Field Test: 2020 Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol - Down for Whatever Country

Dec 3, 2019
by Sarah Moore  


PINKBIKE FIELD TEST

2020 Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol

Great value and a heck of a lot more capable than its 120mm suggests.



Words by Sarah Moore, Photography by Trevor Lyden



The Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol was first introduced in an aluminum version in 2016 and this new version is the first to use the Colorado-based brand’s new Revved Carbon technology.

You can get the Trail Pistol in 3 builds, starting at $3,695 USD for the Ride 2 configuration or $2,195 USD for the frame only. The highest-end Race model that we tested retails for $5,895 USD and comes with a RockShox Deluxe Ultimate rear shock, a Rock Shox Pike Ultimate RC2 with 130mm travel, SRAM G2 Ultimate brakes, and DT Swiss XMC 1200 i30 carbon wheels.

Something unique about Guerrilla Gravity is that they allow for a certain amount of customization
Trail Pistol Details

Travel: 120mm (r) / 130mm (f)
Wheel size: 29''
Frame construction: carbon fiber
Head angle: 65.9°
Chainstay length: 426mm
Reach: 458mm (Short, Size 2)
Sizes: 1, 2 (tested), 3, 4
Weight: 29.5lbs / 13.4 kg (as pictured)
Price: $5,895 USD
More info: www.ridegg.com
within their build kits and riders can pick from several different options for the drivetrain, brakes, suspension, wheels and dropper post.

The Trail Pistol uses Guerrilla Gravity’s Freedom Linkage design, with flip chips on the seat stays to allow the rider to adjust the way the bike uses its travel. Plush Mode makes the bike ride softer off the top and through the mid-stroke while Crush Mode will bring the support higher into the travel for riders who want the snappiest pedaling response and the ability to more effectively pump the terrain.




Field Test Guerrilla Gravity 2020 Photo Trevor Lyden
Field Test Guerrilla Gravity 2020 Photo Trevor Lyden


Climbing

The steep seat tube angle on the Trail Pistol keeps you in a good power position for climbing and there’s a firm pedalling platform. It also has great climbing traction and it made it up the super steep and loose part of the gravel climb on our test loop really easily.

The relatively slack head angle and generous front center meant that the Trail Pistol wasn't the quickest to make its way around corners, and it was a little trickier to keep things pointed in the right direction on twisty singletrack climbs compared to some of the shorter and steeper bikes in this category.

The handling was easy to get along with, but there's no getting around the fact that the Trail Pistol isn't a lightweight, a fact that become apparent when pedaling it up the steep, long Forest Service Road to the top of the Pemberton trail network. The bike does climb well, but even with just about the lightest build kit you can get from Guerilla Gravity it weighed in at 29.5lb without pedals. That's almost a pound and a half heavier than the Juliana Joplin, and 3.4 pounds more than the Trek Top Fuel. It’s not a huge deal most of the time, but it does start to wear on you on longer climbs.


Field Test Guerrilla Gravity 2020 Photo Trevor Lyden

Field Test Guerrilla Gravity 2020 Photo Trevor Lyden
Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol Photo by Trevor Lyden


Descending


The Trail Pistol was the most fun on the downhills out of all the bikes we rode in the downcountry category. The position while descending feels so comfortable and natural that it's easy to push the bike hard. What’s interesting is that it's both really stable at high speed, but, at least in the shorter position, still plenty nimble in the slower stuff.

We both preferred the "Plush" mode over the "Crush" mode since it was a smoother ride. It might be a cliché, but it actually feels like the Trail Pistol has more travel than 120mm. You really don't have to be super picky about your lines, it just goes through everything. This bike will take the heat if you feel like riding like an idiot.

Speaking of which, I did go off-script a bit at one point during the Field Test and discovered that the Guerrilla Gravity can ride double black diamond tech in the Whistler Bike Park like a champ. Obviously, it's not a bike park bike, but it speaks to the do-everything versatility that is one of the best things about this bike. There are no other bikes in the downcountry category that I would even consider riding in the bike park.
Timed Testing

Our timed lap for the downcountry bikes was around 8:30 long and started with a 0.5km singletrack climb up Wild Potato, before heading up the Smell the Glove Connector, a loose double track road that got steeper and steeper towards the top. Then, we dipped into Econo Dave, a spicy black diamond trail with lots of steep rock rolls, before looping back on the loose higher-speed Dark Forest. The climb accounted for half the distance but about two-thirds of the time.

Don't forget that timing is just one of many ways to judge a bike, and fast doesn't always mean it's the best for everyone.


Sarah: ''As I expected, I had one of the fastest descending laps on the Guerrilla Gravity and the slowest climb."
James: "I was pretty much right in the middle for both laps, both up and down."




Pros

+ Geometry is fantastic both up and down
+ Versatile, super adjustable with the potential for multiple bikes in one
+ Great value and tons of spec options
+ Made in Colorado (if that matters to you)
Cons

- Heavy - over 7lb (3.2 kg) for frame and shock
- Bottle mount is awkward
- Frame design and graphics aren't going to appeal to everyone





The 2020 Pinkbike Field Test was made possible by support from
Race Face apparel & pads, Giro helmets, & Sierra Nevada beer.



535 Comments

  • 410 85
 '1lb really wears on you' this is the bullshit that has driven bike companies to lie about bike weight and inadequately spec bikes. A full water bottle is 2lb. Geometry and suspension design are far more important than weight and it's you lot that are to blame when people are like oh it's 32lb I can't possibly ride that uphill.
  • 44 14
 I did 1000hm with my 180/170mm Knolly with about 16-17kg on the Pinkbike ride challenge more than once.

The only real difference youll feel is a slack seattube angle and a wandering front end- even heavy tires arent that big of a deal.

But what do I know....
  • 70 6
 There is a lot of truth to this. Many people are WAY too focused on weight.
  • 13 6
 Can't agree more. When I bought my Devinci Spartan 3 years ago the bike shop said things like "you have to be pretty strong to pedal it uphill", "maybe look at a bike with about 130mm of travel". I bought the Spartan, loved it and now own a Capra.
  • 160 36
 For sure weight is relative to whatever you're used to, but keep in mind that this was heaviest of the downcountry bikes by 1.5lb and 3.4lb heavier than the lightest bike we had in this category. We're not saying it's unrideable by any means, just that you can't ignore t!
  • 205 38
 And you'll put that waterbottle on your bike regardless of how much it weighs so that's kind of irrelevant to how much the bike weighs...
  • 44 8
 So at what weight would you stop saying it doesn't matter?
  • 73 2
 I'm going to sneak a 1 lb weight in my riding buddies pack before the next climb. It's going to ruin his ride. I just can't wait!!
  • 53 31
 You’re missing the point. Why does it weigh that much? If other companies can build lighter, reliable frames with the same travel, something is wrong. Tell me weight doesn’t matter when you’re three hours into a fast trail ride and you’re starting to bonk.
  • 77 6
 The three attributes, in order of importance, for a bike are:
1) ride quality
2) durability
3) weight
The uninformed consumer often is led to reverse that order.
  • 111 4
 If you can't measure what's important, make important what you can measure.
  • 11 0
 I feel like weight and price are the single easiest metrics to quantify across all types of bikes. It also doesn't take any experience/knowledge of bikes to get these numbers, so people choose them as the gold standard out of default. (Not directed at our reviewers)

They're also the two that a new rider notices the most. Just because it's easy doesn't mean it's the tight way to compare bikes, yet people do it all the time.
  • 100 0
 Putting "'1lb really wears on you'" in quotes is misquoting; the wording is "It’s not a huge deal most of the time, but it does start to wear on you on longer climbs". And 3.4 pounds (over the Trek) is very perceptible on long climbing days. Not that it's unrideable or the only factor - weight is only one factor - but it matters.
  • 41 2
 @jclnv: because this same frame has to pull it's weight as a gravity sled too. I'd feel much more comfortable thrashing this bike than something like the Mondraker, built on an xc frame.
  • 21 23
 how about we all go to the gym and sweat out a pound or two instead of paying 1-2k more for a bike? @Bahh has got it right
  • 58 6
 @privateer-wheels: some of us live where it's flat.
There is no pedaling to the top for the reward. You pedal all day all the time to make the bike go.
I dropped my shit 32lb trail bike and now have a 26lb trail bike. Guess which one is more fun?
For me and my trails the faster I can go and the less effort to get to that speed leaves me more energy to put into cornering and maintaining speed.

That's not a downcountry bike it's a short travel trail bike.
  • 17 0
 I agree in general, weight isn't that important. However if you ride bikes back to back, at least in my humble experience, you do notice weight. The last time I went to a bike tryout event, it felt so sluggish jumping onto the more enduro focused bike. I love these articles PB puts out, but whenever you do a group test, it tends to over-amplify small differences.
  • 39 0
 @privateer-wheels: in addition 3lbs to a 200lb rider is different then 3lbs to a 140lb rider.
  • 52 7
 I feel like mountain bikers follow a pretty common progression as they learn to compare bikes.

First year: it's about budget, and which bike is closest to them at the time they decide to purchase.
Next few years: its all about lightweight (easy to quantify/compare with no other knowledge)
The next year, it's all about carbon, especially if it's in the name of the model. Its these guys who talk about their bike as the "enduro carbon, or carbon patrol" as if it legitimizes them more having a carbon frame.
The next year, it's all about travel
The next year it's about which derailleur/groupset it has (people comparing bike A to bike B because they have the same groupset, and picking the cheapest one, despite suspension kinematics or geo)

Then they finally start to understand things like geometry, suspension characteristics etc. These are probably the most important aspects to how a bike rides, yet it takes the longest to get to this point.nl)ll

It's not a bad progression, and most of us went through it. we start with what we can feel and some of these nuances take years to feel/distinguish, and we all have different preferences.
  • 9 3
 @hardtailparty: just ride a hardtail with 160mm of travel, no need to worry about all the suspension Wink haha
  • 3 1
 @spaceofades: Dont buy an xc bike then lol
  • 15 15
 Exactly. Skipping desert and losing a few lbs off yourself will go a lot farther than trying to shave grams off your derailleur. And it’s cheaper...
  • 13 3
 @sarahmoore:

"And you'll put that water bottle on your bike regardless"

Unless of course you're riding a bike with no mounts in 2020 Smile
  • 57 2
 For those wondering about the heavier weight of Trail Pistol - it should be reiterated that this front triangle can be used on a 165/180mm Megatrail - a bike made for the gnarliest stuff you'd want to hit on anything but a DH bike. If GG made a "Trail Pistol SL" they'd probably have to warn customers that they couldn't use say that same frame on the longer travel bikes. GG also prefers to use the more stout and hand welded aluminum rear ends, so for a full-carbon, lightweight-biased frame might sacrifice some durability - an issue that many have with carbon frames to begin with.
  • 14 8
 I do find it funny how it's a pound heavier then my aluminum reign with 150mm travel front and rear.
  • 24 6
 @KUBBY: What does it say about the sport (and society) if people just assume that everyone is overweight by default?
Did it ever cross your mind that people who are heavily into cycling as a sport might actually be fit and not in need of dropping weight?
  • 2 0
 EDIT: oops wrong thread
  • 12 1
 @Karpiel073: I have no option other than to agree with everything you say since you have Karpiel in your name.

But I actually do agree. Ive ridden full coil enduro bikes for a few years as an everyday trail bike. How much sleep I got, and what I had for dinner are more impactful on a ride, long or short, than the fact my coil shock weighs an extra pound.

Go take a nap. You'll pedal more better after.
  • 146 10
 It’s trendy to say weight doesn’t matter, but if you had two bikes that had the same travel and geometry numbers, and the frame strength was the same, why wouldn’t you pick the lighter one? Obviously it’s possible to get heavy bikes to the top of a hill - I had a DH bike with a dropper post back in the day - but starting with a lighter bike makes it easier to add things like real tires, aluminum parts, etc... without the number on the scale getting too high.

Also, keep in mind that for this category we’re talking about bikes with 120mm of travel, not beefy enduro bikes. Weight isn’t the only factor to consider when choosing a bike, but it should be mentioned.
  • 16 15
 @j-t-g: Water bottles mounts are still overrated.
  • 14 9
 @jclnv: Ride a Top Fuel at the bike park and the frame will explode.....and Trek won't honor the warranty. A Slash weighs about what a GG does, and won't explode. If you want to ride anywhere, a lighter bike won't hold up in the rough, especially if you catch some air.
  • 15 0
 @jclnv: the frame layup is different that typical carbon fiber, so it dies not weigh any less than aluminum. Also, the rear triangle is aluminum. Keep in mind that Guerilla Gravity didn’t design their bikes to be lightweight whips. These bikes are burly, designed for abuse, weight be dammed. Same mindset that Knolly and Transition take.

PB also should have put the Trail Pistol in the next category as a Pistola or did an XC build with a lighter suspension like an SC 34 and DPS Evol.
  • 7 1
 @reverend27: Totally agree with this statement. Also putting two 155lb riders in the same test makes zero sense.

Also, would have been interesting to see the Smash in the Enduro test.
  • 13 5
 Geometry is most important but then its weight. Why would you want to ride a heavier bike
  • 9 0
 @hardtailparty: You forgot the part after they go lighter where they break a lot of stuff and learn that they need reliability more than lightness.
  • 6 22
flag mhoshal (Dec 3, 2019 at 8:54) (Below Threshold)
 @sarahmoore: why is a steeper st angle great for climbing when in all the climbing shots people are off the saddle anyway? I prefer my seat back on climbs so I don't get the point of the seat in my ass the whole climb.
  • 3 1
 @monkeybizz: how about doing that and then going out to ride a lighter bike
  • 2 9
flag lkubica (Dec 3, 2019 at 8:56) (Below Threshold)
 @sarahmoore: Yes I can ignore it...
  • 20 3
 Totally with you for aggressive trail, enduro and DH bikes. But if I was buying a Downcountry bike or aggressive XC as these bikes are. And I was then planning on riding them up and down and up and up and then down for many hours. Yes I would consider one bike over another if there was a full pound of difference. My two pounds of water goes on every ride so a bike that weighs an extra pound is more like carrying 3 pounds of water vs the bike with 2. You do feel it, definitely not on an enduro and 2 to 3 hours rides. But on a light DC bike on a 4 to 6 hour ride you absolutely notice the difference. Again, maybe not in the moment, but back to back, one bike will feel easier to live with all day and you'll have a bit more energy.
  • 2 2
 @mhoshal: Huh? My wife's XS Reign (aluminum) is heavier than this bike.
  • 14 3
 @PHeller: I don't want a light trail bike to be built to stand the impacts a 180mm travel bike has to. The whole point is to have a lighter faster bike in the short travel category
  • 3 3
 @spaztwelve: what year? Mines a 2012 reign 1 size large and weighs in at just under 28.5lbs stock.
  • 20 2
 @Bahn "it's you lot that are to blame"?? WTF is that, PB is reporting on details about the bike, and that it is the heaviest in the category. You might not care about bike weight but clearly lots of people do, and for different reasons. If I'm spending $6k USD on whats basically an xc bike, then yeah.. weight is a consideration. The comment by @sarahmoore is that the bike is 3.4lb more than the Trek, I'd say that is comment worthy by them-lot.
  • 3 5
 @privateer-wheels: Agreed! Leave that shit to the roadies!
  • 1 2
 @spaztwelve: plus I could easily make it lighter if I ditch the 2by slx and went with a 1by xt or xtr but I enjoy the 2by too much to justify ditching it.
  • 1 0
 @reverend27: 35 Pounds.
  • 8 5
 @endlessblockades: Agreed. I don't give a F about bottles on my bike.
  • 7 1
 @jclnv: I think maybe you missed the point. This is a modular mainframe that can be set up as a full on enduro bike. Therefore it is built to those strength/weight standards. Notice the difference in frame flex on the huck to flat vs. the Mondraker? That should be an indication. Yes its heavier, but I would expect it to be.
  • 5 0
 @CM999: It's the trade off between versatility and outright performance. Many GG owners prize the versatility over weight, but maybe once GG has caught up with the huge wait list they have they'll make lighter weight versions of the frames to satisfy the purists.
  • 1 3
 @mhoshal: Sorry, it's a Trance. Not much different though. I believe it's a 2016. I added a Giant 100mm dropper post to it. XS weighs in at 30lbs. SLX 11sp drivetrain (1X) upgraded as well. It's tiny and it's 30lbs.
  • 13 0
 @mikekazimer: This bike seems more like a short travel stout trail bike in the mold of the Smuggler than a "downcountry" bike (meaning what, exactly, an XC bike that is reasonably sturdy?). It's burly, because they use the same frame as the longer-travel trail bike. For someone who puts a lot of load on bikes, and might smash into shit rather than delicately dancing down the trail, that's appealing. For someone who rides really light on their feet, that's a waste of time.

