Sunday, June 24, 2012

Pearson Imnotanumber review

After 152 years in business, Surrey’s Pearson Cycles should know a thing or two about making a good bike. Among their current range of unusually monikered machines is the Imnotanumber, with a unidirectional carbon monocoque frame that isn’t shy about announcing itself. The curly Pearson name appears 19 times by our count, although everyone who saw the bike thought its looks were very tasteful.

  • Highs: A light and tough frame with well-judged component spec
  • Lows: The fork is precise but gives a hard ride
  • Buy if: You want a long-distance bike that’s responsive enough to race

The large hexagonal down tube creates a strong spine to anchor each end of the frame, and is braced by a gently curved, diamond-shaped top tube. The rear end has chainstays that are ovalised at the bottom bracket shell but triangular by the time they reach the dropouts, and seatstays that start as a chunky monostay then become burly straight tubes. This all makes for a solid rear triangle.

A conventional 1 1/8in alloy steerer and curved, slim carbon fork give a precise but quite hard ride. The 165mm head tube on the medium-sized frame tested here allows you to adopt a more or less racy position without ruining the aesthetics or compromising comfort.

The Pearson’s handling is well balanced and sharp enough for quick direction changes. The ride is firmer than some of the more damped machines; its chunky seatstays and carbon post take the edge off bigger bumps, but it’s no floaty magic carpet. Equally, it’s not a filling-shaker, keeping you comfortable while retaining a racy edge for when you want to press on. The Fizik Aliante saddle is well chosen, with solid support and generous padding.

Campagnolo’s Veloce groupset always impresses with its light and positive action. The chainset isn’t the stiffest, but a 34x29 low gear should deal with most road climbs, and the 50x13 top gear will be fine unless you plan on racing. The fast-rolling Mavic Aksium wheels and their dedicated Aksion tyres perform far better than their mass would suggest, with little noticeable flex and excellent grip.

At under 8kg the Pearson is a light bike – impressive given its relatively modest price tag. Although intended as a sportive bike, the Pearson is competent enough to hold its own in a race so, ironically given its title, it could be most rewarding with a number attached.

The seatstays start as a monostay, adding to the solid rear triangle:

Note the seatstays, which start as one beefy tube for rear triangle solidity

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Source: Road Bikes & Gear

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