Based around an aluminium frame and carbon fork, this entry-level road bike with mudguard eyelets is a sporty all-rounder. It doesn’t quite reach the peaks its name suggests but it’s a first-rate bike at a budget-busting price. You could easily draft it into service as a winter – or year-round – trainer or long-distance commuter, such is its balance of comfort and performance.
Highs: Good performance, excellent comfort levels and loads of versatility
Lows: So-so tyres and it’s not the lightest bike for the price
Buy if: You want a bike for all sorts of riding: training, sportives, commuting and even light touring
The Dolomite One is the cheapest of UK bike shop chain Evans Cycles’ half-dozen men’s road machines and currently priced at £449.99. The frame is neatly made from double-butted 7005 series aluminium, and it’s always good to see a carbon-legged fork at this price, in this case a Kinesis with steel steerer.
The kit is very much the standard for a half-a-grand bike, with Shimano’s Sora-like eight-speed 2300 taking charge of shifting and a 50/34-tooth Shimano compact chainset contributing to a well co-ordinated look.
Although the Dolomite is definitely a road bike, Pinnacle have built versatility into both the frame and spec. There are 57mm deep drop brakes, and eyelets for mudguards and a rear rack, so you can easily fit ‘proper’ full-length ’guards and carry panniers.
The choice of tyres shows Pinnacle also have at least one eye on comfort, speccing 26mm Kenda Kwick Roller Sports. We’re a big fan of wider tyres on road bikes, increasing comfort with only a marginal weight gain and slight increase in rolling resistance.
The Kendas do roll reasonably well but they’re still very much budget rubber. Take care with them early on, particularly over slick or oily surfaces, and replace them with better tyres at the end of their life.
Considering the tyres and the quite modest wheelset, though, performance is very good. The Pinnacle isn’t lightning quick and may be a little too polite to satisfy any Mark Cavendish wannabes, but its handling inspires confidence and you’ll find it rewarding over short and long rides.
Acceleration’s okay if not all-out inspiring, but we’d happily ride this in sportives – it’s easily comfortable enough for a century ride – and it would also make a great winter trainer or a machine for the occasional lightweight tour. The frame’s easily stiff enough, it’s well set up for loaded rides and it’s comfortable, too.
Ultimately the Pinnacle is a very ‘sensible’ bike. This sounds like it’s being damned with faint praise, but that’s not what we mean. It’s not especially light, but it’s an excellent bike for the money. The frame is neatly made and butted to keep the weight down, and we appreciate the feel of the carbon fork, but there are no bent or oddly shaped tubes, no crazy angles. Sensible? Yes. But is that a bad thing? no.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine.