Just in: Pinnacle Arkose Three

£1k disc-equipped do-it-aller from Evans Cycles

by Dave Atkinson   April 25, 2013  

Everyone's riding 'em these days. What with the state of the road surfaces in Blighty and the weather, having a bit more rubber underneath you and disc brakes to haul you to a stop is fast becoming a necessity more than an option... anyway, there's a whole raft of 'cyclocross-inspired' commu-tourers out there. And this one the Arkose III from Pinnacle looks like a super spec for cycle-to-work money.

Pinnacle's Arkose range starts with Sora and Mini-Vs on the £750 Arkose One, and the Two gets Avid BB5 discs and Tiagra running gear for £900. An extra hundred quid gets you better disc brakes (BB7s) and Shimano's 105 shifters and rear mech, and you're still under the cycle-to-work limit. Well, on it.

Heart of the bike is 6061-T6 heat-treated alloy frame in a tough-looking silver finish. The welds are chunky, as are the tube profiles, so it should be a stiff platform.

That's mated with a carbon fork, a chunky affair with a carbon steerer to shave off a bit of weight. It's tapered at the head tube with a big 1.25" crown race to keep things stiff. You can fit a mudguard; the bottom boss is a short way up the leg to make it simpler to work around the disc calliper.

At the back, mounting stuff (there's holes for rack and guard) is helped by the inboard position of the calliper, mounted to the chainstay like they do these days. The discs themselves are Avid BB7s, which are some of our favourite mechanical units, easy to set up with lots of power on tap.

Transmission-wise, the big news is that Pinnacle have managed to squeeze 105 levers and rear mech into the deal; the front is Tiagra. That's very solid spec considering that other bikes we've tested at a similar price have sported Sora, two rungs lower. The chainset is an FSA Omega unit on an external BB, not showy but prefectly capable. The gearing is commuter rather than 'crosser, a 50/34 to the fore and a 12-30 cassette. Assuming you're not towing around a world tour's worth of kit, that should be fine.

You roll along on Kenda Small Block 8 tyres out of the box. As a do-it-all tyre they're hard to beat: quick enough for fairly long stints on tarmac with enough grip and cushioning for trail use too. They're not the best in the slippery stuff, and if you're going to confine yourself to the road then swapping them for slicks will make the bike a fair bit faster. Rims are Alex CXD26 – they're not shallow, but they're not really semi-deep, so what are they? Micro-deep? – and they're laced to Joytech hubs. The wheels aren't light but they look pretty sturdy.

Other finishing kit is fairly unremarkable, Pinnacle-branded alloy components including a double butted drop bar. The saddle is a FWE Sport one that looks a bit Charge-Spoony. All-in the bike weighs a very respectable 10.75kg (23.7lb) without pedals in the XL size we've got. That's light enough for a bit of actual cyclocross racing too if you fancy a go.

Currently Evans are offering £100 of free kit when you buy this bike, making it look like an even better deal.

The eagle-eyed among you will be thinking, "hang on! this isn't just in, Dave's done the Hell of the North Costwolds on it already". It's true, it doesn't look like this at the moment, it's significantly more muddy. But we're only halfway through testing it, so you'll have to wait a bit longer for the full report. Stay tuned.

11 user comments

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That looks ace. I'd have it if it wasn't for the Kinesis Pro 6 in the garage...

Iwein Dekoninck's picture

posted by Iwein Dekoninck [113 posts]
25th April 2013 - 11:18

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Damn just bought a Whyte Charing Cross for the same money and this one seems better specked Sick

Wesselwookie's picture

posted by Wesselwookie [129 posts]
25th April 2013 - 12:45

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They've obviously saved money by only painting it in primer

posted by Bristol Bullet [12 posts]
25th April 2013 - 15:05

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Iwein - I looked at this before buying and building a Pro 6. This one ain't bad but you've got the better bike by far

posted by VeloPeo [218 posts]
25th April 2013 - 20:33

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I bought one of these last month as a commuter. Great bike. Feels very sturdy. I've stuck sks mudguards and a pannier rack on it no probs.

It does feel a bit heavy, probably due to the tyres, but that's great as it gives me a better workout, and makes my road bike feel so much faster in comparison!

The only major downside is the very loud squealing from the brakes when used in the wet. Is this normal for discs?
Can it be fixed?
Also, Evans gave me the bike with the rear caliper so misaligned that I could only stop it rubbing by completely reinstalling it. Not difficult, but I would have expected better service.

posted by AleT [51 posts]
26th April 2013 - 9:56

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What a coincidence, i've just picked up a cyclocross bike through the cycle to work scheme myself. While it's too soon to make a judgement on the ride qualities of my purchase as it was only picked up on Tuesday i'm very pleased with my purchase.
A Cannondale CAADX Sora for £800 offers a beautiful frame for the money - elements of CAAD 10 where the downtube meets the headtube and Save chainstays plus beautifully smooth welds.
A classy rig that will hopefully ride as well as it looks.

posted by PRINCIPIA PHIL [51 posts]
26th April 2013 - 22:23

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I bought one of these on the cycle to work scheme for towpath commuting and weekend off-raoding. I'm very happy with the ride and spec for the money, although Evans still havn't sent me my £100 accessories voucher.

I want to fit a pannier rack, preferably lightweight. What did you fit and does it have to be disc brake specific ?

OrientMan

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posted by pmerry [6 posts]
29th April 2013 - 10:56

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the position of the rear calliper means you don't need a disc-specific rack, my tortec expedition one fitted without any issues. haven't tried a lightweight one.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7311 posts]
29th April 2013 - 11:53

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Ta Dave, looking at it I couldn't see why a disc brake specific pannier was needed, so that's for confirming my supicions, contary to what Evans told me.

OrientMan

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posted by pmerry [6 posts]
1st May 2013 - 17:07

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I tried fitting the pannier rack this weekend and hit a problem. The bolt recesses on the rear seatstays for taking the securing bolts were too big for an M4 bolt and too small for an M5 bolt. I suspect that the spray paint job has clogged up the bolt holes. Anybody got a tip for the easiest way of tapping / reaming these out without destroying the tread?

OrientMan

pmerry's picture

posted by pmerry [6 posts]
13th May 2013 - 15:51

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I know your review is on the way, but Evans are selling off the 2012 frames for these for £110 at the moment, so taking a look. What size is this one Dave?

And how does it feel on the road, better/worse than, say, an Equilibrium?!

Looking for family run around, winter commuter and tow path hack with possible long winter Audax slogs to keep the nice bike clean - what do you think of this?

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posted by alotronic [256 posts]
7th June 2013 - 16:20

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