Dutch frame builder Pilot Cycles is still a relative secret to the wider UK mountain biking market, but we’re betting this Locum Pinion plus hardtail is going to catch the eyes of many an all-weather rider. Designed around custom butted and hydroformed titanium tubing with a belt-driven 12-speed gearbox, the Locum Pinion is what we’d call a bonafide adventure bike – not like those silly trendy skinny tyre drop bar things.
We’ve watched the plus hardtail market heat up in recent seasons thanks to the wider availability of different (read: more UK appropriate) tyre options and lightweight carbon wheelsets. And with the extra squish provided by a 27.5×3.0in wide tyre, a hardtail has the potential to become an even more versatile machine. Throw in long-lasting titanium tubing, a near-maintenance free Pinion gearbox and a Gates Carbon Belt Drive, and you’ve got a recipe for a do-it-all machine that’s ready for the long haul.
On paper, the Locum Pinion from Pilot Cycles ticks all of those boxes, so we got one in to test out and see exactly what this exotic hardtail can do.
“On-trail, off-trail or completely lost, the versatile all new LOCUM is a mountain bike that isn’t afraid of adventures. And with the PINION gearbox the need for maintenance is kept to a minimum, the Pinion gearbox only needs service once a year or every 10.000 km. The Gates belt drive system lasts way longer than any chain system. Mount 650B plus tires and enjoy levels of traction and comfort that will blow you away. Or switch to fast rolling 29er wheels and make yourself Strava King of the Mountain on your local trail. If you develop a sudden urge to get away from the daily hassle and stress, the LOCUM is your partner. Thanks to the rack mounts you can mount a rack and some panniers anytime you feel like discovering the world.” – From Pilot Cycles.
The Pilot Cycles Locum Pinion Features
- Made from Aerospace Grade 5 and Grade 9 double butted & hydroformed titanium
- Designed to accommodate up to 27.5×3.25in or 29×2.4in tyres
- Pinion 12-speed C1.12 gearbox
- Gates CDX Belt Drive
- 120mm fork travel
- 69° head angle (68° on the Small frame size)
- 73° seat tube angle (74° on the Small frame size)
- 435mm chainstay length
- 148x12mm thru-axle CNC machined dropouts
- Available sizes: Small, Medium, Large, & X-Large
- Custom frame geometry available at a €250 upcharge
- Frame RRP: €3149
- Complete bike RRP: From €5599
Made from beautifully curvy hydroformed titanium tubing, the Locum Pinion frame is handmade in the Netherlands, just like all of Pilot Cycles frames. There are four standard frame sizes, though you can have the geometry tweaked for a €250 up-charge. Want entirely custom frame tubing to suit your weight and riding style? Pilot can do that too for a further €250 on top.
Our test bike is a standard large-size frame that’s been built around Pinion’s latest C-Line gearbox. There are 12 gears inside with a 600% gear range, and it’s driven by a Gates Carbon Belt Drive complete with Centretrack sprockets. Fork travel sits at 120mm, and the frame features routing for a stealth Fox Transfer dropper post. There are a few upgrades on our test bike, including the Kashima fork and a carbon fibre Tune Blackburner wheelset. Rubber comes from Schwalbe in the form of 27.5×3.0in Nobby Nic/Rocket Ron combo, though Pilot states that the Locum will take 29in wheels too. Note: full spec list available down below.
And that there is your virtual tour of the Pilot Locum Pinion hardtail. We’ll be passing this test bike onto Tom Hutton for some adventurous all-weather riding across various corners of the UK, so stay tuned for the upcoming review. Check out the full spec list below, though you can also get more information via the Pilot Cycles website.
Pilot Cycles Locum Pinion 27.5+ Specifications
- Frame // Aerospace Grade 5 and Grade 9 double butted & hydroformed titanium
- Fork // Fox 32 Float, Factory Series, 120mm Travel
- Hubs // Tune King Kong, 110x15mm Front & 148x12mm Rear
- Rims // Tune Blackburner Carbon, 43mm Internal Rim Width, 32h, Tubeless Ready
- Tyres // Schwalbe Nobby Nic 3.0in Front & Rocket Ron 3.0in Rear
- Chainset // Pinion, 32t Gates CDX Sprocket
- Shifter // Pinion Rotary, 12-Speed
- Cassette // Gates CDX 30t Sprocket
- Brakes // Shimano Deore XT, 180mm Front & 160mm Rear
- Stem // 3T MTB Team Stealth, 31.8mm, 90mm Length
- Bars // 3T Flat 740 Pro, AL 7075 Alloy, 740mm Wide
- Grips // ESI Silicone
- Seatpost // Fox Transfer, 100mm Travel
- Saddle // Selle Italia SLR
- Size Tested // Large
- Sizes available // Small, Medium, Large, X-Large
- Weight // 13.5kg (29.7lb)
- RRP // €7734 (as tested with upgrades)