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Pinnacle Road Bikes - Any good?

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 Mick r 29 Jun 2020

Hi

I'm looking for a starter road bike for my daughter.. She's been doing a bit of cycling, but her current bike is pretty crap and it's possibly one of the reasons she doesn't go out that often, or go that far.

looking at the Evans website, they have a low end Specialized in with Claris groupset for £680, but they also have a Pinnacle Laterite 3 with 105 Groupset at £730

So, any views on Pinnacle Road bikes?  is it better to go for a cheap frame/decent groupset or a better frame with basic groupset?

thanks

  

Post edited at 12:21
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In reply to Mick r:

Its better to go for the one your daughter likes the most.

Both are perfectly good bikes, don't fall into the trap of thinking more expensive is better, the two totally different business models have more to do with the price than anything quality related. 

Oh and I've have a Pinnacle and its perfectly up to the job. 

Post edited at 12:37
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 mondite 29 Jun 2020
In reply to Mick r:

Its their inhouse brand so they can charge less and they generally get good reviews.

Generally the advice is to go for a better frame since components wear out and get replaced whilst frames last. Does depend on how crap the groupset is though.

Best to try them out if possible.

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In reply to Mick r:

I have a Pinnacle mountain bike - it has a well designed frame that is lasting well considering how much smacking about mountain bikes take! My wife has a Pinnacle woman's frame (but not an old fashioned step through frame) hybrid which is still going strong after a decade and both our older kids rode the same Pinnacle kids mountain bike when they got to the right size. I wouldn't worry at all about the quality of Pinnacle stuff - our three bikes from Evans have all worked well and were great value for money.

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 Mowglee 29 Jun 2020
In reply to Mick r:

Pinnacle bikes are good, not just in terms of value for money - they're generally well thought out and well put together. Snobs might turn their nose up at Evans own-brand but it's not justified.

105 vs Claris will be like night and day. If your daughter is looking to get more into cycling, a decent groupset will make a huge difference to the general enjoyment. I wouldn't pay too much attention to the idea of 'upgrade components later' - it's a new bike, it shouldn't need anything upgrading or replacing until it's done several thousand miles - and even then it'd just be cassette and chain.

It may be worth comparing overall weight of the two bikes, but I'd still accept a bit of a weight penalty to have a decent groupset. Sora is pretty poor and Claris will be a lot worse!

Post edited at 14:19
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In reply to mondite:

> Generally the advice is to go for a better frame since components wear out and get replaced whilst frames last.

This does seem one of those "truism" that doesn't actually make much sense. The cost of replacing a drive train say, quickly adds up.  Not very good components can ruin a bike's usability - I had at least five years and probably 10,000 kms wishing my CX bike had better brakes for example! When set up perfectly they worked well but didn't seem to stay like that for long - lots of faff. On my newer gravel bike I've not needed to do anything to the hydro brakes in two years and 4 000 kms, beyond change the pads once.  Decent quality components last many thousands of kilometres.  On a drop bar bike the cost of changing integrated brake/gear levers is prohibitive, and only more so if you have hydraulic brakes nowadays.

For Mick's original post, I'd happily pay the 50 quid more to have 105. The 105 mechs on my road bike still work great and they're a decade old and done many thousands of kms - it's great quality stuff.

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 GrahamD 29 Jun 2020
In reply to Mowglee:

I don't  agree that Sora is at all poor.  Of the three bikes I've accumulated, one is Sora, one is 105 and one is Ultegra.  Sora works fine and only a bit less slick than the others.  Seems to be every bit as robust as the other two.  Its main drawback is it's only 9speed, but on the plus side it's less affected by crap off the road.

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In reply to Mick r:

I've been riding a Pinnacle Borealis 4.0 since 2010. It is a hybrid that is very close to a road bike with a Tiagra drive train and carbon forks/seat stays. It has taken enormous amounts of abuse (even gone down easy MTB trails on it on some of my longer adventures...) and has lately taken me on my first 100 miler through the Peak.

They are good bikes.

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 Mick r 29 Jun 2020
In reply to Mowglee:

> Pinnacle bikes are good, not just in terms of value for money - they're generally well thought out and well put together. Snobs might turn their nose up at Evans own-brand but it's not justified.

> 105 vs Claris will be like night and day. If your daughter is looking to get more into cycling, a decent groupset will make a huge difference to the general enjoyment. I wouldn't pay too much attention to the idea of 'upgrade components later' - it's a new bike, it shouldn't need anything upgrading or replacing until it's done several thousand miles - and even then it'd just be cassette and chain.

thanks for the reply.  she has no idea on bike brands, so definitely not averse to buying the Pinnacle.  I tend to agree about the upgrades. It will take her years to do 10,000 miles so any upgrades would involve a new bike rather than upgrading to 105 or something on an old frame. Do people do that?

