Production Privée, the Andorra brand known for their steel hardtails that are often finished up in classic race car livery, debuted their first full-suspension bike today at the Taipei Cycle Show.
Damien Nosella, one of the minds behind the company's bikes, said that the 138mm-travel Shan Nº5 has been designed to retain the philosophy of their Shan hardtail, but in a more forgiving, all-around package. ''We’ve fully exploited our experience and expertise acquired since 2011 with our enduro hardtail range to develop this ultra-versatile bike,'' he said of the Nº5. ''We wanted the Shan N°5 to be an excellent performer, to be fun, simple, reliable, and with maintenance reduced to a strict minimum.''
As you'd expect, the new frame is build using chromoloy tubing, but Nosella did say that it wasn't a 'steel or nothing' sort of decision when he was designing the bike; they were open to using other materials. But, in the end, steel was the material of choice: ''We decided to go the 4130 CrMo route for the chassis. Since the advent of mechanical sports, CrMo chassis’d contraptions have been winning car and motorcycle races every weekend,'' Nosella said in the bike's press release. ''Steel is a magical material with impeccable strength and very high levels of elasticity and fatigue resistance. When used on a bike, incredibly high levels of tolerance and grip are obtained compared with an alloy or carbon chassis.''
The Nº5's 138mm of suspension travel is controlled by a single-pivot system and an aluminum yoke that drives a custom tuned, 210 x 55mm Fox shock. Nosella explained that while he could have penned some sort of wildly varying leverage rate that would have sounded fancy, he's gone with a linear progressive setup that he says is all about creating a predictable and easy to understand suspension system. The main pivot is sized the same as a Press Fit bottom bracket shell, with alloy cups and angular contact bearings that he said makes it reliable and easy to service.
And why did the bike end up with exactly 138mm of travel? ''This travel size was not chosen so as to meet the criteria of a specific category, but purely as a way of extracting the maximum amount of pleasure and performance out of the Shan N°5,'' he said of the middle of the road number.
So, what is the new Production Privee designed to do? A bit of everything it seems, which is a lot like their steel hardtail. Fork travel can sit anywhere between 140mm and 160mm (it has a 65.6º head angle with a 545mm fork length), it's compatible 27.5" and 27.5+ wheels, and the low seat tube will play nice with the new 170mm-stroke dropper posts. Nosella himself is currently running a 29'' front wheel and a 27.5+ back-end, a combo that probably makes for a quick but forgiving ride.
The bare frame sans Fox shock is said to weigh a not too feathery 3.8kg, and the bike pictured here comes in at 14.8kg with its plus-sized rubber and pedals. Nosella stressed that reliability trumped low weight when he was listing out priorities, and that he wants Shan Nº5 owners never to have to worry.
A frame and Fox DPS shock will retail for 1,899 EUR when it's released to the public later in April, but only fifty frames will be built in the first production run. All of those frames will be finished in the 'Bahama Yellow' paint job, a homage to Singer, the legendary company that re-imagines Porsche's 964-chassis 911 cars.