Evans Cycles' in-house brand joins the throng of all rounder disc-equipped road bikes with the Pyrolite Two. A Shimano 105 groupset, alloy frame and cable discs for a grand makes it a decent choice but how does it stack up to the opposition?
Frame & Fork
Kicking things off we've got a triple-butted aluminium frame in the 6061-T6 grade which is drawn into the customary oversized tubing. The welding is, how should we put it, functional, industrial maybe which I think suits the style of bike. I like the look of a good meaty weld on a workhorse and it's perfectly tidy.
The front end uses a tapered head tube which is 1.5in at the crown. That'll bring stiffness to the front end benefitting both steering and those braking forces from the front disc. That allows for a larger welding area and a large diameter down tube that ovalises near the base as it meets the standard 68mm bottom bracket shell.
There is some profiling to the chainstays to enable clearance for the disc calipers but everything else is kept pretty straight and uniform in size. It looks like Pinnacle are relying on larger volume tyres for comfort rather than tube profiles.
Speaking of tyres, the Pyrolite will take up to 32mm wide rubber without guards although the off the shelf option is a pair of 25mm CST Detonators.
The fork is full carbon with straight legs and an offset of 45mm. Paired with a head angle of 72° should mean some direct yet neutral handling. It has a fork to crown measurement of 395mm rather than the standard 370mm road height, an idea we have seen on the Whyte Dorset to enable large tyres and full length mudguards.
The rear disc mount is placed inside the seatstay-chainstay join to make it easier to fit a rack or mudguards, or, since you get two sets of mounts, both.
Shimano 105 mechs and shifters are good to see at this price and they do make a huge difference over Tiagra. You always get a nice crisp change even if isn't the most engaging from a feedback point of view. It's a relatively cheap groupset to replace these days as well so it's not an issue to be using it in the rubbish weather.
FSA supply their Omega chainset in compact 50/34t combination with a Tiagra 12/28 block at the back. At 9.96kg its nice to have a couple of bailout gears to get you up the steepest of climbs.
The brakes are Avid's cable operated BB7-SL models which are paired up with HS1 160mm rotors front and rear. This style of bike is going to be used commuting in bad wet weather so discs are always a bonus.
The rest of the finishing kit is all Pinnacle's own brand and like most its pretty basic alloy stuff found on a lot of bikes at this price point. It all looks good though and performs well so I wouldn't be in any hurry to upgrade any of it.
Alex CXD26 rims are used for the wheel build, They're designed as cyclo cross rims so should take plenty of abuse. The rim is 26mm deep and with no braking track on the rim look quite deep when paired with an all black tyre. Both rims are built with 32 hole Joytech hubs in a three-cross pattern for strength and then shod with CST Detonator tyres.
As with a lot of the disc-equipped bikes of this style we've tested the brakes and tougher wheels add weight and its always noticeable as soon as you pull away where it blunts the acceleration. That is the only criticism and as long as you keep it rolling there is nothing to distinguish the Pyrolite from a standard road bike. Over the course of the ride though you'll easily make that effort and time back up by being able to brake later and harder, more so if it's wet.
The frame itself is stiff and bordering on harsh but thanks to some decent geometry it's a fun bike to ride with plenty of chuckability through the bends. The tall front end does keep your centre of gravity quite high making corrections at speed a bit on the twitchy side.
The Pyrolite wants to be ridden hard pretty much all of the time; it responds to that whether it be on the flat or in the hills. The 73.5° seat angle puts you in a nice position to get the power down with the 550mm top tube on our Medium size test bike gets you stretched out in the drops if you want to get the speed going.
Bike of this style don't often like to be honked up a hill; usually you get nothing back for your extra effort but the Pinnacle thrives on it. You can of course spin up on the 28-tooth rear sprocket and probably go the same speed though it just doesn't seem to feel like it.
Overall the Pyrolite Two is a cracking bike for the money although it is up against some stiff opposition. The Whyte Dorset is the same money and while you're only getting a Tiagra groupset the hydro-formed frame is much more refined than the Pinnacle. It all comes down to what you want from your bike, if you want something to blast around on for a couple of hours the Pyrolite is brilliant, its loads of fun and will really keep goading you to ride harder.
The finishing kit of the build is very good though, all working well with the frame to provide a tight engaging ride. The wheels and tyres are quick rolling and stood up to abuse well. I don't go out of my way to wreck wheels but I'll give them a couple of clouts through potholes to see how good they'll be in the long run. These haven't moved a millimetre.
