Matt LamySee other accessory reviews written by Matt Lamy
For a faster, lighter ride to the local shops on holiday, check out our expert's Pinnacle Neon Two bicycle review, with specs and verdict
Sunny days are here again – at least now and then – and we've been making sure all our motorhome accessories are the best for the job. Take bicycles, for instance. With the right bikes on board, motorhome holidays can offer the most carefree experiences you could wish for.
We think that hybrid bicycles are the most useful kind to buy, because you can use them happily both on and off the road. Then, just pick good campsites, surrounded by quiet country lanes, cycle trails and bridleways. There should be a village with a shop and pub within a short ride. Then you can pitch the 'van and hook it up, perhaps even put up an awning – and enjoy your freedom.
There are never any parking fees, and you can usually pedal past any queues of cars stuck in a jam. When you get to your picnic spot or beach you can keep the bike close to you, using wheel power to carry the food and drink.
Practical Motorhome's hybrid bicycle tests reveal which are the best for motorhome holidays, and you can read a selection of the reviews online. For instance, we've tested the Islabikes Beinn 29, costing £499.99 and weighing 12.1kg, the Dawes Discovery 201, costing £319.99 and weighing 12.6kg. Then we tried out the Pinnacle Neon Two, priced at £450 and weighing 10.4kg, the Verenti Division CB2.1 SORA, costing £449 and weighing 10.8kg. Then finally we tested the B'Twin Triban 500 Flat Bar, costing just £260 and weighing 10.9kg.
We decided that the most popular hybrid bikes have flat handlebars and an upright position in the saddle, just like a mountain bike. But instead of mountain bike wheels they have 29in or 700C wheels normally associated with road bikes or racing bikes. Trying to gain the best of both worlds means that our hybrid bikes are not great as off-roaders, but will do fine on gravel trails, towpaths and bridleways that aren't too rough and muddy. The smoother the surface, the better our bikes will feel to the rider.
During the testing we've been looking for a comfortable ride and something that's easy to use. The lighter bikes are best for most people, because they're easy to manoeuvre. Gear ratios and brakes also matter, and we need them to be smooth and easy to operate.
Any cyclist knows that the saddle is crucial to your comfort as a rider. While padding is appreciated, it needs to be in the right place, the saddle height must be adjustable, and the frame must fit the rider as well as possible, so if there are plenty of frame sizes available or they're adjustable that's a bonus.
Other factors we've taken into account are the handlebars, grips and steering controls on each bike tested.
In this review we'll take a close look at the Pinnacle Neon Two, priced at £450. Evans Cycles’ in-house brand, Pinnacle, makes excellent, practical – but often speed-focused – bikes and, at just 10.4kg, this Neon Two is the featherweight in our test group.
As expected, speed is put at a slight premium over comfort. The gearset is a Shimano Claris, normally found on drop-bar ‘racing’ bikes, so it works well and there are enough gear ratios to help you ride up hills.
The decent cantilever brakes mean you can upgrade to more comfortable and grippier wider tyres than the skinny but good 28C rubber tyres fitted. And the aluminium frame, while stable at speed, has road handling secure enough to weave around obstacles.
the Pinnacle Neon Two is great fun to ride, but for those wanting a leisurely time it may be a shade too exciting.
|Weight||10.12kg (10.4kg as tested)|
|Front and rear Derailleur||Shimano Claris FD-2400 and Shimano Claris RD-2400|
|Frame||Pinnacle 6061-T6 double butted aluminium alloy|
|Fork||Aluminium, guard eyelets, 1 1/8" steerer|
|Brakeset||Tektro RX1 Mini-V|
|Brake levers||Tektro RX1.0|
|Handlebars||Pinnacle Aluminium flat bar, 600mm width, 9 degree back-sweep|
|Stem||Pinnacle Ahead stem, 105mm|
|Headset||Prestine integrated for 41.2mm ID|
|Grips||File pattern Kraton rubber|
|Rims||Alex Ace-19 32H|
|Tyres||Kenda Kwick Roller Sport K1029 28c|
|Saddle||Pinnacle Sport men’s, black|
|Evans product code||EV192283|
|Colour||Matt Graphite/Neon Orange|
If mountain bikes and some of the heavier hybrid bicycles tested here seem sluggish to you, then consider the lighter, faster Pinnacle Neon Two. It's quite pricey, at £450, though, so we've awarded this capable bike a four-star rating.
- One of the lightest hybrid bikes tested
- Capable of speed
- Good brakes
- A bit too exciting at times
- More expensive than some rival hybrids