Field Test Review: 2024 Pole Onni - In the Eye of the Beholder

Oct 24, 2023
by Matt Beer  

PINKBIKE FIELD TEST REVIEW

Pole Onni



Words by Matt Beer; photography by Tom Richards


When it comes to Pole's newest enduro / DH bike, there are plenty of ride characteristics to discuss, but first let’s look into the unique looks and construction that make the Onni stand out in a crowd, and blind them, depending on how the light reflects.

This entire frame is cut from aluminum blocks instead of tubing. The front triangle is made up of two halves and then bonded together like a clamshell. Making up the rear triangle, the arms bolt together to form a dual-link suspension design that drive a 65mm stroke RockShox Vivid Ultimate air shock.

The Onni can transform into three modes: downhill, “down-duro”, and the 160mm travel enduro model we have on test. That requires swapping out the rear shock for a 70 or 75-stroke shock and shorter yokes, plus a longer fork from 170mm ZEB Ultimate.
Pole Onni Enduro Details

• Aluminum CNC'd frame
• Travel: 160mm / 170mm fork
• Wheel size: 29er or mixed wheels
• Dual-link suspension design
• 63.5° head angle
• 79° seat angle
• Reach: 437, 467, 497mm
• Chainstay: 448mm
• Sizes: K1, K2, K3
• Weight: 16.5 kg / 36.5 lb
• Price: $6,952 USD
• More info: polebicycles.com

What about swapping between rear wheel sizes? All you need to do is simply install your preference - no need to alter any geometry-saving flip-chips. According to Pole, riders wishing for a 29” wheel will be looking for steeper angles anyway.

Pole Onni Enduro - Photos by Tom Richards

Our test frame arrived with no way to mount a water bottle, but Pole has since added the ability to carry up to two bottles, one on the top tube and the other under the downtube. I tip my hat to the tidy looks of the integrated seat clamp, although the two-bolt design requires attention to torque the bolts evenly and eliminate the post from slipping.

Outside of the SRAM AXS components, a list of unconventional parts further separates the Onni from the norm. Braking duties are called upon from Hayes Dominion A4s and mounted to a 50mm rise Title AH1 bar. Mavic’s alloy Deemax wheels are laced with bladed spokes and a hub that relies on just 15 degrees of engagement. For such an exotic-looking bike, especially one made in Finland, the Onni's $6,952 price tag is fairly reasonable.




Pole Onni Enduro - Photos by Tom Richards
Pole Onni Enduro - Photos by Tom Richards

Climbing

Don’t judge a book by its cover. The industrial looks of the Onni are gangly, but it’s no slouch on the climbs. Three of those key factors lie in the seated position, suspension, and ground clearance.

All functions of excellent pedaling performance in any bike can go out the window if the seated position is disregarded. Pole has chosen a steep 79-degree seat tube angle that positions the rider over top of the bottom bracket, so there’s no worry of slipping off the back of the seat. That’s backed up by an even weight distribution between the wheels and avoids unwanted wheelies with a 448mm rear center.

Up front the slack 63.5-degree head tube angle can flop from side to side in tighter switchbacks, although that can be managed by arranging the bar height to suit whether you want the bike to shine brightest while climbing or descending. This area is always going to be a compromise that swings in one direction.

As with other bikes that have steep seat tube angles and slacker head tube angles, the effective top tube can sometimes feel cramped. If you’re on the upper limits of the frame size, you might need to actually move the seat further back in the rails to open up that zone, or even consider a larger frame size.

The suspension lends a helping hand to keep it riding high in the travel, and it's efficient enough that the climb switch saw minimal use. There's a good deal of support at the beginning and middle of the travel, making this a bike that generates speed well when pumping through rolling terrain.

The relatively high bottom bracket height means that there's no need to worry about smacking pedals when pedaling through chunky bits of trail, although the flip side to that geometry characteristic did show up while descending.

Pole Onni Enduro - Photos by Tom Richards

Pole Onni Enduro - Photos by Tom Richards
Pole Onni Enduro - Photos by Tom Richards

Descending

The Onni has a seriously stiff frame. When ridden through the bike park brake bumps and on other high speed chattery sections of trail, the frame sends that feedback through the rider. That stiffness also made it challenging for the wheels to find grip, since the bike literally wants to vibrate out of turns. When it comes to comfort, the Onni is the polar opposite of the Chromag Lowdown.

Not even the most “coil-like” of all the air shocks, the RockShox Vivid, could add much small bump compliance or save it from severe bottom-outs. I played with the rear shock pressures, hoping the Onni sitting lower would take care of that compliance issue. Of course, that only went so far and led to blowing through the travel even on more mundane compressions along the trail. Even with a progressive suspension curve and hydraulic bottom out control, the Onni still lets you know when all of the travel is used. During one or two of those “oh shit” moments, I thought I left the rear half of the bike behind.

Jumping back to the high-speed corners, staying planted is a challenge due to the high bottom bracket. It’s tippy, difficult to feel secure when railing high-speed turns, and can even feel like the front wheel will tuck easily if caught off guard when turning through undulating terrain.

The Onni isn't a bike for someone that wants to be carried down the hill on a soft pillow. It requires an attentive, active, and strong rider, ideally one that doesn't mind the challenges that come from the higher bottom bracket and unforgiving frame. The fact that it can also be configured as a downhill bike does give it an element of versatility that not many bikes possess. Theoretically, you could ride it in enduro mode when the lifts are closed, and then install a longer shock and a dual crown fork and have a 200mm DH race machine when race season begins.


Pole Onni Enduro - Photos by Tom Richards


Technical Report

Mavic Deemax wheels: I barely recognized the black-out Deemax wheels because the last time I had these underneath me they were bright yellow 26" hoops. These wheels use straight-pull, bladed spokes and Mavic's unique UST rims construction with a fully enclosed inner rim surface. The ID360 ratchet design gives off a sound similar to a DT Swiss hub and have 15 degrees of engagement, although I'd prefer a tighter degree of engagement for faster pick up.

Title AH1 35 alloy bars: Aside from the high 50mm rise, these alloy bars from Title are built with and 8-degree backsweep and 5-degree upsweep. They don't use the same flex characteristics as the unique square shape of the FORM model handlebars, but added some comfort to the Onni. Plus, they receive the EFBE TRI-TEST GR badge of trust.

Hayes Dominion A4 brake: Another welcomed component bolted to the Onni were the four-piston stoppers from Hayes. Its funny how their system hasn't changed in five years but they seem to be gaining traction with high-level riders and elite teams lately. The power turns on with what I'd consider the lightest action of all the popular brakes on the market, even more so than TRP's DH-EVO, plus along you can adjust the reach with a dial and the pad engagement with a small allen key.




