unsprung heroes rigid bike test pinnacle ramin 3

Review: After a playful bargain? The Pinnacle Ramin 3 Plus might be the bike for you

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Pinnacle is the house-brand of retail giant, Evans Cycles, but the range is way more than a selection of rebadged catalogue bikes. The brand’s bike designer James Olsen has a long pedigree in the UK bike industry and is one of those designers who likes to really practice what he preaches, with various Pinnacle bikes being put to the test on an epic camping trip to Nepal, or ultra road rides from London to the Eurobike show in Germany.

unsprung heroes rigid bike test pinnacle ramin 3
The Ramin comes from Evans Cycles’ own brand, Pinnacle.

The Ramin range starts with the Ramin 1, a 1×9 fully rigid 29er that can be bought for less than £600. The Ramin 2 adds a suspension fork, but it’s the Ramin 3 that seems to have attracted all of the interest. Coming well under the magic Bike to Work threshold, it offers a versatile, fully rigid machine that can be put to many uses. While all of the bikes in the range can accept plus tyres, the Ramin 3 Plus, as the name suggests is specced with them from the off. It also has a trick up its sleeve in the form of an eccentric bottom bracket shell. This means that the bike’s bottom bracket can be adjusted for running 29er wheels, or used to take up the slack if you’re running the bike singlespeed (or hub geared…).

unsprung heroes rigid bike test pinnacle ramin 3
The Ramin 3 combines an alloy frame with a rigid fork and disc brakes.

In order to further keep costs low and add to its versatility, the bike’s frame spacing is non-Boost in order to make it more compatible with bits and pieces you’ve probably got left over in your shed. You can even add a suspension fork (up to 120mm) if you fancy, without unduly affecting the handling.

All of this versatility has made the 3 Plus an underground hit with the UK bikepacking community as well as riders who either want a versatile spare bike for winter use, or for riders who simply want one bike that’ll do most things.

unsprung heroes rigid bike test pinnacle ramin 3
It’s a good-looking bike for the money, but also the lightest on test.

The Bike

The heart of the whole Ramin range is a 6061 T6 double-butted aluminium alloy frame. In this case, it’s a pleasing dusky satin orangey colour. There’s a steel fork and a load of braze ons on both frame and fork. The frame hosts TWO sets of bottle bosses on the downtube (and another underneath, though none on the seat tube), and the elegant cromoly steel forks get two lots of triple bosses – de rigeur in bikepacking circles for Salsa Anything cages (or King ManyThing cages or Blackburn’s Cargo cage and similar contraptions for carrying loads).

unsprung heroes rigid bike test pinnacle ramin 3
Fork zits for bolting on gear for your next bikepacking adventure.

The bike features plus-sized 27.5in wheels, with trusted ‘weighty but wide’ WTB Scraper rims and a great tyre combo of a grippy WTB Bridger 3in tyre up front and a faster rolling Trailblazer 2.8in out back. Both tyres and rims are tubeless ready and it took all of ten minutes and a pair of valves to get them aired up and ready for the lower pressures that plus tyres can (and should) be run at for maximum off-road grip.

unsprung heroes rigid bike test pinnacle ramin 3
Shimano Deore 1×10 drivetrain is solid and reliable.

Elsewhere, there’s a pretty sorted spec on the bike that once again reinforces its ‘jack of all trades’ reputation. The transmission features the kind of unholy alliance of brands that tends to come with bikes at this price range (and which generally get along just fine). In this case, a 32T SRAM Fire-X chainset drives a KMC chain over ten Shimano sprockets in an 11-36T range. A Shimano Deore shifter and rear mech wafts the gears around in a perfectly serviceable manner, while a reasonably redundant chain device keeps the chain on. While a bigger gear range would have been welcome, a 36T is the theoretical lowest gear for the rear mech. No doubt a bit of tweaking of limit and tension screws will let you get an aftermarket expander in there for a bit of a drop in shifting fidelity.

unsprung heroes rigid bike test pinnacle ramin 3
Likewise, the Deore disc brakes are top performers.

Brakes are Shimano’s Deore M615 (i.e. the previous generation of Deore) with 180/160mm rotors and they’re a joy to use. Lovely levers and plenty enough power for the kind of trouble you’re going to get yourself into with a rigid fork up front. The hubs are simple quick release Joytech sealed bearing jobs, but they can be converted to thru-axles front and rear if you’re on an upgrade rampage.

The 60mm in-house stem and 720mm bars are fine, though we found the Kraton rubber grips to be rather hard and wandery on bumpier descents. Probably candidates for the first bit of upgrading.

The saddle and 27.2 seatpost are pretty run of the mill items, but proved to be comfy enough for longer rides. The addition of a seatpost quick release allows for a bit of radness for descents if you’re that way inclined and the Ramin features a long seatpost shim that can be removed to reveal a 31.6mm seat tube and plumbing ready for that upgrade to a dropper post.

unsprung heroes rigid bike test pinnacle ramin 3
There’s a QR seat clamp for easy on-trail adjustments, but the Ramin frame will take a dropper if you decide to upgrade.

The Ride

Riding the medium frame, which the top tube sticker assures me is for ‘5ft 7–10in Men’, it initially feels a little short on reach (it’s comparable to the medium Unit X – you can always size-up), but that feeling soon goes away and the Ramin disappears under you in search of adventure.

