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Review: Stanton Switch9er FS Ti-Carbon: A Mixed Material Machine

Jul 11, 2022
by Seb Stott  



Stanton is probably best known for their steel and titanium hardtails, but their full-suspension bikes are really interesting in the way they're designed. In this case, the frame combines a titanium front triangle with a two-piece carbon fiber rear end. There's also a less expensive version with a steel front triangle and an aluminum swingarm. Those parts are cross-compatible, so you could have a carbon and steel or alloy and titanium mashup if you wanted, or upgrade the swingarm on the aluminum/steel bike.

The steel front triangles are made in the UK and the titanium frames are made in Asia, but you can also choose a titanium frame with custom geometry that's made in the UK for a £1,000 premium.

Stanton Switch9er FS Ti Details

• Intended use: trail / enduro
• Suspension travel: 140mm (r) / 160mm (f)
• Wheel size: 29''
• Titanium front triangle, carbon swingarm
• 63° head angle, 450 mm chainstays
• 15.4 kg / 34 lb (stock, size 19.5")
• Frame sizes: 16.5", 18.5", & 19.5" (tested)
• Lifetime frame warranty
• MSRP as tested: £4,409 (frame & EXT shock)
stantonbikes.com
Stanton describes it as "a culmination of the best of our experience", "the most refined product we've ever made", and "the ultimate trail/enduro frame that feels amazingly stable in the rough and steep but retains that playful characteristic."

It's a 29er with 140 mm travel and a 160 mm fork, using a dual-link suspension layout with some pretty unusual kinematics. It combines this with a very slack head angle but a relatively high bottom bracket. Naturally, I was keen to see how that played out on the trail.



bigquotesThe stable geometry often lets you forget it's only got 140 mm of travel to play with, and the suspension is unapologetically progressive even with the coil shock, so on bigger hits, it's not the most bump-swallowing. It's not for those who want to plow through rocks without care. But on the flip side, the smooth but rapid build-up of support means there's plenty to push against when pumping through corners or compressions, and the bike never squats or wallows lazily through its travel. Seb Stott



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Frame Details

Stanton was keen to stress the work they've done to maximize the frame's lateral stiffness, which they say is important for pedaling efficiency and responsiveness. This is achieved via a CNC machined part Stanton calls "the egg", which connects the bottom bracket to the lower-front pivot in a single piece; the upper mainframe pivot is nestled right at the junction of the top tube and seat tube (where the frame is naturally strong); the two links are machined from a block of aluminum and they pivot on chunky 15 mm axles.

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"The egg" is a single machined part comprising the bottom bracket and lower frame pivot, onto which the downtube and seat tube are welded.
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Interchangeable dropouts allow 12x142 mm or 12x148 mm hubs to fit.


Pivot bearings are protected by a rotary seal, which is designed to "keep the crap out the bearings". Cable routing runs through the top tube and upper part of the swingarm. That means that as the suspension compresses, the cables either have to bend or slide into the tubes. The latter could create some friction and accelerate wear on the housing, and if they can't slide they bend outwards, sometimes touching the rider's legs.

One thing to note is that the tire clearance is tight. With the 2.3" Maxxis tires (pictured), there was adequate space, but with a 2.4" Continental tire, the side knobs grazed the carbon if the bike was leaned over hard, and there are scratch marks from debris on both sides of the swingarm. I also installed a 2.5" Maxxis Assegai tyre, which had similar clearance (about 5 mm) to the 2.4" Continental. I'm not saying these tyres don't fit per se, but the clearance is tighter than most bikes and tighter than I'd like.

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Similarly, the chain gets pretty close to the swingarm when you're in the biggest cogs. When the shock is bottomed out, the chain touches the carbon in gears one and two. Not that you'll spend any time in that situation, but the point is chain clearance is tight and gets tighter the deeper you get into the travel; my test bike started showing scuff marks on the carbon near the chainring after a handful of rides. Of course, you could (and should) protect the frame with some rubber strips or tape, but there isn't much room for added padding and it would be nice to see in-built protection.

Note: after publishing, Stanton sent me this image showing the chainstay protector they've developed. These will be fitted to production bikes.

There are two sets of bottle cage bosses (one under the down tube and one under the top tube), ISCG tabs, and a threaded bottom bracket shell.



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The geometry figures I measured on my size 19.5" test bike.


Geometry & Sizing

The above chart on the left is from Stanton, showing the geometry figures for all three sizes. Stanton didn't quote the wheelbase or BB height in their chart, so I've also included my own rough measurements from my 19.5" test bike on the right.

