Patrol 672 – Review

Oct 30, 2017
by Richard Cunningham  



Is it possible to build a bike that can approach the performance of an elite-level trail bike for one fourth of its MSRP? Used in the context of mechanized sports, “affordable” and “performance” are mutually exclusive - especially so, if that mechanism is human powered. In my line of work, a good portion of my saddle time is spent aboard $10,000 trail bikes and (big surprise) they all pedal and handle quite well. Often, I’ll throw a leg over a $5,000 machine and I can reflect with certainty that they generally perform well, but halving a pro-bike budget appreciably downgrades the riding experience. Below five grand, however, is a dark ocean, teeming with affordable mountain bikes that I’ll admit to knowing little or nothing about. So, I decided to dive in and review a selection of mid-travel trail bikes priced in the neighborhood of $3,000 to complete my education. The first of this series is the $2,899 Patrol 672.


672 Details:

• Intended Use: All-mountain/Enduro
• Construction: aluminum chassis, 150mm-travel four-bar rear suspension, internal control routing
• Boost axle spacing
• Threaded bottom bracket, ISCG mounts
• Shimano SLX one-by 11-speed transmission
• RockShox Yari RC Solo Air fork, 160mm
• RockShox Monarch RT shock
• Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, X-large
• Weight: 32.4 pounds/14.74 kg (medium)
• MSRP: $2899 USD
• Contact: Patrol Sports
patrol 672


Meet the Patrol 672

Patrol hails from Indonesia, where its success in the Asian marketplace inspired the brand to set up distribution and sales in North America. I was recently introduced to Patrol’s modest range of mountain bikes at Interbike, where I learned that their message was to sell good-looking, good-performing bikes, priced within reach of rank-and-file riders. The sport needs more of that.

Patrol numbers their bikes according to suspension travel and wheel-size, with the last digit marking where that particular model stands in the MSRP pecking order: 672 means 6 inches of suspension travel, 27.5-inch wheels, and second-tier in the range. Its more illustrious brother, the top-drawer 671, costs $4399 and gets all the good stuff, like a Fox 36 Kashima fork and EVOL shock, DT Swiss wheels, a Shimano XT drivetrain, and a RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper. By contrast, our more affordable $2899 model 672 is suspended by a RockShox Yari RC fork and Monarch RT shock, it rolls on Sun Ringle Inferno/Novatec wheels, is powered by a Shimano SLX ensemble, and does not arrive with a dropper seatpost.

Patrol 672
Patrol 672
Internal control routing and rectangular tubes make for a tidy profile.


Construction and Features

Patrol’s 672 chassis is welded aluminum, and ticks the trail bike boxes with a time-proven four-bar Horst-Link rear suspension, a dramatically sloped top tube to ensure ample stand-over clearance, and stiffness-enhancing semi-rectangular tube profiles throughout. The rear axle spacing is Boost 148, the bottom bracket is threaded, and there are ISCG 05 tabs in case you desire a chain guide in the future. Simple internal routing ports direct the brake, seatpost, and shifter conduits to their destinations and, while the seat tube is curved near the bottom bracket junction, there is enough straight length to allow for long-stroke dropper posts.

patrol 672
Large pivot bearings and a threaded bottom bracket shell.


The look and quality of the Patrol's construction is very good, with smoothed welds on the front triangle, large, sealed bearings at the swingarm and linkage pivots, and with paint and graphic treatments that rate an eight out of ten. If you aren’t a fan of yellow and red, Patrol also offers the 672 in Robin’s Egg blue, Navy, and black. Sizes are small, medium, large and X-large.

Geometry

Patrol 672 2018


The 672’s geometry falls behind the recent trend for long front centers and super-sized top tube lengths. By present standards, our medium-sized bike’s 59-centimeter top tube (23.2”) and 41.3-centimeter reach would be on the short side of medium, so technical/all-mountain types would be advised to buy up a size. In case you are interested, the head angle is 67.5-degrees, the seat tube angle is calculated at 73.5 degrees, its bottom bracket is stated at 340 millimeters (13.4”), and the chainstays are 430 millimeters (16.9”). Three years ago, those were cutting edge numbers for capable trailbikes, so you can expect the 672 to react a bit quicker than its contemporaries, while being able to hold its own on the downs with a good rider on board.

patrol 672
patrol 672


Key Components

House-brand cockpit items come with the territory in the land of affordable mountain bikes, and the entire cockpit is stamped with the Patrol Moniker. Patrol states the 672’s handlebar width at 720 millimeters, but our 2018 model came better equipped, with a 780-millimeter bar on a 50-millimeter stem (35mm clamp diameter). The comfortable-looking saddle is board-stiff, but its color-matched rails are attractive.

patrol 672
Specifications
Release Date 2018
Price $2899
Travel 150mm
Rear Shock RockShox Monarch RT
Fork RockShox Yari RC Solo Air 160mm
Headset Tapered
Cassette Shimano 11 x 42, 11 speed
Crankarms Shimano SLX 170mm 32t
Chainguide ISCG mounts
Bottom Bracket Shimano threaded
Pedals NA
Rear Derailleur Shimano SLX
Chain Shimano SLX
Front Derailleur NA
Shifter Pods Shimano SLX
Handlebar Patrol 35mm clamp, 780mm wide, aluminum
Stem Patrol 50mm
Grips Patrol Lock-on
Brakes Shimano SLX - Rotors: 200mm F, 180 R
Wheelset OEM build
Hubs Novatec Boost
Spokes Stainless steel
Rim Sun Ringle Inferno 31
Tires Maxxis High Roller II - 3C Max Terra EXO
Seat Patrol ergonomic profile
Seatpost Patrol aluminum, 30.9mm

Regrettably, Patrol does not spec a dropper post on its second-tier 672, which was probably a compromise used to edge its MSRP below $3000 USD. I rode it once before installing an inexpensive Tranz-X dropper ($150). The flip-side of the missing dropper equation may be that Patrol spent some of those savings on a capable fork and shock. RockShox’s 160-millimeter-stroke Yari fork features a tough, good-performing chassis built around 35-millimeter stanchions, while the Monarch RT shock has proven it can handle a beating with minimal complaints.



bigquotes Ridden at a less frantic pace, the Patrol requires little rider input to bang down a rock garden or drift around flow-trail corners.

