Review: Deviate Highlander - There Can Only Be One

Apr 27, 2020
by Mike Levy  



With its high single-pivot, idler pulley, and Float X2 shock sitting low in the frame, Deviate Cycles' all-new, 140mm-travel Highlander looks every bit the big bruiser of an enduro bike that it isn't.

Instead, the small Scottish brand say they've designed their new 29er to be more of an all-around machine, with ''The sole focus of creating the world's most capable trail bike.'' The only thing as high as those expectations is its main pivot, which sits about halfway up the seat tube, that's said to let it compete against bikes with more travel thanks to the rearward axle path that it provides.

The Highlander is available as a frame and Fox Float X2 shock for roughly $3,550 USD (depending on taxes and duties), or you can choose a DPX2, Cane Creek's DBair IL, or DBair CS. They also offer a custom-build program that lets you pick your fork, dropper post, and other components.
Highlander Details

• Intended use: Trail riding
• Wheel size: 29"
• Rear-wheel travel: 140mm
• Fork travel: 140mm - 160mm
• Head angle: 65.5-degrees
• Reach: 450mm (med), 480mm (lrg, tested)
• Compatible w/ coil shocks
• Lifetime warranty / crash replacement
• Weight: 31.6lb / 14.3 kg (as pictured)
• MSRP: $3,550 USD (frame, shock)
• More info: www.deviatecycles.com



Deviate Highlander review
Unlike Deviate's other bike, the Guide, the Highlander doesn't use a gearbox. It retains the high single-pivot suspension and the idler pulley, though.





The Details

You might have seen Deviate Cycles' first bike in 2017, the 160mm-travel Guide that employs a 12-speed gearbox from Pinion and 27.5'' wheels. It's a wild-looking carbon fiber thing with swoopy tubes and, much like the new Highlander, a high single-pivot suspension layout. The longer-travel Guide (pictured here) is intended for enduro-ish riding, or even lapping the bike park, where the focus is on the descents and there's a case to be made for the reliability and suspension performance that a gearbox can offer.

But if you've used a gearbox before, any company's gearbox, you'll know that one thing they don't offer is efficiency. ''We're sold on the gearbox for a winch up/tear down kinda riding, and the suspension performance and low unsprung mass it offers is frankly incredible,'' Deviate's Ben Jones said of their Guide, although he's far more pragmatic about gearboxes than you'd expect given that 50-percent of their model range uses them.

''However, for our trail bike, the gearbox had to go - it feels draggy during undulating riding or when accelerating hard,'' he continued.


Deviate Highlander review
The 140mm-travel Highlander was designed as a trail bike, hence Deviate's call to ditch the gearbox in favor of a more efficient traditional drivetrain.


''The gearbox is not suitable for all types of riding. It’s just not. It really works for the Guide - which is an enduro bike tending towards a mini-DH bike. The Guide was a bike with a purpose and we make no apology for that - that purpose was not trail centers or undulating terrain, it was big mountains with big descents.''

''The Highlander is designed from the ground up to be a trail bike. We’ve always said that we’ll choose the most appropriate design for the end-use and after many years using the gearbox we’re going to make the claim that for the end use of a trail bike - the conventional derailleur system is a great solution. In the future - gearbox technology may move on and it may become a sensible option for a trail bike. When that happens we’ll do our best to be the first to the party.''

Historically, when a brand designs a bike around a gearbox drivetrain, it likely means two things: All of their models will be using a gearbox, and they'll evangelize the gearbox like it can cure everything from bent derailleur hangers to your persistent cough. Gearboxes do a lot of neat things, no doubt about that, but I'd rather not have a gearbox on my trail bike. Thankfully, and unexpectedly, the folks at Deviate agree.


Deviate Highlander review
Without the idler pulley directing the chain high up close to the main pivot, chain tension would keep the Highlander's suspension from moving as freely as it should.


The Highlander is carbon from tip to tail, including its sturdy-looking swingarm that offers gobs of tire clearance. Rear brake and shift lines are both tucked up in a channel on the underside of the top tube (a bit like how Guerrilla Gravity does it on their down tube), a feature that tricks you into thinking they're routed inside the frame, but Deviate's solution provides much easier access than internal routing.

The dropper post line is run internally, as is the shift line when it passes through the swingarm, and there's room for a large-sized bottle inside the front triangle where it belongs.


Deviate Highlander review
Shift and brake lines are nearly hidden in a channel on the underside of the top tube.
Deviate Highlander review
The dropper post line is routed internally.

Deviate Highlander review
Looking for tire clearance? You got it.
Deviate Highlander review
Everything about the Highlander looks robust.


The other things I'm supposed to mention include a threaded bottom bracket, a two ISCG-05 tabs that are ready for a taco or mini-guide, and some "accessory mounting points" on the underside of the top tube where you can attach your, er, accessories and stuff.

All that adds up to 31.6 pounds (14.3 kg), which seems a bit husky for a 140mm trail bike... Until you factor the 160mm Fox 36 and sturdy Maxxis tires into the equation. The idler pulley and all of the associated bits mean that the Highlander is never going to be your flyweight trail bike - that's not the idea, of course - but less demanding terrain and a few wise component could easily knock off some weight. Then again, this probably isn't the trail bike for you if that's a major concern.



Deviate Highlander review
The Deviate's high single-pivot, linkage-activated suspension layout delivers 140mm of travel.


High Single-Pivot Suspension

The oft-cited benefit of a high single-pivot suspension design is that it allows the wheel to move both rearward and up when there's an impact, something that a relatively low main (or virtual) pivot location isn't able to do.

That rearward biased axle path allows bikes who employ the HSP layout to carry more momentum over rough ground compared to bikes with a more vertical axle path, a trait that can give HSP bikes a suspension advantage when it can matter the most.


Deviate Highlander review
Deviate Highlander review
The Highlander's idler pulley design is well thought out and proved to be trouble-free.


But if the high single-pivot layout was the best way to do it, there'd probably be a lot more HSP bikes around, right? There are certainly more than there used to be, largely spurred on by the success of Commencal's downhill bike, but there's no such thing as the best. Many people would say that the main drawback of an HSP bike is that once that pivot gets to a certain height, the chain needs to be routed close to it in order to avoid too much drivetrain interference, commonly known as "pedal kickback" when the suspension tugs on the chain and is prevented from working freely.

Of course, an idler pulley means more chain, more bolts and bearings, more weight, and more things to go wrong... But you can also choose the location of that idler pulley down to the millimeter to fine tune the amount of anti-squat in the design, which has a massive effect on both the pedaling and suspension performance.


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The Highlander uses the same high single-pivot, linkage-activated layout as their longer-travel Guide, but while the latter gets a pivot near the axle and sees the chainstays used as a suspension element, the new bike employs a compact aluminum linkage that rotates around the bottom bracket. It's certainly tidier looking, as is the gorgeous aluminum idler wheel and surrounding guide that look just as beefy as the rest of the bike.

The idler spins on two sealed bearings and has a grease port, meaning you have no excuses for not looking after it. The suspension pivots all get grease ports, too, and it's also worth noting that a standard, off-the-shelf chain is long enough at 126 links, so you won't need to buy two when the time comes to replace worn-out parts.
Deviate Highlander review
A compact aluminum linkage rotates around the bottom bracket to compress the Fox shock.

Deviate Highlander review


Geometry

Deviate isn't doing anything crazy in the geometry department, choosing solid, modern numbers that make sense instead of going too long or too slack. Remember, it might look like an enduro race bike but the Highlander is intended to be used as a capable trail rig. That design brief sees a 65.5-degree head angle and 76-degree seat angle combined with a 480mm reach for my large-sized test bike, while the medium sits at 450mm.

The 441mm chainstay length is the same for both sizes, although the high single-pivot layout will make them feel longer as the bike goes into its travel.


Deviate Highlander review


Deviate says that the medium will suit riders between 5'5'' and 5'11'' while those between 5'10'' and 6'3" should opt for the large. It's worth noting that 30mm gap in reach between the two sizes, though, especially as the latter is a roomy 480mm. Deviate say they'll have extra-large sizes available by this June, while extra-smalls will be ready by the end of the year.









Test Bike Setup

Deviate doesn't offer the Highlander as a complete bike, but they did build my test rig up with a bunch of parts that make a lot of sense for my usually rocky and usually steep local trails. That includes a 160mm-travel Fox 36 with their GRIP 2 cartridge and a four-way adjustable Float X2 shock that makes for a total of eight (Cool damper adjustments. I'm very familiar with the 36 at this point, and I ended up with 70psi in it after the first few rides that hasn't been changed since.

The shock required 165psi for my 155lb weight, which gave me 17mm sag or bang-on 30-percent. I went as low as 25-percent while riding the Highlander on smooth trails, and as much as 35-percent when it was going to be a rowdy ride, but the middle of those proved to be a set-it-and-forget-it pressure.

With the exception of using a Maxxis DHF as a rear tire for a few rides, the bike's components remained unchanged for the time I spent on it.

n a
Mike Levy
Location: Squamish, BC, Canada
Age: 39
Height: 5'10
Inseam: 33.5"
Weight: 156 lb
Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Instagram: @killed_by_death


Deviate Highlander review Photo by Dane Perras.
For a so-called trail bike, the Highlander feels like a slow, relaxed climber. This isn't one for those who chase uphill KOMs.


Climbing

Deviate calls the Highlander a trail bike, but with its 160mm Fox 36, tractor tires from Maxxis, and an over 31lb weight, I'm only partially convinced. In my mind, a trail bike is a lively, energetic thing that I'd want to, you know, ride all of the trails on. Of course, the words ''trail bike" are going to mean different things to different riders in different places, but if you're like me and think that the Santa Cruz Tallboy, Trek Fuel EX and the like fit that description, you'll probably find the Highlander to be about as much of a trail bike as the Grim Donut.

By those definitions, the Highlander seems to plod up climbs with an "I'll get there when I get there" manner about it that's more in-line with an all-mountain or enduro bikes. Framed in that more forgiving enduro-hued light, the Deviate can hold its own on the way up, largely due to efficient pedaling manners and versatile geometry.

The four-way adjustable Fox shock lets riders tune the amount of low-speed compression damping on tap, as well as offering a pedal-assist switch, but the Highlander asks for very little of the former (I preferred just 2-clicks from open) and none of the latter. The 140mm of rear-suspension stays relatively calm and level without asking for any artificial help, and out-of-the-saddle efforts aren't wasted just so long as you don't pedal like you're crushing grapes in a barrel with your feet. Circles are fast, squares are slow, and that's more true when you have more travel.