There is a slight discrepancy in reach - I measure approximately 485 mm, which is 10 mm less than claimed. But although I measured the reach three times using two different methods, it's hard to measure reach accurately so take this discrepancy with a pinch of salt. Either way, this is slightly smaller than most bikes in the largest size, but this bike has a long 140 mm headtube plus a 10 mm external headset cup below, making for a 150 mm overall length. The tall head tube shrinks the reach number on paper because the reach is measured to the top of the head tube, so as it gets taller, the top gets further back due to the slack head angle. If the head tube was a more usual 120 mm length, the reach number would grow by 14 mm, and with an extra 30 mm of spacers under the stem, the ride position would be identical.

All that is to say that the 19.5" size bike feels as roomy as other modern XL bikes with a more typical stack height and around 500 mm reach. With my preferred 40 mm rise handlebar, I ran no spacers under the stem and the cockpit felt comfortably roomy to me at 191 cm (6'3") tall.



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Suspension Design

The rear triangle is connected to the frame with a pair of counter-rotating short links. They give the bike a relatively rearward axle path near the start of the travel, meaning lots of anti-squat before the axle path curves rapidly forwards to avoid excessive pedal kickback deeper in the stroke. The layout also allows the shock to run close to parallel with the downtube, which minimizes the force on the tube and so helps to save weight.


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The leverage ratio slopes steeply downwards towards bottom-out, causing a dramatic increase in suspension forces late in the travel. This "concave" shape of the leverage curve tends to work best with coil shocks.
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Anti-squat values start high and get higher throughout the pedaling zone, resulting in a very firm response.


The 65 mm stroke shock is long for a 140 mm travel bike. The leverage ratio (how many millimeters the axle moves upwards for every millimeter of shock travel) goes from 2.45 at the start of the travel to 1.55 at the end. For context, most bikes stay between 3:1 and 2:1. That low leverage makes a given shock spring or damper feel stiffer, so light spring and damping rates should be used. The overall progression (change in leverage ratio) is 37%, making it one of the more progressive designs out there. Note also that most of this progression (the drop in leverage ratio causing an increase in suspension forces) happens towards the end of the travel. For this reason, the Switch9er works much better with a coil shock with a small bottom-out bumper, like the EXT, than with an air shock which is already progressive late in the travel.

I initially tested the bike with the RockShox Super Deluxe air shock (pictured), but I wasn't happy with the performance. I talked to Stanton about this and they strongly suggested I try an EXT coil shock instead. "Maybe it's a good thing you've experienced it with that air can for comparison but, I'll be honest, that's an error for it to be sent to you with that particular shock on," Stanton told me. "There are air cans that work well with it, the ones that are more linear and coil-like in their behavior, but that Rockshox clearly isn't cutting it."


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The first video shows the rear suspension cycling. Notice how the brake hose bows outwards. The second video shows how the weight of the swingarm wasn't enough to overcome the friction created by the sticky pivot. Re-greasing the pivot allowed it to move freely and stopped the squeaking noise you can hear.

While changing the shock I noticed the lower pivot on the upper shock mount was sticky and squeaking bad enough that the swingarm was getting stuck under its own weight. I took this pivot apart and greased it, which solved the problem.



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I swapped out the shock, cockpit, wheels, and tires during testing.

Specifications

Stanton doesn't sell a full-build yet so I won't dwell too much on the parts fitted to my test bike other than how they impact the overall ride.

The now superseded Hope Tech 3 E4 brakes feel great but lack power with 180 mm rotors. Maxxis EXO 2.3" tires demanded high pressures to avoid squirming and this led to a harsher ride, so I swapped these out for 2.4" enduro-casing tires to get a better sense of the Stanton's potential. My test bike came with a RockShox Super Deluxe shock due to supply issues, but I soon swapped it for an EXT Storia Lok V3.

One other thing to note is the 51 mm offset RockShox Lyrik fork versus the more common 44 mm offset, but this may only subtly affect the handling in some circumstances.






Test Bike Setup

I had a long journey to get this bike set up in a way that worked well for me. Almost straight away I got rid of the low-rise handlebar which just wasn't tall enough in favor of my "control cockpit" made of a 40 mm-rise Renthal 'bar with a 40 mm stem. Next, I found the RockShox air shock far too progressive with the two volume spacers installed, so I removed these and experimented with air pressure, going from 30% to 35% sag; rebound was one click from fully open. I still couldn't get the air shock to provide the suppleness I wanted, so on Stanton's recommendation, I switched to an EXT Storia Lok with a 425 lb/in spring. This was too stiff so I swapped to a 400 lb/in spring for about 30% sag. I also ran the low-speed compression and rebound pretty much open, and then things started to make sense.

The fork is the 2022 Lyrik (not the latest version) so I started with 90 psi based on past experience, but I dropped this to 82 psi to get more grip on the front tire. The rebound was ten to twelve clicks from closed and compression was fully open for most trails.


