Like Kinesis, Bowman Cycles is another British company championing alloy road frames, with the Pilgrims Disc being its latest model, and following on from 2017’s widely acclaimed but more race-orientated Palace-R.
As the name suggests, the Pilgrims Disc is designed solely for disc brakes, and is up-to- date with the most recent mounts and sizes with 12mm through-axles and flat mount adapters. It also has mudguard mounts, which will be a plus for all riders looking for a bike for all seasons. Claimed tyre clearance of 30mm is decent, and at least 28mm tyres can be accommodated with mudguards fitted. The geometry is not dramatically different from that of a traditional race bike, featuring a relatively short head tube which allows anyone who is looking to achieve a more aerodynamic riding position to get themselves low and pro. Consequently, the handling is fast enough for this bike to appeal to racers and perhaps those looking for a second, all-year-round bike, especially as it didn’t prove too twitchy or flighty on even the steepest of hills.
While the Pilgrims Disc is a frame and fork package, our test bike came fitted with a mix of components. The TRP Sypre brakes were disappointing, lacking both feel and power particularly in comparison to the hydraulic options featured on the other bikes tested here. The Noble 26TLR wheels are tubeless ready, which is a plus, but they can’t match either of the other wheelsets featured for weight, while not being significantly deeper or stiffer to warrant the extra bulk.
The Ultegra R8000 groupset is difficult to find fault with, featuring slick shifting both front and rear. The Deda finishing kit, meanwhile, adds a little touch of Italian flair to the overall build.
Although it can’t quite match the other bikes on test for comfort, the Pilgrim is still a pleasure to ride, even over a long, hard course. Demolishing, once and for all, the outmoded idea that an alloy bike is only capable of offering a harsh or uncomfortable ride.
Frame options – Latest spec of through-axles and mudguard mounts for year-round use.
Shimano Ultegra Groupset – The perfect mix of performance and value.
Tyre clearance – Up to 30mm or 28mm with mudguards fitted.
Not so good
Brakes – Lack power compared to hydraulic discs.
Comfort – A noticeably firmer ride than the other bikes.
Allen key through-axle bolts – Make sure you remember to take a tool or a puncture could result in a long walk!
The Pilgrim Disc is a fantastic, durable, all-round bike suitable for year-round riding with features such as mudguard mounts and wide tyre clearance that will appeal to a range of riders. It handles well and offers a ride that makes it comfortable for even long rides in difficult conditions.
Frame: Bowman Cycles Pilgrim Disc, 6061 AlloyT6 alloy, with full-carbon fork
Groupset: Shimano Ultegra R8000
Brakes: TRP Spyre mechanical disc
Chainset: Shimano Ultegra, 52/36
Cassette: Shimano105, 11-28
Bars: Deda RHM 01
Stem: Deda Zero 2
Saddle: Fizik Aliante
Seat-Post: Deda RSx01
Wheels: Noble 26 TLR
Tyres: Michelin Pro 4 Endurance, 28mm