Field Test: 2021 Actofive P-Train - Not Your Typical Trail Bike

Nov 30, 2020
by Mike Levy  


PINKBIKE FIELD TEST

Actofive P-Train



Words by Mike Levy, photography by Tom Richards



If you're in the market for something a lot less common and much more interesting for your next trail bike, you might want to consider a small brand from Germany called Actofive. By "small," I really mean just one guy named Simon Metzner, and by "trail bike," I really mean a wild-looking high-pivot machine with an idler pulley and 135mm of rear-wheel travel. The P-Train will be a rare sight - Metzner plans on only making twenty frames this fall - and it sells for 3,440 EUR (around $4,000 USD before taxes) without a shock, or 4,000 EUR ($4,666 USD) with a fancy EXT Storia.

Being a tiny, boutique manufacturer, Actofive only offers frames, not complete bikes. Most riders considering a P-Train probably have a pile of fancy parts they already prefer anyway, and I built mine up with a handful of products on hand to be reviewed.

P-Train Details

• Travel: 135mm rear / 160mm front
• Reynolds 853 steel front triangle
• CNC aluminum swingarm
• Wheel size: 29"
• Head angle: 64.5-degrees
• Seat tube angle: 76.5-degrees
• Reach: 475mm (med)
• Chainstay length: 425mm
• Sizes: Sm, med (tested), lrg
• Weight: 34.2 lb / 15.5 kg (as pictured)
• Price: 3,440 EUR (w/o shock)
www.actofive.com
That includes the new Hayes brakes, e*thirteen's Helix R 12-speed cassette, and Crankbrothers' Synthesis XCT 29 wheels. All that and the rest adds up to 34lb 3oz as you see it, making it the heaviest trail bike by a wide margin. Then again, if you're okay with a 4,000-gram frame (without shock), you're likely just fine with a 34lb trail bike.

But when it looks this beautiful, maybe who gives a shit that it weighs roughly twice as much as a high-end carbon frame that probably costs less? The front triangle is made from Reynolds 853 steel tubing, the very kind that causes hipster mustaches to curl at the end as they prefer. But it also gives the bike a classic, simple look... Until your eyes make their way to the idler puller and machined aluminum swingarm. And did you spot the swingarm's internal webbing? How about the bolt-on brake mount or nearly hidden linkage? Sometimes, when I can't sleep, I just go out to the garage and look at it until I realize that it's noon the next day.

Frame features? It has some of those, but Simon isn't trying to compete with the big boys when it comes to the trail bike checklist. You'll find a threaded bottom bracket and ISCG tabs, along with external routing except for where the dropper post line disappears into the bottom of the seat tube. Speaking of routing, cables and hoses are held in check along the downtube with aluminum clamps and steel bolts that don't match the rest of the frame's attention to detail, but there were zero issues when it comes to function. There's also a pad bolted onto the top of the rear triangle to keep the noise to a minimum; it feels rockhard and like it wouldn't do much, but the bike is impressively silent regardless.

The P-Train's high-single-pivot layout is popular with riders looking for a fast feeling bike that can maybe handle more than its travel would suggest, largely due to the rearward axle path that lets a bike carry good speed over rough ground. But with such a high pivot, an idler pulley is required to keep drivetrain forces from interfering with suspension action. Without it, the P-Train's suspension would firm up substantially whenever its rider pedaled hard, and it would have nasty amounts of chain growth. History shows that idler pulleys can add complication and drivetrain issues, but the P-Train's is sturdy and well throughout. One more thing: it uses a normal length chain.

The aluminum swingarm pulls on a linkage that's hidden inside the steel front triangle, driving my test bike's Cane Creek shock that's attached to a bolt-on mount that can be swapped out to alter the bike's geometry. Things being bolted on is a theme of the P-Train, but one thing I couldn't attach was a normal-sized water bottle - there isn't enough room inside the front triangle for anything besides the smallest of bottles.

On the geometry front, my medium-sized test bike gets a 475mm reach and stubby 450mm seat tube. Actofive says you can run either a 150mm or 160mm front end, with the latter giving it a 64.5-degree head angle and 76.5-degree seat angle. Swapping out the forward shock mount takes only a few minutes and raises the bottom bracket from 341mm to 344mm, as well as adding 0.25-degrees to the head and seat angles. One last number: The rear-end is a super short 425mm, but Actofive says that this grows by 9mm when the bike is at its sag point. That's the high-single-pivot at work.




2021 Field Test Tom Richards photo
2021 Field Test Tom Richards photo

Climbing

All trail bikes need to be somewhat decent climbers, but you'd be forgiven for thinking that the P-Train is one of the less decent of the bunch. After all, there appears to be about nine hundred steel bolts threaded into its tubby steel and aluminum frame, and you've been sniffing way too much chain lube if you think an idler pulley isn't stealing some of your meager power. Big Blue is also on the relaxed side of the handling spectrum, not to mention its coil-sprung Cane Creek shock telling me to relax about those climbing KOMs that I accidentally keep caring too much about.

So yeah, my uphill expectations were quite low and, maybe because of that, the P-Train surprised me. Yes, there are far more efficient climbers and bikes far better in the tech, but the Actofive was never the uphill burden that I thought it would be.

The German bike will move along nicely if you stay seated and spin circles rather than stomp out fires, with it having enough pep to it that you never feel like you're being punished for something during every long climb. Reaching down to flip the shock's Climb Switch adds to this, but is it ever as sporty as the Live Valve-equipped Trance X or new Ibis Mojo? No, of course not; those are bikes for riders who may or may not keep track of their uphill times, probably the opposite of potential P-Trainers.

When left fully open, the coil-sprung shock is never going to make for a bike that leaps forward when you get on the gas, but it does make for a ground-hugging rear-end that'll help you up anything you have the gas to attempt. One note on the shock's Climb Switch; rather than just locking the shock out, it piles on both the low-speed compression and rebound, the idea being to increase efficiency without sapping traction. It works, too. That, along with the relatively short rear-end, seems to make it a decent machine when the switchbacks are tight and the speeds are you tipping over. No, it can't match the more well-rounded Stumpy, but it's also not terrible.


2021 Field Test Tom Richards photo

2021 Field Test Tom Richards photo
2021 Field Test Tom Richards photo


Descending

Actofive says that the P-Train has 135mm of rear-wheel-travel, but I'm not convinced. I'd have guessed it to be closer to 150mm, especially after riding the other trail bikes back-to-back down the same rough, slippery singletrack, and it makes the others feel over-sprung and under-controlled in comparison. The other four are all running air-sprung shocks, of course, whereas the 'train gets a coil-sprung Cane Creek Double Barrel that I've always felt to offer a heavier damped sort of ride. Its four dials are there to let you make it feel however you want, but I kept ending back at the same settings.

The deep-feeling rear-end, along with the 160mm-travel Fox 36 (also four-way adjustable), make for a "trail bike" that can literally be tossed into the worst stuff like no other. While the others fishtailed and bounced their way down chunky chutes, maybe having no real issues but also clearly being on the edge when I was pushing hard, it was the P-Train that had all the composure in the world. In my experience, one telltale sign of an overly capable bike is that it'll tend to make you feel like you're going slower than you are, or maybe like you seem to have a few extra split-seconds to consider your next line choice. And that's how it is on the P-Train.