The idea of "same frame strength" is a bit of an over-simplification. Frame strength could mean all sorts of things - is it stiff/stout enough not to feel all weird and flexy when railed through turns or pedaled hard by a 230# rider? That's one sort of frame strength. Will it shrug off impacts from pointy hard things like rocks? That's a whole different kind of frame strength. You could get a lot of the former and still achieve a very lightweight bike - but that wouldn't work too well on the impact resistance.
  • 3 0
 @urinalmint: They're testing size M bikes - so it's hard to find people who fit on those who diverge too much from that weight.
  • 4 0
 @nurseben: Absolutely. I like what they’re doing and I wasn’t targeting them. It was the general ‘weight doesn’t matter’ argument that I was reacting to.
  • 8 1
 In defense of Sarah; the one who tested the bike, her evaluation is depicting how a bike of similar travel and design
compares to what is currently being offered. I agree with the fact that an additional pound of frame weight will make or brake a deal with some buyers, when choosing between bikes with similarities and cost.

To add, not all riders are the same when it comes to how strong they can pedal uphill efficiently, without overtaxing their faculties. Therefore, most woman or smaller riders are most likely to fall into this category, where weight is an unwanted ball and chain; rendering the journey uphill more of a chore.
  • 18 0
 @peleton7: Do Scott Genius frames break? I honestly don’t know but I haven’t heard of them breaking and they’re a sub 2500g frame. All I’m saying is, are we using the excuse of heavy frames equaling durability or do the manufacturers with heavier bikes just not know what they’re doing with composites?

Really this is the kind of question Pinkbike should be putting to manufacturers rather than “is November a good or bad month to ride if you’re a convicted sex pest?” Or “bored? Guess what these blacked out bikes are to prove that you have no life” etc.
  • 9 3
 @sarahmoore: You keep in mind this bike can whitstand a summer in Whistler, while the Mondraker folds in half when hucking to flat. Apples to apples.
  • 2 1
 Downcountry weight with cross country travel.
  • 4 1
 @g-42: It's a Medium-Large, as their Size 3 frame size fits 5'8-6'0 riders pretty well. I'm a 240lbs 6' rider. It's cool that my wife at 5'6" could ride this same frame, though, albeit with some shortening of the cockpit.

Additionally, GG is trying to achieve the "double whammy" of frame strength - both stiff and impact resistant. Hence the aluminum rear end that adds weight but reduces costs. The carbon construction is some sort of short-strange uni-directional layup - from what I understand it means that the frame isn't likely to crack from even serious impacts. If you watch the testing of these frames they wallop it with a 5lbs sledge resulting in no serious harm. Having previously owned the alloy Smash and weighing what I do, I immediately noticed the increased stiffness of the frame, but improvements in the front triangle due to due carbon construction, but also in revisions do the rear end. I've never felt the bike, even at 120mm, was being stressed by my weight.
  • 9 2
 @jclnv: Sure. They break. The GG guys are taking a different approach to carbon frames. They're claiming a much stronger impact resistance through the use of a different resin and layup process. That and a stout aluminum rear end does add some weight. Their process is also considerably more environmentally conscious. Trade-offs, I guess?
  • 12 0
 @mikekazimer: I think your argument is a bit obtuse when you use the "DH bike with a dropper post" example as a counter argument to "weight doesn't matter". Of course weight matters to some extent, and no one with any sense is suggesting for a 39 lb DH destroyer is the same as a 29 lb trail(?) bike. Its more about accepting the tradeoff of having a bike that's maybe a couple pounds heavier than a whippet "down country bike" (whatever the phuck that term means) and being able to treat it like a rented, red headed step donkey on rowdy AF downhill sections. This is also to say I would wager the bike is a lot more burly/durable than the others in this comparison group (i.e. different frame strength to use your list of factors).

TBH, I think it would be more fitting to compare the TP to the "trail bikes" (whatever the phuck that term means) since the front triangle is the same one used for the Megatrail and Smash, regardless of how much rear travel it has. In fact, you can order the TP with 130mm travel (via a slightly longer stroke shock) right from GG, which certainly puts it in magically defined trail bike grouping if one is hung up on that.

All that said, I think Sarah did a good job in concluding what the bike is all about: a downhiller's trail bike
  • 4 0
 @jclnv: A Scott Genius is also far more expensive and harder to get in a frame only form. The cheapest Genius in carbon is the 920 at $4500, which is $700 more expensive than the Smash with a better build kit (the Genius is specced with a 34.)
  • 5 0
 @spaztwelve: Just to be clear. They proudly claim that they can use carbon to make a bike that has the same characteristics that it would have if made from aluminum? How far we have come....
  • 6 0
 @Ttimer: Not true, my man. The impact testing they've done mangles an aluminum frame yet only scuffs the powder coating on their carbon frame (also, powder coating on carbon??? how rad is that???)
  • 5 3
 @Ttimer: I'd say that the majority of MTB riders I see are overweight, and I live in the least obese state in the United States.
  • 3 0
 @bottleblurrocket: Absolutely agree. That's why I ride a Knolly!
  • 2 0
 @CM999: Cause I don't like to waste money? lol
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: Ultimately, you're right, more weight=more effort, and I agree its trendy for sure. Look at me, being part of that lame trend. As you suggest, the value proposition might not alight super well with other bikes in this category, and I might point to the Megatrail as the reason why (damn you, adaptable, sort-of-expensive modular frame system!)
Also, has it stopped being trendy to have light bikes, or light anything else, for lots of money? If I am to choose one trend over another, I'll take the trend that though it may be super bro-y as depicted by me, the coil suspension warrior-idiot, might come from a place of making functional, fun bikes, more accessible to more people.
  • 1 0
 i agree with you, but consider the source...james huangs usual gig is writing for cycling tips. grams matter to a lot of roadies. particularly the ones who focus on hill climbs over flat course TT or bunch sprints
  • 2 0
 @jclnv: Seems to be a combination of the revved carbon vs traditional, and they use aluminum chainstays, I believe the true GG audience is not the trail pistol, but the rowdier builds, since they all use one front triangle, this version suffers the most. I am surprised that it wasn't mentioned that with a new shock and rear triangle you can transform this bike into a burly enduro bike, which surely many people would appreciate if you live near fairly tame trails, but like to take trips to the mountains or bike parks.
  • 3 2
 Shit before you ride bro. That will save maybe a couple of lbs depending.
  • 7 3
 @peleton7: Why in the world would you take a top fuel to a bike park? If you want to ride something that "wont explode" then dont buy an XC bike. DC bikes are for marathon racing and exploring miles of singletrack not for downhill KOMs. Also if you have good handling and technical skill yes a light bike WILL hold up in the ruff
  • 6 0
 @moondustdictator: DC (down-country) bikes are for XC Marathon Races?
  • 5 0
 @number44: I'd have more fun on a Trek with 54 ounces of beer duct-taped to the frame.
  • 12 3
 @bbqmike: agreed, they could have tested this frame in any one of 5 or 6 travel options. They tested the smallest travel, then squeezed it into a category that it didn't really being in them said it's too heavy. I mean to some extent it's a fair criticism but I don't if there is a rider in the planet debating between this bike and the mondraker
  • 1 0
 Auto correct epic, why can't you edit comments anymore lol
  • 3 0
 @catweasel: The Edit button appears for about 2 mins after you Submit. After that, you own it.

Edit - maybe a bit longer.....
  • 6 0
 @PHeller: 5lb sledge? You're selling it sort, it was a 12lb sledge used on the impact test rig.
  • 3 0
 Weight, weight, weight, weight, bla bla bla... rewatch the latest Chris Porter`s interview by Formula in case you`d already forgot how relative and stupid this obsession is.
  • 1 0
 @ImAManCheetah88: I've only been able to manage 1.5lbs, so I guess that covers the water bottle :/
  • 3 0
 @Bahh So true. I was actually thinking a sub 30lb bike for under $6k....pretty impressive! The fact is that most all mountain bikes weight at 30-33lbs, unless you are sacrificing travel, tire spec, or lots of money. The fact is that we're not going to see dozens of 25lb bikes with 150mm of travel. It isn't going to happen unless they start using unobtanium.
  • 11 1
 @jclnv: Like almost every brand out there, Scott's stuff is built by a contract bike manufacturer. They have no special technology or materials that set them apart. They're good bikes, but not remarkable. GG gets props for building in-house. Since their mainframe is the same as their other models, it's heavier because it's tested and rated for enduro/park use.

Any frame not built for enduro/park use will break if you ride it that hard. Sometimes this might mean a lift served ride, sometimes it might be a ride like like Blue Dot or Free Lunch. Ridden at "intended purpose" intensity, a Top Fuel, Trance 29, or Genius will do fine. For people who break frames, light frames will crack-regardless of brand.

Personally, I don't get 30ish pound short travel bikes. That's what an enduro sled weighs, without much (if any) penalty on the ups and more margin for the down. But......I do get having a bike that won't snap. That's worth a pound or 2 of frame weight (plus another pound for a double casing rear tire) to me.
  • 4 3
 @mikekazimer: i remember Jared Graves saying something about prefering a bit of weight in his bikes as it aids stability but for me i would choose lighter for sure. Our legs and lungs are not from the same dna.
  • 3 0
 @privateer-wheels: weight is important unless you have a motor. Performance and geo trump weight but weight is still critical. You have to pedal the bike uphill under your own power. The lighter the bike, the less energy exerted, the longer you can ride for, the longer the fun lasts.
  • 8 1
 @Golden-G: The location of the weight is a ton more important than just the weight. Keeping your rotating mass low is much more important than keeping your frame weight low.
  • 7 0
 @KUBBY: what if you don't need to skip dessert and lose a few pounds.... ?
  • 4 0
 @jclnv:

But jay-cee, GG doesn't manufacture to scale so rather than go light and stock a bunch of front and rear triangles for warranty, they build em strong from the get go.... plus the front triangle is the same on all models so has to be strong enough for park riding on a long travel bike. And the rear end is aluminum not carbon.

It weighs that much for a reason. The riders buying Fuels are not the same riders buying Trail Pistols... i think their demographic understands what they're getting w/ a GG frame. Leg shaving cross country types are better off on a Fuel than a TP.

In other words, "No Colonel Sanders, you're wrong."
  • 2 0
 @Explodo: absolutely!
  • 1 0
 @Explodo: EXACTLY! Thanks for reminding that. Some cyclists who ride for decades don`t even know that notion. Happy not to work in a bikeshop anymore where I had to reexplain that everyday several times a day.
  • 3 1
 @mybaben, @endlessblockades: I haven’t had a water bottle on my bike in years.
  • 12 2
 I ride XC on a hardtail. My old bike was in the 26-27lb range and my new bike is barely over 22. The 22lb bike is remarkably faster. All of my Strava times dropped considerably. Weight matters. I think people who say weight doesn’t matter have never truly ridden a lightweight bike.
  • 4 3
 @spaztwelve: Ah, ok, so this is a speciality bike for heavy riders who put their bikes through tons of abuse? Not convinced that G2 brakes and 28 spoke wheels make sense for that application, but oh well....
  • 1 0
 @urinalmint:

urinalcake: I thought PB actually had the new Smash in for a long term test for months now. I swear I read that. I've been looking forward to a long term review on it which nobody has out yet.
  • 4 0
 @Golden-G: I never said it wasn't important, I said some folks are to focused on it more than they should - as in focused on it above factors that influence performance to a greater degree.

I have a friend who needed new brakes. He rides big-ish altitude, in BC. Hope was the brand of brake he wanted and immediately selected the lowest weight stoppers, the 2 pot version, because he wants light. All fine and dandy on the way up, but when you don't have adequate power for the downs and your brakes fade and pump - what's the point of saving the 15-20g per brake over the 4 pot version.

I know a lot of people like this. Willing to sacrifice real time performance for miniscule weight savings that will never be realized on trail. And I hear a lot of similar talk on trail about similar situations.

Yeah, lighter bikes are awesome. I agree, fully. But not at the sacrifice of real performance.
  • 1 0
 @Rich-Izinia: Yeah, so you tell me that your new bike is identical to the old one except the weight? Or maybe it has also a 29inch wheel, modern geo and 1x drivetrain?
  • 6 1
 @g123:
This is not even sort of a XC bike.
  • 3 7
flag stumphumper92 (Dec 3, 2019 at 12:11) (Below Threshold)
 It is ridiculous... People would not notice the difference in pedaling uphill between a >32lb bike and a 30lb bike. You will notice the stiffness more in carbon vs aluminium than you would in it's uphill capability. Only way you're really noticing that weight difference is if you pick the bike up. And when are you really doing that on the trail??

The bike industry is getting out of control and needs to be checked. No reason this sport should be so expensive. Go ahead and rag on me talking about price. Not sure why people get defensive when others argue about the expensiveness of the sport. Unless they are trying to justify the amount of money they just spent or work for the industry...
  • 6 0
 @mikekazimer:
IMO This is not down-country bike, it is trail bike. Even name suggest that. DC bikes are around 100-110 on rear and max 120mm up front with aggressive geo. And of course it will be heavy with enduro tires on it and trail ready frame...
  • 1 0
 @Skooks: I absolutely loved my Endorphin. It has been replaced by a Pole Evolink, but I recommend Knolly to enough friends and look forward to owning another one some day.
  • 2 0
 @PHeller:

also you have to pay way over $4500 to get the full carbon Genius (8 phucking k actually).
  • 5 0
 @KUBBY: Seriously, I lost 10 pounds this year just by skipping dessert after dinner. Climbing, which was a pain for me, has become something I enjoy. Even threw my coil shock back on and the extra pound of coil weight goes unnoticed now.
  • 1 1
 @fluidmotion: a backpack is actually a place where you do notice 1 to 2 lbs... On a frame: not so much.
  • 12 1
 @Brdjanin @Chris97a @mikekazimer agreeing with above

THIS IS NOT A DOWNCOUNTRY BIKE.