The Highlander can hold its own in the slow-speed technical pitches as well, but don't go expecting it to feel like a sharp trail bike in those moments.
Deviate Highlander review Photo by Dane Perras.
Tight switchbacks require some planning, but a skilled rider will learn how to get it done.

With a big on-trail presence and wide, slow-rolling tires that cling to the last remaining scraps of traction, your best bet is to aim the Highlander where you intend to end up and stay on the gas. It's not a bike that loves the slow speeds stuff, but with an obvious emphasis on the descents, that's not exactly a surprise. And if you put the emphasis on the descents as well, you'll probably get along with the Highlander.

What does all that mean? That the Deviate climbs more like an efficient all-mountain bike than a true trail machine, and that the same could be said of the ideal Highlander rider.


Deviate Highlander review Photo by Dane Perras.
Chunky, messy terrain is where the Highlander shines. It's trails like these where the blue bike feels enduro-ready.


Descending

My first few rides on the Highlander saw me on rolling terrain with short, steep climbs and relatively smooth descents that didn't really suit the bike's strengths. Its slow-rolling Assegai tires didn't help, and while a quick tire swap (I installed a rear DHF for a couple of rides that sped things up a bit) can negate that, I could tell that the Deviate was far more interested in blacks than blues. Sure, decent pedaling manners mean that it'll toodle around just as well as anything else when you're on trails that would pass an IMBA grade inspection but, just like many of us, it never felt all that motivated in those situations.

Instead of making my usual side-hit detours on the local flow trails, I found myself pretty content to think more about carrying speed and carving corners. I mean, it's not a bad strategy, especially as this bike tracks like a frick'n Maglev train through seemingly any and every fast corner. I'm not sure if it's the shock and suspension bits sitting so low on the frame, the high pivot, the geometry, or the stout construction, but something (or everything) about the Highlander lets it corner in a predictable, deliberate way that lets you know everything will work out just fine.


Deviate Highlander review Photo by Dane Perras.
With grabby Assegai tires and a long wheelbase, the Deviate tracks incredibly well.


The Highlander's rear-suspension doesn't offer the all-smoothing, all-squishing action that a Fuel EX or Specialized Stumpjumper does, two trail bikes that do an exceptionally good job of separating high-frequency chatter from the rider. While those machines want to keep you from even knowing about the small stuff under your wheels, there's a bit more feedback from the Highlander, even at 35-percent sag and with the compression settings wide open. I wouldn't go so far as to call it rough, but it's obvious that Deviate has prioritized fast instead of forgiving. It works, too.

Fast is when the blue bike feels like it comes alive, with medium-sized impacts being gobbled up by the back of the Highlander impressively well. It never feels like there's more than 140mm of tap, but the bike is less fussed about the kind of hits that may or may not knock you off-line, those rocks and roots that we go straight through yet can't quite ignore. The kind of rough, choppy ground that makes you work for it is where the Highlander is at its best, especially when things go from trail bike-friendly to ''Maybe I shouldn't be trying this trail.''

Dropping your heels is this bike's 'on' switch, and the more aggressive you get with it, the more it'll give you.

What about the extra chain and that idler pulley wheel that's just waiting to jam up with peanut butter mud? Does it add any resistance or feel strange? The Pacific Northwest doesn't get that sticky icky that drier, tree-challenged climates have to deal with, but the usual BC slop hasn't given the Highlander any issues at all. There's more to clean, no doubt about that, but it's quiet and the cutouts and open design stop normal mud from jamming up the works.
Deviate Highlander review Photo by Dane Perras.
For a trail bike, the Highlander isn't exactly playful. The flipside to its stability is that it'll go through anything, including a brick wall.

But even when it's cleaner than the inside of a Lysol bottle and fully lubed up, I could feel still feel the chain going over the idler pulley while pedaling. I wouldn't call it drag, per se, and I'd usually forget about it after the first ten-minutes of climbing, but I would say that it makes a traditional drivetrain seem damn smooth underfoot. Having dealt with a few horribly designed idler pulley systems on bikes from the early 2000s, including one that tried to borrow the end of a fingertip of mine, I'm always wary. Regardless, Deviate's deign didn't give me any trouble.


Deviate Highlander review
The big Assegai tires don't roll quickly, but they do deliver loads of traction and that means you'll descend quickly.
Deviate Highlander review
The 2020 GRIP 2 damper on the front of the Highlander was flawless. How much better can the new one even be?


Technical Report

Maxxis Assegai Tires: The Deviate arrived with 2.5" wide Assegais on both ends that deliver all the traction, but that comes at the cost of some rolling speed when the ground is smooth and not angled down enough. If it were my bike, I'd probably keep the big meat on the front but go with a 2.35" Minion DHF on the other end.

Shimano XTR: The Highlander came with Japan's best drivetrain, giving me next to nothing to complain about on those fronts. The shifting is so good that I literally feel like a better human being every time I flicked an XTR paddle, but, surprise surprise, the front brake's bite point would migrate in and out depending on what I was doing and maybe the phase of the moon. It's wild that Shimano hasn't figured this out yet. Also, the lever's Servo-Wave mechanism adds some initial firmness to the pull, but I'd love to try the four-piston XTR caliper with their non-Servo-Wave XTR lever, like some of their sponsored riders seem to prefer, for a more natural lever feel.

That Extra Chainring and Chain: It's an idler pulley, not a chainring, and I'm honestly surprised to say that it gave me zero issues or headaches. I've already said that much above, but I wanted to repeat it so I believe it.


Forbidden Druid review
Pole Stamina 140 EN
The 130mm Forbidden Druid (left) uses a very similar suspension design, while Pole's 140mm-travel Stamina is the most capable trail bike I've ever ridden.

How does it compare?

Forbidden's Druid has a bit less travel (130/150 versus the Highlander's 140/160 combo) but the general idea is the same: A sturdy, high single-pivot trail bike that employs both an idler pulley and linkage to drive the shock. They're not all that dissimilar on the trail, with both offering that heavy-hitting stability that isn't common among trail bikes. Between the two, it's the Druid that feels more like an all-around trail bike, though, while the longer-travel (and just plain longer) Highlander would be the better choice if you're really just an enduro rider in disguise.

If we're talking capable trail bikes, we can't get outta here without mentioning Pole's 140mm-travel Stamina. Yes, the non-production swingarm on our test bike broke during last year's Field Test review series, but it was still the most impressive bike that I rode in 2019. That review might have an asterisk beside it but, as far as trail bikes go, I don't think I'd be faster on anything else, including the Highlander. The slacker and even longer Pole is a bit more composed on the downhills when you're anything but, although it also feels like even more bike everywhere else as well. However you want to slice it, both the Stamina and the Highlander are all-mountain sleds masquerading as trail bikes.



Pros

+ The all-mountain rider's trail bike
+ Seriously capable for a trail bike
+ Sturdy, stiff construction
+ The idler pulley is effective and trouble-free


Cons

- The all-mountain rider's trail bike
- Feels like a lot of bike on tame terrain
- The idler pulley was trouble-free, for now...


Is this the bike for you?

If we're assuming that there can only be one (bike in your garage, I mean), the Highlander will make sense if your local trails are naturally raw, rough, and fast. Get the picture? This bike rides a fine line between the trail and enduro worlds, which allows it to be remarkably versatile when things get saucy. If you tend to see more of the opposite, smooth ground, trail centers, and flow, I suspect it'll end up feeling like a lot of bike under you.



Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesTrail bikes should be versatile, ready-for-anything machines, and most of them are exactly that. But, push come to shove, most of that versatility extends towards tamer, pedal-intensive riding. On the contrary, the Highlander's versatility extends in the opposite direction, which will let you point it down more intensive lines than most trail bikes would be okay with. If that's how you want to spend your rides, the Highlander is ready. Mike Levy








337 Comments

  • 217 7
 "The idler pulley was trouble-free, for now..."

It is weird to put in cons something what you just expect to happen in future.
  • 31 10
 I mean kind of... On the other hand, more things that can break mean more things will likely break in the long run.
  • 28 19
 I think it's perfectly reasonable for the reviewer to identify plausible risks about the product and list those as cons, as long as he's clear on the "plausible risk" description
  • 20 2
 The idler pulley (plastic) on my Guide did collapse in spectacular fashion.
  • 76 3
 They should have a similar note for so many other things too that will fail more probably than a well designed chainring. Let's start with bikes equipped with crank bros' stuff, reverbs, guide brakes, enve rims, yeti frames....
  • 19 0
 Indeed - and and if the future failure is a solid 30$ to replace (on a 3000$ frame) I am more than happy to take that risk.
  • 9 15
flag IluvRIDING (Apr 27, 2020 at 3:53) (Below Threshold)
 If it isn't there, it can't break. Simple as that. It should give you a NOTICABLE advantage over standard frames without idler pulleys ortherwise I am totally against it.
  • 17 1
 @IluvRIDING: by that logic the review would have to state something similar on every bike that has a couple bearings more than others
  • 3 0
 Minority report principle :p
  • 1 1
 Do yourself a favor and buy 20 extra idler pulley's if you bite on this ride.
  • 12 1
 Honestly, I find this discussion to be a little off
Was the journalist a little overzealous to list that as a "con"? Maybe, I would've made that remark on the review body, I indeed got the feeling they were kind of nitpicking to have something to write on the "cons". That says a lot about the bike really.

But is the reviewer wrong to point out something that, maybe considering his past experiences or just common sense, jumps out as likely to be a potential weak link? That's hardly fortune telling, more like a comment or doubt many of us would also have.

By the critics logic here, a reviewer wouldn't be allowed to comment on a bike's lack of mud clearance if he didn't ride the bike through mud and got caked
  • 4 2
 @Arierep: I strongly disagree with that statement. This is just a guess based on probability at best. Also remember this assumption is coming from a maybe not so clairvoyant tester that always said longer is not better, wanted shorter chainstays cause they are more fun and seriously doubted the benefit of steep seat angles. And the most capable bikes he's been riding is.... Pole Stamina! I acknowledge he's been able to go beyond his pre-judgement. But maybe he should stop having some, don't you think? Or maybe he was just impressed by the 3 bottle mounts on the Stamina!
BTW: this is not an anti-Levy comment, I usually enjoy reading his reviews, and what I wrote above would actually apply to 99% of the bike industry. Otherwise we'd have this kind of bikes for more than 15 years already.
  • 68 2
 "The shock bushings were trouble free, for now..."
"The derailleur hanger was trouble free, for now...."
"The bb didn't creak, for now...."
"The chainstays held up, for now..."