Setting up the 672 was a touch more difficult than I expected. The Patrol’s Sun Ringle Inferno 31 rims required some wrestling to convert to tubeless. In their defense, there is no mention of tubeless compatibility in the manufacturer’s description, but at this stage in the game, every rim should be a tubeless design. After a couple of attempts, double-wrapping the rim with Gorilla tape and using a compressor to mount up the 2.4-inch Maxxis High Roller II tires proved successful. Those who are not savvy to the process might consider leaving the tubes in, or foisting the job on your local bike shop mechanic. After winning the match on a decision, however, the High Roller in the rear turned out to be a wobbly factory defect.

Many who claim to ride on the aggressive end of the spectrum prefer 200-millimeter brake rotors to boost stopping power. Patrol agrees, using a 200 up front, paired with a 180 out back. The rear rotor ran true, but I had much tweaking to do before the big front disc agreed to stay between the brake pads. Note: big rotors are easier to damage.

Dialing in the suspension was the easy part. Horst-link-type, four-bar rear suspensions typically require some damping assistance to filter their low-amplitude suppleness and firm up the pedal stroke. With the shock set at 30-percent sag and the fork at 25, I expected the Patrol to offer up a smooth ride, but instead, it was on the firm side. As such, I only needed to search for the Monarch shock’s pedaling lever on those occasions when a long, smooth, uphill slog was in order. Patrol shipped me the Yari fork with two air-volume Tokens installed, which rendered the fork more progressive than I wanted. Removing one, however, also erased much of the fork’s mid-stroke support, so I replaced the Token and learned to live with the big-hit harshness.

patrol 672


I arrived at the trailhead with the stock Maxxis tires and, although I thought it odd to be riding a six-inch-travel bike described by its maker as an all-mountain/enduro machine without a dropper seatpost, I decided to ride the 672 as close to its standard configuration as possible for at least two rides. I stuck it out for one, and I’m not going to lie: The Maxxis High Rollers with their 3C Max Terra EXO casings seemed to suck the life out of my legs and the saddle hooked my shorts a couple of times at inopportune moments, so I vowed to switch out the wiggly rear tire for a faster-rolling semi-slick and install a cheap dropper post before setting out again.

Patrol 672


The remainder of the test sessions went without a hitch. The chassis is laterally rigid and I never had to take a wrench to the pivot bearings. Shimano’s SLX transmission still clicks off every shift as if it were XT or XTR, and after bedding in, the SLX-level brakes run silently.

Overall handling is trustworthy. Stay centered over the chassis, and it will corner without pushing the front tire, claw its way up techy ascents, and descend with conviction. That said, the 672 is too short and too steep to handle the higher speeds and to commit to fall-line downhill trails that a modern all-mountain/enduro bike should be able to take in stride.

Ridden at a less frantic pace, the Patrol requires little rider input to bang down a rock garden or drift around flow-trail corners, and it’s easy to launch the bike off intermediate jumps and drops. If you can step back from hitting everything at race pace, the Patrol becomes far more enjoyable. Some of the most memorable moments aboard the bike transpired while I was noodling around the woods sessioning boulder rolls and log skinnies.

patrol 672
bigquotesClimbing and acceleration are not its strong points.

Climbing and acceleration are not its strong points. Our medium-sized 672 was outfitted with shorter, 170-millimeter crankarms – which some riders prefer, because they offer more rock and cornering clearance for the pedals. Most mountain bikes, though, have 175-millimeter crankarms, and the reduced leverage can be felt, especially when cranking up steeper technical climbs. I have ridden trail bikes at similar weights that also had 170 crankarms which pedaled much better. I assume that the suspension kinematics are partly responsible for why it takes a bit more oomph to get the Patrol up a climb or accelerate to speed on the flats. Its pedaling performance isn’t bad, but it isn’t good either.

If you have legs to burn, however, the 672’s chassis provides plenty of grip for scratching up steeps, and on the downs, its pointy High Roller II tires, assisted by a wide handlebar, a capable fork, and powerful brakes, can ease you down chutes that may have given you trouble otherwise. Stay within its capabilities and Patrol’s choice of numbers and components produces a versatile trail bike that can swim in the deep end, but if you aspire to become a shark, it’s not going to elevate your game to that higher level.




Technical Notes:

Shimano SLX transmission: SLX’s near-perfect shifting is an attribute on a machine that may be someone’s first long-travel trail bike. Wider range gearing than its 11 x 42 eleven speed cassette and longer, 175mm cranks would boost its lackluster climbing action.

Dropper Post: Add $150 to the 672’s MSRP for a dropper post, because a proper trail bike needs one.

RockShox Yari fork: Hop-up kits exist that can tame the Yari’s air spring, otherwise, it is one of the better options for hard-driving riders in the affordable realm.

Inferno 31 rims: Truly tough aluminum rims at a good price, but dusty and dated. Sun Ringle needs to replace them with a tubeless-ready option.
patrol 672

Patrol 672

patrol 672



Pinkbike’s Take:
bigquotesPatrol's most affordable all-mountain/enduro bike is dressed to impress with its quality of construction, good looks, and intelligent component selection. With a dropper post and up-to-date geometry, its lack-luster pedaling performance could be excusable. As it stands, the 672 lacks the crisp pedaling action to succeed as a trail bike, and its technical skill set falls short of modern gravity-oriented all-mountain designs. Some riders would happily accept those compromises to own a bike that could span that middle ground. I, however, wished Patrol's 672 was either one or the other.RC








194 Comments

  • + 298
 I don't mind reading (and drooling over) reviews of superbikes that I'll never be able to afford. But, this is exactly what we need. Honest reviews of bikes that the masses might actually be able to buy. Much appreciated!
  • + 17
 Totally agree!
  • + 63
 For the same price you can buy a 5010, 153, Enduro, Release, Reign, or a Meta. Don't see much rave about the price point on those. Literally nothing special here, other than very contemporary geometry. If people want to spend $3,000 on a bike from 2010 just go on /BuySell
  • + 41
 I have a hard time believing that swapping out your seat post and rear tire made THAT much of a dramatic difference to the ride to even mention it when talking about it's performance... it's usually the geo that makes the real difference.