In general, the bars and controls fall easily to hand and, while the cool kids might want another couple of inches on the bar width, for general trail cruising, you’re well served with the stock set-up.

unsprung heroes rigid bike test pinnacle ramin 3
The Ramin 3 Plus is both comfortable and quiet to ride.

With not a peep out of either the shimmed seatpost or the bolted-tight bottom bracket there’s little to distract you from the ride. Running tyres in the low teens, the lack of a suspension fork isn’t particularly noticeable unless you come into a rocky section carrying a bit of speed. At that point you’re instantly transported back to the early ’90s as you try to hang on to a bucking machine while the grips spin slowly.

Grips excepted, the bike handles the bumps very well though you’re more likely to be picking your way through the rocks rather than launching off them on this machine. It rewards a good, smooth line.

unsprung heroes rigid bike test pinnacle ramin 3 bottom bracket eccentric singlespeed
The eccentric BB gave us no such trouble throughout the test period.

It’s the lightest bike on test by nearly a kilo and that translates well on the trail. Combined with the well-sorted tyre treads, it’s a blast to throw around if that’s what you want to do with it. While the front tyre isn’t the grippiest plus tyre out there, it works really well for dry to damp UK conditions and, while the rear tyre can start getting a bit skatey on more moist trails, it’s pretty good at following the front wheel and we didn’t get any nasty surprises.

The tubeless tyres are of the lighter variety (heavy plus tyres can get so heavy as to cause localised gravity warping), and we did put a cut into the tyre that needed more repair than Stan’s could help with. If you’re running the bike on byways and moorland trails, rather than rocky stream beds, then you’ll probably be fine.

unsprung heroes rigid bike test pinnacle ramin 3
The lightweight plus tyres provide a smoother ride than we were expecting of the Ramin 3 Plus.

The 10-speed transmission is a bit clunky, but works well. A lower bottom gear would have been very welcome, especially if you’re looking to run the bike for loaded touring or even on unknown terrain where you could be in for some long steep days. If you’re running the bike as a commuter, or a winter bike, or whatever, there’s a nice range of affordable upgrades just waiting for the bike. A bigger chainring, or a hop-up cassette would be an easy upgrade.

In fact, the whole bike is full of potential upgrades to an already solid base spec. Want a faster ‘summer evening blast’ bike? Then stick on some 2.3in 29er wheels and a short travel fork. Or get some burlier plus tyres and a dropper and see how much chaos you can cause.

unsprung heroes rigid bike test pinnacle ramin 3
You can fit a suspension fork and 29in wheels if you so desire, but for winter riding, we quite like it how it comes out of the box.


The Ramin 3 Plus is a hugely versatile machine. While it’s never going to be a speed racer, it will carry you to work, it’ll keep you spinning through the winter, it’ll be a short, fun summer blast bike, or it’ll be an introduction to bikepacking. Or all of that and more. There’s not been as blank a canvas of a bike here for a long time. It’s the cheapest and lightest on test and if you like the look of it, you probably shouldn’t hang around before buying one.


Pinnacle Ramin 3 Plus Specifications

  • Frame // 6061-T6 double butted aluminium
  • Fork // Rigid. Cromoly steerer and blades
  • Hubs // Joytech sealed bearing
  • Rims // WTB Scraper i45, TCS 27.5in
  • Tyres // WTB Bridger 3in/WTB Trailblazer 2.8in
  • Chainset // SRAM Fire-X 32T
  • Rear Mech // Shimano Deore M615
  • Shifters // Shimano M610
  • Cassette // Shimano HG-50 11-36T, 10 speed
  • Brakes // Shimano Deore M615
  • Stem // Pinnacle MTB 60mm
  • Bars // Pinnacle 6061, 720mm
  • Grips // Black Kraton rubber
  • Seatpost // Pinnacle alloy 27.2, shimmed from 31.6mm
  • Saddle // Pinnacle MTB
  • Size Tested // Medium
  • Sizes Available // S, M, L, XL
  • Weight As Tested // 12.9kg/28.4lbs

This review was published in Issue #117 of Singletrack Magazine as part of our ‘Unsprung Heroes’ group test. Keen to read more? You can check out all of the stories and features from Issue #117 of Singletrack Magazine right here.

Review Info

Brand: Pinnacle
Product: Ramin 3 Plus
From: Evans Cycles, evanscycles.com
Price: £900.00
Tested: by Chipps for 2 months
Chipps Chippendale

Singletrackworld's Editor At Large

With 22 years as Editor of Singletrack World Magazine, Chipps is the longest-running mountain bike magazine editor in the world. He started in the bike trade in 1990 and became a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the last 30 years as a bike writer and photographer, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish, strengthen and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

More posts from Chipps

Comments (3)

    I love mine. It’s like my original 1986 Rockhopper with most of the beneficial developments that have happened in the last 30 years but without anything that adds more maintenance or cost of ownership. I did swap out the 11-36 cassette for an 11-42 which helps on the climbs and put a narrow wide ring on the front so I could lose the chain guard. Might not suit someone who’s always ridden with suspension but if you started in the days when everything was rigid this is a perfect way to feel 30 years younger without being beaten up to the point where you feel 30 years older.

    Those “light” WTB + tyres are shockingly fragile. I’ve ripped 2 at the bead and had countless little punctures that seemed to need some help to seal. They have been consigned to the bin 🙂

    Where’s the top riding pic (by the wall, hill in the background)?

    Shame that you can’t actually buy one of these new any more …

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