I can journalism too.
  • 7 0
 For me, if they imply the idler pulley may be a weak link, it would nice for them to take it apart and take a closer look at it's construction. Then it's more reasonable to make an educated guess weather it'll last or not. But this is just nitpicking and it's a cool bike and a nice review!
  • 6 1
 @JohanG: the Fox 36 is great, for now....
  • 11 1
 @JohanG: It is a bike website. It is not journalism. It is marketing and sales.
  • 5 3
 Marino Alegre (www.marinobike.com/producto/custom-full-suspension-frame) will weld you up a steel fully for like $600 with any geometry you want (it will not be a lightweight). If I start a quick gofundme or indegogo, would anyone be interested in throwing me a few bucks?

I would CAD up a high pivot bike, and a regular pivot bike, and keep the geometry (and everything else) as close to each other as possible. I can then commission Marino to weld up both of them, and I can do a long term review of the actual performance differences between a traditional bike and high pivot, since all the journalists neglect this in their reviews.

Thoughts?
  • 8 0
 @hamncheez: would you sell other merch off the back of it as well?

If only someone had thought of this before!
  • 2 0
 @tomhoward379: I'll be selling T-shirts and other nonsense. Don't you worry!

Also, I'll do a kickstarter to sell the frame design I make, but I'll use the money for fancy booths at trade shows instead of getting your product to you, so your money will be well spent. JK!

I'm serious about making these two frame tho, if I have spare cash this summer I'm going to do it. I can get both probably for $1500.
  • 6 0
 @hamncheez: Great idea.
Can't wait to buy one of your frames from On One
  • 8 2
 @ajp1:

Is there really any journalism left in the world outside of PBS?

It all seems like click-bait/commercials to me.
  • 1 0
 By their logic, PB should put this same disclaimer in every review, of every bike manufacturer that had a frame fail during a test.
  • 1 1
 @ajp1: That’s correct! I hate it when people compliment the “journalism” of a bike review.
  • 2 0
 hey, whaddya know!? the $10,000 super bike rides well! I kinda feel like the cost of the complete build warrants a mention on this one - nice parts kit...
  • 2 0
 @Arierep:
"The chain/fork/derailleur/grips/shifter cable was trouble-free, for now..." LOL
  • 8 0
 @vjunior21: the air stayed in the tyres... for now...
  • 3 0
 @IamZOSO: Funniest comment of the year! These other state-sponsored media outlets agree! (Pravda, Pyongyang TV, Xinhua, Granma, etc.)

PBS: www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsufMtUOXtI
  • 3 1
 @tomhoward379:

The air staying in the shocks...for now.
  • 6 0
 @loafersmate: As I think we explained - at the very beginning of our journey we had a batch of idlers on the Guide that our idler manufacture took upon themselves to change the spec to plastic. We didn't notice (they looked very metal like) and they failed. We recalled all the idlers and replaced them with idlers made to correct specification.
  • 5 0
 @kanioni: we are very happy to share details of it's design with anyone who asks. In fact we're really proud of the design and engineering that has gone into the idler. Fully sealed, grease ports, bearings in double shear configuration... it's strong and robust and you'll end up changing it about as regularly as a chain ring.
  • 4 0
 @ESKato: exactly the kind of price we're selling idlers for Smile . they last as long as your chain rings do.
  • 1 2
 @leomax89: They should compare it with the Forbidden Druid...
  • 1 4
 @deviatecycles: I would think the idlers would last forever, since they're not carrying a load...?
  • 1 0
 @kittenjuice: people blast them with the pressure washer, plus the contaminants from cleaning chains I think is the issue.
  • 1 0
 @kittenjuice: Aren’t they carrying a load? The chain is in tension across the top. It’s not in tension on the bottom.
  • 4 0
 @Acidlegs: Yes, but nothing is loading the teeth.
  • 1 0
 @kittenjuice: Good point.
  • 9 1
 I live on the North Shore and have been riding a Forbidden Druid (another HSP "trail bike") for a few months. Before that I had a horst-link/FSR bike with 160mm of travel. Based on my experience:

- if you are not able to purchase an HSP trail/enduro bike in the near future, do not try one unless you handle frustration well;

- 130mm of travel on the Druid deliver way more traction and impact absorption than 160mm on my previous bike, way more than I could imagine;

- the bike is incredibly silent going down (without changing/adding anything to it);

- the idler pulley makes a bit more noise than a "standard chain line" when it is really muddy (which is the least of my concerns when I'm covered in mud); and

- the idler pulley has been trouble-free and not something I ever think about when ridding, not like the derailleur hanging off the side of my rear wheel.
  • 1 1
 @IamZOSO: I've heard "Fox News" and "CNN" are both pretty good
  • 1 0
 @ajp1: oooh, controversial. But probably correct..
  • 2 0
 @ajp1: I tend to agree but Levy saying the Pole Stamina 140 was "the most impressive bike I rode in 2019" [when Pole not only doesn't do any advertising on PB and whines about their treatment (since owner Leo is socially inept)] seems to call that sentiment in question?
  • 2 0
 He's right to be concerned about it out since historically every bike that has mounted an idler pulley on the tension side of the chain has failed rather prematurely. The last example of this were the Corsair Marquee and Maelstrom. Neither seemed to last more than a few months of regular riding. This was about 10 years ago, so I guess it takes about that long for people to forget so another company can take a crack at it. haha.

I suppose if you use a steel cog, big bearings or needle bearings, and double shear mount a burly axle, it "should" be durable. However that setup is heavy so no trail bike has done it that I'm aware of. I like how Deviate double shear mounted the axle, I'm curious if they did any of the other things. Looks like the cog is metal at least. FWIW, the Corsairs were double shear mounted with little bearings and both plastic and metal version of the pulley making the rounds.
  • 158 3
 pros:
this article is from Mike Levy

cons:
this article is from Mike Levy
  • 3 3
 the ying and yang good review Mike!
  • 6 0
 1 tiny rock in the bottom linkage. You will hear some crunching.
  • 4 0
 @chyu: Followed by much sobbing ,
  • 4 0
 @chyu @rideronthestorm1: the linkage "opens up" when compressed so we doubt this would be something that would happen.
  • 5 1
 @chyu: the antidote dark matter is the DH bike of this design. And it was release 4 years prior. I haven’t had any problems with this design.

Also commencal supreme and the devinci Wilson have very similar linkage.

I love how you automatically assume it will fail, when it’s a proven design. It’s like you’ve been living under a rock for 4 years.
  • 1 0
 @Happypanda1337: I didn't said it will fail. I only state you will hear some crunching.

I have been living under a rock. Wonder how I come out with the phrase 1 rock in the bottom linkage, you will hear some crunching?
  • 1 0
 Reviews are theory of the perfect bike which does exist?
  • 1 0
 I actually thought this was one of the better written reviews I've seen from him in a while.
  • 68 0
 Hi all,
Thanks for all the comments.
Just wanted to add some information here.

**Is it a trail bike?**
You decide - it depends on what your "trails" look like. As Mike points out fairly clearly, this is a bike designed for serious terrain. It's probably not what you'd pick if your riding is mainly smooth trail centres. Where we ride it is hard to know if you're riding enduro/trail or all-mountain so we don't get caught up on category definitions. We've designed the Highlander as the one bike you'd want on a road trip. Our ideal road trip involves riding some rowdy terrain. Sometimes you may have some help on the ups - but more often than not you'll want a bike that climbs well and is fun on the undulating terrain you often find yourself on! Then when it comes to the "fun" - you want your bike to be equally comfortable at a bike park, on the steep "enduro" tracks, and on a big epic multi-day across a mountain range. We've very simply built the bike we would take on our road trip.

**Idler/Chain Wrap**
We've worked hard on the design of the idler to make it bomb-proof. As you'll have seen Mike has had no issues - neither have we and we've done a lot of testing in some pretty savage conditions! We learnt a lot with the Guide and we bring that experience to the Highlander's idler. The 18t idler is silent and will not wear faster than the rest of the drive train. The idler bearings sit behind twin lip wiper seals,are in double shear configuration and have grease ports. Spare idler wheels are cheap (~$30) and we keep a good stock. The limited wrap on the chain ring isn't an issue and our testing has shown that even though you can run a lower guide - no chain retention is required.

**US Purchases**
We are currently working on a US web store. For now - get in touch as we can and do ship to the US. The price for a Highlander frameset with Fox Factory X2 (2021) is $3300 USD shipped to your door within the mainland US with duty/tax paid.

**Price Point**
I know, I know, another boutique brand with a high price point! As a small brand we don't have the capacity (or desire) to manufacture or sell volume so we are forced to produce small batches. The price-point is a result of this. I am genuinely sorry if the price-point puts it out of your reach. However, your extra dollars to support a small manufacture do get you something we think is fairly important, customer service.
If customer service is important to you then we are trying to be the brand at the top of that list. Ben or Chris personally are available to all of our customers. Give us a call anytime during the working day - our number is on the website - one of us will pick up personally. Or if you are in the UK we'll go for a ride with you. We're not hiding behind some corporate "contact us and we'll get back to you within 5 days" line. Any issues with our products and we'll make it our priority to sort it.
It's worth saying that we're trying to be as competitive as we can and we think when you compare The Highlander to other bikes at this level we stack up well. Here in the UK we are cheaper than the equivalent Santa Cruz or Yeti frame and match their lifetime warranty. An alloy version is something we are exploring - however, we'll never be competing solely on price so please don't expect us to match what YT or Canyon can do.

**Lead time**
Currently we're on about an 8 week lead time due to demand.

**Sizes**
X-Large will be available to order shortly with an 8 week lead time.

If you have any questions please get in touch.
Cheers,
Ben and Chris
  • 3 0
 Hello, I was wondering if you had the geometry numbers for the size XL?
  • 2 0
 Good to hear about US demos coming. Don’t forget about the North East please.

One suggestion I would like to make is partnering with either Push or EXT to offer the Highlander with one of those 2 amazing coil shocks at point of sale. I have to admit that 11-6 option from Fanatik is the one thing that has me still considering a Druid over a Highlander at this point.