With all the trail bikes on matching Maxxis tires set to matching pressures, it was the P-Train that easily offered the most traction when it mattered most. That's not surprising, but the difference between it and the others on-trail was easily noticeable; I consistently had far fewer unforced errors while riding the P-Train in the wet, and I had the most confidence while on it as a result.
Timed Testing

The trail bikes faced timed descent and climb sections on different trails, with the latter being a mix of smooth singletrack switchbacks leading into rooty and rocky steeper sections to evaluate low-speed handling. The timed downhill has everything a trail bike should face and maybe a bit more, most of it covered in roots and rocks.

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.


Mike Levy: "While the P-Train's 12:10 put it in last place up the climb, 39-seconds behind the Giant's winning time, its 4:27 on the timed descent made it the quickest by 11-seconds over the Stumpy in 2nd place and 31-second in front of the Trance X in 5th."

All that traction means that the P-Train is an absolute monster in the corners, and especially when it's rough and fast. That's when bikes like the Mojo and Trance X start to get bucked around, and the Stumpy isn't far behind those as well. It's also when the P-Train feels like an actual train, almost refusing to be unsettled by braking bumps and rough ground that you might even try to avoid when on the others. On Big Blue, you might sense some distant, muted 'thuds' but you're already looking way down the trail anyway so who cares? Not the P-Train.

For a bike that deals with all the sharp, fast stuff so well, it also manages to not feel like a wallow-y, lifeless station wagon on flow trails. It's never going to have the pop and pump of the Mojo, but its ability to carry speed means that it's plenty of fun through berms and fast rollers. Obviously, things get less rosy as the terrain gets more horizontal, and the Actofive is never going to be a star if you spend your rides braking into and then accelerating out of endless flat corners for hours on end. But that doesn't sound like fun anyway.


Tom Richards photo


While the big brands need to offer well-rounded bikes that can be used for do-it-all riding, all while competing when it comes to weight, spec, price, and capability on all sorts of levels, Actofive's mission is a bit simpler. The P-Train can't be compared to those bikes on paper because it's more of a 'heart' bike than a 'brain bike,' if you know what I mean? Ride it down a challenging descent and you certainly will.

Yeah, you can pedal it all day and up any mountain, although you won’t be doing it all that quickly and hopefully there’s a rowdy descent waiting for you at the top. This is a bike made for the trail rider who ends up doing their best enduro racer impression every chance they get.


Pros

+ Is this really a trail bike? Very impressive on the descents, especially scary ones.
+ The deepest feeling 135mm of travel even
+ Different, rare, and (I think) gorgeous

Cons

- Not as well-rounded as some
- Heavy and pricey frame
- Idler pulley could be trouble (but wasn't for me)




The 2020 Pinkbike Field Test was made possible with support from Dainese apparel & protection, Sierra Nevada refreshments, and Smith eyewear and helmets. Thanks also to Maxxis, Garmin, Freelap, and Toyota Pacific.





282 Comments

  • 156 2
 Started to make a snarky comment about reviewing a bike of which only 20 frames will be made this fall, but sad fact is I'd probably have an easier time getting my hands one of these versus a Sentinel or Megatower. At least this is different and interesting.
  • 25 34
flag scvkurt03 (Nov 30, 2020 at 7:14) (Below Threshold)
 Sentinel gets a pass on not being original, IMO. Hard to fault Transition for not changing a whole lot from its game-changer v1.
  • 36 0
 @scvkurt03: Was not meaning to criticize Sentinel. Would buy one if I could find one.
  • 128 0
 I personally like reviews of rarities in the biking world, for the same reason that I enjoy hyper and classic car reviews... It's the closest I will likely come to getting a chance to experience it for myself. While reviews are great for consumer decisions, they are also a great way to learn about different bikes, or technology. I welcome it.
  • 19 1
 You should see his current fully CNC'd frame he's created and currently testing (and it's anodized red)-- gorgeous!
  • 3 0
 I ordered a sentinel through my local shop... hoping it's delivered by next spring! Trails are just about closed down here anyway...
  • 2 1
 @ceecee: Eh, I got the XT build and i'll have a warranty and shop support.

But yeah, there are plenty of fancy used bikes for sale.
  • 1 0
 soon enough, you'll pay nearly as much for a frame and shock when people in the buysell start taking advantage of the demand/lack of supply
  • 1 0
 @ceecee: thanks and I’m definitely watching. Seems like lots of mediums, but I’m somewhere between a L and XL on the Sentinel.
  • 3 1
 @muscogeemasher: your incorrect-as-stated sad fact is very popular. Let's just say that production has slowed, no one is discounting, and that there's been some panic buying. Thin availability for hot bikes is typical for this time of year anyways. Support your local factory
  • 4 0
 @Matturalistic: you're right guy! I really enjoyed reading this review with real interest... even if probably I will never see this bike in my valley!
  • 2 0
 @muscogeemasher: I know Trail Head Cyclery in Cupertino, CA has some right now
  • 10 2
 Have no problem with this bike getting reviewed, but for the "Field Test" should have had a bike that will be owned by someone in this forum. just my 2 cents.
  • 3 1
 @tadabing:
You make a good point! I love that this bike got reviewed.

But, I’d rather see an aluminum more budget model in the field. Like the Meta TR (I know it got reviewed already) or something I can’t think of. I also wish the SJ Evo was in the big bike field.

I want comparisons?! Dunno why. Not even in the market for a rig. Wink
  • 3 0
 @newbermuda: I was surprised at what people were trying to sell their used bikes for. I priced my HTLT lower than the other ones listed on PB, but at a price I was happy with. It sold in 12 hours or so, with a back up offer $200 over my asking price.
  • 7 0
 @codypup: I've seen a few people selling frames for more than they go for new, but hopefully that trend subsides. Good on you for being fair
  • 99 0
 This absolutely did curl the ends of my mustache... and I don't even have one.
  • 88 1
 P-Train vs Druid. Seems like a natural cage match. I wonder how the Druid’s high pivot witchcraft would do...
  • 39 0
 Don't forget Deviate, they most certainly belong in the cage as well.
  • 3 1
 @stevemokan: Agreed but one of the Pros listed for the P-Train is “ The deepest feeling 135mm of travel even” (which I assume is supposed to be “ever” and not “even”). The Highlander is in one weight class above, travel-wise.
  • 10 3
 @mtnbkrmike: Druid is about 4lbs lighter...
  • 6 6
 P-Train v Starling Murmur - steel v steel
  • 9 2
 @jclnv: No it's not, Druid frame is not 2kg!
  • 2 0
 @jclnv: I was using "weight class" loosely to refer to rear travel. But yeah, I hear you. Then again, the Druid would not be far off the P-Train weight-wise if it arrived at the cage with an 11-6, ready to do battle with the Storia.
  • 8 3
 ya, disapointed that theres not even a mention of the Forbidden Druid.
  • 14 0
 If I had closed my eyes and just listened to Levy talking about the ride characteristics, I would have sworn he was talking about the Druid. Near identical travel numbers, and I'm assuming P Train also has rate control linkage tucked into the bottom of that rear triangle.