Pros

+ Machined frame is made in Europe for a competitive price
+ Decent mid-stroke support to generate speed through dynamic movements
+ Front to rear weight balance is spot on

Cons

- High bottom bracket is unsettling through fast turns
- Stiff frame transmits trail chatter to rider
- Lacks small bump compliance and bottom-out resistance





photo
The 2023 Enduro Field Test is presented Bluegrass



Author Info:
mattbeer avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2001
375 articles

305 Comments
  • 639 3
 A face Onni a mother could love...
  • 16 5
 this deserves to the the top pun comment
  • 100 0
 Magnificent.
  • 9 3
 If the top tube formed a straight line with the seat stays and the downtube joined the seat tube nearer the BB I reckon this would be a bike people loved the looks of. And there'd be space for a water bottle. I'm sure the designer knows that though, so fair play to them for prioritising the desired kinematics over the looks.
  • 38 2
 Except your mother would never let you ride the pole…
  • 21 0
 Pencils down.
  • 6 23
flag AppleJack76 FL (Oct 24, 2023 at 9:31) (Below Threshold)
 @blissindex: Because she has been doing it for years, at the strip club.
  • 2 2
 The elephant in the room was so big they decided to use euphemism usually used only when something is as ugly as hell
  • 12 18
flag gearbo-x (Oct 24, 2023 at 9:40) (Below Threshold)
 Next time test the Vikkela, which was designed for comfort and all around trail performance, not to mention 190mm of travel. This is almost purposely tested to fail
  • 1 7
flag likeittacky (Oct 24, 2023 at 11:08) (Below Threshold)
 and its a polish face at that
  • 6 1
 U no like? Having seen one in person, I think it looks sick.
  • 11 0
 @AppleJack76: have you ever seen someone explain a joke and thought, "yeah! that made it funnier!!!!"??


neither has anyone else.....
  • 5 1
 Stiff pole ...
  • 3 9
flag AppleJack76 FL (Oct 24, 2023 at 16:03) (Below Threshold)
 @Mtbdialed: Sorry, I don't think like your mom.
  • 2 0
 It reminds of the elevated chainstay designs of the early 90's. Not bad.
  • 4 0
 Someone in Poland please create a Finn bike brand.
  • 2 1
 @blissindex: how you expect you were born. Your mom rides the pole
  • 107 3
 What kind of suspension curve is harsh off the top but bottoms out too easily? It's almost like the engineers said "what would be the best suspension design?" and then did the opposite.
  • 5 14
flag baca262 (Oct 24, 2023 at 8:44) (Below Threshold)
 irc, when these bikes first came out (both normal and e bike version), they lauded them for plowing ability. i'm under impression they sometimes review broken hardware as if they didn't know there's anything wrong with it.
  • 9 1
 This is a classic case of style over function. Great work guys!
  • 54 0
 I'm thinking some of this may be the fact that this model is the shortest shocked version of their downhill frame, and what we're seeing is the edges of that compromise?

ie, the "high BB" would have sagged a fair bit more with when it has 200mm of rear travel, rather than 160mm of travel right, plus hitting a different part of the leverage curve?

It would seem their other bike (Vikkela) would have been perhaps more appropriate to review for a trail/enduro bike perspective? It has things you'd expect from an enduro bike... like space for a water bottle. And the max rear travel is a bit lower.
  • 3 0
 Would be nice to get charts @mattbeer
  • 13 3
 @ocnlogan: it makes absolutely no sense to me that a bike with bearings everywhere, even the shock mounts, has poor small bump sensitivity. something's broken.
  • 9 1
 It seems like more explanation is needed on what's going on. They describe it as having a progressive suspension curve but still blowing through the travel easily. Unno also was described as progressive, but was not easy to bottom out.
  • 3 0
 @baca262:

Worth investigating for sure. Swapping shocks, and checking the linkage/pivot bearings for binding or something would be a nice addition (or maybe sending it back to Pole to have them look at it if they can't find anything).

I was mostly thinking of the BB height (because the dynamic sag is less with a shorter shock), and maybe something weird with the leverage curve due to that.
  • 4 0
 @ocnlogan: I don't think that's the case here. They mention that the longer stroke shocks have a different eyelit, which should shift kinematics up and down appropriately.

What you're talking about does happen when you short shock a frame with the same eye-to-eye. You chop off the end stroke, making the rest of the kinematics more linear, still wouldn't affect the top-out proggression.
  • 7 0
 @GTscoob:

Interesting. I must have missed that.

I see in the article that they have different yokes for the shocks, and in the specs now I see that the shocks for the trail/enduro/downhill bikes have different eye to eye measurements (as well as strokes). Looks like the enduro one uses a 60x230, while the downhill models use 75x250. So that should roughly equalize like you said.

The chopping of the leverage curve though could explain why it was bottoming out easily though couldn't it? At least if the progression is mostly towards the end of the stroke? And if you are having to increase the pressure to keep from bottoming at that end, that would make it less supple at the beginning of the stroke would it not?
  • 2 0
 @baca262: Actually, there were no ride reviews/feedback in the first articles about this bike. Those articles only mentioned info passed on from Pole.
  • 5 0
 Keep in mind Leo won Trans Madeira enduro in his class on this bike, albeit with dual crown forks and a longer stroke shock. And the bike is designed for 200mm of travel. Short stroking it is gonna send performance out of whack for anything except racing.
  • 2 1
 A Yeti 575's.
  • 5 6
 Honestly I am pretty sure their ride impressions is 95% placebo and based on the aesthetics of the frame and prior knowledge of the characteristics (material/geometry/cinematic).
  • 18 2
 "What kind of suspension curve is harsh off the top but bottoms out too easily? It's almost like the engineers said "what would be the best suspension design?" and then did the opposite."

The leverage ratio is 3.2 to 2.3 That is considered progressive.
  • 2 2
 @polebicycles: my best guess is an air shock without a negative chamber.
  • 1 1
 I'm having a bit of a hard time getting the Linkage X3 software to set up the suspension design for the Onni, but from what I can get out of it, it seems like the Onni just has really high anti-squat values that get higher in smaller gears. I imagine that's where the harshness comes from. I couldn't find a chart from Pole on their kinematics, but that's what I can deduce.
  • 3 4
 @emarquar: no stiction, no harshness regardless of the leverage curve or antisquat, if it was antisquat, pedal kickback would've been mentioned. so it's either a faulty shock or bearings binding.
  • 6 2
 @baca262: One of us is trying to read into the review and make assumptions, and the other is using a bike suspension design software to understand what the frame is doing, so feel free to not declare absolute facts. We also know that if your wheel is moving and your hub isn't engaged, then pedal kickback does not occur - this is helped by using the coarse engagement hubs they've specc'd
  • 30 0
 They clearly put the shock on back to front. The soft part of the travel is at the wrong end.
  • 2 12
flag baca262 (Oct 24, 2023 at 14:02) (Below Threshold)
 @emarquar: seriously? "software" lmao

do you read the instruction manual on how to wipe your butt too? lol
  • 1 0
 It sounds like it should be running coil from factory
  • 2 0
 ever ridden an Alchemy? lol


"sine wave kinemetics". it's ludicrous and rides the same....
  • 2 1
 @baca262: Awww did somebody get butthurt that someone disagreed with their nonsense on the internet? I'm sorry... if we had known you were such a sensitive snowflake we definitely would have all agreed with you and given you lots of upvotes and told you what a big smart boy you were.
  • 2 8
flag baca262 (Oct 24, 2023 at 15:43) (Below Threshold)
 @emarquar: lol, you should simulate that in your software
  • 3 0
 @polebicycles:

That 3.2 - 2.3 leverage ratio works out to 28% progression, which is pretty progressive.

Is that for the 60mm stroke shock on the enduro variant? Or is that for the 75mm stroke DH version (ie, the full leverage curve)?
  • 1 0
 Double post. Deleted.
  • 5 1
 @skedasticity: They, (pinkbike) reduced the air pressure in an attempt to increase small bump compliance and in doing so made the suspension bottom easier. Rather than reduce air pressure, they should’ve reduced low speed compression. That’s not the bikes fault, it’s the tuners.
  • 2 0
 @Twenty6ers4life: I think they must have rewritten that section, it makes more sense now.
  • 2 0
 Couldn't you just fit some more volume spacers in the shock? With a slightly lower static pressure that would soften the initial stroke and increase bottom out resistance
  • 8 0
 @emarquar: Evaluating kinematics with Linkage Design can be somewhat challenging. I'm cautious about accepting reverse-engineered models as absolute facts, as even mimeasurement differencesents can significantly impact results. I've attached the kinematics files of Onni Enduro for your reference.