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Seb Stott
Location: Tweed Valley, Scotland
Age: 30
Height: 6'3" / 191cm
Inseam: 37" / 93cm
Weight: 189 lbs / 86 kg, kitted
Instagram: Seb Stott On Bikes

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Climbing

The Stanton is very efficient under power, with almost no movement in the rear suspension unless you're stomping on the gas. The effective seat angle isn't the steepest, but only on the nastiest inclines did I wish it was any more upright, as the suspension stays high in its travel even when running over 30% sag.

The coil shock added a couple of hundred grams and introduced a touch more movement when pedaling, but I preferred the climbing feel with the coil due to the suppler action over bumps which meant less momentum and traction was lost over roots and stones. Climbing felt no less efficient but was noticeably more comfortable, more supple, and more surefooted with the coil. I was running a little less sag with the coil too, which made the seat angle steeper, and although I never used it, the lockout option is there for tarmac grinds.


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Descending

Over the first handful of rides with the RockShox shock and 2.3" tires, impressions were not good. The ride was harsh and skittish as the rear suspension (even with 0 volume spacers and 35% sag) was reluctant to engage much of its travel and react to the terrain. The bike felt hard to control and carry speed, especially on repeated bumps, steep trails, and rooty corners.

With the coil shock installed and set fully open with the lighter 400 lb/in spring, plus the bigger tires and the control cockpit, the bike finally got into its stride. The rear suspension was now supple and active, sitting nicely in its travel and reacting to bumps well. The slack head angle and long front-center make it easy to ride fast on high-speed tracks littered with pinball rocks, roots, and berms. And despite the skinny tubes, the frame feels more than stiff enough, with no obvious twist and lurching when squaring off a big catch berm.


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The stable geometry often lets you forget it's only got 140 mm of travel to play with, and the suspension is unapologetically progressive even with the coil shock, so on bigger hits, it's not the most bump-swallowing. It's not for those who want to plow through rocks without care. But on the flip side, the smooth but rapid build-up of support means there's plenty to push against when pumping through corners or compressions, and the bike never squats or wallows lazily through its travel.

Despite some heavy landings, I never felt it bottom-out either. And over the small, high-frequency bumps, the coil shock tracks the ground well, giving plenty of traction at the rear.


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But although the suspension was performing well with the EXT shock, there was still some rattling from the chain and the cables, which takes away from the perception of smoothness. And on some tight and steep turns, I found the Stanton less confidence-inspiring than other bikes I've been riding lately. I suspect the unusually high (355 mm) bottom bracket played a role here. The 51 mm fork offset may come into play too; although I've found with modern bikes the effect of swapping between 42 mm and 51 mm offset is subtle, the combination of the very slack head angle and the longer fork offset kicks the front axle a little further ahead than usual, and this can make it slightly harder to get weight on the front wheel.

Whatever the cause, I got more comfortable with the turn-in feel over time, but these days the difference between bikes isn't how fast they can be ridden, but how easy and intuitive it is to get up to speed. That's obviously something that's going to vary from person to person, but even with the set-up tweaks I made, it took me longer than normal to feel in tune with the Stanton. On the other hand, I can't recall a single pedal strike and that's something everyone will notice.



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Stanton Switch9er FS Ti-Carbon
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Starling Murmur

How Does it Compare?

If you're in the market for a boutique trail/enduro bike with 140 mm of travel, the Starling Murmur should be high on your list, so how does the Stanton compare?

While the Starling climbs well, the Stanton has a firmer feel under power and a slightly more upright position too, making it feel more eager on steep climbs. The Startling is perhaps a little more comfortable on flat and bumpy traverses, although you have to be a lot more careful to avoid pedal strikes.

When descending, the Starling's more linear suspension makes it feel like a longer-travel bike in the rough stuff; it swallows up big rocks that bit more readily but isn't quite as responsive when pumping. It relies on the Ohlins shock's bottom-out bumper on big landings, but that's no bad thing in my view. The geometry numbers are similar, except the Starling is a little steeper and the BB is a lot lower. I found the Starling easy to throw around and commit to corners from the off, while the Stanton took more adaptation to ride aggressively and carve turns.



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Shimano Deore drivetrain

Technical Report


Shimano Deore drivetrain: The only component I haven't mentioned so far is the drivetrain. That's because Shimano's entry-level shifting didn't miss a beat and so it faded into the background in the best possible way. Yes, the gear indicator window on the shifter is useless and reminiscent of budget bikes, but the Deore drivetrain never felt lacking compared to more expensive alternatives.

