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Hi Everyone,

I am looking for a new commuter bicycle, but have had a hard time finding something that fits the bill. I am planning on using it for a daily 28 km daily commute on bicycle lanes with tarmac, but would also like it to be appropriate for a small ride into town and the more occasional rides on gravel/light dirt roads.

These are the requirements I have been searching by so far:

  • Hydraulic brakes
  • Shimano Tiagra or better
  • Space for 28mm tyres (plan to use them as year-round tyres)
  • Space for mudguards (don't like the clip-on ones that much)
  • Not to flashy a design

 

First i settled on the Cube Nuroad 2018 pro, but soon learned delivery wasn't till june.  I then found the Pinnacle Dolomite 4 and Pinnacle Dolomite 2 which also seems to go by the requirements - however I am bit worried about the quality since I am not familiar with the brand.

I have a couple of questions I hope you can help me with: 

  • Does anyone have experience with the quality of the Pinnacle Dolomites?
  • As an amateur (had a SS before) will I notice a big difference between Tiagra and Ultegra? 
  • Should I rather look at an adventure road bike like the Arkose, my needs taking into consideration?
  • Is there another option in terms of bicycle type and brand which I should consider?

 

BR Jesper

 

18 comments

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rdmp2 [44 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

I’ve got the Tiagra arkose. Minor issue with dropouts which Evans have promised to fix. Otherwise totally reliable. With guards, rack and 35c marathons it weighs a ton but would be lighter without rack and better tyres etc. Was attracted by the versatility of the arkose although ride 90% on road so maybe should have got the dolomite. Feels wooden to ride but presume that’s the marathons- at some point will switch to tubeless g ones. Tiagra has been very good, shifts just like the 105 on my other bike. Have a wide range cassette but don’t really notice the missing cog. Only complaint is that can only downshift two gears at a time (can do 3 on 11 speed?) but that’s really a minor complaint 

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Boatsie [230 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes

I use a hub gear 8 speed Avanti. Totally reliable. Very low gearing. Climbing unclimbable bmx grades in 3rd yet sprinting flats in 8th just high of 40clicks. Rear guard . When I find some bolts I'll add front guard and rack.
Commute is 14km daily but often further. Getting about 30 kmph fresh, 20 kmph tired, 10-15 kmph into heavy wet wind.
Keeping that bike to use as wet weather bike due to smooth shifting enveloped gears shielded from environment making 1 very easy clean /adjust bicycle. Currently 28 700c but should fit 35s under guard. (38s rub)
Other commuters include a 9 speed cassette in a similar frame and a fixie. Glad I found a used hub bike, amazingly simple and climbs easy. Best solution I found to deter maintenance during the crap weather.

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ClubSmed [692 posts] 4 months ago
3 likes

I have a Pinnacle Arkose 3 from a few years ago and I love it. The only issue I had was with the FSA cranks which failed so I upgraded to 105 to complete the groupset it came with.
Any other upgrades I've made are just personal preference or environmental needs.

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DoctorFish [132 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes
rdmp2 wrote:

I’ve got the Tiagra arkose. Minor issue with dropouts which Evans have promised to fix. Otherwise totally reliable. With guards, rack and 35c marathons it weighs a ton but would be lighter without rack and better tyres etc. Was attracted by the versatility of the arkose although ride 90% on road so maybe should have got the dolomite. Feels wooden to ride but presume that’s the marathons- at some point will switch to tubeless g ones. Tiagra has been very good, shifts just like the 105 on my other bike. Have a wide range cassette but don’t really notice the missing cog. Only complaint is that can only downshift two gears at a time (can do 3 on 11 speed?) but that’s really a minor complaint 

Changing the tires I think will make the difference.  Mine is fitted out with rack and gauards but doesn't feel wooden.  Marathons are utterly indistructable, but don't give a great ride.

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JesperSW [2 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

A CX bike seems more as the right choice the more I read. However, I have a hard time putting a limit on myself - now I've gotten eyes for the Rose Pro Cross Ultegra.

It will set me back an additional ~300£ (it's cheaper for delivery in Denmark apparently). I will be shedding appr. 1kg in weight and getting Ultegra instead. Also, from what I can read it's a bit more renowned brand. But is it worth it? I can't figure out if it's overkill. They also have a 105 version which is around 180£ cheaper.

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Langsam [69 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes

´Is there another option in terms of bicycle type and brand which I should consider?

