The ride of the Pearson Allmodcons is impressive, way better than I thought it was going to be when looking at the weight on paper. It uses quality aluminium alloy tubing that provides a smooth ride, and the way it behaves belies the scales. If you need a bike that'll do a bit of everything then it's definitely worth considering.
- Pros: Comfortable alloy frame, surprisingly quick and agile for its weight
- Cons: Competitors are offering hydraulic brakes at this price
'Versatility is the name of the game.' That's the opening line for Pearson's description of the Allmodcons and it pretty much hits the nail on the head. It's a bike that'll take on a bit of light touring or commuting thanks to its ability to take a pannier rack and full guards, and with its extended wheelbase and clearance for 700 x 46mm tyres you can play on the gravel too.
With its 9,790g weight, you might think that the Pearson would feel ponderous and a little lethargic to ride fast, but somehow it feels surprisingly sprightly. Acceleration is pretty impressive and you can certainly get a shift on at a fairish old lick.
Sprinting to beat the lights or constantly adjusting your speed to match the flow of urban traffic doesn't take huge amounts of effort and I actually found it quite rewarding. It's not race bike quick but for the type of machine that it is, it delivers plenty of performance and, most importantly, is fun to ride.
We've been banging on about how good alloy frames have become over the years and the Pearson is testament to that. The ride is smooth and that is on the stock 25mm tyres at 100psi. There is little in the way of road buzz and you certainly won't find a harsh ride here.
Fitting larger tyres with lower pressure and taking to the gravel, things are the same; you can ride this bike for hours without feeling like you are taking a battering.
For this style of bike the geometry is quite steep and racy. A 73.5-degree head angle (medium size) is quite aggressive for a bike designed to work on both road and gravel. With its gearing (more on that below) and this geometry, it's more road-biased than other gravel bikes I've ridden.
It makes for a fun bike to ride on the road. When descending, the handling is sharp without being twitchy and thanks to the 990mm wheelbase it's excellently balanced, so pretty much anyone can enjoy riding the Allmodcons.
On looser terrain it's a blast, and I enjoyed plenty of fun miles on the local gravel tracks. It took a little bit of concentration on the smaller looser stones than most cyclo-cross or gravel bikes I've ridden, but on the flatter, smoother hardcore trails it was loads of fun.
The head tube length of 175mm means your position doesn't need to be flat backed and aero if you don't want it to be, so the Pearson is also a great bike for tapping out the miles on. It definitely has year-round commuting in its remit.
Frame and fork
The frame is constructed from triple butted aluminium which, if you're new to this stuff, means the wall thickness of the tubes has three different depths: thicker at the ends for strength, and slimmer as they get towards the middle for a bit of compliance. Getting the balance right is what gives an alloy frame its stiffness while removing the road vibration.
In my opinion it is a nicely finished frame with a solid paint job and tidy welding. Full internal cable routing is a nice touch too on the aesthetics front.
For stiffness, the head tube is tapered and the Allmodcons has a pretty sizeable down tube as well.
The chainstays are chunky too, with the drive side having a noticeable kick back to allow for the size of the chainrings without compromising stiffness.
The top end of the frame, the top tube and seatstays, are noticeably thinner to allow a little bit of give for a smoother ride.
The fork is carbon fibre and is plenty stiff enough to deal with the forces from the disc brake. It's a pretty chunky affair, helped by the 12mm thru-axle to keep things tight under really heavy braking.
Kit and kaboodle
Pearson has gone for a Shimano 105 groupset and you really can't knock it. The shifting is absolutely spot on, and with a 50/34 chainset and 11-32 cassette there is a good spread of gears for the majority of riding.
Some might prefer lower ratios when off-road, especially if you are carrying a small amount of luggage, but dropping the gearing too much would compromise it on the road, where I suspect it'll spend a fair amount of its time.
For this money we have seen plenty of bikes using the full hydraulic braking 105 groupset, but Pearson has gone for mechanical levers and TRP Spyre C callipers.
Normally I'm not a fan of cable-pulled disc callipers but these worked really well when paired with Shimano's Ice-Tech rotors. They don't have the finesse of the hydraulic stoppers but they worked well and I was never really left feeling I needed more.
When it comes to contact points, Pearson has gone with components from 4ZA which includes the stem, handlebar and seatpost. It's all alloy and while you aren't going to get excited about it, it does the job and is perfectly comfortable plus easy to set up.
The saddle is 4ZA too and again, it's not the most comfortable that I've sat on but it does the job.
Wheels and tyres
The Pearson comes fitted with Fulcrum Racing 7 DB wheels which, for the overall price of the bike, isn't a bad choice. They aren't massively light but they are solid and dependable and suit the do-it-all character of the Pearson.
