Pinnacle Dolomite 5 review£900.00

All-rounder road bike with compact frame

BikeRadar score4/5

The obvious difference between the Pinnacle Dolomite and other similarly pitched/priced road bikes is its compact frame. This uses a sloping top tube to give tighter frame triangles and a longer seatpost than a conventional bike, with a traditional horizontal top tube. 

This is a really smart move by Pinnacle – particularly on an alloy framed bike. The smaller frame uses less material and the Dolomite has a relatively light frame. Physics dictates that smaller frame triangles mean less flex from similar diameter tubes, which is great for steering accuracy and power delivery. 

More exposed seatpost – particularly in the 27.2mm diameter here – means more flex between rider and bike to offset that stiffer frame in terms of in-saddle comfort over rough roads. 

  • Pros: Lightweight, responsive compact frame on surefooted wheels with great Shimano spec

The Dolomite 5 showcases all these theoretical advantages in a very tangible way on the road. The wide, deep drop bar and stout fork give impressive accuracy for pushing the naturally stable handling hard into corners. 

The tight frame also lets you recruit shoulders as well as legs for launching attacks. The lower centre of gravity also makes it great fun to get out of the saddle and flick about for village sign sprints or into and out of chicanes, making it a clear green jersey winner.

The relatively heavy wheels inevitably dull pick up, particularly on steep climbs, but once they’re spinning it’s got real ‘turbo diesel’ grunt. The Shimano wheels with 25mm tyres run noticeably smoother and hold traction more tenaciously over rough sections to boost speed sustain further. 

Pinnacle dolomite 5:
Pinnacle dolomite 5:

Because there’s useful (but not pedal interrupting) seatpost movement we found ourselves being bucked out of the saddle much less on rutted roads. All this meant we were often surprised to look over our shoulders and find we’d pulled a significant gap out of pursuing bikes whose sharper, rattlier character actually made them feel faster.

It’s a big credit to the very enjoyable overall ride character of the Dolomite 5 that the thing that’ll attract most buyers to it in the first place is the last thing we’re commenting on here. Shimano 105 is an absolute stalwart of smooth, quiet long-term shifting and the FSA Gossamer cranks get a full-size axle and stout spider for great power transfer. Cartridge pad brakes keep stopping tight and complete a package genuinely free of weak links, at a cracking price.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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