Evans Cycles’ house brand, Pinnacle, has earned a reputation for sensible, smartly specced bikes offering considerable value for money. Last year, testers on our sister magazine Cycling Plus were impressed with the cheerful versatility and solid Shimano 105 build of the Dolomite 6 2015 (then just £950). Their one real criticism was of substandard Tektro rim brakes, so the move to hydraulic discs is promising.
The braking upgrade is, though, offset by a few concessions. The full carbon fork is no more – the steerer is alloy – while the slick 105 chainset has lost out to a less posh, but perfectly serviceable, FSA unit. The weight’s gone up a little, too (by around 0.6kg), but otherwise the recipe is largely unchanged: the frame is a tidily executed 6061 aluminium with minimally disguised welds, partly internal cabling and a tapered head tube. It sports
a paint job that’s pleasant rather than beautiful.
Most importantly, Pinnacle hasn’t compromised on versatility. As well as clearance for 28mm tyres, the Dolomite has a full complement of eyelets and bosses to mount a rack and mudguards, so it’s
a prime pick for year-round riding or commutes.
The bike hasn’t lost its pleasant road manners. At this price we don’t expect premium levels of refinement or race-bike stiffness, but it’s a solid all-rounder that won’t beat you senseless over potholes or sap your enthusiasm on the climbs. The subtly curved seatstays and skinny post do a fair job of cushioning your rear, while the saddle is, if anything, too soft – we’d swap in something more supportive in the long run.
Following Evans’ sizing recommendations gives a fairly upright position; size down (and fit a longer stem) for a more aggressive tri race-day fit, albeit one that still leans towards the endurance end of the spectrum. The top tube lengths look long on paper, but the fairly slack seat angles and short-ish stock stems compensate for this.
Shimano’s new RS505 levers warrant a mention. Although they don’t strictly belong to a groupset, they’re pitched at the 105 level and make road hydraulics much more affordable for the masses. The lever aesthetics do take some getting used to, with a bulbous hood design reminiscent of the old 2200 groupset (the entry-level one with the horrid
thumb levers). The ergonomics have proved divisive among our testers – some love the reassuring bulk, others lament the curious lumps and bumps – so try before you buy.
Braking and shifting are outstanding, though. The former comes courtesy of the same RS785 calipers found on bikes costing over £3,000, and is reassuring and well-modulated, while the latter is at least the equal of 105 in refinement.
Spec is compromised here and there to add hydraulics at this price, but we think the Dolomite 5 is pitched pretty much perfectly. Weight is still reasonable, and none of the changes undermine the bike’s likeable personality. It’s not a particularly sexy machine, and lacks race-day aggression, but it’s a thoroughly capable bike that’s well suited to racking up the training miles whatever the weather.
Verdict: A rounded performance and great versatility in a remarkably affordable package