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Pinnacle Dolomite SE review

22 Mar 2017
Verdict:

A solid budget-friendly machine that doesn't compromise too much to keep the price down

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
700

Pinnacle describes its bike as being designed for UK road conditions and offering a balance between a more upright sportive bike and something a bit sportier.

Similarly, it provides space for 25C tyres with guards or 28C without. Some clever components choices have helped keep the price down but will it affect the performance of a bike?

The frame

The Dolomite makes room for 25C tyres with mudguards or wider 28C models by themselves, alongside mounts for front and rear racks.

This makes it a practical and versatile bike for day-to-day use, readily adapting to winter conditions or taking panniers for commuting or light touring.

Its tubes are fairly unfussy in their profiles and the welds are functional rather than lovely. The 6061, T6 heat-treated tubing is either double or triple butted to keep down its weight.

The frame itself is relatively light on the scales although this is somewhat lost due to the heavier components that hang off it.

We reckon with a bit of mass shorn off it could make quite a lively bike, both in its acceleration and ride quality, although the build makes this difficult to judge at the frame’s front is a chunky oversize head tube and carbon fork.

However, to keep down the cost it features a straight 1in alloy steerer, slightly negating the design’s effectiveness in keeping the front of the bike flex-free.

Gear cables are routed internally, with neat-looking reinforcements to the down tube where they pierce its exterior.

Groupset

Evans has enlisted the slightly older 5700-series 105 shifters for the Dolomite. They provide 10 speeds, one less than the latest 5800 range.

Still, that will be plenty for most riders and they work very well, as do the matching front and back derailleurs.

The crankset is a fairly basic and nondescript alloy model. Using an equally basic square taper bottom bracket, it’s there to save cost. However, with its compact chainrings it does a passable job.

The 12-28 cassette at the back is a good choice, meaning you lose one very high gear but keep a not too widely spaced spread of ratios.

The Promax brand brakes offer reasonable stopping and feature cartridge pads, which will make them slightly cheaper to replace or upgrade.

Finishing Kit

It’s rare to see anything other than a short and shallow bar on a bike like this and Pinnacle clearly doesn’t see any reason to buck that trend, and neither do we.

With a minimal drop down to the bars' lower section it’s easy to get lower for putting down the power of swinging through the corners.

The stem is nice enough to look at and the two bolt seatpost is sturdy and easy to adjust. However, we reckon some riders may not get along with the narrow saddle.

Wheels

If the lack of budget shows somewhere on the Pinnacle’s kit list it’s at the fairly basic wheels.  With 32 spokes they’re likely to be robust enough, but they aren’t the lightest.

As a consequence, getting the bike up to speed takes a little while. The Kenda Kriterium tyres are of respectable quality and normally won't be found on a bike this affordable.

The rims are relatively wide, which helps them take on a gently radiused shape, helping expand their contact patch and eke out every last bit of grip from the rubber.

The ride

The first thing you notice about the Pinnacle is its very low slung frame. With plenty of standover it’s easy to hop aboard and easy to lean over once you’re there.

Weight feels a little bit on the chunkier side, probably due to the basic chainset along with the wheels.

Not too aggressive but not too upright either, the position dictated by the geometry instantly feels on the money for the bike’s sportive-machine billing.

On the road

With its moderate-weight wheels, the Dolomite is a little hesitant in building velocity. With basic hoops there’s not much to be done about this besides pedal harder or buy some new and fancier tyres.

Still, once you get up a head of steam, the bike ticks along nicely and handles well considering the front end is slightly lower and the seatstays shorter compared to similar rivals.

Handling is also likely boosted by the slightly steeper head angle. It’s still far more temperate than some, but definitely rapid enough in changing tack when necessary to be engaging and fun to ride.

Despite a relatively long top tube, the height of the head tube and a medium-length stem keep everything within easy reach. This allowed us to continually move between tops, hoods and drops to get into the best position for the going at the time.

While it’s fine on smoother tarmac, over rougher surfaces the ride isn’t the most forgiving. It rattles along slightly although considering the low price, it’s no more jarring than you’d expect.

Handling

While the front of the frame features an oversized head tube, the fork has a standard diameter steerer.

It’s accommodated via a reducing headset that makes up the difference. Somewhat cheekily, the bike is listed as having a tapered steerer on the website.

The junction between it and the chunky frame isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing aspect of the bike. It might also be the reason for the medium degree of flex detectable towards the front end. This isn’t enough to be irritating but it’s a negative point all the same.

Towards the back of the bike there’s little movement to be found meaning that efforts at the pedals feel efficiently translated, although yanking on the bars is less rewarding.

Despite only having 10 gears rather than the 11 found on the newest 105 groupset, we didn’t really miss the last sprocket on the cassette although the action of the gear and brake levers isn’t quite as nice as on the latest shifters.

We’d probably have taken a complete and current Tiagra groupset instead, although at this price that might have been a stretch.

Ratings

Frame: Unfussy. This bike is built to be practical and affordable. 7/10
Components: Cost-effective and perfectly serviceable. 7/10 
Wheels: Basic and robust but not the lightest. 7/10 
The Ride: Restrained but still fun once it's up to speed. 7/10

VERDICT

A solid budget-friendly machine from high street giant Evans that doesn't compromise too much in the name of cost-cutting.

Geometry

Claimed Measured
Top Tube (TT) 560mm 560mm
Seat Tube (ST) 500mm 505mm
Down Tube (DT) N/A 635mm
Fork Length (FL) N/A 382mm
Head Tube (HT) 160mm 162mm
Head Angle (HA) 72 72
Seat Angle (SA) 73 73
Wheelbase (WB) N/A 1008mm
BB drop (BB) 75mm 74mm

Spec

Pinnacle Dolomite SE
Frame 6061-T6 triple-butted, carbon fork
Groupset Shimano 105 5700
Brakes Promax dual pivot calliper with cartridge pads
Chainset Alloy Square Taper, 50/34
Cassette Shimano HG-500, 12-28
Bars Pinnacle
Stem Pinnacle
Seatpost Pinnacle twin bolt, micro adjust, 27.2mm
Wheels Double Wall, KT alloy hub
Saddle Pinnacle Race
Weight 9.8kg (size M)
Contact evanscycles.com

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