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Pearson Objects In Motion review

8 Nov 2019
Verdict:

A truly lovely bike to roll around on but won't be racy enough for some and its heavy-ish weight holds it back on climbs

Cyclist Rating: 
For 
Compliant ride • Nicely made and finished • Stiff enough
Against 
Lacks punch on climbs • Geometry too relaxed for some

Pearson is possibly best known for being the oldest bike shop in Britain, if not the world. Blacksmith Tom Pearson first opened the doors back in 1860, and by 1889, having been joined by his brother Harry, most of the business was concentrated on the newfangled bicycle.

For me, Pearson is notable for another reason: the wonderfully worded names of its bicycles.

There’s the Allmodcons gravel bike; the I’ve Started So I’ll Finish cyclocross bike; the Cut To The Chase aero road bike; and this, the Objects In Motion, which is billed as ‘ideal for the cut and thrust of racing as well as longer challenging rides’.

It turns out Jack Of All Trades is a registered gas engineering company from Southall.

Pearson’s names are bizarre but endearing, not just because nearly anything sounds better than a bunch of initials, but also because it shows the thought Pearson puts into every detail of its bikes.

 

Been here before

I say ‘bikes’ plural because long ago, when disc brakes were only found on mountain bikes and 25mm tyres only used by commuters, I tested a Pearson I’ll Get Me Coat.

It was beautifully constructed from titanium, and being titanium it was as smooth as a material secreted by the larvae of the Bombyx mori. Which, incidentally, would also be a great name for a bike.

Yet with its mudguard and rack mounts and relaxed geometry, the Coat was every bit the long-distance companion.

By contrast, the Objects represents Pearson’s take on high-performance, disc brake road, albeit using the same 3Al 2.5V titanium alloy as the Coat.

With the same material to play with, how a titanium bike performs all comes down to how you manipulate the material.

That is most evident in the Objects’ geometry. I tested a size medium, which translates as a 555mm effective top tube, 995mm wheelbase and 73° head angle.

 

Buy now from Pearson from £5,000

These measurements always stand out to me as being the strongest indicators of a bike’s intentions, and here they position the Objects in the middling part of the racy spectrum.

Losing 10mm off the wheelbase and steepening the head angle half a degree would likely result in a much ‘racier’ bike, but all numbers pointed towards the Objects being a neutral, stable ride. Albeit with a 175mm head tube, a factor I’ll come to later.

Gets up well

In almost every regard the Objects is a rewarding bike to pedal. It’s generally stiff enough, receiving an extra boost from the use of thru-axles and wider spacing of the stays to accommodate disc brakes.

That stiffness translates into a positive, direct ride feel, which in turn manifests in a feeling of near equal and opposite reaction from the wheels when cranking on the pedals.

That feeling of efficiency is propagated by the Pearson-branded deep section wheels, which at a claimed 1,550g a pair lend this otherwise un-aero bike a lick of sustainable pace on flat roads and a noticeable advantage on shallower climbs.

 

Rim depth is 38mm front, 55mm rear, a popular combination among companies such as Enve for the simple fact that a rider can reap aero gains very close to having a deeper front wheel, but without sacrificing crosswind stability.

Here it works well, albeit at 23mm wide the rims might seem a tad narrow to some. They are tubeless, though.

However, the bike’s 8kg-plus weight does impact climbing sharp gradients, where at times things felt more laborious than on a lighter, stiffer bike.

But that extra weight is to be expected given the Objects is metal, has disc brakes, deep section wheels and 28mm tyres. And the trade off is it stops on a sixpence, flows beautifully over most terrains and has supreme grip in corners.

Plus, you get that intangible quality that seems possessed by any titanium bike, a sublime mix of balance and liveliness. This thing really zings over the tarmac.

That said, the Objects is not the classic buttery cliché that is ti. At 31.8mm diameter, not the more flexible 27.2mm, the seatpost doesn’t score highly for comfort, and the oversized tube profiles give the package a smooth but not silky feel.

Once upon a time the Objects’ comfort would still be better than most carbon bikes, but now that long, spindly seatposts are near ubiquitous among carbon frames, the Objects feels unremarkable in that department.

Still, I covered a lot of miles and felt no ill effects beyond my own weariness.

 

Buy now from Pearson from £5,000

Highs and lows

I like this bike a lot. It is simple yet with nice flourishes, such as the neatly engineered rear dropouts and curved seatstays that follow the lines of the rotor (and which Pearson says offer extra vertical flex thanks to the curve).

The asymmetric paint on the seatstays and mirrored graphics are also pleasing to the eye, so too the finish, which strangely for titanium is clear lacquered, not raw (Pearson saying this finish provides a longer-lasting sheen).

Yet there is one area where we part ways, and that’s the fit this bike affords. There is no escaping that tall head tube.

I began by testing the bike as it arrived, with a stack of spacers (as shown in the pictures), but even once I removed them the front end still felt too high and I was more ‘perched’ on the bike (in a normal hands-on-hoods position) than intertwined with it.

 

I found myself most at home in the drops, both in terms of comfort and handling thanks to a lower centre of gravity.

When I put this to current incumbent Will Pearson, he explained that the geometry is based on averages from thousands of customers’ fit data amassed over the years, ‘and there is a definite trend towards a requirement for higher front ends to achieve an optimum position for the typical rider coming through our door’.

(It should be noted Pearson is still a bricks and mortar outfit and offers well-regarded bike-fitting services.)

I can’t argue with that. In fact I applaud it, as Pearson has served its local community for over 150 years, so if it’s not creating products to suit that community, it’s not doing its job right. I might not be its precise kind of customer, but you might be.

And if you are, I can promise you there’s a huge amount to like about the Objects in Motion.

 

Spec

Frame Pearson Objects In Motion
Groupset Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 Disc
Brakes Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 Disc
Chainset Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 Disc
Cassette Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 Disc
Bars Pro Vibe alloy 
Stem Pro Vibe alloy
Seatpost Pearson Bolt Upright carbon 
Saddle Pro Stealth
Wheels Pearson Full Carbon Hoopdriver, Continental GP5000 28mm tyres
Weight Weight 8.32kg (medium)
Contact pearsoncycles.co.uk

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£7,499.99

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