If you guys could get a combo deal together for about $3800 it would make this a very hard package to beat. It will pedal and descend better setup like that and end up cheaper than buying a mainstream high end frame and then buying one of those shocks aftermarket.
  • 5 0
 @Vudu74: we'll be publishing on our website very soon.
  • 3 0
 @fitnj: it's a good point. we will happily sell you a frame with no shock for now and are working on adding other boutique shock options.
  • 12 0
 Great way to respond to a review. Other companies should take note.
  • 1 0
 @deviatecycles: Thank you for the response, I will keep on checking!
  • 2 0
 If your aluminium frame exploration lands you closer to Bird than to RAAW price theritories you've got my order. A very interesting bike you got there.
  • 1 0
 Great reply! Deviate looks like a standout! I think Pricepoint is important to the majority. How progressive is the suspension? dont know how to read them there graphs... Beautiful Rig! Really! Nice Work. Cheers
  • 4 0
 Now that's the sort of reply we should be seeing from manufacturers on every Q &A on PB after a bike review! Bravo @deviatecycles!
  • 1 0
 You had me at alloy. Listening! Go the 6013 route and a flip chip for 27.5/29 rear and I'm in love. 73m bb, 148mm rear, 31.6mm post, zs44/56 headset. Oooophh!!!
  • 1 0
 Chainwrap was my only concern, but apparently you thought of that Smile
  • 1 0
 My concern with the chain wrap is not with derailment as much as chain slippage. On the bikes I make, I found that having a chain guide on that wraps around the chain ring more was necessary to avoid slippage under heavy torque. Perhaps the newer style chainring helps this, but that was my thought since I've been down this development road before.
  • 54 0
 Very interesting bike and well written review.
I just think Mike spends too much time questioning the trail classification of the bike. I don't think the trail Vs AM Vs Enduro light classification is all that important.
Let's say, for some crazy reason, some brand releases what's a DH bike but calls it a AM bike, would that be any less of a good DH bike?
  • 4 0
 i kind of agree, but what i think is interesting about the high pivot bikes is the extent to which travel amounts stop being an indicator of what the bike is capable of or can do. travel seems to be the biggest thing used to split classification, but everything i read about HP bikes is they use the travel better, and feel more capable.
  • 1 0
 @telephunke:
I have a GT Sanction and it felt balanced only when I have put the 180mm 36 on the front. Add in some off-set bushings and bearings for the of idler(dogbone) and I can't cash what this bike can take.(lack of balls, speed, fit and skill Smile ) )
  • 6 1
 True, but I think that classifying bikes is increadibly helpful for reviews and people researching potential bike purchases. Once you buy the bike, who cares, but when trying to determine if it's the right bike for you it can make a big difference.
  • 8 3
 Mike likes to divide bikes into categories which only exist in his head...there is no such thing as down country, enduro or all mountain bikes only XC, trail and DH. And even "trail" is questionable. XC is going up and down so do we really need trail? Look at the EWS pros they ride enduro on "trail", "all mountain" or "enduro" bikes depending on the type of tracks the race has.
  • 1 0
 @SintraFreeride: I agree, and similarly, unless it's a race bike for racing my bike has to have at least 2-3 capabilities.
  • 2 0
 Really, is "all mountain" like the decided category between enduro and trail? I haven't heard that being widely and concretely used to categorize a bike in like 8 years.
  • 2 0
 somebody make a dumbcountry bike. my dumbass might fall for it and buy it.
  • 1 0
 @me2menow: Spliting mountainbikes into more and more categories with 10-20mm difference in travel is just taking the piss. How stupid do they think we are? My XC/trail bike has 180mm of travel and a 63º head angle. I use it everywhere and don't ride "enduro". Enduro is a race format and people should not be ashamed to say they ride cross country or just mountainbiking!
  • 1 0
 It's a journalist trying to capture a fair but of interest as people respond to labels. All I know is my Druid is a lot faster up and down than my previous 'enduro' bike (Foxy 29).
  • 37 1
 Collecting bikes is like drinking whiskey. Ones enough, two is too many and three is not enough. Take my money...
  • 55 0
 Whiskey? Mods - we have an imposter here, fraudulently using the Scottish flag.
  • 2 4
 @km79: a scotch
  • 13 0
 @km79:
E’s probably had 4
  • 9 0
 @km79: You got me. From the Emerald isle...
  • 4 0
 @7hundredpirate: Whisky (unless of course it's whiskey you prefer).
  • 33 0
 If you're thinking about the Pole, I would suggest looking elsewhere. I ordered a Stamina in December. Never heard anything at all for almost a month and a half, despite sending a couple of emails. I sent one last email, and told them that I would have to cancel the order if no one got back to me. No response. Did a charge back through my CC.
  • 6 0
 I get the impression that Pole is facing serious financial issues. 2 of my riding friends have pretty dire stories regarding Pole. 1 is similar to yours and the other involves a 10 month and counting warranty replacement. It doesn't sound like a healthy business
  • 4 0
 @IllestT: didn't see that coming
  • 4 0
 In their defense and kinda playing devil's advocate here, I had exceptional service from them when I purchased my Evolink 140 last February. From time of purchase to receiving the frame was maybe 2 weeks. Communication was great even with the Colorado-Finland time difference. Customs wasn't an issue and they even helped with ordering a different spring from EXT for the rear shock. A+ for the first time ever purchasing a frame new.
  • 2 0
 @defineindecline: I don't think the Evo links are a problem. Only a few of them seem to break. It's the 'indestructible' glued bikes that seem to be a bit, errr destructible
  • 7 0
 I ordered a Pole 140 in August...






Got my money back in March I got over my affinity for the obscure and bought a V1 Ripmo on sale. Wish I had this on my radar. Looks rad and perfect for what I want. AndI’m not really over my affinity for the obscure.
  • 1 0
 The chain of events is looking more and more like Sick Bikes...
  • 2 0
 @IllestT: I got a refund. I hope the rest get a bike or their money back once Pole are able to function at an increased capacity and the pandemic is behind us. Definitely a rough time to be in financial troubles.

I don’t think it is like the Sick Bike Co story. I think those guys intentionally screwed customers. I think Pole wants to get the bikes to the people but is having a difficult time and is in a difficult situation.
  • 2 0
 @MonsterTruck: I agree that Pole is in any way like Sick. I just think they they've had issues with scaling up, and their business operations capacity has been overwhelmed. Could be financial, supply chain, organizational, who knows.

I will say that Leo's excuses on Facebook regarding moving and covid are a little bothersome, since myself and many others had problems far before either of those things took place
  • 33 0
 Remember when trail Bikes had fox 34 and 130mm travel. Pepperidges Farm remembers
  • 3 0
 And weighed well under 30Lbs.
  • 3 0
 Yeah, XC bikes had 80mm travel. Extreme XC bikes had 100mm. Long travel trail bikes were like 125. And 150+??? Those were a dream; and usually rode like a turd. We’ve come a long way.
  • 31 0
 I like looking at pretty bikes that I’ll never own
  • 9 0
 Isn't that the point of pinkbike?
  • 10 1
 Finally, someone who understands why we need reviews on $15k bikes! Me too.
  • 21 0
 Seems like Mike was reallt struggling to find any Cons. Sounds like an absolute winner!
  • 4 0
 I feel like the other Mike should have reviewed this bike and leave the DC bikes to this Mike
  • 1 0
 @daugherd: totally agree with you, this is what i thought after reading the article.
  • 19 1
 There is a boozer a few k's from me called the Highlander, closed now of course, the Dead Kennedy's played there in '82, I saw Mental as Anything there in' 01 and who knows who played there between those dates. This bike looks great.
  • 18 0
 Those tires. while high traction, make any bike a slug. And as a result we don't really have a good measure of how this bike pedals, which is like 75% of what a trail bike does and so is very important.
Assagai tires were a poor spec choice for a 140mm trail bike.
  • 2 2
 Agreed. Nobby Nic or something similar would be a more realistic choice.
  • 1 0
 Totally agree.
  • 2 0
 @DHhack: Sure, until he pointed it downhill and said it was sketchy in corners. Then someone would be making the opposite comment of SunsPSD and saying it's not fair to judge the bike based on NNs. Was Deviant's choice to bias the tire spec to the downs and I'm sure it helped the performance as much as it hurt. I did think it was funny he changed to a DHF, though. Says something about the Assegai that it makes a Minion feel like a rolling resistance improvement.
  • 1 0
 Agreed, at least put a Rekon or Aggressor on the back. I'm loving the Kenda Hellkat/Nev2 F/R right now. Tough, lightish, rolls better than Rekon/DHf combo and has fantastic grip.
  • 1 0
 Wouldn't have taken more than 30 minutes to fit the same combo they ran on the bike test so they had a more common standard.
  • 6 0
 @JohnnyVV: choose your wheel/tyres for where you ride. I personally run 2.4/2.3 DHF/DHR most of the time on my Highlander. It pedals very well and doesn't feel sluggish on the ups. We threw Assagai tyres on this build because it was going to BC.
  • 2 0
 @JohnnyVV: Plenty of people run a semi slick rear on enduro and dh bikes if you want to go the route of lower rolling resistance and bigger cornering knobs. The Assegai is possibly the slowest tire you could buy thats not a full on mud spike, lift service only was the consensus I thought when it came out?
  • 3 0
 @JohnnyVV: Personally I don't consider a NN passable for a front tire on a bike with a 36mm front fork. I get his example however.
Still though, there are tires with 98% of the traction of the Assagai with 50% of the rolling resistance.
It really isn't a very good tire when weighing compromises and I think the traction often feels really high, because it slows one down so much absolutely everywhere that you're just not going as fast.
  • 26 12
 The tone of the ride report is such that the owners of Deviate didn't fellate the PinkBike crew as much as everyone else did.
  • 11 0
 Oh common. The tone of review is they released a 140mm trail bike with new(ish) downhill tech rarely seen on a bike in this category with enduro spec and said "go ride this bike everywhere" and PinkBike did and thought it's a great bike but idk about that whole ride it everywhere thing. Downhill is great, uphill is okay.
  • 3 0
 @tgent: Yeah, I think Bike Mag pretty much came to the same conclusion.
  • 2 0
 @roma258: To our knowledge Bike Mag have not reviewed the Highlander.
  • 1 0
 @deviatecycles: Oh, must have been the other high pivot bike then.
  • 15 4
 Can I just say that as someone who's 5'10" I really resent how I am constantly between sizes in manufacturers ratings. You'd think that literally the average height of the population would be catered too by these companies that are trying to sell bikes to the most people possible, but nope. Either stretched out or cramped, almost every time. It's bullshit and it's monday and I need a second coffee.
  • 1 0
 Sometimes it’s better business sense to split sizes across the most popular size, so you don’t end up with one size hugely outselling the other sizes, and if you run out of stock of that one then you have a problem.
  • 4 0
 @threehats: Make more of the frame size that you think will fit the most people, I dunno? Seems like a pretty straightforward solution.
  • 4 0
 L with a short stem would be what I'd suggest for most riders of 5'10" height.
  • 2 0
 @roma258: but you are given an option if you like a shorter bike, or a longer bike. You have infinite room for adjustment. Manufacturers suggestions are just suggestions, you have to see how the individual bike fits you.
  • 1 0
 That’s why I shop by geo numbers first, then a demo next. Generally at 470 to 480 reach is what I like... but it’s just one number and usually needs to be verified by a demo.
  • 2 1
 @RonSauce: right, but generally speaking the medium bikes are aimed at riders around 5'8" and large is aimed at 6'0" (give or take). I don't want a shorter bike or a longer bike, I want a bike that fits (455-460ish reach, 515 ett, right around 1200 mm wheelbase plz)
  • 2 0
 @roma258: as a 6’4” person who after 12 years of riding only recently discovered what a bike “fitting” means, and who still doesn’t own a bike that “fits”, I resent this comment.
  • 2 0
 @sdurant12: that's why I was kinda pointing out he is spoiled for choice, I'm 6'5", I know the little bike struggle.
  • 1 0
 @roma258: Look at Guerilla Gravity, you can flip the headset to change reach +/-10mm in all sizes, made in the US too!
  • 1 0
 santa cruz L fits like a glove!
  • 1 0
 @roma258: I have tried this RAD thing (www.pinkbike.com/news/lee-mccormacks-guide-to-perfect-bike-set-up.html) and for me it works.
Reach means nothing without Stack.
  • 1 0
 @roma258: I feel your frustration.
  • 1 0
 I'm 6'2" and I felt this comment
  • 10 0
 This bike actually looks like a really good although kind of niche product. No over-the-top buzzword geometry that makes you run out of travel before you run out of geometry, high idler pulley that looks well though out, and I couldn’t think of any stupid jokes about the looks either.

