Field Test: 2020 Pole Stamina 140 - The Fastest Trail Bike*

Nov 18, 2019
by Mike Levy  


PINKBIKE FIELD TEST

2020 POLE STAMINA 140 EN

The Fastest Trail Bike*



Words by Mike Levy, Photography by Trevor Lyden



The Pole Stamina 140 EN was always going to be the most interesting bike at the Field Test. There are no bolts or welds on the frame—instead, two halves are machined from 7075 T6 aluminum before being glued together. Yes, glued together. It's a downsized version of their Stamina 180 that's intended for trail bike duty.

The EN model reviewed here goes for $6,940 USD as pictured, one step down from the Gucci LE spec, and Pole also offers a few different frame/shock configurations as well. Our test rig gets a 150mm Pike Ultimate, but you can go up to 160mm up front, while a four-way adjustable Cane Creek DBair IL shock looks after the 140mm of rear-wheel travel.
Stamina 140 EN Details

Travel: 140mm
Wheel size: 29"
Frame construction: Machined, glued 7075 T6 aluminum
Head angle: 64-degrees
Chainstay length: 450mm
Reach: 470mm (med)
Sizes: Sm, med (tested), lrg, xl
Weight: 30.6 lbs / 13.9 kg (as pictured)
Price: $6,940 USD
More info: www.polebicycles.com

While the Norco, Orbea, and Intense are all large-sized test bikes with reach numbers between 474mm and 480mm, Pole has a slightly different sizing chart; our medium has a 470mm reach, which they say is ideal for someone between 5' 7" (170cm) and 5' 11" (180cm) tall. In other words, the sizing is a little unconventional, so pay attention if you're ordering from their website.

The Stamina 140's numbers might not seem as wacky as they would have a few years ago, but Pole is still pushing the limits with the 78.6-degree seat angle. For comparison's sake, that's 4.6-degrees steeper than what you'll see on the Intense Primer. The Stamina gets longish 450mm chainstays and a 64-degree head angle, all of which should add up to a very capable machine on the descents.

The wild-looking front triangle is mated to an equally wild, dual-link rear-end that's also machined out of aluminum before being glued together. The upper and lower links rotate in the same direction, each on massive aluminum axles, with the bottom one turning concentrically around the threaded bottom bracket shell. You can take it all apart with a set of hex keys, a bottom bracket tool, and a rubber mallet, while all of the frame components are available directly from Pole.




Pole Stamina 140 EN
Pole Stamina 140 EN


Climbing

The Stamina's focus is on the way back down, of course, but with 140mm of travel, it doesn't get a free pass on the shuttle truck. Thankfully, it's a reasonably efficient-feeling bike that, while a bit cumbersome when it's really tight and slow, doesn't lose much to the Optic, Occam, or Primer on the climbs. At first, the steep seat angle feels like it's rolling your hips forward strangely, but soon I was used to it - and see the benefits - to the point that a more traditional number just won't cut it for me. It helps to hide much of the Stamina's length, but the long rear-center is always going to be a pain in the ass through cramped switchbacks.

Like most trail bikes these days, the Stamina delivers plenty of climbing traction that helps its cause, but you'll want to stay seated to find the most grip. Actually, that's by far the best way to get the silver Pole to the top of anything; keep your butt planted and straight-line your way through roots that lesser machines need to be steered around.

Shoutout to the big Pole's three (3!) water bottle locations; there are two inside of the roomy front triangle, and then a giardia-catcher location under the downtube for when you're free-randonneuring. The catch is that you'll probably have to use the supplied FidLock system to squeeze in two large bottles, as we couldn't quite fit both standard bottles in at the same time.


Pole Stamina 140 EN

Pole Stamina 140 EN
Pole Stamina 140 EN


Descending

If this thing is a trail bike, maybe I should look into getting a trophy truck as a daily driver? I should do that anyway. Not surprisingly, the Stamina 140 is the most competent descender of the bunch, with both Kazimer and I noting how calm and composed it was during our test laps. When it was wet and sketchy, it felt a little less sketchy on the Pole than the others, even if the bike might have been sliding around just as much. The difference? The Stamina's 450mm ass, for starters, and the 64-degree head angle that works together to provide a central, safe-feeling riding position between the axles that's perfect for going too fast.

Timed testing proved the Stamina was the fastest bike for me (and second fastest for Kazimer), but it manages to do this weird trick where it feels calm. Naturally, you should then speed up a bit, which is exactly where the Pole likes to live. On your personal limits, your own edge, I don't think you'll find a trail bike that'll let you get away with so much.

Ah, the corners. Being so long and slack, it must suck in the corners, right? Yes and no. At speed, and especially if it's rough or traction is dangerously low, it's noticeably easier to carry more speed on the Stamina 140 than the other bikes in this category, but it's a different story when the trail tightens up. The impressive stability is nice, but there's no getting around the fact that the Pole ain't small. I suspect that a relatively timid rider would find the length a burden if their trails aren't quick enough often enough to take advantage of the Stamina's poise when it's rowdy.

The handling, while damn impressive, won't be for everyone, and neither will the Stamina's rear suspension. This is a very deep feeling bike, and I'm not exaggerating when I say that it'd fool many riders into thinking it has another 20mm of travel. Bottom-out? Sure, the O-ring says it happened, but I don't remember where or when. It's reasonably supple at the other end of the stroke, too, but no amount of knob-fiddling could bring much life to the shock; planted rather than playful, no doubt about it, but that might change if a different shock was used.
Timed Testing

Our timed lap for the trail bikes was around 1:30 long and started with Afternoon Delight, a rooty, twisty singletrack that feeds you into the rocky lines of Lower Whistler Downhill. After that, we crossed the piste before entering Heart of Darkness where the lower Freelap cone was hidden next to a tree.

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.


Kazimer: "I had my second-fastest time aboard the Pole in the wettest conditions, 2.5-percent behind the Optic, and had my quickest split-time on the steep, rocky section."

Levy: "The Pole was 5-percent faster than both the Optic and the Occam, and 6.25-percent ahead of the Primer. It's also worth mentioning that conditions were slightly wetter for the Stamina's timed laps."

Bottom line: The Stamina 140 is a bike that stands out for both its appearance and how it rides. Talking in trail bike terms, there might not be anything else as capable when the terrain or speed is serious. Interestingly, Pole did this cool trick because it's still a blast when the ride is tame, only being stifled at near-trackstand speeds where I'd probably fall over regardless.


Pole Stamina 140 EN





Pole Stamina 140 EN review
Pole Stamina 140 EN review
See the vertical supports with the big crimps in them? We were accidentally sent a lighter weight, prototype swingarm with thinner supports that buckled during our huck-to-flat filming.


*Hold up... It broke.

In case it wasn't already obvious, Big Silver really impressed us on the mountain, but that's not where the Stamina's story ends. We finished up our actual testing, wrapped video shooting, and most of the crew headed home. But, all of you sickos love to watch slow-mo suspension bottom-out videos, so that's exactly what we were up to with a small wooden lip that we used to pop a moderate jump to flat, with a Phantom high-speed camera set up to catch the action. On the Stamina's first jump, the vertical supports between the chain and seat stays buckled, crimping inwards and hitting the tire as they folded under the load.

Very not good.

The reason for the failure, Pole's founder Leo Kokkonen tells us, is that our test bike was accidentally sent to us with a prototype cross-country rear-end that saves 98-grams over what the Stamina 140 is supposed to have. The vertical fins that folded in are around 1-millimeter thinner at their center on the prototype than on the production version.

After informing Kokkonen of the Stamina 140's swingarm failure, he requested to send a replacement to redo the test, but the Field Test was fully wrapped up by then so we declined. Renting another Phantom camera, and re-shooting the bike with a replacement swingarm would have been a logistical struggle for little actual editorial value. We'd expect every high-end mountain bike in the world to "pass" the huck-to-flat test. It's normally just a nice way to see how a bike moves through its travel and sometimes observe surprising CSU flex.

Thankfully, the cross-country rear-end had the exact same dimensions as the one we should have gotten, and Kokkonen tells us there was no difference in the geometry. It may have been marginally flexier than the stock rear triangle, but it wasn't noticeable on the trail. Mike Kazimer and I are confident that our impressions of the bike are accurate.

The bike was amazing while it lasted, and we do take Pole at face value when they say none of the lighter rear triangles made it to consumers. So if our impressions are accurate, why tell you about the failure at all? It's our job. Ultimately the bike they sent us to test failed, and we have to tell you when a product we're reviewing breaks. We're just glad it failed jumping off our little ramp rather than at speed in the bike park. The Pole wasn't the only bike that broke during testing, and the other failure resulted in a nasty crash for one of our testers.

At the end of the day, it's a shame that one of the most impressive bikes in the Field Test is going to have an asterisk beside its name.


For Leo Kokkonen's thoughts on his frame's failure, he published this blog post on Pole's website last week.



Pros

+ Incredibly fast, and pushes the boundaries of what we expect from a trail bike
+ It ain't carbon
+ Unique appearance and manufacturing

Cons

- Not as easy to throw around, and struggles in tighter terrain
- It ain't carbon (and the stock one is 98g heavier than ours)
- Oh shit, it broke...





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



664 Comments

  • 1163 2
 Nothing worse than going for that full bottom out and having your pole break.
  • 39 5
 Under-upvoted
  • 25 0
 The Dennis Rodman of trail bikes..
  • 62 1
 sorry Pole...you really f*cked up with that press release...perhaps time for a V2?
  • 14 25
flag Hyakian (Nov 18, 2019 at 9:05) (Below Threshold)
 "That's what she said"
  • 74 0
 the stamina didn't last... maybe the machine will Wink
  • 2 0
 Top comment
  • 29 1
 I want a glued together pole that folds under tiny jumps.
  • 5 0
 and the 2019 comment of the year...
  • 4 1
 Comment of the Year!
  • 235 73
 @MikeyMT: I have sent an apology to Pinkbike for the drama. I am glad that they did not go for the click-baiting and therefore proved me wrong. I understand people who think I'm some half-assed guy because the only part they usually see from me is the opinions I have. I know that it creates a very opinionated image. I don't share my personal life on social media a lot, because... it's personal. During my MTB career, I have proved many people wrong (Except @WAKIdesigns, because he never seems to be wrong), and I know that it's not always pleasant to be proved wrong. In this case, I am truly happy to be the idiot that shouted the wolf.

Pole grows as a company all the time and soon, there will be someone else doing the press releases and forum talk. You will get something that does not show my personality any longer. There are a lot more people involved in the company already and I am handing over my responsibilities to others. When we started the company, I was doing pretty much everything that was about bike engineering, website UX design, marketing, communication or negotiation with suppliers. I have never been the CEO because I don't want to be handling the everyday stuff. My passion is in company strategy, engineering, and product development. We have finally found a very capable growth hacker who will take over soon the marketing activities and communication that I have been responsible for since the start. I will be available on our Facebook forum for our customers in the future for technical advice.

I would like to ask what people would like to know about Pole? For us, it's not very easy to realize what we are not telling outside that people would like to know.

-Leo

@brianpark @mikekazimer @mikelevy
  • 52 5
 @polebicycles: why is it still up on your site? Even the jabs at PB: polebicycles.com/we-are-not-perfect-after-all
  • 26 3
 @polebicycles: What guarantees that a customer “has never and never will receive this prototype swingarm”?
Do you keep your test parts in the same box as the customer’s frames? Or was it intentionally sent out assembled wrong to save a real customer from yet another delay?
I’m sure lots of potential customers have the same question; sure a prototype failed, who cares right? But what’s going to prevent prototypes from reaching the customer if you can’t even tell “similar” frames apart for the most publicized review ever, even if (or especially if) Pinkbike is “just trying to get clicks to pay the bills” like you say they are
  • 10 8
 @polebicycles: I'd say Pole hit that corner pretty well. Thanks for the rewrite. Looking forward to see what Pole has in the future.
  • 42 76
flag davidhill (Nov 18, 2019 at 13:56) (Below Threshold)
 @polebicycles: WAKIdesigns never seems being wrong? That's inaccurate. Each is entitled to one's opinion, but his comments and rants are my most disliked part of Pinkbike: far too many and often it's just nonsense. E-bike filter? There should be a WAKI-filter.
  • 37 18
 @sarahlh: Because we don't do cencorship. Also, Pinkbike linked the story.
  • 8 0
 @polebicycles: how did the proto rear end up on THAT bike?
  • 6 4
 @polebicycles: Ok. This one was actually kind of cool. Now, go on and make some bikes!
  • 23 12
 @fewnofrwgijn: We have made a new protocol on how to mark the prototypes. When we sent out the Pinkbike bike there weren't any production bikes produced. We were doing the pre-production samples and the XC -prototypes and there it got mixed up. We produce only one type of swingarm at the moment and soon we'll change to a completely new design that would not fit the same links, so there won't be any mix-ups.
  • 31 10
 @polebicycles: Just do an "Edit: we previously released blah and have since corrected it".
As-is it makes you look really bad and people will not have full context. You can be open/transparent and not leave old out-of-context outdated dirty laundry up, especially on a page you own.
I get the sense your new "capable growth hacker" really has their work cut our for them working for you.
  • 4 21
flag Arierep (Nov 18, 2019 at 14:37) (Below Threshold)
 @polebicycles: I think your best apology to Pinkbike would be to create a special edition, red with white "Pinkbike" instead of Pole branding. Sell it in small numbers and send at least one for the guys in Canada.
It's not too late, there's still hope
  • 1 0
 @polebicycles: Is this completely new design the one that comes with the STFUBike and comes the the pre-production Stamina?
  • 46 2
 @polebicycles: Yes you do censor. you clean up your Facebook page and social media comments often.
  • 6 6
 @reverend27: mistakes happen dude, not just to the small manufacturers but to the big dogs as well. One of our customers ordered a Norco C9 Sight and a C7 frame showed up in the box with 29er wheels and suspension. Someone in the warehouse mixed up the frames. Once we got the customer his proper frame, I ended up with a super cheap C7 frame so It worked out for me.
  • 5 2
 Wonder if the trail riding had fatigued the metal to the point where it was a ticking time bomb before the huck to flat.

I have definitely gotten much more air than that on my current XC bike(which has raced several enduros on the north shore).
  • 27 14
 @polebicycles: Nice response and great dig on @wakidesigns so no complaints on my part. lol.

I understand its hard to run your own business, and doing it all right - your bikes are cool and clearly are liked by people that ride them and PB - even Levy said it...'it broke, oh man it was my favorite one'.

I think your press release was well done with the exception of the PB criticism - HOWEVER, it was the right move because you were hedging in case they really shit on the bike. Perhaps just drop that piece of it man and people who read it out of context won't get a bad view of it.

I do PR/Comms for a living...hit me up if you want some (free) counsel.

The bikes are clearly durable - @petert rode the thing 100+ days in whistler bike park and proved that.
  • 3 4
 It's bad exposure for your business, totally understand. Santa Cruz Syndicate snapped a frame in half in practice and people still drooling on their bikes. It happens but if these guys busted it off a little wood jump what going to happen to my hardware filled body when I hit a big impact 20 footer and explosion occurs?
  • 14 1
 @MikeyMT: ya, the dig on waki made it all better! I could careless about the quality issues now. Nice work pole.
  • 4 0
 @duro1: And kick people off it that get too uppity...teehehee
  • 9 0
 @polebicycles: nobody thinks you're half assed at anything.
You just show your full one at any opportunity to do so.
  • 3 5
 @polebicycles: a big difference between a F1 engine failure and a Enduro frame failure is that one is way more likely to cause bodily harm. Good luck with your PR/social new hire. As you're learning, it's not easy.
  • 12 3
 @polebicycles:

"It is not a scandal if the engine breaks in the F1 race, but in DH or Enduro, the racers hide the broken stuff. It looks like the biggest taboo in the industry is a failure in the product and looks like Pinkbike has learned that this is a good cash cow for them to make stories."

Probably because Ferrari isn't providing my bikes. It's a consumer product. We are mere mortals spending whatever meager disposable income we have to ride bicycles in the woods. The peace of mind of knowing your bike has your back when you're doing something stupid is a huge part of what we pay for.

That said, it looks like a rad bike and I'd be perfectly fine riding one. I trust that you guys know what you're doing and there is nothing scandalous here. Just wanted to point out that false equivalencies are mostly... false.
  • 2 0
 @polebicycles: Better hire a person who can automatize the prescribed set of dynamic tests in your FEA tool each time you want to carve a newer "slightly" updated version of any component. In fact, you don't necessarily need those expensive test lab services as they are slow and sometime any even correctly setup the test.
  • 9 7
 @fluider: As mentioned earlier we do stress analysis. Fatigue, dynamic and static. The hardest part is to find the correct load parameters. If we (and other companies) would design with the hardest parameters, the bikes would be a lot heavier. We do also machine testing because stress analysis does not take in account production tolerances and or possible failures. Again, the swingarm was a part of our study where we wanted to see how much does the weight matter on the same frame. At the moment we don't have any XC bikes.
  • 6 1
 Must've been the lack of stamina...
  • 11 9
 @shlotch: I understand the argument. It is different between F1 and a bike. A failure of an engine is similar if you get diarrhea during your ride Wink
  • 4 4
 @MikeyMT: Every bike breaks, at least they were willing to comment and know that all customer bikes haven't got the same issue.
  • 9 5
 @polebicycles: I think people need to remember that many bikes break and companies don't do anything about it.

Remember that YT at rampage this year? What happened to that? Oh it was quickly rushed aside so that no one could see it, and no press release was done by YT.

So I respect Pole's commitment to respond, Pinkbike comments can also be a ruthless place. But I applaud their commitment too engineering and helping their riders achieve their best such as Leigh Johnson.
  • 8 1
 @polebicycles: Excuse me, but simulation of what happened in Pinkbike test is pretty easy to set up in any modern CAD software. Even loading the swingarm solely by force of max shock compression at correct direction is easy to set up. And you would have to see that your study prototype is too weak. Even if you made it more vertical, and not that much diagonal.
I would try a version of asymmetrical swingarm where the brace would be only on non-drive side of swingarm and almost connecting the pivots of swingarm. And properly sized.

Can you imagine the shame should Pinkbike do the huck to flat test from higher and the bended brace would actually shaved and razzored the rear tire? Because it can be seen on the picture, it started to happen.
  • 6 0
 @polebicycles: Sorry to hear things got messed up. The only good thing is that you probably learned from it Smile . Just wondering, is the bike Enduro magazine tested the same frame as what was used here?

enduro-mtb.com/en/pole-stamina-140-vs-nicolai-saturn-14-review

Both (PB and Enduro magazine) consider the bike planted rather than lively. Which is still great for whoever is after such a bike. But both magazines used different rear shocks and PB mentions that there was no way tune that (rather tuneable Cane Creek) into something more poppy. Would you agree on that or could the bike be tuned to be more playful. To me that seems to be one reason why someone would choose a trailbike. Could the underdimensioned rear triangle possibly have sucked some life out of it and would the proper (stronger and possibly stiffer) triangle have performed better in that respect?
  • 2 0
 @Vertik: Good point, Vertik—right you are. I should have only suggested that there be a WAKI filter ~
  • 17 1
 @polebicycles: why are current warranty issues of existing customers being solved so long? Polar blue Evolink 158 guy here still waiting for replacement to be shipped -_-

Even after all this social media and forum storm i get no response from your support.
  • 20 43
flag polebicycles (Nov 19, 2019 at 3:37) (Below Threshold)
 @ORAORA: I believe your warranty is about a paint inconsistency and your frame is rideable. We need the frame back so we can make the swap. Isn't it nice that you could ride the season and now you get a new frame after we check it.

Please continue the conversation with our customer service.
  • 16 24
flag polebicycles (Nov 19, 2019 at 3:54) (Below Threshold)
 @fluider: We know how computer simulation works. Please look at the frame and it's shape. It is not something you can 3D model with "not modern" CAD. Also, still many CNC machinists are wondering how we actually machine the bike and keep the tolerances. Added to that we have patents on the construction.

I have experience working with analysis engineers since I started my industrial design agency. I have personally a stress analysis software in use and I use it almost every day. Nevertheless we still do machine and trail testing because it is closer to reality. This setup is like susnpenders and a belt ????