It is clearly pretty awesome, but not in a downcountry way. But more like an Transition Smuggler or Unno Dash...short travel trail bike you can take to a bike park. Unlike the other three overforked XC bikes, sending this off a stupid drop into chunk , riding a jump line or casing things as you session a spot sounds ok.
But a 1h XC climb sounds pretty uninspiring on this. Hence, not downcountry.

Downcountry = built to rip climbs like an XC bike yet not suck on descents.

Maybe we need a new name... is this a FREETRAIL BIKE?
  • 5 0
 The number one factor is your fitness
  • 25 0
 @Ttimer: It's a trail bike with a weight that is comparable to others in it's class. downcountry is not a thing, but if you break it down, I would surmise, a downcountry bike is a pedally bike that good for downs. Are the Trek, Pivot, and Juliana good for downs? That remains to be seen. Is the Mondraker? Apparently the answer is, kind of (???).

So, how about we compare it to that slack Norco Optic, which was the favored 'Trail' bike.

Optic C2(lg)
HTA: 65deg
Reach: 480
CSL: 435
Travel: F 140 R 125
Lbs: 30.9
WB: 1235

GG TP (size 3, short)
HTA: 65.9deg
Reach: 483
CSL: 426
Travel: F 130* R 120*
*can be run 140/130 in Pistola config. (would bring HTA in line with Optic)
Lbs: 29.5
WB: 1219*
*longer in Pistola config.

GG didn't choose the testing category AFAIK, It's much more in line with the Optic than with some of the other bikes in this downcountry category.

It's a bike not for heavy riders, but for riders who ride heavy. That puts it solidly in the trail category. I guess I'd say that if you aren't abusing your bike, you aren't riding hard enough.

GG specs DT Swiss 28 spoke wheels on their Smash, long travel 29er, as well. From my personal experience, they're pretty tough wheels.

I'll leave you with this quote from the article in regards to the 'down' in downcountry: "Obviously, it's not a bike park bike, but it speaks to the do-everything versatility that is one of the best things about this bike. There are no other bikes in the downcountry category that I would even consider riding in the bike park."
  • 1 2
 @privateer-wheels: agreed. My SB 150 is much better than my former alloy Sentinel despite sharing nearly identical geo.
  • 6 0
 @privateer-wheels: totally agree - the only weight that matters is rotating weight = wheels. The frame itself ist not that important.
  • 2 0
 @PHeller: Very well said. I really like MTB makers starting to prioritize strength more and more. I'd rather ride something that's tough and dependable.
  • 2 2
 @peleton7: Trek will probably honor the warranty. They've never denied me one and I've broken six of their frames.
  • 9 3
 @dontcoast: I think Sarah kinda over did the angst on how hard it is to climb with the Trail Pistol. Maybe she was tired that day, who knows, but GG bikes climb very well due to the forward seating position, long cockpit, and substantial peddling platform.

I’ve done multi hour climbs, extended rides with 5k or more of climbing, using a Smash and a Shred Dogg, it wasn’t a big deal.

GG bikes climb and descend very well.
  • 6 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: Six frames?!! Um....slow learner huh? There are other brands out there, just FYI. Wink
  • 8 0
 @spaztwelve: yeah, they put the bike in the wrong category, but at least a GG bike got some play
  • 3 0
 @listeryu: I think frame weight matters to some degree. Totally bike weight matters too, just not to the extent some people make it out to.

But of the weight, you are right on point - wheel weight matters most! And particularly at the extremities - tires, rim, nips. Hub weight matters less so. The lighter the wheel (and especially outermost) are the snapper a bike will feel and the easier it will be to get up to speed.

To that end, this review was an odd one, because the bike actually had lighter wheels than the Mondraker. Carbon DT XMC 1200 at1435g on this bike, alloy DT XR 1501 Spline at 1521g on the Mondraker. Mind you that is a small difference, but if you are sensitive enough to notice a pound or two on the frame, then I would have suspected you should have felt the extra zip in the wheels Wink
  • 4 0
 @nurseben: nah tho - it's not about "angst", it's about what mindset the bike puts you in.

nothing wrong with how this bike climbs considering it probably rocks the descents (I ride something similar geo, weight as my main full squish) so don't get me wrong.

BUT just looking at angles/numbers i don't think i'd jump on this and want to "attack" a climb. whereas on a good XC bike (even with a bigger fork and tires) I get on it and actually get excited to climb.

It's all relative... the GG surely climbs fine to get to the fun stuff, but won't get you excited about climbing like a bike built around an XC frame - which is worth pointing out.
  • 5 0
 @nurseben: Honestly, what you describe is no measure of climbing prowess. Under a decently fit rider anything short of a DH bike should be fine for that. Even stuff like the VP-Free back in the day were 'okay' for 5k ft of climbing.
If you get the chance, swing a foot over something like a Podium, Spark or Epic in race config and do the 5k against the clock. Thats something else entirely.
  • 7 1
 @flipoffthemonkeys: That's my usual paid gig, yes, but I also covered road and MTB equally for almost 11 years when I was at BikeRadar, and still spend as much time as possible on trails when I'm not punching the clock. It's not unheard-of where I am to be climbing off-road for an hour, so yes, even on my personal trail and enduro bikes, I still care if they're heavy.
  • 1 0
 @reverend27: Sounds like you need a mid/long travel E Bike instead Wink In all seriousness, I live in the mountains and there's some ridges with super gnarly flat stuff that is so fun to smash at 12mph instead of 6.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: cos the heavier one is made of steel of course!
  • 1 0
 @jclnv: because all of there models use the same front triangle so you can make it a mega trail if you want to. I wouldn’t buy a Enduro frame that had trail frame weight
  • 5 1
 @catweasel: if you don't think it's a criticism, then it's just information. Hopefully it helps people make decisions. Smile
  • 4 0
 @Chris97a: I agree, but they've used the spec that fits the "downcountry" test. That stupid term is just aggressive xc, even though the GG frame is def more robust. My problem with the comment, is that weight *does* matter - and this is coming from someone that burns a 34lb bike up/down/everywhere. A 3.4lb weight difference in the xc category is absolutely worth noting.
  • 3 0
 @g123:
My understanding of "downcountry" was an XC bike or XCish that has some burly parts and possibly overforked. This great climbing bike now can hold its own on the downs and is still not a drag on the climbs. I built a bike like that in 2016 with the 1st Gen Optic 29er, running a 150 Pike fork, sixC cranks and bars and burly tires. Super fun bike... broke the chainstays(Note: I think that this was no fault of the bike. I'm pretty heavy and only a few bikes have ever not broken for me), but super fun bike.

This is an Enduro/Trail bike that has options to have 120 travel. This is kinda the opposite approach by taking a super burly bike, then lowering the travel to make it as poppy and playful as possible and likely making it a bit better in the climbs. I think that is why people have joked about Crossduro being another silly made up category, as it has come to this short travel segment of mountain biking from the opposite direction than downcountry bikes.

Right now I'm on a RSD Wildcat V1 that is likely similar to the GG. It is a ton of fun having a burly 120 travel bike with a 150 fork that decends way better than it has rights to, while still being super playful. It isn't the best climbing bike, but... compromises happen. Is it even sort of an XC bike or "downcountry"? In my opinion, no way.
  • 1 0
 @g123: agree, that's more than 10% of the entire bike weight. in this bike category i would be happy to trade off some downhill performance vs. uphill performance. meaning faster tires, you don't need the stiffness/durability of a 170mm bike park ready bike,..
at the end of the day you probably spend 75% percent of the time riding uphill vs. downhill. so if you are faster up you get to ride more trail down.

I actually have a full on xc bike (Scalpel 29/Ocho, yes I am a xc racer) and a 160mm Ibis Mojo, there are a lot of trails, and not just flow trails, i am just as fast on the xc bike and probably have the same amount of fun vs. the enduro bike.
  • 3 0
 @mikekazimer: Well there's the old saying about "Light / strong / cheap: pick 2 out of 3". If one is lighter with otherwise identical stats, it's going to cost more.

The Trail Pistol shouldn't be compared to the other 3 bikes you lumped it in with. Its stats are really close to the Smuggler, which is definitely a "Trail" bike. Neither is not the sort of bike you mount a negative drop stem, flat bars, and remote suspension lockout on.
  • 1 0
 @monkeybizz:

Why not both?
  • 7 0
 @sevn: the fact that this GG is hard to place in one category is the reason for a lot of the comments. They sell it as a potentially do-it-all bike, if you use the different rear stays and change configurations. They encourage people to try things outside the norm, and I like that. If it’s the traditional xc duties you mention, then yes I agree with you and the GG wouldn’t be the go to bike at all.

But if everything is equal, and this bike is being setup and assessed as an aggressive xc bike then it should get grades for the aggressive xc (dc??) category. PB decided to test it as DC - I would have put it in Trail where it seems to naturally fit and the weight would be completely in line.

Weight does make a difference, but it’s not that simple. Total weight, unsprung vs sprung, center of mass, bike weight vs rider weight, rotational mass... all have their considerations. Handling might be better with a few extra pounds even if it mutes the uphill snap of a lighter xc rig. After riding bikes anywhere from 17lb - 40+lb, I’m a believer that there is more of an ideal weight for a bike - but like considering geometry, it’s takes some knowledge to decide what’s best for you, your trails and your riding style. For me, I’d ride that GG at 140mm and be happy with a 30lb build for the ideal tire spec in my area.
  • 2 0
 @g123: well said! Looks like your riding area is close to mine. Love those Vernon trails!
  • 1 1
 My general rule of thumb is every pound is an extra heart beat per minute to ride at the same pace. A pound or two either way is nothing, but you start hitting that 5lb number and you can go from being comfortable climbing with your buddies to suffering at the back.
  • 1 0
 @Rich-Izinia: or live near areas where there is alot of downhill.
  • 1 0
 @privateer-wheels: and there you have it.
I have never worried about my brakes overheating ever in my life.

So weight is a much bigger concern on flat trails where the downs last seconds not minutes. You'd understand if you ride where I ride and be more concerned about the 97f and 90% humidity.
  • 1 0
 @cole-inman: oh my trails are still fun.

They are flat alot but mixed with quick ups and downs tech climbs etc. Natural and old school they were cut in the 80's or 90's originally. Lots of root and rock.

They are fun but require you to pedal to a speed that makes them fun.
  • 2 0
 @g-42: Good point. So let's just say the large is yet another pound heavier. I'd be willing to bet a heavier, I don't mean fatter, rider wouldn't have as much of an issue with that added weight.

I think @likeittacky has already said it better than I could have.
  • 4 0
 @reverend27: as a non-engineer, I believe that much more important than the delta between two riders’ weights, is how and where those three extra pounds are distributed on the bike. Something about sprung/unsprung mass, rotational mass, and centrifugal force, etc.
  • 2 0
 @reverend27: sure, then a Hope X2 makes sense for you. But not for someone who has ultra steep downs, and can last upwards to 40-60 minutes. They guy is even interested in doing heli-biking with multi hour descents.

My point again, is that some people prioritize weight over very beneficial performance. It makes zero sense.

He did buy the bigger brake after a lot of discussion. Discussion that totally made no sense. Saving the weight of a pack of peanuts by riding xc brakes on a downhill course. People do that. It's not at all logical.

And for your information, I own x2's on 2 bikes. I love them. And I do understand, I live in Flatlandia too! But he doesn't - he lives in BC, and rides big elevation and steep trail. And we're talking like 15-20g per end. People obsess about weight to that extent, it's nuts!
  • 3 1
 My aluminum smash is 5 pounds more than the trail pistol they tested. I love taking it on Long trail rides. I did 14 miles Friday. 2000 vert and loved every smashy moment! These bikes pedal amazing and not just for a heavy bike made to haul ass downhill. The bike has made me like climbing again. Free trail is good, I rode jump line’s Thursday and didn’t change my setup at all. @dontcoast:
  • 2 0
 @KUBBY: I don’t understand why comments about body weight, strength, and endurance get downvoted when presented as an alternative to shaving bike weight. I would love to see more spiting hairs over health and skill improvement exercises then bike nuances. All bikes are pretty awesome these days, it’s the riders that need to catch up, I know I do.
  • 1 0
 @lkubica: I went from a Specialized Fuse to Rocky Mountain Vertex. After I got the fuse I wasn’t a fan of the plus wheels so I built a set of 29ers for it. If anything, I went “backwards” in terms of geo. They’re also both 1x, but I don’t see how that matters.
  • 1 0
 @reverend27: 40 pounds
  • 1 0
 If you are stating to bonk a pound or two ain’t nothing. @jclnv:
  • 1 0
 @mybaben: warranty is warranty.
  • 2 1
 I went from 29 to 33 maybe 34 lbs and it is a bit harder to climb with it but it's okay. Now I was interrested in that new 2020 Norco Sight 29, even with his crazy long wheelbase, but I heard the top aluminium one is 37 lbs !!! 37 fucking pounds!! No way I'm buying a bike that heavy to climb.
  • 2 1
 @Timo82: nooooooo! It can't be 37 lbs?!
  • 6 1
 Weight is important in this category; these bikes should be capable of getting KOMs on climbs, too.
  • 1 0
 Cannot up vote this enough!!!
  • 3 0
 @mhoshal: I had that generation of Reign. The downtube was super thin and easy to dent, one crash and it was toast, nothing like the durability of the GG. Plus it had 26" wheels, a MUCH shorter wheelbase, like 680mm handlebars stock and and I believe it came with a Fox 32 stock (lol). Not much use in comparing, but the modern alloy Reigns are significantly heavier than those old models because they have thicker tubes, larger sizing, bigger wheels, and a more capable fork.
  • 5 0
 A pound makes a difference. More so for smaller shorter riders. I can notice 100 gram difference in tires or slower/faster tires easily.
  • 1 0
 @jclnv: three hours?!!
  • 4 5
 Wow there is a lot of GG fans here who are really hurt by PB pointed out that the heavy bike is heavy.
  • 5 0
 @markinator: if heavy is sub-30, my bike is straight up hefty.
  • 3 1
 @Spech: Fair enough. I wouldn’t buy a 30lb, 120mm, Trail bike.
  • 2 1
 @robway: But would you be bonking if you’d been on a 2lb lighter bike for the last three hours?
  • 1 2
 @scary1: Yeah, like 80% of XC race pace for three hours.
  • 2 2
 Simple physics says that a 75kg rider + 13kg bike vs the same rider with 12kg bike will loose 40s per 1 hour.
So does it matter? For a recer it's ages, but for a guy just riding a bike? I think it is very personal to judge this. I have an impression that half of PBer does nothing else but racing xc and hunts for uphill COMs Wink
  • 3 0
 @bottleblurrocket: What about value for money?
  • 5 0
 Id like to weigh in by saying that these comments are getting a little heavy. Maybe we should all just lighten up. oh yeah, and cushcore.
  • 1 0
 @jclnv: I believe GG use the same frame/front triangle for all their bikes. You can considered it overbuilt for 120mm purpose bike causing the extra weight and re-enforcement needed for Enduro type riding.
  • 5 1
 @jclnv: 300% tougher carbon. Made in America
  • 2 1
 @jclnv: Scott has been developing their carbon frames for well over 20 years. GG bikes are built for our rowdy terrain, not so much for climbing in the Alps.
  • 4 0
 @jclnv: GG frames are also a lot stronger than most other carbon frames (as tested with sledgehammer drop tests to the BB area) so to me it's worth a couple pounds to not destroy a carbon frame if I hang up on something wrong.
  • 2 0
 @spaceofades: that's a good point. The trail pistol is an undercover DH bike. You can put a different rear triangle, shock and fork on and have a 170mm ripper.
  • 4 1
 @RedOctober13: Anyone crazy enough to have a spare rear triangle and suspension kit would probably rather have a whole second bike. Sound like a lot less work.
  • 3 0
 @privateer-wheels: Less work perhaps, but a sh!t tonne more money.
  • 3 0
 @jackalope: do you know anyone who will swap rear triangles and suspension on a regular basis? I don't. And if you aren't doing it on a regular basis, spending hundreds to thousands on a triangle and suspension set-up probably doesn't make sense. But if you are doing it on a regular basis, the work sounds like a bit of a nightmare. No thanks!