It's crucial to emphasize that adjusting chainring sizes will have a pronounced effect on both anti-squat and pedal kickback characteristics. Smaller chainrings will amplify these factors, while larger ones will mitigate them. Additionally, our anti-squat demonstrates a decreasing trend towards the end of the suspension stroke.

drive.google.com/drive/folders/1ssM1AGS6kh9l1mcAZHQs7bR5fwi2qPgP?usp=sharing

Offtopic: We pride ourselves on presenting the stiffest frame in this review while being one of the lightest bikes. Our bike is fully metal built, equipped with a complete metal build featuring even T-Type and AXS dropper post, and registers a weight of 16.8 kg.
  • 3 6
 @polebicycles: worse yet, you can't simulate shock stiction, or bushing friction, or bushing/bearing bind, it has absolutely no relation with how the bike will behave irl regarding those "details", that's why i crapped all over him. dude's a troll and not worthy of serious consideration, the only thing important to him is to use "software" dog whistle buzzword on the lemmings
  • 3 0
 @polebicycles: Awesome, thanks for sharing that! It's definitely fiddly to reverse-engineer stuff especially with a unique linkage like you guys have. I will say that with a high res photo, a more standard linkage, and visible pivots, it's not thaaat hard to reproduce a company's published plots. The problem that I was having was getting the software to let me attach the upper seatstay pivot and upper link to the shock yoke in different places - its not quite a 4-bar but also not a 6-bar linkage after all. Anyways, your charts show a much lower, and much more reasonable anti-squat value than I was getting, which is great. In lieu of that explanation, do you have an idea why the reviewers here felt there was poor sensitivity at the beginning of the stroke? Again, I really appreciate the data transparency!
  • 3 2
 @baca262: Are you ok dude? Like seriously. Because from where we're all sitting, it seems like either your mom finally told you to move out of her basement and you're having a mental health crisis, or you're actively having a stroke and just typing random words. Don't be afraid to reach out to a friend or a hotline or whatever.
  • 2 2
 @emarquar: eat shit, narcissist
  • 2 0
 @baca262: You seem really passionate about this. You are doing important work here!
  • 2 3
 @jptothetree: they ain't gonna larp us out of our shit
  • 90 0
 Hold my beer.

Pole: No
  • 5 2
 You'll be wanting to drink all the beer to make the idea of riding one of those a good idea
  • 35 2
 Hold my water bottle.

Pole: Also, no.
  • 2 5
 @Mbarsoski: LOL - underrated
  • 79 8
 Am the only one that thinks this bike actually looks f*cking incredible? It's a goddamn space ship.
  • 46 0
 It's a beautiful work of art, it's a weird looking mountain bike
  • 7 0
 Side on I didn’t admire it so much as in the video and shots of it in motion, I think it’s actually quite cool. And I’ve not thought that before of a Pole
  • 9 0
 From a planet with exceptionally smooth and straight terrain that doesn't contain H2O.
  • 4 1
 I think it looks cool — a lot nicer than the Poles of the past. From the drive side, anyway. From the other side, you just see that weird dangling bottom bracket. But overall, I think it’s pretty sweet.
  • 5 0
 It is a very cool looking bike!
  • 6 0
 I agree, looks pretty cool. Although, i have a voima…which looks great in person too
  • 6 0
 Agreed - it looks awesome IMHO
  • 2 3
 It’s form might follow the function of a spaceship but not that of a mountainbike.
  • 3 0
 Yes it looks really cool.
  • 68 4
 So... so far we have:
1 bike from a brand that likely won't survive until next season
2 bikes that seem to be generally disliked (with black Deemax rims!?!?!)
2 bikes with solid, but maybe underwhelming reviews

No pressure on Nicolai, Ibis and Trek then... That being said, love seeing some oddball/compromised/niche bikes actually getting tested together. Way more interesting, and kinda points to why bikes are looking similar- stuff that's too different just seems to miss the mark more.
  • 50 0
 I got a feeling Ibis will shine EXCEPT the PB crew all loves long chainstays so 435 will be a con for sure.
  • 9 0
 I like seeing reviews of the oddball bikes too, but I wish they would do a 'mainstream' shootout and a 'boutique' shootout. When bike designs are so off the wall, like the Pole and the Unno, it's pretty likely that the bike is gonna be a one trick pony. That's why bikes all look so similar these days. I
  • 2 0
 @Glory831Guy: True. It would be cool to see it broken out that way, given that the boutique brands are great at "specific needs", while the mainstream bikes are likely better for most riders. I tend to sit in the middle too, so being able to compare/contrast is especially nice.
  • 7 8
 Your missing out the obsession with a water bottle because your never more than 30 minutes from the car so don’t need to carry food or spares or a jacket or even more than1 bottles worth of drink
  • 10 0
 This is the true spirit of the field test. Better than reading they’re all pretty much the same.
  • 2 0
 Before we’re done I’ll bet we add to the total number of bikes you won’t be able to purchase next year…
  • 4 1
 @TheR: But it's also cool to see tests with more similar bikes so you can really get nuanced takes on the slight differences amongst the top rigs
  • 1 0
 @Jvhowube: Exactly. Two bikes could look very similar, even have the same suspension brand, but one has a better shock tune for the same frame size ect.
  • 1 1
 @TheR: Not very helpful if you're cross shopping the big brands though. It would be like reading a car comparison that included Toyota, Kia, Skoda, and Renault, but didn't have Honda.

Could be good reading for sure, but a similar comparison with all the big players is much more useful info if you're actually gonna buy something.
  • 2 1
 @wolftwenty1: 435 is pretty short for a small rear wheel out back. Would make sense on a full 29er, but on a race bike the big advantage of a mixed wheel is high speed stability of longer chainstays without sacrificing maneuverability. If you don't get that stability, just run full 29 like most of the EDR field does.
  • 1 0
 @Glory831Guy: well, neither Unno nor Pole are „one trick ponies“ - they‘ve been around for a while (10 yrs in case of Pole), driven innovation and delivered bikes from at least interesting to flat out amazing. Maybe the have not quite hit the mark, but at least in the case of the Onni, one review of a pre-production bike can hardly be a final verdict.
  • 2 2
 @CrixxBrain: sounds like the Unno is a serious one trick pony with 45% progression. That bike will only be really good on smooth jump lines. The rear suspension will always overload the forks in technical terrain with that much progression. Textbook one trick pony. Sorry doggy.
  • 1 2
 @CrixxBrain: As good as they may be...Doesn't sound like they're amazing or anything... Both of those bikes would be a pain in the ass to buy in North America, so they were never on my radar to be honest. I would rather read a review of many other bikes compares to those two.
  • 1 0
 @krehzeekid: for example? specific needs to constantly bottom out? Wink
jokes aside i like the boutique aspect too but once a bike is not near the benchmark i wouldn't call the boutique bike any good just becaus it's different.
  • 1 0
 @wolftwenty1: I went from pretty short mainstay on devinci django 29 to longer on a Transition spire; IMO the hype is real on longer chain stays for just about everything except ultra tight trails. Better balance, better cornering traction, better climbing, and better intuitive balance. I don't have to constantly monitor my rear tire's breakaway likelihood when cornering hard like I did with the shorter CS....unless scrapping everything is your goal...then may as well go hardtail with semi slick rear tire
  • 59 0
 I was riding Creekside in September and I saw a guy on one of these. He was futzing with the bike and looked clearly annoyed. All his boys were chuckling. I couldnt believe somone bought one of these things. He looked up, Kazimer...LOL.
  • 1 0
 haha, did you ask @mikekazimer how he got on with the bike?
  • 5 1
 This story would only be better if He looked up, Levy.
  • 36 1
 All that money for a bike that climbs like a fully and descends like a hardtail?
  • 8 1
 My hardtail is harsh off the top and constantly bottoming out
  • 35 1
 Those cons are legit.
  • 38 0
 Hopefully they’re addressed in future revisions of the design and become ex-cons.
  • 20 0
 @Nathan-A: Given its Halloween season and all, if we chant LEO 3 times maybe he will appear in the comment section and bestow his knowledge upon these foolish testers for thinking one of his bikes could have cons. Last time they tested one of his bikes, they had ZERO appreciation for its compliance...and now they are too stiff. what could these editors possibly want?!
  • 2 0
 @Nathan-A: typically those settings end up right back where they started.
  • 5 1
 And the pros are not great either. Idc where a frame is made so long as it's good quality and made in a humane way. Taiwanese frames definitely pass this test. Then "decent midstroke support" sounds so lukewarm.
  • 26 0
 I’m happy with the way these reviews are flowing. When I read a review I am hoping to get the following information, “does this bike suck?, is this bike better than this other one?”.