It would be a fun shootout, but I can almost promise you the result would be "Both of these bikes are amazing, and buying one over the other comes down to how fast you want to climb, and what frame material you prefer."
  • 7 0
 @mtnbkrmike: I think that would make it more interesting though because my Druid has 130mm, but it feels better than my 160mm. The high pivot shootout could be super fascinating with a 130, 135, and 150mm bike in the lineup.
  • 6 0
 @jclnv: The Actofice comes as cnc'ed aluminum now like Pole Bikes www.actofive.com/de/startseite#p-train. That makes it probably a bit lighter, too
  • 1 0
 @phutphutend: Yeah. I haven’t weighed it recently but my Druid is approaching 34 lbs with the 11-6 and Minions.
  • 1 1
 @phutphutend: Okay, 3lbs lighter.
  • 3 0
 @fullendurbro: GAAAAK! I thought my Druid was 135. You're absolutely right. 130! Some of my comments above may not make much sense now. Sigh... That said, I agree with you about it punching WAY above its weight class, travel-wise. That bike defies science. And numbers.
  • 5 0
 @mtnbkrmike: Most of the high pivots seem to do the same... the Deviate is 140mm but the reviews I've read say it's as plush or more so than most 160mm travel bikes.

I think a high pivot shootout is in order!
  • 1 0
 As the owner of a 180mm high pivot I can absolutely relate to this review. It'll get you to the top but God help you it's fast on the way down. I've never owned a faster bike.
  • 1 0
 @mtnbkrmike: I'm 30.6lbs all carbon mullet set up with assegai and dhr2 exo fox 36. I had bigger lighter bike but none that rode like the druid.
  • 3 0
 Would it be too much to ask if somebody could make affordable (so probably overseas made) high pivot bike, something in the likes of privateer affordability but much cooler? Smile ))
  • 49 1
 That’s the second idler pulley bike that ‘could be trouble, but hasn’t been’ now. How many do we need before we accept they are fine?
  • 15 6
 its a fair question but a sample size of two isnt exactly a large sample. I think its fair to note that any extra component is an just an extra spot for failure but its a pretty easy con to ignore if you feel its not a concern.
  • 28 1
 @mtmc99: or just not mention it until there is a problem? Otherwise you are putting doubt in peoples mind, unnecessarily.
  • 10 0
 @mtmc99: idler bikes are fine, i've 2 in the household and both are well over 10 years old.
  • 1 0
 @bat-fastard: Are they on bikes that get pedaled uphill?
  • 6 0
 @toast2266: Both my idler bikes pedal uphill fine, zero problems.
  • 5 0
 Agreed, having had a Canfield Jedi the idler pulley was one part I never worried about.
  • 1 0
 @toast2266: not as much uphill but a lot of hard sprinting standing up on flat ground. Have snapped a chain but wasn't idlers fault lol
  • 2 0
 @digitalsoul: Yeah, I had a Jedi. Idler was never an issue. Although the extra bit of drag would have been annoying if I was trying to ride that bike uphill.
  • 26 2
 More
  • 9 16
flag DoubleCrownAddict (Nov 30, 2020 at 12:10) (Below Threshold)
 My issue is the horrid looks. Derailleur bikes look dumb enough on their own and now more companies are slapping more dumb looking pulleys on them? Once you get mud in all that could a gearbox actually be more efficient?

Levy, I've been keeping track and this is officially the 368th bike review where you claimed a bike felt like it had more travel than it actually does.
  • 2 1
 @mtmc99: If extra components being an extra failure point was a real concern, gearboxes and belt-drives would be everywhere already, and electronic shifting and droppers never would have happened.
  • 6 1
 Yeah wtf is up with that?!?

Never see anyone complaining about extra suspension pivots or all the moving and very exposed parts of a derailleur(shout out to the gearbox gang) that could maybe potentially sometimes fail.

What's soo problematic with a idler pulley?
  • 2 1
 @mikelevy: in one podcast you were totally against these. Idlers and pulleys etc.

Don’t get me wrong I super love you and I love the fact that you grow every week which is amaizing and I’m super stocked for you ! I’m genuinely happy the bike world has Mike Levy.

Okay,now admit it!

Ha ha , I was also surprised it was Kaz that reviewed the Druid,then even more surprised he rode a Large instead of an extra large ( considering it’s numbers in geo ) but yeah @kazimer also rode a Large Hightower instead of an extra so I don’t even know why am I bothering I’m
Just confused I can’t get a sense of orientation
  • 3 2
 @DoubleCrownAddict: You should start your own website and call it gearboxbike.com you can go over there and proclaim all of the dumb rubbish you want and you can ban any talk of chains or idle pulleys or derailleurs. I suppose you will can call up ceramic speed and enlist them for their amazing shaft drive as I don't see how else you will transfer power from the cranks to the rear wheel.

Speaking of wheels. We've been using the wheel on bikes since they were invented. It's about time that we found something better to replace it with. I mean, something something something the man on the moon, surely we have the means to do better.
  • 2 5
 @JoshieK: keep your spandex on and keep worshipping your God the roadie rear derailleur.
  • 3 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: I'm fine with my light, cheap, simple and better than 97% efficient derailleur, just like you are fine with your heavy, complex, expensive and in a best case situation 89% efficiency.
  • 1 0
 I have seen several destroyed bearings on these pulleys, but these where on E-Bikes... So I guess without a motor it shouldn't be a problem.
  • 2 4
 @JoshieK: lol I ride a freeride e bike, where a derailleur makes no sense. I'm OK with it on my road bike though.
  • 1 1
 @DoubleCrownAddict: you can put a gear box on there with your hi capacity battery, in built head light, 3" tyres you'll have a 50kg bike without much trouble at all.
  • 2 1
 @JoshieK: I've run a 3"tire on the rear and I have a little taillight. Riding e bike so i don't have to be a weight weenie and am not constricted by the traditional cyclist nerd mentality of constant over-obsession with weight. Give me another weak euro comeback, waki wannabe.
  • 1 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict:Awww is your feelings hurt? And last time I checked Australia isn't Europe. In fact we've had our spinnaker up for the last 100 million years and are sailing south away from Europe. long trip though.
  • 27 2
 "who gives a shit that it weighs roughly twice as much as a high-end carbon frame that probably costs less?"- I would venture to say most people. But... something tells me there will be more than the small production run of 20 per season. Personally, the weight penalty is hard for me to swallow, but the rearward axle path seems like a real benefit.
  • 21 1
 Agreed - if it descends so well and climbs so badly why not just go full enduro (150mm travel+)? Travel wise, 135mm sticks it firmly in the trail bike (if we are broadly labelling bikes).....but if I was able to buy another bike in this category I'd also want a climber without the weight penalty.......personality seems somewhat confused but hey 20 people out there will probably love it.
  • 5 0
 That’s alright they only need to find 20 people who don’t care
  • 3 1
 @stefkears: man it doesn't climb badly, they're just comparing it to some very capable climbers. The real weight penalty comes from your wheels and tire setup. That has pretty much the biggest say on how much performance you have on the down...Also, some people dont want 160 because they want a more feedback from shorter travel.

