We’ve previously tested great value commuters and cyclo-cross style bikes from Pinnacle, and for 2012 they’ve stepped up into the carbon road bike arena. The Evaporite Two is a full-carbon frame built with Shimano 105 and RS20 wheels. With a pricetag of £1,499 it’s among the cheapest bikes in the Bike of the Year test. Happily, however, you wouldn’t know that from its ride.
The frame doesn’t have complex shapes or elaborate design touches. Instead, it simply does what’s needed. A large, round down tube mates with an oversized BB30 bottom bracket shell that leads into thick chainstays. The top tube and seatstays are standard sized – no super slim flexible designs here, just straight tubes and solid construction. This results in a ride that’s solid and sharp, with an admirable response to pedal inputs.
The Evaporite doesn’t have quite the refinement of the latest carbon frame designs. In fact, it reminds us of the high-level carbon frames of a few years ago – Cannondale’s first generation carbon frames, or even the original carbon Storck Scenario. The Pinnacle has a definite Germanic feel – efficient, sharp and responsive – and above all, an exciting ride. There are bikes that offer a more refined all-round ride but very few that offer the excitement of the Evaporite, especially at such a modest price.
The level of equipment is just what we’d expect in this price range. The RS20 wheels may be at the bottom of Shimano’s tree but they’re solidly put together and have never given us any issues. The latest Shimano 105 always performs well; here’s it’s teamed with a BB30-compatible FSA Gossamer chainset which, with its machined chainrings, gives slick, smooth shifts and ample stiffness.
If £1,500 is your absolute price ceiling and you prefer a ride that’ll challenge and excite rather than cosset and cushion, we can’t think of a better place to spend your cash than on the Evaporite Two.
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This bike was tested as part of Cycling Plus magazine’s 2012 Bike Of The Year feature – read the full results in issue 260, on sale Friday 2 March.