Mekk Pinerolo AL 1.5 review

Italian-designed budget roadster

Our rating 
3.5 out of 5 star rating 3.5
£799.99 RRP

Our review

High quality first fast road bike but slightly more expensive than some of the opposition
Skip to view product specifications

Back in the day, Mekk‘s Mike Edwards and Ken Knight were the men behind the distributor Caratti. Sadly, it went the way of all flesh, but Messrs Edwards and Knight are still involved in cycling, with their own brand of bike bearing their initials.

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  • Highs: Good looking bike with internal cable routing and a smooth ride
  • Lows: The cables rattle where they enter the down-tube
  • Buy if: You want a good quality first road bike

Whereas most of the new breed of British bike brands boast about their Britishness – Moda and Boardman stress that their machines are UK-designed – the Mekk states proudly on its down tube that it’s designed in Italy. It’s not necessarily a huge difference, but the geometry certainly has an Italian flavour, which creates a pretty racy machine.

For the price the finish is absolutely stunning
For the price the finish is absolutely stunning:
Robert Smith

For the price the finish is absolutely stunning

The top tube is long, the chainstays are short and the seat angle steep. The head tube is also shorter than on a lot of modern comfort- or sportive-orientated machines. The quite slack head angle is a little less Italian in flavour, but the shortness of the head tube still makes for a pretty aggressive riding position, though a longish wheelbase stops it from getting too lively. The 12-27 cassette also suggests racy ambitions.

At first glance the frame resembles the cheaper Pinerolo ZR we tested last month, but a closer look reveals that there aren’t actually that many similarities. The slightly longer wheelbase means there’s much less likelihood of toe overlap on the 1.5, and the frame is triple-butted, which means the tubes can be made from very narrow-walled alloy, beefed up where welded. This keeps the weight down.

The smoothed welds are very neat, and the lack of mudguard mounts and clearance also shows that this bike has sportier ambitions. In spite of the more racy position, really quite chunky seatstays and narrow 23mm tyres, this Mekk is easily comfortable enough for long-distance riding. If your only experience of aluminium is from years ago you’re likely to be very surprised at just how little battering you’ll get from a 21st century road bike.

Despite its racy leanings, this Mekk won't leave you aching after a long ride
Despite its racy leanings, this mekk won’t leave you aching after a long ride:
Robert Smith

Despite its racy leanings, this Mekk won’t leave you aching after a long ride

One final area where this Mekk scores over the cheaper model is the groupset, the 1.5 going for full Shimano Sora and R500 wheels rather than Microshift and Saturae. The brakes don’t have cartridge calipers, but the wheels are lighter than those on many of its competitors. Mekk’s own-brand Saturae name is on the rest of the kit except for the saddle, an Italian San Marco Era, which contributes its share to the bike’s comfort.

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Our only real criticisms are that the cables rattle where they enter the down-tube, and that this bike isn’t particularly keenly priced. If you’re looking for a racier entry-level machine, though, then there’s no denying that Mike and Ken have delivered the goods here.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Pinerolo AL 1.5 (15)
Brand Mekk

Available Sizes 48cm 50cm 52cm 54cm 56cm 58cm 60cm
Year 2015
Seatpost Saturae Black Satin Look 27.2mm
Shifters Shimano Sora 9-speed
Stem Saturae Black Satin Look 11.5cm
Trail 8
Weight (kg) 9.45
Wheelset Shimano R500, 20 spokes front, 24 rear
Weight (lb) 20.83
Saddle San Marco Era Start
Bottom Bracket Height (cm) 27.5
Chainstays (cm) 40.5
Seat Tube (cm) 49
Standover Height (cm) 78
Top Tube (cm) 57
Wheelbase (cm) 101
Seat Angle 75
Rear Wheel Weight 1850
Bottom Bracket Shimano HollowTech II
Frame Material Super Lite Aluminum Triple Butted Seamless Tubing T4/T6 heat treated
Brakes Shimano Sora
Cassette Shimano 9-speed 12-27
Chain Shimano
Cranks Shimano Sora, 50/34, 172.5mm
Fork MU carbon, aluminium steerer, tapered
Fork Offset 4
Front Derailleur Sora 2 Speed
Rear Tyre Continental Ultra Sport II 23mm
Front Tyre Continental Ultra Sport II 23mm
Front Wheel Weight 1340
Handlebar Saturae Compact Black Satin Look 43cm
Head Angle 70
Headset Type Nico steel /aluminium
Rear Derailleur Shimano Sora 9-speed
Frame size tested 56cm