Among the ebikes and schnitzel at Eurobike, there was a small brand that had no booth, no branding and no hype but had a prototype enduro bike that caught our eye. You might be familiar with Hunt Wheels, who make a range of handbuilt carbon wheelsets from Sussex, UK, well the same people have now launched their own bike brand: Privateer Bikes.
As the name suggests Privateer Bikes was founded on the idea of creating a bike that fits the needs and demands of privateer racers. Alloy frame, race ready geo and burly bearings that can handle season’s worth of abuse.
Privateer 161 Prototype Details
• Intended use: Enduro Racing / All-Mountain
• Wheel size: 29"
• Travel: 161mm (rear) / 170mm fork
• Alloy frame
• 4 sizes with proportional chainstay lengths
• Weight: 30.16 lbs (13.68kg)
• Price: £1200 - £ 1300 for frame and shock (TBC)
The 161 was developed over 18 months with the help of Alistair Beckett, who can also put his name to the Nukeproof Mega and the Forbidden Druid. The main focus of the Privateer 161 was to mix the progressive race geometry you would find on a high-end enduro bike with the reliability and cost-effectiveness every Privateer racer strives for. Privateer have also been working closely with EWS racer Matt Stuttard who has had a blinder of a season and is currently sitting 19th in the overall standings. Geometry
The geometry of the 161 is defintley leaning towards progressive with a 490mm reach on size 3 (which equates to a large), a 1278.7mm wheelbase, 64 degree head angle and a super-steep 80 degree seat tube angle. The suspension is designed around a Horst link with a 1 piece CNC rocker link to keep alignment accurate, which Privateer claim results in longer bearing life and improved strength.
Privateer said they designed the frame construction and suspension around being reliable in even the worst of riding conditions. Hailing from the UK, they were in a good place to test the bike's capabilities through months of wet weather riding. The frame features 15mm axles and large diameter ball bearings, wide bearing spacing to reduce sideways torque forces and all bearings fully enclosed and double contact sealed. There are also only two bearing sizes across the frame which is a nice touch.
Privateer will launch frame & shock only to begin with but are looking to introduce full builds late 2020. They are also already working on a shorter travel (130-140mm) bike, although still progressive in geometry it will be more nimble/playful than this full-on race rig.