We test the Pinnacle Ramin 3W for the second year in a row in the women's specific category of our Hardtail of the Year test
Having tested the Pinnacle Ramin 3W last year — and liked it — we were keen to see if the 2015 model has evolved. But, apart from the RockShox Recon Gold fork being replaced by XC32s, and the blue paintwork giving way to a rather brighter orange, little else has changed.
One glance at the compact, low-slung frame dwarfed between those big wheels leaves you in no doubt this is a 29er for small people. Don’t let the look put you off, though — the Ramin 3 is no slouch on the trails. In fact, it was the fastest-rolling bike here, devouring every descent.
With skinny grips and the widest handlebar on test (685mm) the cockpit is very nicely set up too — although the metal collars on the grips reduce the useable bar width by about 10mm each side.
The 60mm stem offers extra control and keeps your weight centred on the bike, while the levers on the Shimano brakes can be wound in to the perfect position for small hands.
Having only 80mm of travel, the RockShox fork keeps the front-end height in check with those big wheels, and because it’s air-sprung, set-up is easy.
The flipside of the Ramin’s stability and fast-rolling efficiency is that shifting your weight around effectively is not easy and we ended up plopping rather than popping off jumps and drops.
The frame isn’t the lightest on test either, and doesn’t feel the most compliant, so long days in the saddle with lots of climbs would start to feel a little wearing. Still, if you’re after a fast, confidence-inspiring bike that’s good on descents, the Ramin fits the bill.