Here’s an interesting bike. The Arkose 2 from Pinnacle is an alloy cyclo-cross bike with a 1x10 drivetrain and hydraulic disc brakes, with a full set of mudguard and rack mounts.
It’s a brand new offering from the house brand of Evans Cycles for 2014, and is the first time they’ve built a bike with this single ring configuration. Last year it had a more conventional drivetrain with a compact chainset. It's priced at £900, though the website currently has it discounted to £810, which makes it a pretty attractive prospect for someone looking for a really versatile all-rounder, whether it’s daily commuting or blasting through the woods and bridleways at the weekend.
The frame is made from 6061-T6 aluminium and it’s double butted to save a bit of weight. It’s a cleanly finished frame, complete with both rack and mudguard mounts. It’s disc-specific, with the rear brake and rear mech cable routed along the bottom of the down tube. The rear brake caliper is mounted inside the rear triangle, so no issue with fitting the mudguard nad rack. The fork is manufactured from carbon fibre and has a tapered steerer tube.
It comes fitted with fat Kenda Small Block 8 35mm tyres. It’s a fast rolling tyre especially if you pump them up hard, so they’ll handle the road just fine, but with plenty of grip for tackling everything from smooth gravel canal paths to muddy bridleways through the woods. With space for 35mm tyres, we could envisage this bike quite happily taking a pair of fat slicks, maybe a 28mm, for getting the road miles in. Fit some mudguards and it could make a very interesting winter bike choice. That’s something we plan to try during testing.
For the drivetrain Pinnacle has taken inspiration from the trend in mountain biking to ditch the front derailleur, and use what is commonly referred to as a 1x10 set up. It offers simplicity, you only need worry about the rear shifting, and it’s also light. A seat tube mounted guide helps to keep the chain in place, acting like a front mech.
The Truvativ E400 crankset is fitted with a 38t chainring and combined with a Shimano 105 rear mech and 11-32t cassette, should be a good spread of gears for flat roads and hills. Shifting is taken care of by a Microshift 10-speed bar end shifter.
It’s obviously a restricted gear range compared to say a 50/34 chainset, but the bike isn’t being pitched at big ring road warriors. A 38-11 combo gives a 94.2 inch gear, which if you’re pedalling at 100rpm is good for 27mph. Should be plenty fast enough for most people then.
Bringing the bike to stop is a set of Tektro Hylex hydraulic discs with TRP’s own matching brake levers. They’re partnered with 160mm rotors at both wheels. Talking of wheels, they're Alex Black Dragon rims with Joytech disc hubs, all laced together with 32 spokes in both wheels. Nice and solid like.
The Arkose 2 is finished with a Pinnacle SL 110mm alloy stem and double butted alloy bars with a shallow 125mm drop and 70mm reach. They’re 44cm wide. It's a FEW RAce saddle and dual-density microfibre bar tape.
On the scales the size medium pictured weighs 10.3kg (22.70lb). This looks like the ideal bike for the storm lashed roads and country lanes, with the bigger tyres adding volume and plenty of traction on those roads that more resemble farm tracks. And for throwing it down and along bridleways, tow paths and through the woods, it should be quite the fun bike. We'll also try it with some large slick tyres as well and see if it cuts it as an alternative winter bike option. We'll let you know how we get on.
Check out www.evanscycles.com for more info.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.