What I mean is that nobody actually has the "correct" stress values that are going through the frame. What is relevant and what is enough are the questions that you need to study before we know what values we load the bike. For example it is far more easier to calculate a vehicle stress loads than a bicycle.

I can imagine perfectly well what happens if a part fails on a bike. I have dislocated my hip after a grip failed on a cased landing. I've done this work long enough that I know what works or not. Nevertheless we need to experiment other stuff as well to be creative. We are terrible sorry about the event and we make sure this never happens again. We all are accountable on our carelessness, overseas or not.
  • 41 4
 @polebicycles: Is that seriously the level of snark you're directing at an existing customer? As if it's such a privilege to box up a defective frame and rebuild the bike? You need to get out of the PR business and put your head down.
  • 50 1
 @polebicycles:
ibb.co/Z20FLLn
ibb.co/L5F8J2Z

I believe it's not the paintjob issue.

Another problem is that currently I'm in Moscow, Russia, and the bike is located 1300km away from me in Sochi resort city (maybe you remember it as the host of 2014 Olympics). And I was not planning to go there this winter just to be able to disassemble the bike and send you the frame. Summer biking season with lift access starts there in May.

Just to clarify: I would not bring this matter into public if the warranty process was not stuck at some point. I'm not that type of guy who likes to fan the flame just for the sake of it. Not to mention that I absolutely loved two seasons aboard my Evolink, the first bike that showed me the importance of stretching, multiplane core strength and overall physicality. It's the insufferable delay in your support responses that frustrates me.
  • 19 1
 @ORAORA: Clearly a cracked frame, but you will most likely get answer like "We build bestest bikes in the world that go fast" including random rambling that mentions EWS, extensive testing, legend Matti Lehikoinen, owner of the company, doing everything alone and basically telling you that there can't be any faulty frames cause of the reasons mentioned.
  • 1 0
 @polebicycles: Correct load parameters aside, surely your stress analysis showed high concentration in the area of failure?
  • 22 2
 @polebicycles: yesterday I was thinking to myself if the thought of "I will never touch a Pole again after this affair" was too dramatic on my part.
After reading your answer to @ORAORA I know for sure I was right for thinking that.
Expect the free markets to do their job after this, good riddance Pole
  • 19 1
 Not that it matters much, but here’s my honest feelings about Pole these days:

As mountain bikers, we owe a lot to Pole for helping push the envelope of design beyond what the mass producers would be willing to try without years and years of evolution. I truly believe that their bikes have sped up geometry changes in the industry and that the more conservative companies are longer and slacker with steeper SA than if it wasn’t for Pole pushing the extremes of design. I was highly tempted to order a Pole over my Ripmo when I bought because of this innovation.

That said, I think Pole is at risk of becoming a footnote in the history of mountain biking if they maintain their current track record of customer service. As a consumer, why would I pay so much for a mail order bike with no shop support when there seems to be so little company support and having to pay in full upfront for a bike that I may or may not get in a year’s time? At most I’d be willing to pay a nominal $100 deposit to wait in line and then pay in full when the bike ships, if I hear that the CS has completely changed. Otherwise, you start to look like a Ponzi scheme. I understand delays on manufacturing when your sales outpace production estimates (although, you should still have an fairly accurate ship date when you click order, which is not what it sounds like currently). We, mountain bikers, are a tribal bunch. When we hear about someone in our tribe getting screwed, we tend to stand together and avoid supporting that brand. There will always be a few sour grapes within this industry, but when the frustrated customers seem to be en masse, it’s hard to not look hard at the company causing problems.

My suggestion to Pole: take a hard look at your current practices, evaluate what you can change quickly, make a full statement about what changes are to take place with honest apologies and no perceivable bitterness, and hopefully save your brand from potential disaster. This industry is full of innovative companies that never lasted and were quickly forgotten, please don’t become one of them.
  • 5 6
 @polebicycles: why do you argue with Pinkbike audience? Common knowledge they are the lowest common denominator.
  • 7 7
 @ORAORA: The paint issue was just the only warranty issue that I found from our system with your description. Please send your details in a private message and we'll sort it out.

I'm going to stop answering here because this is not our customer service portal. We don't have any problem to replace the part.
  • 5 7
 @whambat: We're learning for sure. I think that the key factor is to keep pushing forward. Our customer service is working hard for every case already and our management is doing its best to deliver the bikes. That's what we need to do.
  • 8 0
 @ORAORA: Not to diminish your frame issue at all, nor your lack of customer service from Pole... In 99% of warranty cases for broken mountain bike frames, the broken frame gets sent back to the manufacturer and they ship a replacement to you. I'm surprised Pole didn't request that you send it back immediately for an easy swap.
  • 4 0
 @MikeyMT: have you also been advising Prince Andrew on PR?
  • 4 0
 @fluider: Nope. That support failed by buckling, which is very hard to accurately FEA. Buckling is an instability that have multiple DoF, which FEA softwares don't like. It sure is a bad design (even with the thicker shark fins) that could have been avoided with just basic engineering knowledge. Their new swingarm design (without the fins) is much better structurally.

- Just another armchair engineer.
  • 4 2
 @Loche: I don't think so :-). The brace didn't fail during the test riding by Mike nor Mike :-), it was stable while under moderate loads (even repetitive). However, once subjected to a load of max shock compression it failed. It was not caused by fatigued material. Any, like any of those average XC bikes would withstand that several times. The brace was simple bent because 1, it was subjected to bending in two planes and 2, it was simply too thin.
I don't see why they quit the swingarm style of Machine in favor of this nice but weak fins.
  • 6 3
 @vinay: that is a very curious article you linked here... One design flaw of the Pole that they mention is chainrub on the fins. This convinces me that "XC prototype" and "parts got mixed up" is a lazy a$$ excuse.. Pole wanted to hide the flaw that was highlighted by enduro-mtb reviewers, and just machined off more material intentionally for the PB test bike.. no respect for such companies that have zero integrity..
  • 4 5
 @ORAORA: Still no private message. If you want your message to our service, you can use the service@polebicycles.com or through our website. You can upload the photos as well. That's a clear crack in the frame but we need to process this on our system with the frame id.
  • 4 11
flag polebicycles (Nov 20, 2019 at 3:16) (Below Threshold)
 @GZMS: Please try to consider that maybe instead of conspiracy theory, the most simple explanation could be human error? That is: we just mixed up the versions that look alike before we shipped the product.

Our philosophy is to make reliable products and not just do half-assed fixes. We can change the thickness of the shark fin with 30 mins of CNC programming. The weight of the change is insignificant and does not correlate to the speed of the bike. The stiffer triangle performs better. Enduro magazine had one of the prototypes, and we told them when we gave the bike to them that the rubbing will be solved by moving the fin forward and in the future by changing the construction. Making the fin thinner would have not even solved the rubbing problem, and it just creates another issue that is significantly less fatigue strength.

You see, that it would be so much easier not to have this conversation by using the 30 minutes of just changing the programming.
  • 10 11
 @polebicycles: You really just cant stop talking,can you? Like,you can't actually control your yourself?
You really need to get a medical diagnosis for this. Its costing you a shitload of money and a ton of unnecessary grief.
  • 11 9
 @polebicycles: f*cking Liar. You shut down the Facebook group to outside views the day i told everyone to go look at it and all the bullshit everyone has to deal with with you. You need medical and psychological intervention.
  • 8 3
 @scary1: not that he would ever admit it, but I know of quite a few potential lost sales from this debacle. Myself included. An Evolink was my #2 pick for a purchase this winter and my #1 is looking to have spotty availability. The smart thing to do would be to issue a press release written by someone who knows how to do PR and damage control.
  • 7 2
 @pnwpedal: look into Nicolai/Geometron. They've been nothing but a delight and their bikes are phenomenal
  • 3 1
 @scary1: a Nicolai has been a dream bike of mine for a solid 15 years... But still outside of my budget. Frown
  • 1 3
 @polebicycles: don’t worry bro drop a thousand off the price all I’ll still buy your bike
  • 2 0
 @pnwpedal: A friend broke a Turner frame--I think even outside the warranty period--and they immediately sent a new one to...Slovakia, zero charges.
  • 2 3
 @VelkePivo: Was your friend in Slovakia too at the time? Otherwise I'd still rate this is as suboptimal.
  • 1 1
 @vinay: not sure if you're making a joke...
  • 2 0
 @VelkePivo: that's how to keep customers happy!
  • 2 0
 @pnwpedal: @VelkePivo has a US flag next to his name but of course he could have friends in Slovakia in which case all is cool. Getting a something sorted under warranty when the manufacturer doesn't necessarily have to is really nice from a customer point of view. But if his friend lives in the US too, it is a bit of a bummer. It isn't quite clear from his comment where his friend lives, hence the question. If it were a joke, what would be the funny bit?
  • 2 0
 @vinay: Ah, I just didn't understand where the question came from and why it would be suboptimal. A broken frame out of warranty that was replaced is still optimal, overseas shipping or not. Couldn't tell if it was sarcasm or not.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: Yes, he was in Slovakia and so was I. I bought the frame in the US for myself, it didn't suit me so I sold it to my buddy. If I remember correctly, I told Turner I had sold it to my friend but they still sent out a new frame. No questions asked.
  • 2 0
 @VelkePivo: Well, that's really cool indeed!
  • 3 1
 @polebicycles: one tip... do not reply to Pinkbike comments if risk of getting mugged in comments is any higher than 3 out of 10. You were easily at 8-9 here. Risk is always here, but sub 5 happens on a press release of a rather unexciting product like a stem or grips. Every single company should adopt that.

You have the full right to remain silent. Whatever you say WILL be used against you. Even if you say “2+2=4”
  • 1 2
 @WAKIdesigns: What are you talking about? Last time I checked the internet it said "1+1=3" which implies 2+2=9. I will use this against you. Please remain silent.
  • 1 0
 Paying $3,700 for a frameset with EXT Storia shock might be worse. Ouch.
  • 1 0
 @TheUnknownMTBR: is that supposed to be a diss on the storia shock?
  • 1 0
 @Maverick18T: yeah but your customer had to wait longer for their bike, not exactly a win win kind of scenario there.
  • 1 0
 @wiscobiker: how will a customer be able to lie to their wife now? It has ato be a quick transaction: sold old bike, bought a new bike, say you came out even. If you need to wait 3-6 months you'll be either without steed or with a raging wife-debt.
  • 2 1
 What kind of issues are people having with their wives on here? If you save up your own money in a way that doesn't affect the general household, who cares what you buy with your own savings?
  • 2 0
 @vinay: Its a light hearted and very long running joke for most, dont take it too seriously (unless your wife / husband / partner etc genuinely is a bit mental)
  • 1 0
 @mixmastamikal: no, the Storia would be my choice. It’s just an expensive aluminum frame. Which I understand why with the unique engineering, machining, etc. and if you have the money it’s no big deal.
  • 1 0
 @TheUnknownMTBR: People also buy CNC machined stems, seatpost clamps etc whereas I'd say a regular cast model would be so much cheaper and probably even stronger. How much more expensive is a CNC stem compared to a forged one? It may be the same ratio as it goes when you compare a CNC machined European made frame to a regular aluminium welded European made frame.

That said, maybe there isn't even that much forging in Europe anymore. You have Middleburn. But then, after that?
  • 461 3
 Wow, compare Pole's batshit press release to this actual review. Offense really ain't the best defense - they managed to hype up their failure like ten-fold, accuse Pinkbike of a conspiracy and finally even draw up comparisons to ENVE's exploding wheels. Real communications 101 stuff here...
  • 54 1
 Classic Streisand Effect...
  • 52 2
 Agreed. The failure in the review was underwhelming.
  • 38 51
flag phops (Nov 18, 2019 at 7:44) (Below Threshold)
 I promise you that following this, when people start talking comparing bikes, Pole bikes breaking will be a thing that will get mentioned as a negative, when this is not actually an issue. I don't blame a small bike company to trying to do damage control.
  • 237 0
 I just read Pole's response after reading this. I've got to say I thought Pinkbike was very fair and measured. They acknowledged the failure, they acknowledged this isn't the regular design and they still said it was the fastest in test. It didn't look at all to me like PB was trying to sensationalize that, they just reported what happened. They could have done all sorts of things to make that look much worse and truly sensationalize the failure if it was just for clicks.
  • 75 1
 No one learned anything from the ENVE or Spot bikes response to their stuff breaking. I understand that stuff breaks but if I'm dropping a few months pay on something I want to know they have my back and aren't going to just default blame me when something breaks. This is a good opportunity to highlight your awesome warranty process, not attack the rider.
  • 177 13
 Leo comes across as the most arrogant personality in the bike industry. Beyond the arrogance seething from the Pole website, his need to promote his own race career seems to be really cutting into his ability to run a business - I've heard nothing but horror stories about their customer service.
  • 18 143
flag phops (Nov 18, 2019 at 8:15) (Below Threshold)
 @skylerd:

You are wrong pretty much on everything. Calm down, have some hot cocoa, and go ride some trails.
  • 113 0
 @phops: thanks, this is actually excellent advice. If only Leo has heard it before writing that blog post.
  • 21 76
flag km79 (Nov 18, 2019 at 8:24) (Below Threshold)
 To be fair to Pole, if Pinkbike never hyped this failure up in a clickbaity manner right at the start of this test series they might not have felt the need to respond. If Pinkbike never mentioned the failure at all until this video was released I doubt there would barely be a reaction from anyone.
  • 116 4
 Yes, Pole’s Statement on their website was enough for me to never consider buying one of their bikes.

And that was before watching the test. In hindsight, what Pole did there was even more ridiculous.
  • 114 0
 @phops: no, the issue is lack of care and attention building and shipping the one bike. That is a problem in itself. However, people make mistakes in all fairness.

Pole was very accusatory towards Pinkbike though, and I think that was unwarranted. They missed the boat on the chainstays, and I don't think they should expect PB to have retested and refilmed. That's real work and comes at a cost. Clearly PB had enough information from the riding before breakage, and Poles response, to form a good review.

I get why Pole was panicking, but they should have remained a little more chill. Going on the offensive wasn't right. I think just issuing a factual statement and an apology, would have been the best route to rise above the failure.

Way to stay classy Pinkbike. Good review.
  • 177 17
 I had a Pole Staimina on pre order for months before i got tired of the delays and then ordered a NICOLAI G1 through Geometron. Best decision I ever made. This further comfirms my experience. Leo Kokkonen should shut his mouth and never EVER be allowed a platform to run his mouth. He is the single most arrogant, egotistical, self righteous, dick ,who will never take FULL responsibility for his failings and shortcomings. This is the WORST type of person to ever create and sell you a mechanical device of any sort. Any failure will ALWAYS be someone elses fault. If you follow the Pole Bike owners page on Facebook, you will find numerous bikes with parts rubbing grooves in other parts from too tight of tolerances, broken shit and people would cant get a bike after half a year. You dont find ANY of that on the Nicolai Page. So, here you go Leo,you brilliant engineer ,where you predict i complain about you on Pinkbike after your series of lies and delays. I chose my moment for when you inevitably cant keep your big mouth shut Turns out, no matter how highly you think about yourself, you will alway be Chris Porters bitch. Thanks for being predictable, suck it. LG
  • 5 0
 ..
  • 4 1
 @phops: is that your rebuttal?
  • 70 1
 @scary1: Second this is a big way. And when I canceled my preorder I got boned on a combination of them LOWERING the prices and the exchange rate. Cost me over 300 bucks for 6 months of BS delays and excuses. WORST attempted bike buying experience ever.
  • 24 4
 If you read the response from Pole it almost looks like they are trying to prevent a re-run of the Enve saga, almost a pre-emptive strike out of fear because of the known way Mike / Mike / PB can single handedly destroy a brands rep with one review. Didn’t realise PB wielded such power, personally I don’t really think they do, Enve messed up on several occasions so Pole would have probably been better just to fess up and stay quiet (imo). Bad PR but then again people who’s passion is building rad looking bikes probably don’t focus as much on PR. The comments section on PB is filled with self appointed know it alls anyways so you loose either way
  • 25 3
 @skylerd: To be honest, PB could have easily $hit on Pole over the ridiculous delivery delays and soup nazi behavior of the CEO on social media regarding those delivery delays. I'm way less concerned about the swing arm if the warranty department has a good reputation. Do they?
  • 18 1
 @duro1: yep, i lost $300,too
  • 13 9
 @scary1: whew tell me how you really feel
  • 14 1
 @hamncheez: hahaha. Ive been waiting...
  • 59 3
 Everyone surprised at how an engineer responded to negativity. I’m laughing.
  • 10 1
 @Dnik: you mean "reality"
  • 7 2
 >scary1 Best comment pinkbike 2019Big Grin ehhehe very cool or another option order marino full suss 1/3 price with Pole....Shitaimina
  • 45 1
 @JohanG: I thought it failed with them jump over the Mini but nope on a home built kicker that most kids would hit on a Walmart bike.
  • 20 2
 I have to agree with you. Just based on the owners response, I'll never consider buying Pole bike. Their mess up could have been handled more humbly.
  • 82 15
 @usmbc-co-uk: PB doesn’t have such power, it’s just Leo who is insecure as fuk. And let’s be honest Enve deserved the every last sht they got, so does Leo, but he didn’t. They treated him with respect he never treated them with. They are good folks. And please remember that is happening after Mike L has had it with Yeti sending him “prototypes” that kept breaking. He even wrote an Opinion rant about it.

You can tell they absolutely loved this bike. Well... Pole Stamina is officially a Douche Canoe, and Stamina with Enve rims is a Douche Cruiser. Don’t let it crack you up
  • 11 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Nah I agree the whole sh!t storm is of their (Poles) own invention. Admittedly there probably would still have been some fall out down here at the bottom of the page but probably not as long lasting. The owner clearly takes it personally and over reacted, I dont know if they are better shutting up now or acknowledging their over reaction
  • 6 2
 @skylerd: have you ever heard Jeff Jones spew his b.s.? Those two should go into business together, except they're diametrically opposed in regards to theories on geometry.
  • 8 0
 @km79: Please provide examples of them :"hyping up" a failure. Discussion is not the same as hyping it up, and Madj's illustrated comics aren't something I'd look at as accurate journalism to the series of events. They created curiosity sure, but they weren't feeding the hoards with sensationalism to hype up the failure.
  • 16 10
 @usmbc-co-uk: everyone makes mistakes. it's how you handle them that matters... "we are perfect" is not even a gamble. It's a bluff and you better know about it so that you are at least a bit prepared when shit goes down and it will. I know this very well because not so long ago I got my first failure at work and it fkd me up mentally. I didn't go aggro, I got apologizing for my won mistake. My boss got a bit pissed off at me, not for drawing sht that wasn't suitable to clients spec, but because I started the "dyplomatic" process before I got directly accused of anything. He said, it's nothing and the sooner you fk up with smaller things the faster you learn. Nothing worse than living 20 years with no bigger fk up and then mess up big time. You never know how close to the edge you are walking, how lucky you are, how many times you thought you prevailed due to God knows what skil, was sheer stupid luck. So Pole can learn from this too.
  • 10 0
 @skylerd: you heard right. I could tell you my horror story about delivery time, delays and costumer service too. But i have my stamina 140 now and it's amazing.
Its really sad how leo reacts sometimes. I can def. understand why someone would not buy a pole after reading some of this.
  • 27 0
 @skylerd: I think PVD still wins the arrogance award.
  • 4 0
 Oh SNAP
  • 7 8
 I'm guessing the article change a bit after Pole posted the story to their website.
  • 5 8
 @cgreaseman: the first intro video they said they snapped a bike in half, stay tuned for all the details or something along those lines, plus all the comment sections with speculation etc
  • 25 0
 The new 140 rear end comes with a STFU. Leo should get one of those for his key board. Just saying.
  • 4 0
 @skylerd: Yep... totally reflective of my interaction with them.
  • 84 0
 @km79 @cgreaseman We weren't trying to sensationalize or hype up any bike's failure. In fact, the comment in the intro video and Taj's comic were about another bike, which had a failure during actual test riding. When we filmed the intro video, we hadn't done the huck-to-flat filming yet.