I have a feeling this bike is more capable than a lot of enduro bikes, especially for advanced riders.
  • 10 10
 Yeah... I’m having some mixed feelings on this.

1. It’s not the bike for this review... I know Mike said they like to throw an oddball in there, but so many other bikes would be better fits in this field... and are on buyers radars. Have a separate oddball bike field test.

2. Mike tried to do it a solid and put some light weight parts on it... it’s probably a 36lb bike for most people.

3. It’s kinda trying to have a “what’s old is new again” vibe... but there is really no reason to choose steel these days... it’s heavy, it rusts, and apparently it’s not cheaper.

Still appreciate the effort and the review by itself.
  • 6 0
 @stefkears: I'd be interested to know how its peddling performance compares to the average 150/160mm enduro bike.
  • 7 0
 @tremeer023: that seems like the million dollar question to me. It performs like a 150mm on the downhill, but does it pedal like a 150mm on the uphill, in which case whats the advantage over a 150mm bike?
  • 1 0
 @toad321: That is more or less what I meant to say- "something tells me there will be more [people] than the small production run of 20 per season".
  • 1 0
 @toad321: I bet that's no problem at all
  • 1 0
 @Insectoid: I guess you are right. There sure are people that want a special bike even if it costs an arm and a leg
  • 3 1
 @Baller7756: steel can rust! Oh no..no reason to choose steel? I see no reason to choose anything else! I've owned C,AL,TI,both HT and Fs,and my next bike will be steel,no doubt. And I know there are lots who love steel,get out in the open and check it out. Steel is hotter than ever
  • 1 4
 @lenniDK: It’s too soon for that nostalgia trip. Steel had its run... and it was long. Aluminum had its run... still hanging on though. Titanium is too expensive. Carbon is still in its infancy. There no justifiable reason to choose steel for a bike frame at this point in time... unless its going to cost less than Aluminum. Even Carbon will be replaced with another “better” material for the application.
  • 3 0
 @Baller7756: I disagree with that. Steel is still a legitimate material to use for bike frames. They don't use carbon for everything in space shuttles and F1 cars (not quite the perfect analogy though). Carbon is an awesome material but there are too many flog out carbon bikes after a very short lifespan. It's quite disposable really and will never offer the same road feel as a steel frame. Yeah, that comment again but it holds true. IMO.
  • 1 1
 @Baller7756: Carbon still in its infancy - its been in use as a structural material since the 1960s. No justifiable reason to choose steel? never mind its tensile strength, its high modulus of elasticity or its resilience to impacts? I thought you were an engineer?
  • 1 0
 @devlincc: Even carbon monocoque chassis have a limited lifespan. Hard points (eg engine mounts) have aluminium (usually but it can be steel too) imbedded in the structure. similar to galvanic corrosion, the aluminium corrodes. Historic F1 categories found this out the hard way. CFRP also has very serious and yet to be solved impacts on the environment, it requires much more energy for its production even over steel, and largely it is un-recyclable.
In the cases where it is, its recycled state is far less useful (complete lack of strength) than its parent material. There is a bunch of planes made using CFRP that are soon to be at the end of there life span and they will become landfill. Most of the surplus aircraft of ww2 were melted back down to aluminium ingots and re-used.
  • 1 1
 @JoshieK: What's your deal? Just a troll looking for a keyboard fight?

We are talking about mountain bike applications. There is a reason you will not find a LBS full of steel framed MTBs... and that is what this conversations was about.

If you prefer steel for some reason... a reason that outweighs all the reasons for aluminum or carbon (no pun intended), then suit yourself... if you can find one.

Congratulations on completing your Materials Science course... whats next Thermodynamics?
  • 1 1
 @Baller7756: Whats your deal Mr ISWEARIAMANENGINEER? Make dumb statements expect a reaction. An engineer would give you an engineering answer not "there is a reason you will not find a LBS full of steel framed MTBs... and that is what this conversations was about".
  • 20 0
 @mikelevy Did you feel that the 853 steel frame provided any difference in feel over an alloy or carbon frame? Not related to suspension design (we know you liked that). Just any dampening or other characteristics commonly associated with steel? I respect the "feel" of steel on a hardtail, but am always skeptical if those benefits transfer to a steel (front traingle) full squisher???
  • 9 3
 Just to stir the pot a bit, can someone explain the feel of steel on a hardtail? What are these benefits?
  • 45 0
 @Dogl0rd: ITS JUST REAL OK?!?! you wouldn't understand
  • 5 1
 a bike is a balance of many things...it would be hard to notice the benefits of steel on this bike because of how dialed the new fox 36 is and the obviously great rear suspension. I think there is a big benefit, especially when it comes to side flex, forces that are not in line with the suspensions natural movement; think of a wide sweeping flat turn at high speed over chunk.

The feel is definitely there, but a steel frame must be well built and allow for some proper and well thought flex points. The best way to put it into words is that a steel frame makes the trail feedback a bit "silkier"

IMO
  • 4 0
 @A-HIGHLY-EDUCATED-PROFESSIONAL: they absorb the small frequency vibrations better. Ride a steel and AL bikes back to back and you will notice your hands, ass, and often feet feel more tired on an AL bike. It is similar to AL vs carbon rims. For years I thought it was silly old people talk, then I started riding a steel 29er hardtail and it made sense.
  • 13 1
 I have a murmur (can't comment on the P-train, but steel FS in general) and this is one of the top 5 questions friends ask me. My standard reply is to think about how limited your suspension is. Your front wheel moves up and down 5" at 65° (whatever your travel/HA is). Similarly your rear wheel moves on an arc. The reality is that there are many forces and frequencies that your suspension isn't going to address and will be transmitted to you. The last time I went to a bike park everyones forearms were toast partway through the day due to brake bumps- I felt perfectly fine all day. Now think of that suspension movement and picture the forces it becomes limited to when the bike is being leaned over- I think this is what @mikelevy is alluding to when he is describing the traction while cornering the p-train.

Pop is a pretty apt description. Compliant also. I'm coming from a board sports background so I prefer the pop of a new PU surfboard or wood skateboard. Stiff surfboards suck especially when there is any choppiness to the water. So why would I want the stiffest frame material for barreling down the the side of a rock/root covered hillside? Obviously I'm not the only one and the industry is moving towards compliant wheels, handlebars, seat stays, etc.
  • 6 0
 @housem8d: Silkier is an interesting word and I wouldn't disagree, though I'd probably have gone a bit more basic and just described it as "more damped" or "softer".
I've ridden a few steel FS bikes - Cotics (steel front, alu rear) just take the edge off a bit, while the Starling had a very soft, relaxed feel.
If I wanted to be more pretentious, I'd say a good steel frame can feel like wearing noise-cancelling headphones.
  • 1 0
 @Rigidjunkie: I am glad that you brought up alloy vs carbon rims. This is something non-hardtail riders can relate too. And FWIW- I'm on the super nerd steel hardtail level and actually notice a difference between different types of steel. BUT....still curious how that transfers to a FS. Perhaps more side flex/snap to slingshot corners than stiff alloy or carbon. But not so much bump/big hit influence, because suspension is handling that. Looking forward to what @mikelevy chimes in with.....
  • 1 0
 @generationfourth: yep, I get what you are putting down....all the way to down to the sweet spot of light pressure dents on a fresh handshaped PU thruster with pinched rails and hard crisp edges at the tail!
  • 2 0
 @chakaping: yeah, I have a Cotic Jeht on the way, one of the reasons I'm so curious. I'm preparing to love it or be honest and say, meh the weight penalty doesn't justify the benefits. On a hardtail, I absolutely agree steel or Ti over alloy. But going into my first FS steel frame open minded, looking forward to digging into it.
  • 2 0
 @JDFF: Tried a coil on my starling, although it was a complete beast on the dh the bike felt a little energy sapping especially on the climbs. Going to back to an air shock brought some liveliness to balance out the steel frame. I'd recommend the Cane creek IL air for your jeht...

