Rather than just buy an off the shelf frameset, Pinnacle has licensed a suspension design and stuck it to a bike with Pinnacle’s own take on the ideal geometry. Using butted and profiled 7005 series aluminium, a short head tubed, low-slung racing chassis has been designed. The short headtube an immediate nod to the bikes’ test team: Evans RC, including some of the UK’s finest racing snakes. A fine example of the UK design heritage is the acres of mud clearance at the chainstay pivot/yolk.
Partly responsible for the low looking lines of the Tent Peak frameset is the swing link suspension.
A thin link sits between the seat tube and upper link. This not only isolates the shock itself from side loads, but also changes the rate at which the shock is compressed at various points through its travel. An XV oversize-sleeved Fox Float R shock is used and the larger air volume, combined with the longer stroke on this shock prevents the suspension from ramping up so severely at the end of its stroke.
The swing link’s geometry reduces the large-volume shock’s tendency to blow through the middle portion of its travel. The whole system rotates on a combination of nylon bushings and small cartridge bearings and this, along with the narrow main pivot and small diameter tubing, explains the comparative lack of stiffness when ridden back to back with the Cube.
The lower end Tora 318 fork shares motion control damping with its more expensive stablemates on the other bikes, but gives away a pound in weight and lacks the external tuning options that prevent too much diving under braking.
As well as the drive chain, Shimano has been chosen for the hubs and — as Deore discs are used — the more user-friendly Centrelock splined rotor system is used rather than the standard six-bolt fixing.
Continental Explorer tyres shroud Mavics X117 rims and go a long way to explaining the speedy sensation.
The low tread rolls very well, and the small carcass is lighter than bigger tyres fitted elsewhere.
As with the Cube, Shimano provide all propulsion equipment (bar the rider’s legs). Shifters are upgraded to LX and this means you gain the Two Way Release mechanism. Flicking the upper trigger away from the bar is another changing option lower spec shifters don’t offer. Jagwire cables are used throughout and include boots on exposed cables and TubeTops preventing cable rub: a nice touch.
Rather than simply swapping spacers, Pinnacle have an adjustable stem system that uses a splined collar offering infinite adjustment without the faff, this will certainly make selling the bikes easier, but once set offers little benefit on the trail.
Thanks to lightweight wheels and tyres, and the lightest frame on test, the Pinnacle feels very fast to ride. It climbs very well thanks to a great spread-out cockpit area, and with full width Easton bars, it’s a very pleasant place to be.
With a Float R shock specced with maximum Pro Pedal damping as standard, it’s no surprise that the suspension is not prone to bobbing as you power down. What was startling is how well the bike sits in its travel. Rather than dropping straight into the mid stroke on even small hits, the bike would sit at the sag point until asked to move by a rear wheel impact or when weighted heavily, pre-jumping roots or railing berms. In fact we even had to stop and check we were getting full travel as it did not feel as plush as some other four-inch bikes.
The platform damping takes the edge of the small bump sensitivity, but in no way did the bike bounce around off every stone and root just soaking up the big stuff. You just feel a little more of the trail buzz.
A low bottom bracket and lightweight frame make the Tent Peak 1.0 a joy to rag around the tight singletrack of our test loops. Pinnacle’s clever shock speccing prevents too much rider induced movement, and the overall spec performs very well.
The fact that this bike is now £300 cheaper than when it arrived in the office, certainly knocks the mark up a notch.
MBR RATING: 8/10