Slacker geometry for more stable, trail-friendly handling should make the new Pinnacle Ramin 3 the hardtail of choice for riders who’d really prefer to be on a full-sus.
Designed around a 100mm-travel fork, the Pinnacle comes with a shortish 80mm stem to get the rider’s weight further back and make it easier to lift the front wheel, and a skinny 27.2mm seatpost adds flex and comfort when seated.
But something about the Ramin didn’t add up. The frame isn’t very long for size large and the front end felt low when seated, even with the stem raised. The bike lacked zip and felt particularly lethargic on the climbs, even with fresh legs. Yes, the handling was good on more technical terrain, providing the trails were dry enough for the hard, plasticy Conti tyres to find grip, but even downhill the Ramin lacked punch.
On a long and boring road climb to reach the trail head we finally realised why we were getting less than enthusiastic power delivery: 170mm crank arms instead of the more common 175mm. It instantly explained why we were having to run the saddle higher to achieve the correct leg extension. The small reduction in leverage was definitely enough to cause a loss of power.
For the most part, the Pinnacle Ramin 3 is a considered package and a pleasant bike to ride, but the short stem, wide handlebar and slacker geometry didn’t give it the edge we’d hoped for. Factor in the heavy wheels and the rear buckling on the third ride, and the Pinnacle only just inched ahead of the Marin Palisades Trail 29er in the pecking order of our Hardtail of the Year shootout.
MBR rating: 7
Frame 6066 aluminium
Fork RockShox Recon Gold 100mm
Wheels Joytech/Shimano Alivio hubs, Alex XD Pro rims, Continental X-King 2.2in tyres
Drivetrain Shimano M591 chainset, Deore f-mech, SLX 3×10 shifters, SLX r-mech
Brakes: Shimano Deore 596
Weight: 12.9kg (28.4lb)
Sizes: S, M, L, XL
Size tested: L
On test in our Hardtail of the Year competition: