm)270
Wheelbase (mm)1,015
Standover (mm)750

Pinnacle Laterite 3 ride impressions

Male cyclist in blue top riding the Pinnacle Laterite 3 road bike
The quite racy geometry delivers a surprisingly lively ride and zings along very nicely.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

My last ride on the Laterite was a metric century and I’d have had no qualms extending it to an imperial 100-miler, and that’s with it shod in its somewhat narrow 25mm tyres. A good portion of this ride was on canal towpaths with a few miles on a light gravel track, and it coped very well indeed.

While you wouldn’t describe this as a gravel bike, with wider, dedicated tyres you could easily tackle slightly more challenging terrain than tarmac if you feel a little more adventurous.

This may be the least expensive and most basically kitted-out of the four bikes I had on test, but I’d still have no hesitation in recommending it.

It really does zing along very nicely in spite of the lack of any kammtail tube profiles and aero features. And its mudguard and rack fittings come into their own for year-round commuting and training duties, though you might need to experiment with different rack struts to avoid fouling the rear brake cable.

Simple and straightforward, yes, but you’re getting a bike with a lovely ride, comfortable enough for long rides over varying surfaces. When the basic training tyres and brake blocks wear out, I’d upgrade to wider, more supple tyres and cartridge brake blocks.

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Neither is massively expensive, but better rubber will add comfort and cartridge blocks would improve the braking. But both of these are minor issues on a bike that easily exceeded my expectations.

How we tested

We put four aluminium framed, carbon forked bikes to the test to find out which is best for your riding needs.

All of the bikes come from major brands but sit in the more real-world price bracket that many of us actually buy from, ranging from £600 to a grand.

All four bikes were ridden head to head in the Brecon Beacons National Park.

Also on test

Product Specifications

Product

Price EUR €720.00GBP £600.00USD $900.00
Weight 10.22kg (M)
Brand Pinnacle

Features

Available sizes S, M, L, XL
Headset FSA No 10
Tyres Schwalbe Lugano 700x25c
Stem Alloy 31.8mm
Shifter Shimano Sora
Seatpost Alloy 27.2mm
Saddle Pinnacle Men's
Rear derailleur Shimano Sora
Front derailleur Shimano Sora
Bottom bracket Pro-Wheel BB68
Frame 6061 heat-treated aluminium
Fork Carbon blades, 1⅛in alloy steerer, mudguard mounts
Cranks Prowheel Ounce 50/34
Chain KMC X-9
Cassette Shimano 105
Brakes Tektro R315 deep-drop dual-pivot calipers
Wheels Alloy rims, 32 spokes front and rear