Most reviews are biased in the sense that you're all kinda spoiled. If you're usually swinging a leg over $10k bike, well, surprise!... 90% of the community is not. Welcome to what it feels like to ride a bike that most of us ride. I bet you'll have just as much fun on this sub-$3k bike as you would on a $10k bike if you just stop thinking components will make you a better rider.
  • + 47
 Shouldn't Transition be on the phone to Specialized, to get their lawyer's phone number?
  • + 7
 @NYShred: Amen, brother.....
  • + 9
 @NYShred: I forgot this in my first reply to your excellent observation. When you ride a 10K$ bike, or even a 5K$ bike, YOU are the limitation, so no excuses.......
  • + 13
 Or a Transition Patrol for 3000 with a dropper....
  • + 37
 @codypup: Transition doesn't need to sue for the use of the word "Patrol" because specialized is already suing for the use of the word "bike", which apparently it now owns the rights to.
  • + 9
 @NYShred: Tires and a dropper post probably make the MOST difference in how a mountain bike rides, even before suspension components. Getting the right tire combo for your trails is a huge thing. A thumbnail sized bit of rubber is the only thing connecting you to the ground, having the right piece of rubber is incredibly important.

And as for a dropper, would you go back to a rigid seatpost? Being able to drop your seatpost is so important to being able to ride steeper trails, faster.
  • + 4
 @mnorris122: I'd like to see you ride elastomers or on a frame that flexes wildly. You cannot focus on riding if you are afraid of dying, and most bench-cut trails these days can be ridden hard on semi-slicks.
  • - 81
flag NYShred (Oct 30, 2017 at 16:48) (Below Threshold)
 @mnorris122: Dropper posts are the most ridiculous product I've seen in this industry. If you're REALLY digging it out on a climb, you're not casually sitting on your seat while pedaling (unless you enjoy your gooch being destroyed) - and if your pointing it down and shredding some shit, you're not on your seat either... so, set your $30 post to a comfortable position in-between just to get you there, then get off your ass and ride!
  • + 6
 @NYShred: dropper posts are not ridiculous. Id never ride without one.
  • + 8
 @NYShred: Ride steeper trails you will understand when your saddle smackes you in the back of your head.
  • + 19
 @wittereus: PinkBike specializes in fiction and fairy tales, especially from Cunnigham who brought over the tradition straight from Mountain BIke Action (ops, sorry I meant Mount Bike Fiction). If you want to read some tests that are not simply made up you have to look elsewhere.

For example here: blistergearreview.com/gear-reviews/2018-patrol-672 that offers a way less flattering view of this 35 pounds (when you add pedal and drop post) monster!
  • + 3
 @NYShred: Long rides = call 911 for a dropper
  • + 4
 @codypup: Not going to lie, when I read the headline of the article I thought it was about some new model of Transition Patrol...
  • + 6
 I would almost like him to write and release the reviews after he has ridden more bikes in this price category. He was sorta hard on it....but I wonder compared to other price equivalents how it does....I suspect his cheap bike reviews will get progressively better ratings as he grows accustomed to what most people ride. Coming off a series of $10,000 dream rides, no wonder there's a lot to be desired. You could buy 3 of these and a few wobbly maxxis tires for that....
  • + 8
 @NYShred: IMO all bikes should be tested with the testers preferred tyres, pedals, grips, bars and seat. It winds me up when reviewers complain about things that are so easily and realtively cheaply changed.
  • + 3
 @NYShred: I sort of agree. Sropper posts are awesome for a big XC pedal where you dont want to stop. When out riding with mates I would happily stop at the end of the trail to put my seat back up.

That said I do run a dropper and like it but agree its not necessary. I would give it up long before gears or disc brakes.
  • + 0
 @takeiteasyridehard: I would also like to see a bit more of Paul Astons "tweaking"... This bike looks interesting if you upsized had an angleset and maybe some offset bushes.
  • + 5
 RC at it again, complaining about speccing a Highroller on a trailbike in a review posted in october.........
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: I agree. They should do frame tests and use a very generic spec, such as full xt or gx, with a fox 36 or lyrik. I know it would be too much effort for them but it would certainly give you a better idea about what the bike was like when built up how you would end up running it if you bought one.
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: No, it does not. Why even contemplate putting an angleset on a bike that's not inexpensive, neither pedals nor descends well, and was outmoded prior to its conception? As commenters directly above point out, there are far better options. This bike & this review should never have existed. Sorry.
  • + 8
 @takeiteasyridehard: Good point - the first rider down the Joyride course is never going to get a winning score. In this case, however, I think time will show that it's a fair review and that its competitors will suffer similar dings related to the compromises necessary to squeeze into a 2500 to 3000 dollar MSRP.

I thought long and hard about how I was going to treat the bikes in this series. I decided to rate their performance like I would any other bike, regardless of price, and to then frame them in a realistic discussion about the compromises that may have been made to hit their price points. I also decided to ride them stock first (like customers will) and later, install or suggest affordable upgrades to address issues that potential owners may face.
  • + 1
 @RichardCunningham: 'the first rider down the Joyride course is never going to get a winning score' Hang on, isn't that exactly what happened...
  • + 0
 @mnorris122: What makes me ride steep trails faster is stopping to catch my breath while I put my seat down way lower than any dropper post allows. Same for climbing. Droppers are good for rolling terrain or racing only.
  • + 1
 @RichardCunningham: It is a tough one as there are so many bikes out there and you only have a limited amount of time to thoroughly test them.