No idea why you got 2 thumbs down btw.  Snobs??

Post edited at 18:21
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 nniff 10:19 Wed
In reply to Mick r:

I'd be inclined to go for this VAN RYSEL WOMEN'S ROAD BIKE ULTRA RCR AF TIAGRA - WHITE  Full Shimano Tiagra, without any of the mixed components (particularly the crank and chain rings) that often cause problems.  Same sort of price.  You can get a disc brake bike from Decathlon for the same money, with part-105. but the savings sneak in elsewhere.  Acceptably light at 9.1kg.   The Pinnacle bike is keeping quiet about its weight.

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 Mick r 19:12 Wed
In reply to nniff:

Thanks,. Will take a look, but the nearest decathlon is 60 miles away.  The Pinnacle is 9.9kg from the looks of it.

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In reply to Mick r:

> The Pinnacle is 9.9kg from the looks of it.

Bloody hell. That's probably half the weight of your daughter!

I've never heard of Pinnacl, but on the theme of vfm in-house brands check out Ribble. Plenty of club riders use these as training bikes.

On the subject of frame/group set, I agree almost all products do the job these days. Nonetheless, I'd go for best frame in budget before worrying about components. Better still, perhaps, buy a frame and choose your own components?

I saw a great quote watching Mad Max last night: Speed is just a matter of money. How fast do you want to go?

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 TheSooper 10:57 Thu
In reply to Mick r:

Just a few thoughts that might assist your judgement.  I've no specific experience of this model, just what I see on Evans website.  Firstly, nothing wrong with Pinnacle bikes, value for money, in-house, straightforward designs, generally respected and very popular.  I think you'll get more for your money than you would from the Specialized. I'd stick with Shimano groupsets (reliable, prolific parts, easy to maintain/upgrade etc), Sora or above (my wife has a Sora equipped bike that has done 15000 miles over the last five years without problem, everything shifts fine).  The 105 groupset is a rare find in this price bracket and can't be faulted.  The frame is fine too, aluminium alloy is probably the optimum in this price bracket, particularly as it is equipped with a carbon fork.  Aluminium means the ride will feel a bit harsh but has the benefit of being lighter.  The only thing I'd check is how much clearance this frame gives for tyres.  The bike comes with 25mm tyres which are about as narrow as anyone rides these days and losing popularity even amongst fast riders.  Narrow needs high pressure which means a harder ride and isn't always great if your daughter expects to ride on rough roads surfaces.  In fact, I'd suggest that unless she is focused on speed and riding good quality surfaces, looking for a bike with at least 28mm tyres would be preferable (that additional 28mm adds a lot of extra volume).  Assuming the frame is accommodating, upgrading tyres is straightforward of course but at a cost.  The chainset appears unbranded and is therefore likely to be poorer quality than say "Shimano" but you have to expect some compromise at this price point and it is probably only going to be in terms of weight.  Also expect the wheels to be low quality.  They will probably have heavy rims, spokes probably plain gauge and less "compliant" steel and the hubs may not last particularly well (I'm generalising here of course, some cheaper hubs last perfectly well and maintenance is probably more critical than type), so in a couple of years the bike may not "roll" as well as when first purchased.  At which point it would be simple to buy a higher spec set of wheels secondhand.  Wheels are a common upgrade and there is a healthy second hand market. I'd also take a look at the saddle.  My guess is that it won't be perfect for your daughter.  Saddles don't need to be spongy but they do need to be the correct width and for women this tends to be wider than for men.  Unless you can persuade Evans to swap it, be prepared to have to replace the saddle.  Does your daughter specifically want a drop-bar bike?  There are some great hybrid bikes with the same level of spec but with flat bars and often with disc brakes.  Not all disc brakes are good, especially at the budget end but they do generally provide improved braking in the wet and require less hand strength to apply firmly.  Finally, don't rely on the Evans size guide, especially if your daughter is at the lower height of one of the guide sizes.  This bike has quite a long effective top tube, so she could feel very stretched out and uncomfortable. 

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In reply to TheSooper:

Re tyre size on the website... Spec sheets are notoriously vague and often wrong from all brands, for example:

The Pinnacle Lithium description says comes with 40c & size upto 2.2"

The Pinnacle Lithium spec says comes with 38c & size upto 2"

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