The other thing I needed to adjust to was that it felt slower on the ups and downs, but according to the times I was just as fast or faster. It may feel a little muted giving off the perception that you're going slower.
  • 2 0
 @generationfourth: will be running a CCDB Kitsuma Air to start with. Will be first non-coil shock in a few years. I have several previous years on DB Air's so should get it dialed pretty quickly. 2000' descents, so wanted the db/big can over the Inline (for now).
  • 3 0
 @JDFF: ah nice, most of my decents are fairly short so I get away with the IL. Curious to see your build and what you think of the cotic!
  • 3 0
 @JDFF: I think you will be happy with it. I have ridden at least four Cotic FS bikes and they all share the characteristic of a damped chassis feel (which works very well with Cane Creek shocks) combined with a poppy suspension layout. So they are kind of soft over the bumps then perk up when you get on the pedals.
  • 1 0
 I've been riding steel hardtails since the mid 80s, the new ones are not as real as they used to be, equally they don't snap all the time and arguably get ridden harder. Still Got a gen 3 Cotic Solaris max 853 and a Raleigh 853 hand made in the 90s, the Raleigh is certainly a smoother feelling ride.
  • 1 0
 @A-HIGHLY-EDUCATED-PROFESSIONAL: Depends on the steel as well. 853 is one of, if not the best, steels.
I had a 853 RMB Blizzard, as well as a Columbus tubed one, and not only was the 853 version lighter, it was also a far different (better) ride. Same size and geometry bike.
  • 2 0
 Came to ask the same question. If there weren't any damping/chatter muting/"nice flex" benefits, then that beautiful steel isn't worth the extra weight. I also wonder about the risk of blowing out shocks faster with increased horizontal flex
  • 4 1
 @JDFF: I've ordered a Jeht too, and, like you, this will be my first steel FS. I am happy to admit that, whilst I'm hoping the steel adds a touch of compliance to the ride, my main reason for the purchase was the aesthetic. Steel just looks nicer than alloy IMO (I would never own a carbon MTB). I think a good number of steel frame purchasers are in this boat too but are perhaps embarrassed to admit as much for fear of appearing shallow.

The question then is whether the improved aesthetic is worth the extra weight? In my case, I've never owned an F/S MTB that weighed less than 34lb so the weight of the Jeht won't feel like a penalty, but if you're going from a 28-30lb bike I guess the heft would be hard to accept.
  • 4 2
 @A-HIGHLY-EDUCATED-PROFESSIONAL: For the slim chance this isn't a joke, or for someone else who stumbles across this actually wondering. Steel is hailed for it's vertical compliance and innate damping properties over stiffer and stronger materials such as aluminum or carbon. However, from hearsay it is rare to find a steel frame that actually feels noticeably softer/more supple than an aluminum/carbon hardtail. In fact, it is much easier to engineer controlled (keyword is controlled) flex into a carbon layup than a steel tube. The one inarguable advantage of steel is that it is repairable, yes you can repair other common frame materials but steel can usually be repaired for cheaper and get closer to new feeling. The other advantage of steel is it looks sick! Hope that helps, or at the very least doesn't piss off the steel fanboys too bad, they are a finicky bunch.
  • 2 0
 @GiantRain: Indeed I have found this to be the case. Coming from riding mostly steel road bikes to riding newer aluminum road bikes I can definitely say that if there is any difference in ride quality from steel that it is negligible. One thing I definitely did notice is a power transfer difference. The steel frames that I was riding all had a noticeable amount of flex at the bb and these newer bikes seem much better at putting down the watts when standing.

If you want a better ride feel on the road, get a different seat, a round seatpost, and most importantly wider tires. For MTB, run wide tires, get cushcore, and run somewhere around 14% of your bodyweight in rear tire pressure. Wide tires are dope.
  • 2 0
 At this point, with no response from @mikelevy, I will assume he is still recovering from Curling Camp. Or, he didn't "feel the steel" had any benefits beyond looking cool.
  • 19 2
 Hands down the nicest looking bike from the field test.
  • 16 0
 Levy: ...I don't think you're getting a P-Train below 30.
Dangerholm: Hold my beer...
  • 3 0
 I hear Reynolds 853 responds well to a drillbit....
  • 2 0
 Dangerholm would be drilling holes in the frame and then acid-dipping it like a 60’s super stock drag racer to get it to make weight
  • 14 2
 I'm not too against smaller companies being reviewed in the field test but this one does seem a little weird considering only 20 will be made. Like a lot of other comments I'm surprised that the druid didn't make the cut but this one did. Was this an active decision made by PB or was forbidden not wanting to send them a bike to include?
  • 6 0
 It is an availability issue. As someone said above, although only 20 of these are being made, try to find a Druid or even an SJ locally in your preferred build/color.

As of right now there are less than 10 SJ Experts in S4 available in the US.
  • 25 0
 @nskerb, we already reviewed the Druid in 2019: www.pinkbike.com/news/review-forbiddens-druid-high-pivot-trail-bike.html. The focus of the Field Tests is on bikes that are new for this season that we haven't already reviewed. The Actofive was included as an outlier, something a little different from what the big companies are putting out.
  • 5 0
 @mikekazimer: make sense but a comparison between both would have been nice in this review. Like most reviews with a how does it compare.
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: so, how do the compare? + time perspective
  • 9 0
 I love high pivot trail bikes, but given reviews generally seems to be that 1. They feel like they have more traction than they do 2. they generate lots of traction so climb capably, but not in a lively manner, I'm always left wondering how they compare to slightly longer travel bikes (~150 mm here), which would seem more similar.

How do they climb/descend compared to something like the Ripmo or Hightower?
  • 4 0
 I demo a ripmo before I got my druid and coming off a altitude 150mm and the druid made them feel like an xc bike, the druid feel more travel than 150 bikes super stable yet playful. Climbing on fire road feels a bit harder as it weight a bit more but on technical climbs it climbs as good. Just my opinion though
  • 2 0
 Also mine is a mullet set up
  • 3 0
 Given both how well high pivot bikes with an idler seem to ride and the general mechanical simplicity of this design, how did our industry not jump to this design back in the 90’s? Was it just a matter of needing 1x drivetrains to make it work?
  • 1 0
 @ybsurf: Thanks! I'm always happy to hear more experiences.