3.5k for a frame and shock is a lot of course but I doubt it will matter to the target audience. Not a bike I will ever buy but it’s pretty f*ckin cool.
  • 5 0
 "No over-the-top buzzword geometry that makes you run out of travel before you run out of geometry" this x1000! Yeah it's stable enough to go mach chicken but hit a rough section at speed and your eyeballs start to rattle out of your head.

I get it, it is nice to have a spritely bike that pedals and climbs well. 140mm travel is 100% a compromise on fast rough terrain though. Hell even my Foxy 29 with 150mm rear travel and hyper-efficient pedaling was a compromise because it was harsh AF and got hung up on bumps. It was fast as you'd want a bike to be but not comfortable or forgiving even with 4 different shocks, one being custom tuned.

As a rider you have to decide where you want to compromise. Right now I like a bit of an agile feel, something that changes direction really well along with forgiving but supportive suspension. It can't kill me on climbs but I don't care about racing to the top as long as it delivers on the descent. I compromise pedal efficiency for bump absorption and traction, and I compromise a bit of ultimate stability for fun agility. That's my preference currently.
  • 8 0
 It's actually $3300 USD including shipping to the US.
In Europe pricing is different (due to sales tax). We're cheaper than equivalent Santa Cruz frames.
  • 1 0
 @deviatecycles: That's perfect and thanks for clearing it up! In line with other high end frames.
  • 2 0
 @mtbgeartech: concur on the foxy 29. Impossible to tune for DH performance. Flipped it for a Firebird. Never been happier.
  • 9 1
 I wonder if the chainrings on these idler pulley bikes experience accelerated wear from having so few teeth engaging the chain
  • 3 0
 yeah to me the amount of chain wrap on the front ring looks disturbingly little. but maybe it makes no difference, most of the forces are on the idler?
  • 19 1
 It doesn't matter. Only the first few teeth take the load on any chainring.
  • 1 2
 That's exactly what I first thought...12 speed stuff wears out too fast as it is...if that makes it even faster, idk. Maybe put a stainless wolf tooth ring up front...
  • 5 1
 @hmstuna: Interesting, never heard of that. Do you have any sources for that?
Not trying to be an ass, genuinely curious
  • 12 0
 @Arierep: Get your bike in the stand and get someone to hold the back brake, apply force to the pedal and slacken the chain at the derailleur. You should be able to lift the chain free of the chainring teeth from the bottom up until you find where the chain is "biting". However, if its taking the load on like 2/3 teeth id say you have worn components. Blew my mind the first time to be fair.
  • 1 8
flag Arierep (Apr 27, 2020 at 1:26) (Below Threshold)
 @turtlesauce2000: Still not denying that occurs, but that's not a very scientific way to prove it.
Wouldn't be surprised if chain stretch under actual pedaling load would incentive further engagement around the chainring
  • 1 0
 With the cost of NW chainrings starting at around a tenner (for some chinoiserie that nonetheless works just fine in my experience, questionable name notwithstanding) it wouldn't worry me too much.
  • 1 0
 @Arierep: that's how chains work though, and further load on the chain would not engage more teeth around the chain ring, it will loosen up more actually because of slack
  • 4 1
 @Arierep: how else do you prove it than do experiments and testing?

i reckon that test shows pretty well what loads the idler is under. try doing the same experiment on this bike. seems like you'd find it impossible to move the chain at all between the idler and main chain ring, and the force would be pulling the whole idler down, not just grabbing it's first couple of teeth
  • 2 3
 @telephunke: Agree, you prove it by testing and experimenting, but in a way that reflects the conditions of use. Unless you were assuming that by applying force to the crank by hand actually simulates the force exerted by actual pedaling
  • 1 0
 Like a 10 tooth sram cassette cog. Can't remember how few teeth are engaged but there's only 10 to start with.
  • 1 0
 To solve this it needs a second idler in between the first one and the chainring... and then a 150-link chain.
  • 4 0
 @Arierep: Wait until you hear about how few threads on bolts carry the load. It's just a couple.
  • 1 3
 @JohanG: Really? It seems like only having two threads engaged would be a great way to strip hardware. You'd feel comfortable having your stem bolts so short that only a couple threads engage? Hard to imagine you could run a short brake caliper bolt with only a couple threads engaged, without pulling the threads out of your lower castings when you bring it up to torque
  • 9 1
 @thegoodflow: I'm not going to engage in a silly argument about just engaging a bolt two threads. There are engineering charts for minimum thread engagement for a given bolt size and material. If you look up the load distro on a bolt's threads, you'll find the first few carry the vast majority of the load under normal conditions. Total engagement depth is a matter of safety factor, dynamic load concerns, and material fatigue. That's just science.
  • 2 8
flag thegoodflow (Apr 27, 2020 at 7:17) (Below Threshold)
 @JohanG: uhhmm.... can you a*sholes stop with the condescending "it's simple science" remarks on here. Just makes you sound like a tool
  • 3 0
 @Arierep: find a wallcorner put your front wheel against the wall and lean on the side wall for support , push your pedals as hard as you can, have someone to lift the chain from the chainring. come back and tell us what you find.
  • 3 0
 Slightly back on topic - it's interesting to observe that the Forbidden Druid comes with a chain-guide as standard to increase the wrap whilst the Highlander doesn't.
  • 6 2
 @thegoodflow: your failure to understand basic science, it's not our fault.
  • 1 2
 @adespotoskyli: I understand that sometimes there's a difference between theory, and real world application. It's basic science, you wouldn't understand.
  • 5 1
 @thegoodflow: applied mechanics, not quantum physics
  • 1 6
flag thegoodflow (Apr 27, 2020 at 9:02) (Below Threshold)
 @adespotoskyli: f*ck off
  • 1 0
 @thegoodflow: I wish somehow the old
....the more you knoooowwww..... jingle that would play during sunday morning kids TV would play at the end of these types of comments...just for satirical effect...
  • 2 0
 @hmstuna: Not only the load is on few teeth, but the actual wear is occurring where there is relative motion: only on the first two teeth. there is no motion in the third or further, so no wear.
  • 1 0
 @faul: Now that makes sense, thanks
  • 2 0
 @thegoodflow: www.fastenal.com/en/78/screw-thread-design Scroll down to the last section. Some info on thread loading there.
  • 2 1
 @WheelNut: thanks for the link. Really interesting stuff. I'm sure someone will be quick to show up and spray their engineering degree at me, but I think this is the relevant section:

"Generally the hardness and the actual material strength of a nut is less than the bolt. For example, if you look at the hardness of an SAE J995 Grade 8 nut (HRC 24-32 up to 5/8-in diameter), it is likely to be less than the SAE J429 Grade 8 bolt (HRC 33-39). This is designed to yield the nut threads to ensure the load is not carried solely by the first thread. As the thread yields, the load is further distributed to the next five threads. Even with the load distribution, the first engaged thread still takes the majority of the load. In a typical 7/8-9 Grade 8 nut, the first engaged thread carries 34% of the load. Using internally threaded materials with higher strengths and hardness can often result in fatigue and/or loosening."

"It appears that one could theoretically increase the thread strength by increasing the length of engagement. However, as illustrated in the Load Distribution chart above, the first thread will be taking the majority of the applied load. For carbon steel fasteners (including tapped holes) the length of engagement would be limited to approximately one nominal diameter (approximately 1-1/2 times the diameter for aluminum). After that, there is no appreciable increase in strength. Once the applied load has exceeded the first thread's capacity, it will fail and subsequently cause the remaining threads to fail in succession."

So, if I'm interpreting that correctly, while it is true that the first thread carries the majority of the load, in practice the thread engagement doesn't reach full strength until a depth of 1.5x the bolt diameter.

It's just science.
  • 2 0
 They should make the teeth narrow/wide so that when they get a little worn your chain skips a tooth, gets mis-matched, and works terribly. Just ask SRAM's rear derailleur department!
  • 2 5
 @thegoodflow: and that comment makes you sound slow.
  • 4 1
 @reverend27: yeah I'm so dumb, thanks for noticing
  • 3 8
flag reverend27 (Apr 27, 2020 at 11:01) (Below Threshold)
 @thegoodflow: no problem. Wasn't hard there is a crowd standing around pointing and laughing at your willful ignorance.

There's nothing wrong if you are born slow. There's always going to be the smartest guy in the room. No crime in that.

The crime is willful ignorance.
  • 3 1
 @reverend27: I'm not sure how I was being "willfully ignorant", but ok pal, point and laugh.
  • 3 1
 @thegoodflow: Don't provoke him, he's been spitting lots of weird shit on pinkbike recently
  • 3 0
 @TreyDownhill: seems like some weird Trump style hypocritical projection.
  • 3 2
 @thegoodflow: listening to people who know more then you is a sign of intelligence. Far from Trump like.

He was trying to explain to yiu but instead you put your fingers in your ears and went nananananananana.
That's willful ignorance and very TRUMP LIKE.