@ceecee Anglesets like the Works Components one I have are not overly expensive. Mine was £90 which is less than a Chris King and £30 more than a Hope. It has made a big difference on my trail bike so would assume it would be the same with this one. For me the biggest issue with this bike is the reach however i'm 6'1" so not such an issue if you are shorter. If they had their largest frame (XXL or whatever you want to call it) at somewhere around 480mm you maybe able to tweak the rest. For me I am always interested how far a frame can be taken to get it right before it just isn't worth it and you are better off getting else. At one level this is irrespective of price as there are a lot of very expensive bikes I wouldn't want to ride due to geo.
  • + 1
 @RichardCunningham: Meant to upvote you there! Anyway, it makes sense to swap out the parts that would make a bike ride better - that is not far off from the MSRP - for a more objective review!
  • + 1
 I think it´s still an expensive bike considering the build is ok not great. Prices need to go down!!!!!
  • + 56
 I think when Pink Bikers request reviews of affordable bikes they mean modern bikes with modern geometry form know quality brands, just in a reasonable price, not some Asian knock-off with 5 year old geo...

Buddy just picked up a Trek Fuel for a couple hundred over $3K and it has a nice long reach, Fox forks, decent HA and came with GX Eagle 12 speed and a 150mm Dropper! Maiden voyage this weekend and the bike Rocks!!
  • + 13
 This^^^
So many better bikes from established brands for similar or less money available yet you review a bike I've never heard of......
  • + 6
 And if you need longer travel, you can get a Remedy 8 with GX Eagle for $100 more than the Fuel. I have a 2018 Fuel EX 8 Eagle and its such an awesome bike.
  • + 8
 I'm sure they'll review other bikes of that nature. I'm looking for Commencal, Canyon, YT, Felt, etc. Would love to see a review of the entry models of the super-bikes, too, like Spesh Enduro or Stumpy Comp, Trek Fuel EX, etc. and have them up against the commencals and the canyons. I don't care what anyone says about Spesh, for 2.8K you can get a well performing yari fork, solid 11 speed transmission, and all sorts of other goodies.
  • + 2
 @snowwcold55: my mates recently bought a stumpy comp for £2000. An absolute ripper of a bike! Can't fault it at all!!
  • + 17
 @rideorange525

"not some Asian knock-off"?

Have you considered how disrespectful and potentially uninformed, not to mention downright rude you may have been with that comment?
  • + 3
 Asian knock off? You f****** idiot!

How about do some research before you start writing obnoxious things like that.
  • + 6
 Thing is, most "known" brands would already have reviews of their higher specced bikes out there for you to read, plus there are tons of component reviews online for you to piece together how a lower end offering would ride.
Lesser known brands are hardly even given the time of day on most sites. I'd rather see more reviews and highlights of lesser known brands than to go to 5 different bike sites and see five reviews of the same 5 brands all the time.
  • + 2
 @brianclaw: true..that @rideorange525 probably just found the internet or never set foot outside of his backyard...he maybe didn't even know propain, liteville, agang
  • + 3
 @snowwcold55: Look at the Focus Vice 2018!

Modern Geo, Rockshox suspension, 1x11 Shimano drivetrain, XT brakes, Raceface cranks, short stem, wide bar, Minions, dropper post. £1399 brand new.

www.evanscycles.com/focus-vice-2018-mountain-bike-EV317773
  • + 3
 I would like to see a review of this tier of the Meta TR:

www.commencalusa.com/meta-trail-v42-origin-650b-black-2018-c2x23712335

Super cheap, good looking and just needs a dropper (and decent brakes).
  • + 3
 @snowwcold55: This. I love my Commencal Meta AM Origin Rockshox (long name I know). Yeah I don't have all the doo dads but I've absolutely thrashed it at Highland and Killington this past summer as well as at my (very flat) local trails in Ohio. Oh and I picked it up brand new for 2 grand!
  • + 3
 @orientdave: No disrespect meant. If I'm not mistaken this bike is in fact and Asian bike. Asia being a region not a nationality or snarky term.

"Patrol hails from Indonesia, where its success in the Asian marketplace..."

If the bike is for you, then great! I only mention that it is an outdated geometry and for the same money you can have a brand new big bike brand bike with awesome "Current" geo for the same price or less... For $200 more I'll take the Trek with a local warranty, great Geo and GX Eagle and a Dropper already fitted...
  • + 2
 @orientdave: Well this bike was built in Asia, right? So he is at least somewhat on point with his criticism. Also, I think the "knock-off" comment was made because this bike looks like / could well be an older nukeproof design. But, for all we know Patrol could have licensed this design; in which case, the comment would be disrespectful.
  • + 1
 I am pretty sure Patrol uses catalogue bikes from A Pro, the same as a number of other brands.
  • + 2
 @skerby: If we're going to criticise bikes for being Asian-built we're going to be here all day (and criticising many of the best bikes in the world). And whilst it does look a bit like a Nukeproof, it's shock mount is on the downtube, unlike any Mega ever built.
  • + 51
 I came for the Transition review
  • + 2
 I read through the whole review thinking that it was a Transition review of a lower model. Then I read a comment about it being about it being a knock off and had to scroll to the top to verify. I was thinking how douchey it was after I looked at the geometry how a company would build a budget bike and then date with old angles thinking that it was Transition the whole time. Im glad that this is not a Transition, but just another brand who is trying to get their bike out into the market.
  • + 2
 @Lastpikd: you could ask transition about catalogue bikes, or "knock offs" as some people are referring to them. I believe they know all about it.
  • + 33
 For the same money you can get the entry level Commencal Meta V4.2 (again without a funky seatpost) but with up to date geometry and the knowledge that you're on the same frame as world class riders.
Or spend a bit more and get a YT.
For a no name brand the price needs to be lower still.
  • + 7
 Commencal is so on-point in the under $3000 bracket. If only they had a 29er and an easier way of adjusting BB height. I love my Meta V4.2, but I'm constantly clipping pedals. Running 2.6 tires helps, but then I'm buzzing chainstays.
  • + 3
 YES! Please do a not top of the line Commencal meta v4.2 review!!
  • + 2
 Up to date except for that ridiculously long seat tube.
  • + 1
 www.commencalusa.com/meta-trail-v42-origin-650b-black-2018-c2x23712335

I bought mine in July when I was in Whistler. The bike is AMAZING. And Commencal Canada put in a Reverb Stealth for 333 CAD, which is pretty nice.

