My partner had been window shopping for small ‘gravel’ type bikes for some time. She’d settled on the Surly Bridge Club as an affordable mixed surface workhorse and bikepacking rig but, even before the Covid-19 demand spike, couldn’t find anyone with stock, or even knowledge of when one might exit the US factory. In January 2020, I noticed that Evans Cycles produce an interesting Pinnacle own-brand ‘hybrid’ frame, the Lithium, with decidedly Bridge Club/Salsa Fargo-esque geometry (particularly in the small size Chanté needed).
Evans describe it as “part rigid 29er mountain bike and part touring or city bike”. It has a steel fork and room for 2.2″ knobblies. A fairly low-spec budget stock build got a great review and when we spotted a 2018 colourway frame in the clearance section for £85 it seemed a no-brainer. Chanté found mint secondhand Jones loop bars online and went for SRAM’s Eagle GX groupset, with its massive 500% dinner plate at the back. She treated herself to some lush Hunt 650b gravel wheels, shipped with WTB high-volume tubeless tyres pre-fitted. Rather than playing the saddle lottery, we looked for something known to suit her backside over long miles, which luckily was the the cheap stock saddle on her Scott road bike, the kind that most of us swap as the first act of owning a bike. She scored one with a matching purple highlight for £15. The total spend was around £1,300, resulting in a supremely lightweight, high-spec gravel muncher.
- Frame: Pinnacle Lithium 5 women’s aluminium alloy hybrid, small with steel fork and steerer
- Groupset: SRAM Eagle GX 12 speed: 32t chainring, 10-50t cassette
- Bottom bracket: SRAM DUB threaded
- Brakes: Shimano SLX hydraulic disc with SM-RT70 160mm centre lock rotors
- Wheels: Hunt Adventure Sport Disc 650b tubeless ready; 4 Season SRAM XD freehub QR
- Tyres: WTB Byway 650×47 tubeless
- Bars: Jones H-bar aluminium
- Seatpost: Easton EA50 27.2mm
- Stem: Ritchie Comp 84D 80mm
- Saddle: Synchros (Scott) women’s road
- Pedals: Shimano M520 SPD
- Grips: Ergon GA3
Bikepacking, summer 2020
In bikepacking mode on the ‘Nature, History and Trains’ sub-route of the Norfolk Forest to Sea (F2C) trail.