Maybe you've had to many shots of Lysol and bleach today.
  • 2 0
 @reverend27: you're a moron.
  • 1 1
 @thegoodflow: first step is realizing it, you're good
  • 1 0
 @adespotoskyli: that's what your mom said too
  • 1 1
 @thegoodflow: you knew all along? not smart...
  • 1 0
 @adespotoskyli: dude, I don't know what your problem is. You've made your point... I'm not smart and you don't like me. I can live with that. Now you're just making it weird.
  • 6 0
 "This bike rides a fine line between the trail and enduro worlds, which allows it to be remarkably versatile when things get saucy.

"Trail bikes should be versatile, ready-for-anything machines, and most of them are exactly that. But, push come to shove, most of that versatility extends towards tamer, pedal-intensive riding. On the contrary, the Highlander's versatility extends in the opposite direction, which will let you point it down more intensive lines than most trail bikes would be okay with."

Maybe that's because just a few short years ago, this bike would have been classified as a long-travel Enduro 29er?
  • 4 0
 The HSP Corsair Maelstrom (RIP) had a similar designed linkage that pivoted around the BB. That was one of my favorite bikes of all time. 180mm F/R and pedaled reasonably well.

The Highlander appeals to me but I've been preferring more nimble bikes lately, many of them 27.5s. I fear the Highlander may be a bit subdued in agility based on this review. I'll try to ride a demo somewhere if possible...

For big days with big descents (my favorite) I'd really love something like that Maelstrom in a 27.5. F170mm/R160mm, High Single Pivot. Modern-ish geo that strikes a good balance between stable and nimble. Yes, I know there's the Guide but I don't really want a gearbox and the aesthetics aren't quite as amazing as this Highlander.

@deviatecycles I like the cut of your jib, keep up the great work!
  • 2 0
 Currently have a Supreme SX HSP 180/180 27.5 and it's the fastest bike I've ever owned. You can feel some drag from the idler but no more so than when I went from a minion SS to a DHR in the back. With the Highlander having an 18t idler, i bet it will have a much longer lifespan between services than my rig's smaller cog.
  • 2 0
 @ATXZJ: Yep, I'm betting I'd like this one and the big idler is awesome.
  • 4 0
 I like the idea of a Bike that is between an Enduro Race Bike and a Trail Bike, stable but playfull maybe with some clicks in your fork or shock. Maybe a good option for one who has a DH-Race Rig for Bikeparks and need a Bike for local Trails etc.
  • 1 0
 Couldn't have said it better myself.
  • 1 0
 Exactly!
  • 4 0
 I own a Druid; and I find it interesting that the Highlander doesn't require a lower chain guide pulley to achieve proper chain wrap on the chainring. I understand that only the first few chainring teeth carry most of the load under power. But, when rallying through aggressive terrain; I would think the chain would easily bounce off the chainring of this bike.
  • 3 0
 I own a Highlander and I've not had a single problem with the chain, pedalling or otherwise.
  • 1 0
 @chrisdev: do you mostly agree with Levy's conclusions?
  • 4 0
 It seems unnecessary that he made so many comments about the tires when the bike is only sold as a frameset. Mentioning what tires you were using is important but attributing characteristics of the ride quality to tires that are not included in a build kit just confuses the review.
  • 4 0
 Funny, I passed a guy on the climb trail the other day riding this bike. Wasn't Levy. He was clearly frustrated about the source of some unknown clunk, rattle or squeak. Made me realize even the newest, most kitted mountain bikes, are still just mountain bikes.
  • 4 0
 I think it's very biased to put the Stamina ahead of this bike and simply brush off the fact that the chain stay on their testbike broke, but on the other hand just speculate the idler pulley could potentially fail and list it as a con for this bike. Makes me think there isn't a level playing field for these tests
  • 4 1
 Beautiful bike and love the color, but in my personal opinion bikes look better without the brand logo on the sides of the downtube. Either put it on the bottom like Specialized or just go stealth with the logo on the headtube.
  • 6 1
 Why ride a 140mm that handles like an enduro bike? A shorter travel bike HAS to climb a little better, be a little livelier or else what’s the point?
  • 6 1
 It does climb better than any enduro bike I've ridden. I think Mike's point is that it's not the fastest climber when compared to some other trail bikes that are aimed at easier terrain. That's fair. Previous comments have said that it slots in between a slack and long enduro bike which dulls anything but the steepest terrain and a nimble trail bike which struggled when it gets rowdy. We agree. We've had more than a few riders after a demo - decide that the Highlander replaces both their trail bike and their enduro bike.
  • 3 0
 Everything about this company sounds excellent to me. From their attitude and responses to the review/comments you can tell that you are dealing with good folk. My bike purchases are 50% rational and 50% emotional, I can see myself buying one as my next bike.

Congrats on a great concept and delivery @deviatecycles, always cool to see passionate people making the bikes they would like to ride.
  • 4 0
 Mike what's this like compared to a ripmo? This is the only other bike I would consider swapping it with, I need to know if it's as good as my ripmo.
  • 3 4
 It's not, you can take the Ripmo anywhere and be happy.
  • 4 1
 The comparisons should have been bikes with more travel, since HP bikes tend to punch up. How does it compare with a Ripmo, Strive, SB150, Slash, Smash, something in that 145-150mm class of 29er.
  • 6 1
 Another 3500$ frame.
Good luck.
  • 6 0
 Deviate is a very small boutique manufacturer. They need to make a profit. That being said, a Santa Cruz frame is $3300 and they're making those by the tens of thousands. They should be the ones that are shamed, aside from the whole amazing warranty thing. Then there's Yeti frames priced similarly and they have horrendous post sale customer service (I've heard).

I do agree with you though. These frame prices just keep increasing. I don't see the prices going down. They'll just reach a point where the sales growth line and profit line meet and stay there. My attention is starting to turn to the manufacturers making exceptional bikes at reasonable prices. I do find this Highlander to be particularly appealing though.
  • 1 1
 The price is in line with their target consumer. Given how it has few competitors, it seems logical for now. I would expect frame prices to come down over time, both as they refine their business model and fight competition.
  • 2 0
 @JohanG: Perhaps but I'm not sure they would have a reason from a business standpoint to lower prices unless sales are slow enough to warrant it. Unless you have a weak business plan it's not wise to go to market overpriced to then lower prices/profits at a later time. Unless of course COG is significantly decreased, then you'd have to look at the upside of keeping prices the same vs the possibility of selling more at a lower price.
  • 3 0
 Problem with a $3500 frame is that nobody can test ride one and a HSP is a bit of a guessing game on how it’ll feel on your home trails.
  • 1 0
 @PHeller: Herein lies the rub. Buying this frame without a demo is a crapshoot. I can tell you that a well designed HSP is awesome but so many other factors affect the ride.

In the US the people that will buy this are those that are lucky enough to demo it and like it or riders who have the money and put having something rare and unique over knowing that the bike performs to your preferences before buying it.
  • 1 0
 @mtbgeartech: "Unless you have a weak business plan it's not wise to go to market overpriced to then lower prices/profits at a later time." That seems to be standard practice. You have RRP and then sales. No?
  • 1 0
 @JohanG: Perhaps but wouldn't you have a limited time introductory price sale if your business plan were to have frequent sales that effectively lowered the avg sell price? Quickly turn some of the money you've spent on manufacturing the initial inventory into cash flow?

I believe most of the sales we see in the bike industry are due to manufacturers or shops not being able to properly forecast and needing to liquidate inventory. Forecasting is extremely difficult especially in this fickle market. A small company like Deviate would likely sell out of their low inventory levels long before needing to liquidate. This eliminates the need for "sales" and decreased profits.

If the MSRP is $3500 but the everyday purchase price is $3000 then the MSRP is just a fictional number. This doesn't seem to be the case with Deviate though. I will say that I'm not sure where the price is coming from though. I see on the Deviate site that the Highlander with Float X2 is 2500 Pounds (2999 - 499 VAT) which comes out to around $3100 without shipping. I cannot select USA as a shipping destination and when selecting a non-VAT country the VAT is not removed so the price is around the $3500 mark. I spoke to Deviate when the bike was released and they said their e-com site was messed up a bit. I'm not sure if that was addressed.
  • 2 1
 @mtbgeartech: do you always demo a bike before purchasing it? how frequently are you able to demo a bike in general? i have had 10 bikes in the last 7 years - 6 of them purchased sight unseen, 3 just pedaled around the parking lot and the last one i got to ride on about 200 yards of singletrack
  • 2 0
 @twonsarelli: Out of the past 7 bikes that I've purchased I've done extensive demoing of all except one before buying. It's funny that the one I didn't demo, the Foxy 29, I didn't jive with.

In the past 5 years or so I've made it a point to go to as many demo days as possible. I (used to) travel for work and I would schedule trips around demo days that I wanted to hit. I love to experience different bikes.

That being said. I really like the Highlander and may buy it without demoing. Although, the company I work for does have a manufacturing plant in Edinburgh so a demo may not be completely out of the realm of possibility.
  • 1 0
 @mtbgeartech: yeah this bike is extremely appealing. what are you currently riding and what are you trails like? i can basically guarantee i will never get a chance to demo this so buying would be a risk (as usual)
  • 1 0
 @twonsarelli: I've been on a Bronson for the past 6 months after being on a Hightower 2 for a year. It's a special Bronson with the Cascade LT link, CC DBiL Coil, and a Smashpot'd Yari at 170mm with some special damper treatment. I love it and prefer it to the Hightower 2. I'm a sucker for HSP bikes though.

Trails vary. Undulating terrain, mountain adventures in the Pisgah Forest, and a few bike park trips every year. I have also been hitting Utah and BC once or twice a year as well but maybe not this year. I only have one bike so it needs to be able to do everything but I do focus on the descents.

I'm sure more reviews will come out soon and although I generally take them lightly, they can give you a general impression of how a bike will ride. This review scares me a bit, it reads similarly to the Foxy 29 review. I read it as, "Significant trail feedback, lazy-ish handling, very good on steep fast descents." That's haw the Foxy review read. The Foxy was indeed fast AF downhill, efficient and amazing on steep stuff but also harsh AF and a bit too long for my tastes. I'll wait to read more reviews on the Highlander before forming an opinion.
  • 2 0
 @mtbgeartech: the mention of the harsh ride surprised/concerned me as well. i was expecting that to be the area in which it excels. i've got a yeti 5.5 with an elevensix and a lyrik with push's damper kit installed, so i have put my faith in them to deliver the best riding experience possible. sometimes i feel like i am taking more abuse than i should, though.

i recently sold my 29er 170/170 capra because it felt a bit too sluggish but it really did a phenomenal job of smoothing things out. the yeti is undeniably faster everywhere, but at a higher cost. where would you say your bronson fall on that scale? i don't think i am willing to go back to 27.5, even though my insurgent was the most fun bike i ever owned, and only marginally slower than the yeti.
  • 1 0
 Levy doesn't mention it, but maybe the harshness was a product of the idler pulley he was sent? Could you dial some of that out with different idler setups? Say, run more anti-squat, but lower shock pressure?