I get that a certain degree of politeness is expected when reviewing a brand, but this group test is making it easy to read between the lines while remaining constructive. Thumbs up.
  • 2 0
 Agreed! It's hard to say "this sucks" politely, but that's the info that we need
  • 2 0
 Yeah, everything seems super honest and to the point without all the vague euphemistic language that does nothing but confuse people and cover for poor design. This seems way better. Cheers to PB reviewers.
  • 20 1
 I find Pole's "this is how we designed it. Why? Because f*ck you that's why" take on things to be fairly refreshing. No, they don't always hit the mark , but there's something to be said for a brand that is willing to really get weird and fail, instead of making compromises in the name of sales.

Also my opinion is biased as I used to ride an evolink and thought it was awesome.
  • 4 0
 I appreciate that they do their own thing and stand behind it. They didnt set out to create another Stumpy Evo/Fuel (nothing wrong with those bikes, but Specialized/Trek already did a great job with them), for better or worse they set out to make something unique. Thats what I want from a boutique bike vendor.
  • 2 0
 I also used to have an evolving and have exactly the same feelings as you. That was some bike
  • 21 0
 Can you please do a huck-to-flat test?
  • 32 0
 You bet. It’s on the way.
  • 2 0
 Can you do it with a better camera than the recent HTF videos were done with?
  • 2 0
 And preferably at least Mini-clearing height?
  • 1 0
 @huntingbears: screw it - jump an actual mini. Anyone know where we can find one?
  • 1 0
 Might want to pad up before huckiing this one.
  • 11 0
 You seem to mention the bb height several times in the article, and yet the actual bb height doesn't appear the be listed in the article? BB height should be listed in the articles considering how it can drastically affect bike handling and ride quality.
  • 2 0
 I believe it is 0mm bb drop on dual 29, so around 380mm bb height, at least on the full sus model
  • 3 1
 It's listed on the Pole website as: 368mm BB height, -18mm BB drop (full 29er version) and 356mm BB height, -11mm BB drop (MX version).

I see most enduro bikes coming in around ~343-350 mm BB height and ~25-30mm BB drop.

Part of the issue with this bike will be both the absolute height of the BB (~15-20mm higher), and the fact that it offers less drop - which won't give you that coveted "in the bike" rider feeling.
  • 5 1
 I have been riding a Pole Vikkelä for over 6 months now, which has 0 BB drop. While it needs a moment of getting used to, I‘m all for it: ground clearance is massive, and it corners extremely well, while - thanks to overall geometry - it never feels unstable. I don’t see a disadvantage.
  • 14 0
 Can we snap to the Ibis now?
  • 15 1
 Poor small-bump compliance AND poor bottom-out resistance? I'll take two!
  • 2 12
flag Explodo (Oct 24, 2023 at 9:00) (Below Threshold)
 Henry did say in the very first review that Fox is just ahead of Rockshox in suspension performance right now. Maybe that has something to do with it.
  • 2 0
 @Explodo: "just", and it's hard to blame backwards suspension support on that
  • 4 0
 @Explodo: that was with regards to forks wasn’t it? IIRC the Vivid review went “just as good as an X2, but hopefully won’t die every 1.4 rides”
  • 1 0
 Don’t forget harsh and over $7k! Shut up and take my money!
  • 1 0
 I am not sure how that is possible with the Vivid Ultimate.
It has bags of small bump compliance and the bottom out resistance is tuneable with the HBO function and volume spacers.
Sure you don't have to believe all the marketing hype surrounding the shock (or anything actually) but it is buttery smooth, great small bump sensitivity, good mid stroke support and takes a proper slam to get it to bottom out (but only the o-ring inspection later and the threat of one's knee collapsing indicate a bottom out on the trail).
98 kg rider on an Arrival 170 for rider weight/ bike reference purposes.
  • 1 0
 @andrewbikeguide: i agree with your assessment and Im using the SD ULT with threshold/hydraulic bottom. you can set them up pretty soft and still have to slam it to get near bottom....and Im on the lowest comp tune version on a NON Cascade line Spire.....I also love my HBO on my Mezzer Pro, but its a little less supple with the IRT really setup for big hits
  • 10 1
 As a Pole Voima owner, I admit I’m biased towards Pole, and LOVE my Voima. I thought I’d weigh in a little bit on the “cons.”

1. “High bottom bracket is unsettling through fast turns”. No way. Even in the video they said that once they found the sweet spot, the got used to pushing the bike around. They said something along the lines of the fact that it was a smaller sweet spot to find, but they could still get there. Coming from a Spesh Enduro to my Voima, I initially thought that as well. However, I found that after a good month on the bike, the sweet spot to push the bike is very easy to find. There is a learning curve to figuring how to ride the high bottom bracket, but once you figure it out, it is awesome. The clearance for climbing roots technical trails is a huge bonus, and the clearance for clearing really chunky downhills gives me a huge confidence boost on the trails. I love the high bottom bracket, and after riding it on my Voima for almost a year now, I wish more bikes did it. I do not see a single drawback to the higher bottom bracket in terms of handling. Yes, you do have to get used to it, but I would also say that every time I get a new bike it takes me month to really get the bike sorted out.

2. “Stiff frame transmits trail chatter to rider” Yes, aluminum is stiff, no doubt. Compared to the smooth ride of carbon, it does feel different, but I would not say that it “beats you up.” I bet a nice set of carbon wheels (Enve 630’s or Zipp 3Zero Motos) AND a carbon bar would smooth that out, but still give you the lively feeling of a metal bike. I’ve taken my Voima to bike parks before, and it is a super fun bike there (yes, I realized ebike to analog is not an apples to apples comparison) and there is something to be said about a fun aluminum bike where you can “feel” the trail. I also put carbon bars on all my bikes because I do think they take a LOT of trail vibrations away (may be the placebo effect, but I think carbon bars ride smoother). I guess what I’m getting at is that I do not think a stiff frame that transmits trail chatter is a negative. That can easily be spun into a positive that the bike does not feel “dead” or “disconnected” from the trail.

3. “ Lacks small bump compliance and bottom-out resistance” I feel like this was something in suspension setup. I have a hard time believing that such a big bike lacks small bump compliance. I also would put a coil on this bike for sure. On my Voima, I have a Cane Creek coil and that bike is a magic carpet. Also, let’s be honest, coils look cool. They also have the best small bump compliance. I also think that the new RockShox stuff isn’t quite as good as the top tier stuff from Fox. It’s close, but my bikes with Fox Factory stuff on them are just absolutely dialed. My bikes with Zebs, are pretty good, but just not quite there.