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Pros

+ Slack and stable geometry make for confident handling on high-speed trails
+ Super efficient under power and composed on the climbs
+ Supple yet supportive suspension (with the right shock)

Cons

- Not the most "plough-like" even with coil
- The high bottom bracket may take time to get used to in tight or steep turns
- Cable routing and chain slap create noise; tight tire clearance; one pivot was sticky




bigquotesSome bikes you get on with immediately, but the Stanton took some tweaking and tinkering to get the most from it. My test bike was a little rough around the edges too, with noisy cable routing and the chain hitting the swingarm, plus one of the pivots was sticky and squeaking. But with the pivot fixed and a coil shock fitted, it rips. It's easy to ride fast, particularly on loose terrain that wants to rattle you off-line. It's still quite firm on big hits, but the supportive suspension rewards pumping through compressions and there's loads of bottom-out resistance. It climbs very well too. At first, I struggled to feel confident slinging it into tight or steep turns, which may be down to the high bottom bracket, but I got more used to it with time and appreciated the ability to grab pedal strokes through rough terrain. Seb Stott





Author Info:
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Member since Dec 29, 2014
321 articles

110 Comments
  • 85 1
 that's a lot of cons.
  • 26 0
 some people would not read these, titanium is their weaknesssss
  • 12 1
 Yea I’ve had a few stantons and used to be a bit of a fanboi, but for £4.5k or £5.5k for a custom job, its got to be perfect with no cons...
  • 30 1
 Perhaps this is the actual facts of a review instead of “everything is super slack and awesome and great and better than last years model by 5%”.
  • 17 0
 It's also pretty telling that he had to basically throw as much money as possible at the suspension to get it to feel ok.
  • 4 1
 Yeah but it depends on the reviewer and Seb is more meticulous than others.
  • 12 0
 And they forgot to add that it really only takes skinny tires.
  • 11 2
 @spaced: I don't think this is a particularly careful review; just a perfectly mediocre bike.
  • 5 0
 @BiNARYBiKE: in titanium
  • 11 0
 @nilswalk: it’s the other way round. You need a simple shock with a light tube that lets most of oil flow. The DVO Jade X is ideal. EXT not so much in my opinion. Even the light tune is heavily damped, relative to the DVO. Difference is night and day.
  • 9 0
 That's a bit harsh- Expensive. Limited tyre clearance. Chain damages the frame. High BB Poor cable management All overlookable when it's on the roofrack.
  • 2 0
 @MattInNZ: Exactly, not even reviewers talk about importance of shock tune in relation to leverage ratio. A low leverage frame simply needs less spring and less damping. Rock Shox is especially bad here since it's very digressive and with no leverage to overcome damping in the beginning of the stroke you end up with a bike in uphill mode all the time.
  • 1 0
 youtu.be/wRnSnfiUI54?t=18

Yea but Ti with a carbon VPP rear, so...
  • 1 0
 @mrblue89: Problem ain't the slackness. It's lack of tire clearance.
  • 2 0
 But the pros are proper pros whereas the cons were all sorted (and would be further if it was set-up to 35% as specified) once raised. It's like he's begrudgingly acknowledged the good stuff while making maximum noise about the stuff that was ironed out. And for a review that seems so detailed some of the basic info about the carbon rear is wrong like the swingarm, makes me wonder what else is (I'd be guessing his homespun geo measurements aren't to be relied on!!). Weird review - but if he's a Starling fan then the Stanton is a very different beast I guess.
  • 1 0
 @Idenry: I was about to type a reply but then read this, and it's pretty much exactly what I was going to write!
  • 29 1
 I'd be pretty irritated if I paid top price for a bike like that and the pivot squeeked an hung up like that.
  • 8 4
 I have this bike and have never had such issues.
  • 6 2
 I have that bike and I have never had those issues as well. The bike is smooth like butter. I had the frame ordered with the EXT ERA fork that was not available back teen and came late separately. In the meantime I rode it with Fox 36 Grip2 . I spent tons of time setting up the fork and could not find a specific setting to be happy with . With the EXT ERA it just clicked right out of the bat . I was able to find multiple setting to be happy with so components are very important.
  • 21 0
 Poor mud clearance, lower link is a mud shelf and water bottle underneath the down tube. Thought this thing was designed in the uk…!?
  • 3 5
 mud is definitely an UK issue but not very popular in California. I know, sorry. with a 2.5" tire the bike has ~10-12mm of clearance. I run 30mm wide rims and a 2.5" Maxxis Aggressor has ~10mm clearance. I would never need more than 2.3-2.4" wider rear tire of course this is very personal but it is like the oppininon that 95% of teh bike are sold with DH tires and solely 1-2% of the riders need them