It does seem a bit funny that for as much praise as HSP gets, I'd think it would be firm under power, supportive but sensitive when coasting, and absolutely phenomenal going downhill. Instead, this Highlander seems to have all the compromises of every other suspension system, including the incredibly light and simple Scott Genius.
  • 1 0
 @twonsarelli: The Bronson the way I have it set up simply removes chatter and harshness. Stock there was slightly more feedback but still not harsh. The Cascade link really improves the rear end but does lower the BB 2.5mm lower than the stock low setting leading to more pedal strikes. That's why I went to the 170mm fork but that did slow the handling a wee bit. It's still more agile than the Hightower 2.

The Bronson with the LT link isn't a sofa ride. You know whats going on underneath you but in a calm and controlled manner. It's like someone rounded off all the square edged hits. Amazing traction and still playful. I will say, like all bikes with a vertical/forward axle path you can feel it pulling a bit on repeated fast square edge hits. 29" wheels would help with that for sure but then you lose the feel of the 27.5 wheel. This is why I like the idea of a 27.5 with a HSP. You get the agility of the 27.5 wheel with a bump eating rearward axle path.

29" wheels roll well and smooth bumps a little better than 27.5s but they also have their drawbacks. Right now I'm really liking 27.5s with a really well tuned suspension setup over 29s with the same level of tuning. I don't race but If I did I'd only be concerned with getting to the finish line as fast as possible which would probably mean I'd be on a 29er. Right now I'm only concerned with getting there with the biggest grin on my face and it seems 27.5s are the right ticket for that ride.
  • 4 0
 @mtbgeartech @JohanG @PHeller - we are working on US demos.
  • 1 0
 @deviatecycles: Now we're talking! Could this be the 29er that makes me want a wagon wheeler again? I'm in the SE USA. If you need help finding shops to host demo days I might be able to help. Sounds like you might be working on a distributorship though?
  • 2 0
 @mtbgeartech: thanks for the offer Smile . watch this space (i.e. sign up to our newsletter on the website). although to update some information in the review: we are selling frameset with X2 (2021) shock for $3300 USD delivered to your door in the US. That's including shipping, taxes and duty.
  • 1 0
 @deviatecycles: Signed up for the newsletter, thanks! Looks like you have a partnership with Cane Creek too. I absolutely love my DB Coil, perhaps that could be an option as well, or an option to order the frame without a shock?
  • 2 0
 @mtbgeartech: We can sell the bike with a DBCoil... it will become an official option very soon. For now - if you want a price with this shock just get in touch. It'll be cheaper than the Fox X2 option.
  • 1 0
 @deviatecycles: awww yeah
  • 5 0
 The future and if aluminum even cooler for me
  • 7 0
 watch this space.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: as someone who is seriously interested in the Highlander but won’t likely be able to demo it, would you say the smaller sizes would have a major impact on the overall balance of trail vs enduro bike. (I’d be on a medium or maybe small) Or did you get the impression that the feel of the bike is part of the design DNA and the smaller sizes won’t change it much?

I’m really between trying this or the Druid as my next bike. I ride a transition Sentinel as my daily do it all for reference. (Mostly rolling terrain with 2-3 enduro races mixed in per season and a few bike park trips as well)
  • 1 0
 recently stumbled across Forbidden's new global headquarters (they just moved into a new unit in a small industrial building) and they had some of their frames and new colours. wait till you see them, so cool looking!
  • 1 0
 @jamesbrant: anything in orange?
  • 2 1
 I used to think DHF/DHR combos on 120mm "trail" bikes was over the top. Now, all sorts of "trail" bikes are coming with Assegais front and rear!

If an Assegai is a trail bike, what do they put on proper downhill bikes?

I'm currently riding a Smuggler with a DHF up front and have to say I absolutely love it, but that rear tyre has gotta roll! And even then, you don't want to push a tractor tyre up front around all day.
  • 1 0
 Assegai with DH casing?
  • 3 0
 We put Assegai's on Pinkbike's demo because of the terrain in BC.
I use 2.3/2.4 DHR2/DHF most of the time.

Tyres are your choice. We simply sell the frame.
  • 1 0
 I thought Horst link four bar suspension was created to eliminate the braking forces restricting the action of the suspension. Hi single pivots are great for absorbing large g force square edge bumps. Good for DH. I have not rode this bike but from the review it sounds like it does not smooth out small chatter. I am most curious to know if the rear braking is compramising the the rear suspension.
  • 1 0
 Yep', same here. I wonder if the harshness on small bumps is due to the LR curve, and how the bike feels during braking, if it nicely "seats" on the rear. I've read too high antirise may unload the rear wheel and lose traction, but I've also read it helps the bike "seat" on the rear and keep the weight distribution even.
  • 1 0
 I think set-up determines this to a large extent. For example, we spec'ed enduro parts on the build we gave to Mike and therefore those parts are stiff...
  • 1 0
 What is the chain stay length at full compression?
I get that the idler pulley helps lower the effect of chain growth during travel, and that means chain's won't be broken as easily, but that is a lot of growth during compression. I can't imagine the bike handling the same at different points in the travel.
  • 1 0
 I had Klein Mantra with high single pivot that would love to launch you over the bars every time you grabbed the brakes, granted it was a urt but don't the same rules apply or would a floating brake fix the jack. I'm not sure if I know what I'm talking about but I ride a single pivot now and it's not in the same league my DW link bikes. If anyone could clarify would be great thanks!
  • 1 0
 90% of bike's braking issues are due to either a front axle too close to the center of gravity, or not enough support from the fork. rear suspension kinematic only effect half of the remaining 10%.
There is also strong contextual effects in mountain bikes.
  • 1 0
 I have been eyeballing this bike since January and am surprised to read that it may not pedal uphill as well as I had hoped. Was looking to get a comparison to the Yeti SB130 LR, a bike have some time and and absolutely loved. Now I am thinking that the Highlander will not be what I thought it would be; a do it all trail-bike with solid pedaling characteristics.

Bumed......
  • 1 0
 I wouldn't be too bummed. Have a read of this review because they had a much more positive take on the climbing ability, and even the bike overall.

enduro-mtb.com/en/deviate-highlander-2020-review
  • 2 0
 @wickedskilz: I think it helps that enduro mag tested the bike on some the trails in the Tweed Valley in Scotland which are probably more technical than most riders think of as "trail riding". It's the kind of terrain we had in mind when we designed the Highlander.
  • 2 0
 I think the build we gave Mike is a big factor in this. If you look at the bikes he's comparing it too they are firmly in the "trail" category often with Fox 34's and Fox DPS shock (for example), lighter wheels, lighter tyres and just generally set up for smoother riding. You could easily spec the Highlander like this to give it a more snappy feel on the climbs. I think the take-away should be the efficiency of the climbing and trail friendly geometry which Mike highlights as pros...

I'd say simply adapt the spec to suit what you want to achieve. We've definitely skewed the builds we gave to Pinkbike and Enduro-mag actually to be at the more enduro end of spectrum.
  • 1 0
 @deviatecycles: Thanks for the intel! As a longtime Yeti fan, currently on a 5.5, I have been spoiled by the awesome pedaling performance. I am ready to try something different and geo wise, the Highlander ticks nearly all of the boxes (6'3 and the Stack seems a bit low for me) for the trails I ride most often (techy, rolling terrain with punchy ups and lots of optional lines with 4-6 ft drops). Not looking for an all out EWS race machine, but I also don't want a "down country / trail bike" that will be a compromise on all the sweet option lines I love to hit .
  • 1 0
 Honest question. Is accelerated chainring and/or chain wear an issue with these high pivot designs due to the load being distributed over few teeth/links (less chainring wrap)?
  • 2 0
 We've designed the 18t idler to wear at the same rate as most chain rings will. It should need replaced when you replace your chain ring.
  • 1 0
 @deviatecycles: I like the larger idler fully, smart. The roadie in me wonders how many watts it saves over smaller cogs.
  • 1 0
 No issues with the small amount of chain wrap on the chainring? I'm always worried about skipping teeth under hard loads on these designs, I've heard a few of the other high pivot trail bikes have suffered from that.
  • 1 0
 You and me both. That was the thought behind my question, right above you.
  • 2 0
 It just doesn't happen. We guarantee that.
  • 3 0
 It’s “There can be only one” dude... my god get your sh— straight!
  • 2 0
 Interesting that deviate went away from the gearbox and kept the high pivot. Zerode did the opposite. A comparison between the katipo and the highlander would be nice
  • 1 1
 Nice beefy looking frame and swingarm, like the webbing effect. That rear suspension kinda reminds me of Orion, for sure I'd be installing a bashguard pronto to protect that lower link.

My fav quote: ''However, for our trail bike, the gearbox had to go - it feels draggy during undulating riding or when accelerating hard"

So they admitted it's draggy, but they still got a high pivot which is also draggy.

Not that playful, less expensive and easier to customize drivetrain, so a high pivot for the masses that's not as trail worthy as the Druid but could handle all mountain.

OK
  • 1 0
 How draggy is the high pivot? Can't be much. It would be the same drag of the equivalent sized rear cog.
  • 2 0
 @nurseben @JohanG: the idler isn't draggy.
  • 1 0
 I just don't understand why you need a drive train like that just to ride your bike. It's over engineered!!! Like what BMW says," do we really need to have 6 coats of paint on the foot brake arm?"
Just saying.
  • 1 0
 What bike do you ride and what kind of terrain do you ride? Do you understand how chain growth affects your bike as it cycles through it's rear travel? Have you never ridden a bike that has a lot of pedal kick? There is a time/place for this type of system but it just all depends on what type of terrain you're riding and what characteristics you want from your frame.
  • 1 0
 Overengineered? Dude it's a single pivot. Let me introduce you to Tantrum Cycles.....
  • 2 0
 I don't get why mike praises the Pole so much, but at the same time the Stumpy Evo is "too much" when they are virtually the same (numbers wise)
  • 3 0
 Looks like a baby between Yeti and a Forbidden bike
  • 2 0
 Didn’t mention if it is progressive enough for a coil shock because it sounds like it is crying out for one...
  • 5 0
 Article has the leverage curve
  • 5 0
 @mtb-scotland: /mind-blown

Also Deviate gets extra points for the antisquat chart that has all the gear ratios.

