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Pinnacle Dolomite 4 review

13 Jan 2016
Verdict:

The Pinnacle Dolomote 4 is a disc brake all-rounder that wades on in winter. It's also an absolute bargain.

Cyclist Rating: 
For 
Heaps of fun
Against 
Tyres aren't the best

For 2016, Pinnacle has taken its very highly rated Dolomite range and modified the frames to take disc brakes. In doing so, it has created a properly practical bike, which also features mounts for front and rear racks, plus the capacity to take 28c tyres (so as long as you’ve not fitted any mudguards). So, does satisfying the growing lust for stylish, utilitarian road bikes with the added benefit of future-proof braking make this smooth-welded alloy road bike a cut above the rest? Or instead, has it missed the mark? Read on to find out. 

Frame

Pinnacle Dolomite 4 Tiagra

Pinnacle’s Dolomite frame differs from the other three here in that the company has gone out of its way to hide the welds, and it’s a triumph. We’re all for appreciating the beauty of a handcrafted frame, but high-volume manufacturers so often churn out messy welds. Beyond the smooth tube junctions, the deep metallic green paint is quite simply stunning. The tubes are rounded, adding to the more traditional appearance of the frame, while the seatstays and chainstays splay slightly as they reach the rear angle.

Triple butting in places allows Pinnacle to keep the tubes slender, yet strong. Cabling is internally routed – even the housing that contains the cable for the Tektro front disc brake. Custom mounts at the seatstays and fork also accommodate luggage, which is a nice practical touch. Plus, the frame has clearance for 28c tyres, if you prefer an even smoother ride, as long as you’re not fitting mudguards – one of the advantages of not using rim brakes. The Dolomite’s shallow head angle and low bottom bracket are designed for stability, and that’s exactly what you get.

Groupset

Pinnacle Dolomite 4 groupset

Is 10-speed Tiagra quickly becoming the new 105? It’s gratifying that Pinnacle has opted for a Tiagra 50/34 chainset (it’s Hollowtech compatible) and it’s a very good match with the Tiagra shifters – which look like more expensive 105 versions. Although the Tiagra family resemblance is echoed in the front and rear mechs, Pinnacle has opted to use a cheaper non-series 12-28 cassette and KMC chain. TRP’s mechanical Spyre disc brakes are the big difference here, even if it took us three minutes of tweaking to stop the pads rubbing.

Finishing kit

Again, in-house finishing kit adorns the Dolomite. On our small frame, the 42cm bars are a good fit. They flexed a little too much for us to really get the hammer down on some short climbs. However, the seatpost and saddle, on the other hand, are great pieces of kit. The understated, well-padded seat with chromoly rails didn’t give us any cause for concern and the 27.2mm seatpost does an admirable job of damping out the roughness of the road. This is assisted by a steeply sloping top tube, which allows more of the seatpost to protrude.

Wheels

Pinnacle Dolomite 4 disc brakes

Well, here’s a turn-up for the books – the Pinnacle sports the lightest wheelset of the bunch. Considering the weight of the front (1.38kg) and rear (1.96kg) wheels includes a pair of brake rotors, we’re impressed by their comparative lack of bulk. It shows in the ride too – giving one of the most willing sub-£1,000 road bike experiences we’ve had in years. Kenda’s 25c Kriterium tyres are easily up to all-weather riding, considering their Gatorskin-alike tread, shallow profile and puncture-resistant band. 

The ride

Initial brake niggles aside – a rubbing disc rotor was swiftly corrected – this bike is superb. It’s willing, able, comfortable, and has sharper handling when the need takes you. And that’s before we even get to its braking ability.

Pinnacle Dolomite 4 review

The operation of Shimano’s newest, 10-speed incarnation of Tiagra is a brilliant compromise between weight and performance. Modern-day Tiagra is almost on a par with Shimano 105 – certainly for looks, and almost for slickness of operation. Swapping easily between gears enhances the Pinnacle’s ride experience. When you’re not admiring the impeccably smooth welds, you’ll be stamping on the Dolomite’s pedals like a demon. It may weigh much the same as the other three bikes here, but its comparative willingness to pick up the pace, tackle climbs, barrel into corners, and stop is impressive.

Considering we measured the steering head angle at almost a full degree shallower than claimed, we weren’t expecting the most responsive steering. However, while the Pinnacle proved stable in corners, it was surprisingly responsive to quick direction changes when our line required adjustment mid-corner. A bottom bracket drop of 75mm locates your centre of gravity lower than any of the other bikes here, lending a feeling of stability at all times, especially when descending. It helps that the brakes add the confidence that you’ll be able to pull yourself up in time if anything causes a change of plan, mid-descent. Although it can’t match others for top-notch tyres, the wire-beaded Kenda Kriteriums on the Pinnacle are very good. We’d have every confidence in fitting them to our own winter bikes for their level of grip and puncture prevention.

Geometry

Geometry chart
Claimed Measured
Top Tube (TT) 545mm 545mm
Seat Tube (ST) 470mm 474mm
Down Tube (DT) 629mm
Fork Length (FL) 375mm 376mm
Head Tube (HT) 140mm 140mm
Head Angle (HA) 71.5 70.6
Seat Angle (SA) 73 73
Wheelbase (WB) 991mm
BB drop (BB) 75mm 75mm

Spec

Pinnacle Dolomite 4 £800
Frame 6061 double butted alloy - carbon forks
Groupset Shimano Tiagra
Brakes TRP Spyre mechanical discs
Chainset Oval Concepts 520, 52/36
Cassette Shimano HG500, 12-28
Bars Pinnacle alloy
Stem Pinnacle road alloy
Seatpost Pinnacle alloy, 27.2mm
Wheels Alex Draw
Tyres Kenda Kriterium, 25c
Saddle Pinnacle Race
Contact evanscycles.com
Price: 
£800

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