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Pearson Minegoestoeleven review

1 May 2020
Verdict:

Pearson has delivered a fast and efficient frameset and with the bar issue resolved the MGTE will have a lot to offer at a reasonable price

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£1,750 frameset, £6,750 as tested
For 
Fast and efficient • Stable • Quick acceleration • Good road holding • Comfortable for an aero race bike
Against 
Handlebar flex issue needs resolving

Remember the 1984 rock mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap, in which lead singer David St Hubbins explains how the band manages to be so loud? ‘Our amps go to eleven, which is one louder…’

What has this got to do with bikes? Not much, other than it’s where this new Pearson gets its name from. It has nothing whatsoever to do with gears.

Now we’ve got that out of the way, on to the bike itself. The Minegoestoeleven (MGTE) is the latest addition to Pearson’s range of road bikes, all of which have quirky names, such as Objects In Motion and Hammer And Tongs.

This one is built primarily around aero performance, but within parameters that company director Will Pearson says makes it suited to a wide spectrum of riders.

‘We felt we were missing something racier in our range, but bike fit is at the core of what we do [every purchase begins with a full bike fit], and our typical customer is 30-plus,’ he says. ‘Most can’t touch their toes.

Buy now from Pearson for £4,200

They like the look of something aero and racy, but our fit data usually shows they aren’t capable of riding in aggressive positions.

‘That’s why we’ve designed the MGTE with plenty of scope in the head tube height to be fit-friendly and offer a wide range of positions. It can still be slammed and low if it needs to be, though.’

 

Established in 1860, Pearson, based in Sutton, south London, was officially named the world’s oldest bicycle business in 2019. Quite an accolade, and Will Pearson is now the fifth generation of the family to take charge.

These days, the carbon frames are open mould, sourced from the Far East, and Pearson is forthright about not trying to spin a home-grown story for the MGTE.

‘We use the same supplier for all our carbon frames,’ says Pearson. ‘We have an excellent relationship with them that allows us to control and change certain details. They key thing is we can offer a complete package at really good value.’

On that point I agree. The frameset combined with its fully integrated aero cockpit delivers a clean and attractive silhouette that’s right up to date – squint a bit and you can see much the same outline as a good number of top-tier brands – and yet the price for the frameset (including the bars and carbon seatpost) is a modest £1,750. Looks alone, though, wouldn’t convince me to part with my cash, so let’s saddle up.

The good, the bad and the solution

Before I’d even left the workshop and turned a pedal in anger, I couldn’t help noticing that the bar/stem combo was very flexy.

Applying only moderate force to the bars made them wobble like a see-saw, so I was keen to discover how this would affect the MGTE’s performance in real-world riding situations.

 

During sprints or simulated attacks, it was clear the bars weren’t up to bracing the forces even my skinny 67kg frame and sparrow arms could produce. I was able to twist and flex the bars a noticeable amount.

To keep some perspective, though, it’s not that the bike felt overly sluggish as a result, simply that there was just an initial lag in acceleration, and very quickly things came back within acceptable limits.

There was a flipside to the flex, too. When I wasn’t hauling on the bars – ie, most of the time – I quite enjoyed the way the cockpit dealt with rough roads. Even so, I felt I needed some answers.

Pearson was quick to reassure me a solution was already on its way: ‘We were aware the first-generation cockpit [such as on this bike] might have had too much flex where the stem transitions into the bar,’ he says. ‘We’ve beefed that up to be much stiffer for the second generation, which will be here in a just a couple of weeks.’

Obviously I haven’t had the opportunity to try the new bar in this test, so I’ll have to take Pearson at his word, but suffice to say it should be a relatively easy fix. Handlebars aside, let’s get to the rest.

Buy now from Pearson for £4,200

If I had to describe the MGTE in a single word, it would be efficient. The frameset felt solid under power and surefooted as my efforts, both seated and standing, were always ably translated into speed, even on stretches of potholed tarmac, battered by the recent bout of floods where I live.

 

But it was once I’d attained a decent cruising speed (around 35-40kmh) that I really started to notice the apparent lack of effort needed to maintain it. I had to question whether perhaps I’d been riding too many gravel bikes lately, because it just felt really easy to go fast on the MGTE.

To help me, I went for a ride on a Cannondale SuperSix Evo, a bike I know well and hold in high regard, as a sort of leveller. Back on the MGTE, and that sense of skimming along, cranks whirring easily, was clearly still apparent. So it wasn’t just that I was having a good day before.

Even on a ride when some 80kmh gusts and stretches of howling headwind had me balled into a near-foetal position to maintain forward motion, I returned home feeling pretty positive about what Pearson had delivered. My average speeds and the ride times I clocked around my regular loops made it clear: the MGTE is undoubtedly fast.

 

Pearson’s own-brand wheels deserve a mention too – also quirkily named: Hoopdriver Cut & Thrust. With ample stiffness and relatively low weight (claimed 1,550g) given their £1,300 pricetag, they must certainly have contributed to the overall responsiveness of the ride feel and handled those gusts admirably well to boot.

In that regard, the 50mm rear wheel depth and 38mm front is a nice idea. Their rolling performance was undeniably bolstered by what can only be described as some very desirable rubber – Continental’s 28mm GP5000 tyres.

There’s a lot to like about the MGTE, and assuming that Pearson holds good on his promise of the new bars being ready by the time you read this review, there’s nothing to stop me from giving it a resounding thumbs up.

 

Spec

Frame Pearson Minegoestoeleven
Groupset Shimano Dura-Ace Di2
Brakes Shimano Dura-Ace Di2
Chainset Shimano Dura-Ace Di2
Cassette Shimano Dura-Ace Di2
Bars Pearson one-piece carbon bar/stem
Stem Pearson one-piece carbon bar/stem
Seatpost Pearson carbon
Saddle Selle San Marco
Wheels Pearson Hoopdriver Cut & Thrust carbon, Continental GP5000 28mm tyres 
Weight 7.57kg (M)
Contact pearson1860.com

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