Most people will just own a second bigger bike more than likely. I would the the number of folks swapping back and fourth on the one bike, is very small
  • 4 0
 @GeeHad: Good point. I think value could be associated with all three attributes independently. That would fit better than reordering. I definitely believe that a complete bike above $4k-$5k USD is really too much to spend in an industry that sees such rapid, incremental changes.
  • 4 0
 If weight really doesn't matter, why bother with the whole carbon thing? That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

If you don't care about weight and want a truly indestructible bike frame, make it out of thick-walled steel. It would even be cheaper and in the unlikely case of damage, every machine shop could repair it!
  • 2 0
 @Ttimer: I don't think anyone is arguing that weight doesn't matter in regard to changes in weight in large orders of magnitude. I think people are saying swings in small amount, i.e. 400-500g, make less of an impact than some seem to think.
  • 2 0
 @hardtailparty: then after all the BS we all end up on hardtail SS bikes....username checks out Smile

Well said though, I agree.
  • 3 2
 @privateer-wheels:
The swap on a GG takes about 5 minutes tops. Put bike in stand, remove wheels, remove shock, remove seatstay, install new seatstay, install new shock, install wheels. The tolerances on the frame are basically perfect, so there's no struggling to get things to fit. Swapping on a daily or weekly basis is totally feasible.
  • 2 0
 @chileconqueso: I suppose that is 2000 feet vert and 14 miles? wouldn't say that this is a long day in the saddle...
  • 5 2
 @tsheep: also the fork swap, and disc brake alignment front and rear, etc. Many small details you have missed in your 5 minutes. Perhaps if you aren't picky about set-up, you could do it quickly. But in 5 minutes? I'm too anal to come close to that.
  • 3 0
 @privateer-wheels: It's not just about changing configurations on a weekly basis, it's about having a bike that can last for more than a season, because riders, just like the industry, are fickle. I like the fact that I can ride my Trail Pistol today as a 120mm bike while my ride time is limited and I'm not pursuing Enduro wins, but if next year I suddenly move to a resort towns with lots of vert, I can swap chainstays and shock for a few hundred bucks and have a whole new, longer-travel setup.

I'm also a bit of a minimalist and really don't like having a garage full of bikes I rarely ride, I'd rather have one bike that can become many than own many bikes but only have time for one.
  • 4 0
 @chileconqueso: Long ride? That's an hour after work.
  • 1 0
 @LeDuke: LOL! I thought the same myself...
  • 5 0
 Lets be honest the more a rider weighs the less the weight of the bike effects the ride. If you're a light weight rider say a woman 5'-2" 115lbs or a man under 140lbs 1 - 3lbs does make a difference. I know because I am one of those and it sucks big time, and trust me I'm always trying to get bigger and stronger on the bike. If you calculate the percentage difference of bike weight to rider weight it matters.
  • 3 0
 @sarahmoore: actually it's a choice and I choose to have a heavier frame and not add a kilo to my bike weight adding water.
  • 4 2
 @Sshredder:
Agreed, haven't had a bottle on my mountain bike since the 90's.
  • 2 1
 @Sshredder: So you choose something that will not have any positive impact on your performance, and also choose to do something that will negatively impact your performance? Interesting.
  • 3 0
 @hardtailparty: I agree. I been riding for a little bit less than 3 years. My first mtb is a giant Trance 2017 (budget build) and now I'm riding a revved shred Dogg. It's a heavier bike than the budget Trance it replaced but I still went through those steps you mentioned. After much consideration, GG bikes are a much more reasonable choice.


I wanted to have 1 frame that can do mellow trails all the way to 165mm bike park build category and in between. With elvensix in to the mix... total cost will be significantly less than a Yeti sb165mm bling out build.
  • 1 0
 @LeDuke: knowing my equipment is solid and not going to fail allows me to concentrate on riding and not worry about my bike. I don't add a kilo of water to my bike I have a back pack.
Compromising strenghth for making a part light is in my oppinion a failure quite the opposite of performance.
  • 2 0
 @PHeller: i can appreciate that, totally.

I like knowing that a bike can do more things with some tweaking. I mean, I love that my HELM fork can change travel - and can be done relatively quickly. Great if I want to swap it to another bike, or change on current. But like this bike, I don't think I would buy the fork because I can do it frequently as that would be a PITA! But knowing the option is available is valuable

I do see the value it. That is for sure. Just not on board with the idea someone is going to buy the bike and them also buy additional suspension setups and swap them out frequently. That person would be a very small minority.
  • 1 0
 @peleton7: Actually having followed a certain fella in AUS for years whose business is repairing carbon frames, and inspecting them. There is definitely a difference between brands as far as design and quality of construction. Specialized and Scott seem to be very good at it, but some other brands I've seen have been shockingly not very good.
  • 1 0
 @bikedude1: Yeah, I also think height makes a difference as well. People with longer legs can generate more leverage and power in comparison to people with shorter legs with the same strength. Same concept as a big wrench can generate more power than small wrench. Leverage.

I'm a short male 5'7" 130lb with even shorter legs. Lol.
  • 1 0
 @privateer-wheels: At the risk of beating this already thoroughly dead horse, I think another valuable aspect of the modular frame is that allows you to say - I was a squid when I got this Trail Pistol, but now my testes have finally dropped, I want something that is a little more confidence inspiring on big jumps, rowdy DH trails, etc..so I can "upgrade" to a Smash pretty easily w/o breaking the bank. Or maybe decide you want to go full enduro, turn it into a Megatrail and bring most of the 29er parts to a new whippet XC'ish frame - which in my mind is a lot more cost effective than just buying a whole new complete bike.

So in these cases, its not so much a frequent parts swap for specific trails, but providing an easy transition to "new bike" as your riding preferences change.
  • 1 0
 @jackalope: I agree fully. There is big value there for some, maybe many buyers. Definitely would appeal to me.
  • 1 1
 Didn't read the article. Watched most of the video dozing off last night.
Came back in here to say that the water bottle placement is "convenient" for easy reach, but really...I mean REALLY high up on the top tube when it comes to impacting handling.

Sure, I can throw around most any weight on most any bike, but on zig zagging trails...it's just a gob of blubbery weight dangling off one of the highest, most forward parts of your bike.

I probably wouldn't notice it after a few rides...or it would drive me crazy. No in between. Plus...if I were to drop $6k on a carbon bike...no way am I paying someone for a bottle right there.
  • 1 1
 @jackalope: sure but who doesn't want N+1 bikes Wink
  • 1 0
 @jackalope: but then you got shiny stuff hanging off a beat up rig...and most $6k+ bike owners don't want to run around with anything looking beat up for too long
  • 2 3
 @g123: it's the bike media that have put such a high importance level on bike weight.
  • 2 0
 @Bahh: well I guess that’s your take, but I disagree. I know plenty of dedicated riders that don’t give af about what media thinks - me included - but most def care about how much unnecessary rig they have to slug around in a race or on a long day in the mountains.
  • 2 0
 @lightsgetdimmer:

Water bottles are like tubes to me.

Hydration cans
  • 1 0
 @reverend27: that's not mountain biking, that's flat land off road biking.
  • 1 0
 @Ttimer: but stronger than aluminum or conventional carbon, that's their point.
  • 1 0
 @LeDuke: I'm fat af.
  • 1 0
 @foggnm: my 2020 GT Sensor weighs 33.45 pounds with no exceedingly heavy parts. That's a healthy frame.
  • 2 0
 @blowmyfuse: and that's why they should be summarily executed. But seriously, it very well may be a legitimate issue for some, but I still have a 2014 Megatrail that I ride on occasion, so I very much don't give a eff about how the frame looks and judge riders that do obsess over superficial aspects of their frame. It's silly to me to rate visuals over pragmatic benefits, but I may be in minority on that.
  • 2 3
 I very clearly remember how little weight matters from my XC days. I had replaced the heavy suntor on my hardtail for a fox air fork that shaved a good amount of weight off the front end.
I regretted it every climb because the suntor could be "locked down", with the geo being very ass up, climb like it's 1995 rigid.
  • 4 0
 @snoozzzer: In that specific case, I think it'd be more accurate to say that saving weight didn't matter as much as some other factors.
  • 1 0
 @jackalope: ride on occasion? Like...when you're not drinking whiskey and doing the Dirty Bird dance?
  • 1 0
 @privateer-wheels: That's what someone on youtube told me! I hope his scale is way off but one of the top large carbon sight is about 33lbs so...
  • 3 0
 @Timo82: sounds crazy to me! A lot of these carbon frames aren't that much lighter than alloy. Building a new carbon machine now (first carbon MTB, air sprung) and it's not a lot lighter than the coil spring Canfield Riot it's replacing. I'm surprised actually at how much of a pig it is as I was kind of excited at the prospect of a lighter machine lol.
  • 4 0
 @reverend27: Thank you for this comment. It seems that everyone commenting these days rides where they push their bike uphill (or ride fireroad) and then bomb down steep gnarly descents. Therefore every bike, even light trail bikes, should be built like enduro builds from 1-2 years ago. It's affecting bike design all the way down to (formerly) lightweight XC rigs.

A slight beefing up is fine, but not everyone needs a short-travel rig that's made for double-blacks in the bike park. Many of us don't ride there or have other bikes to use for that and don't want to lug around the beefiest thing ever made.
  • 2 0
 @spaceofades: Many people will agree with you that they appreciate the beefy frame. At some point it doesn't make sense though. No one buys a Nomad and tries to install limiters to reduce the travel to 130/120 for a reason. If the length, angles, weight, components, and frame burliness are all the same, why not also have all the travel? Downcountry is becoming an interesting perversion.

I appreciate what GG is doing, and the flexibility to reconfigure the frame is neat. On the other hand, if you are really interested in a lightweight, short-travel XCish bike, many may be less interested in this one because all that adaptability does come with a (small) price.
  • 3 4
 @sarahmoore: Come'on... I can shit more in the morning than 1.5 lbs!
  • 2 3
 @mikekazimer: Mike, How will you measure RELIABILITY... DURABILITY... CRASH DAMAGE RESISTANCE?
I don't measure weight since 1994 Road Bike or MTB Bike.

Who care about 1 kg more, or less, when it's the rider the most significant in the total weigh of the "assembly"?

One other subject really sensible to wieght is Tires.
Because, tires should be lighter and have low rolling resistance!
But what really matters to people that ACTUALY RIDE BIKES, are:
Performance (grip, preditability, etc...);
Duration and how they can hold until it's worn
Flats, etc?
PRICE (because something that can be finished/worn in a weekend, must be affordable)
  • 2 0
 Apparently this gets downvoted, but the reason you notice weight in a backpack but not on a frame, is because the weight moves around.
  • 3 0
 @Mac1987: But water on your back can protect your spine. But more importantly, carry aluminum cylinders of brewed beverages.
  • 3 0
 @endlessblockades: good point. The weight difference becomes even more noticeable then! When riding without, you really miss the lack of brewed beverages...
  • 1 0
 @privateer-wheels: Exactly!! I had one carbon bike (2012 santa cruz trc) in 2013 but sold it after a year or two because it was too small (was so excited by the ''carbon santa cruz!!!'' that I bought it anyway but needed an xl instead of a large). Had 3 bikes since, all in aluminium! I don't really see any pros for me except the look... and it is not better than a nice raw aluminium frame anyway! Next step for me is the coil spring! On a new generation Riot maybe? Big Grin
  • 1 0
 @Timo82: Yeah, unless the new Riot is carbon Razz

Truthfully, I wasn't too keen on the coil on the Riot. Used a 450 lbs spring with a little under 25% sag and was bottoming hard, and actually breaking rims. 500 lbs spring and sagging 20% or less, but stopped the hard bottoming. So never ideal for me - the bike wasn't naturally progressive enough. But even at 20% sag, the bike rode well and probably pedaled better. I bought an MRP progressive coil, but it was to long to fit. Cane Creek just put out their own progressive coil which might be the ticket.
  • 1 0
 @privateer-wheels:
The Revel Rascal is pretty much a new Riot in carbon.
  • 1 2
 @sarahmoore: Downcountry....

*cringe*
  • 1 0
 @privateer-wheels: Yeah I think they were thinking about carbon but now there's Revel and aluminium seems to be more popular than ever so ...we'll see!
  • 60 6
 QUality and affordable USA made carbon. I will gladly give them money over paying some of the bigger brands the extreme upcharge on their Chinese carbon
  • 4 2
 US made pony rustler my dream
  • 49 2
 "Frame design and graphics aren't going to appeal to everyone" C'mon Pinkbike, it's far from being in the Polygon's or Ellsworth's territory !
  • 10 2
 Yeah, I think the frame looks fantastic! Also, if you put some proper XC tires on this bike, like lets say 2.35 Ikon on the front, and 2.25 on the back, and a lighter shock you could easily get this bike down to 27lbs.
  • 4 7
 I understand what she means by the graphics. If it is like the alloy bikes They used to make, then they slap on cheap looking diecut decals which I find lazy still
  • 11 0
 @JJBend591: Friends don't let friends ride Ikons on the front.
  • 13 0
 @Colson217: Honestly I wish everyone would use cheap diecut decals. That way I can actually peel them off haha! I really like the clean look of a bike with no graphics or logos.
  • 1 0
 I must admit I find the latest generation of Ellsworth Bikes fairly decent. (Burn the witch!). In terms of design I would prefer one over this here. But yes, Polygon is beyond good and evil, and not in a good way.
  • 1 0
 yup, i actually like the look of it...
  • 1 0
 @JJBend591: but then it wouldn't be downlowcountry...
  • 4 0
 You have to recognize that the size disparity between the girthy head tube and the fork crown is a bit off-putting. The powder coat finish is also less sharp than other finishes. Just like Pole, when you're using a longitudinal split/bond method to manufacture your bikes in halves, there needs to be a bulk of extra material along the parting line in high-stress areas. The tubular stays don't seem to match the rest of the frame either. Overall, not the ugliest by any means, but in person they do look less refined when sitting next to the other bikes out there, so I can see why they pointed it out.
  • 7 0
 @gibspaulding: Amen to that! Every time I see that "live uncaged" on my YT I gag a little.
  • 7 0
 it does look quite agricultural. Having square, triangle and round profile tubes in a same frame looks a bit like a mess.
  • 3 0
 @nozes:
I would run an Ikon up front.