 

Yes, something old, steel, with rim brakes and a handbuilt wheelset, a dynamo front hub, LED lights and a Brooks B-17 saddle, drop bars with STI shifters and CX-style interruptor brake levers, and a decent fitted mudguard set.

 

Keep the €1000 or so you´ll save in your holiday fund.

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cyclesteffer [336 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

Boardman CX team is a hell of a commuter bike with triple butted frame, full carbon fork, SRAM rival 1x hydraulic, room for wide tyres+guards, rack mounts. £810 with British cycling discount.

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roots211 [1 post] 4 months ago
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Vitus Energie Apex, SRAM Apex 1x groupset, triple butted,  carbon forks, hydro flat mount disks, thru axles, space for 40mm plus tyres on tubeless ready wheels and mudguard mounts.

I love mine and the best bit.... around £900 with 10% discount from CRC for being a British Cycling member.

Only downside is the CX tyres that you might want to replace if you're mostly using it on-road.

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/vitus-energie-cyclo-x-bike-apex-1x11-...

 

 

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kil0ran [924 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

Tiagra nowadays is basically 10-speed heavy Ultegra - perfect for a commuter. I've gone from Ultegra Di2 through 105 and have now settled on Tiagra. It's utterly reliable, shifts well, and its cheaper to replace parts as and when they wear out. Looks good too, I'm actually tempted to swap out the black 105 chainrings I have on my new bike for the dark grey Tiagra.

The only caveat is the front mech - 105/Ultegra now have a short arms which can improve clearance on some frames with mudguards. 

As to a bike I had a Merida Cyclocross 500 until recently, an absolutely brilliant all-rounder with space for full mudguards and 35mm tyres. All it was missing was top rack mounts and a drilled fork for a dynamo light if those are important. Would have been easy enough to run racks and guards if needed though - share the bottom mounts, and use a seat collar rack mount. I would still have it if the Merida World Tour team wasn't sponsored by Bahrain.

To replace it I almost ended up getting an Arkose but instead settled on a Fairlight Faran because I wanted the experience of building something myself. I'd have no qualms about buying a Pinnacle - they've been in the market for years now and look surprisingly good. I saw a lovely dark red one at a cafe stop over the weekend and it looked well put together.

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froze [65 posts] 4 months ago
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Tiagra is a 10 speed system, it cannot be upgraded, you can’t upgrade to 105 one component at a time because 10 speed and 11 speed drivetrain components aren’t interchangeable thus you will be stuck at the Tiagra level, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, just stuck that's all.  The brakes feel better with more control with 105 and up but Tiagra disk brakes are not even close to being bad; besides weight differences of the other higher levers, the brakes are the only other very minor quibble.

Rival is more on the 105 level, and Apex is more on the Tiagra level, just for informational purposes.  SRAM tends to be lighter overall.  Any other differences are more personal then material.

Both Pinnacles (?), and the Vitus only comes with fender mounts but no pannier rack mounts which some day you may want to have the ability to attach a rack, whereas the Boardman comes with both fender and rack mounts.  You can get mounts to attach to the seat stays but they aren't as sturdy as eyelits drilled into the frame and dropouts.  The thing that is weird is that the Pinnacle says it only has fender mounts, or what they call mud guard mounts, but when I zoom in to the frame there appears to be a set of eyelets up on the seat stay, so that one I would call on to make sure, but it looks like they didn't give the right information on the website.

I think of the ones that have been mentioned here on this post the Boardman, and maybe the Pinnacles, is more versatile simply due to the ability to mount both fenders and racks which may come in handy someday.  If it were me and I wanted to save money I would go with the Boardman because the Rival groupset is similar to 105 which is a level better then Tiagra; if money was no object (well sort of) then I would go with the Pinnacle 4 because it comes with the Ultegra groupset and that's a sweet groupset; so the Pinnacle 2 is simply out of the equation in my opinion because it cost more then the Boardman and it has lessor grade components then the Boardman.

 

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The Gavalier [96 posts] 4 months ago
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Similar to the Boardman CX Team, I got a GT Grade CX with 1x Rival hydro. £1k from Wiggle and in my mind the perfect commuter with SKS Bluemels fitted. 

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cyclesteffer [336 posts] 4 months ago
1 like
The Gavalier wrote:

Similar to the Boardman CX Team, I got a GT Grade CX with 1x Rival hydro. £1k from Wiggle and in my mind the perfect commuter with SKS Bluemels fitted. 

GT Grade CX is good (I should know, i've got one), but its £190 quid more than the Boardman. Also the GT can only take 35mm tyres max, really 32mm max if you fit mudguards. It also doesnt have a rack mount.