The other bike failure was more serious, with our tester going down hard on a full production bike. Context matters and we need to be both fair and transparent, so we're going to hold off on telling you more about the other failure until it's fully ready to be published.
  • 6 4
 @WAKIdesigns: Also, its amazing how little time and consideration to your opinion I gave you when building and enjoying my current G1.
I apologize for that .I somehow ended up with a bike I cant wait to ride, all the time
  • 12 5
 @jonnycrash: Agreed, people can talk shit all day about Enve, but fact is they are the only Carbon wheel I've broken that was replaced FREE (including shipping both directions) with no questions asked. No other I've broken came close, not Raceface (they say no questions but I paid $200 for a new hoop), Not Reynolds, not lite bike, etc.
Shit Enve even replaced a rear wheel I tore 27 spokes out of when I put my derailer through it. Again, no questions asked.
  • 11 8
 @H3RESQ: that’s weird, almost each single busted LB rim I know of in my area hasbeen replaced. Knowing their customer support from personal experience I imagine it to be their standard. And so what Enve doesit at 4-6 times the price of LB? That’s 4-6 LB rims and breaking that amount is unlikely. Otherwise change hobby...
  • 27 0
 @km79: Also poles response came out BEFORE this article dropped. They thought it would help to beat pinkbike to the punch but only created a bunch of hype about the coming review lol
  • 14 1
 @scary1: How do you lose $300 and not receive a bike?
  • 8 11
 @scary1: I couldn’t care less how much attention anybody gives to my opinions. I doubt I would even if I was selling bikes.

When did you buy it? You know that level of satisfaction from the bike is counter proportional to the time spent on it. You are yet to peak.
  • 6 0
 @duro1: wait what- thats surely not legal.

You get back as much as youve put down- especially the consumers have lot of rights thanks to the EU.

Im smelling some legal affairs in the near future if they do it to the wrong person.
  • 8 3
 @nismo325: so how much did pinkbike pay Leo to post his blog rant??? It must have doubled the clicks for them!
  • 14 13
 @NotNamed: it’s “Northern” Europe, you don’t get anything more than what you deserve. If a company screws you on a toy, the judge will force them to return you what you paid for it, and make them pay expenses of handling the case. Lawyers ain’t cheap, but it’s not the White trash Tina from Texas suing Marlboro for making her chainsmoke in the trailer with 5 kids. In the end judge will tell you to shake hands and say thank you to each other.
  • 17 2
 @NotNamed: For $300: I already have sent many emails. Becoming a legal expert and asserting a legal action is just not worth the loss. But, I feel the company at a minimum handled things VERY UNETHICALLY. And it was not JUST a currency fluctuation. For those of us that ordered early Spring this year in the USA... they LOWERED the prices. That combined with the currency fluctuation added up to a not insignificant loss.

I ordered the bikes believing in the geometry on good faith that their delivery times were at least in the ballpark. I did not set out to gamble on international exchange rates.

After a whole summer of frustration, I am going to lose composure here for a min. Hey Pole and especially Leo.. suck a bag of d!cks!!
  • 8 2
 @motard5: change in exchange rates between purchase and refund. You bought when your currency was worth more, and got the refund when it was worth less.

Has nothing to do with Pole. Has to do with economics. This is always going to be the case when you buy and refund in a foreign currency - there will be foreign exchange gain or loss.
  • 10 2
 @hamncheez: Going full conspiracy on this one eh? bold move. I see it more as leo realized he f*cked up and tried to do some damage control. do you really think the money from pink bike would do more good than all the lost sales from a shitty review? give your head a shake.
  • 3 2
 @duro1: changed the price? As in you bought for x, and they refunded you x-y? They didn't refund your purchase price?! Exclusive of consideration of currency changes of course.... but for real?
  • 5 6
 @nismo325 sarcasm! For the love of God Smile
  • 2 2
 @WAKIdesigns: meh without a "lol" or something you can't be sure. a lot of retards these days lol
  • 4 0
 @hardtailhonk: don't forget Tony Ellsworth.
  • 2 0
 @nismo325: It helps to have a default setting of seeing sarcastic intent rather than taking another view.


/sarc.
  • 10 6
 @nismo325: how dare you! @Hamncheez is a distinguished member of the Chamber of Comments, no longer than 4 days ago he scored over 400 positive props fighting the disgusting invasion of pretentious pressure gauges. I have personally called him uneducated capitalistic baffoon on numerous occasions when we fought illiterate wars over things that make no sense amd doesn’t matter. All of which I regret!

Pay respect!
  • 7 0
 But you have to admit the irony of machining a solid hunk of AL to make this beautiful frame buy only to make that rear triangle part so thin in order to save weight. Now that’s ironic. Love the bike tho
  • 13 2
 @privateer-wheels: It's a little complicated because they originally posted prices in Euro. Then posted prices in USD. Then refunded me the original euro purchase price which was in euros (which of course had been devalued by the fall from the spring and was less than the current USD posted prices). So yes it's all debatable and various shades of grey. But.. from my chair, after 6 months and the fifth dealy. They could have swung that grey situation the right way.

The point of the story. USA customers. Paying in full upfront has more risks than may appear.

And mind you the delays were not the straw that broke the back. It was that Leo was bragging about the frame updates on social underway with implementation dates that would make the frames I ordered already one generation back.
  • 1 1
 Wait, why is the trail swingarm shown at the end of the video also broken? Did they explain that somewhere?
  • 10 2
 @WAKIdesigns: I REGRET NOTHING
  • 6 2
 @duro1: not to belabor the issue, but it sounds like you bought for X Euros, they refunded for X Euros. Sounds like pure fx losses to me. Regardless, it shouldn't have happened if they were stand-up and delivered on their promises.

Yeah, I wouldn't be happy if they came out with improvments before my frame was even shipped, and they were not available to me. That sounds pretty low brow.
  • 9 1
 @privateer-wheels: 100% admit to and agree it is a grey area. The decision was in their court. But I can say I will not do business with them again and I will never prepay a bike again. Both Guerilla Gravity and Privateer bikes only ask for a small deposit. A more respectable business practice.
  • 3 0
 @scary1: Hahaha! I love the thought behind the Pole bikes, but have always been concerned about the man who makes it all happen. Still am after this story.
  • 6 2
 @WAKIdesigns: sure, whatever. Except im 50 and have been riding for 25 years. This bike is the bike ive wanted for the last 20 and it didnt exist. Its the only bike that i haven't hated climbing si, get to enjoy an entire ride instead of bitching about how much i hate climbing.
You have this weird obsession/hatred with forward geo but ive never heard you say you went on a demo day?
  • 1 0
 @duro1: dang... that sucks. It isn't hard for a company in Europe to setup a USD account either, which would benefit them as a hedge again currency fluctuations when buying goods in USD.
  • 1 0
 @kkse: Same here...and you should be
  • 8 14
flag WAKIdesigns (Nov 18, 2019 at 11:41) (Below Threshold)
 @scary1: does riding modern bikes in XL qualify? Forward geo? You mean like Downhill bikes? Yeah, makes tons of sense on them. Little on blooyd trail bikes ridden by people who are 5’10 or shorter. 25years? Please? Your argument goes straight put of the window the moment you meet “this talented kid”who rides better than you 1,5 year in and will laugh at your analysis. When did I criticize your shopping choices? I criticized mindset where you have one geo to rule them all. Pole XC bike with geo of DH bike, then wow, DJ bike looking like a DJ bike. How can Leo even ride that thing?
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: "You know that level of satisfaction from the bike is counter proportional to the time spent on it."

Hahaha!! This is so true!
  • 6 0
 @privateer-wheels: Good point however , the risk to rider safety is such that this level of incompetance when building a bike can me severe injury or worse. It shouldnt matter if its a prototype. Do we all believe that a bike that Pole knew was going to be tested by Pinkbike will get LESS scrutiny that a regular manufacturing batch frame?
  • 2 0
 @usmbc-co-uk: when u say "self appointed know it alls"... Are u referring to Waki? Lol
  • 2 0
 @H3RESQ: LB has hooked me up no questions asked..
  • 21 1
 I was one of the first owners of the Machine when it came out and it's been an awesome bike. Given the ramp up for manufacturing, I expected it would take a while for it to show up. It's the bike industry, and I've worked in manufacturing, so I take delivery times with a grain of salt.

From a customer service side of things, I've had good service. It's definitely not super fast - but all my concerns have been addressed to my satisfaction. Case in point - they recalled my original Machine frame and I've got a new Stamina on the way.

This in no way invalidates what other folks have experienced... if I was in a situation where I had to sell my old bike waiting for a new one, I would be seriously choked.

From a PR side of things, the Pole press release started good - but when fingers are getting pointed at PB, it went too far. Should've just stopped with admitting they made a bad mistake. Having a "preproduction" part break is almost a cliche. Someone seriously dropped the ball there. As a business owner, I could see Leo trying to head things off at the pass, but PB's right: the test was over and everyone's got to get on with their lives.

Leo strikes me as super passionate and very opinionated. When you stand on a soapbox, you're gonna get slings and arrows. Having said that, his qualities have led to some very innovative bikes and helped shift bike geometry forward more quickly.

Most bike companies go through sour times when they scale up. Evil, Yeti, etc have all been through this and bounced back. I'm sure Pole will do the same. Personally, I can separate the personalities from the product and am stoked for my Stamina to arrive. From what history says, Enzo Ferrari was a tyrant but I'd still be stoked to drive one of his cars Smile
  • 5 10
flag JohanG (Nov 18, 2019 at 12:42) (Below Threshold)
 If anyone wants to know the brand of bike that broke, pm me.
  • 7 0
 Such a disappointing response from POLE. I was really interested in their bikes but after reading delivery story problems here and on Facebook, it puts you off the brand. That response from Leo doesn't help either. Prototype or ringer arm, we will never know the truth lol. This is bad PR for POLE that won't be forgotten any time soon Shoutout Pinkbike keeping it 100
  • 1 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Almost Every is great till its your set they don't replace... Current Enve Mseries FAR EXCEEDS ride quality of LB, as well as having rim strip, unlike snake bit happy LB's. So, there is that too... Then snag a pair of Enve at current sale prices. Boom, good ride, good wheel, Never spend another penny (shipping, included in Guarantee) Nordstrom quality service and you are set. Also consider I am supporting my country riding Enve and close and quick service too.
  • 24 30
flag polebicycles (Nov 18, 2019 at 13:13) (Below Threshold)
 @duro1: @privateer-wheels: I understand the frustration with the currency changes. When our customers pay via a payment service and if they want to take a refund, we pay the exact sum back to the payment service, not the customer. By doing this, it's a refund. If there has been a currency change, we can not help it. I suggest following the currency rates if something like this happens to you in any internet shopping situation. The customer can always wait for the bike as well. Taking a currency risk for the company is an uncontrolled risk and would lead to nasty financial situations in case of inflation in € or a stronger dollar.

As far as I know, with Paypal, it is possible to refund in the dollar, but the customer has to pay the product with Paypal so that we can refund via Paypal. Also, we need to have the cash in the account when someone wants a refund. To use a Paypal refund, the customer needs to purchase the product with a dollar via Paypal; otherwise, it would be the same as previously. As the company president, I have no record of court cases on refunds.

We have developed new features along the way, and there is always an option for pre-purchasers to wait for the upgrade if they want. Our production method allows us to make changes during production because there is no stock on CNC bikes. For example, we have offered people to wait for the new swingarms. Even though the offer, many customers have wanted to get the frame as soon as possible. If someone claims that he couldn't be upgraded to a newer rev, that's not true. We gladly skip a spot, so we get time to produce someone else's bike, and it's a win-win.

On presales, we have given a discount for the pre purchasers. During production, we take the full amount. Unfortunately, we have had growth pains, and we have hired new staff. Also, we have doubled our CNC capacity, but the ramp-up has taken more time than we thought. Soon we will move to a new factory, and we can finally stop working between boxes. I'm currently working from home because I don't have a desk.

The new swingarm does not have the sharkfin support, but it has a UDH hanger and also, the STFUBike silencer. The sharkfin support is gone because we wanted less chain slap. Sharkfin's idea is to give more flex in the system, which is one of the key performance factors in the bike. The bike is more forgiving in harsh stuff, as @mikekazimer mentioned. Unfortunately, on a short travel bike, it's harder to control the fatigue life. On Stamina 180, the sharkfin has been very successful by Leigh Johnson 12th overall in EWS. The new swingarm will be stiffer.

Our warranty service should be very swift. It is our company policy to put warranty cases always ahead of everything else. We don't argue with the breakages, but we want to know how it happened so that we can learn from it.

We test our bikes with third party test centers, and also, we ride the bikes ourselves. Added to that, we have a professional race team with Leigh Johnson and Joseph Nation. The Dh legend Matti Lehikoinen is the Team Manager. Also, we do some unconventional tests where we test the bonding or corrosion resistance.

What comes to the 1mm added thickness, the thickness is measured in the thinnest part of the sharkfin. The support strength is calculated with computer simulation and tested with a machine and on the trail. In any case, the sharkfin design will not continue in future production. We are changing the design mainly due to the UDH and STFUBike.
  • 2 1
 @H3RESQ: Enve isn’t a US company any more. Based there, but profits don’t stay there.
  • 4 1
 @H3RESQ: Bontrager, super fast turn around, no hassle replacement wheel, not just rim...
  • 1 0
 Kinda put the testers in danger there ....
  • 8 0
 @polebicycles: can I ask a question of the both Pole and Pinkbike , was the video review and subsequent failure shown to Pole before the rest of us ?

The reason I am asking is that Levy and Kazimer's review is extremely fair and the statement from Pole seems to be unnecessarily defensive.

I am really curious to know would you have written that statement if you had watched that video, and secondly do you now regret those words seeing how it has been received on Pinkbike ?
  • 15 5
 @polebicycles: mid cycle production changes doesn't sound like a "win-win", it sounds like you charge people full price to serve as product testers and then charge them again if they want to ride the revised product... most software companies aren't even that low class.
  • 13 8
 @badbadleroybrown: We have the opportunity to react to such new innovations like UDH. Trek probably knew about the hanger standard since two years ago because they already had a test bike on Pinkbike before the actual UDH launch. We could ask for an upgrade price from our customers, but we think it's fair to release the new update as soon as possible.
  • 16 17
 @Gremclon: I would not certainly have written anything if I would have seen the video or review before. We saw the preview where the guys said that they will show broken bikes and we tried to get more info. Since we did not get any info we needed to tell our people beforehand that it was a prototype swingarm and not to worry. There are still people who have preordered and waiting for their bikes. The presale ended at 11.11.2019
  • 13 2
 @duro1: just be happy you didn't buy a Sick bicycle co bike. They chose to refund in middle fingers instead of dollars, pounds, or monopoly money. And Pinkbike stayed very, very silent with that issue after giving them public stage here while the company was already folding.
  • 19 1
 @polebicycles: Yeah.. all while taking shots at PB editors and reviewers over perceived "sensationalist" headlines. Admitting to the failure, owning up to it, and offering your customers peace of mind in the case of their own bikes failure without bashing the journalistic integrity of Pinkbike editors would have been an appropriate response instead of making baseless presumptions.
  • 11 14
 @polebicycles: Get outta here while you still can.. Yous aint cool no more jabroni...
Matti Lehikoinen is still cool tho. Always was and always will be. We all good Fam.. To you Leo Coconut... we are no longer brews..
  • 20 0
 @polebicycles: you guys need some media training ASAP. Your posts online consistently alienate people and I don’t think that’s your intention.
  • 20 17
 @polebicycles: "If there has been a currency change, we can not help it."

You CAN
You CHOSE not to.
Own your decision.
  • 2 15
flag pargolf8 (Nov 18, 2019 at 15:41) (Below Threshold)
 @skylerd: your f*ckin name is skyler. Stfu bud
  • 5 0
 @duro1: Ditto here. Very similar experience. I thankfully didn't loose as much as you did, but after dealing with the lack of clarity in what they were working through I was just glad to get the majority of my money back.

Like you the thing that drove me to that decision was that I didn't feel I would get a bike that had it's design fully resolved. I could have waited into next year for the frame with the new rear triangle but the whole experience with them wasn't feeling very positive.
  • 17 4
 @polebicycles: the key difference in your example is that Trek knew about it, fully fleshed out a design incorporating it, unveiled that completed design to the public, and sold that design while beginning the cycle again for the next design.

You, on the other hand, designed a product and began selling it, then decided on the fly to make changes to that design, and sold both to consumers. Aside from the obvious issues for new customers being left high and dry getting less features in return for being an early adopter and disincentivizing early purchase, this creates problems down the road on the secondary market when someone tries to buy or sell a Pole... selling a 2019 Pole; ok is it the udh version or no... is it the redesigned swingarm or no, e.t.c.

Design your bike and, if you believe in your product then stick to the product you designed and save the "upgrades" for the next design.

Mid cycle changes just says you rushed to production to start taking people's money before you'd fully fleshed out your design.
  • 7 2
 @pargolf8: Thank you for that thoughtful contribution to the conversation.
  • 5 2
 @FuzzyL: I came to the conclusion of not likening the company before this to bad it was after a month of waiting for my bike and just questioning if I should be concerned because they never let me know it shipped! I had one guy tell me to stop bitching about having know idea where my $4500 bike is and Leo Kokkonen himself laughed at it which would be fine but then commented nothing the nearly 2 months later I got my bike! I’ve rode my evolink once I’ll give it a couple more rides but I’ll probably sell it
  • 5 1
 @scary1: preach! I’m most likely selling my once riddin evolink I would have cancelled my order but it was to late my bike shipped already... ( they never told me) after a month of meting in the dark I asked the Facebook page if I should be concerned I got told to stop bitching by a person Leo Kokkonen laughed at that which would be fine if he would have given me an idea as to why it was taking so long to ship(they never told me it shipped) but he didn’t.. after nearly 2 months of waiting I got my (in stock bike) and will most likely sell it for a loss and keep my ‘17 Jeffsy
  • 4 4
 Works for Trump... that whole offense is the best defense thing.
  • 1 6
flag pargolf8 (Nov 18, 2019 at 16:51) (Below Threshold)
 @Powderface: no problem thats why im here, keyboard alpha
  • 7 0
 @privateer-wheels: THIS. It’s the old adage: measure twice, cut once. The same goes for emotions in publicly readable comments and press releases from company heads. Sure, you did a slippery job with the mea culpa, but we won’t forget Pole’s knee jerk tantrum to the PB field test results. Think twice next time before posting, Pole.
  • 20 0
 PB: The bike was great but it broke.

Pole: BUT WHAT ABOUT HILLARY'S EMAILS??
  • 3 3
 @duro1: second GG; top notch customer service and great performing bikes. Yes long waits for early adopters, however...

Sad @Mikelevy and PB did not include #Revved in testing.
  • 11 0
 @mattr, why are you sad? The Trail Pistol was included in the Downcountry category - those videos are on the way.
  • 7 0
 @Dnik: the irony is that he’s not an engineer and have claimed he doesn’t need one
  • 3 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: OMG a jones vs kokkonen showdown podcast would be hilllarious AF
  • 3 0
 @mikekazimer: Happy! I should read B4 typing. Heard rumors that GG bikes weren't included but glad that has been rectified. Looking forward to the TP review.
  • 5 1
 @jon-boy: Wow, sounds like any American that canceled got "the Pole" on the refund. Leo claims he can't make acceptions but hell.....even the assistant manager at Applebees can give you comp the appetizer when the Steak is miserably late.
  • 4 0
 @duro1: isn't the refund issue more to do with the credit card companies? I know any foreign transactions I do on mine it's gets converted at the rate on that day. If I ever needed a refund it is back at the rate of the refund day.

I have had transactions where I lost a few bucks, but I have also had transactions where I made a few bucks.
  • 3 0
 @onemind123: not many card companies offer protection against fx losses. I've never heard of that.

It's usually a risk you carry as a buyer. You win some, you lose some. That the global economy for you.
  • 6 0
 @privateer-wheels: most better established companies manage this by taking only deposit, but it sounds like Pole needs the cash up front to keep ticking over.
  • 3 4
 @badbadleroybrown: Pole is very open about the fact that they do not have cycles in production, so they can react quickly to new standards, problems, or what ever.
You have to live with it or buy a Trek.
By the way, when they informed about DHU and STFU they said that if requested they will update the preorder.
Where is your problem?
  • 3 0
 @scary1: I would like to buy you a beer Wink
  • 3 0
 @polebicycles: I'm still scratching my head trying to grasp that XC Prototype swingarm thing.