I guess what I’m getting at is Pole makes the best bikes ever and you suck for saying anything bad about them. Nah, I’m just kidding. Poles are awesome though. One thing that really drew me to it was that it was a unique awesome bike with different geometry, big travel, and I love the looks of them.
  • 2 0
 Very well put, I have a similar experience with the Vikkelä (non-motorized Voima)
  • 6 0
 "High bottom bracket is unsettling through fast turns" Pole's older Evolink started w/ a standard BB height then moved to its new standard of 14"+ as with all the newer bikes. They explained a higher BB height helped in turns etc. I just don't get their reasoning?
  • 7 1
 I've seen this logic from Paul Aston. Basically BB too far below axles and your weight sort of pulls the bike upright making it not tippy enough.
  • 10 0
 I think that's a great point from both of you. The tipping sensation can, as you'd expect, tip the bike into turns. BB height is all about getting something responsive, that also has a nice wide envelope for your inputs. This thing can corner really well but it takes a very consistent and precise input and, honestly, when going back and forth between these bikes we often preferred the consistent easy handling of something a little lower. There are definitely drawbacks to going too low though in my opinion. As you said, sometimes the bike can feel a little unwilling to break onto its edges, so to speak.
  • 4 0
 @sspiff: Aston's bikes are all super long DH bikes with 500mm chainstays and enough sag to generate substantial BB drop when moving. It's a different story with this tall Onni and it's conventional wheelbase, which leads to this feeling of instability in corners.
  • 5 1
 @henryquinney: Just listened to a podcast where someone made a great analogy of BB height to balancing a broomstick with your hand. If you've got a tall broomstick (low BB), it's more likely to feel stable but takes more movement from your hand to move side to side. A shorter broomstick (higher BB) is more eager to tip over side to side but takes more energy to keep balanced.
  • 1 1
 I think the standard changed when e-bikes became the bread and butter. A noob eeb doesn’t know how to time their pantomimed pedal strokes, so give em a high bb.

There is no changing the fact that a lower center of gravity is better for cornering, no matter how you spin it.
  • 3 0
 The comments about a low bb pulling the bb upright or being unwilling to break onto it's edges sound subjective and unscientific. Can anybody explain it in more scientific terms?

@jalopyj: Horrible analogy. Your hips and arms control the bike also, not just the feet. It's also backwards, on a bike you are weighting the broomstick instead of balancing it from underneath.
  • 1 0
 @sspiff: I had one of the evolinks (dint know how the bb height compares to the onni) and actually really liked the high bb. Could pedal through a lot more rough sections which made a big difference, and I found the cornering awesome. I challenged my earlier ideas about bb height and from then on I've pretty much ignored the number when looking at geo
  • 1 0
 I commented on BB already further up in the thread, speaking not from theory, but experience with Pole‘s Vikkelä (different bike, alright): it has zero BB drop und rides extremely well…
  • 3 0
 @jalopyj: the broomstick analogy is backwards, ask anyone who has ridden a tall bike. That's how you get as close as possible to the broomstick effect and analogy, and it shows that "long broomstick stability" is achieved with a HIGH BB.
Or attach an extra weight low or high on the long broomstick, see what is more stable.


For anyone curious, draw a few sketches with applied forces and it'll help.
For anyone who prefers to believe catchy "great analogies" spread by podcasters, downvote me to hell.
  • 1 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: that's not the problem with this analogy, the fact that it doesn't cover all things bike balance related, is obvious and not the goal.
If we want to pursue this analogy, "from where" you are balancing is irrelevant. There is no "weighting the broomstick" or the bike. There is a weight, there is a contact point, and there are horizontal forces in both cases. When you turn to the left, draw the force from the ground to you, it's as if the ground moved to the left (from top view) to help you not to fall.
Whether you (in control) move a hand under a broomstick, or lean a bike on top of dirt, similar force directions are in play.
  • 6 0
 It's nice to see reviewers actually being critical of the bikes being reviewed. For awhile, it seemed like every bike on test got the same positive remarks. But, as someone who can't demo or buy every bike out there. It's good to hear the downsides-even they aren't deal breakers.
  • 6 0
 Here's Pole's review history with Pinkbike & Enduro-mtb;
1/ Pole Evolink review 2017; "The Pole is the first bike to take extremely modern geometry numbers to mass production. If you want to have a safe and easy ride on challenging terrain or go faster than all your buddies, this is your choice". Paul Aston
2/ Pole Machine review 2018; "It's a bike unlike anything else on the market, and that sentiment applies to the construction technique and the ride characteristics. Pole's long and slack geometry numbers may no longer look quite as radical as they once did, but that doesn't make the Machine any less formidable out on the trail." Mike Kazimer
3/ Enduro-mtb test/review of the Stamina 180; "The Pole Stamina 180 is a full-speed enduro rig capable of taming even the scariest tracks. The suspension and the geometry are made for speed and the bike will help you go faster than you ever thought possible." (also reviewed very favorably by Pinkbike)
4/ Pole Stamina 140 review Pinkbike; "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." Also Mike Levy said "The Pole Stamina 140 is the most capable trail bike I've ever ridden!"
5/ Pole Onni 170/160 review; Suddenly Pole has forgotten how to build a great bike like all their others...

I have an Evolink 140, Stamina 140 and now Vikkela 190/180. The Vikkela frame, while a different suspension layout, uses the same CNC manufacturing process and it is a great combo of stiffness and sensitivity while certainly not being overly harsh. I don't know what the testers couldn't figure out but that just doesn't make sense?! The first four Pole models are amazing but the fifth is sh%*t... C'mon that simply doesn't figure.
  • 2 0
 @ocnlogan:
Have the BBs always been "high"? Maybe that can explain a lot of the perceived difference.
Then the suspension, it's really surprising that a new Vivid could not manage a bit (too) low or high pressures. My (2016) Vivid has always been so good off the top and in bottom outs, than I can adjust BB height with different Sags, and it still does everything well.

In this case, could it be that the bike was really built for this 70/75mm stroke shocks, and in enduro configuration it was given a trail bike character for efficiency, to mark the difference with a DH build?
  • 23 16
 All anyone cares about is the Trek Slash review. Is it awesome or do you break it and suffer from constant dropped chains? Skip everything else.
  • 26 0
 This and the review for the Nicolai supre drivetrain are all we want and they know it, that's 100% why those bike are last, absolute tease.
  • 4 0
 I thought the unno would be interesting too. because it is so frickin expensive
  • 4 0
 They should also do a review of the antidote carbonjack
  • 4 0
 Ibis too...but given 435 chainstays let's hope Henry didn't review it...
  • 12 3
 Believe it or not Lewis B just made the video that said the slash drops chains as clickbait to watch his videos. Hard to believe isn’t it
  • 2 0
 @kingch24 you should go back to Trek review and skip this.
  • 3 0
 put working bearings in the freehub and idler and I bet there won't be any dropped chains!
  • 19 1
 @jimoxbox: The OnlyFans guy clickbaiting...I'm shocked.
  • 1 3
 There in talks with trek to minimize the damage of a horrible review no doubt..
  • 1 0
 @m40sniper: it is the 4th most expensive out of 8
  • 6 0
 Idgaf about the slash review. Want to hear about the ibis and nicolai though
  • 11 0
 That pornhub guy kept dropping chains according to his video thumbnail
  • 4 0
 The Slash doesnt drop chains, it’s has “CATASTROPHIC FAILURES!”
  • 3 4
 @Dogl0rd: Onlyfans
  • 2 0
 My local shop is already discounting the new slash
  • 1 0
 I’ve heard that the Slash isn’t the only high pivot and idler bike that drops chains.
  • 1 0
 @BarneyStinson: tell me more
  • 2 0
 The dropped chains are because AXS-T has to be set up ultra-precise. Need to test for dropping chains backpedaling in all 12 gears. If it does at all, it'll lose the chain.
  • 1 0
 @Dogl0rd: I’ve heard Forbidden do it too?
  • 5 0
 @BarneyStinson: I can't believe these complicated bikes have problems
  • 1 0
 @Dogl0rd: me neither.
  • 1 0
 @kobold: pornfansonlyhub
  • 8 0
 Leo won Trans Madeira autumn edition on one - so it can't be all that bad
  • 8 0
 A stiff Pole is bad,said no one ever.
  • 1 0
 That was on the 200/200 version I believe.
  • 3 0
 Leo won spring edition with an Onni DH 200/200 with dual crown and won again Autumn edition with the Onni downduro 190/200.
The bike looks sick, had a ton of amazing features! Waiting to get my own
  • 5 0
 Wonder why Pole did not provide the Vikkela for the test. There seem to be no reviews online despite the bike being sold for some time now.
  • 5 0
 They want to promote their newest bike. The Vikkela and Onni product lineup is a bit confusing as both bikes overlap.
  • 2 2
 Or the Taival, which absolutely hammers descents and eats trail voraciously... Wink
  • 3 0
 Vikkella is a MUCH longer bike. Compare the geo. The K2 size of Onni has almost 30mm shorter wheelbase. The older thinking from Pole was to make bikes super long and slack, and having ridden the old Machine, I can attest that geo makes it pretty much the best all around bike in both climbing and descending performance. Of course, there is allways a downside, and that downside is tight switchbacks, but a well worthy compromise for everything else. Onni is shorter and more racier. Its not going to climb as well as Vikkella but its more along the lines of what other bikes have in terms of geo.
  • 3 1
 I’ve got the motorized Vikkela (Voima) and it’s a sick ride. You do have to size down from what Pole recommend. Front/rear balance is spot on, climbs insanely well (motor or not), smashes great, and corners at least as well as my previous Enduro or Range. The challenging bit seems to be that the rear isn’t too stiff laterally - it does wave around a bit. I think the Onni was meant to solve that but maybe they threw some of the baby out with the bath water (?). Haven’t tried an Onni so can’t really comment. I do love my Voima though - most confidence inspiring rig I’ve been on pointed downhill.
  • 2 0
 @Blownoutrides: does it still flap around with the race axles?
  • 4 0
 15* (ie - 24 POE) doesn't seem like a lot. PB even commented that the 9* of engagement on the Deemax wheels they tested back in 2019 wasn't enough. Is Mavic going for the oChain effect with that amount of play?
  • 4 1
 Remember the Redalp bike everybody hated for it’s looks…?

