Welcome to the second in our blogpost series insights into the new Pinnacle 2012 bikes. If you missed our first one on the new flighty Neon series, you can catch up here. Next up, it’s the turn of the Lithium. Without doubt the runaway success of last years’ range as it won fans left, right and centre for its comfort, tough no-nonsense spec, relaxed riding positon and fast rolling 700c wheels. For 2012 the big wheeled bike with the equally big attitude is back with a bang!
With a new tweaked geometry based on a rigid 29er MTB layout, the Lithium puts the rider in a confident ride position, perfectly designed to handling that suits the cut-n-paste of city short-cuts and emergency manoeuvres. Blending the boundaries between mtb and hybrid and a combination of the best bits of both, let’s take a closer look…
At £300.00srp the Lithium One has looks that belies its asking price. V-brakes help to reduce overall weight and cost without any lack of stopping power and a reliable Shimano 7sp drivetrain for mile after mile of trouble-free pedaling.
MTBer’s from the heydays of the 90’s will recognise the ‘Oury-esque’ grips which make an appearance on the Lithium. The large pad design eliminates numbness and slipping for any size hand and the extremely super-soft Kraton rubber will give you excellent control and maximum comfort.
Tough 38c Kenda K-West tyres specced across the board laugh in the face of potholes and Friday nights’ broken bottle aftermath. The deep-section Alex G6000 rims not only look great but should add the rigidity and strength needed to stay true for longer. Disc-equipped models (Two, Three, Four and Five) get nifty black anodized braking surface to retain the good looks as the machined brake track isn’t required.
The Lithium Two is based on the same specification as the Lithium One but adds Shimano M375 cable-activated disc brakes for an additional £50 for powerful, reliable braking in all weather conditions.
“Those downtube decals look a bit weird up close?” Yup, all Lithium models come with reflective frame decals which offer some much-needed side-on visibility in dimly-lit areas. A nice touch, which is pretty unassuming during daylight hours.
Ladies ride too! You’ll notice that for models One through to Four we offer a visually identical (we don’t buy into the ‘shrink it and pink it’ chain of thought) women’s model with a few unassuming spec changes to help improve handling and comfort – dropped/extra sloping toptube for increased standover clearance, FWE Sport Womens’ saddle (shorter with a wider base) and proportionally shorter stem and narrower handlebar.
MTB –inspired geometry needs a MTB-inspired cockpit for the full-on fun factor. 660mm wide, with a 15mm rise and 9° backsweep / 5° upsweep is the bar of choice across the range for the Lithium. Chop ‘em down if you personally find them too wide (it’s much tougher to add extra length J) but we feel they offer the best combination for fun, confident handling.
Hydraulic Shimano M446 stoppers make an appearance on the Lithium Four alongside a full Shimano 9sp Acera drivetrain. Essentially a full-on MTB gears and brakes to stand up to the toughest of city life.
Skinny tapered Cro-Mo steel fork has excellent shock and vibration absorbing properties to help cancel out ‘road-buzz’ being transferred up through the handlebars.
More tyre clearance than you can shake a stick at! Mudgaurd eyelets front and rear and additional rack eyelets out back mean the Lithium is easily modded into a all-weather load-carrier.
Our flagship model with the full bells and whistles! Complete with an upgraded Shimano Acera and Alivio mix for fast shifting over 27 wide-ratio gears, as well as Shimano’s splined Octalink crank system that will take heavier use in its stride.
The hydraulic disc brakes are upgraded to use Shimano’s slim and compact M505 2-finger alloy levers for a little bit of a more positive lever feel. It also uses an open clamp fastening meaning handlebar grips can stay in-situ should you need to remove the lever.
The all-important wheels don’t escape the upgrade treatment either – G6000’s make way for Alex’s new CXD-26 disc-specific cyclocross rims – a little quicker off the line (470g vs. 655g) and faster back to a stand-still.