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Pinnacle Dolomite 5 review

27 Oct 2016
Verdict:

The Pinnacle Dolomite 5 is an alloy-framed, disc-braked mile-muncher.

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£850
For 
Good-looking and practical; excellent hydraulic disc brakes
Against 
On the bulky side

Designed specifically for UK road conditions, Pinnacle says its alloy-framed Dolomite 5 strikes a balance between a more upright sportive bike and ‘a performance machine the experienced rider will feel at home on during winter training’.

Shimano hydraulic disc brakes bring the promise of reliable and predictable stopping power during the wetter months, too.

Even better, at the time of going to press, the Dolomite 5 is currently reduced to £850, from its original price of £1,000 – good reason to snap one up quickly? Let’s see… 

Frameset

Besides being exceptionally handsome, the Pinnacle’s frame also features triple- and double-butted alloy tubes, allowing the manufacturer to tune the frame for stiffness where it matters with as little impact on weight as possible.

A fairly long head tube promotes a more upright riding position (adjustable by way of moving those spacers under the stem for a more aggressive riding position) while the sloping top tube makes for a compact rear triangle, allowing the maximum strength at the rear, and therefore minimises losses in power.

It also means there’s a lot of exposed seatpost, helping to isolate you from vibrations. The cabling is internally routed, which should help with your winter cleaning regime. Mounting points for mudguards and a rack give this easy-going bike oodles of practicality.

Groupset

Shimano’s RS505 hydraulic shifters are 105-level in the Japanese firm’s component range. It takes some getting used to the slightly bulbous brake hoods but they’re a comfortable place to rest your hands and operate the front and rear 105 mechs to work through the 50/34 FSA Gossamer chainset/11-speed Shimano cassette.

Stars of the groupset are the brake callipers themselves. Often found on bikes three times the price, the BR785s are solid performers and inspire masses of confidence although they do add to the overall weight of this bike.

Finishing kit

Pinnacle’s own-brand finishing kit includes ergonomically pleasing short-drop alloy handlebars, although we’d prefer them slightly narrower.

The 27.2mm alloy seatpost helps absorb vibrations but the saddle is too cushioned for our liking, robbing us of some feel at the rear.

Wheels

Alex Rims’ double-walled Draw rims feature a 32-spoke design, and exhibited next to no flex in testing.

We’re impressed with their dependability but they’re not the lightest disc wheels, which does add a little to the overall rotational weight of the Pinnacle. That said, for a winter bike, we’d take reliability and longevity over low weight any time.

Continental’s 25c Grand Sport Race tyres are adequate, but ripe for upgrading. There’s clearance for 28c in the frame if you want to opt for even greater comfort.

The ride

We tested a Dolomite 4 earlier this year, and to say it impressed us greatly is an understatement. So expectations of the Dolomite 5 were high and we weren’t disappointed.

Upgrades to the brakes over the 4 instantly allowing the 5 to shine, while the frame allowed us to get comfy from the off and settle into a fatigue-free test ride.

On the road, several things conspire to make the Dolomite the kind of bike it feels like you’ve owned for years. Although it doesn’t possess the ability to put huge watts to the ground in the way a super-stiff racer would, the ride is particularly comfortable, and our size S frame put us in an instantly cosseting riding position.

The sloping top tube leaves a fair length of the seatpost exposed, which helps to isolate backside from road vibe. Continental’s 25c Grand Sport tyres don’t factor well in terms of rolling resistance and outright grip, but they’re predictable in damper conditions and iron out road imperfections well.

The disc-specific Alex Rims proved dependable, presenting no discernible flex under power, and an endurance-spec head angle allows the bike to respond safely, predictably and assuredly. OK, this bike won’t light up your life, but it will respond perfectly well throughout a winter of damp roads and cold starts.

A measured weight of 9.44kg doesn’t help when the road rises, but a decent spread of gears from the 11-28 cassette gives you every chance of finding a suitable ratio for climbs.

The bike’s weight and easy-going geometry are a real boon on downhill stretches, though. Handling The Dolomite’s trump card is its hydraulic disc brakes – a very welcome surprise on an £850 road bike.

They perform remarkably well in all conditions, with near-perfect modulation whether operating Shimano’s hydraulic-specific RS505 levers with one finger or four, and outright stopping power is there in abundance should you encounter myopic car drivers and be required to throw out the anchors with urgency.

A carbon fork combines with relaxed geometry to provide predictable steering with minimal vibration. The tyres are adequate rather than fantastic, and we’d swap the saddle for something more supportive and less ‘squishy’, but a comfortably balanced overall package puts this bike high up on our wishlist of winter bikes, and at this price it’s a remarkable piece of kit.

Geometry

Geometry chart

 

Claimed Measured
Top Tube (TT) 545mm 545mm
Seat Tube (ST) 470mm 474mm
Down Tube (DT) N/A 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) N/A 991mm
BB drop (BB) 75mm 75mm

Spec

Pinnacle Dolomite 5
Frame 6061-T6 heat treated aluminium frame, carbon blade fork
Groupset Shimano 105
Brakes Shimano BR-785 hydraulic disc brakes
Chainset FSA Gossamer, 50/34
Cassette Shimano CS-5800, 11-28
Bars Pinnacle 6061, alloy
Stem Pinnacle Road Ahead, alloy
Seatpost Pinnacle, alloy, 27.2mm
Wheels Alex Draw
Saddle Pinnacle Race
Weight 9.44kg
Contact evanscycles.com

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