www.redalp.com/DE/bikes.php

Usually I don’t put looks over function and I am a huge fan of pole but besides the machining I have a bit a hard time to get used to this rear end.
  • 17 0
 I had the same problem with an ex girlfriend.
  • 2 0
 Wow, now that Redalp is the ugliest bike I've ever seen by a good margin.
  • 1 0
 @ratedgg13: Pole...rear end...
I can see that.

Also, the redalp.
"we want to design a high pivot."
"how high?"
  • 3 0
 @ratedgg13: checkmate. Well done, I am dying
  • 3 0
 One question I had with this bike and the Unno: is the provided seatpost too short, or is the clearance for a dropper too small to allow for a bigger post? With the Unno it seems clear you're not putting a 200 in there. But with the pole there's all that excess sticking out of the frame. What's the clearance situation? This stuff gets complicated, as different posts have different insertion depths and it changes by frame size. Could it be solved if Pole took up the eightpins integrated posts?

Wasn't clear to me.
  • 1 0
 Might be more of an issue of not meeting minimum insertion depth with this one. That dropper had its pants down
  • 5 2
 I’m sorry but if your going out for a 4+ hour enduro day how is 1 bottle of water ever going to be enough? Where do you carry food , spares, first aid, a jacket etc. Perhaps your idea of an enduro day is up and down back to the carpark every lap so you can sort any issues at the bottom? Mine means you don’t come back to the car for the entire ride and need to be self sufficient.
  • 5 0
 Pinkbike should put a nice drive side photo of the bike at the top of the article and not the video. Place the video below a good photo.
  • 1 0
 Totally agree, I guess the only way to see the bike is to click the video? Cause the only pic they have is only half the bike
  • 3 0
 Dirt bike manufacturers figured out that a chassis that is too stiff doesn’t ride well.

Considering how (relatively) easily Pole can make iterative changes, seems like adding some compliance and dropping the bottom bracket wouldn’t be too hard.

At a decent (for a boutique bike) price, I hope Pole tweaks this bike to its full potential.
  • 1 0
 Amen. Having recently started riding steel bikes again, I can definitely say the comfort and tracking of a softer bike is very real. YMMV if you're a 7ft, 300lb racer.
  • 9 6
 "the Onni still lets you know when all of the travel is used. I played with the rear shock pressures, hoping the Onni sitting lower would take care of that issue."

Why in the world would you think letting it sit _lower_ would help with harsh bottoming out?

"Of course, that only went so far and led to blowing through the travel even on more mundane compressions along the trail."

Yeah, no shit! This whole review is suspect if this is the level of know-how we're dealing with.
  • 4 0
 Ya I thought the move would have been adding tokens for more ramp up at the end of the stroke?
  • 6 1
 Hi all - thanks for the heads up. This was a typing error, and Matt may well have omitted a clear and important word here. I just had a quick chat to make sure the message does reflect his feelings and process, and he will amend it shortly. Thanks for pointing it out though.
  • 3 2
 @henryquinney: It will take more than a single word, no matter how clear and important, or even a few words. There are a couple few whole sentences that go the wrong way.
  • 10 1
 @justinfoil: We always appreciate passionate readers that catch errors, or in this case, poorly written sentences. Next time me do better.
  • 2 6
flag justinfoil (Oct 24, 2023 at 17:33) (Below Threshold)
 @mattbeer: it's not just poorly written in this case. The grammar and structure could be perfect, doesn't matter when the whole concept of less pressure to prevent bottoming was backwards. No one proofreading noticed that?
  • 3 0
 @justinfoil: bold of you assume someone proofreads these.
  • 4 1
 @justinfoil: did that mixup ruin your whole day? Sure sounds like it….
  • 1 1
 @farkinoath: shit, you made me spit coffee on my phone! Hahaha
  • 1 1
 @justinfoil: You going to be ok?
  • 5 0
 How come this bottoms out and the unno you cant use all the travel? This frame is pretty progressive too
  • 1 1
 Maybe the stock shock tune that came on the Vivid didn't suit the bike, a differently tuned vivid or a different shock, maybe a progressive coil, could help it feel better.
  • 5 0
 I imagine its cause this is the short stroked 160mm version and the progression comes on more in that missing 40mm
  • 4 1
 @AddisonEverett: You'd have to go out of your way to get the shock tune that fkt up though
  • 1 0
 @spicysparkes: wouldn't it still be progressive/supple off the top then?
  • 3 2
 @DizzyNinja: Yeah, but if it is a shock tune that works for the long stroke shock that would bring it up to the 200mm downhill mode, they might not consider that it wouldn't work for the 160mm, and considering what @spicysparkes said about where the bike could sit in the leverage curve at 160 mm, having a lower initial leverage ratio and less progression over all, it could make it worse.
  • 6 0
 Yikes...broken frame was less of a con...
  • 5 0
 Does this bike have the stiffer or softer pivot axles? There was the option originally.
  • 3 0
 Stiffer Axles.
  • 6 0
 The Pole looks like the Unno but upside down.
  • 6 0
 man idk I think it actually looks sick, I'd love to try it for myself
  • 4 0
 Same
  • 2 0
 I appreciate the level of craftsmanship that is put into this bike. Cnc machining everything is probably going to be a norm coming up in the future. POLE jumping on that is probably going to result in a lot of research done early on which will result in the development of better methods and processes. It might not ride the best, but it does look great. I love the look of the machined lines in the aluminum. its also considerably stronger than a lot of carbon bikes. Say what you like but I like the bike. I probably won't buy one though I would sooner buy a contra.
  • 1 3
 The future of biking will likely be 3D printed. Not machined.
  • 9 0
 @SunsPSD: The potential for 3D printing in bike production appears to be somewhat limited, primarily due to the considerable challenges posed by the physics of powder-based methods. It's important to recognize that despite the term "printed," bikes available in today's market still rely significantly on manual labor.

In the past, we thoroughly examined this approach when considering a departure from Far East manufacturing. Regrettably, 3D printing technology has made only incremental progress in terms of speed over the past decade. Addressing various constraints, including the effects of gravity, would require innovative solutions to improve printing speed significantly. Additionally, sourcing and processing the necessary raw materials present substantial hurdles.

