The 2018 Pinnacle Dolomite 4 is now Ultegra equipped, lighter and more expensive: can it compete in the £1.5K category?
Last year we tested the previous version of the disc-equipped Pinnacle Dolomite 4, which was priced at £990 and equipped with Shimano Tiagra. We commented that the money had clearly been spent on the brakes rather than the gears.
For 2018 Pinnacle, Evans Cycles’ house brand, has kept the same matt-black aluminium frame but upgraded the drivetrain to Ultegra including the disc brakes, which were formerly the entry-level RS405s (but not the chainset, which is non-series and has forged rather than hollow cranks). The price has also increased accordingly. The old bike was on the heavy side at just over 10kg on our scales, but the updated version is almost a kilo lighter.
The Dolomite 4 frame is made from 6061-T6 double and triple butted aluminium tubing and the welds are smoothed giving it a great deal of aesthetic appeal.
Below the surface an impressive amount of thought has gone into the Dolomite. It’s a disc-specific frame and sports modern touches such as a tapered head tube but, as is generally the case with aluminium frames – though not the Specialized Allez Sprint, which has a smart-welded press-fit unit – it has an older-style threaded bottom bracket shell, which will please many experienced cyclists: threaded cups are easier to install, remove and maintain and are less likely to emit the dreaded press-fit creak.
Internal cable routing is nice to have, and gear cables and the rear brake hose all enter at the top of the down tube. This does produce some largish loops of cable that, although they don’t catch your knees, will be catching the wind and slowing you down when you’re trying to ride fast. However, we ought to note at this point that the Dolomite 4 is not aimed at racers: with its mudguard eyes, rack mounts, clearance for bigger tyres than the 25s it comes with and bombproof wheels it’s more of an all-rounder that Evans calls a “mile cruncher, winter trainer or fast commuter.”
Racer or not, it will upset some people’s sense of symmetry to discover that the front wheel uses a thru-axle while the rear wheel uses QR closure. But that’s not to say the QR didn’t hold the rear wheel in place fine during our testing and the level of stiffness at the back was in line with that of the rest of the bike.
The Dolomite 4 was easy to set up and while it has a highish stack measurement it’s still possible to get a reasonably aggressive position on it. It’s also slightly longer than a race bike.
Pinnacle Dolomite 4: ride
It could be this extra centimetre or two of wheelbase that gives the Pinnacle Dolomite 4 a comfortable and stable feel: harshness is a criticism still frequently levelled at aluminium frames, but this one is anything but. Even with 25mm tyres, which have become the new minimum width, it absorbed both large and small bumps surprisingly well.
If we did have to criticise the Dolomite 4 for anything it would be that it lacks some of the crispness of a decent carbon frame – of which there are plenty available at this price. Although it’s by no means flexible, it doesn’t quite reward rider input with the same responsiveness. It is still possible to push it along at 20mph-plus, but there are bikes with aerodynamic features – of which the Pinnacle has none – that are better suited to going fast.
The Dolomite 4 is all about practicality and versatility rather than straight-out speed. As Evans says, it would make a great winter trainer and has commuting covered. However, with its price increase and higher spec for 2018 it has become expensive for a winter trainer yet is a little on the sensible side to be the type of summer bike that likes to be ragged around the evening chaingang after work.