Edit: Also in my original comment I see I wrote "Feel like more traction than they do" rather than "Feel like they have more travel than they do".
  • 1 0
 @MarcusBrody: both they feel like more travel AND more traction.
  • 2 0
 @whambat: because all the big companies wanted a patented solution. The light makes right crowd took over for a long time and all they were worried about was weight and pedaling efficiency. Now that people are bored of the IMBA style trails people are moving back to a more freeride style of riding, get to the top and find the harder way down.
  • 12 0
 Ok, so lets swap: Spring CC to Trance, Fox dead valve into P-Train and see what happens :-) For educational purposes :-D
  • 2 0
 I would like to see that.
  • 11 0
 This bike just looks like it wants to slaughter whatever features it come across.
  • 9 1
 This has gone straight to the top of my "Wouldn't mind a go on one of them" list. Fantastic mix of form and function.
Great to see PB cover something so different. Now we just need @mikelevy to also review some steel full-sus bikes from Starling, Cotic, Stanton, Swarf etc.
  • 3 0
 It would have been much more useful to see a Cotic or Bird reviewed in this test as they are rarer than your Commencals and Santa Cruzs but sell in enough numbers to make them relevant. The P-Train is great, but at this point it is little more than one man's weird and wonderful project.
  • 9 0
 Is this the one that Mike Levy crashed on (in the series intro / title sequence) ?
  • 8 0
 Yup
  • 10 0
 @mikelevy: Show the full CRASH!!!
  • 7 0
 No review or mention of the adjustability of the Sprindex coil? Having an adjustable coil for test bikes, tuning a coil rear end or on trail changes (i.e. bike park days) is a game changer.
  • 5 0
 totally. i put one on my Slayer and it's the bomb. you can change your rear spring rate with a few clicks on a whim as your mood desires. i make adjustments often and it's very confidence inspiring.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy talk about why you chose the sprindex as it is more expensive than stock coils. I imagine it was not for weight savings so can I ask if you used the adjustability at any time and the reasons why? Did it compensate for something in the suspension curve? If you had it lying around like most of the other parts is there a long term review of the sprindex coming out?

I really like this idea and as someone who would get one to avoid swapping coils for bike park or jump lines I want more info from users.
  • 2 0
 @jamesbrant: Can I ask how you dialled in the range? Did you just go with a range that at its lowest would be your lowest lbs/highest sag or did you get something that has a medium sag point (28%) and have maneuverability to either go super soft or hard?
  • 8 0
 As a Forbidden Druid owner, I can validate the fact that rearward axle paths are just objectively better. #getrearwardorgetf*cked
  • 6 0
 I like the looks of these steel bikes.. when have we started spending 3500 EUR on a frame without a shock though? That seems very steep...??? Maybe it is all the beers, but I feel we used to spend that much money on an entire bike? Don't get me wrong, if money is no issue, why not.. But I am the type of consumer who spends 4-5k on a full bike, and then is happy for 5 years...
  • 7 0
 " if you spend your rides braking into and then accelerating out of endless flat corners for hours on end. But that doesn't sound like fun anyway."

/weeps in Chicagoan.
  • 6 0
 Pinkbike, How does this bike compare to the Forbidden Druid? They are both 130/135mm travel and High Pivot suspension designs.
  • 4 0
 This reviews echoes my feelings about my Deviate Highlander. Was running a 140/140 setup to begin with but it was just weird since the rear end is so unbelievably composed. Now with 160/140 the bike feels way more balanced front and rear...high pivots are the real deal, and this one may just be the best looking one out there!
  • 6 0
 Geometry pedant comment: 450mm seat tube on a medium does not allow this medium-sized rider to run a long dropper. That's really high for medium.
  • 4 0
 "Idler pulley could be trouble (but wasn't for me)". How about every bike in the test have a version of this "Product X once had an issue one time somewhere, but not on the is test". That's true of every part on every bike, ever, and shouldn't been to said here.
  • 3 0
 Idler pulley under load has a measurable efficiency disadvantage. Maybe not relevant for gravity applications but for a trailbike definitely something to consider.
  • 1 0
 @SickEdit: OP wasn't talking abou the drivetrain efficiency. Their point was that any and every component on a bike has been an issue at some point for some one. Reverbs had terrible failure rates in the beginning, but that's not listed as a con anymore: "Reverb might sag, but hasn't yet". There is no need to mention the idler pulley _on this bike_ if it doesn't cause an issue _on this bike_.
  • 6 0
 First thing we tell to kids before the ride: put some barends into this bar. Then we'll talk about ride!
  • 4 1
 .....the Actofive is never going to be a star if you spend your rides braking into and then accelerating out of endless flat corners for hours on end. But that doesn't sound like fun anyway..... Actually, sounds fun to me - that's what I like to ride. That's also what I like about this field test. Between the Giant and the P-train, there is a bike to suit most types of trail riders. Good survey of what is out there between down country and enduro.
  • 3 0
 We need video of Levy hitting that tree and destroying the derailleur hanger. Speaking of which, did they ship you multiple hangers with the frame? I’ve been in that place before where you have a boutique bike with a little broken part no one sells.
  • 2 0
 They did include an extra hanger Smile
  • 7 0
 Thats why I hope SRAM universal derailleur hanger takes off. Seems like there is no real advantage to so many different variants of hangers when they are literally designed to break.
  • 3 0
 "No, of course not; those are bikes for riders who may or may not keep track of their uphill times, probably the opposite of potential P-Trainers."

Excellent stereotyping.

Perhaps there are those that keep track of their uphill times solely for self-comparison. IE: ride whatever bike is fun for you (that might be downhill fun, flowy fun, jumpy fun, climby fun, whatever), focus on improving yourself (maybe it's faster climbs, but maybe its ripping more sideknobs off in sick turns, or maybe it's clearing a new-found double) with that fun bike, instead of just trying to "win" against others on whatever bike they find fun.
  • 3 0
 Since this is the only bike so far that can’t turn into a rocket ship, I’d like Levy to implement a 0-5 rocket ship rating to include in all reviews. Would really help me understand a bike’s ability to shoot me into space.
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy: Is that Tioga your old personal saddle, or a new version you are testing? I had one but decided t stick with WTB Volts and ditch the chamois.... oh so much better now!

No commentary on the e*13 Helix cassette?
  • 2 0
 @housem8d: thanks, I read that when he published it. Looking for a longer-term review is all.
  • 2 0
 Yup, that's a personal seat. I love them. Shape, flex > padding Smile
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: They look so cool, I just wish they made them slightly wider. I bought a Spyder Outland but it's just too narrow, my sit bones end up on the outer rail instead of the lattice.
  • 1 0
 @BlackVR: me too, and that's why I sold mine. But I loved the weight!
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: which model is that?
  • 3 1
 A really interesting and well-crafted bike, cool that PB featured it along with some major mass-produced bikes for comparison.

I’d be interested in knowing how much the feel of the bike might be due to the steel frame; it seemed like a lot of the positive observations about the bike’s downhill capabilities focused on the rear suspension and the rear end (which is aluminum.)

And how much roughly would this bike cost in USD, as it was outfitted in the review?
  • 3 1
 if you have to ask , its too much Smile ))
  • 1 1
 I thought it was pretty cool to see a truly unique bike stacked up against the bigger brands.
  • 2 0
 That’s a great looking bike and an excellent review.

I can’t afford modern geometry or custom frame bikes, but dang I can appreciate bikes of that caliber and a solid review by Mike Levy.