Well the prototype part I can understand. But XC ? How the hell would an XC swingarm have the exact same geometry as the one on your trail bike ?
  • 6 0
 If you're Pole there's no defense for a 2-foot ramp breaking your bike. Don't give us the F1 or Enve bullshit excuse comparison. Apologize and move on.
  • 3 1
 @polebicycles: "Our production method allows us to make changes during production because there is no stock on CNC bikes. "

Er uh... That's not production.. that's called development.
  • 2 1
 @bryanmccrary1: well a one man single framebuilder shop will produce one frame at a time as well. All may be different and tailored to the individuals or not. We are still talking about production because it follows a common process even if the end result is different at each iteration.
  • 6 0
 @opignonlibre: the whole "xc swingarm" excuse sounds like total bs... my money is on them deliberately shipping with a swingarm that's a 1/4lb lighter to get favorable weight and suspension action and it just backfired on them.
  • 1 0
 @H3RESQ: I broke a Reynolds rim and got a replacement free of all charges shipped to Europe.
  • 4 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Why do you always ridicule the US? Aren't you from Poland? Plenty of "white trash" there too (FWIW, I lived in Poland a short while and loved it). Every country has its problems, some the same as the US and some different.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: No,yes,no,yes,Thankyou,Daily,Quite easily.
And, you still exist in self imposed ignorance.
  • 1 0
 @bbc611: yeah, red flags waving. Run away
  • 2 0
 @EnduroriderPL: Thanks! If I drank, i would drink it Wink !
  • 1 0
 @scary1: so pick up a milk shake of your choice and its on me Wink
  • 209 3
 "accidentally sent the prototype"... What are the odds?!

"Hey guys we are sending a Stamina over to the most popular MTB website in the world for a bike shootout/review, you think I should send out this completely untested prototype piece in place of the tried and true design? Sounds like a great plan, box it up!"

Very likely scenario.
  • 15 55
flag phops (Nov 18, 2019 at 7:55) (Below Threshold)
 More like

"We have a press bike we sent for testing, have someone pack it and ship it", amongst the hectic workday of trying to fulfill the pretty substantial order queue of Staminas.

Note how there was not even a squeak of failure anywhere about the Machine or Evolink.
  • 32 0
 @phops: Want to bet that the order queue of Staminas slows down after this? Sending a bike that was fully tested and fully ready to the most popular bike site in the world, should have been top priority for the face of their business. They screwed up (or at least they claim to have, not sure I'm falling for that), and it will probably hurt.
  • 17 5
 Didn’t Yeti do this when they first released the SB6C, I think most of the journalists demo bikes broke because apparently there was a pre production swing arm on. There was a load of internet talk at first but they it faded away and I’m sure they sold a ton of them in the end. Those that what a pole will still buy one, their response seems genuine. Their bitching about pinkbike criticism seems a bit naff.
  • 15 0
 @Hillfarmer: Yeti was already a very well established brand with a large following. Despite that, I still to his day hear people talking about failed Yeti SB6 swingarms. Pole is rather niche, does things unusually (which alot of people already are questionable about) and is still very much growing. Not really comparing apples to apples.
  • 21 1
 they tried to send over a special ringer bike that was extra light and got burned. Would not be shocked if it turned out the front triangle was a super light xc version too. Because how many people are going to put their production frames on a scale to find out they weigh a pound and a half more than they should.
  • 13 1
 This scenario that we see with "prototypeor pre-production" parts on test bikes failing makes me wonder if bike companies gamble and send bikes that are a bit lighter or faster than production for testing to get the best possible review.
  • 38 1
 I'm still struggling to figure out this XC prototype thing. What was this meant for and how did it fit perfectly on this bike?

If it was a prototype for an actual XC bike they were developing, wouldn't the dimensions have to be different considering and XC bike would have a different travel, geometry, etc? No way the pivots would line up exactly the same would they?

And if it was designed for this bike, what would be the purpose? For a bike who's "focus is on the way back down" why would they care to design an XC version to save a few grams?
  • 12 1
 in my industry (med device), if you send the wrong or mislabeled part, the best case scenario is a highly publicized recall, brand name damage, and pissed off shareholders. worst case = dead people.

if a prototype part escapes and leads to a failure, expect a prompt visit from a regulator and a very high likelihood of being shut down with 6-18 months of remediation activities required before you can continue doing business.
  • 16 0
 Why in the hell would prototype parts be mixed in with production parts. Seems like a very disorganized production facility. One that I would not want to buy from. That is what I got from reading Pole's letter even prior to this PB article.
  • 15 0
 @MattyBoyR6: ya, prototype mixing is only permitted for DH carbon cranks!
  • 10 0
 @sino428: It may or may not be a part for another bike. It was however, plain and simply a lighter version of the standard part. The CAD model or CNC program was modified to remove more material. On the Pole website it shows measurements where it was thinner. For me, they tried to make a lightweight version, and got bitten.

Also the post on Pole's website doesn't make an awful lot of sense, they mention 3 different swingarms, prototype, pre-production and production. They knew the item was too weak as they have already broken 1, yet they left it lying round somewhere that it could easily be mixed up with the correct item?? Really???

As we say in England. Pull the other one, it has bells on it.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: is that a nod to Aaron Gwin and his crew chief using the wrong cranks and Gwin F'ing his ankle up?
  • 3 0
 @MattyBoyR6: "using the wrong cranks"
  • 4 0
 @hamncheez: mechanics fault, right?
  • 162 12
 Wow this is concerning. I expect even the cheapest regular XC hardtail to clear that small huck-to-flat test without failing. Even if that swing arm isn't mean for a trail bike I don't think it is worthy of an XC bike either.
  • 82 1
 disappointed they went with oh we messed up and sent the XC part and then go on to say pinkbike want to sensationalise the failure. pinkbike can sensationalise as much as they want, pole cant really criticise, sending a pre production bike to a very popular field test with the wrong rear triangle is inexcusable, they know about the huck to flat test and should've just sent a production bike. They took a swing at pipnkbike before the review even came out, talk about jumping the gun.
  • 17 22
flag mnorris122 (Nov 18, 2019 at 7:41) (Below Threshold)
 @blackjack88: you can't send a production bike when tests are carried out before your production run starts.
  • 71 1
 Why do they even have an “XC” swing arm for this kind of bike...?
  • 5 3
 @mnorris122: fair enough, although i would say it still doesn't excuse them and their response was misjudged entirely.

i like Pole, hopefully this episode wont linger too long.
  • 17 0
 @mnorris122: These bikes had been on sale on Pole's website for months before the field test. Pole doesn't claim that there weren't any production models available and claim in their response that all shipped to consumer models are fine.
  • 21 21
 @MarcusBrody: shipped ones are fine, because they went from 2.5mm on 200mm length of element to 3.5... heh... yeah... maybe no. Unless this wasn't some weird accident, 1mm won't do much.
  • 49 2
 @ElStig: Not only an XC swing arm for this kind of bike. It is by any chance an XC swing arm with the exact same geometry, dimensions and mounting points. Do they even make XC bikes?

This excuse sounds somehow implausible.
  • 19 6
 Not mentioned in the article are two little details: the weight of the frame and the cost. Ok, forget about the weight (it is going to be heavy) but a frameset is $3400 (plus shipment), more than most carbon frames out there. And almost twice the cost of the $1800 aluminum Ibis Ripmo AF. Why on earth would one buy a frame like this when I can have a Ripmo (and plenty others) at half the cost?

Other than that it is bit of a strange test. Since when Pinkbike compares bike speeds? It is a VERY hard thing to do. How can be a bike that is "reasonably efficient-feeling ... while a bit cumbersome" be incredibly fast? Any uphill? How many times was the "loop" (?) done? And really: 6% faster over 90" means close to 6": what was the pilot doing on the other bikes? Sleeping?
  • 16 0
 @ElStig: Yeah I was thinking that too. If they're working on a dedicated XC bike it's pretty odd they'd have identical swingarms.

Maybe Pole made a running change after figuring out they'd under built the swing arm, and there's some ass-covering in the mix. No one can reasonably verify whether their swing arm is +/- 1mm thick, so who knows?
  • 4 0
 @mnorris122: oh but you can, you delay it and send it the year after
  • 4 21
flag phops (Nov 18, 2019 at 8:16) (Below Threshold)
 @ElStig: The Stamina was still in development at the time of this review. They redesigned the swingarm for the final version without the fin, and adapted the SRAM universal derailleur hanger.

The Ironic thing, is that they could have put the Machine against all the bikes, and it would have been just as fast as the Stamina on the ups and downs, without the breakage.
  • 13 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Would you say the same to a 40% increase in any other part? 25mm compared to 35mm on fork stanchions? For reference, an SR Suntour XCT has 28mm stanchions.
  • 10 31
flag phops (Nov 18, 2019 at 8:21) (Below Threshold)
 @duzzi: Other manufacturers "discover" that making a seat tube half a degree steeper is better, and then they do it again the next year, while collecting the money of all the people that want to upgrade.

On the other hand, you buy a Pole now, and by the time all the others have figured out the geometry (with specialized enduro being the first one to step up), your 5-6 year old Pole will be right in line with the geometry at that time. Much cheaper to buy one bike than 3.

For the average recreational mountainbiker, these bikes are objectively the best ones you can get for the money. You are getting a downhill bike that pedals up to the top with traction that other bikes don't have.
  • 14 0
 @WAKIdesigns: It ain't gonna do shit but lessen how bad those braces bend, they will still bend though. Non of the PB reviewers weight over 160 pounds so lets just throw a heavier guy on the production bikes and you are guaranteed the exact same result.
  • 12 0
 @phops: Why do people keep saying this? The Field Test took place - what - six weeks ago? The Stamina had already been on sale on Pole's website for a month or two by then. Even in their own post about the incident, they claim they broke one of these swingarms back in MARCH. This isn't a case of ongoing development causing the problem, even in Pole's take on the events.
  • 6 1
 The stamina just didn't last... Maybe a machine will Wink
  • 8 11
 @vapidoscar: The only thing you are interested in ( which is unknown to us and Pole) is how much force does it need to handle. So what, it is 40% more, how do you know it doesn’t require 100% more?
  • 12 0
 We used to build ramps like this when we were kids back in the 90's. Even the K-mart BMX Huffy's held up fine.
  • 5 1
 @ElStig: and how is 1 mm more aluminum really going to me much stronger?
  • 4 3
 @Drew-O: No dedicated XC bike just a proto-type rear swing arm that was built lighter than the decided upon production swing arm. Leo/ Pole have the ability to CNC pretty much whatever they like and then test it. I am guessing if it doesn't pass the Matti test then it isn't going into production. That said a lightweight proto should have a warning sharpied onto it (at least) and never be installed on a bike that is going to an external agent be it a customer or a test.
  • 12 8
 @andrewbikeguide: well "test it", they obviously didn't test this enough and neither they did the 3.5mm one that goes into production. Take any frame like this you want, Banshee, Giant, older SC and those elements are evidently bigger. They decided to rely mainly on the additional "meat" in the drop out area - which is a bizarre idea from egineering point of view, if only in performance terms, adding unnecessary weight at the end of the swingarm. So did Yeti... and a couple other brands - it didn't go well for them and they changed it. The only thing we learn from history is that virtually nobody ever learns from history. Pole is up for a savage learning curve with so edgy tech, lack of experience and mouth as big as mine.
  • 14 2
 @Chonky13: To be fair, it's 2.5mm vs 3.5mm...it's only 1mm, but 40% thicker, and since bending strength goes up as a square with thickness, it's probably 95% less prone to buckling.
  • 4 12
flag WAKIdesigns (Nov 18, 2019 at 9:56) (Below Threshold)
 @UtahBrent: make it even a very shallow C or T profile with same thickness and let's see your percentages then... at this length, with 3.5mm it will still be prone to buckling due to compression. Add ribs or gaet-out
  • 3 0
 @duzzi: the "efficient feeling" stuff was in the climbing section. The timed section for these bikes was a descent. We'll have a video out soon that'll go a little more in depth into our testing process.
  • 8 0
 @andrewbikeguide: This all seems like a rush job, a bit of lab testing (send it off somewhere) after some basic FEA should have prevented this.

I do hope the ‘non proto’ isn’t just the same but with a 1mm additional thickness assuming it’s just a flat section?

It does stink to me though, either incompetence sending the proto by mistake, arrogance sending a proto to fudge weight / ride characteristics or PB found a design flaw and they rushed to construct a story - none are good.
  • 9 0
 @MarcusBrody: that's where I'm confused why would they be testing an xc triangle on their am/ trail bike. I believe they were testing knowing full well it was how they wanted it and are just now saying it was an xc prototype because it happened to fail which seems pretty sus to me. I believe they are lying to us with the whole xc excuse.
  • 6 0
 I wouldn´t even call this a rush job but an immanent design error. The shock forces are introduced into the rear subframe in the single worst vector, exactly where chain and tire are already taking up the bulk of the space available.
And all this only to mount 2 waterbottles in the mainframe.

i better leave my armchair now...
  • 5 0
 @andrewbikeguide: Efff they could have even machined "PROTO" into it with raised letters with their manufacturing technique.
  • 2 4
 @justanotherusername: A license for FEA software isn't something that a small bike company is going to afford easily....
  • 4 0
 @hamncheez: Plenty of FEA packages offer huge discounts (or free) licences to companies with low annual revenue - which Pole definitely does. Even if they had to stretch to $5k-10k, it's nothing compared to what this review has just cost them!
  • 12 0
 @WAKIdesigns: "The only thing we learn from history is that virtually nobody ever learns from history".

I hope you don't mind, but I'm stealing this.
  • 9 18
flag elmaar (Nov 18, 2019 at 11:54) (Below Threshold)
 @brianpark:

"Our timed lap for the trail bikes was around 1:30 long and.. "

I assumed that we are talking about an 1:30 h section of up and down (wich I would call a lap and a reasonalbe distance to judge a trail bike).

Are you telling me that you tested the "speed" of trail bikes on a 1:30 minutes downhill? And then this measurement is used to make the headline of the review?

I am sorry to say this, but if PB is not interested in bikes that go UP AND DOWN a mountain you shouldn´t review them.
  • 6 0
 Bottom-out/swingarm deformation.

The Mikes are Pole-smitten. You say the longest bike for its size of all the bikes on test, including 'enduro,' is the most stable and least maneuverable at speed? No kidding.

My takeaway is that Deemax are the fastest wheels on test.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: fusion 360? It’s literally a few hundred bucks a month, not ‘industry’ grade sure but we are not doing complex assembly or fatigue testing here, just a simple stress concentration analysis would have sufficed.
  • 3 2
 @elmaar: exactly. One short timed run that's all downhill to suss out which is the fastest TRAIL BIKE.
  • 2 2
 @elmaar: oh no bro also you will be down voted to the bottom of the page for as much as even SUGGESTING that we put a stop watch to these multiple thousand dollar bikes.
  • 7 1
 @elmaar: And never mind that the 5 percent faster it was for Levy on such a short course amounts to about four and a half seconds. All kinds of things can account for the 4.5 seconds out there on one shot down the mountain. It's a completely irrelevant stat here. Fun, but not a great measurement of actual performance.
  • 17 2
 @elmaar: we did a full loop for the downcountry bikes' timed test. For the trail and enduro bikes we focused on the descents for TIMED testing, but we did lots of other testing. The broken bike aside, the Pole is definitely a rocketship.

Also, @TheR we did multiple timed laps for consistency. No argument from us that timed testing has its limitations—we didn't do it last year, but it's always fun to see if your thoughts bear out on the clock.
  • 5 1
 @brianpark: I like the times laps. I do worry a bit that people will fixate on which bike was the fastest as an evaluator, but I think it's a fun data point.

I do worry about it most in the trail bikes, though. Given that it's just the descent for these theoretically "all around" bikes, it seems like it's mostly measuring which companies choose basically mini-enduro geometry (e.g. Pole) vs. more all around/play around geo (e.g. Orbea).

So in conclusion I demand you do a retest with an uphill section, to the descent which ends in a tight slope style course and a whip off. :-)
  • 2 13
flag duzzi (Nov 18, 2019 at 13:26) (Below Threshold)
 @brianpark: doing a test on the downhill speed of a bike is meaningless. It depends on so many factors, not to mention the dozens of similar bikes on the market, that it is basically impossible to say anything of any relevance other than, maybe, for the two people that did the test.

And really: why? Why are pinkbike suddenly doing "speed tests" among bikes?
  • 1 0
 @Saiyan66: Bro-science is the retina of the mind's eye. Steal all the misquotations you like.
  • 5 6
 @TheR: I absolutely see the fun of doing so. But crownign "the fasted trail bike" on the basis of this random metric is just bad journalism. There is never even mentioned in the three published reviews that the timing section is a pure descent (ok maybe you can figure it out if you know the area).

Measuring downhill bikes and enduros this way is certainly valid but for trail bikes this seems odd to me.
  • 11 0
 @MarcusBrody: well thankfully we had Levy do a super unscientific "impossible climb" test with all the bikes, so you'll be able to see which bike broscience determines climbs the "best". Smile
  • 6 0
 @elmaar: it's not a random metric, it's one single metric our entire time on the bike. As others have said, timed testing is flawed and not the only thing we're relying on here.

We'll have a video come out in the next few days that will explain all our test loops. We wanted it out earlier, but were waiting for some 3D work to come back so people can see the routes more effectively.
  • 2 3
 @brianpark: I am happy to hear that the downcountry bikes were tested on a full loop.

I am just irritated that you say "time testing is flawed, do not overrate" but still use it as the headline of the article.
  • 3 0
 @hamncheez: Or machine "LIGHTWEIGHT TEST CHEAT" into it. And even if they didn't CNC it into the part, they could use a Sharpie.
  • 2 0
 @UtahBrent: Bending stiffness goes with the cube of height or thickness in this case. To your point, the move from 2.5 to 3.5 is comparing 15.625 to 42.875 not quite a 3x increase in stiffness.

Even so I'm not sure i'd be ok with having a part that would fail at just 3x the huck to flat shown.
  • 1 9
flag HurricaneCycles (Nov 18, 2019 at 14:37) (Below Threshold)
 To be fair. I think there was more stress on the rear triangle than usual from such a small jump because the point of that test is to show off A full on bottom out. They never said but I suspect they took a lot of pressure out of the for and shock to make this possible. It’s no excuse, but simply makes a bit more sense why the failure didn’t happen on the trail under normal riding conditions.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: By all means. I like the idea of timed testing -- it's fun and worth a mention, but I'm just not sure it means much.
  • 8 0
 @HurricaneCycles: we actually added pressure to the Pole to make sure it was at 30% sag for Jason before we filmed the huck to flat.
  • 3 1
 @brianpark: It is so very much my hope that all of the other bike brands out there are *paying attention* to the lesson on geometry here. Status quo has slowly been shifting. Time for a big shift and give riders options to choose from.
  • 1 3
 @Saiyan66: that’s not mine. Heard it first from prof David Harvey, but I think he just changed WF Hegels quote.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: Now that's what he said...
  • 96 1
 Pole's stupid rant looks even more stupid after this review.

"Everyone in the industry knows that it is hard to create actual content, but sometimes you get lucky, and you can do scandalous stories"

Ok
  • 23 8
 As if his rant on that video on bikes being thrown to the sea wasn't meant to be a scandalous story... shame. Seem like good bikes.
  • 11 0
 The only people that created a scandalous story was Pole...
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns: plot twist: the article was written in order to create more interest towards the review and giving the bike more visibility
  • 87 0
 I pre-ordered a Stamina 140 on May 07. I was disappointed with the Smuggler I had been riding and wanted something a bit more supportive. Even more - I was geo curious. I was initially told May 28 for a delivery date but May came and went and after several unanswered emails, Pole wrote with news of production issues and a new delivery date at the end of June. This story repeated itself for July and August. I had a summer busy with planned travel for work so I was accepting of the delay, but increasingly annoyed about the lack of transparency - all the while Pole enduro squad is announcing a second coming while jetsetting around the EWS scene.

I couldn't help but start to wonder if this was going to be a Sick! situation. When they told me in October that my frame was going to be done October 28, I pulled the plug. The average email took over 2 weeks for a response - and when they did respond it was evasive at best and dishonest at worst. It sounds like these are good bikes (if they don't break, lol) but I wanted to post my experience as a big ol Caveat Emptor - worst customer service!