If I was doing the Tour Divide.
  • 1 0
 @Colson217: GG greatly improved the decals around 2018. They're far better than they used to be.
  • 60 15
 I like GG, but I hate their cringy and stupid "Is it Revved?" series. How about an actual scientific explanation as to why your CF is better? Not some video of a clown smashing melons and clocks over the frame.
  • 20 1
 There are a couple of videos where they give an explanation. That is it revved stuff is marketing and meant to be dumb and a little fun I think.
  • 11 3
 I think that's partially because if they get into to much detail they reveal some proprietary information.
  • 6 4
 Very few people really care why 1 carbon is better than another IMO. And any sciency thing they say would have comments about marketing BS. They gave an explanation of why they think it's better (different resin with higher temp curing = stronger)- do they need to repeat that in every video?
  • 6 1
 Not that cringe from a marketing perspective. Look how the big 3 brands market carbon frames... trek's OCLV, specialized's FACT, & Giant's CADEX, are all monikers from the biggest brands, and yet the names don't tell you much. You'd have to seek out material, just like Revved Carbon.
  • 3 4
 @ICKYBOD: How come skycripp downvoted our comments? What a dick!
  • 9 0
 Is it revved is marketing, just like most of the stuff Transition puts out, but you might want to watch them hit it with the sledge hammer if you haven't seen it youtu.be/NMENCAks2fw?t=51
  • 5 0
 ...or Matt dropping a 12lbs rock on the frame from about 6' above it, youtu.be/TuXo5skG-jM?t=101
  • 4 0
 @ICKYBOD: Sure most of us don't wake up to a youngs modulus stress tester or whatever. However, here we have someone saying "Buy our stuff cuz its way better than EVERYONE ELSE!" GG is the one bringing up the topic so its totally fair to ask for a bit more detail about what they're shouting about.

Personally I think its awesome that they're able to manufacture for 1/2 the price. I'd love to know more. Can you do this on cars or airplanes? Houses?! This *sounds* like a game changer. Is it? Or did they just save a ton of money by making 2 molds to support 3 bikes and 4 sizes and make the layup dead simple but super heavy so a robot can do it? ...Hopefully the former so we get a lot more cool stuff. Let the world know!
  • 5 0
 @Sardine: it's a thermoplastic "carbon fiber" that comes from the aerospace industry, suggest listening to The Inside Line podcast linked on their "tech" section of the website ridegg.com/revved
  • 1 5
flag flipoffthemonkeys (Dec 3, 2019 at 10:25) (Below Threshold)
 @ICKYBOD: well...higher temp cure might be "stronger" but it will probably be more brittle.
  • 10 0
 @Sardine: But they did say why they think their stuff is better than everyone elses. They then invited out PB and Bike magazine and others to their hq for a more in depth process walk through. Then they have a reasonably in depth podcast with vital mtb that they posted to their site.

And THEN they have some sort of stupid marketing videos involving sledgehammers and watermelons.

And some people only saw the watermelons and assumed it was all just silliness. I don't know what to say- it seems like they've said about all they could without giving up what they feel is their trade secrets, and you don't have to look hard to get it. They just aren't repeating it with every youtube video.
  • 5 0
 @flipoffthemonkeys: according to GG, that's the whole secret to their process- it's a different resin that can withstand higher temps. So not brittle and more resilient- allegedly.
  • 2 0
 @ICKYBOD: oh yeah, i have a very vague memory of reading that somewhere. i stand corrected
  • 4 1
 @Warcraft3: Homie I haven't downvoted a single thing because I haven't been on Pinkbike since I originally posted this. Also: Don't take downvotes personally. Even if I had downvoted anything, I don't know why you would care.
  • 3 0
 @Sardine: Other's have suggested listening to the Inside Line podcast, but the short answer is that their carbon material was developed for the Boeing 787 because they couldn't affordably make an object of that size using traditional carbon. The first big difference is how easy it is to lay up, robots can do it instead of humans which results in lower labor cost and lower QC rejection rates due to decreased assembler error. The second, is that it doesn't need to be cured in an autoclave, instead if just gets compressed and baked.

Their "Get Revved" marketing is dumb, but carbon technology is legit.
  • 3 3
 @skycripp: lol and he still down voted you. Pathetic child.
  • 1 0
 @chacou: Whoa hang on a mminute, it's a thermoplastic? So if I heat it up it melts?!

Maybe if the people above think it's too heavy just stick it in the oven for an hour then spread some on your toast to shave some weight
  • 1 1
 @rudymedea: I doubt your oven gets hot enough, but generally isn't "traditional" carbon fiber a thermoplastic too? After all it's fiber, ie: strips of toray, that's then reinforced with a resin that cures solid when cooked. I'm just relaying what I've read/heard the GG guys put out there, aside from being a fan I have no horse in this race. But from a Boeing 787 article found via a quick search,
"The result is an airframe comprising nearly half carbon fiber reinforced plastic and other composites. This approach offers weight savings on average of 20 percent compared to more conventional aluminum designs."
www.boeing.com/commercial/aeromagazine/articles/qtr_4_06/article_04_2.html
And found this, www.daher.com/en/daher-wins-its-first-boeing-production-contract-to-supply-thermoplastic-composite-structural-parts-for-the-boeing-787-dreamliner I wonder if this might be the same material
  • 5 0
 @chacou: Nope. Traditional carbon fiber composites use thermoset resins. Once they're cured, no amount of heat will turn them back into liquid. If you get them super hot, the resin basically just vaporizes and burns off, but it won't melt, which is also why it can't be practically recycled.
  • 2 0
 @chacou:
Woah, Maybe don't comment about the technical details if you don't understand them. Toray is a manufacturer of carbon fibre....
A lot of nonsense going on in this thread.
  • 1 0
 @angryasian: oh yeah, makes sense, likely why the thermoplastic is touted as being more recyclable?
  • 35 1
 As the proud owner of a Revved Pistola 130/150, this review is pretty spot on. It climbs really well, but the weight can be felt when you are accelerating. On the downs, it feels like an absolute beast! Just for grins, I did the OZ trails 50 miler race in Bentonville on it a few months back. It's no podium winner (with me on it anyway...), but I had an awesome time that day!
  • 7 6
 There has to be more affecting the acceleration of the bike than 1lb of weight, though. That is a sub-1-percent weight difference. I’m not doubting your experience of the bike, just questioning the reason for that experience.
  • 3 0
 @DrPete: My other ride that I'm retiring is a 2017 Niner Jet9 RDO 120/140. The Niner is a couple lbs lighter, but maybe it's more placebo than anything. One thing I've noticed is that with a significantly steeper seat tube on the GG, I feel like I'm engaging muscles that I wasn't before. I only have 150ish miles on it so maybe I just need to get used to it. Either way, the Pistola is no slouch, but it feels like I'm pedaling more bike uphill than before. That being said it's a worthwhile trade-off when things get rowdy. Plus, I don't have to worry nearly as much about snapping more carbon like I did on the Niner.
  • 4 2
 @DrPete: i'm doubting your math skills at the moment. 1 lb. would be 1% if you were talking about something that weighed 100 lbs.
  • 6 0
 @flipoffthemonkeys: You aren't taking the weight of the rider into account. The bike ain't gonna ride itself!
  • 4 0
 @flipoffthemonkeys: Unless you are weightless, your body is included in the total mass that's being accelerated on your bike. So the total weight of the system that's accelerating is your body weight plus 30lb-ish for the bike. Since most of us weigh more than 70lb, a 1-pound weight difference will be less than 1% of the total weight.
  • 3 0
 @flipoffthemonkeys: you have to pedal the rider up the hill too, unless you weigh less than 70 lb, that is less than 1 percent of total weight.
  • 1 0
 @86cucv: It looks like a killer ride. I've also had bikes that just feel slower/heavier somehow, but there has to be more to it than weight. I definitely can't tell the difference, for instance, if I put a pound of water in my bottle and add that to the bike. So I have no idea what the real cause is but I definitely know what you're talking about.
  • 40 5
 Comparing this to a Trek Top Fuel or Mondraker F-Podium is kind of pointless. No one is waffling between those bikes and a Trail Pistol. Let's see the comparison to a Transition Smuggler or Santa Cruz Tallboy.
  • 36 2
 Juliana Joplin / Santa Cruz Tallboy is up next and you'll have a comparison of all the bikes in the roundtable video.
  • 3 2
 exactly, mismatch
  • 17 3
 Yea, the GG feels more akin to the Optic than to a podium or top fuel.
  • 8 7
 They just grouped the bikes by travel. That's what pretty much every group test does. Then they even jokingly apologized for calling it the downcountry category. If they didn't call it that, the commenters here would sarcastically do so for them. It's only perceived as a mismatch because of that title (DC).

There's only really a few meaningful ways to sort bikes: you can do it by cost, you can do it by travel, or you can do it by intended purposes. Cost and travel are straight forward. Intended purpose would be click-baitey from the outset.

Plus I don't think the Smuggler is a new model.
  • 3 2
 @ICKYBOD: Don't forget they're the ones who coined the phrase "down country", now they're sarcastically apologizing/criticizing it.
  • 5 0
 sounds like they tried a bit too hard to fit it into a made up category
  • 1 1
 If you said the old top fuel or the supercaliber I'd agree but I think the new top fuel is a fair category comparison. Now if you mean more from a boutiquinees or whatever standpoint id have to agree that more people shopping GG will cross shop transition
  • 5 0
 @n3sta: "I propose the silly down-country label only to mock how two-wheeled world tries to be neatly classified..."- Mike Levy, April 2018

I think commenters are reading more into downcountry than pinkbike is. But I'm sure they're enjoying our clicks.
  • 1 0
 @ICKYBOD: There are a couple ways to classify a bike. The three I can think of is 1. Travel 2. Race/Competition and 3. Manufactures target/intended purpose.

Travel is pretty self explanatory but really doesn't tell you anything about the character of the bike in small increments between 100mm and 200mm, especially with mismatched F/R travel. In this field test a 150-140 bike has less aggressive geo than a 130-120 bike.

Race/Competition is the base of what the current system uses, Cross Country, Enduro and Downhill are all obvious but that leaves the giant gap in between that is Trail/All Mountain bikes.

The final way builds on the clear definitions for race focused models in the range then just uses common sense to group the rest. "Downcountry" was an attempt at that, if you wanted a way to define the more aggressive model built off the XC race bike. The Yeti SB100 was the first that brought the name, the Pivot and Mondraker in the test are great other examples. The GG is just a short travel trail bike, all fun focus where you won't see any mention of racing on the site/promo materials. Contrast to the Top Fuel "Top Fuel is a full suspension cross country mountain bike that’s equally suited to XC racing" below the first image on the site.

Really this is only a problem because Pinkbike cons always focus on something simple that doesn't really tell you anything about the things they didn't like about the bike. So they list weight as a comparison since they grouped it with bikes that have a different focus. If they tested in the trail category the weight is competitive so maybe they would picked something like "aluminum rear triangle" to list as a con.
  • 1 1
 @bruvar: Earlier I did say intended purpose is one way to classify a bike, but I think that's maybe the most click-baity of all ways to do it. It's too subjective. As an example I'll use the new top fuel. At least according to the Trek boards on MTBR, no serious cross country rider would consider it. (this isn't my opinion, it's several opininions that I read, I don't xc and I don't care) it's too much travel or it's too heavy or it's too whatever- a marathoner may love it though. That's the "most XC" of the bikes on test, followed by the Mondraker.

There really are only 2 categories of mountain bikes that you can really pin down: cross country and downhill. Enduro has no more distinct meaning than downcountry. It's just a tough longer travel trail bike that's skewed downhill.
  • 37 5
 Dear GG- Ignore the weight weenies. You are making awesome bikes, and you are an awesome business that took a risk, and made it work. Your graphics would have been sick in 2001. Lose the guns.
  • 15 4
 agreed. except keep the guns.
  • 6 5
 The Freedom Linkage decal with the guns and the eagle is probably my favorite decal of the whole bike. Not a huge fan of the TrAiL PiStoL font, but it's supposed to be the sex pistols, so I can let it slide.
  • 3 1
 Would be better with more guns. FREEEEDOOOM!
  • 23 0
 I own this bike in the Pistola version 130/150 as well, and absolutely love it. Pretty spot on review.

Definitely not the lightest bike out there in this category, but it is rated to use a 170mm fork up front if you turn it into a Smash / Megatrail for Enduro use. I've also had some pretty hard rock impacts on the downtube and it's always come out unscathed other than a surface scratch.

All that said one of the biggest reasons I love this bike is the community/service. If I have an issue putting the bike together or have a question I can pick up the phone and talk directly to the guy who built my bike; their customer service is pretty rad.
  • 1 0
 Have you had any issues with the rear wheel hitting the seat tube on bottom out in the Pistola configuration? I have an extra rear shock for this but haven't tried it yet.
  • 2 0
 @dbarnes6891: I run an Aggressor 2.3 on the rear of my Pistola. Bottom out clearance is tight, but I've never had it rub at full compression.
  • 3 0
 @dbarnes6891: I have the Pistola with a 2.6" Recon in the back, and I haven't had any issues.
  • 2 0
 @stevemokan: I'm curious, what wheel are you running in the rear?
  • 2 0
 @dbarnes6891: I run a 2.4 Rekon and it's fine. My 2.5 aggressor fit but too tight for my liking.
  • 1 0
 @86cucv: Industry Nine Trail 270, set up tubeless.
  • 2 0
 @dbarnes6891: My 2.4" DHR WT rubs. I've never actually felt it rub, but I see it after a few months of riding. I choose to not worry about it.
  • 2 0
 I LOVE my Trail Pistol but have 3 gripes:

1.) Wish I knew about the Pistola when I was ordering it. 140/130 would have been perfect. DOH!
2.) My wait was ridiculously long after putting down deposit.
3.) The quasi-internal cable routing is kinda ghetto.
  • 1 0
 @trevorpeckham: Interesting. Do you have a Pistola?
  • 2 0
 @audeo03: 10mm won't kill you. It's fairly easy to have a suspension shop convert the shock to 55mm stroke. The wait for my Trail Pistol was a bit longer than expected, but whatever.

I really like the external "covered" cable routing, I just wish they ran channels down both sides of the downtube to give the cables more room. That being said, I preferred the external routing the alloy models a little better.
  • 1 0
 @audeo03: both your forks and shock will be easily converted to longer stroke, just as whoever does your first service ????
  • 1 0
 @PHeller: I do have a Pistola. It was indeed a very long wait (especially since my old frame was cracked for several months and I was stuck on the road bike), but totally worth it.
  • 34 6
 29.5lbs is heavy?
  • 20 8
 It is when you're looking for something to complain about, I guess.
  • 16 3
 Anything under 30 pounds is lightweight to me.
  • 43 5
 It's all relative, but it was the heaviest of the downcountry bikes by 1.5lb and 3.4lb heavier than the lightest bike we had in this category.
  • 4 2
 Glad they didn't review my "down country" bike... it weighs 34lbs lol
  • 12 2
 I remember my 22lb XC bike back in the 90s.... and all the parts I broke on it. Constantly.
  • 2 0
 @teethandnails: then you have a short travel trail bike.
  • 1 1
 If you want to do the occasion XC race it sure is. Not sure about that "downcountry" thing, but I expect a 120mm carbon bike to be up for that, just like I expect a burly 150mm rig to be up for the odd Enduro race.
  • 19 1
 @sarahmoore: you’ve tried to force this bike into the wrong category and that’s why it’s “heavy.” You’re comparing a 130mm travel bike (the frame of which can be run at 165mm travel) to 100mm travel bikes that can’t handle being ridden as hard. It’s not a heavy bike. You’re just comparing it to bikes that aren’t in its league.
  • 7 0
 @sarahmoore: I was expecting this bike to be in the "trail" bike category. I feel like GG has been crystal clear about their domestic carbon production being focused on durability and impact, ecological and physical, over weight savings. Will you guys be reviewing a Smash configuration as well? It would be great to see how that stands up.
  • 2 1
 @DrPete: Everything constantly broke on the 45lb DH bikes back in the day too...
  • 1 0
 @DrPete: don't remind me...
  • 1 0
 @Sardine: Good to know I wasn't alone. Ha.
  • 2 1
 That's what my aluminum framed 29er 160mm bike weighs. Xc bikes should be 20-25
  • 1 0
 Yes. No. Maybe. It was tested in a group of beefed-up XC bikes and, relative to that standard, 29.5 lb. could be considered heavy. If you're climbing all day at altitude on relatively smoother trails, then it might not be the best bike for you. OTOH, if you commonly ride chunky BC singletrack, then that added weight could very well be worth extra strength. The article noted that they rode it on a double-black in the WBP and that's very telling about what the bike is about. It really depends on where and how you ride and what your expectations are.
  • 1 0
 my 110mm rear travel Devinci Marshall is probably just under 30. Could be lighter if ran different wheels. The weight does not bother me too much though.
  • 19 0
 They say GG aren't available in bike shops, but they are, at the same prices ????

