£475 Great spec and steering but short on reach and details
The mid-priced option in Evans Cycles’ budget hardtail range has a superior spec to similarlypriced bikes from bigger brands, its fork is better than expected and its steering control makes it ready for some rowdy riding, but it lacks reach and upgrade/utility details.
While the Kapur frame looks simple, it uses double and triple-butted main tubes. The fork has a straight 1.125in steerer tube, but the 44mm head tube means you can upgrade to a higher-spec tapered fork down the line. There’s a big reinforcing gusset behind the head tube, which is slacked out to a naturally stable and self-correcting 66.5 degrees. The slacker-than-normal 72-degree seat angle suggests the frame was designed around a 100mm fork, not the 120mm unit fitted, so you need to shuffle forwards on climbs to restore balance. Reach measurements are short across the size range too. This isn’t unusual on cheaper bikes, but means the Kapur is a full size adrift of the other bikes here, which is obvious in terms of stretch and stability.
Evans’ website says the bike should come with a 27.2mm seatpost, shimmed out to fit in the 31.6mm seat tube (which is large enough to accept a dropper post, should you wish to upgrade in future, although there’s no exit hole for an internally-routed cable). This would help reduce the shocks felt through the saddle, but our test bike came with a 31.6mm post instead.
The two sets of bottle cage bolts stop you slamming the seatpost for more control on descents, unless you cut it shorter. At least the seat quick-release has a brass washer for smooth operation. While there are rack mounts on the dropouts, these aren’t matched by fixtures higher up, limiting your cargo-carrying options.
You’re winning against most global brands when it comes to the parts spec. Highlights include Shimano Altus cranks and gearing, along with the brand’s M315 hydraulic brakes. A 180mm front rotor boosts stopping power by 20 per cent. The gearing is an old-school 3x9 set-up, with no clutch mechanism on the rear mech. This means a lot of chain slap, unless you fit a chainstay protector.
It’s generally good news from here on, though. The WTB Ranger tyres are skinny, which doesn’t help comfort, but roll fast. They grip OK too, as long as it’s not too wet or muddy. While it can’t be adjusted for different rider weights, the coil-sprung Suntour XCR-32 fork is smoother and better controlled than we expected, so long as you’re
around 70-90kg. We never pushed it past 100mm of travel though. The flat handlebar looks a weird shape but feels OK and its 760mm width matches the steering geometry and short 45mm stem well.
The Pinnacle’s confidently stable front end makes for a positive first impression. Especially when combined with the better-thanexpected fork performance, which gives workable levels of front tyre grip in the dry, and the extra brake power, which boosts confidence. You even get quality WTB grips to hang onto when bigger rocks and hits start to overwhelm the impact-absorbing ability of the fork and tyres. At that point, the short reach and wheelbase undermine overall stability and you need to push back more than on the other bikes here to stop yourself getting knocked forward and unbalanced. The simplest solution is to buy the next size up, which is helped by Pinnacle offering a full range of sizes, while other brands just stick to the popular ones.
Having ridden the Kapur 2 with a smaller-diameter seatpost, it’s worth checking that’s how yours will be supplied, because the fatshafted post on our bike undid a lot of the shock-quelling qualities of the butted frame. Even though the geometry and frame niggles mean it scores lowest in this test, it’s still well ahead of most big-brand offerings at the same price, so well up in the affordable bike rankings overall.
Good Shimano-based spec and front-end control for the money, but length and frame detail niggles