But the brakes are absolute sh*t. They deserve to be swapped before even assembling the bike.
  • + 27
 RC - you sounded like a total elitist douche in the first paragraph, in case you were wondering.
  • + 1
 To be fair, it didn't sound any more elitist than I would do to someone who asked me whether I thought their $300 Huffy would be any good as a trail bike.

If anything it sets the scene by telling you that he knows how good 'really good' can be so lets see how close $3k can get and what the compromises are.
  • + 1
 Which part?
  • + 24
 For $3k you have a choice of well equipped, modern geometry bikes from all the best brands. Rocky Mountain, Transition, and Kona to name a few. Why choose this nonsense bike to review?
  • + 11
 I guess if you didn't review the unknown brands, nobody would give them the time of day. The big boys already have a market just based on their name.
  • + 2
 Yeah seriously. Rocky Mountain (thunderbolt) and Norco (optic) both make a mid travel alloy trail bike that is sub $3000
  • + 2
 Yup, I was thinking this looks like almost the same build as what the established brands are doing for their entry level AM/trail bikes. The Trek Remedy 7 and Kona Process 153 at $2999. Same fork&shock, Sram drivetrain and brakes vs Shimano, and a dropper (There goes your $100 savings plus some). I have a shop for both in town (everyone has Trek close by) and don't have to deal with the company remotely, and buy a dropper.
  • + 6
 The author said (on the homepage intro) this is first in a series of reviews on affordable bikes. Have patience.
  • + 1
 In Indonesia, they sell under US $ 2000 on conversion.
  • + 1
 I got my patrol 4 new for 2400...
  • + 2
 Transition patrol that is
  • + 24
 Extra $100 will get you the AL1 Jeffsy with a dropper + 2 pounds lighter. No comparison there!
  • - 14
flag bart882 (Oct 30, 2017 at 15:38) (Below Threshold)
 If you worried about 2lbs, take a big dump. It's less costly, and better for you. Just sayin............
  • + 33
 @bart882: yeah but with a lighter bike its 4lbs difference. shit argument,
  • + 19
 @bart882: also if you can take a 2 lb dump you might want to check your diet...
  • + 4
 @bart882: 2lb shit? You need to dump those numbers up, those are rookie numbers.
  • + 16
 "This good-looking 150-millimeter-travel aluminum shredder is the first in a series of affordable trail bike reviews. "

I don't think that word means what you think it means, because $2900USD is not in most people's vocabulary as "affordable".
  • + 7
 better than 9,000
  • + 2
 Depends on exactly WHO is in the most people group. I say, buy used, you can get a lot more ride for the $$$. And there are lots of people with much greater disposable income than me (or you, maybe) who don't mind taking a hit on value when they want to get themselves the latest and greatest.......
  • + 1
 Good point. My wife would literally kill me (slowly and painfully) if I dropped 3k on a new bike. Hence I ride a steel HT.
  • + 1
 @thedriftisreal: yeah it is better than 9000, but that doesn't make it affordable
  • + 16
 67.5deg head angle on a 150mm trail bike. Is it 2008?
  • + 8
 This! and the reach! Why do affordable bikes have to have such dated geometry? Surely slackening the head tube and creating a longer front-center shouldn't add much to the cost?
  • + 2
 @sheldonuvic: Not all. Example, i just bought new fs bike with 120/130mm travel, 67deg head angle and 440mm reach in size medium. Oh and it was 999euros, or 1159$!
  • + 1
 @stumpe90: you just described a shorter travel bike with a slacker head angle. Thank you.
  • + 2
 @sheldonuvic:
The reach isn't too bad. The sizing is a couple steps off compared to north american/european brands but if you stop and look at the actual geometry, you'll see the 17.7" seat tube frame has a 451mm reach. That's pretty decently proportioned.

The sizing is closer to XS, S, M and M-L in western sizing. I wonder if Richard just assumed he was a medium or whether he looked at the geometry chart before choosing.

It's good to see shorter cranks on the smaller bike. I think RC's complaint is misplaced there. Might be a valid point if he reviewed the XL instead.
  • + 5
 My 2016 Enduro has 67.5 HA. Seems fine to me... Then again, this is Pinkbike. Riding your bike is secondary to talking about your bike.
  • + 0
 @sheldonuvic: agreed. What difference would and angleset and offset bushing make... probably a big one.
  • + 1
 Well its not 2010 either - my 2010 frame has 66.5 HA and a 477 Reach in XL.
  • + 0
 @NicoBoshoff: not sure what you're talking about, but the 2016 enduros in this wheelsize had 66deg head angles. www.specialized.com/us/en/bike-archive/2016/enduro/enduro-comp-650b/106331

Then again, this is PB where people chirp chit but don't have a single photo of them riding let alone racing......
  • + 6
 @sheldonuvic: If you want modern geometry at a better deal ($100 more than this thing, but all come with droppers standard), you can get brand new 2018 Transition Patrol, Smuggler, and Scout, as well as brand new Kona Process 153 in either 650b or 29 for $2,999 MSRP. At a bike store, where you can try one on and don't have to worry about shipping, or who'll take care of your warranty. If you want to save some money, you can get Process 134SE or 153SE - last year's bikes, with modern-ish geometry (they were in the vanguard with longer/lower/slacker years ago and are still very much relevant) in decent spec (including a dropper) for $2,200.