Over the last five years, we've committed ourselves to streamlining our production processes. Based on our estimations, we anticipate the ability to create a complete frame from raw materials in just four to six hours within the next two years. This transformation holds the potential for substantially reduced lead times, possibly enabling customers to receive their customized frames within a matter of days.

Furthermore, it's important to mention that we are deeply committed to environmental responsibility. While our current carbon footprint is relatively modest, our ultimate goal is to achieve carbon neutrality within the next few years.
  • 2 1
 Wow, it's so versatile - you can spend a bunch of extra money on top of the bunch of money you already spent and turn it into a DH bike for race season. Or, of course, you could get both an enduro and a DH bike from, say, Canyon or YT for the same money total and perhaps not have to deal with the insanely high BB and rattle-your-fillings harshness or what sounds like the seriously impractical suspension kinematics...
  • 2 1
 "As with other bikes that have steep seat tube angles and slacker head tube angles, the effective top tube can sometimes feel cramped."

Slackness doesn't effect this directly, but reach does. Using head tube angle as a reference for top tube needs to have wheel base involved. You could say "given the same wheel base, a slacker head angle would reduce effective top tube", but since reach is also reduced in that case, then reach should be the reference.
  • 1 0
 "Up front the slack 63.5-degree head tube angle can flop from side to side in tighter switchbacks"

What does that even mean? It senses tight switchbacks and starts flopping? How does a head angle flop? Seems odd, the steering isn't going to move unless you move it, for the most part, and especially on climbs.

A slacker head angle is supposed to steer slower, so I'd think you wouldn't be flopping back and forth but rather having to increase steering input through the corner to stay on line, versus a steeper head angle being more prone to oversteering and end up requiring more counter steering.

How does bar height affect this? It's not changing the head angle, the trail, or the "flop height" measurement. Any forces going into steering, from the bars and from the ground, are going to remain the same...
  • 1 0
 Regarding the onni yoke: I had a bad feeling about this design, and an old comment from 2016 sort of confirms it:

«Nobble (Feb 18, 2016 at 10:20)
The specialized yoke uses a positive metal on metal contact.

The aftermarket one has a DU or igus bushing in between. As soon as that wears from being cycled in an unintended direction it's going to introduce a lot of bending to the system. (And be REALLY bad for the shock)»
  • 1 0
 The shock snd the yoke becomes like a long straight stick with the DU bushing as its weakest part. Eventually nature will get what it wants and bend this fragile stick and the Pole Onni will creak like it is 2016. I think it can be avoided or at least reduced by placing the center of the axle of the DU bushing in the same level as the center of the axle in the bearings of the yoke. Most likely a quite spacious solution.
  • 4 0
 "Kick in the arse" ... you've been talking to Beer about NL slang I see.
  • 2 0
 I heard that, too. I was like, “Dude, you’re American. We don’t say that here.”
  • 2 0
 Yeah, sometimes my Maritime slang slips into a conversation down here in the South. I get some funny looks fer sure.
  • 4 0
 DEEMAX. Do they come in yellow still? I would love a review of them
  • 3 0
 Damn. Matt just looks good on a bike. Even one he really doesn't seem to like.
  • 2 0
 So, reading this test will I buy a 7k$ bike with a stiff frame, high bottom bracket and a suspension with poor small bump compliance and bottom out resistance ? No.
  • 3 3
 Dumb question here, but based on the location of the pivot, this appears to be a "high-pivot" bike, so why wouldn't this layout experience chain growth while running through its suspension stroke and require an idler?

It goes without saying that I'm not very knowledgeable of suspension kinematics.
  • 5 0
 @wolftwenty1: That's not necessarily the case with dual link bikes because the rear axle isn't actually rotating around the pivots on the frame in the same way that a single pivot would. Without seeing the actual locations of the instant center (the virtual pivot point) given the layout of the links it looks like at the initial stroke the pivot point is somewhere around the front axle, and would move down and back, keeping it around the same level as the bb and so wouldn't need an idler, but I could be wrong.
  • 3 1
 It is a dumb question. Which is why I had the exact same thought! By the looks of it, it appears that it should have an idler pulley. I was kind of wondering if that's why it has the weird lack of small bump sensitivity and bottom-out control.
  • 2 0
 @AddisonEverett: thanks for the explanation, that seems to make sense to me.
  • 5 0
 id rather walk
  • 1 1
 I own a Pole fat bike and I love it. It's the best bike I've ever owned and it convinced me that I needed longer chainstays on my full suspension. I recently bought a Kona Honzo ST which has very similar geometry but short chainstays. I do not like it. I have a privateer 141 that I got in June 2021 and I love it too, it has long chainstays. I'm 191 cm. so I came here to say a couple things. 1. I think Pole is awesome though I only have experience with a bike they are not known for but I bought it in 2019 and it was the first fat bike to be built with modern geo and there is still very limited choice in that segment for we who live under a blanket of snow and still want to ride singletrack. 2. I strongly considered an EVOLINK and sort of which Pole would go back to making welded aluminum bikes.
  • 2 0
 I can’t get over the fact that it looks like it has a ball sack. I know I’m immature. I’m 48 so I’m probably not going to change.
  • 2 0
 Dominions are amazing. I suspect they've been ignored until recently because those of us extolling their virtues are also disciples from the Church of Manitou.
  • 1 1
 The 2023 Pinkbike Enduro bike test.....here's a DH bike dressed as an enduro bike. Next up is a Specialized Epic with a Fox 38.

Should have been a Vikkela.

And again, why isn't last years winner there to compare against (or even just a Specialized Enduro)? Not like there's no stock of like everything, everywhere..
  • 2 0
 Seems like a half baked test…The onni ships with poles stiffest axle, they do sell a trail axle that would make the bike heaps more compliant.
  • 3 0
 been waiting for this one to drop ....let me clear my lunch schedule Smile
  • 35 36
 Do you guys write these articles in like 20 minutes? There's so many weird gramatical errors. Lol what is this line? "All functions of excellent pedaling performance in any bike can go out the window if the seated position is disregarded." What does that even mean? "When ridden through the bike park brake bumps and on other high speed chattery sections of trail, the frame sends that feedback through the frame." good one hahah.
  • 17 1
 Matt's usually a good reviewer who writes well and in-depth articles. Methinks he just really didn't like the Pole, and his brain is still rattling from the experience.
  • 11 2
 ChatGPT
  • 29 5
 Take it easy, dude. Even the most reputable newspapers sometimes need to make corrections. People love to be pricks on pinkbike about the free content being delivered to them.
  • 2 0
 Really don't get your problem - reads fine to me, even informative.
  • 2 0
 @mrbrighteyes: Matt's eyes at 3:29, when saying "stiff ride", say it all.
  • 2 0
 Would be cool to see past winners (and reviewers favourites over the year(s) involved in the test as a control…
  • 6 7
 Sometimes, I cannot believe that a company can make such a bad product. Too high BB even in MX setup, ZERO in-frame or water bottle storage options, no small bump compliance and no bottom out resistance, too stiff frame. Cool.
  • 2 0
 I can appreciate trying something different but this does not seem to work
  • 2 0
 @wolftwenty1: Agreed. I actually had an interest in some of the previous Pole designs. While I don't like the direction they've taken their frame lines, I generally like the aesthetic of the frame process.