So there you go, if you ride short distances of a couple of hours or so the Pinnacle is a great blast but you might start to notice the stiffness on longer runs.
One for the aggressive rider; a stiff ride but a fast one
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Pinnacle Pyrolite 2
Size tested: 50, Blue
About the bike
State the frame and fork material and method of construction. List the components used to build up the bike.
Frame: Pinnacle 6061-T6 triple butted aluminium alloy
Fork: Full carbon, tapered steerer, fender eyelets
Front Derailleur: Shimano Tiagra FD-4600
Rear Derailleur: Shimano 105 RD-5701
Chainset: FSA Omega 50/34T
Bottom Bracket: FSA External
Cassette: Shimano CS-4600 12-28T
Chain: KMC nickel finish
Brakeset: Avid BB7-SL with HS1 160mm rotors
Shifters: Shimano 105 ST-5700
Handlebars: Pinnacle DB Aluminium shallow-drop bar, 125mm drop, 70mm reach, 440mm width
Stem: Pinnacle SL Road Ahead stem
Headset: FSA Orbit C-40-ACB (NO.42/ACB) – integrated sealed cartridge bearing – 1-1/8 ACB top, 1.5" ACB lower (for 46/56mm Head Tubes ), W/15mm top cover
Grips: Shock-proof dual-density microfibre tape
Rims: Alex CXD26
Spokes: Stainless PG
Tyres: CST Detonator 700�–25C
Saddle: Pinnacle Race mens, black
Seatpost: Pinnacle micro-adjust Aluminium
Tell us what the bike is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?
Evans say "When road bikes don't quite offer enough scope but you don't want to go as far as a Cyclocross bike, the Pyrolite fits right in. It's a close-clearance road bike with just enough room for 32c tyres and handling designed for hard, fast surfaces rather than the mud. Ride fast on the supplied 25C tyres or fit bigger tyres for a dirt-road racer or just a comfier road bike, either way we think it works well at being fast, comfortable and adaptable" and it pretty much sums up the Pyrolite. Its fun and fast to ride with the adaptability to take it off the beaten track.
Frame and fork
Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?
Simple but well put together. The matt paint looks good too.
Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?
The frame is made from 6061-T6 aluminium with the tubes being triple butted for strength and lightness. The fork is carbon fibre.
Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?
The geometry chart is here: http://images.evanscycles.com/product_document/file/e56/12f/06a/2795/pin...
Stack and reach measurements are also included
How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?
The high front end gives a slightly tall stack height of 584mm on the medium all though the reach measurement of 376mm is pretty much spot on for a bike of this size.
Riding the bike
Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.
Its certainly on the stiff side though I could get a great position on it.
Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?
The frame is pretty harsh, this does make it good though for blasting about on and gives it a sense of speed.
How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?
It'll lay the power down all right.
Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so, was it a problem?
How would you describe the steering? Was it lively, neutral or unresponsive? Pretty neutral with a tendency to understeer when pushed really hard.
Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?
Direct and easily controllable. Lacking the sharpness of an out and out road bike though.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?
Pinnacle's own brand saddle was perfectly comfortable.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?
The alloy bar and stem were stiff enough to really push down on them for out of the saddle efforts.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's efficiency? would you recommend any changes?
The wheels were heavy, blunting acceleration but they were easy to keep rolling compared to some.
Tell us some more about the drivetrain. Anything you particularly did or didn't like? Any components which didn't work well together?
Shimano 105 is a proper workhorse with consistent shifting and it looks pretty cool too.
Wheels and tyres
Tell us some more about the wheels and tyres.Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the wheels or tyres? If so, what for?
Seem pretty bombproof and quick rolling. Pretty smooth hubs as well.
Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders?
The basic alloy stuff from Pinnacle does a good job in terms of performance. The bars have a shallow drop making them good for less flexible spines.
Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes.
Would you consider buying the bike? No.
Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the bike in conclusion?
If you want a fast blast for your commute or just for riding the lanes in all weathers this is worth a look - you get a good spec for your money too. But it is stiff if you're going to be riding it for any length of time which is why it comes in at a 7 overall rather than an 8. It lacks the refinement of the Whyte Dorset both in terms of the frame and the ride quality which make that bike a more versatile proposition even if it comes with a slightly inferior drivetrain for the money.
About the tester
Age: 35 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: Whatever needs testing or Genesis Flyer, fixed of course! My best bike is: Kinesis T2 with full Centaur Red
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!