Bottle location is actually great . I did not like it at the very begging because it is odd but the truth is that is very comfortable and practical and with time used to it . The truth is that when you ride you need to lean way less to have a quick sip and put the bottle back, while if it is placed above the BB you will need to lean lower and further back down.
  • 1 0
 There's one under the top tube too TBF.
  • 10 0
 Chain hitting the carbon is no bueno even if you'd likely never go there. Stanton should clean that up. Love that this bike exists, & looks great, couple niggles, but this isnt a stock build or anything so take it with a grain of salt.
What kind of rider is Steb for reference? great review

It wasnt clear...did they ship frame and shock only?
  • 9 1
 You have a typo. The rear carbon triangle is one piece…the alloy is 2 pieces. I know, I have the bike and it is the shizzle!!!!! The most playful 29er rocket ship I take on double black tech gnar…bike is all its cracked up to be.
  • 1 0
 Awesome to hear. Would you mind sharing what shock you are running, and any comments you have in response to some/any of the negatives in the article? I am keenly interested in this bike. Super stoked for you.
  • 3 0
 @mtnbkrmike: I also have one of these set for 160mm, 27.5 and aluminium rear triangle(s) and an ohlins shock.

Chain clearance is tight but okay. I couldnt fit a chain guide for example. Tire and mud clearance is fine and I managed to sort out the cable slap noise (first internally routed bike so i assumed normal)

No issues with pivots.

No getting away that bling plays a part in my choice for this bike but I certainly don't find it has any 'problems'.

It pedals really well and feels plush.
  • 1 0
 @Pabsm80: You’re running a 27.5” Ti front and Ali rear? Me too! And I thought I was possibly the only one.
  • 1 0
 @Pabsm80: take a look at my profile I have a picture of my bike there with mounted Absolute black chain guide and bash guard( one piece ) can send you more details if you mail me .
The type and model is this absoluteBLACK Bash Guide Premium Chain Guide ISCG05 Mount

I run 53mm chain line and used a rear triangle protector from Yeti ARC now there is plenty( sufficient) of clearance
  • 1 0
 @leeroySilk: actually I also run 26 wheels! But other yes ti front and alu rear.
  • 1 0
 @Bobanek: that's good to know thanks.

I put a bash on and tbh I am not missing a chain guide
  • 1 0
 @leeroySilk: are they even selling 27.5 To front ends? I thought it was only the 29er for now
  • 1 0
 @Davec85: the front triangle is the same whether 27.5 or 29 (Stanton told me this)
  • 1 0
 @Pabsm80: did not know this, interesting
  • 1 0
 @Davec85: the front end is the same for 27.5 and 29. It’s the linkages and rear triangle that dictate which size wheel.
Part of the reason I bought in the first place, can change travel and or wheel size by swapping out linkage or rear.
  • 1 0
 @mtnbkrmike: was a FOX factory DHX2, now a EXT Storia v3…much better, but with a softer tune than factory. Has the EXT ERA v2 on the front now…perfectly balanced sus…bike flies.
  • 8 0
 So you have to run kinda narrow tires (2005 called, they need their skinny tires back), and keep them clear of mud (don't ride it in the UK?), and not flex the rear end too much (rider weight limit? ride gently?), and don't pedal too much in certain gears, or you risk chewing right through the rear triangle... But at least you can independently replacement each side of the rear triangle that you wear through!
  • 1 0
 Yeah, this bike swings......and misses.
  • 6 0
 So was this a brand new frame or one that’s being doing the press rounds as there seems to be a lot made out of a pivot that needed a clean and grease.

Shouldn’t of happened in either case but to list it in the Pros and Cons? really?
  • 9 3
 I had the misfortune to buy one of these from the first batch. Sticky linkages from poor machining tolerances which caused so much drag it added damping. Then the bearings literally fell out of the linkages...another poor tolerance issue that wasn't picked up on assembly. They should be supplying custom tuned shocks too because no standard shock copes well with that amount of progression in such a short amount of travel. Looks nice but a bit of a turd rolled in glitter.
  • 5 0
 So you usually ride with a 40mm rise bar and 30mm of spacers under the stem? Because that's what you implied with all that tip-toeing around what you think is weird front-end geo. And 140mm head-tube on a modern size L or larger is not that unusual, where exactly does this "more usual 120 mm length" come from? And if the headtube was only 120mm long, the lower cup would be gone and the everything would be steeper by approx half a degree, and the reach would grow a few mm as well. so it wouldn't be just a matter of jamming some spacers in to get the same ride position.