The lightness of the frame actually means the Allmodcons will happily exploit the nature of much lighter carbon wheels if you fancied going for an upgrade.
Likewise with the Continental Ultra Sport tyres. They aren't the grippiest or lightest out there, but they suit the all-round attributes of the Pearson.
Rolling resistance is pretty good and so is the puncture protection, which makes them ideal for commuting and light touring where you are happy to sacrifice a little bit of performance for the sake of reliability.
One of its biggest competitors is the Merlin ROC Disc that I tested recently, which comes with a hydraulic setup and very similar credentials to the Allmodcons for £999. The Pearson is sharper around the edges, though, offers a smoother ride and it weighs over a kilo less – and feels lighter than that.
Cannondale offers the Synapse Disc in a 105 build with the same brakes for £1,199 but we are talking massive bike brand buying power compared to small independent shop here, which could easily explain the price differential.
Canyon's Grail AL 7.0 is another to consider at £1,349.99 (if you don't look too closely at the welds).
Overall, I was really impressed with the Pearson – more than I expected to be. The ride is sprightly and means whether you are commuting, touring or taking to the gravel, the journey will be fun.
A comfortable bike that belies its weight, offering a fun ride whatever the terrain
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Pearson Allmodcons
Size tested: Medium
About the bike
List the components used to build up the bike.
Frame Material Alloy triple butted superlight tubing
Fork - Blades/Shock Alloy steerer over size 1' 1/2" lower power bearing with carbon blades
Bar Tape / Grips Black cork bartape
Shifters Shimano 105 5800
Brakes TRP Spyre C cable pull disc
Chainset Shimano 50/34
Front Derailleur Shimano 105 5800
Rear Derailleur Shimano 105 5800
Cassette Shimano 105 5800 11s 11-32
Handlebars 4ZA oversize alloy
Saddle 4ZA comfort road
Seat Post 4ZA alloy 31.6mm
Stem 4ZA oversize alloy 100 mm
Wheels are Fulcrum Racing 7DB
Tyres are Continental Ultra Sport
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?
Pearson says, "Versatility is the name of the game. Allowing for larger tyres to the tune of 700x46 for gravel conditions with a longer wheelbase the Allmodcons offers maximum stability, whether you're gravel grinding, training or commuting. With fixtures for a pannier rack and full mudguards for lighter touring, the bike can take on so many formats and functions. Allmodcons has also been designed with through axle mounts front and rear, to provide sturdy foundations and removes flex in the wheels when pushing the pedals with any degree of anger.
The bike is designed to allow a more sustainable riding position while still being able to achieve high power output and faster speeds. In line with our in house bike fitting, we optimise the ride by selecting the size parameters of groupset and finishing kit to best match rider height at each incremental size of frame."
A bike that covers plenty of riding genres
Where does this model sit in the range? Tell us briefly about the cheaper options and the more expensive options
This is the only model in the range.
Frame and fork
Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?
Tidily made and finished with a great paint job and smart looking details.
Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?
The frame is constructed from triple butted aluminium alloy while the fork is carbon fibre.
Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?
For a bike designed to work on the road and gravel it has a surprisingly racy approach but it delivers.
Full geo details are here - https://www.pearsoncycles.co.uk/pearson-allmodcons.html#product_tabs3
How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?
For this style of bike I'd say the reach and stack measurements are absolutely spot on.
Riding the bike
Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.
Yes, it performs well against some of the more expensive aluminium frames out there for reducing road buzz.
Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?
Yes, for the style of riding there were no issues.
How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?
Yes, considering the weight of the bike it really shifts.
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? Lively enough to work well on the road and when you take to the gravel tracks.
Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?
The angles are quite a bit steeper than normally found on bikes of this type but it does work, it's a fun bike to ride.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?
The saddle wasn't uncomfortable but I'd probably change it for a favourite.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?
It all works well together as a package.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's efficiency? would you recommend any changes?
Lighter wheels would aid the acceleration and climbing.
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 great groupset and the Spyre C brakes actually worked really well.
Wheels and tyres
Tell us some more about the wheels.Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the wheels? If so what for?
Solid wheels but a little weighty for fast road riding.
Tell us some more about the tyres. Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the tyres? If so what for?
The tyres work well for rides where you are happy to sacrifice weight and rolling resistance for reliability and all-round performance.
Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders?
Exactly what you'd expect for a bike of this price. The compact bar offers loads of positions for riders who don't have a huge amount of flexibility.
Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes
Would you consider buying the bike? Yes
Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes
How does the price compare to that of similar bikes in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
We have seen cheaper bikes with similar setups, and even carbon frames with hydraulic brake systems for less, but looking at the overall ride quality I don't think that the price of the Pearson is too far out.
Use this box to explain your overall score
A very good all-rounder. If you only have the budget for one bike that'll do a bit of everything then the Pearson fits the bill.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 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!