In stark contrast, I emailed Geometron a few weeks ago. We had several conversations over phone and email and 6 days after payment, I had a G1 frame set and fork delivered to me (duty free!)
  • 7 0
 I’m torn between one of these or a sb140 and stories like yours don’t help me part with my cash when they don’t stand by dates.
  • 5 1
 I've heard similar stories, has me scared of small brands
  • 18 0
 @D8mok: Makes it really hard to support a bike company when they come off as arrogant as Leo does. They claim 7 weeks for orders now.

I can only imagine the downtime you'd experience if you had a warranty a frame. You know, in case they ship you a pre-production component Wink
  • 12 0
 @kevin267: That's why I added the note about Geometron. It's not all small companies that are incompetent. It's just a matter of being transparent about your production capabilities.

Look at Forbidden Bikes - they launched last year without stock of XL bikes, and they didn't sell them either. Same with Banshee and their initial run of the titians. I reached out to them and the XLs were spoken for. Meanwhile Pole was using preorder money to...? fly around the world and learn how to write toolpaths apparently.
  • 10 0
 Sounds like the same stuff that went on with 2017/2018 pre-order Evolinks. Delivery dates passing by, no one answering emails and some weird blog posts about having to change factories etc. When finally someone answers your email it's just vague and not answering any of the questions you asked. I ended up cancelling my order and buying a bike from different brand.

Customer service definitely ain't Poles strongest aspect
  • 13 0
 I have a similar story. I was a week away from shipping and after the lack of transparency on timing and the real issues I was getting a bad feeling about the company. This makes me feel even more certain that I made the right decision, especially as I was offered the new rear triangle (without the shark fin) but would have to wait till February for my frame then.

The one note with the Stamina pre-order was that they took full payment. Any other bike company that I've pre-ordered a frame from takes a deposit, with the balance due when the frame is about to be shipped. Even a custom builder works on that premise.
  • 2 0
 My experience with Pole and then Geometron was similar. I've been happily on my G16 ever since.
  • 6 0
 @alexsin: I suspect this article will sell more geometrons than poles lol
  • 1 3
 @utto:

With Evolinks they needed to swap factory as the previous one went under.
  • 4 0
 @T1kkaaja: Doesn't change the fact that they didn't bother to tell about it in two months. Pushing delivery dates by week or two several times and literally every time the reason was "logistical challenges". When Leo finally posted he's blog rambling about the situation, according to him they had already found a new factory. According to him they did fly to Taiwan to personally look for a new factory. Did they bother to keep customers updated during any of this, no they didn't.

Needless to say that even after finding the new factory they pushed delivery dates forward couple of times.

I stand by my statement, Pole has the worst customer service i have ever encountered.
  • 2 0
 @utto:

Yes, Pole has very bad reputation also in Finland with their delivery times and it was very bad that they didn't keep customers in the loop.

But if you look for the Pole's video for investors in 2015. They're going for 200 000 Euros for usage capital, which explains why they really can't have many cancellations with their preorders without creating more problems. But todays culture with Kickstarter, it is understandable to have problems when preordering stuff to make it done to reality. You'rent preordering something that you can have it with first customers, you're preordering so they can make the product to reality.
  • 85 0
 That's hardly a 'huck'. I wouldn't even expect my carbon Trek Superfly to grumble about a drop that size. I'd be pretty concerned with that failure ever for an 'xc' rear end
  • 14 1
 He didn't even use the ramp for jumping. It was like he was just riding over an obstacle.
  • 39 15
 For what it's worth, that bike has seen much worse stuff than this bottom out test. It surely came out as a result of countless repetitive hits, it just broke the camels back. But 2.5 changed to 3.5... pathetic answer really. on a 200mm or longer element?! Only a lab engineer could come up with that number after too high FEA software dosage. You either shape it differently adding ribs or you double the thickness, then 4 years later optimize it if nobody breaks one. I was still for this otherwise great bike until I heard this... 2.5-3.5, yeah! is gunna howld!
  • 11 2
 @WAKIdesigns: You got it. A member like this in compression has a much higher chance of buckling. 2.5-3.5 ain’t gonna change much. You need an I-Beam or some sort of perpendicular gusset to significantly change the moment of inertia and compression strength (by a factor or 10 or even 100). This is balanced with the intended load Pole anticipates the bike to see, and its ride characteristics, which is obviously more gravity oriented. Armchair engineer here, but most other VPP/DW Link bikes have boxed-in swing arm braces, I’m guessing there’s a reason...
  • 15 5
 @iduckett: for what it's worth I cased the last crap out of 2.2kg Blur TRc on so called ski jump on roller coaster jump line in Hafjell. Ended with casing the road gap, that's easily 2,5m vertical, 4-5 horizontal. Didn't break it. Lord knows Pole owners will need a lawyer for many cases...
  • 2 0
 @iduckett: All about that area moment of Inertia...
  • 7 6
 @krashDH85: They surely use some sort of software to model the forces, but it's all worthless if you don't feed it with right data. Pole has no chance to feed it right data, they are not CERO or Specialized to afford testing that can tell the software what sort of forces act on the frame and on MTBs weird sht happen. Side loads, bikes get smashed after rider has bailed (and don't even think that a bike flying and landing on upside down on it's own doesn't break sht better than bike riding under a bloke, M. Lehikoinens Deemax in Austria, MInnars V10 in Italy). It's hard. That is why companies without access to such testign tech just overbuild sht. 3.5mm thickness on that slate plate is nowhere close to be overbuilt. And that's not the only element raising my troll brows. Look at the shock Yoke.
  • 5 7
 @WAKIdesigns: bro its a 40% increase, thats not insignificant.
  • 7 7
 @Benjamin97: it would be significant if element was resisting the max expected stress in 90%. But being ridden by these gentlemen it is surely not there. Maybe it is good enough, you never know how fat prick was riding it on what kind of stuff in which way before they sent it to PB. I don’t give them benefit of doubt anymore. I laughed a few days ago that if it’s on huck test it will be laughable... and it is so indeed. If it broke in the middle of the singletrack it would be hard to tell. Here it is somewhat indicative of a greater problem and general shaping of this element leaes little for guessing.
  • 10 0
 Seriously? WTF kinda huck was that?

Here is a reminder of what a huck to flat test should look like.

m.pinkbike.com/news/tranisition-carbon-patrol-video-2015.html
  • 1 6
flag mgolder (Nov 18, 2019 at 9:32) (Below Threshold)
 @WAKIdesigns: Sorry but one issue is not 'indicative of a greater problem' by any measure. If several of the same bike had suffered the same fate, in the exact same area of the bike, then you could start calling it out as something genuinely worrying.
  • 2 0
 All huck to flat tests are going to need to be strain gauged going forward.
  • 3 0
 @mountainyj: 1:05. Hooooly fuuuh. That is confidence in your frame design there lol.

Haven't seen him to flat like that since the North Van guys showed up at the the West Van skate bowl
  • 1 1
 @Benjamin97: It's not just about the Cross Sectional Area, bro. Ole Man Euler shows a better Moment of Inertia will get you more stability/strength for your money. Your critical force is proportional to, and calculated by, your lowest MOI. Example: www.pinkbike.com/photo/17995358, skyciv.com/free-moment-of-inertia-calculator, skyciv.com/docs/tutorials/reinforced-concrete-tutorials/column-buckling
  • 3 7
flag WAKIdesigns (Nov 18, 2019 at 11:23) (Below Threshold)
 @mgolder: greater problem as a design flaw. It’s directly exposed to compression/ buckling forces if you look at how the shock is mounted. Most Santa Cruz bikes, even my Carbon Jack, have similar construction but A. They use thicker elements despite being made of carbon which handles this better than metals, and B. The force is not applied in line with the element. That shock yoke doesn’t look promising either.
  • 6 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Where's this 3.5 to 2.5 info coming from? On the pole website blog thing it shows 3.61 to 2.01 A flat plate in compression at 2.01 thick, ha ha no wonder it failed. This is fairly basic engineering, I hope somebody different designed the rest of the bike, or he at least sobered up. I wouldn't make something that thin on a kids bike.
  • 5 5
 @Cordall: it’s executed better on the Machine. An expensive overlook... also please remember there are bikes like Commencal Furious are cracking left and right. Commie doesn’t keep super high performance profile though... even though they have results
  • 2 0
 Think about this: I'm going to conject that it's possible that 50% of that failure occurred on the ramp and the rest upon landing. That ramp radius and weight-back takeoff might have been just as hard on the swingarm.

Still nothing a Walmart bike couldn't handle...
  • 4 0
 @50percentsure:
Well is a Transition. Build by the guys who brung back the forgotten art of Huck to Flat.
My Alu Sentinel is massive. I think the T.I.T.S is the only hollow part on it. I reckon it will last a while.
  • 64 3
 This seems pretty disingenuous from Pole. Trying to sneak in a lighter swingarm into a competitive test for weight bonus points, but when they get caught claim that it was all just an accident?? So if it hadnt broken, would Pole have told everyone that they sent a prototype swingarm and the actual frame is heavier? somehow I doubt it.
  • 5 1
 It reminds me when on the show Man Versus Food this restaurant have Adam extra hot because they wanted mess him up. It's disingenuous.
  • 58 2
 Honestly that is a design flaw pure and simple. All bottom out force is traveling through that thin piece of reinforcement, and adding 100g to it is not going to eliminate it from happening again. Its a beautiful frame but it needs a serious rethinking of its strength characteristics.
  • 20 0
 Yep, the margin of safety must be razor thin on the "production" swing-arm. Adding a vertical rib would go a long way toward preventing future failures with minimal weight gain.
  • 4 19
flag phops (Nov 18, 2019 at 7:42) (Below Threshold)
 They have redesigned the rear triangle to be more like the previous Machine

polebicycles.com/pre-sale-of-the-stamina-140-ending-soon
  • 8 20
flag cedrico (Nov 18, 2019 at 8:34) (Below Threshold)
 @radrider "adding 100g to it is not going to eliminate it from happening again" ...nice arm chair there bud
  • 14 1
 Spot on. Mechanical engineer here. If you look at any other solid rear triangle on any other bike out there... they design the force to travel through the seat stay. Plus, the verticle leg is never razor-thin (example: Santa Cruz VPP bikes). Did they even do an FEA failure analysis?
  • 24 2
 @phops: Is Pole paying you per comment or are you on salary now?
  • 3 29
flag phops (Nov 18, 2019 at 9:46) (Below Threshold)
 @sino428:

I wish Pole paid me, Id shill for them day in day out without a second thought lol.

I just call out bullshit when I see it. A lot of this is sensational comments from people that don't understand what its like to run a business.
  • 2 0
 @phops: I know, I was just messing around. I really don't know much about pole bike to form an opinion either way.
  • 8 0
 @cedrico: basic physics. Its stupid to use a thin "pole" to reinforce a direct high load area. There new design is better but still flawed. The length and thickness of a brace is directly proportional to its strength. Long and thin is never going to be a strong brace for the highest load bearing area of a bike frame, its like using a spoke on a pushing force..obviously not going to be strong. Pole should start using a latticed structure for this area.

Your talking to someone who owns a business manufacturing very high end backpacks. So your comment about about bullshit comments from people who don't understand how to run a business is just you spreading bullshit because your ideas don't align with mine.
  • 9 0
 @phops: so lying and saying you're putting xc parts on AM/trail bikes when you know full well you were testing it as an AM rear triangle in March of the same year with the same failing result is how you should run your company lmao good luck with that one. The dumbass should have just said we f*cked up and didn't make the part strong enough so we fixed it for production models not come up with some bullshit story about it being an xc part. Last time I checked no bike companies test xc rear triangles on AM/trail bikes they build full xc bikes to test.
  • 7 0
 Funny that they only added 1mm of reinforcement to the production bikes(thats an increase of 28% of material).. this failed at a 2ft drop, so its now limited to a 2.6ft drop before failure?Yikes!
  • 1 2
 @radrider:


If you look at the very latest version they have completely removed the fins and added a machined brace between the 2 links
  • 2 0
 @radrider: Or a 224 lb rider x 2 ft drop! I know two hard shredders that are far beyond that size.
  • 54 3
 pole sends lightweight frame to testing.... Taking a page out of the Ferrari play book.
  • 15 1
 I'm just waiting for bike companies to start adding a stealth electric motor in the downtube of their review bikes...
  • 7 0
 @WestwardHo: Still would read:"doesn't climb like a cross-country bike..."
  • 1 2
 Which is kind of pointless because no major website actually weights the frames.
  • 6 0
 @Ttimer: @Ttimer: Which continually angers me to no end. I guess the thinking of the mgf's and others is that if they publish a weight then consumers will shop to that weight, and there is probably something to that. But they (at least the reviews) always publish the bike weight don't they ? Which is a pretty meaningless number given the variance in parts.

Just tell me the frame weight damn't, and the size weighed, and in an ideal world separate the shock weight as well. I know we're not supposed to care about weight but even or especially on my enduro rig, I do care, at least insofar as is it heavier or lighter than what I run now ?
  • 3 0
 I hope hollywood will make "Pole vs Pinkbike" movie in next decade Smile
  • 47 1
 1994 called. They wanted their prototype/pre-production BS story back.
  • 46 1
 Ironically named the "Stamina"
  • 9 0
 Seems Mike was riding that Pole for the AVN Award.
  • 1 0
 Haha
  • 39 0
 Leo is an Industrial Designer who has claimed he didn't need an engineer. He had worked with them before and said they didn't do anything he could do. Looks like...maybe not. Hubris. Plenty of bikes designed by equally forward-thinking but more educated folks including Nicolai, Privateer, and Raaw. Furthermore, their prepay-crowdfunding, pay-in-full, and delay 8-month business practices are unethical.
  • 18 0
 As an industrial designer I can honestly tell you that I NEED an engineer for most projects. My schooling and work experience has not involved very much material testing. Some ID people have a loose knowledge of engineering principles (myself included), but I'm not about to design a bike without solid engineering feedback.
  • 4 0
 @Bryanan: Exactly. Even as a civil/environmental engineer complicated parts of projects that are outside my area of expertise are siphoned off to geotechnical, chemical, and structural engineers.

What concerns me about Pole is that not only is there an engineer working outside his AOE but he isn't working with other engineers to have his work checked and verified. His arrogance has led to a failure that could have cost someone their life.
  • 9 0
 @highfivenwhiteguy: An industrial designer is more of an artist, they go to art school. It has very little to do with Engineering. I would say it's more than outside of AOE. It's a different zip code.
  • 2 0
 @duro1: Oops you are correct, I misread that as industrial engineer... BIG difference!
  • 6 0
 @duro1: No doubt, qualifying in industrial design doesn't even begin to qualify you as an engineer, but the 'art school' thing is a common and overly simple misconception. There certainly are some ID courses at schools that are more form and aesthetics focused (particularly with specialisations such as automotive design), but as a discipline it's primarily to do with design thinking and problem solving.

Many industrial designers specialise in design for manufacture, which involves a good amount of materials science and mechanical engineering principles. I even went to school with guys that co-majored in ME. Again, ID in no way qualifies you as an engineer, but the art school parallel is unfair.
  • 34 0
 I'm glad you didn't get pulled into Leo's drama, he really needs to get a professional to handle the companies public interactions, and you know focus on actually delivering people's bikes.
  • 6 0
 No professional needed for honesty. "We cheated and got busted" would have been a much more honorable and business-worthy response than the current BS.
  • 35 0
 Pretty sure Pole owe you guys an apology for their accusatory comments they posted on their website before you'd even published the review...
  • 32 1
 I'm pretty sure that in all of recorded cycling history, there has never been a standard production frame that failed. It's just those pesky preproduction or one-offs that managed to sneak out of the factory. Unless you're a retail customer, then it's because you abused it.
  • 30 1
 As a quality engineer with over 10 years experience in metal fabrication, I don't think adding an extra 1mm thickness to the cross member would have saved that rear triangle… even worse if it were a heavier rider.
Needless to say, I wont be buying a POLE anytime soon.
  • 26 1
 Even though you left us waiting like hungry hounds, it paid off. This wasn't any sensational piece about how shitty the bike was, nor did you keep quiet about the failure like everyone at rampage did (YT Tues). Good job guys.
  • 2 0
 Who broke a Tues?
  • 3 0
 @Rageingdh: Bienvenido Aguado Alba
  • 2 1
 Lol Well what about the Scott that brendog broke
  • 1 0
 @Levin192: well that defect was not on live broadcast, so it is slightly different. But yeah, they could have done a better job too.
  • 31 6
 No pinkbike! You made me wait too long. I’m not even interested anymore!

…well, it’s already loaded, so I guess I might as well read it.
  • 23 0
 m.youtube.com/watch?v=WjN2cjBKWO4
I'm just going to leave this here.
  • 5 0
 You want a bike you can thrash, think Ridley Noah before Pole Stamina!
  • 7 0
 It's even more hilarious that he still has that bike and recently he posted a video of it with a Fox 40 on it and that's what it took to finally break it.
  • 36 13
 That ain't broke, it bent. I'd still send it
  • 33 8
 dood me friggen too bub that things friggen ready for a hahdcore stair sesh am I friggen right yaht yaht yaht yaht
  • 4 0
 Thats what concerns me, ive seen a lot of aluminum frames break and it seems like if Alu bends that much it snaps. Could be chalked up to unfinished proto piece but maybe the billet wasn't forged/hardened properly or possibly a poor alloy? Or i have no idea what im talking about, either is possible.
  • 4 0
 @terr0r86: 7075-T6 generally doesn't buckle like that. It's far less plastic than say 6000 series al. That's what immediately concerned me. With such a thin wall I suppose it's still possible but I still raise an eyebrow.
  • 20 1
 Pole got way bent out of shape (pun intended) before the review even came out. I think they will likely be pleased with the review - it's very favorable compared to what I think they expected. Pinkbike is pretty fair. And the Pole bike, excluding the mix-up, looks great.
  • 22 1
 Leo goes on public weird rant.

*pinkbike

Hold our beer, we will handle this...
  • 19 0
 Uh, wait. I pictured the normal huck-to-flat over the mini where the dude is dropping from like 5ft. This was, like, kid-in-a-parking-lot 2.5 foot drop to flat. Mega fail. Surprised any frame would buckle from that.
  • 21 0
 imho his comment on the pb test is doing more harm than the failure itself
  • 17 0
 So they knew it was going to Pinkbike for testing and they made a mistake but not to their customers? Yeah okay....don't piss on my leg and tell me its raining.
  • 14 0
 The next company who has shit break on a pinkbike review that doesn't pull this bullshit is going to get some big points in my book. You're allowed to have a portion of your bikes get warranty issues. Probably would have it that sometimes that portion will get in to the hands of reviewers. If they come out and say "yeah it broke, but we do solid in house and third party testing and we have a bombproof warranty" they'll end up gaining so much more respect for their products and brand than pulling the shit that we've seen a bunch of other companies pull.



Sure, its possible that pinkbike does get prototypes, especially with the importance that day one reviews have with respect to marketing. But is every product a prototype? At this point the manufacturer responses are disingenuous. They imply one of two things to consumers - either their bikes do not break in the wild because only their prototypes break (a lie) or that the ones that do break in the wild are also protypes that slipped out. Oops! How sloppy!

Neither are true. Just own up. Shit breaks. We aren't NASA, we don't pay 50 grand per bike to ensure 100% non failure rate. Just show us and yourself a little more respect in the future.
  • 14 0
 Pole guys, in case you are reading this:

I’m still waiting for the new rear triangle to replace the cracked one on my Evolink 158. It’s been more than two weeks since you’ve been informed of the issue and your initial response.
I believe it’s taking too much time to simply send a replacement part, or maybe even the frame, since the lack of proper heat treatment could be true for the front triangle as well.
  • 5 0
 Ha I noticed a crack on my rear triangle too. I'm not even going to bother with a warranty, the amount of fucking around and emails back and forth on my last bent frame was enough to turn me right off. When it finally breaks in half I'm throwing it in the trash.
  • 13 0
 Why not get ahead of this instead of treating the consumer like a 4yr old. Maybe something like "recent testing has a highlighted a potential weakness in our product, but we stand by it 100% and thus will replace free incl shipping any faulty frames"

Might have salvaged something from what looks like fun & fast bike - as it stands you would literally have to get 4 to buy one
  • 13 0
 It's so simple, when you sending out such a posh bike, check it twice, it's your reputation. When you fail on this, just apologise and stay quiet in a corner. That's a way how to show you're a human so you may do some mistakes while not showing you're a complete douchebag.
  • 17 0
 Cracking good read!
  • 9 0
 I could hear that pun around the bend.
  • 1 0
 @nozes:
Someone had to take it.
  • 12 0
 Sounds like it's very good at what it does (save hucking to flat), but it's just not really what I want out of a "trail" bike. I want something quick and poppy that can handle a little gnar when it comes. That sounds about the opposite of this bike (though it would be one of my choices if I were going to enter an enduro race for some reason with a sub-150mm bike).
  • 14 2
 I have been reading this story with interest and questioning whether it was appropriate or not to share my own Pole story. Given some of the comments coming from Leo @polebicycles even now, I think it only right I share my experiences of him and Pole.

