Pinnacle Arkose Four review
What you’re left with after a mucky ride on Pinnacle’s Arkose Four is something that resembles a dirty smurf.
Strikingly blue, this is the second-highest-specced bike in the British company’s Arkose range of aluminium-framed cyclocross bikes, costing £200 less than the range-topping Five.
It’s a bit on the heavy side straight off the shelf, weighing in at close to 10kg. But 3.5kg of that comes from the Arkose Four’s wheelset (Alex ATD rims with Kenda tyres and Shimano discs), so an upgrade there is the obvious place to look if you want to shed some of its ballast.
The 3.5kg Alex ATD-490 rims make for heavy rolling stock, and would be the first thing you’d look to upgrade if you want to shed some of the Arkose’s 10kg weight
Although, for the most part, that weight strangely seems to help when it comes to riding the Arkose Four. Knowing that its bulk makes bursts of acceleration such hard work (sprinting is not its forté), you find yourself doing everything you can to carry whatever momentum the bike manages to build up. And once you get it rolling, the Arkose is very happy to keep going.
That quality, coupled with its weight, means stopping could be a bit of a concern, but thankfully the Arkose Four comes equipped with Shimano’s hydraulic disc brakes, which do a great job of controlling your speed. Knowing that you can bring yourself to a complete stop at a moment’s notice, you’re much more willing to let the Arkose Four loose. And letting it loose allows the bike to use whatever momentum it’s built up to barrel over almost any obstacle in its path – revealing its somewhat tank-like character.
Despite the ballast, Shimano’s latest RS685 hydraulic disc brakes handle the stopping admirably, controlling your speed like a charm and giving you the confidence to really let the Pinnacle loose
There’s very little that seems capable of troubling the Arkose Four enough to stop it in its tracks. Especially as, given the bike’s heft and how much of it is centred on the wheels, it’s surprisingly nimble – enough to let you throw it around tight corners and off-camber bends with ease. The only things that expose the Arkose Four’s weakness are hills, and the further the balance tips in gravity’s favour the more of a grind it becomes to keep the Arkose going.
Nevertheless, it’s a great tool to help you get to grips with the demands of cyclo-cross while giving you scope to upgrade as your skills and fitness develop.
At the heart of the Four and all the bikes in the Arkose line-up is an aluminium frame and carbon fork designed to run disc brakes.
In this case it’s a Shimano hydraulic set-up paired to a mix-and-match groupset made up of some Shimano 105 derailleurs and a compact chainset and bottom bracket from FSA. The brakes are fantastic and there’s absolutely no need to change them, but although the drivetrain meshes together perfectly well in its current guise, it has plenty of room for improvement.
Components are a Shimano mish-mash, but all work together perfectly with zero compatibility issues
Any changes you might want to make to the Arkose Four are likely to be with the intention of reducing weight. And while the drivetrain is an area you could easily address, swapping the Alex wheels would almost certainly make a more noticeable difference, particularly when it comes to sprinting and climbing.
The Arkose Four is a decent bike in its off-the-shelf guise – a little tank-like maybe, but not in a way that particularly holds it back. Give it a pair of lighter wheels shod with some racier rubber, though, and you’ll give this tank a turbo.
Verdict: With enough momentum, the extra weight of the Arkose Four gives you a stop-at-nothing ride. Swap out components later if you want to shed some weight, 75%
Full bike spec
Frame and forks
Sizes 49cm, 52cm, 55cm and 58cm
Frame 6061-T6 heat-treated aluminium, triple-butted and flat-welded tubes
Fork Full carbon, tapered steerer
Chainset FSA Omega Compact
Bottom bracket FSA BB-4000
Cassette Shimano CS-5800-11 11–32t
Chain KMC 11-speed
Derailleurs Shimano 105
Shifters Shimano ST-RS685
Front/rear Alex ATD-490 32H
Tyres Kenda K1047 35c
Stem Pinnacle SL 4 bolt
Bars Pinnacle 6061 DB Aluminium Flare-drop bar
Headset FSA Orbit C-40
Saddle Pinnacle Race
Seatpost Pinnacle Aluminium
Brakes Shimano BR-RS685 hydraulic disc
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Contact : www.evanscycles.com