And the funny thing is, you look around all the other big name brands, and you find similar deals on their base specs. Santa Cruz 5010 w/o a dropper - $2700. Specialized Enduro w/ dropper - $3,200. Specialized Stumpjumper (all three wheel varieties) w/ dropper - $2,800. Same story over at Trek and Giant. There's no shortage of good trailbikes in a variety of geometries and reasonable specs for right around or below $3k, and simply holding over last year's bikes at bargain price (rather than use a dumbed down entry level model, like they did before with the Precept) makes Kona a serious contender (that's what I tell friends to get now when they're looking for their first real mountain bike - great alternative to buying a used bike for $1,500 if you can get brand new in a proven design with decent parts for 2,200).

We've all been bitching and moaning about bikes getting more and more ridiculously expensive - but all of a sudden you can buy bikes that don't suck for a lot less than you used to. @richardcunningham talks about testing more affordable bikes and admits that (because manufacturers send the tricked out wonder bikes for testing) he's not ridden anything in this bracket for a long time. Well, he got started on something that to me looks like much less of a value proposition than you can get just walking into your major brand retailer down the street.
  • + 1
 @g-42: nail on the head. there's no excuse for this kind of geometry in 2017 when there are so many proper options.
  • + 15
 Holy golden hour photography.
  • + 8
 The reviewer doesn't know anything about bikes under $5k? Then, why tf are you reviewing bikes? Those are the bikes the majority of pb readers want to know about.
  • + 7
 I like the reviews on sub 3K bikes, keep them coming. But let's not approach the review from a top of the line perspective. A lot of people buying this price point are stoked just to have a bike that's capable of a good time
  • + 1
 Well said
  • + 5
 To be fair, any bike with those wheels is going to be sloppy. Legacy suspension, 67.5 HA and very short reach sounds like a call from the "Reign 6.7" era. Looks like I'd be riding an XL and I ride a medium pivot!
  • + 0
 It may be the equivalent of car makers selling old not-so-good-anymore models with modern paint on them and just adding another profit stream.
  • + 1
 @BenPea: The thing is, the only bike I really agree with from them is the DH8. Even though it stocks a coil with a high center of gravity and also specs legacy suspension. I feel like you could disassemble the bike and turn a profit on ebay.
  • + 2
 @BenPea: It's more a company with no experience and sizing made for the local rider where the avg height is lower.
  • + 0
 Can you go wrong with a Pivot? I doubt it, if it's relatively current.....
  • + 1
 @bart882: Was referencing how the sizing is different, my friend that is at least 6"3' rides a large. Not sure about the price point with pivot dealers.
  • + 1
 @spaced: forget what I said, it was only when I read your post that I realized it wasn't a Transition. I even commented about this branding issue when Patrol launched originally. Either this is a big marketing headache or my brain's going into hibernation.
  • + 7
 Can we see reviews for Canyon Spectral, YT Jeffsy and Commencal V4.2 trail or AM? Exactly the price range I'm looking for
  • + 4
 News flash! Man who rides 10k bikes isn't happy riding 5k bikes, is even less happy riding 3k bike... This series is going to be good. News Update! Pinkbikers request affordable bike tests, pinkbike choose worst 3k bike they can find to try and show us they are right. Opinion update, I don't believe a 10k bike is twice as good as a 5k bike, it's still me that has to pedal and steer.
  • + 3
 facebook says this is "the first in a series of affordable trailbike reviews"

maybe the other brand's bikes you keep mentioning are in the pipeline!

either way reading reviews of bikes we're more likely to buy is great. for me personally i got a bike about a week before you released a review of it, luckily you guys (@vernonfelton that radon swoop tho) quite liked it.
  • + 3
 I rode one while on vacation in Indonesia and the biggest problem is sizing made for the local market. I rode the large (I'm 179cm high) and it felt super cramped. I felt waaaay too scared to jump anything big on a bike the size of my DJ. Good thing they introduced an XL size but they need to update the geometry.
  • + 5
 Why are we reading reviews of five year old bikes?

Can you tell us more about the Rock Shox Duke next?
  • + 2
 You must be joking me... XL size is too small for me and I'm 6.1. XL is for 180cm maximum.... and that price.... and parts is a joke... Look at this 2x times better offer - www.yt-industries.com/en/detail/index/sArticle/1363/sCategory/509
  • + 1
 Rode the L last year in Indonesia (since they had no XL) and as a 179cm tall man it felt super cramped. My medium 2003 trailbike felt much longer.
  • + 1
 Ever bought clothing that was designed in Indonesia, India, China etc for their local market?