Before going any further, I do feel that Pole as a company are only trying to make their own path in a very competitive industry. The thing holding them back appears to be down to the personality of one man. Having met Leo, I can understand why. Those above have already expressed some concerns regarding certain aspects of Leo's persona and it would not be appropriate to add to those here as the issue should be about the fact that one of Pole's bicycles failed whilst being tested by the biggest mountain bike website around.

A few years ago I was given the opportunity to ride / race for Pole Bicycles. My focus was domestic UK races and to provide feedback on their flagship bike at the time, The EVOLINK 140. I was provided with a free EVOLINK 140 frame and I was promoted on their website in return for positive social media exposure and race results.

Unfortunately, my race season was tainted was failure after failure of the EVOLINK I was provided with. Through my riding, racing and testing of the EVOLINK, a number of issues were identified. The first being the constant snapping of rear axles. At the time, Pole supplied a SRAM Maxle on all EVOLINK frames with a lever. I snapped 3 of these in a short period of time. I am not an engineer so I cannot comment on why the failures were happening but when feeding back to Leo, he could not accept there was clearly an issue with the design of the frame and the axles Pole were using.

You will notice that EVOLINK's are now supplied with "bolt head" type axles. This was done shortly after the third failure I suffered whilst practising for the EWS in Whistler in 2017. I suffered significant injuries when a newly supplied axle snapped when I landed a jump.

A separate issue was the bending of the rear triangle of my EVOLINK. This resulted in too tight clearance on the brake caliper / disc . Getting a replacement was easy, being a supported rider at the time, but it was very difficult to convenience Leo that the frame had bent. It took an age to sort a replacement.

I also went through bearings at an alarming rate, but again, replacements were forthcoming being a supported Pole rider.

The above issues and feedback was proved over a number of months and Leo's response was, "your bike must have been one of the faulty batch". Can you believe that? Why would you send someone who you know is going to be representing your company a "faulty" frame. That is madness. The issues I had with my Pole resulted in a very difficult season and just finishing a race at times was hard to do.

This "one of the faulty"batch comment has all the hall marks of "we sent a prototype rear end to PinkBike by mistake" excuse.

After all the issues I had, Pole cancelled my contract. Instead of acknowledging the problems and working together to solve issues, Leo was unable to take criticism of his design, which was obviously flawed. Leo eventually stopped answering emails and had one of the Pole management, Lauri speak to me via Skype to tell me that they would be cancelling my contract to ride for them.

I was blocked by Leo on social media and kicked off the Pole owners FB group, all because I kept breaking the EVOLINK 140. How's that for company support and service?

I have thought long and hard about whether or not to comment. I don't wish to do Pole down, I just think people should be fully informed before making a decision to purchase a bike from them.
  • 5 1
 Interesting.
I first became aware of the PB story through a notification on Facebook telling me that the Pole riders group had been changed from public to private.
Now, this is a group which I haven't looked at for over a year since getting rid of my Evolink. I'm not sure why I got the notification but decided to take a look. There at the top was Leo's bollocks about the PB test fail. I then went to PB for a look but of course the story wasn't there yet. Turns out it was a pre-emptive rant. Smile

Hiding and editing social media content seems like a pretty Sick! thing to do...

When my Evolink was giving trouble, I heard all the crap about the factory move, staffing issues, growing so fast, etc. I'm convinced that they are just compulsive liars.
I could never get anyone to answer emails unless I made a big fuss on social media first, then they acted all hurt that I should do that when really they just wanted to help.
While they were busy not answering, or dealing with, my issues, they were also very busy marketing new bikes on social media and racing enduros.
Lauri was on FB every day flogging new prepaid bikes for more mugs to wait months for, while I waited a month for a reply to my query.
Wankers. Avoid.
  • 12 1
 I have only seen 1, read 1, and had a friend that has owned 2, for a total of 4 Poles. 3 of those 4 have now broken, almost immediately. Frankly I think Leo should build them in CF for the not insignificant strength improvements.
  • 3 2
 if you design carbon frame badly it will do the same, just in a different and more dramatic manner, just ask yeti.
  • 2 1
 I'll never be sold on any "glue two halves together" bike technology, especially anywhere near my headset. That takes a life-or-death level of trust in glue that I personally do not have.
  • 5 0
 @tripleultrasuperboostplusplus: do you fly in airplanes? Granted....the level of oversight in the airline industry substantial, but composite and metal bonding is superior to welding in many cases.
  • 2 2
 @Mondbiker: Majority of companies make "whatever" carbon, whihc can be seen on cutouts they proudly present on shows. That is why they put lots of it in there to compensate. It's all about margins in carbon bicycle manufacture... None the less these carbon frames are almost always lighter and stronger (which doesn't mean more durable). Carbon defo beats alu in huck to flat tests.

What fascinates me how, in the last few years alu bikes got fatter than alu bikes in 2008-2012 period. My Nomad 1 was 3kg without shock and was strong as bloody hell. The last series of 26" Reigns was 2.5kg w/o shock!!! These days quite a few frames go near or just beyond 4kg. AND THEY STILL BREAK! Ekhem mehem khme memmencal! khem khem...
  • 12 1
 Some engineering math - The 2.5 mm thick braces failed in the huck to flat. That means that the actual brace thickness required to not fail is greater than 2.5 mm and I would suggest that there is some scenario during use that would be more severe that a huck to flat. Therefore, telling me the production stays are 3.5 mm does not inspire confidence. I would love to see a structural engineers interpretation of the design. The 2.5 mm stay looks too thin in section compared to its length to be useful in compression. That being said -I doubt that anyone would get a million hits on Pole rear triangle failure.
  • 9 0
 I'm not normally one to comment but here is my take. From an engineering/FEA standpoint that strut is essentially useless, even if they increase the thickness by 1 mm. It bent along the weak axis (low moment of inertia) and increasing only the thickness, and not the shape (key point), of that strut will not do much of anything especially considering the impact that bent it and the mode of failure. By not taking advantage of using tubing in that area (a shape that can be manipulated to be strong in any and all directions AND yield a higher moment of inertia per cross sectional area) it looks to be a poorly designed point of failure. Prototype or not is irrelevant, someone didn't due their due diligence on basic engineering mechanics on shape/moment of inertia in the axis (or axes) of bending. Sorry if that sounds harsh but that is something you pick up in a college engineering mechanics course, and especially steel design.
  • 3 0
 @rybrentd: Agreed, I am trying to be as nice as possible but thinking and looking at it more and more - I think the shape was used due to a chain line issue. I am not sure but I believe older Santa Cruz's used a thick strut on the non-drive side and omitted it on the drive side. As you said - you would not support something using a thin piece of aluminum BUT if you used it in a tube - like a pop can so that it is strong. Engineering 101. Also maybe the design blinders can on as a result of manufacturing limitations of on particular method. The mode of failure says it all.
  • 1 0
 @dldewar: Ha, you know your bike would probably be over 40 pounds! And yet you'd still drop me on the climbs!! Smile Hope all is well down south bud.
  • 2 0
 @urinalmint: Yeah Penticton is Awful........ly good. I never realized how much I love Janky rock until I came here.
  • 2 3
 @didewar after waking up the night after being drunk on PB comments I see no reason to assume that wouldn’t completely redesigned the element, not just increased thickness, 3,5mm is just some scrap of info that Pinkbike gave us that we can interpret in all the possible ways.
  • 3 0
 I am assuming that mike and mike in the video got their facts straight from pole. It’s something I am sure the boys would not make up. Either way it makes no sense...... at least form an engineering perspective.
  • 6 0
 On the Pole response they show the production brace at 3.6 mm thick and the proto at 2.0 mm thick. Assuming that this is a buckling failure increasing the thickness by 80% increases the buckling capacity by a factor of almost 6 (buckling capacity is proportional to second moment of area which in this configuration is proportional to the thickness of the brace cubed).

So although it is maybe not "elegant" engineering just increasing the thickness does win quite a lot of capacity.

Just for fun I assumed some dimensions of the brace (length and width) and got the 2 mm thick one buckling at around 235 kg of force and the 3.5 mm thick one then up at around 1.25 tonnes of force. Conclusion: not surprising the 2 mm thick one buckled. The 3.5 mm thick one might be alright...

The thing with all the chat about rig tests and FEA and so on is that if the basics aren't right it doesn't matter. It took me about 3 minutes to arrive at those buckling loads and anybody with an ounce of engineering intuition should have seen the potential problem with lightening that brace.
  • 1 1
 @jemima: I working on an own project now. Went around 2 bike shops and workshops filled with bikes from many companies. Not a single element thinner than 4mm and very few thinner than 6mm. It says a thing or two. I drew 4mm thick disc brake IS tabs made of 7020 and they broke. On XC hardtail. The section around the hole was 4x4mm. Bigger elements fail. When you compress 2 flat plates that are around 18x3x0.2mm they will fail. It doesn’t take an engineer... every single damn company using elements like this in their swingarms not only use 3-4mm thickness on their CNC, they add ribs. Or they use tubes which are far superior at handling buckling than plates. I can only assume that they used Machines element as point of departure, it’s just that machine had a different layout (force not acting in line with element) and a thicker plate. They probably thought - it works, here we need 2 plates - let’s just divide the dimensioning in 2.
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I don't know if you are agreeing or disagreeing with me. And I don't know if I agree or disagree with you! I think we agree on a lot... certainly that tubes are better than plates in buckling.

And it maybe doesn't take an engineer to estimate that a skinny section will fail due to buckling in compression. But it does take a bit of engineering to be confident that a slightly heavier section won't fail... if anything that was the point I was trying to make. 3.5 mm might still be skinny but it will take a lot more load than the 2 mm section and as I intimated I'd personally still be a little tentative about the 3.5 mm plate. So I guess we agree on that as well...
  • 3 0
 @jemima: I think we all agree. We would all want a tube there. It is not the correct member there.

Also a comment. I am an engineer (that could be a bad or good thing.....) and I agree 100 percent with the FEA stuff.

1) measure is best
2) calculate is good
3) FEA if not done right could be pure fantasy.

A lot of people jump straight to FEA these days.

Ride hard.
  • 3 0
 @dldewar: Totally with you, on all accounts. It does my head in when the new grads stroll in and immediately turn to massively complex simulation (FEA/CFD/whatever) with what appears to be minimal understanding of the fundamental physics and can't verify their simulation outputs for toffee.

Still chuckle when people say "member" though... Smile
  • 2 1
 @jemima: As a member of the pinkbike community.... Yeah I think we are on the same page. I work in the Geotechnical- specifically landslides. All the newbees will throw something in a model when they have never went into the field and have the landslide mechanics completely wrong..... Then ask then to make a recommendation on buidling something in the field, well...... Frown

I have had it with WRONG FEA or any model.
  • 3 1
 @jemima: agreeing with you, I actually appreciated your post a lot. I just meant that one should always compare with how others do it because there may be a reason why there are virtually no elements made of any material that on any bike that are so thin. It doesn’t stop them from failing in other places though...
  • 3 1
 @dldewar: from what I got from structural engineer at Volvo is: FEA requires you to feed it data on forces acting on the object in question. It is not easy to get it right. He said there are people working with testing with sole purpose of determining those forces. Based on that one can design structures which will withstand those forces. And then they will add 30%...
  • 3 4
 @WAKIdesigns: "from what I got from structural engineer at Volvo is: FEA requires you to feed it data on forces acting on the object in question. It is not easy to get it right. He said there are people working with testing with sole purpose of determining those forces. Based on that one can design structures which will withstand those forces. And then they will add 30%..."

Shit. This is probably the first-ever comment that I actually have to give a kudos to you. Big Grin
  • 7 1
 @polebicycles: in all honesty I feel for you. Everyone makes mistakes, they are a part of the show. 2% will have manufacture problem, 2% will get lost when shipping, 2% will be broken by a too fat dude and 2% of clients will be crazy idiots who will want their money back even though nothing is wrong, then 2% will be a silly thing you overlooked. The remaining 90% that is great? Nobody hears about that Smile but shit will go down for 10% and that’s what’s heard.

The only unfortunate thing is your preemptive strike... you kind of inoculated a hazardous plant with nutrition making it grow 10-fold. I wish you all the best. The 180 Stamina seems extremely attractive to me. You’ll survive this shit storm, I bet most of your clients don’t give a sht about Pinkbike comments.

Cheers!
  • 1 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Pole I suggest you could turn this into a win or complete recovery. Make your own huck to flat video with one of your largest team riders on the bike with the correct rear assembly or the production one. Let the proof be in the video. I leave it to you from there. Good luck.
  • 1 2
 @dldewar: We have already a 12th overall EWS score from Leigh Johnson with Stamina 180 which has actually slimmer sharkfin support than the production 140. Here's my Huck To Flat from a standard loading dock with Stamina 180. I did the same loading dock drop for a local newspaper reporter for at least ten times before he got the shot. The bike is still riding.

www.instagram.com/p/BzIlVW-nwms/?igshid=d5vhg35avheh
  • 2 4
 @polebicycles: disappointed! Rear wheel first!!! what kind of technique is that? Leigh Donovan rides Stamina 180? - you lost half of Pinkbike drunk on Down Country - why would she ride such a sluggish bike when 140 is all she needs. Her skills are deteriorating quickly!

Oh Smile - for sarcasm detector for some... For reals... Did you do timed climbs with 140 vs 180 since both share extremelöy similar setups incl. tyres and wheels ? quite interested...
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns:
Here's both ways ????

www.instagram.com/p/Bv6cRFLFBpY

I don't think we have done timed runs uphill. I ride most of the time 180 on local trails. At the moment it's like this: Check out my activity on Strava: strava.app.link/sKovVqLJK1

I think they are both very similar as all the kinematic values are pretty much the same until that 140 travel. 140 is lighter but 180 has steeper seat tube angle so rider can get better hamstring activation.
  • 1 1
 @polebicycles:
You and Mikes inspired me to make 76static SA on my 29 HT... i just wanted it to have 440 reach, the ETT will be crap. And bye bye short stays with increase in reach... I’ll try to balance it out...
  • 1 0
 double post sorry.
  • 1 0
 @jemima: I got the same factor of around 6 going from 2.0mm to 3.6mm thickness (Euler's buckling, second moment of inertia) although it is less with a change from 2.5mm to 3.5mm.
  • 1 0
 @dldewar: It does sense to keep it out of the way from the chain. I didn't do any absolute force calculations but I think what bothered me was that is the absolute worst shape to handle a compressive buckling load. You wouldn't necessarily need to use tubing, just a shape that utilizied a somewhat optimized moment of inertia for all loading scenarios.
  • 1 0
 @jemima: Also, I forgot to add that it can fail due to buckling OR to compressive yielding due to insufficient material in the thinnest cross section. So you would have to find your critical buckling load and yielding load for 2.0mm and use the smaller of the two and the same applies to 3.6mm. So it may seem that increasing the thickness will increase your buckling strength by a factor of 6 BUT you would also have to double check your yielding in the thinnest cross sectional area to see if that is your weak point. Sometimes failure is due to simply to not having a thick enough cross section.
  • 1 0
 @rybrentd: For sure, good point. Intuitively it looked like a buckling failure and checking the axial stress suggests that buckling would be the compressive failure mode, not gross yeild.
  • 1 0
 @jemima: so basically did you just counted the sectional area in the first calc?
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Hi. Both axial compressive stress and buckling capacity are related to the cross sectional area. Buckling capacity is proportional with thickness cubed and axial stress proportional to just the thickness.

But buckling beams are obviously also sensitive to their length whereas compressive failure isn't. So with the dimensions I assumed it just says that buckling is the first failure mode in compression, not axial yeild. Although I've assumed dimensions, so have uncertainty in my estimates, the axial capacity is so much bigger than the buckling capacity I'd be pretty sure buckling is the killer here. If the sharkfin was much shorter then it could be axial yeild.

This simple analysis ignores the effect of any bending moments in the system which changes things... (compressive buckling with eccentic loads and hence bending moment does actually again reduce to a yeild stress problem by modifying the Euler bucking load equation. It gets a big complex...)

Apologies if I am teaching you to suck eggs.
  • 1 0
 @jemima: I am not that educated on that as I work(ed) only with walls and columns (don’t calculate them, can tell right proportions though with high success depending on how tall building is, which spans we use - I tend to match what structural engineers will want quite well, rarely get my estimates thicker, most often thinner by a small percentage) but my “intuition” was telling me that thickness factor is very important here (everywhere) since even if the element got thicker and length of the section increased (let’s say it was 40x2mm and got 60x3.5mm) thickness COULD still not make it since the bending along the cross axis of the bike would still be insufficient. I can see though that if the “revised” element makes repetitive hucks from 1.2m to concrete as demonstrated in Leos video then it MAY be enough. I am no stranger to exposing my bikes to hucks from 2.5m to flat GROUND several times a year. Overshooting/ casing jumps on big lines is pretty normal procedure for me. I cased the crap out of my Carbon Jack this year trying to make 20-30ft jumps that were not exactly built well.
  • 3 0
 @polebicycles: Lopettakaa toi kirjottelu jo.
  • 13 0
 Pinkbike: professional approach with excellent information
Pole: DEFENSIVE, EXCUSES, BLAME/BASH PINKBIKE, BLAME EVERYTHIIINNNNNGGGGG (except themselves)
  • 10 0
 This is where the thought process of, "Why not just ride a bigger, 160mm bike?" and not be limited actually makes a lot of sense to me.

If the draw backs are less agile on slower and tighter trails (which should be a major intention of a trail bike in my opinion), than why have something that's exclusively held back by its amount of travel?
  • 10 0
 Pole's response starts well and then just becomes weak, they should not have sent out a pre production stay and then bag pinkbike for clickbaiting us with the snapped rear end. Poor show Leo, thought you were better than that, in short if your production bike isn't as per that of what the customer will receive then don't send it
  • 14 1
 What I gathered; Don't ride a Pole hard or you'll wreck your rear end.
  • 10 1
 FIRST TIME ALERT: I read all comments.

Qualify this: I am in product design, but software so not the same. If you were to ask me if I have ever seen a software product released to the public that had a few known issues/bugs, I would be change the subject quickly and not answer.

However, if you call it a beta ( closed or open ) that acknowledges the state of the bike. I do wish any company that offers a bike to a magazine or other media would mandate the product be referenced as a "beta" (prototype/pre-production) whatever you want to call it. Part of that mandate is to include that in the narrative so they know that normal testing procedures, materials , ratios... etc are not finalized yet and that this review/feedback will be valuable as an input.

At this point I wouldn't go near a Pole, as much as I really like the progressive geo, the industrial design considerations and manufacturing ( no issues with it what so ever ) but I would be working on PR video(s) to get out asap that show industry standard fatigue testing and a costco size spew of numbers to back it up. I would also like to see every bike add material (or shape) of the aluminum support beam. That huck to flat was not impressive (I just mean the size of it), and I don't know what cycles this rear end had on it (add jokes here) but still, very bad look. The sus didn't look to be set too soft or anything else.