Since you're on a 40mm rise bar, that means there is actually plenty of room to adjust bar height down with less rise, making this not really a crazy tall stack/long headtube at all.
  • 7 0
 given those numbers (super slack, high bb), seems like the geo was designed around a shorter (say 140mm) fork.
  • 6 1
 Holy ant-squat batman! The anti-squat actually goes higher deeper into the travel instead of going down. You can almost predict it's going to be a harsh ride down just by looking at the chart.
  • 1 1
 I would disagree. High antisquat deep into your travel isn't that bad a thing. High antisquat is usually correlated with high chain growth (except for idler-equipped bikes), and its the high chain growth that can reduce sensitivity on small, high frequency bumps. This matters most around the sag point, where you need your suspension to react quickly to small, high frequency impacts to maximise grip. Once you start getting deeper into your travel, you primarily need your suspension to handle lower frequency, larger impacts, with the goal now being chassis stability instead of grip. High chain growth has minimal effect on these types of hits.

Of course how a bike rides is the sum and balance of many factors, so this bike could still ride harshly for other reasons.
  • 3 0
 @hamncheez: I'm not making the argument that high anti-squat is bad thing, but in my experience if the anti-squat stays really high through the entire travel range (which this one does at 159%-165%-133%) it means the suspension will remain pretty stiff to small/mid sized bumps. Usually, the anti-squat starts off high and then goes in a downward slope as the suspension goes through it's travel. Even hovering around 100% (like a Canfield bike) you get a good balance of pedaling efficiency and small bump compliance. This curve looks like a Propain anti-squat curve but on steroids.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: And this bike had a pretty high AS _at_ sag, and that goes _up_ for the next 25%-ish of travel. When powering up chunky stuff, the back end just isn't going to be moving out of the way easily, meaning you'll be spending energy managing traction instead of powering uphill. You'll also get some decent bob without a very smooth pedal stroke, which is tough to do when also managing rear wheel traction, since 150% AS has a significant suspension extending force under power. Not bad for smooth, dry climbs, but less than ideal for janky and/or wet climbs.
  • 1 0
 @justinfoil: True, even at sag its pretty high
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: Does that higher anti squat also indicate lots of pedal kickback at that 50-70% travel zone? Sounds like its the opposite of how something like a yeti functions, where it goes into the negatives to avoid kickback later in the stroke.
  • 1 1
 @Breeconay: yes, but reducing pedal kickback usually means a more forward axle path, shortening the wheelbase in the last part of your travel. I think preserving the wheelbase as much as possible during heavy compression is more important than small bump compliance as you're bottoming our.


A larger point is that dual link suspension is very hard to get right, and generally speaking is going to me much harder to set up your suspension compared to something simpler like that Starling.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: it doesn't have an axle path graph, but that's an interesting consideration also. Still, seems like this thing will have loads of kickback
  • 4 0
 I too love the look and idea behind this bike, but examining the very little suspension info I could find really gave me pause.
Glad it can be made to work pretty well, but that shock is really long for a 140 travel bike, it's really slack, and the AS is really just sky high.
Thanks so much for doing the review PB & I especially appreciate the quality of the Seb review.
It's still the best looking bike I've ever seen.
  • 2 0
 It's the kind of bike that looks crap from a distance but close up would be a total drool fest. I would never want one but I like to see such bikes.
  • 4 0
 The EXT shock even it’s it’s lightest tune is still quite heavily damped. This bike only needs a basic shock that is wide open like a DVO Jade X. Performed waaaaaay better. My steel bike if 4 years is dead silent. I upgraded the rear end and put a basic chainstay protector on from ride wrap.
  • 1 0
 Yeah less damping is king
  • 6 3
 Ok last comment. I’m 6’2”, ride the 18” and I prefer this bike at chucky (NE US) bike parks than my DH and I’m not a “jumper”, but this bike flys, cutties and jumps. My DH bike is actually a Starling Sturn and while a beast in the straight gnar…I happily let it sit on the bike rack and take out the Stanton.