At 5'11" and 78kg I'm usually an XXL. I have no problems with this - in their market it makes sense. The XL bike here isn't too bad a fit for me, chuck a 2 degree angleset in and I'll be stoked.
  • + 1
 @AgrAde: that's because you are 5'11" anything below 6'1" is considered a manlet
  • + 1
 @JoseBravo: OK champ
  • + 3
 All these whiners complaining about the “steep” angles...back in my day everyone rode with 71 degree head angles and 73 degree seat angles and gosh darn, we liked it!
  • + 1
 this millenials and their improvements, fuck them
  • + 1
 If you are going to test a freaking bike, than test it "as is", and stop adding shit to it. No dropper, big f*cking deal. Tires suck the life out of you, suck it up and f*cking ride it. Finnaly get a non $6000+ bike to check out, and its not good enough to review "as is".
  • + 1
 In all honesty, whenever I look for a new bike, my first stop is the classifieds. Between PB and numerous other sites (including FB, there are tons of really great deals out there with bikes that are in near brand new condition.
  • + 3
 Nice to see some more budget/value oriented rigs for those not looking to spend $$$. Still would probably get something like a Trance for the same price
  • + 2
 Lots of amazing bikes in buy/sell that can be had for this price or less.
  • + 1
 Here's the short version:
OK bike, needs dropper, HAS THREADED BB!!!!Smile Whoo-hoo!
Non TR rims? Seriously? Get with the times. Decent fork.
As usual, comments are as entertaining as article.
Oh, and P.S. bikes + saltwater=bad
  • + 1
 RC, I usually really enjoy your articles and opinion, but you did a bit of a disservice to not only your readers, but also retailers and the major companies that have been developing, selling and servicing bikes over the last 25-30 years! For $3000 or less, a good number of major manufacturers offer a high-quality alloy-framed bike, WITH dropper post and tubeless-compatible wheels/tires, as well as dealer-supported servicing that is usually included for a year or longer. Rocky Mountain Altitude, Specialized Stumpjumper, Trek Fuel, Kona Process, Scott Genius, and many others offer builds that match or exceed this somewhat "no-name" bike for about the same price, (or even better if you have a relationship with the dealer and can perhaps get a little better price)! Dealing with warranty issues, should they arrive and small parts availability and all the other things that most people don't think about when surfing the on-line world of bike shopping - as a consumer you'd have a place to go and have it handled. I know that times have changed and how we get information and education on products, and even how people buy is evolving, it is ultimately going to hurt the consumer when they have fewer choices for purchasing or getting service for products that they have bought often sight-unseen. Some online retailers do it well, but very many of them do not. With shops closing left and right, if the major industry players who have the resources to engineer top-quality products start to cut back there will be fewer or no "cool bikes" for companies such as the one reviewed here to reverse-engineer and copy (poorly, is how I read this review). Maybe you should review products that can be purchased locally, supporting people in the communities that the buyer(s) live in or near, that meet the criteria you require. /rant
  • + 1
 Rode one of these at the outdoor demo and was not impressed... not only did my face-plate come loose a quarter of the way down bootleg, the rear end felt like a limp noodle bouncing off of rocks ad taking corners. The stock rear shock had to be set up stiffer than preferred to keep from bottoming. Other companies are offering more solid bikes with better build kits but i still applaud a new company trying to make a bike for the masses
  • + 1
 In the US, Transition will sell you an aluminum Patrol for $2999. Sure you get 11 speed NX and a Yari fork, but it comes with a Raceface dropper and decent tires. Or you can go see your Giant dealer and get a Reign 2 for $2700. The Deore 1 X 10 isn't super fancy but does come with an 11-42 cassette so your range is the same as a decent 1 X 11. Yari fork, decent tires, dropper, tubeless out of the box, and geometry that is exactly the same as that on the bikes used by Giant's EWS team. Want to go internet direct? Commencal is more than happy to take your business. And in exchange for $2999 USD, they'll give you a Meta AM V4.2 with NX on it. And a Lyric. And a Deluxe RT shock. Most importantly, it comes in a colour called "Shiny Gun Metal Grey" which is just about the coolest colour ever.

Important: all of the bikes above come with proper long/low/slack geo, wider rims, OK to great tires, and decent contact points.

Inexpensive doesn't have to mean terrible. It might mean you should lower your expectations a bit, but even then I just found 3 bikes in less than 5 minutes on which you won't and I'm sure there's more out there. So if you're going to review "inexpensive" bikes ($3k is NOT an expensive bike to most consumers, just FYI), at least do what most consumers will do, which is shop around.

Now, if you want to do "inexpensive bikes in parts of the world that aren't the United States," then you might be on to something. That same Transition Patrol bike in Canada? Nearly $4000. So yeah... that's fun.
  • + 3
 They should make an even cheaper version with suntour (coil?) sus. Smack on a 11-46 sunrace, and trans-x dropper... Mrsp $2300.
  • + 1
 When did 3000 dollars become affordable? I understand that passionate bikers are willing to spend those amounts or more, but I think that even for them, 3k is still a lot of money. And yes, it would be nice to see more reviews for bikes costing less than 3k that will still take you up and down the mountain a give you a good dose of F-U-N.
  • + 6
 Looks like a Nukeproof.
  • + 3
 This is exactly what I thought at first, a Mega 275...
  • + 1
 PB should try my bike, 2017 model, 1990€ delivered at home trail bike from germany.... 150mm travel 27.5 or 29 as you prefer, boost in the rear, 11speeds etcetera etcetera, for over 3000$ there's plenty of bikes, it's an easy task.
f
  • + 4
 How am I supposed to jerk off to this?
  • + 4
 OMG THE PATROL REVIEW. Oh... the patrol review.
  • + 0
 powerful brakes. Shimano drive train. Horste link rear sus. Yari fork up front 32. pound s. I need every thing this bike has to offer. What i dont need is a ten thousand dollar bike. Novatec wheels large bearings on pivots iscg tabs threaded bb. OK actualy the bike is friggin amazing for the price!
  • + 0
 This isn't a great deal. For $2825 USD, you can get the latest Giant Trance 2 which has full SLX gruppo, tubeless out of the box (literally no tubes, and they include sealant). You also get Fox suspension with Maestro. Way better bike for the price.
  • + 1
 AND it includes a dropper!
  • + 0
 1 Patrol's most affordable all-mountain/enduro bike is simply not an affordable bike.
2 with that money there are much better option
3 with that money there more expensive options (letting the season do its work and smooth prices down...)
  • + 1
 "for that money there are more expensive options" that's why Catalunya wants independence
  • + 3
 looks like a nukeproof mega
  • + 1
 Ohhh...I didn't see this comment before I said the exact same thing...
  • + 2
 @Golden-G: no worries but its true
  • + 1
 Sun Ringle makes Stans- I doubt they will make tubeless ready rims to compete witht their own client anytime soon.