If you are in the USA, just ask your LBS to get one in and they can, for the UK (and EU for now) drop us a DM, we are bringing a decent mix of Smash and Megatrail frames to the UK starting Jan. Demo bikes arrive in a week or two.

£2750 Inc DPX2 and £2850 Inc MRP Hazzard coil, available from our stock with no wait time. UK spec builds coming out too, think XT12, Hope brakes, OneUp...

As other people have noted we think this is 100% a trail bike, our idea of downcountry is an XC bike with decent tyres! But then we have the Tweed Valley and not Whistler as our back garden ????

The Pistola is the key shorter travel configuration, 130 rear with a 150 fork, no weight gain, overall though fantastic review and seems spot on given existing owners feedback.
  • 6 0
 Exactly there is no country to this bike only the down.
  • 3 0
 May be in touch about one of those....
  • 2 0
 @blitz66: I wrote a bit about what we have coming in on our blog ????

pedalsbikecare.co.uk/welcome-guerrilla-gravity-to-the-uk

Shame I won't be able to ride one for months as just recovering from knee surgery!
  • 19 0
 i would have liked to have a sense of how this bike compares with the optic. i realize it has slightly less travel and more conservative geometry, but it seems more similar to that bike than some others in this category
  • 4 0
 The Optic really would be a great comparison to the Trail Pistol, along with the Smuggler, Fugitive, Following and Tallboy, maybe even the new Banshee Phantom. All are truely "Trail Bikes" that aren't the lightest, (all in this list are 29-32lbs) but satisfy the needs of most riders.
  • 3 0
 I was thinking the same thing! Any comment @sarahmoore ?
  • 22 3
 Sounds like the only bike in this category I would personally consider.
  • 7 0
 It’s the only one that doesn’t belong in this category.
  • 1 0
 @TugboatComplex: Probably why..
  • 1 0
 With a name of "gnarnaimo" I can see this bike working very well for you. I'd expect it to handle the Island's terrain pretty well.
  • 23 7
 Hell yeah!!!! made in America Carbon!!!!
  • 15 0
 All this weight talk, imagine if it had PROTOTYPE XC SWINGARM!? Game changer
  • 14 0
 those graphics look like they were made using the Windows Paint app.
  • 32 1
 I think the TrAiL PiStoL font makes it look like a ransom note!
  • 13 0
 @sarahmoore: A not-so-subtle reference to the logo of a UK punk rock band bearing a similar name...
  • 6 0
 @csteffens: and the rest of the bikes. That’s the point.
  • 4 0
 @csteffens: I think you needed to add a :woosh: to your post.
  • 9 0
 Or maybe add a "Never Mind Your Bollocks" decal to the top tube?
  • 12 2
 "Speaking of which, I did go off-script a bit at one point during the Field Test and discovered that the Guerrilla Gravity can ride double black diamond tech in the Whistler Bike Park like a champ. Obviously, it's not a bike park bike, but it speaks to the do-everything versatility that is one of the best things about this bike. There are no other bikes in the downcountry category that I would even consider riding in the bike park."
  • 10 0
 Pinkbike, you should mention the advantage that the thermoplastic matrix composite material that Guerilla Gravity uses is significantly more recyclable than conventional thermoset matrix composite materials. Also, the frames being made in the US makes proper social and environmental responsibility of the manufacturer way more likely. And, at least for folks in Canada and the US, shipping from Colorado produces way less greenhouse emissions than shipping from the other side of the planet.
  • 3 1
 How about we mention the advantage that the aluminium alloy material that [insert bike company] uses is significantly more recyclable than conventional thermoset matrix composite materials.
  • 2 0
 @Ttimer: Yeah that should also be mentioned. Aluminum and steel are both far more recyclable than either thermoplastic or thermoset matrix composites.
  • 12 0
 Not to be caught up in semantics, but I'm pretty sure this epitomizes what a trail bike is....
  • 9 0
 Looks like a trail bike, rides like a trail bike, weighs like a trail bike. I reckon it's probably a trail bike. So, pinkbike, how would it have done against the Orbea and the Norco?
  • 3 0
 I'd be interested in this comparison as well
  • 7 0
 I rode the TP of the Quebec Singletrak Experience, a 6 days XC stage race. It was the perfect bike for the long week of epic riding. The sturdiness of the frame brings an extra comfort that I'll take over a lighter weight frame anytime. Paired with faster rolling tire and a 130mm fork, it's a super versatile bike!
  • 5 7
 How the hell does a sturdier frame bring more comfort than a lighter weight frame??? Please elaborate. How do you people even come up with this BS.
  • 2 0
 @Ferisko: Strength, stiffness, and weight are not necessarily inherently linked, especially when talking about carbon fiber.
  • 2 0
 @Ferisko: I use downhill to make time and recover so the stable and strudy frame help me do that. From my experience, less sturdy frame are less comfortable going downhill at speed... YMMV but is this really BS? C
  • 1 0
 @zeGG: No you are right with what you feel, it´s pretty common knowledge that heavier bikes are easier on the body with more sprung mass to help suspension work better instead of transferring every hit to the rider,
  • 7 0
 The GG bikes are the tinkerer's dream. So much adjustability and versatility with their frames. I think the Trail Pistol Ride 1 build is a pretty solid spec for the price. We have the Trail Pistol and Smash on Bikedigger.com for comparing.
  • 2 0
 Wow that's a pretty cool site!
  • 1 0
 @Toryt7: Thanks! Hopefully it's helpful.
  • 25 18
 Im sorry but this review is mad cringe worthy.. For one how can you call this a downcounry bike with a 65 degree headangle and a 130mm fork you woukd get destroyed in an xc race, there using exo+ casing DHF and DHR2 which basically makes reviewing these type of bikes obsolete being that they are slow rolling DH knobs. They are testing on a short ass loop that does not seem to have any technical uphills (could be wrong about that) and we are only hearing from two reviewers who seem to just be blurting out opinions. Why dont you actually get some xc guys to take these bikes out on a 40 mile endurance ride like they were meant for and not just take them on baby loops wearing knee pads and a dh jersey thinking that you just reviewed a bike. Im sorry pinkbike I love you but come on.
  • 5 1
 Here here.
  • 7 2
 100% on the tires. Why would you run those tires on your XC'ish bike? They roll so slow, and weigh a lot. Maxxis Ikon exo's roll fast and will take a lot of abuse, as well as perform amazing. You don't see these guys doing the BC Bike Race which is a very 'downcountry' type of race on enduro tires, why are they using them for this test?

Also, you can spec the bike with a 120mm fork to increase the HTA by .5 of a degree to tighten things up.
  • 7 8
 The lycra dorks have spoken
  • 8 2
 MTB in the PNW is just different.
  • 3 0
 @skerby: rode squamish and whistler many times and ya its pretty great. but still thinking you need those tires on a xcish bike is silly, I ride Minions on my commencal in the sierra so im not hating on the tires because I do love them very much.
  • 10 3
 They use the same tires on every bike for a more fair comparison and they ride them on a lot of terrain it’s just the timed loop that’s short and these are not supposed to be bikes used in an Xc race, you seem to be pretty oblivious as to what these reviews are intended to be
  • 1 0
 Spot on
  • 7 2
 @thisspock: lol ok no a downcountry bike is something you should be able to race ( especially after a tire swap). The whole point of the category is for funner xc bikes so I think you are the confused one. Also I realize they used the same tires on all the bikes for fair comparison im just saying that is silly for bikes like this. The GG should be in the trail bike category anyway, and no I watched the "how we reviewed" video and they dont take the downcountry bike on big loops like they should. I think the reviews are on point except for downcountry category.
  • 16 2
 A 40-mile test loop wouldn't make sense or deliver the consistency that our shorter test loop provided over the course of a 2 week testing period. We were able to ride multiple laps on each bike at a similar effort level on our sub-10 minute lap without cooking our legs. There was a singletrack climb, a steep, loose fire road section, some steep rock rolls and a higher speed descending section so it really was a good representation of what these bikes should be able to handle.

A shorter timed lap that is well-chosen can provide a similar result to a longer lap. Check out the results from the BC Bike Race prologue and the final results. The top 3 finishers in the sub-7 minute prologue were the same top three after 13+ hours of racing.
  • 5 2
 @sarahmoore: well seems like you have it down to a science but i dont know how you could argue that a long test loop wouldnt make sense for a bike thats meant for that. Just in your last review of the mondraker you guys said the shock tune was way to stiff and the suspension held the bike back, a 40 mile loop would definitely show even more pros and cons for that bike and the other bikes that were meant to be ridden at distances like that
  • 5 0
 I don't understand the tire choice for this category. It 100% makes sense to test all the bikes within a category on the same tires, but I don't get why every category needed to be on these tires. I live in the PNW and like a big tire up front, I pretty much only run a DHF but would likely buy an assegai if I needed a new front. But rear tires should be faster in this category. Vittoria Morsa, Maxxis Rekon, Schwalbe nobby nic or rock razor, specialized slaughter...there are probably 20 different tires to consider before a DHR rear for a bike that intends on being pedaled very far.
  • 1 4
 Who cares if it is mis-categorized! Its a freakin bike review - aimed at people who read PB, not VeloNews. If its a bike you are interested in, read the review and you decide what category its in for you.
  • 1 0
 Agreed on the critisism of tyre choice -- lightweight tyres would make more sense on downcountry bikes. Other than that -- thrilled to read the upcoming reviews.
  • 1 0
 @FloImSchnee:
Maybe not lightweight, but definitely not super slow.
  • 1 0
 @Chris97a: agreed. I'm running a DHR II in front and a rekon in the back on this same bike. I love that combination on this bike.
  • 2 0
 @dbarnes6891: I'm waiting to try a Dissector in Maxx Terra EXO on the front. It's about 150g lighter than a DHR2 and looks promising.
  • 7 0
 great review. crystal clear. we get it. a little heavier than others in the "category" water bottle access and graphics are personal taste. they always are. well done. its back on my new bike, short list. Thanks !!
  • 11 0
 These bikes absolutely rip. That is all.
  • 4 0
 I've been watching a few of your videos lately and you friggin crush it on that rig!
  • 7 1
 I own one of these. Pretty spot on. Absolute monster going downhill, and yeah it's a bit of a pig but I did my research going into the purchase and was expecting it. It's not a cross country rocket guys. I feel that the sacrifice in weight is made up for in the adjustability and durability of the bike. The cornering thing to me just comes down to differing ride characteristics. It's not a shorter snappier 650b bike, but you can corner and corner well on this bike. You just have to learn how to do so.
  • 3 0
 Exactly! Being able to easily turn this into an mid/long travel bike is awesome.
  • 9 0
 Am I the only one who quickly scrolls to the bottom of each review to see if they broke it?
  • 7 1
 Pros

[....]
+ Made in Colorado (if that matters to you)

YES, it matters! It shows that you can make affordable (carbon) frames in the countries where the riders are, no need for overseas production.

Cons

- Heavy - over 7lb (3.2 kg) for frame and shock

I think this is a pretty reasonale weight!

- Bottle mount is awkward

Yes, especially if you don't use a sideload cage (as pictured).
  • 6 0
 After owning one for 1.5 years, I can attest that this bike is the punkrock lovechild of DH and XC. Handles everything I throw at it, including Ketstone bike park, the Mushroom drop, and Hell Canyon. Mad Props @rideGG for making my life and MTB more awesome.
~Sasha in Moab
  • 10 2
 Jeeze. Don't tell PB commentators that most pro XC racers wouldn't touch a bike that weighs more than 25lbs.. 24lbs nowadays.
  • 7 0
 Sweet! I love my gg. It’s good at everything and great some! Fun bikes and a great company to support.
  • 4 0
 I would have preferred to see this bike in a different configuration included in a different category. In terms of weight, I personally refuse to weigh my bikes because I think the 'heavy' feeling is mostly mental. I think some of the Bike Mag Bible of Bikes reviewers will ignore all the numbers until after the ride, so they aren't mentally swayed. Maybe consider that for next year?
  • 9 1
 This bike and the Top Fuel aren't in the same class of bike.
  • 4 0
 The problem is, what exactly is Downcountry? Nobody knows.

PB made an arbitrary decision that anything 120mm or less is Downcountry, abd I guess it works. The problem was not their classification, it’s our assumption that all 120mm bikes should be the same. She says she shredded double black diamond trails on this bike, so if you’re in the market for a 120mm bike and that’s important to you, great, if not, great, at least you can understand why the TP is kind of portly and make an educated decision to buy or not to buy it.

Only thing I think PB really missed here was acknowledging the crazy level of customization possible with a GG frame. You can buy this thing as a 120/120, a 130/150 or anything in between. That’s why the frame is heavier. The complete bike is a lot heavier because of the burlier built that reflects its capabilities on the downs.
  • 4 0
 I gotta say it. I was sweating this review due to the news that a frame broke. I bought a GG earlier this year in the 'Smash' configuration. I absolutely love it. That being said, it was their first year producing a carbon frame that they were touting as 300% more impact resistant. If the GG was the broken bike, I would have been gutted. Now that it's clear that it is not the broken frame, it's popcorn time for me!

I do find it strange that this is being compared to XC bikes with a few trail parts. It's solidly 'trail' by every measure. I'm sure the GG guys were like, "whatever", when they were told it would be in the 'XC with weight added' category.

The piggy back DPX is probably .5lbs heavier (I have no idea, nor do I care). But just think about the weight difference though!!! I bet if the rear shock was changed out, this bike would be A LOT faster.
  • 4 0
 I love the top tube water bottle mount on my GG. It's super easy to pull the bottle out while riding with a side mount cage, especially compared to other aggressive bikes where the bottle is very low on the down tube and you pretty much have to stop to take it out, for example Yeti SB bikes are very difficult to use the water bottle while riding because you have to bend down far to grab it (at least on larger sizes) and it's also right next to the chainring.