Not too sure who gave this bike to Scott Seb all fudged up (hopefully not someone at Stanton especially with non smooth bearing). But yes you need a coil, Stanton recommends 35% sag in the rear (which Scott never ran)…and the fork offset could have mucked up the ride.
  • 3 0
 Great to get this counterpoint. Thanks for contributing to the discussion. Too bad it’s your last comment. I would love to hear more about this bike.
  • 3 0
 I was about to defend them for it having an incorrect shock but I've just looked on their website and they'll sell you this with the RS Super Deluxe Ultimate, granted all pictures show coil shocks but still, if stanton don't think most air shocks work then odd. Still want one lots though, if you're keeping a bike then dialling it in isn't the greatest hardship.
  • 3 0
 I have this bike in the steel (is real) front triangle and carbon rear. It's amazing! Carbon rear is 1 piece (the Ali rear is 2 piece). No idea why it went out for review with an air shock as Stanton recommend running it with a coil or a really big volume air can.
I went for the CC Kitsuma as you can dial in the damping to suit the frame. I used the TF tuned spring calculator and clicked on the vpp option and at 33% sag it recommended 307lbs. Reading the enduro-mtb.com review I went lighter and started with 275, then to 300 and on again to 325 for a while but then back to 300 and it feels great. Low speed C & R are 1-2 clicks from fully open (out of 7 I think) and high speed comp is about 5-7 from open (out of about 20 I think) with rebound 9-11 clicks from open depending on the trails. Even on the 275 I never felt the frame bottom out.
Trickiest thing was trying to get the air Lyriks to match with the progressivity of the rear... Started with 2 tokens at 30% sag, 1 HS, 2-4 LS (felt good), then tried 3 tokens with 33% sag (too harsh) and finished with 2 tokens, 33% sag 2-3 HS, 1-2 LS (plush and seems to match the rear pretty well).
Running the bike 'soft' you can edit a lot of the concerns about the high BB - that being said Seb is right, it's not a plough machine. The higher BB really does help moving from edge to edge as it were. I've mullet-ed the last 3 29ers I've owned (5'8"/70kg) for handling preference... The thought hasn't even crossed my mind with this as it handles so we'll.
Rear tyre I run WTB JUDGE 2.4 with no clearance issue whatsoever. I 3m mastic-taped the chain stay and just behind the chainlike from the front ring the bike is stealthy quiet. I do believe Stanton have some sweet factory 3m chain stay protectors for the carbon rear now.
If you're looking for a full suspension for all round UK riding you can't really go wrong with this - which flavour you get depends on your budget.
On bearings... Bumped into the raffle winner from Ardrock of the first prototype fs9er the other week at a race... He rides oop north year round and hasn't touched his bearings for 2.5 years - still smooth as!
Apologies for the ramblings but a couple of folk seemed like they were interested! :-)
  • 2 0
 I have the steel cousin of the 9er FS in the 650b SwitchbackFS, and have had it for two years.

Tyre clearance on that one is great although I'm old school and only run 2.4 Schwalbe rubber on Flow EX rims but never had any issue with rub. I think the talk of 'shit shelf' is possibly true, but there are many more frame manufacturers that have linkages arranged in a manner that allows for build up of crap and they don't build for UK slop. I have the externally routed cables, and yes due to movement they do bulge out a bit and rub my legs on occasion but for the bike

When getting mine we were at the beginning of not being able to get parts so I had to opt for the RS shock over the Fox X2 (at the time there was talk of X2s still going pop despite changes), the stock air-can on the Super Deluxe did mean it didn't feel quite right so I fitted the MegNeg and it transformed the feel. I did feed back to Dan that it improved things no end, but I can imagine that there's no real benefit for the guys to faff around swapping air cans and having them all laying around spare at the unit.

Bearing wise, am still on the original set. I pop them open and re-grease occasionally but they are still spot on. A squeaky seal can happen on the big brand bikes too, it just seems a bit fussy to have it as a con especially if that bike is a demo mule.

Cant talk about BB height on the 29er, I would say that on the 650 version it is low and pedal strikes are a regular occurrence in punchy tech climbs over rocks and roots in the alps etc.

No offence to reviewers out there, but the key determining factor for a bike review is personal preference. One mans trash is another mans gold, don't just take one opinion to be gospel.
  • 2 0
 @eppingforestmtb: I run 2.4 WT DHR2 on 33mm rims and have no clearance issues on my steel/alloy 27.5 and have never had issues with mud clogging up riding in the winter in the UK.