Stans aren’t expensive either when on sale.
  • + 3
 Is this just a rebadged Nukeproof Mega? It's uncanny.
  • + 0
 May be its the other way round. We all know Nukeproof and most other brands even big ones outsourced their design and manufacturing.
  • + 1
 @AlexS1: pretty certain the Mega is designed in Mallusk, Northern Ireland. The designers are at all the races.
  • + 1
 @sicmoto: For most, designing means deciding specifications like the geos figures, bearing size, axle standards and shipping box, then yes. Happens in all industries.
  • + 1
 All they had to do was pick up the location of the main pivot to line up with the top of the chainring (say a 32 tooth). Boom. Problem solved.
  • + 2
 YT Capra AL Comp - $3,000
  • + 1
 Can't stand the SLX single click downshifts. I'd swap the shifter for an XT.
  • + 1
 cannot beat a canyon or a YT. For less than this you get a much, much better spec.
  • + 1
 Can "cheap" bikes be as good as expensive Bikes? Yes. Bird Aeris, Airdrop Edit v2.
  • + 2
 Looks like a Nukeproof Mega..
  • + 2
 $3000 is the affordable mark? Geez.
  • + 1
 It's that motherfucking inflation again.
  • + 1
 That was funny. I read "affordable bikes" so I thought "there comes the Focus Vice review". Then I saw that 3000 USD is considered affordable now. Then what is a 1700 euro bike?
  • + 2
 @vinay: Ocean fill by RC's mighty standards.
  • + 0
 Why must you bamboozle me like that!? Saw Patrol and thought it was a review on the Transition Patrol... I'm sure this Patrol is nice, but I love my Transition Patrol.
  • + 3
 "Affordable"
  • + 0
 I'm not sure what more you want. Companies have to deal with manufacturer prices and can only reduce the final price so much before they start losing money with each sale. If you wanted this bike to be any cheaper it would have to have the shittiest parts on a mid-level frame.
  • + 2
 @seraph: you are 100% correct, I just dont think they should saying its "affordable" in the title, yea its a bit cheaper than other top level bikes, but its still not cheap for the average person. MTBing is not cheap and will not be cheap.
  • + 2
 @seraph: Look at the amazing bikes you can get from well respected companies for this same price, this is terrible value.
  • + 0
 @caseycaseman: "yea its a bit cheaper than other top level bikes, but its still not cheap for the average person. MTBing is not cheap and will not be cheap." You do know Pinkbike is a mountain bike website?
  • + 1
 @casman86: Both of the bikes from Specialized and Trek that you can get with the same amount of travel at the same price point have very similar builds. The one main advantage they have over the Patrol is they use in-house dropper posts which I'm sure cost the companies $0.15 to produce.
  • + 2
 @caseycaseman: I think mountain biking is relatively cheap - as compared to a lot of other sports. Maybe superbikes aren't cheap. But a reasonable bike can give big smiles and the more you ride the cheaper it gets!
  • + 2
 @pistol2ne: Yea i do know it's a mountain bike website thats why we are talking about a mountain bike.....
  • + 1
 @caseycaseman: MTB'ing is as cheap or expensive as one wants it to be (past a $500 or so buy-in threshold.) It is certainly cheaper than many other sports such as dirt biking. $ spent is not proportional to enjoyment, most of us have fond memories of happy days spent on a used or lower end brand name bike.
  • + 1
 @woofer2609: I disagree, enjoyment can be found in the beginning on cheap 500$ bikes, but once riding progresses the machine starts to let you down and there is no choice but to either give up or save alot of pennies.
  • + 1
 @caseycaseman: $500 used gets you a pretty nice hardtail. We will always think we "need" more. Few people outride their machine.
  • + 1
 Would be great once you have tested all the value for money bikes, you do a full review paring them up against each other
  • + 2
 United Patrol
  • + 1
 Brand New Frame will cost you a little less than US$ 1000 in Indonesia.
  • + 1
 Giant Trance 2, $2800.00 including the dropper, and crushes it.
  • + 1
 Can we get a review on the kona process 153 SE? at 2199?
  • + 2
 ^Bingo. Just bought a 2015 153 for a smokin' deal, but almost went for the 2018 153 SE, what a great entry level bike. The only thing the SE needs is a propedal shock and TR rims, apart from that, it will probably sell out ASAP, it also happens to look fantastic. Budget bike of the year, IMHO.
  • + 2
 Photos by Luca Cometti?
  • + 1
 correct
  • + 0
 Ok 2900 for that bike is quite value considering it has better specs than the regin that retails for the same price
  • + 0
 i love the color scheme, trying to paint my 2016 slash in that particular yellow.
  • + 0
 Crank pinch bolts look loose! A poorly built/tuned bike does not ride well regardless of price point.
  • + 1
 It's a freaking nuke proof knock off!!!
  • + 1
 2007 called, it wants the geometry back.
  • + 1
 So the verdict is....its a great all round bike. Well done Patrol!!
  • + 1
 Please do a review of the Fuji Auric
  • + 5
 I'll review it and save pink bike the time.

M link ... Bla bla bla

Climbing - turd
Decending - turd

How about a ????Megatrail review
  • + 1
 Didn't seem like a very positive review.
  • + 5
 .... Isn't that what people have been looking for?

Many here assume all PB reviews are written to please the company that submitted the bike.
  • + 1
 @orientdave: Sure. But im just saying, It wasn't a very good review regardless.
But again, he did admit hes use testing $10k bikes. Maybe if there was a website that tested walmart brand bikes they would have given this bike "bike of the year" ?
  • + 1
 @orientdave: only if they give them a $10k bike to test
  • + 0
 Would love to see a Diamondback 4C review at some point.
  • + 1
 .... and the Mission Pro comes with a dropper and tubeless. $2719 right now.
  • + 1
 170mm Crankarms? wut
  • + 1
 Looks can be deceiving
  • + 1
 Looks sweet!!!
  • + 0
 For gods sake, who even rides these cheap ass bikes.... ; )
  • + 1
 COMMENCAL!!!
  • + 1
 Ya, for 3000 you'll get a way better spec and bike period.
  • + 1
 One fourth
  • + 0
 ISCG, as in the old mount?
  • - 1
 Haaaaaaaaaa!haaaaaaaaa!haaaaaaa!haaaaAaaa!this is so retarded
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