Really top notch stuff.
  • 3 0
 @JohanG, @mtb-scotland : If we'd have known that chart was getting published we'd have made it a little neater Smile

We're committed to making all the technical data available so that riders can decide if it's the bike for them.
  • 1 0
 @JohanG: Finally, if I'm going to drop cash on a bike - I want to know everything. This 'smokey mirrors' stuff and marketing bs has gone on too long. Stoked on this bike setup and plan to head this direction in the future.
  • 4 0
 Looks like a Druid
  • 1 0
 Was this a bicycle review or a tire review? I would have like to have seen a frame weight. Should have been easy since it came as a frame.
  • 1 0
 more importantly why are dh bike not single speed for the unsprung mass or even just a gearbox with three speeds climb, traverse, bomb dh gears
  • 3 0
 Kudos on the cable & hose routing @deviatecycles! Absolutely mint!
  • 3 0
 Seriously, that is a sweet routing job. GG bikes have that same concavity/channel on their frames, but they cover it with a plate, so I yanked the plate and have been using clips designed by an enterprising fellow from MTBR. So very nice and no issues with muck. I hate internal routing, it's just dumb.
  • 1 0
 How was the feel on technical climbs? With no chain growth, this design is supposed to feel really good with no pedal kickback.
  • 1 0
 Whenever someone uses the word "capable" or phrase "super capable" to describe I bike, I immediately know: this bike is NOT capable of climbing well.
  • 1 0
 The Druid requires extra chain links and a guide but the Highlander uses a stock chain length and doesn't need a guide...Curious, they seem so similar?
  • 1 0
 Yeah we can't comment on the Druid - but the Highlander requires a 126 link chain which is stock.
  • 1 0
 Im 6'3 (190cm) and riding 480mm reach WB 123cm, tried 500mm reach and its nada for anything then going down, so cant imagine how this Large feel for 5'10 tested here...
  • 2 0
 confusing....would this take on an EWS season i wonder??
  • 1 0
 I thought I’d read an interview with someone who is going to be racing the EWS on this but now I’ve remembered that it was Lewis Buchanan and he’ll be on the Forbidden Druid, so 10mm less travel and a bit shorter but otherwise similar!
  • 1 0
 @threehats: Yeh I've been watching Lewis on his YouTube Channel. It is a similar bike and looks ace. I'm surprised to see the Druid as a trail bike. Lewis will do well this year, when it starts that is.
  • 3 0
 @klerric: We think it would do well. It may be a little under-sprung at the more rowdy EWS locations - but not by much and the 150mm linkage we'll be releasing soon may solve this....
  • 1 0
 @deviatecycles: cool I thought so. It looks an awesome bike. Keen to try one...cheers
  • 2 0
 That suspension action video is a bit naughty.
  • 2 0
 65.5 head angle at what travel? 140? 160?
  • 3 0
 160mm fork
  • 2 0
 I rode this bike in Squamish and Pemberton. It frigging rips.
  • 1 0
 Is this a mullet bike or a weird picture. Rear wheel definitely looks smaller than the front in the top side-view picture.
  • 1 0
 What is this bike trying to be? It's a "trail" bike. But it's not? Slack and an idler pulley? Seems like a master of none.
  • 1 1
 Not a full review. Looks like you just copied and pasted your last review. And the one before it. Write better content or dont write any at all.
  • 1 0
 looks like ivel, but much simplier
  • 3 3
 Good write up Mike. I still think Paul Aston has the best Trail bike out there.
  • 1 0
 Don't think he's got enough travel.
  • 1 3
 @getonyourbike: Yes but Mike's into lots of gravel lately Smile
  • 3 2
 @getonyourbike: Look at Tea and Biscuits and at that guy with the white primitive hardtail and tell me if he doesn`t have enough travel Wink
  • 3 1
 @softsteel: Think the sarcasm went over your head there. Aston is getting 200+mm travel out of a G1 with a Boxxer on the front at the moment.
  • 3 3
 @getonyourbike: and rides it with big cassette. i've been preaching it since some time. If you are already riding DH tires on a 160 bike (meaning it climbs like crap due to adding 2lbs of rotational mass), then just give a DH bike better seat angle, dropper, shock with lock out and regular drivetrain.

www.instagram.com/p/B_acUqMHHyi

He, like Leo from Pole post vids like that claiming it turns just as well as anything else and I kind of agree. But then if they play that card I require them to post vids of their clients doing it, especially that bit with Paul sliding ON a berm, which is a bloody mastery of shifting weight while cornering. Most of their viewers have no bloody clue what they just saw. They just think the bike turns well.

www.instagram.com/p/B-fZylQnOIk
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: that corner blew my mind dude is quite a rider.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I ride DH tires because I like to avoid pinch flats, alternatively I could add an insert and run XC tires, which would still be prone to cutting.

Some of us bigger folks ride stuff that requires burly tires, it's not about you, it's about where we ride.

Not to mention, DH bikes are not meant for climbing, so maybe you meant Enduro?
  • 2 0
 @JockoJones: there it is, conclusive unbiased evidence that Geometron is possibly one of the best cornering bikes to date. Next time, see PA perform the same test with tires and saddle heights swapped. Includes bonus footage of the G1 beating the hardtail in a sprint!
  • 1 0
 @nurseben: that is the problem. Why wouldn’t you give a DH bike climbing capacity when some people are already riding Enduro bikes with DH tires? Industry is free willingly limiting sales of their bikes. For most folks who don’t live next to a bike park, DH sled is justing Gathering dust, when it could be ridden to the top.
  • 1 2
 @ceecee: no it is not a conclusive unbiased evidence that Geometron is possibly best cornering bikes out there. It would be if Paul would not be able to replicate it with other bikes. Which he can. Don’t be stupid. It is evidence that Paul has mad skills and can corner any bike. Even Geometron. But please try that. Please try to slide on a berm. Film it. Post it.
  • 4 0
 @WAKIdesigns: then why doesn't he replicate it with the hardtail? Wouldn't it be more difficult to use that cornering technique without a berm, as there would be less support for the front wheel while whipping the rear around? It's easier with the berm.
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns: he came at the berm nearly perpendicularly, his rear tire broke free as he initiated the turn, and then regained traction when it was supported by the berm. Am I missing something? Why are you so amazed that he "slid"?
  • 1 1
 @ceecee: why didn’t he replicate it with a dishwasher or why Aliens haven’t arrived yet are equally good questions unless you’ve seen him try it with another bike. Why is it hard to do on a berm? Because berm causes the bike to get heavy and when bike gets heavy it doesn’t want to slide. Why am I even talking to people like you? If Aaron Gwin clears an insane gap in his recent post does it mean that his proto Intense is one of the best flying bikes? No. When Emil Johansson wins Crankworx does it mean that his Trek is one of the best SS bikes? No. If Paul Aston uses a 200mm DC fork on his bike does it mean every Enduro bike should have one? Even though his setup goes fully in tune with my thoughts on the subject it does not mean me and him are some geniuses and everyone should ride bikes like his. In words of Greg Minnaar. Big bike is a big bike
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns: his tire hadn't reached the berm yet when it was sliding. It slid into the berm. I know you think you're giving us all the lowdown on how it be, but really you're just putting your own lack of cornering skill on display.
  • 1 2
 @thegoodflow: show me you doing it. That last attempt of his not the first one.
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Obviously the dude is displaying some awesome cornering skill, but if you are so shocked by someone drifting their rear tire in a controlled manner that you demand video proof that doing so isn't that uncommon, I don't know what to tell you... it says a lot more about your skills than anything
  • 1 1
 @thegoodflow: Whatever you say mate. in my world if you think this is easy then you have little clue. How are we going to resolve this? My proposal:
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I was specifically addressing the rear wheel drift that you were so fascinated with, not the corner as a whole, if that wasn't already clear. I guess it's not fair to call that easy, but a controlled rear wheel drift, in what is essentially perfect conditions for it (buffed out loose over hard with a supportive berm to regain traction on) is not some amazing feat. That's a pretty common level of skill among riders with better than average ablilities. Maybe in your world that's not the case. I feel comfortable with leaving this unresolved.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: the part that was impressive in that last clip was not that he "slid" or how he entered the corner, but rather how he exited it early without the support of the berm.
  • 1 2
 @thegoodflow: no I am fascinated with whole movement. I didn't say wow! His rear wheel slid. I can slide the rear wheel, any idiot can. I can slide both wheels without using brakes. Cutties and shit. I got it. I spend considerable amount of time with cones on parking lot and in gravel field, sloping gravel road. On different bikes with different tires.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: oh, ok. I was just confused, because you said:

"Why is it hard to do on a berm? Because berm causes the bike to get heavy and when bike gets heavy it doesn’t want to slide."

and

"But please try that. Please try to slide on a berm. Film it. Post it."

Are you ok? There's no shame in asking for help if you're struggling. It doesn't make you weak, it makes you strong.
  • 2 0
 Ooh, forgot this one:

"especially that bit with Paul sliding ON a berm, which is a bloody mastery of shifting weight while cornering. Most of their viewers have no bloody clue what they just saw."

So, yeah, I don't think it takes a stretch of the imagination to think that you were fascinated with him drifting his rear tire. But, feel free to backpedal all you want
  • 1 1
 @thegoodflow: I know that you know, that I know... so to make it formal, I apologize, I meant the whole thing. You are on top. I tap out.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I accept your apology.
  • 1 0
 @thegoodflow: you like it don’t you
  • 1 0
 @thegoodflow @wakidesigns you guys like to argue but it is impressive that he can turn that huge bike around in such a small space.
  • 1 0
 @JockoJones: we need to ask Connor Fearon corner Kona Shonky VS Big Honzo in XL. Or Mitch Ropo with P3 vs XL E29.
  • 1 2
 If you want a bike frame that is a single pivot & has a linkage, why not put the chain in a box? will help the chain last longer!
  • 2 2
 A slow, relaxed climber that doesn’t like tight switchbacks? Yep, sounds like an ideal trail bike lol.
  • 1 0
 Sign me up, this thing looks awesome!
  • 1 0
 Tastes great, less filling.
  • 2 1
 Why bother - just buy a Liteville 301 if you want up / down capability !
  • 1 0
 Do you have to buy two chains to put a chain on this bike?
  • 1 0
 How much power does an idler absorb?
  • 1 0
 heh... grabby ass guy.
  • 1 0
 Beautiful
  • 1 0
 its just a norco bike
  • 3 4
 The Druid is sick! Not so sure about this piece...
  • 1 2
 So its basically a carbon hsp spitfire then?
  • 1 3
 Looks like a stronger rider will be skipping gears after a few hundred miles of wear on cassette and chaining.
  • 2 5
 Deviate > Druid?
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