I think it's weird that the Trail Pistol is in the "downcountry" category while Norco was in the "trail" category. I think the Pistol is more of a trail bike and I'd love to see it compared to the Norco as such.
  • 2 0
 *Whew* Thank goodness we can still complain about water bottle mounts. I was worried now that almost every bike has it inside the triangle, PB wouldn't need to exist anymore.
  • 1 0
 @angryasian What model cage did you guys use on the GG? I need one like this.
  • 2 1
 @JohanG: If I remember correctly (and from looking at the images), I believe that’s an Arundel Sideloader. It’s one of my favorites, although in this extreme situation (hanging from the top tube), I think something like the Specialized Zee Cage would be more secure.
  • 2 0
 @JohanG: I tried a couple and prefer the Specialized side load cage for the bottle. Just remember a "left handed" will actually be "right handed" when upside down and vis-versa.
  • 1 0
 @angryasian: cool, thanks guys
  • 1 1
 @JohanG: it's the zefel side load!
  • 4 0
 GG frames have a mount below the shock that can double as a tool/tube holder or a water bottle holder (12oz short bottle).

I have no issue carrying a large water bottle under the top tube using a Lezyne side mount flow cage , even on the biggest hits I never lost a bottle.

46 oz of hydration on the frame, not too shabby.

Geo adjustable headset: What is that?

Well, the upper and lower headset cups have a 10mm offset, like a flip chip, so by simply loosening your stem, you can rotate the headset cups and increase or decrease the ETT by 10mm. Pretty nifty trick!
  • 3 0
 Yep, I’ve even done it trailside!
  • 5 0
 Took us 30 years of suspension frame design to realize you can mount a water bottle upside down on the top tube. How many frames from the past could have had a bottle if they thought of this? lol
  • 5 0
 Made in Colorado , with new carbon layup processes (which are more environmentally and ethically sustainable) should matter to most people. Having your bike made inside a democratic state is important.
  • 7 2
 That's a great build for the money, especially considering the unique frame features and that it is likely made by hand in relatively low volume production.
  • 2 0
 not by hand my friend, thats the point of their unique manufacturing method, less people, less expensive.
  • 3 0
 @HopeFbn: rear ends are still welded by hand, but whether its labor doing layup or labor doing welding, the more important thing is the community surrounding both the employees of the manufacturer and the owner support of the product.
  • 1 0
 @HopeFbn: True, I now remember hearing that they have an automated process. Regardless, for what you get, it's a solid value.
  • 1 0
 @UtahBrent: Yes, no argue with that. Actually what makes interesting this process for me is the capability of recycling the material. Didn't knew that other types of carbon manufacturing weren't suitable for reuse.
@PHeller the only thing missing is they supporting few athletes, for me is important they help people on the sport, at least I can't find in their page to who they are supporting.
  • 5 0
 @HopeFbn: And unsurprisingly we've hired around ten new employees along with bringing on a few new machines in order to build better carbon bikes more efficiently.

We're using the latest carbon fiber materials and have engineered a better way to build carbon bikes cheaper than the traditional way the rest of the bike industry builds'em. Work smarter, not harder.
  • 3 0
 So the production volume is pretty low. From what I understand they make them as needed. It took mine about 11ish weeks from the time I ordered to the time it got to my front door. They also are pretty environmentally conscious and that is also why they do things the way they do. I will say that like some of the other folks who have stated they have one of these that the customer service experience at GG is in my opinion the best in the business. They care and they answer any questions you have. I mean any. I sent over 50 emails asking questions about various things like specs and what not. They go above and beyond.
  • 2 0
 @HopeFbn: I disagree strongly about the whole sponsoring athletes things. That's what makes bikes expensive. It takes a lot of overhead (ie profit from product sales) to pay a whole lineup of athletes. That makes the products to the average consumer more expensive. I don't care if pros ride GG, in fact I'd prefer they don't. I don't want their paychecks and discounts adding to the cost of my frame.
  • 2 0
 @PHeller: Well, that's a very personal point and agree to certain level.
My personal point is that I know few people sponsored by few brands, and I buy those brands just because I want them to be able to keep helping them, since in Mexico is very hard to get support as athlete, so if the brands can get behind them, is a good thing for me, because I know them and I want the sport to grow here.
If I am able to pay for it, will do it.
  • 1 0
 @HopeFbn: That makes sense. In my case, I support GG because they're local and they try to stay somewhat affordable. I can actually afford their product (granted it's a bit more expensive than some other options), unlike some other American made bikes like Alchemy, back when they were still manufactured stateside. Another case in point is that of Reeb, who is now making a somewhat affordable, Made-In-USA Aluminum frame, and they too aren't big on rider sponsorship. I'm sure if there was a frame manufactured located right down the road from you in Mexico, you'd have a hard time not riding their products even if they didn't sponsor riders.

One thing I'd be hesitant about is the idea of "making a living" from riding. If you want to support local racers, fine, but if you want your economy to grow out from support of MTB, then it's trail building and public access to natural areas thats key. Can't have racers without trails!
  • 3 0
 @PHeller: Yep, I am actually involved on trail building and maintenance, so I completely agree on that.
And I must say, even being in Mexico, buying a USA made product have its appeal, because of the quality and that you know the people that worked making that frame were treated fairly and had a correct pay.
Everyone supports their locals, in a way or other, that is the idea.
  • 4 0
 Great review you two, I really appreciate (and dare I say prefer) the way you explain how a bike rides in your reviews. Well done. I hope to see many more reviews from you two in the future.
  • 7 0
 Not breaking is a good feature.
  • 3 0
 Sounds like the bottom line is:

If you want race XC, don't get this bike.

On the other hand, if you want a shorter travel all rounder that can probably take a beating and still ride fast, steep, technical terrain this could be the bike for you.

It's too short travel for me and I don't like the shock / water bottle placement but otherwise I would seriously consider one of the longer travel options from GG.
  • 4 0
 A side loading bottle cage works super well on these Also, You can run the trail pistol with 130mm rear, or go up to 145mm with a Smash. I've seen successful pistolas with up to 160mm forks on it too.
  • 3 0
 These bikes look great! However, It would be even better if it could hold a bigger water bottle, or also had an additional under the down tube mount considering its a DC bike. At 29.5lbs it seems plenty lightweight, but I think rider weight and bike weight are closely related. Perhaps bike weight is more perceptible when the bike is a higher percentage of your body weight.
  • 2 0
 The little bracket under the shock they intended for a spare tube can be swapped out for a water bottle mount.
  • 3 0
 The Revved GG's would be on my very short list for the riding I do but when I was shopping for a trail bike for my 113# wife you can bet that the couple of extra pounds of frame weight ultimately kept me away.

It does matter, bike weight in particularly is something she really notices.

Picked her up a used Foxy SL 27.5 and it weighs 26.2# ready to ride, enough to certainly matter. And great geo and kinematics too!
  • 3 0
 Just bought a Revved Shred Dogg! Great company to deal with. You can customize your bike, you can call them and ask questions, talk about your build, reach someone in the factory. I wish these guys the ultimate success! Just don't get too big and lose the personal touch you currently have. Great company, killer bikes, and made in the US! Making mountain biking more awesome!
  • 3 0
 Hey Pinkbike,
Why isn't each detail for Pro or Con followed by a (if that matters to you) comment like the Made in Colorado detail you listed in the Pro column? You listed it as a Pro detail but lessen it by questioning the importance by further stating IF that matters to you. Why doesn't the same comment follow the weight detail, bottle mount or more fitting, the graphic detail? Seems the article is equally effective without the statement but with it, it seems kinda nasty. Just an observation....if that matters to you...
  • 16 10
 Pretty heavy for a carbon xc-ish bike
  • 33 7
 It's a trail bike, despite what Pinkbike is trying to push with their "down country" crap. It's right in line with the Yeti SB130 and the SC Tallboy in terms of weight, which are two bikes it should be compared to instead of 100mm travel bikes.

I'm willing to bet a majority of Trail Pistol buyers go with the 130mm rear travel set up (the Pistola), and put a 140 or 150mm fork up front- neither of which would add any significant weight.
  • 6 0
 Despite it having only 120/130 travel it's not an XCish bike. This is evidenced in their review by saying it handled double black tech at Whistler well.
  • 9 0
 @stevemokan: it's going to get compared against a Tallboy in this category.
  • 2 1
 @stevemokan: yup, not really an XC bike, more in line with a short travel 29” brawler.

I’m building a Pistol, but I’m gonna ride it first with an SC 34 120mm for just to see what it can do.

Most Pistol rider have a 130-140mm travel fork and many run it as a Pistol 130nm rear travel.

GG makes very versatile bikes
  • 9 4
 @stevemokan: it's not even close. This is a 130/120 travel bike. The sb130 is a 150/135 travel bike.
  • 3 0
 @CM999: you can make this same frame, with the same seatstays a 150/130 bike.
  • 4 0
 @CM999: Like I said in my post, you can easily configure this with 130mm of rear travel (called a "Pistola") and a 140/150mm fork up front and there will be negligible weight gain. And you can do it straight from GG as an option, not with after-market parts.
  • 2 0
 @bentopi: right. we specifically noted that in the review. we also specifically discussed that this level of customization comes at a cost.
  • 1 0
 Extra weight is never going to exactly benefit a rider on the climbs. BUT, quite interestingly, despite the amount of focus placed on the extra weight it didn't really seem to kill either of the testers on their timed laps. For James, who seemed the most concerned, it didn't seem to make a bit of difference in his timed lap. For all that versatility and reassurance of having a truly durable and stout frame, and no quantifiable loss of performance you kind of have to wonder why the negative light placed on the weight of the frame when it seemed to have no negative effect. I mean the 140mm Pole weighs roughly the same and it broke. It broke. Proto XC chainstays or whatever, but it had 140mm and it broke.
  • 2 0
 @Metacomet: Yep, it didn’t make much of a difference at all in this case, but keep in mind that it was roughly a five-minute climb for the test loop. Climbs on my usual trails at home are more like half an hour (or more!), and that’s what I had in mind when I said the additional weight would start wearing on me.
  • 2 1
 @angryasian: Well, these bikes are made in Colorado.. there are no 5 minute climbs, everything is up, up, up and then down.. big climbs all the time. I haven't ridden a sub 30 lb bike in the last 20 years, they just break too much around here. Tires also need to be super beefy or you rip sidewalls.. I will take durability of lightweight any day and work harder to stay fit..
  • 2 0
 I really dig that GG is building a well priced, can be custom speced, proper RS suspensioned, CF American made frame. That's pretty rad and counts for a LOT in my book. But as others have pointed out, Downcountry bike, this is not.
  • 6 3
 I can't unsee the off center Pinkbike logo in the background. I thought I could get over it but I keep seeing it. Anyway cool bike! Love that it's made here.
  • 1 0
 Right? Someone need to line that thing up
  • 4 0
 If my current frame fails me again, I'm going to really be looking at GG since they're local...but longer travel ones.
  • 4 0
 Good review and well done GG on the bike. Some permutation of this will definitely be my next ride.
  • 5 0
 Awesome review great job guys at GG keep up the great work!!!
  • 8 2
 #TrailBike
  • 3 0
 ^THIS

The intent of the three over forked XC bikes is not the same as the Trail Pistol OR the Joplin?

Even if you tested the cheaper HEAVIER versions of the XC bikes OR spent 9 grand on a custom LIGHTER Trail Pistol to try and make it a more balanced test they still just aren't apples to apples...

Seems like some odd/forced grouping? For sure they are having to deal with some odd ducks like the Optic or the Stamina. But they could of easily ordered the Trail Pistol with a 140mm fork upgrade and it would have fit their 130mm and above criteria AND made more sense. OR tested the Joplin/Optic/TP in their own group as short travel trail bikes, etc.?

As far as the Stamina, I think they should have ordered it with a 160 fork and tested it as an enduro bike. (short forking an enduro bike = UpDuro) I mean nobody would think a 150mm forked Sentinel was suddenly a trail bike...?
  • 4 0
 Oh boy!!! A lot of mad folks out there!!! Just relax guys, it's all free content and we're flippin' lucky to get it.
  • 3 2
 I think this is a sick bike, but I don't necessarily see the value of making a heavy trail bike this short travel if it admittedly struggled on the climbs. If its intended use is the way down, I don't see the point of making it have this little travel. Based on this review, and my friend who rode one of these it seems like the suspension tune is not the mot ideal for climbing. I feel like the point of a downcountry bike is to be able to climb well while still descending; but having the focus being on the maneuverability and climbing ability, not plowing like they said the trail pistol did well. If they are designing a bike to have the characteristics this one does, I don't see the point in the low travel. Just my two cents, but In my experience, geo and lightness play a larger role in how a bike climbs than how much travel it has.
  • 2 1
 One of the main reasons I bought my gg smash was cause it is built burly. I'm 6'6 and about 218 geared up and not fat. I like to ride all my gear hard. PB should include some bigger folks riding these bikes for their reviews. That said, I'm available for next years test.
  • 1 0
 Seems like a lot of arguments about weight, without much discussion on how differently the bikes were set up. Maybe PB should list the frame weights (without shock) so we can really see how much heavier the bikes are relative to each other.

Looking at the GG vs the Mondraker, you could probably cut at least 1lb off of the difference by moving to an inline shock and stepcast fork from the Pike Ultimate and DPX2.
I'd also guess the XTR on the Mondraker is lighter than the XO on the GG, but I don't know by how much.
  • 3 1
 Claimed weight for a "Size 3" Guerilla Gravity Trail Pistol frame is 6.5 pounds *without* the shock. The Fox DPX2 is about 500g on its own, so you're talking more than 7.5 pounds for a carbon fiber frame with 120mm of rear wheel travel.

It ain't light.
  • 3 0
 @angryasian: Agree, it's not light. I wanted to note that these builds are not "apples to apples" in terms of how beefy (or not) the parts specs are. Thanks!
  • 1 0
 Forgive me if it’s been mentioned above...What I wonder about is why not a lot of consideration is given to where a water bottle is mounted. That ~2lbs mounted on a top tube would be perfect if it’s empty at the top of an hour+ climb just before the fun. If your trail ride is a total mix of up and down it might be worth thinking about where the weight is.
  • 1 0
 It seems like this bike would be better compared as “The Smash” configuration in the enduro category. The weight of the bike would be much more in line with the other bikes in that segment since it would be the same frame weight with a slightly heavier fork. Did GG send this bike as the model they wanted tested or did pink bike request the trail pistol?
  • 1 0
 Here's a test PB should run to determine how much effect frame weight actually has:

Using 1 bike equipped with a power meter, do laps with both a water bottle filled with 2lbs of water, and without, and measure the wattage difference.
  • 1 0
 I've got the revved smash with an elevensix. It's 34-35 lbs. I can make it up climbs that I can't clear on my 28lbs Giant Trance. It's heavy but the suspension platform provides great traction. The bike corners very well- better than the Trance and holds speed. The bike does not however accelerate very quickly. I've broken 4 Trances in the past 12 months- none of which have been impact damage- the GG frame is noticeably stronger and beefier.
  • 2 0
 GG in any configuration has been on my shortlist for some time. It also didn't break (why do I feel the need to say this now?)
  • 2 0
 Any indication as to how this would compare to an Ibis ripley? I've been lusting after the ripley but the gg seems a much better value proposition, plus I live in colorado
  • 3 1
 Ripley is gonna be more like the XC bikes in this category, the Trail Pistol is not an XC bike, more all mountain short travel brawler. So apples and bananas.
  • 11 0
 I own the TP and have ridden the Ripley and Ripmo enough that I think I can offer a fair comparison. I like the both of the Ibis bikes quite a bit, and a Ripley was on the short list for sure. Mine has a 140mm Helm, Fox DPRX2, big brakes and big tires, so it should fit neatly in between the two, but in reality it's performance overlaps both at the same time fairly well.