Looking forward to the rest of the reviews and would be really interested in a round table discussion of how the Salsa Black thorn and the Actofive compare to the enduro bikes. These two seem like they’re trail in the back and enduro in the front.
  • 6 0
 does actofivia help with abdominal bloating and constipation?
  • 2 0
 Jamie Lee Curtis would shred a P-Train, right after a healthy breakfast of Actofivia.
  • 2 0
 How did it do in the impossible climb?

I love going down, fast, techy stuff, it's what I live for, but those descents always require climbing up stuff that is often tight and technical. Though I prefer the down, I love me a good tech climb.

Will the P-Train get me up there as well as get me down?

Would an air shock make it more fun on the up?

In terms of wheel wheel path, is this the bike design to pair with a Trust Shout? Don't hate me, but the Shout is a great handling fork for big bikes, I just wonder if having a rearward wheel path on both ends would make things better or worse.
  • 2 0
 "...it makes the others feel over-sprung and under-controlled in comparison. The other four are all running air-sprung shocks..."

Over-sprung I can kind of see, but under-controlled? I don't recall, did all the other bikes come with base model shocks with only LSR? Wasn't there at least a DPX2 in the mix, though even that still lacks the high-speed adjustments of the CC shock?

Isn't the under-controlled bit more because those particular air-shocks can't be tuned as finely as this particular coil, and not because of the spring itself?
  • 2 0
 Can we get an ass-buzz count for the whole test sequence? For both 29s and 27s... There are a few shots just in this article where a buzz looks imminent. That sweet left-hander where you're in the middle of the little dropoff looks awesome, but the tire is literally partially hidden by your legs, and those aren't super baggy shorts; seems to be just millimeters from a knobby enema.
  • 8 2
 What would WAKI say? *sadly I miss his BS some days*
  • 5 0
 There'd be pages of him arguing endlessly about the weight but I miss his antics as well.
  • 2 0
 Would honestly love to see a "Boutique Builds" Field Test. No way will I be able to get my hands on one of them (or be able to afford them), but heck, who dudn't like to see some cool builders pushing the boundaries?

....and obviously compare them all to the Grim Donut.
  • 4 0
 Cant see a P-Train without thinking of Roscoe.

youtu.be/rW-lN1DFFCs
  • 1 0
 Underrated comment
  • 4 0
 Only in Canada would Levy say bike weight in grams, tube lengths in millimeters and his height in feet/inches
  • 4 0
 Can't comment on the other bikes of the field-test, but as of tomorrow I've got a P-Train and am pretty happy about it.
  • 1 0
 I've yet to read about a High Pivot bike that can pedal to the top of a climb in an eager manner. Is this just the nature of the few examples of HP bikes, or the nature of the additional drag from the idler?
The idea behind the suspension seems like it could be a game changer, but I still spend way more time pedaling than I do descending so it still really matters.
  • 1 0
 Without having delved into the kinematics too much I believe it's to do with dialing in the anti-squat. It would seem hard to do and the idler would be under a pretty decent load i a HPP system.
  • 1 0
 Not sure if I missed this in the comments, but: if it couldn't fit a bottle on the downtube (in front of the shock), why weren't the bosses located on the bottom of the top tube? Seems like it could be located a little further back in that location, allowing for a real bottle.
  • 2 2
 Beautiful bike, I love the looks...it probably rides amazing going down but in full honesty, I’d rather see the Druid get a review instead. Higher frame numbers available, lighter frame?, mullet link..idk seems more realistic than a a frame w only 20 available...just saying!
  • 2 4
 maybe if you actually stopped living underneath a rock you would find a proper druid review from PB
  • 2 1
 PB already did a review on the Druid, but I agree, it would have made more sense to put the Druid in this review since few folks are going to look seriously at the P-Train. At the minimum, since Kaz rode and reviewed both bikes, I'd like to see the Druid contrasted with the P-Train as part of the review..
  • 4 1
 Here's hoping this means steel full-sus bikes will be getting more attention
  • 1 0
 Only twenty available per year and at 4k USD without a shock, nah, this is just eye candy. Make the price comparable to an aluminum or carbon frame, then yeah, overlooking the weight, this would be a sweet option.
  • 3 1
 I literally nearly fell off my sofa!!.....A review of a (none budget) bike made of metal instead of bloody carbon !!!! Whatever next?
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy I love climbing, fast climbing; I love this bike, it is my "ONE".

And having a slower bike at the climb, means, more people are able to follow :-P
  • 2 1
 Why not include a head to head comparison between this bike and the Forbidden and Deviate bikes against this? It makes no sense to review a bike that basically nobody will be able to buy.
  • 1 0
 I love the look of the rear swingarm, the front triangle is hideous. Perhaps Actofive should make an equally pretty front triangle to compliment the swingarm. Then I may be interested.
  • 3 0
 Im here for the comments , and there are none!
  • 1 0
 Still real
  • 3 0
 best review yet, mike. well done
  • 1 0
 Thanks!
  • 2 1
 Love the look and design behind the bike, but why feature a bike that only 20 people can purchase per year? Doesn't quite make sense to me..
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy isn’t this really an Enduro bike? 135mm high pivot = equivalent to 160mm normal?
  • 2 0
 That's what I said Wink
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: What does that mean for the Norco Shore?! Full downhill sled?

180 high pivot = 215 normal according to @nrpuk math. Sounds awesome.
  • 2 0
 What were the trails on the test laps? Would love a trailforks link if possible!
  • 1 0
 Ohh your Trailforks still works??!? You must not have foolishly purchased the membership, like I did, twice just to try to get it working. Emailed their Dev for support, all I got back was ‘you have to sign in to the app’ but I have tried logging in and out and even reinstalling multiple times. Still can’t use the app outside my home trails.
Anyone else having a Trailforksmare???
  • 3 0
 @OnTheShore: Mine works fine. I've got the paid membership.
  • 3 0
 Looks amazing......but Price: 3,440 EUR (w/o shock) ????
  • 2 2
 Sure seems high considering it's just some tubes welded together.
  • 1 0
 @JohanG: But it literally isn't just some tubes welded together. The rear is CNCed.
  • 2 0
 „You’re not getting this thing below 30“