That said, they seem to be a company obsessed with trying different things purely for the sake of being different. If you're gonna be different, you've gotta offer some advantages. This bike seems to check no boxes.
  • 1 0
 I think it tells you a lot about the people who work there. The people who designed it, built a prototype, liked how that rode and then the other people there liked it too and everyone was like, cool.
  • 3 0
 polebicycles.com/trail if you want comfort

Or really, just get the Onni in the downduro form. Not sure why a short shocked version is the one they chose to send.
  • 3 0
 @alexsin: I think its a DH-bike that they tried to upcycle into an enduro bike, and its riddled with compromises.
  • 4 3
 You read one review and call a bike you've never ridden "bad" with a list of complaints that you've never felt yourself from a rider you've never met. lmao. full on sheep mode
  • 2 2
 @mariomtblt: Firstly, I generally find the Pinkbike reviews to be trustworthy and directionally accurate. I've purchased 7 full suspension bikes over my lifetime, and demo'd about 12 others. I generally find reviews to be quite helpful and accurate.

Second, the points I made in my original post are objective truths - the BB height is quite high for an enduro bike, and it offers very little BB drop. This is not trivial, nor is it arguable. It's just a fact. Similarly, this bike offers no reasonable storage or water bottle options. Again, just a plain fact.

The only thing I cannot direclty comment on is the lack of small bump compliance and harsh bottom outs. It would help if these reviews would include axle path, leverage ratio, antirise, antisquat, and chain growth characteristics. That said, 3 reviewers more capable than me are having a hard time describing this bike in a positive light. Assuming they are correct, you're just being a d*ck and defending a bike that you have no commerical interest in.
  • 2 1
 @KJP1230: everything I said is also a fact. I bet this bike rides pretty damn good and those small nitpicks are you just regurgitating what you just read. You have no standing to call it a bad product lol. But in the end youre right that I have no right to defend it either LOL you got me there
  • 4 3
 @henryquinney you act like waist and backpacks don't exist. Having a bottle is nice but if the bike is REALLY good it's something that one can deal with right?
  • 9 1
 Hmmm - there are so many great bikes out there WITH bottles, why bother? I hate sweaty back, trying to guide a water bottle into a hip pack or having the clean bladders. I believe that the simple water bottle stored on the frame is the simplest, easiest and all-around best solution personally and I would not own a bike without the ability to carry a standard one. That is just my take though.
  • 3 1
 @henryquinney: But what do you do with your keys and phone? Serious question cause I still haven't figured out how to ditch a back bag totally.
I carry a frame bottle on the bike, and then a filled flexible bottle along with gels, jeys & phone in a small USWE pack. That, along with a big drink in the car and proper hydration before departing will get me a solid 2.5 hours in Fall conditions.
Past that and summer rides, well I just need a hydration pack.
  • 5 0
 @SunsPSD: I had a little runners-belt that could carry my phone, two cereal bars, and my keys. I'm also entirely prepared to go full-Gollum and refill my bottle out of streams, which is something that might be okay for certain areas and perhaps not others so that might shape my viewpoint a bit.

I then just strap everything else on the frame. I just bought a ridiculous running belt, actually. It works though. I'll include it in my next checkout article. For big alpine rides though I would take a 3L hip pack though.
  • 5 0
 @SunsPSD: just put in the pockets of your pants/shorts?

And even when I ride with a backpack, I prefer to have the weight of the water in the frame.
Lighter back = more fun riding.
  • 2 0
 @SunsPSD: Live somewhere you can bike to the trails... jk. sort of. Put your phone in your pocket and hide your keys on your vehicle. One up pump and tool, DH casing tire so no spare tube, energy bar in your other pocket if you are going for more than two hours.
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney: Runners belt user here.
Phone,keys,multitool,and food. Sometimes a pump on the expanding water bottle pocket,if I'm using a bike without frame storage.
Best thing if you have more than one bike.
  • 2 0
 @henryquinney: where do you carry a jacket or 1st aid kit. In the Uk drinking straight out of streams is a high risk strategy unless your in the highlands
  • 2 2
 @henryquinney: I hate broken back more. Do you skip back protection at the bike park too? What about "sweaty head". Let's just go ahead and skip full face helmets while we're on it. LOL.
"Sweaty back" is a manufactured issue IMHO. The whole bottle only / anti pack thing is such a nonsensical fad.

A pack allows you to carry all that you need with ease and offers it offers back protection. Let's not even get started on rides that require more hydration than a few hundred ml's. What then? Take the Giardia like a man?

You don't have to wear a full on hiking pack. There are tons that are low profile and quite ventilated. I use one in SoCal where summer temps hit 40 C regularly. Time to toughen up Quinney Smile
  • 4 0
 @Dustfarter: I mean, you asked a question and I tried to answer it genuinely and openly. I don't wear a full-face pedaling. I never said I did. Do you wear a DH grade FF helmet everywhere? Genuine question.

I personally, and you did ask my opinion, find that I get a sweaty back. Not all packs offer back protection, and I'm happy to take my own risks with the water supply. I have never found a well-ventilated pack. Maybe I'm just not as tough as you.
  • 1 0
 @chrismac70: Hi Chris - I wrap a jacket around the waistband and it stays easily enough. I do go without a first aid kit, but I also ride pretty close to home. I wouldn't drink UK water either to be fair! Ha.
  • 4 1
 So far I'd take the Chromag, regardless of weight.
  • 1 0
 All that effort to do something different to end up with a bike that doesn't actually ride very well. What a wasted opportunity...
  • 2 0
 I starting to wonder if any of the bikes on test won’t suck.
  • 4 0
 The Chromag seemed pretty good. I'd bet the Ibis is also a great bike.
  • 2 0
 @NWBasser: Thats because they had the too cool for school rose tinted specs on
  • 1 0
 @chrismac70: LOL! Good one.
  • 2 1
 I just love the look of this silver surfer, would love to own something like this if I lived closer to the mountains
  • 2 0
 Noticing a theme on these boutique bikes...
  • 1 5
flag rookie100 (Oct 24, 2023 at 10:31) (Below Threshold)
 What, no advertising revenue for Outside?
  • 2 0
 @rookie100: I know some folks at PB, they are not pay to play. I was more pointing out how these bikes do not appear to be very well rounded vs the last crop.
  • 2 0
 can we get some leverage curves?
  • 3 0
 Looks sexy
  • 2 0
 So the complete opposite of the Chromag Lowdown
  • 1 0
 That's Three pretty serious 'Cons'! You guys haven't had to apologize for breaking this one yet?
  • 2 0
 "Lacks small bump compliance AND bottom-out resistance."

Wait... what?
  • 1 0
 Linear(ish) frame with linear(ish) shock can get you that.
  • 2 0
 ...and the winner of the '23 shootout is the 2020 Enduro-29!
  • 1 0
 Some plain jane horst carbon bike would be lighter and cheaper and ride just as good.
  • 2 0
 Poor small bump feel AND poor bottom out protection? yikes.
  • 2 0
 Just realized Matt Beer kinda looks like Michael Schumacher.
  • 1 0
 Maybe it would be great to have reviews of bikes that are more on our lists.
  • 1 0
 Saw one of these in Morzine and the lad was having it large, the bike looks amazing in real life for sure.
  • 1 1
 The looks are reasonably acceptable, by Pole's standards. Struggling to see where the water bottle goes though.
  • 2 0
 That's pure hackit....
  • 8 7
 So it not only looks s*it but rides like one too! Good work Pole
  • 1 0
 Is that a crack or just a scratch in the top tube near the headset at 0:27
  • 2 0
 Looks like the edge of the protective taping on the top tube.
  • 1 0
 @jimmy-blacksheepdesign: ahh yeah that curve is a little too perfect to anything else.
  • 1 0
 Somehow it looks great and it looks awful, both at the same time!
  • 2 2
 Fun fact: This bike is so beautiful I didn't read a single line of text from the article. I'm sold on looks alone.
  • 10 0
 Sir, this is the PB comments section. Nobody bothered to read the article.
  • 2 1
 You left hideous to look at off the cons list.
  • 1 0
 I just came here for the drama, when does it start ?
  • 1 1
 Love it it looks like a retro modern marin frame
  • 2 2
 Well that was underwhelming.
  • 1 0
 Just can't.
  • 1 2
 If we make it the clowns will come !
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