Very well done video. Covered the failure but focused on the review/bike. Considering the blast the came before I am impressed with Pinkbike and how they handled it. Levy looked sketchy on some of those rock descents -thats a compliment !!
  • 11 0
 Each year the PB test crew asks to borrow my son's little kicker ramp for the huck to flat test. It's a really small jump... Nothing should break going off that - ever.
  • 4 0
 Thanks again!
  • 12 0
 Thanks for taking the high road Pinkbike.
  • 9 0
 Pinkbike handled the reporting of the swingarm failure honestly and with transparency. They even linked Pole's response.
(I just wish Pole's response was written in a more professional tone)

Kudos to Pinkbike!
  • 8 1
 Good (?) old Leo‘s reaction is disingenious at best.
Pole messed up by sending a wrong part on a test (!) bike and is now ticked because due to their own failure it bombed. Instead of owning up and asking what went wrong on their end, they choose to go on the attack and try to stick it to PB. That is lame and dumb-ass stupid at the same time.
Lot‘s of people now probably conclude that Leo should stick into a dark hole... and deservedly so.
It is not enough to be an good engineer to run a company - even if you think otherwise.
  • 7 0
 Anyone else notice the seat slammed ALL THE WAY TO THE REAR? I think we've definitely found the limit for seat tube angles, and it's a bit less than the 78.6 degree actual (notice that the ST is in line with the BB) that's on this bike. But we need people to push the geometry limits too far so we can know just how far that is.
  • 10 0
 Did the Yeti SB6 engineer build the swingarm?
  • 6 0
 I think half the mail I get these days are from manufacturers recalls. My truck might catch on fire, my motorcycle has a side stand issue, etc, etc. People understand that stuff happens. As the owner and face of the company Leo is taking this too personally. Fix the problem and move on.
  • 10 0
 So this is the bike with the fastest "split-time".
  • 6 0
 The descending part of the review is a bit confusing: Why is it "still a blast when the ride is tame" while feeling "planted rather than playful" and awkward in slow corners?

It almost reads like the same paragraph is talking about two different bikes.
  • 7 1
 I would expect an full suspension 'XC' bike to be able to survive the huck to flat test. I would also expect a bike company to meticulously check every aspect of a bike they're sending to a major review such as the Pinkbike Field test.
  • 6 0
 I feel like all these industry experts have been trying to tell me that long as bikes are good for everything, so it was refreshing to hear the description of this bike as being less than great on tighter slower spots and out of the saddle climbing. It's how I assumed this bike would ride. I actually remember addressing this in the comments of a pole article with the owner and even though he was chatting up a storm with everyone I heard nothing. This kinda bike sounds great for a specific type of riding and that's ok, but the poles and geomtron people always make it sound like their way is gospel. Anyway love these reviews.
  • 1 0
 I wouldn´t compare pole to geometron though...One is designed and build buy real experts, the other one well, is designed by "engineer".
  • 3 6
 @Mondbiker: geometron or rather Nicolai has been around like... forever. They run a tested design. Designer or Engineer, makes no difference really. Everything is a bit of design and engineering... and accounting... you can have someone with no high school degree build great frames. Some engineers talk incredible nonsense and I know 2 “designers” without engineering degree who make great frames. It’s ridiculous to call for titles in the bike industry. These are silly toys, not cars, planes, multistory buildings or bridges.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: just because it sn´t car or airplane it doesn´t mean it shouldn´t be designed/engineered well, does it? Even if it wasn´s this expensive I would expect something like this not to happen on such a small jump. I know it doesn´t happen to nicolais, that´s for sure...
  • 2 3
 @Mondbiker: engineering in Nicolai or Murmur is limited to process of trail and error where various ready made and widely available tubes are selected to achieve what makers intend to achieve within their capability. CNCing is simple and negligible in the whole picture. Both are very simple constructions. I have ridden excellent suspension systems designed and executed by non engineers So kinematics goes out of the window as argument towards engineering prowess. Whether necessary or not, Pole is a disproportionately more complex design than ones I mentioned. Contrary to some ridiculous belief of late, possibly a low grade romanticism of people deprived of creativity, The word “Designer” does not mean frivolous, uneducated a*shole interested in reinforcing marketing driven bullshit. Most good engineers are designers and most good designers are engineers. These two are inseparable. There’s actually third Form, Function, Construction. let’s not forget craftmanship either. If anything, guys at Nicolai, BTR, Murmur, the staples of “no fks given engineering” are more of successful craftsmen than engineers.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: One thing you are right about is that Nicolai people put just as much effort into craft part as design part...And are rightfully proud of that.
  • 1 1
 @Mondbiker: have you ever tried to design a bike? I mean all the way, draw up suspension, set dimensions on CNCing, make sure nothing is in the way of components, or shoes or whatever?

Also ironically you have a mondraker... how do you even ride this thing if you believe that Nicolai is so great? There’s quite a lot of unnecessary (from engineering perspective) styling on Mondraker.
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I have geometron g16, but also had Dune carbon, both are/were great. I just love not having to worry about rock strikes or crashing with G16.
  • 7 1
 Thanks Pinkbike for this honest test. In this day and age when trail bikes have gotten tougher and heavier to handle the more extreme riding done nowadays, and the "bent" Pole breaks dropping only 2.5'. This should never happen. After hearing about this and Pole tries to blame Pinkbike and then say they sent their XC rear swingarm by mistake? Even if they were trying to save some weight on the test, does that mean if you buy their XC bike, it will break if for some reason the bike actually leaves the ground? Also how do you send the wrong swingarm to such an important bike review? Furthermore, since this bike is the fastest on the descends, the faster you go, the better chance this bike will break and at speed this kind of breakage could be catastrophic. Otherwards, what type of riding is this bike for? With the long chainstays, this bike is not for any trails with switchbacks, or is not playful on any bumps, or obstacles and could possibly break if you go too fast. Good thing this breakage did not happen at speed to one of the testers. Besides a real strong possibility of the the rear swingarm bending or breaking, the unproved glueing process on the rear swingarm and frame could also break and come apart. Seriously, gluing aluminum together? I hope this gluing process has more R&D than the design of the rear swingarm? When it comes to warranty,if you buy their XC bike and it breaks, they may just say you should have bought their trail bike. From the Pinkbike comments, it also looks likeir the customer service is top notch also. It looks like you will be taking a huge gamble buying their bikes, especially when seeing they did not own this huge design mistake and tried everything to deflect the actual problem. Hang on to your money, as I would be scared to ride this bike at any speed. I wonder if some nice "street tires" would look good on it....LOL
  • 6 0
 I just wanna say that was a tiny little jump with a small rider on it. Even if that was their new cross-country rear end it should have held up under that, and then some. I believe in Leo's geo, and I believe in aluminum to being a manufacturing material, but I don't believe in their production process. It does not look strong to me. I also somehow doubt this is environmentally sound, but whatever.
  • 6 0
 I really don't get why you would get a Pole when you can get a Geometron instead. Then you get sorted geometry, fantastic suspension, and great customer service. As a bonus you get tuning help from one of the best in the business!
  • 9 0
 Thanks for doing your job.
  • 18 11
 It takes 2 bottles of moonshine to bend Nicoali, 1 bottle of vodka to break a Pole and 2 shots of Yeager to get Juliana rowdy
  • 3 0
 It takes a bottle of whiskey to make my pole go limp
  • 8 0
 Even if it is an XC specific rear end it still shouldn't be snapping after a 5ft drop..... big miss on the stamina
  • 5 0
 I want to see the huck to flat redone with the correct rear end... only keep going a little bigger until that one breaks too! Seriously that jump was tiny... I’m not convinced ~1mm more material would prevent that from happening again.
  • 3 0
 My thinking too. It looked pretty regulation, even for a trail bike - his wheels are maybe 50cm off the ground? That's easily something you can find on the type of track that a bike with this geometry is expected to go down. I highly doubt an extra 1mm of metal there is going to do much to fix the problem that obviously exists if it caved that badly on a hit that big.

I actually think Pinkbike has been too lenient on Pole in this review - I feel the video was a little too accepting of the claim that 1mm of extra material there has totally fixed the problem.
  • 5 0
 Here is the thing. Anything mechanical, electrical, or engineered has a limit. The limit was obviously tested and now you have the result. In the article Pole posted, they were trying to get ahead of the issue by announcing it first. The part that I cannot support is the fact that they compare the collective "us" to "formula one, DH, and enduro race teams"... listen holmes, my pockets aren't that deep. If i'm spending nearly 7K USD on a bicycle, it better not fail on something as trivial as a "huck to flat". It isn't Pinkbike's fault for broadcasting it, if they didn't I would think of them more as fraudulent than anyone in this MTB business.
Shit will buff out
  • 5 1
 You guys should have been more poignant on the stay failure... I thought this was a consumer bike test? That part was "proto" and not consumer by design and still failed.. You could honestly argue that the test should be vacated and them not have a spot at the round table at the end of the review session.
  • 7 0
 Why is there an AXS derailleur in the video where it breaks (8:34) and not in the rest of the shots?
  • 1 0
 This question needs more attention.
  • 7 1
 Cons: It ain't carbon.

How can be a material that easy to recycle be a con?? Sure, steel has an even lower environmental impact but come on guys.. it's really not a con.
  • 4 0
 Proto rear triangle, less weight more flex and ultimately more grip? I'd say its still faster than the other bikes on test with a weighty functional rear triangle but as everyone has said, the child like rant article has blown this up into a much bigger problem for Pole than before! Hoping they dont end up down the road of Sick! By continually promising what they are not able to deliver.
  • 7 0
 $20 says that @phops is just Leo Kokkonen trying to go undercover in the PB comments
  • 8 0
 "i'd like the bitter kokkonen with a side of arrogant conspiracy please.."
  • 4 0
 I prefer aluminium to carbon because it's supposed to be less susceptible to catastrophic failure. However, you shouldn't build a load bearing part of your year triangle out of aluminium so thin that Coke wouldn't dare to make cans out of... Seriously, I don't care that it's an accidental cross country piece. I wouldn't want aluminium this thin on my commuter.
  • 4 0
 Leo:
I have a suggestion. I have a prototype redacted> sitting on my desk right now. My employer has a very good reputation with our customers for quality and innovation. It is worth a lot of money to us.

My prototype is clearly marked with our internal convention that says "this is a prototype board and it has been on an engineers desk. DO NOT EVER SEND IT TO A PAYING CUSTOMER!"

Those damned engineers do things intentionally to try and break stuff. They call it "testing" or some such.

So when you carve your frames or swing arms how about you carve "PROTO" instead of "POLE". That way, none of your fancy but fragile prototype parts will go out the door...

And I am still considering one of your fat bike frames.
  • 6 0
 If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Looks like they got some fixin’ to do.
  • 6 3
 Sort of underwhelming. I believe both ends: the bike pinkbike had broke, the bike had a prototype part on it. That little jump is pathetic so from where I sit, if it is a pervasive design or mfging/material flaw - we should be seeing customers posting up their METOO stories left and right. Anyone?
  • 8 5
 Kinda sad that the comments are mostly about breakage, I was hoping for some thoughtful comments about the suspension design or Pole’s take on geometry.

I kinda wonder how the bike would ride with shorter chainstays, 450mm is a lot longer than I typically ride. Not that I’d buy one, but I’d love to try one.
  • 5 1
 Its not really a trail bike, is it. More like enduro bike with less travel.
Don’t really see the point, if I had a bike this long and slack, I’d want at least 160mm travel.
  • 7 0
 Sure it was an XC rear end lol...
  • 5 0
 Why would you have a piece of wide, essentially sheet metal bracing the swing arm? Your Cnc machining it. Beef it up, and save weight by not make it 2 inches long
  • 3 0
 Sounds like a fun bike, especially if you're in a mountain region and can take advantage of the geometry on high speed descents. That said...I think that the biggest mistake Pole has made is admitting they didn't have control of what was going out the door, implicating the entire quality system. That is a bigger deal to me than a mistake in design. Regardless...we can admit this is a cool bike that is deferent in a good way.
  • 5 0
 @ Pinkbike, aren't you glad you humored us by doing the Huck To Flat again?? Trust our journalistic sensibilities! Thanks for weeding out the "prototypes."
  • 3 0
 I call bullshit on an XC rear end. It was never mentioned, then it broke and it was because "oh hey sorry that was the XC read end that's exactly the same in all dimensions except 1mm thinner". Sure. It was the normal rear end.
  • 4 1
 Ugliness aside, after reading their press release, I am more confirmed that I'd rather be happy riding my bike designed by those guys who ride, drink, and smoke (I mean weed), instead of choosing a brand that accuses bike media for being "scandalous" and withdraws carbon fibre project due to pollution.
  • 6 3
 I have a Stamina 180 and did enduro races in the swiss alps and the magavalanche alpe d‘huez this year. And you dont believe, but my stamina is still in one peace and good shape????. One of my buddys broke his yeti in two pieces, an other one broke the chainstai from his Trek slash. So shit happens sometimes...
  • 4 1
 If I were a bike manufacturer sending a bike in for a review, I’d personally check the damn thing to make sure it was up to spec in every way. This seems like a rookie mistake on the order of a cockroach in a restaurant critic’s soup.
  • 3 0
 PB, I really like the timed tests, however it would be much better if it was a timed loop. Best if we could see the times ascending, then on a flat-ish section, then the descent broken out. 6% faster descending is great after all but means nothing if a bike is 20% (for example) slower on the climbs or 10% slower on the entire loop. (I'm sure the Pole was neither of these before everyone starts screaming)

Strava told me that I went 42.3 mph for a moment on an offroad descent this weekend (definitely not my usual speeds). I shutter to think of a major failure at those speeds in a pile of endless rocks. At certain speeds, this is life and death business!
  • 10 6
 Yes, but would it have been as fast if it had the proper rear triangle? Break or not, you did not test what the rest of us would/should get if we ordered this bike.
  • 6 0
 The water bottle that broke the Pole's back
  • 7 3
 "Who is this bike for?" sounds like road bikers who want to plow or riders with lots of wide trails in their area. 450mm chainstay is so long.
  • 2 1
 Exactly. Roadies who never go off drops. XC weight, longish travel. Bougie.
  • 1 0
 450mm chainstay is the right length for Sam Hill... and he's a medium size dude. Geometry is what you make it.
  • 1 0
 You should ride it and see for yourself. It's really not that much longer, it's no tandem.
  • 1 0
 @boxxerace: If they make one in carbon I'll ride it. I don't ride aluminum frames.
  • 5 0
 John Hall would have gotten away with this if it weren't for those pesky kids.
  • 4 2
 Not that it matter (just ride your damn bike) but wouldn't this be an all-mountain bike by most standards? I mean 140 rear, 150 front, 64 HA. I am guessing the wheelbase is...not short. All-mountian bike by all counts. Unless that category is basically dead, slayed by encroaching trail-bike army below and all-conquering endurobros from above.
  • 3 1
 Frame no.1 fail-2 weeks later new one came,same story with no.2... no.3 was 27,5 top model with new shock... no.4 top model.. now i ride no.5.. Customer servise level-expert. Oh... the bike.. original Process 2013,now Process 153 2018.
  • 3 1
 I love the F1 engine comparison. Really! I don't have an F1 engine in my car. But I would have the same bike your sponsored enduro race would be riding. And wouldn't you quality check the bike you are sending to a Pink Bike field test? I guess not
  • 5 1
 So is Pole saying that their XC bike would break? How is this is good response. They should have said they accidently sent a swing arm they borrowing from another bike co.
  • 5 1
 Yikes, bad look Pole. Show some ownership. Glad Pinkbike has journalistic integrity for all of us saving months to purchase these toys.
  • 2 0
 Isn't this the second time that Pinkbike has been "accidentally" sent a "non-production frame" that broke? I can't recall the previous time but there was some equally questionable excuse about a product that broke last year...
  • 2 0
 One of my top picks for a new bike this winter was an Evolink 158... After hearing so many similar stories about Pole's antics and customer service, I think that bike just got bumped off my list. It's always a shame when a startup business can't get out of their own way and kills their potential for greatness.
  • 3 1
 Pole should have said the test was unfair. Quote "Pinkbike may have put 2 water bottle on our bike and if they had used only 1 bottle, our bike may not have broken" Unquote

Anyways, I'm sure this bike has lots of Stamina, if it doesn't break that is...LOL
  • 4 0
 Our POLE is really long, so we cannot ride it through any tight areas. The other problems is, if you are able to get any rise, it will just bend...
  • 7 1
 Sam Pilgrim FREE BIKES last longer than a Pole....
  • 2 0
 Wow, sounds a bit like they are spreading the jam and trying to point fingers at other brands? Yes maybe huck to flat isn't done daily and yes it might be a bad ass quick bike. BUT...…. trail/enduro bikes need to last stages after stages as well as many hours in between the legs. Questions I ask myself, how can you send a prototype linkage on a field test? How can you not check it 150% over that the bike you sending is good? How can you not know they WILL TEST IT!
After all, we know "Nothing Revs Like a Rental" ;-)
At this kind of money for a bike...….No matter how fast it is...….I want it to be reliable....Sorry but I'm not voting for the Pole.
polebicycles.com/we-are-not-perfect-after-all
  • 2 0
 Pole, where you stand out on the trail or bike park unless - you live in Finland. Then your Trek will standout. LOL No, riding park in middle Finland learning to Scorpion Gaps, it was a case of spot something other than a Pole. Quite funny feeling the odd one out. Sounds like the ultimate Plow Bike but I like pop so not for me but I would like my bike and a Pole to get together and produce seat tube angle between them.
  • 2 0
 Cross post from another bike web site. The last page has some interesting comments from former pole bike owners and their customer service experience.

nsmb.com/forum/forum/gear-4/topic/long-travel-wagon-wheelers-129770/?page=36
  • 2 0
 Based on the accounts of what appears to be more than just a handful of Pole owners, this is starting to be reminiscent of the old Tony Ellsworth days over on MTBR. Failing frames, met with arrogance, lashing out, conspiracy theories, accusations of user error...
  • 2 0
 This has evolved into some classic Tony Ellsworth shit from days gone by. Broken frames, warranty issues, lashing out, defensiveness, arrogance, conspiracy theories, incredibly crazy responses to anticipated positions that never materialize... Complete train wreck that is getting worse with each successive response, yet Leo cannot resist the urge to keep wading in over and over, thinking he can somehow rescue the situation from the jaws of death. Pole needs to hire a public relations or dedicated customer service person, and Leo needs to remove himself from the front lines. Or not. If nothing else, this has been highly entertaining.
  • 6 0
 'Bout god damn time...
  • 1 0
 Oh man! I’ve been waiting for this review and not because of the breakage. Interesting bike. I’d love to try one since a lot of my local trails are really tight and I guess I’m concerned how it would feel on them. I think you guys did a fair job reporting the breakage. Nice to have Leo’s response as well.
  • 4 2
 Odd, no, that the rear triangle you should have gotten would have the exact same dimensions and geometry as the one you broke? And that it shouldn’t be as flexy as the flex you didn’t feel?
  • 3 2
 Always wanted one of their bikes. When they start making them in a more traditional way (welded aluminum) or carbon fiber (I know they are anti-carbon), I'll buy one. It is OK to be different, but as this review shows, different sometimes results in a less reliable and more expensive product. People eat up heavy Commencals. C'mon Pole, just weld the bike!
  • 5 1
 The Pole Evolink is a traditional welded aluminum bike for $1,800 from them that you just described. It’s been out for years.

Guess you’ll be buying a bike today?
  • 4 0
 Hey, my Meta isn’t heavy, she’s just got big bones
  • 2 4
 @ninjatarian: No, because I wanted their 180mm stamina. And at $1800 for a frame, the Evolink it is about the most expensive full suspension aluminum bike on the market.
  • 9 8
 Pole are Leo / Leo is Pole. He does come across perhaps a certain way, but its also obviously he's massively passionate about his brand and his product. He's not a polished PR machine, nor does he have a PR adviser I should imagine.

Sure, the response could have been worded better, but read any number of Leo's blogs and he's the same in all of those; bullish, arrogant, self confident but underlyingly passionate, honest and forthright.