Somewhere a Dangerholm cackles in scandinavian
  • 1 0
 "...stubby 450mm seat tube" - that ain't stubby, especially for a medium! My large RipmoAF has a 432 seat tube. Just wish my dropper was longer haha
  • 2 0
 A large Ripmo AF also has a slightly shorter reach. Only 10mm, but don't think of them as Medium Vs Large, rather as 485mm reach vs 475mm reach. The Ripmo, and most Ibis models, has a pretty short seat-tube, but 450mm ST for 485mm reach is not abnormal, though I could agree "stubby" is probably not the right word (especially when the Stumpy has a stubbier 435mm ST on the 475mm reach S4, and the Mojo has a legit stubby 419mm ST on the 485mm reach Large [368mm on 460mm for the Med!])
  • 2 0
 So, it feels "almost like an enduro bike", and it's only 2-3 pounds heavier!
  • 1 0
 So what is stopping a good engineer with welding knowledge from picking of some steel and remaking this bike for pennies on the dollar?!
  • 4 1
 How'd the Hayes feel?
  • 3 4
 Since it's a Hayes product they didn't like it or got a defective model like they did with the fantastic Mezzer.
  • 1 0
 very Sramish
  • 6 0
 @lkubica: I have the A4s on my trail bike, they make everything else I own from S+S and Magura feel broken.
  • 2 0
 Talks about it around the 11:50 mark.
  • 3 0
 @Powderface - I'm impressed! They'll be a full review soon.
  • 2 0
 Honest question Mike, would you pick this or the Pole 140?
  • 4 1
 Pole!
  • 2 0
 Probably have a better chance at buying a P-Train. And hopefully they won't change the design in the 6+ months between a preorder and still not receiving a frame.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: could you please elaborate?
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: this or Driud?
  • 3 1
 That frame needs to carry a NSFW warning. Just too sexy
  • 1 0
 youtu.be/Dc4zceyrNi8?t=364
from 9:00 you can see the new Actofive CNC in action
  • 1 0
 ouch, take a nice bike and make it ugly. shame really. that shock position looks not cool
  • 1 0
 @cxfahrer: that CNC version really is just lovely in so many ways.
  • 1 0
 @Korbi777: I think it looks even better
  • 1 0
 @crashtor: yeah, its nicely done and all, but i like round tubes, not spaceships
  • 3 0
 F yeah Levy do dat derr
  • 2 0
 I wish I didn't give a schnitzel about grams. What a bike!
  • 2 0
 That's about the same frame weight as an aluminum V2 Process 153.
  • 1 0
 And the weight of the overall bike for the Process 153 is probably 2-3 pounds heavier than what Levy tested here. It still climbs reasonably well for that weight, which in my head means there’s a little hope for this one.
  • 2 4
 Steel bikes make about as much sense as a manual transmission in a truck or car. But humans don't always make sense.
There's a reason Toyota still makes, and sells manual transmission trucks, manufacturers make steel framed bikes, and you can pick up an automatic Miata for 50% the price of manual transmission one.
  • 3 0
 Norway disagrees. Here, an auto tranny is deemed luxury by the gov't, and adds a whopping tax to whichever car you want to buy.
  • 3 0
 @woofer2609 in Europe most cars are still manual!
  • 3 0
 @Edtheshred: I guess I'm being a little (North) American centric, in that it's actually incredibly difficult to find a car offered with a manual transmission here.
By "make sense" I mean that the equivalent vehicle with an automatic is almost always more efficient and has better performance than the manual transmission (Look at any Porsche auto vs. Manual), so you have to have some pretty specific kinks to want the less popular option.
Personally, I've never had a manual transmission fail, love the fact I can bump start a vehicle in the middle of nowhere, and find it way more engaging to drive. For most people, they just want something. that looks good, so they go with the automatic.

I like and own steel bikes too, but there's not really a good reason to get one unless you're a real gear head.
  • 2 0
 @woofer2609: I fail to see why a automatic looks better?
I get an automatic is more efficient and more convenient.
But Is it more fun, NO.

I get what you trying to say.

I totally get steel hardtails.
Think steel SF have a place too. As they give more grip and a different smooth feel.

It would be boring if things we're all the same right?
  • 3 0
 Steel (and other metals) is great for the custom builder and small production boutiques. Material is somewhat cheaper than say carbon and the fabrication process is robust and accessable. Getting moulds made and having all the equipment to build carbon frames like the big dudes do is not cheap. Also the 'engineering' for metal frames is pretty easy really. Knowing how to design carbon layups is a steep learning curve. Not saying it can't be done but standing at my bench building steel frames is way more accessable to me than trying to get into carbon.

I much prefer the way a steel frame feels on the road and am happy to live with an extra 500-1000kg. My customers always tell me they don't often ride their carbon bikes anymore and are winning local races on them.

I'm also happy to live with the current FS prototype frame probably hitting just on 4kg with shock when it's done. It's definitely over built and I reckon I can hit 3.5kg with shock once I refine it and still be rugged enough to last more than two seasons.

Building in steel is not going backwards. It's just different.
  • 3 1
 On what planet is 15.5kg heavy?
And how on earth is that a bad thing?
  • 1 0
 His favourite trail bike is the one that feels like an enduro bike... what does that say?

that being said, I love it.
  • 1 0
 Cool looking bike! I love the simple lines not some Voltron looking thing like bikes from Evil or SC
  • 1 0
 I’m glad I rode steel when an entire bike cost $950 and weighed 24 pounds.
  • 1 0
 "All aboard the pain train, woo-woo!" - Augustus "Cole train"
  • 1 0
 ...for marketing purposes should've gone with naming it the D-Train
  • 2 0
 It looks gorgeous!
  • 2 0
 Great Writing!
  • 4 4
 If the only downside of high pivot plus idler is weight, we should see more of them on ebikes soon.
  • 1 1
 What's the length between idler centre and rear axle?
Maybe that's a more useful measurement than CS?
  • 1 0
 Choo choo! A true descenders bike, it seems Smile
  • 2 1
 wiener schnitzel is austrian and not german!! Smile
  • 1 0
 Isn't Austria a rogue region of Germany?
  • 1 0
 ...something tells me @mikelevy is not giving that frame back to Simon Razz
  • 1 0
 Wait! Stop, what the hell is grams?
  • 2 0
 It’s a unit to quantify the weight of expensive stuff
  • 1 0
 is jamie curtis sponsored by actofivia?
  • 3 6
 Simon says " I will send you a frame to review that almost noboby will be able to buy"
PB : "sure"
Simon says " I will only ever make 20 per year and that is good"
PB "great"
Simon say " It is crazy expensive and steel and that isOK"
PB " love it"
Simon says " Give it a good review"
PB " for sure"
Whatever Simon says PB does I guess.
  • 1 0
 That's a nice looking bike, no doubt about it.
  • 1 0
 Yo. Sweet looking 853 frame. But at 34lb.s and 3400-4000 euros? Oy.
  • 1 0
 Why not a bottle cage mount on the underside of the top tube? Sheesh.
  • 1 0
 "German p train", I mean.... maybe shouldn't google that at work.
  • 1 1
 Why are so many manufacturers making bikes with uneven travel in front and back? I want the same travel front and rear!
  • 1 0
 Loved the prose! Infotainment in its ideal form.
  • 1 0
 i'll wait for the poo-train
  • 1 0
 Is that swing arm not the prettiest thing every seen on a bike? good lawd.
  • 1 0
 Sounds a bit like a high pivot Shan No5. Wonder how they compare....
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy no problem pedalling with no lower chain guide?
  • 1 0
 Yeah this bike looks sick.
  • 1 0
 Geometry table please.
  • 1 0
 Gloria from exstoria.
  • 1 0
 Fantastic looking bike!
  • 1 0
 Rosco P Train...hazard.
  • 3 4
 Can we have this in carbon? I am too old to haul 15+kg up the mountain.
  • 2 2
 *facepalm*
  • 1 1
 Ebike then...
  • 3 0
 No! It's forbidden.
  • 1 0
 That's a Druid then.
  • 1 0
 @devlincc: If you do not wish to deviate from a HPP bike.
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2021. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.030190
Mobile Version of Website