The Boardman can take up to 40mm tyres. and does have a rack mount.

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John_S [65 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

Hi Jesper SW,

If the majority of your riding is on road then the new Boardman ASR 8.9 doesn't look too bad an option depending on your view of the bikes geometry.

http://road.cc/content/tech-news/229848-boardmans-new-urb-and-asr-commuter-bikes-now-shipping-out

https://www.boardmanbikes.com/gb_en/products/1573-asr-8.9.html

 

For me personally if I was in the market for another bike right now I'd go for one of the more adventure/gravel bikes (or whatever we're calling them this week) and I'd go for a slightly more relaxed position than the ASR 8.9 which although I apprecite it isn't an all out race machine it's more aggressive/racey from a geometry perspective than I personally want.

However geometry and what someone wants from their frame is subjective and all perosnal in the eye of the beholder for their particular use and so potentially the Boardman could suit you.

If you can I'd try out on test rides as many of the bikes on your shortlist as possible.

Good luck finding the right bike for your riding.

John

 

 

 

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tugglesthegreat [100 posts] 4 months ago
1 like
DoctorFish wrote:
rdmp2 wrote:

I’ve got the Tiagra arkose. Minor issue with dropouts which Evans have promised to fix. Otherwise totally reliable. With guards, rack and 35c marathons it weighs a ton but would be lighter without rack and better tyres etc. Was attracted by the versatility of the arkose although ride 90% on road so maybe should have got the dolomite. Feels wooden to ride but presume that’s the marathons- at some point will switch to tubeless g ones. Tiagra has been very good, shifts just like the 105 on my other bike. Have a wide range cassette but don’t really notice the missing cog. Only complaint is that can only downshift two gears at a time (can do 3 on 11 speed?) but that’s really a minor complaint 

Changing the tires I think will make the difference.  Mine is fitted out with rack and gauards but doesn't feel wooden.  Marathons are utterly indistructable, but don't give a great ride.

I do have a 105 Arkose with Marathons on myself.  I put the Marathons on before winter after much consideration, did I want to have punctures in the cold and wet.  I've only had one puncture this winter, so big plus for the Marathons but they will be coming off in sprint time for something lighter.  It's a trade off that is down to the tyres.

My Arkose is transformed when I get my cross wheels on with light cross tyres.  Great value money bike but could be better.  I would say Arkose over the Dolomite, will do everything the Dolomite can do but would have greater flexibility.

 

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pockstone [207 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

If this is to be your 'commuter', what other bikes, if any, do you have?

Best bike for the weekend? Mountain for off road?

If it's your only bike I'm pretty sure you'll be using it plenty at the weekends/holidays, so I wouldn't limit yourself to a bike suitable only for your existing commute. You might want to mix it up with some off road/ canal paths etc. in the summer, or persevere through the snow in the winter.

I second the above who recommend the Pinnacle Arkose ( or something equally versatile). I've used mine for summer & winter commutes, on/off road touring, moorland gravel tracks, 100 mile sportives and multi day road rides like C2C.

Up Great Dun Fell on silky tarmac one day, across green lanes  and boggy fell above Dentdale  the next!

All you need is a spare pair of  28 road tyres (and maybe later some  fancy wheels) and I'm sure the Arkose will do (almost) what the Dolomite can, but not vice versa.

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kil0ran [924 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
froze wrote:

Tiagra is a 10 speed system, it cannot be upgraded, you can’t upgrade to 105 one component at a time because 10 speed and 11 speed drivetrain components aren’t interchangeable thus you will be stuck at the Tiagra level, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, just stuck that's all. 

 

 

Not entirely true - you can use 11-speed cranksets and front mechs with current (4700)Tiagra, plus any level of disc/caliper brake (hydro or cable). Its only the rear mech and shifters that aren't interchangeable, although potentially you could use an 11-speed mech on a 10 speed cassette with 10 speed shifters .

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Langsam [69 posts] 4 months ago
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Yep, apparently an Ultegra 6800 rear mech will work on a 10-speed cassette with Tiagra 4700 10-speed shifters, and it's reckoned to be silky-smooth.

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prawny [10 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

I would also say Arkose over Dolomite. I used to have a road disc bike with full guards and it was great for 350 days of the year, but the ability to stick some studded tyres on for days like today is a massive improvement. 

 

You can use gravel bikes for all kinds of other stuff too where the closer clearances might be a hinderance. I use 37c Vittoria Voyagers day to day and they're as fast, if not faster than my old Duranos.