The TP is weird, I have a tough time telling the difference between it and the Ripmo on rough stuff, especially in "plush" mode the TP has grip for days and it really hard to upset despite the lack of travel. I'm more comfortable on the TP, I have hundreds of miles on it, so of course I am, but there are certain weird corners around here that the TP just flat out handles better than any other bike I've ridden. That's where the two differentiate, the GG is more forgiving when you get in over your head and on off camber stuff. The Ripmo does have an advantage on really big hits, as you'd expect.

The Ripley does do long days in the saddle with lots of climbing better, but lacks the TP's composure on techy downhill stuff. I ride mine in Crush mode with the DPX2 in the middle mode most of the time, and on really chunky uphill sections the TP will outgrip the Ripley. Between the two I think it really comes down to how you like to ride, because it's more confidence inspiring and sure footed, the TP is more fun IMHO. It's good enough and I'm bad enough on the ups that I'm not personally giving much up, and would need a real XC bike to make a noticeable improvement. On the downs it likes to party harder than the Ripley and at least at my localish bikepark it's a blast on the jumps and berms and handles the black diamonds just fine. At the end of the day I think it's not only a better value than the Ripley, it's as good or better on the downs than the Ripmo and only marginally worse on some uphills than the Ripley making it an even better value still.
  • 5 0
 @maxyedor: I think you just summed up why Sarah and I both said we'd seriously consider owning one of these.
  • 1 0
 @maxyedor: Great summary... I've got lots of time on all three bikes as well, and I was simply going to say that the TP is basically like the love child of the Ripley and Ripmo. It slots between the two nicely, and has the positive traits of both bikes while not giving up much to either.
  • 3 0
 @angryasian: Word on the street is that a couple PB writers have purchased/inquired about purchasing GG's since this test, any truth to that?

Either way, I'm enjoying both Sarah and your reviews, looking forward to the roundtable, maybe we can finally hash out WTF downcountry even is.
  • 1 0
 @maxyedor: Sorry, I really don’t know since I don’t work with those guys on a day-to-day basis and haven’t discussed it at all. Wouldn’t surprise me, though. I’ll admit the thought crossed my mind, at least.
  • 4 0
 Id like to see GG make a DH bike.
  • 1 0
 STRONGLY recommend that if you like riding, go spend a quick hour at work on ridegg.com and play with spec, price, and #s... the only thing less disappointing than doing this is then riding a revved GG.
  • 1 0
 This is the worst possible place for water bottle in a bike but if you want to sell in north america you have to have one. It's like with cup holders in a car :>

Apart from that GG looks very nice Wink
  • 1 0
 I'd be really curious to know if any of the PB testers had a direct compare to the new Norco Optic - seems these 2 are more similar in intent than say a top fuel or that mondraker...
  • 1 0
 Was torn between this bike and norco and went with norco for a few reasons but a big one was how long the lead time is on GG bikes
  • 1 0
 Yea that is an issue, for sure, especially if you're bike-less while you wait through prime riding seasons.
  • 14 0
 We're doing everything in our power to keep lead times around 4 weeks going into 2020, increasing staff and machining capabilities in the off-season. At the moment we have size 2 and 3 frames in stock with projected 2-3 week delivery dates.
  • 5 0
 @GuerrillaGravity: Love my Smash. Proud to own a GG.
  • 2 0
 @GuerrillaGravity: it’s worth the wait, no sweat, we love you guys Smile
  • 2 0
 Bummer for you, but don’t worry, you can always get a GG bike later
  • 1 0
 @GuerrillaGravity: I ordered on Oct 25th got my Shred Dogg size 3 on Nov 27th. Just around 4 weeks. Unfortunately 3 days later we got 18inches of snow. That first test ride though was amazing despite it being 35F degrees!
  • 3 2
 Hey James.. You described the bike as fun on the decents... What's your idea of fun just to put that into perspective for us out here... Definitely a bike on my wishlist...
  • 2 0
 I’m guessing fun would be a bike that felt like it was in its element with what your doing with it. I could be wrong though.
  • 4 0
 I'd say it was one where the bike kept up with where my head wanted to go without having to do too much work in the process. So easy to go fast on this one, but without feeling like you were constantly on the edge.
  • 1 0
 @angryasian: its a nice feeling when the bike lets you go faster than you realize you are going.. pretty much sums up my ride today...
  • 1 0
 @lumpy873: if you put the Trail Pistol in the next class, it’s weight would be more reasonable and it would still be a standout.

Come on Sarah, you know you guys/gals should have put the Trail Pistol with the other group in Pistola 130mm configuration.

Just say it, you know you want to Wink
  • 1 0
 @nurseben: GG should have sent parts for the different configurations...
  • 1 0
 @lumpy873: yeah, I wonder about how that came about, like maybe GG was asked to send a Trail Pistol, then the Pinkbike staff just couldn’t decide where it fit .... maybe a Smash would have made more sense.
  • 2 0
 How do you guys think this bike would handle in "The Smash" configuration? Would you still think it's heavy?
  • 2 2
 I haven't tried it so I can't say exactly how it would ride in that configuration. It would be heavier with the burlier components and longer travel but likely more comparable to the weights of the bikes in the trail or enduro categories.
  • 4 1
 Heavy? I get so confused by this concern. I ride a GG Shred Dogg, 27+, 140/160, coil suspension on both ends, no carbon, it weighs maybe 35#.

Mt Shred rides like a beast, burly and bomber, have yet to feel undergunned. I used to ride a Smash aluminum frame, it was quite similar in feel, same frame weight, but the carbon frames are stiffer overall and ride very damp.

GG isn’t marketing to weight weenies, they’re selling domestic designed and built, high quality, durable, mountain bike tools for hard charging riders
  • 3 0
 The Smash is great. I got one in August with the intention of buying the Trail Pistol seat stay kit. After riding for awhile I don't feel the need, its plenty efficient for my style of riding.. It can handle big days no problem 25-30 miles, 4-5k climbing. I think I am going to buy a coil rear shock and a 170 mm Fork for a bigger bike for bike park days..
  • 4 1
 Did the fork arch hit the head tube on the bottom out?!?
  • 1 0
 It does look pretty close. I'm not sure how common it is to have a fork arch that compresses deeper than the top of the crown though, as that would mean contact on a lot of frames.
  • 2 2
 @PHeller: It's normal for arch go above the crown. The "contact" mostly depends on how much or little the arch is offset to the front. In example some Formula forks had fitting issues due to their arch being a bit closer. It kept hitting the head tube on a few frames. In this case it looks like the bike was set with the headset in the short position so the head tube is sticking out from the steerer tube a lot.
  • 1 0
 yikes!
  • 3 1
 this comment thread is the epitome of 'just shut up and go ride your f*cking bike!'
  • 3 0
 that pemberton fireroad is brutal, soul sucking
  • 6 0
 The worst. Especially when you get passed by shuttle trucks and e-bikes... I choose the singletrack climb 9/10 times.
  • 1 0
 @sarahmoore: I didn’t think shuttling happened in Pemberton. Smile
  • 3 0
 The Revved GGs rip. That is all.
  • 2 1
 This rig will be 40lbs by the time you even ride it!! Add pedals, bottle, tube/ tubeless repair kit, pump, co2, tools, and activity tracker!!
  • 2 3
 For the average American it doesn't matter much if the bike weights 30 lbs or more. They better loose some weight them self. But for other people..... Weight is a factor to count in on such a short travel bike period. And a heavier frame doesn't make a bike stronger that's also bullshit. It dependents on the fabrication proces, carbon lay-out, type of material etc.
  • 1 0
 As a rider with a alloy transition patrol at 33 lbs and a carbon signal peak at 26lbs you can feel the weight difference. Both are a blast to ride in their element though.
  • 1 0
 I also have a Signal Peak, it is a very stiff and capable XC bike, whereas the Trail Pistol is a very stiff and capable all mountain bike.

The Signal Peak can easilly be pushed to it's limits, geo and suspension design are straight up XC.

The Trail Pistol is out of it's depths only in really big hits, even then it can handle them cuz it's built the same as their enduro and park bikes.

^ this is what makes a short travel 29er like the Trail Pistol so unique: Strong enough for a man ....
  • 2 0
 Guerilla Gravity should license out their carbon process, so more bike manufacturers are building their frames in the US.
  • 1 0
 Some articles should be closed to comments, at least to appreciate their content, or non-content, depending on each other, but in the SILENCE Smile
  • 2 0
 Finally, what I've been waiting for!!!
  • 2 0
 Awkward water bottle mount. Maybe try a side-load cage fidlock?
  • 1 0
 Fidlock would be perfect here.
  • 3 0
 Yep, or a cheaper Lezyne or Zefal side-load cage works great too.
  • 4 0
 There are a lot of owners who are using the lower mounting spot with shorter bottles or slightly angled cages and ditching the "NUTS" strap bracket in that location. You can, in theory, run this frame with two bottles.
  • 2 0
 You all lost me @DownCountry! I love my Hulk SMASH!
  • 1 0
 How in the world does anyone ride 19/21 PSI? I couldn’t even ride uphill without running out...
  • 1 0
 cushcore, 2.6 exo plus minions bingo
  • 1 0
 @Urwho: I’m running DH casing with cushcore at 28/30 and still breaking carbon wheels. Tires that low just feel like wet noodles.
  • 2 0
 Reminds me GUERILLA RADIO zack de la rocha.
  • 1 1
 Too bad it doesn't' come in 27.5. I mean this isn't a bike you are racing on anyway... might as well make it a bit more flickable.
  • 4 0
 It does come in 27.5. Short travel 27.5 is the shreddog. Of course, you can have any model they offer with different seat stay kits, suspension components, and wheels...if you so desire.
  • 3 0
 actually you can get it with 120mm rear and 130/140 front on 27.5 wheels. its called the mad dogg 120, and its part of their "secret menu". i want to build one up with a shortened fox36 140mm and either a dpx2 or a coil shock. sounds like an absolute little ripper bike
  • 1 0
 @unicorn-violence: sounds like a ripper
  • 3 5
 If you mount a water bottle to you bike you are a pussy! Carry the extra weight on your body like a man. Let your bike be free and look sexy like it should. h2o bottle mount looks really shitty in my opinion! Dummy's spend thousands on a sweet looking frame and components and then throw some hideous piece of cheap plastic with a stupid name on it right in the middle of that piece of art. I cant wait until all the trolls respond to this one...LOL!
  • 2 0
 Once you ride a light bike you can't go back
  • 2 0
 Please stop trying to push this "downcountry" meme
  • 5 7
 Guerilla Gravity is a challenging name. Everything else about this setup is insane, the price, the ride, made in USA carbon, however the brand feels like it has catching up to do... name and brand aesthetic. I can help.
  • 5 1
 The name could be worse, the company could be called something like Fuzzari, Lamborgeezi, Parsche, like another bike manufacturer is doing.
  • 6 2
 I own a GG because I love a lot of what they are doing. AND, some of being a GG owner is a bit painful.

The freedom linkage logo is an eagle with crossed firearms, so I put a sticker over it. Do they feel threatened by someone? Are they part of some fringe militant sect we don't know about? (looking at you too, Evil bikes).

I love my bike, I got a size 3 megatrail (ok name, but not great, at least it's non-violent), and I have taken to referring to it as my "GG". I just ride it, enjoy that it was $1000 dollars cheaper than alot of carbon frames, and USA made.

I have fond memories of hangin with my bros, listening to Disturbed on our Sony Walkman cd players while lining up horrendous stair gaps on our hardtails (evil imperials mostly), but then, I was 16 and it was 2001. I also thought it was cool when Pam Anderson did full page ads for Marzocchi.
  • 7 0
 Most people around Colorado just refer to them as GG.. I don't get the aesthetic issue.. in person they are some of the best looking bikes in my opinion. I like that they don't look like all the rest out there..
  • 2 2
 @planetx888 You've gotta be careful not to cut yourself on how edgy the branding is
  • 2 1
 @Planetx888: are you saying that even the image of a gun offends you? Kinda dumb...
  • 2 1
 @Colson217: Guns dont offend me at all, I just think when they are used to make bikes, or trucks, or anything else look more "metal" its super lame. Really cool looking bikes or anything else can be made to appeal to TONS of kinds of people. I spend a lot of time at my local shop, and actually got my GG frame through them, and when they pull a new bike out of a box with a cool new color or design, they put it up front and parents coming in with their kids think its cool, by buddies who lap black magic at killington all day think its sick, my mom walks in and says "wow." That same shop didnt want to show my bike off because they were concerned it wouldnt get that response. I guess that's my point, for a select group that gets that the Megatrail font looks exactly like "Megadeth", or Trail Pistol is Sex Pistols, thats great, but its limited. Its also not the only way to be cool. For me, there were enough other aspects of design and function that were great that I went for it, and I heavily weighed that it's made in the US, that's a big deal for me. I just wish some of it was dialed back a bit visually.
  • 1 0
 @Planetx888: Interesting take on it.. I think its mostly tongue in cheek type of stuff.. Obviously everyone has their own opinions and is entitled to it. I personally don't love the graphics so I went blacked out.. as for names? I like they are different and not just SBXXX or Optic? process ? Session, Demo.. seriously most the names are kind of dumb out there now that I think about it..
  • 1 0
 @Planetx888: I also own a GG and wish the name/logo/graphics were a bit more refined- and this is coming from a metal head...
  • 1 0
 @billybobzia: For sure tounge in cheek, along with their silly videos. I'm all about silly, and strange, but I've literally watched people, who were pumped to see a gg in person one moment, get turned off the next which bums me out.
  • 1 0
 @Planetx888: interesting. Everyone has their opinions. I love the look, unique for sure.. Personally I don't think we need all the bikes to look the same..
  • 1 0
 Why in the world would you compare this bike to a Top Fuel?
  • 1 0
 Maybe the bike I get if I ever retire from hardtails.
  • 5 5
 I think it’s a sexy looking bike, minus the water bottle holder.
  • 1 0
 RIDE GG
  • 1 2
 anybody else think it kinda looks like if a Big Hit?
  • 1 2
 GREAT JOB FROM PINBIKE TEAM, SALUDOS DE COSTA RICA
  • 5 7
 did that rear tire just bottom out on the seat-tube?
  • 3 12
flag Shafferd912 (Dec 3, 2019 at 7:28) (Below Threshold)
 yes. yes it did.
  • 9 2
 No or the rear wheel would have stopped turning.
  • 5 0
 It was close but no it did not contact the seat tube.
  • 4 3
 @Shafferd912: it definitely looks like it... and that's not even the max tire size.
  • 1 0
 Not on the huck to flat. Close though.
  • 2 0
 This actually has me wondering if they actually got the "Pistola" version of the shock at 55mm stroke and 130mm travel. In that setup, you're limited on tire size (2.4) due to potential for seat tube contact. On my Trail Pistol (120mm travel) I've got plenty of room with a 2.6 tire, so what shock did Pink Bike get?
  • 4 0
 @PHeller: We had the 120mm rear shock.
  • 1 2
 @Whatajohnny: Thank you.
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