PINNACLE Evolution 1.0, £650,


Part of Evans Cycles’ growing in-house range which also includes women’s-specific models like the Aura 2.0 (£549). A compact frameset (which gives the Kona a run for its money) is manufactured from custom-butted aluminium and gets a reinforcing gusset at the head-tube, plus one set of bottle mounts and bosses to attach a mudguard under the down-tube. There’s four sizes (S-XL) but I found I straddled two, so get a test ride.

This was my third outing during this test on a Tora fork and yet again it proved dependable; I did have a small temporary issue with one of the seals but it was easily fixed and didn’t affect performance. As is common at the price point, Shimano provides the hydraulic stoppers, M575s with 160mm rotors, a perfect combo for town and country.

While Continental Mountain Kings are a decent bet for trail centre use, they’re too much rubber to be hauling around for commuting, so it’s worth investing in some 26in slicks. Although I found the stem too long for such a compact frame, credit's due for the comfy own-brand saddle (like an old-school Flite) and grippy ‘ODI’-style grips. 

Backed up by a lifetime frame warranty, there’s a lot to like about this bike and with a couple of tiny refinements the Evolution’s complete.

PROS brakes, saddle
CONS stem, check sizing