I bought an Evolink a couple of months back and as a bike its bloody fantastic; genuinely can't see any merits in going back to more conservative geometry. Yes they are a new company, a small company and yes, s&*t happens (ENVE is a great example of this!). I genuinely hope this won't linger for long as letting it put you off trying or buying a Pole would be a shame; they are genuinely amazing bikes. As an owner I can also say that, so far, their customer service has been outstanding.
  • 2 0
 The machined bikes and the welded bikes are made in different places in a completely different way. The welded bikes are made in Taiwan with the guiding hand of an experienced frame manufacturer. Also, the customer relations, prepayment and lead times have been handled very differently between the machined and welded bikes.
  • 4 0
 Not a good impression for Pole and Leo, and I'm not talking about breaking...
  • 2 1
 A bike this big, long, planted and stable is not anywhere near playful/agile/poppy (insert worn but appropriate adjectives for bike fun) as a lot of people prefer their already big 29ers but its completely glossed over. I'm guessing the speed increase is most likely from it climbing well, since that is probably where 80% of the loop's timed-segment is consumed (someone correct me if its mostly downhill, I think it isn't).
  • 5 0
 The timed runs for this bike were completely downhill - they took place in the Whistler Bike Park.
  • 1 0
 I think they must have ridden that trail in the opposite direction you do.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: gotcha, I thought this was a loop of sorts? Brian mentioned something about that. Nevertheless, that makes more sense on the timed sections.
  • 1 0
 @Svinyard: the downcountry bikes were timed on a loop, not the trail bikes.
  • 3 1
 Pole is lucky that one of the Mike's did not get seriously hurt. They should have told the Mike's that their product was not 100% tested. If my name was Mike, I would be pissed for putting my safety in jeopardy.
  • 3 0
 Looks like a totally rad bike, and they made a mistake. The owner needs to be a little less bitchy, and little more humble a d confident.
  • 5 1
 It's funny how my giant reign has more travel weighs 2lbs less and would easily handle that huck to flat.
  • 2 0
 Ha, ha, so true. I have a 2019 Trance 29 and although it weighs just under 26.5lbs and with only 115mm rear travel, this is nothing. Even my superlight 2015 Spark SL which weighs under 23lbs with 2.35 tires/dropper/wider 35 bars & a 34 Fox Fork handles this repeatedly all the time, as I try and get air off everything on the trail. However, give them some credit, as a Canadian Tire bike "may" also break on this "huck to flat test"...LOL
  • 4 2
 I've never heard of a machined pole being light. There's no way that is the real frame. The whole frame must be a "proto" so they can get a light weight in the review, not just the rear triangle. Lame.
  • 4 0
 This entire comment section is very Pole-arizing!! I'll show myself out....
  • 2 1
 I often wonder why bike tests by things like PB and bike magazine aren't done by different riders. Just gather a few local riders of various abilities and have them give their impressions. It almost is meaningless to have the same dozen people review bikes for the whole industry. PB could still do the filming and writing, but have the riding done by non-industry people. That would be a more real review, IMO.
  • 8 0
 @foggnm, it's helpful if a reviewer has ridden a wide range of modern bikes, that way they have a deep pool to draw from when it comes to making comparisons or judgements. More than likely, most local riders have only ridden their own personal bikes over the last few years, which makes creating an informed review a little trickier.

That said, while you'll see familiar faces in the Field Test and other Pinkbike reviews, there are other riders involved behind the scenes that help with long term testing.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: Please, Please hire Yoann B to test and review bikes on video. It would be hilarious!
  • 3 0
 Remember when Aaron Gwin's brakes failed because John Hall installed the wrong prototype parts? Watch out for the prototype parts people.
  • 2 0
 I'll bet it's a smooth decender, those built in FLEX STAY's must add tons of compliance and small bump absorption along with ground hugging traction. Right up untill a big hit folds the rear triangle!! Smile
  • 1 0
 Kudos for telling us guys and gals. Can you imagine if you didn't tell us and it got out? Exactly! Another good honest review of, what is lets be right wonderful handling bit of kit but with a flaw that as testers it's your job to tell us. Shame but there you go. Let's hope Pole get it sorted.
  • 2 1
 Just some questions:

Why did it take so long for PB to release this review after Pole's statement? Has this thing been edited after Pole's article to be the nice guys?
Why was the video and review not provided to Pole before publishing it, so they would not have to freak out in fear of a click bait review?
For me it looks a bit suspicious…
  • 1 0
 lol ....i've cracked many Yeti swing arms on my old SB-66, but to be fair, they took care of me quickly with minimal questions, and they even replaced my entire frame for me out of warranty for free because they didn't have the correct color match for my front triangle. They may not have clydesdale approved rear swingarms, but they do have exceptional customer service in my experience.
  • 3 0
 Leos responses make me cringe! Customer service should always be #1! Too bad because the bikes looks awesome! Scratch Pole off potentials
  • 6 2
 Phil Swift: I BROKE THIS BIKE IN HALF
  • 3 0
 I expected more drama after that built up for the last three days... more scandalous drama
  • 3 3
 Yes it broke. No I did not cancel my order. I‘m between sizes, (5’10”) it’s a big bike. I sized up. I’m told it’ll be here shortly after the new year. Could have gotten earlier but I wanted the UDH. I’ve broken most metal bikes I’ve owned (I did not break my 11lb Santa Cruz VP Free). Never broke a carbon bike other than 1 in a crash. I feel good about it.
  • 4 0
 Well, an interesting twist... The alloy bike failed....
  • 7 3
 Its kinda an ugly bike IMO.
  • 3 1
 I am still confused with water bottles. Pay gram savings the price of gold on high end components and in the end add two water bottles to the frame.
  • 5 2
 Next time Pole just needs to take a page form Gwin's playbook, blame his mechanic!
  • 1 1
 Completely on topic here but does anyone else find riding with a hooded jacket sketchy? More than a few times I've had the hood catch on branch with an obvious negative outcome. If I actually need a hood during the ride, Id rather not ride.
  • 4 1
 Wondering if I can get a sweet deal on a Stamina 140 from Backcountry.com in the next week or two......
  • 4 0
 DM me for a sweet offer on a Sick bikes milled steel version which is NOS rebranded as Backcountry Roubaix
  • 5 1
 Fastest fail bike, there I’ve corrected for you!
  • 4 0
 Pre production prototype... that old chestnut!
  • 2 2
 I have a Stamina 180 and did enduro races in the swiss alps and the magavalanche alpe d‘huez this year. And you dont believe, but my stamina is still in one peace and good shape. One of my buddys broke his yeti in two pieces, an other one broke the chainstai from his Trek slash. So shit happens sometimes...
  • 1 1
 I feel bad for both Pole and Pinkbike because you both have different agendas that aren't exactly easy to pair. "Things" inevitably happen but it's how you handle those situations, that matter. To me, any bike will break, it's just a matter of when. Therefore, I just want to buy a bike from a company that is going to stand behind their product, "when" it fails. Point is, this rear triangle failure doesn't affect my confidence in Pole's ability to remedy an issue.
  • 3 1
 I read "huck to flat" and saw the swing-arm damage expecting them to have dropped it off of a 4 or 5 foot drop not a tiny kicker...
  • 3 0
 I guess we'll just see if Pole releases a new "XC bike" in the coming months....
  • 1 0
 Spy shots tomorrow, press release on Thursday.
  • 2 0
 @whatshubdoc: Yeah? I'm afraid to see them. 1270mm wheel bases, 64' head angles! LOL. I'm sure Nino Schurter will be all over that! NOT. Wink
  • 4 0
 That huck to flat was TINY wtf! Can't see Pole selling many XC bikes.
  • 1 0
 Anyway, this is their market I guess Smile
  • 4 0
 Wouldn’t like to be LEO right now
  • 8 0
 What are you going to accomplish in low earth orbit?
  • 1 0
 @JohanG: ha, nice!
  • 4 0
 Anyone ever hear of Sick Bicycles?
  • 1 1
 Wow, so much drama. Gee, if there was someone who had a large Pole frame they were so tired of looking at in the wake of this negative publicity, I'll pay shipping to get it to my house... On a serious note, this does leave a dark cloud over the whole situation, but the glowing review on the capability of the bike still put it at the top of the pack in terms of capability, if not ahead in anything else. Prototype issues on a couple frames get the pass in my book, as I recall Yeti doing the same, and Evil had some issues with carbon layup.
Famously, Lotus used to have a motto to the effect "add lightness". Build it to last the race, fix it after. In this case, repeated weeks in bike parks caused failure in one part, so, add strength until it doesn't and then "add lightness" again. It's all a development process.
  • 2 0
 I only ask: why a rear end of a full susp. mtb needs a flexible stays? Flexible stays are for soft tail mtb, but this is equipped of swingarm pivots!!!
  • 2 0
 A blade is a terribly inefficient structure in compression. One of the problems with subtractive manufacturing that adding some thickness to probably wont help.
  • 1 1
 I've just bought a new pole a few weeks back - taival - as I needed to replace a stolen hardtail, and being 6' 5" wanted to try geo that actually fits. I was minded to post as a counter to the negativity.

My experience has been mostly positive. Yeah it took a while to arrive, but I was advised that when I paid.

Unfortunately, my bike failed its QA inspection due to the tiniest of dings on the frame. I was offered a different colour as the one I wanted was the last one... Or the cosmetically damaged one and some free huck norris inserts and some pole merch.

I elected to change colour being a perfectionist so they threw in a free spare mech hanger for my understanding.

I've got to say, I love the bike. Rides superbly both up and down, and I'd be surprised if I was much slower DH on the Pole than I am on my insurgent.

My only negative experience was it arrived set up Euro which I must admit pissed me off given it was a sale to the UK.

Everyone f*cks up at some point... Cut pole some slack and judge them how they move forward from this. If only because as a community we should be supportive of folks trying to properly innovate in a sea of stupid hub and bb changes. Pole et al, have been a god send for us taller riders.
  • 4 1
 You know what's better than one full size water bottle??? FREAKIN' TWO!
  • 8 0
 Water bottles???? Two potatoes baby!
  • 5 0
 was the huck test done with full bottles? could be that extra weight what done it.
  • 4 1
 Buckle up boys the comment section is gonna take off!
  • 1 0
 I think I need a moment to gauge the inertial reaction.
  • 1 0
 In depth review of the breaks
  • 3 0
 That bike ain't for me geometry wise, but damn if it ain't a beauty
  • 5 6
 Fast like a supercar and just like a supercar it might leave you stranded on the side of the road/trial.

Still the fastest though. Does that validate Leo’s geometry theory. If someone made a carbon version of this bike that didn’t break it sounds like it would be the hands down winner.

Don’t want to give Leo anymore credit because he gives himself enough already, but he is on to something.
  • 14 0
 Is that even Leo's "geometry theory"?
Didn't Chris Porter started that before?
I'm sure someone more well versed in bike history can confirm this
  • 10 0
 I don't know if it's Leo's theory really, but I don't think anyone is shocked that the fastest descending bike in the trail bike was the one with geometry like an enduro race bike, It gave up poppiness and maneuverability for speed. People understand those tradeoffs now. It's just about what you want.
  • 7 1
 @Arierep: or Gary Fisher who was also talking about "forward" geometry before Chris. Each is just an extension of previous ideas.
  • 3 1
 @Arierep: YES.
  • 7 0
 @Arierep: pretty sure Nicolai were the first ones to make the longer geo work, if you read any geometron blog posts you can see how well thought out their designs are, not just glued together to try and find an niche
  • 8 2
 @Marctetley: Chris Porter had been working this stuff out since Barel was racing WC's.
Leo is the Steve Jobs of bikes. Taking other peoples work and claiming is as his own.
  • 2 0
 @Marctetley: nicolai and geometron aren´t the same company and before g1 their geometries were also different, they worked together to create G1, before they were making frames for geometron (g16) while geometron was also selling g13 and g15 with geometron branding while being all nicolai designs, I guess to return the favor.
  • 7 1
 @Arierep: I have always done my own thing and only want credit from my work. There is no point in claiming other people's work in your name. Also, it's so easy to fact check things these days. But even these days people seem to be interested more in the headline Wink

I don't care who was first on what, but here's how it went down. What I know is that I created Pole from scratch. When I started DH in 2009, I immediately started thinking about why the trail bikes are so steep on the head angle, and your ass is hanging behind the BB. DH bikes were so much easier to ride on the flat as well. This video (link below) is filmed in the summer of 2013 outside our first office. The frame is my first trial of a DH bike turned in to a trail bike. It's a K9 DH001-S that I installed -2 degree headset cups and put a FOX 140mm travel fork and a dropper post. Immediately I found it very good but the only problem was that the top tube was just too short. I never had even heard about Chris Porter back then. After this test, I ordered a custom frame from BTR to race next summer.

2014 we had produced our first batch of the BB-concentric bikes that were reviewed by Paul Aston here at Pinkbike. www.pinkbike.com/news/pole-rinne-yla-review-2015.html I saw this article where Chris is on his Mondraker: www.mbr.co.uk/news/bike_news/stretched-limo-chris-porters-custom-nicolai-ion-323169

I thought that it's cool that someone thinks alike, and I contacted Chris December 2014 if he would like to spar with me with about bike kinematics. After all, he was talking about "the industry." We changed a few emails, but Chris never really shared his ideas. At the same time, I was already designing our EVOLINK series, and I was more confident to push the limits. I did not like the idea of 29" at the time, but Paul Aston convinced me to try them, and I thought, why not. Trying something new is always a good choice.

When I was testing the 29" already and convinced the 29" benefits the most out of the new geometry. I saw that Chris came up with the Geometron at the Eurobike. Then I realized why he was not keen on sharing ideas. enduro-mtb.com/en/first-look-mojo-suspension-nicolai-geometron

After the Eurobike 2015, I was racing the 29" EVOLINK enduro-mtb.com/en/first-look-pole-evolink-140-29-in-finale-ligure

That bike had already gone through some iterations in Finland, and I had raced it previously for a while. After I got back home after raced the Finale Ligure EWS 2015, I got the prototype EVOLINK 140, which has been there ever since nearly unchanged. Chris was very clear that he didn't like the 29," but I found them much better. It looks like the rest of the industry agreed if you look at the Field Test.

I never thought that I would find a bike company back then, but as an entrepreneur, I thought that why wouldn't I sell some. I uploaded the video later to Youtube so I could share it with a blog post I wrote. Pole has its uniqueness in suspension and frame construction. I started from a clean desk and wanted to create a DH bike that could be ridden on a trail. I think that the 29" EVOLINK 140 did precisely that. I know that we have sold many of them to the industry and looks like the industry-standard geometry is settling close. Also, the wheel size is settling to the 29" so I think it's fair to call the EVOLINK a benchmark.

youtu.be/xhL3CvG1f_Q
  • 9 1
 @polebicycles: I am going to go out on a limb. Now bear with me as this might be a stretch of logic. I think Chris Porter didn't want to share ideas with you because....Leo.... you are f*cking nut bar!
  • 4 1
 “Cons: oh shit it broke”
  • 1 0
 Wow if that broke it that bike, I'm glad my hardtail Taival has already handled bigger hucks or I'd be a bit scared. #steelisreal
  • 1 0
 3 water bottle placements?!?... And yet, if only they sent the standard rear triangle we would all be praising their ability to keep the rider hydrated (3! one more than 2!).
  • 4 1
 So what was the bike that broke?
  • 4 3
 Well, call me crazy but the review has me interested in the bike. The response by POLE shows they are better bike builders than PR people I suppose.
  • 6 4
 It also broke because it’s so f*cking ugly. Please get this Pole shit out if my sight.-
  • 1 2
 Guys they made a mistake, and they handled it very poorly. They played the blame game and would've been better off admitting they messed up and introducing their warranty program. It still seems like a great bike and I am sure this is not a common issue or we would have heard more about it. Bad PR and I hope this does not hurt their sales.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer seems like the closest thing, at least on paper, to the Pole is the aluminum Sentinel. Any thoughts on the comparison between the two bikes?
  • 3 0
 3 bottles? Dope for our fellow EWS racers
  • 3 0
 I was delayed reading this review...had to make popcorn first.
  • 1 0
 2 water bottles.....giddy up. This bike will be twice as fast with more H2O ....on a serious not I love the idea ofd this company and the Pole
  • 3 0
 The comment section doesn’t disappoint. Thank you.
  • 4 0
 This is not smooth
  • 2 0
 That was not a huck to flat it was a small jump to flat. I thought hucks hadda be bigger than that bros.
  • 2 0
 Wow maybe all the bikes i broke in the last 25 years were prototypes i accidentally got
  • 1 0
 Anyone remember how it was Taj that first leaked the broken bike?
If he hadn't this would be a low-drama situation right now...
  • 3 1
 Added the Stamina 140 to the Bikedigger.com database for comparison.
  • 3 1
 The prototype swingarm was intended for build for Jeffery Epstein
  • 2 0
 Just another broken super bike
  • 2 0
 The polemic is pretty good here.
  • 1 0
 Question, someone's giving away free frames, pole or new banshee which do you choose?
  • 2 0
 Kill it before it lays eggs!
  • 1 0
 They should publish the report of the ISO test. To show the frame is actually safe.
  • 1 0
 Shame, feels like crating ! Sending a prototype to a files test with other bikes!
  • 1 0
 * cheating ( not carting ) lol
  • 3 1
 I’m assuming many owners are inspecting the width of their Pole today.
  • 1 0
 Dear Pole,

Please consult with EVIL on the name for your next bike and call it "the Shining".

Thanks.
  • 1 0
 And I thought Brooklyn Machine Works had crappy warranty service back in the day. Pole sounds like a classic Ponzi Scheme.
  • 1 1
 Wow! This really went off the rails. My experience with Pole was fantastic, and the Evolink 150 I bought is awesome. Just like Kavanauagh, soon will be forgotten.
  • 1 0
 I still like the bike and the idea of doing something different. would definitely buy this one before many many others.
  • 1 0
 Hell, this dumpster fire makes even a cannondale look appealing.... well kinda.
  • 2 0
 FF to HTF
  • 2 0
 IDGI. CYRIP?
  • 2 0
 #oldnews
  • 3 2
 I've been liking metal bikes more and more.l lately.
  • 2 1
 So ugly that it is actually alluring.
  • 1 0
 What do you guys run for air pressures when you do the guck to flat test?
  • 3 1
 F = n π2 E I / L2
  • 2 2
 may be this is a super cool frame with a perfect geometry but it looks ugly! i will never buy one....
  • 2 0
 I'm not gonna touch this
  • 1 0
 Suffering from erectile disfunction that a blue pill can’t fixed!
  • 5 8
 This is such a major conspiracy. Wow, let's call in the Canadian Version of the FBI to figure out:
1. Who was involved?
2. What did they know when they know it?
3. Were there any leaks involved in this process?
4. Was Russia involved?
5. Did someone sleep with someone?
6. Did anyone at Pole change anyone their sworn statements?
7. Can we "recall" the vote for fastest bike?
8. Did Pole win the popular review but not the reader review?
9. Did Pinkbike release their tax returns?
10. Can we impeach this review?
Something funny going on here. Am I the only one?
  • 1 0
 so what's your guess on the other broken bike.
  • 2 0
 Breaking News!
  • 1 0
 Pulled out the popcorn for this one!
  • 1 0
 Carbon Fibre wouldn't have bent...
  • 1 0
 can someone link the Pole Press Release that keeps getting mentioned?
  • 5 0
 polebicycles.com/we-are-not-perfect-after-all/

Open your eyes, let’s begin
Yes, it’s really me, it’s Maui: breathe it in

I know it’s a lot: the hair, the bod
When you’re staring at a Demi-God

What can I say except you’re Welcome
For the tides, the sun, the sky
Hey, it’s okay, it’s okay
You’re welcome
I’m just an ordinary demi-guy
  • 2 0
 Test it against a Ripmo.
  • 1 0
 please PB I wanna have such a bottel!
  • 1 0
 If the rear end was a prototype, what else was? Suspensions? brakes?
  • 2 0
 TLDR but..... Geometron.
  • 1 1
 Capability count: 2. The scores so far:
Norco: 3; Orbea: 1; Pole: 2; Intense: 0
  • 1 0
 This bike test destroyed the internet.
  • 2 2
 Popcorn!!! Getcha popcorn here!!!
  • 1 1
 my budget can't "stamina" it
  • 1 1
 Can’t wait for the day to ride a Stamina or Evolink!!!

Leo is a legend!
  • 2 2
 Finallly!!!
  • 8 10
 I'd still get a pole even though it broke. It looks like a super pinned bike.
  • 20 0
 Ya it would be so much fun to discuss this issue with every rider you encounter on the trail.
  • 16 1
 @CircusMaximus:
"No, no this one has the trail swingarm, it's all good, I swear."
"Heh, do huck to flat"
"Oh FFS!!!" rides off in a huff, cries a little.
  • 3 3
 I have got the Machine...Its my first trail/enduro bike without a speed limit. Period.