The design team at Pinnacle has moved its attention to the off-road world with the creation of the Kapur: a mountain bike that features all the qualities of Pinnacle’s award-winning Iroko, but at a fraction of the cost. Coffee Stop’s Matt Lamy spoke to Pinnacle brand manager Scott Decker to find out more.
“The main message of the Kapur is that good geometry is free and you shouldn’t need to spend £1,000 or more to have great fun on a bike. We want people to realise that Pinnacle doesn’t do anything different for the entry-level customer, and the Kapur is proof of that,” Scott Decker explained.
It’s a pretty bold stance to take, especially in the world of cycle design where manufacturers purposely tend to equate ‘expensive’ with ‘good’, and ‘dearer’ with ‘better’. But then again, Pinnacle’s raison d’être has always been about providing ‘proper’ bikes to ‘real’ riders, whatever their budget.
“We feel that many bike brands don’t put a lot of effort into their entry-level products — their priority is more often multiple thousand pound top-of-the-range models. However, at Pinnacle this area of the market is one of our strengths and we also really appreciate our customers looking at entry-level price points. We thought, why can’t we give those people the same bike as someone spending more? It costs us no more to make a bike with good geometry but it can revolutionise somebody’s experience of cycling,” Scott said.
“So the basis of the Kapur is the Pinnacle Iroko, which is our award-winning 650B hardtail. We decided we wanted to give those customers a bike that is more than capable of their initial experience but, as they grow in their abilities, the bike allows them to progress rather than hold them back. Then we can give those people who have a smaller budget and who want to get into mountain biking the same types of ride experience as someone who is spending over £1,000.
“The Kapur range starts with the Kapur 1, progresses to the Kapur 2 and finishes with the Kapur 3. All models share the same frame geometry, which is effectively long-reach, with a slack head angle, short stem, nice wide 760mm bar, low bottom bracket, long wheelbase, 650B wheels and 2.2in tyres. It’s all designed to create a proper trail-capable hardtail: it’s confidence inspiring on the descents but still provides efficient performance on climbs. It’s an all-rounder really.”
Tweaking the details
Although the Iroko on which the Kapur is based is a great bike, Scott and the Pinnacle team haven’t just blindly transferred the geometry. For one thing, the Kapur is made in a different factory. Then they went through quite a few rounds of development as they played with different ideas of what customers at this level might want.
“Originally the Kapur 1 was going to have V-brakes and we were going to use the budget in other areas to create a slightly different bike with the ability to fit a pannier rack. In that case, we were looking at creating something that was more of a cross between a mountain bike and a hybrid. But then, as it developed, we felt that the 1 model should be just as capable as the 3 model,” Scott said.
“Then there were certain details — such as cable routing — that we’ve done with the Iroko but which add cost to the entry-level price point. However, we still wanted to give the customer a really capable bike, so all Kapurs are routed for an external dropper post. That meant we’ve used a shim in the seatpost. We’ve fitted a 27.2mm seatpost for comfort but then if the customer wants to add a dropper post later on, they can do.
“Every Kapur model comes with hydraulic disc brakes, too. We weren’t happy putting mechanical disc brakes on these bikes even though other brands would for cost-saving purposes — that’s a sacrifice we weren’t prepared to make. Then we’ve put a 120mm suspension fork on each model, which suits the capability of the bike. But on the other side of the coin, we’ve fitted triple chainsets, so that we’ve given it a full gear range suitable for the entry-level rider.”
More than enough
Of course, some of the details and capabilities built into the Kapur might go over the head of most entry-level riders. But Scott said that isn’t a good reason to overlook them. In time, these features will prove their worth.
“We had a lot of conversations within our team about what riders at this level are looking for. They won’t be looking for this geometry, for example, because they probably won’t have any idea about what geometry they want. They’re not necessarily going to know what head angle they want, what reach they need, the importance of having a low bottom bracket. But the cumulative effect of all that becomes a bike that simply feels great once they’re riding it,” Scott said.
“What we want even more, though, is for the Kapur to stay relevant further down the line as the customer’s riding progresses and they start pushing themselves — perhaps going to trail centres, for example — and they increase with their skills. The Kapur won’t hold them back and then they’ll realise that all these other details that we built into the Kapur — such as the ability to fit better forks with tapered steerers — have their value. So rather than getting into mountain biking and, once you reach a certain level thinking you now need a £1,000 bike, the Kapur can grow with you.”
The Kapur range comprises of three models:
Highlight features: Shimano Acera/Tourney mix gearing, Suntour 120mm suspension fork, Kenda tyres, Shimano hubs, Tektro hydraulic discs. All models come with WTB saddle and grips.
Highlight features: higher-spec Suntour 120mm suspension fork, Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, 3×9 Shimano Acera gears, WTB tyres.
Highlight features: RockShox Recon 120mm suspension fork with 15mm bolt-thru front axle and a tapered head tube, Shimano 3×9 Alivio gears, higher-spec Shimano hydraulic brakes.
Kapur — the name
Scott explained the reasoning behind that Kapur name: “Our mountain bike model names are derived from different wood types and Kapur is a native hardwood to south-east Asia, Indonesia and Malaysia. The bike is produced in Indonesia so it seemed fitting to use a wood that comes from the same country. We also think that Kapur has a certain ring to it.”
“Kapur – a large tropical Old-World tree which yields light brown timber, edible fruit, and camphor. The name, following the theme of ‘types of wood’ for Pinnacle mountain bikes is a tree native to Indonesia, the country where this bike is being manufactured.”