I also have external cable routing and my bike is perfectly silent. Same experience with you on bearings, still smooth after 3 muddy winters since ownership.
  • 8 2
 That starling is a stunner..
  • 4 4
 LOL if it was a Starling the owner of would be here right now rimming your arse for saying so.
  • 5 2
 @thewanderingtramp: the bike Seb compared to at the end was most certainly a Starling
  • 2 3
 @mtmc99: Wooooooosh straight over your head, IF IT HAD BEEN THE STARLING GETTING REVIEWED HERE it wasnt t was a Stanton
  • 7 0
 ALL HAIL THE EGG!
  • 1 2
 It’s for real, it works as designed.
  • 7 1
 Don’t get it really.. weird thing to buy
  • 5 6
 Ride it and you will.
  • 1 1
 It’s a seriously fun bike. Great to pedal everywhere and quick and easy to pop as it has a good platform at the back.
  • 3 0
 @MattInNZ: That's true of many many bikes that: can take larger tires, have sane (well, saner) cable routing, and have rear triangles that don't get eaten by chains and contemporarily normal width tires.
  • 4 0
 I like that it has Deore, it is a really good groupset for all levels, just a little heavier. for my riding and price range, its good to see deore on a media bike
  • 7 1
 Carbon and ti and 15.5kg.. my 1600eur Alu enduro is lighter
  • 14 1
 Does your 1600euro Alu Enduro have a rabid army of fanboys saying its the most awesomer.
  • 2 1
 @thewanderingtramp: i also own a stanton and its is very awesome
  • 1 0
 I have the steel version with the alloy rear end and it weighs in at 17.66 kg with a steel handlebar, coil shock, chunky 1,3 kg tires and an insert in the rear. Personally expected worse to be honest...
  • 1 0
 19.5" frame as well.
  • 2 3
 14.4Kg with EXT ERA fork, EXT Storia shock , 200mm seat dropper (~800gr) and 250ml of sealant in each tire including the Shimano clip-less pedals
I run light tires though
Now I have only Stanton , some of the biked used to have Niner Jet RDO, Santa Cruz Tallboy, Yeti SB130 and Yeti ARC and others... have already ~2000miles on the Stanton as you said it is awesome
  • 2 0
 I like what they've done but not a fan of the bolt on shock mount or the price. If I were building a "dream bike " I'd have an Atherton. Those days are behind me now so I'll just build up mid priced good alloy bikes , ride 'em for a year or 2, sell and repeat.
  • 2 0
 I have one of these and recently rode it at the 6-day Trans BC enduro race as well as Whistler bike park - plenty of steep and chunky trails!

The comments regarding the BB height, handling in steeps and absorbing big hits, in my view, would all be addressed by setting up the bike correctly. Namely, 35% sag would lower the BB at sag by around 7mm and make it easier to use more travel. If you check the EXT calculator - you should have used a 325lb spring NOT 400lb. At 6kg heavier than you I use a 350lb spring.

My previous bike was a GG Gnarvana and I did not (surprisingly) find myself longing for the extra 20mm of rear travel and found the Stanton handled steep/tech stuff better. The Stanton is a MUCH better bike to pedal.

As a side note, I have tried both EXT Storira V3 and Formula Mod on the Stanton and GG. The EXT is now for sale.
  • 2 0
 I had emailed Stanton several times asking for detailed suspension charts, but they never provided them. They just provided some very vague info on their website that says 'the suspension rate is 2:1 at the start & 1:1 at the end, so you know what that means'. Um, I can deduce it's super progressive but not much else from that info alone.

The thing about a suspension design like this is that it requires extremely exact pivot locations to result in the intended effect but since they missed the hta by over 1' and the reach by 10mm, the chances of them nailing the linkage pivot points is unlikely. I suspect they don't actually know what the linkage rates are supposed to be which is why they were unable to provide any charts after multiple requests. A 62.6' hta is simply too slack for a 140 trail bike that requires 35% sag to even feel correct.

I found some info on the Stanton's rear suspension on Antonio's Linkage website searching for the steel version of the same bike. While Antonio's website is great for the cost (free), it isn't super accurate ime and only gives you an approximation.

With such a low leverage ratio & high progression on the Stanton, a coil shock is mandatory. However the spring rate gaps become excessive at really low rates making getting the correct spring rate seemingly impossible. Good solution for a huge fella without having a 3# shock spring however.

The design still has merit, I'd just encourage Stanton to very carefully dial in their geo and more importantly their rear suspension design. Less AS, higher leverage ratio through the use of a shorter shock & maybe just a bit less progression (or a lot less so as to run an air shock).

The truth is, what I've realized after spending the last year on my amazing mass produced SJ Evo, is that development budgets matter, a LOT!

GL to the crew at Stanton.
  • 2 0
 I have this bike and have non of the cons. Its one of the best bikes I've ridden. I have Ohlins coil, Im 6'6" 100kg and find it to be really plush. Loads better over rock gardens than my Orange. Awsepme fo climbing. Really agile for a long slack bike. Not really interested in graphs and numbers I want to know how a bike rides, and I love how this rides!!
  • 4 1
 Shame there seem to be issues with the frame and geo because that's one of the best looking bikes I've seen. Plus it's Ti so you can flex on all your buddies
  • 2 2
 No issues with the geometry. Good stack to start with, no need for heaps of spacers under the stem. Effective reach is longer as on other bikes the stem spacers reduce the reach. It’s Long but not too long. Stable at speed. Climbs like a goat for how slack it is.
  • 1 0
 Weird review, pros are good pros, cons seem to be easily overcome with correct set-up (including the BB height he's down on) but his vibe is negative throughout. Some info he's put there is plain wrong - it's a one-piece swingarm for example, what else has he got wrong? Mind you if he's a Starling fanboy then makes sense he wouldn't be into this bike. I find Starlings fugly AF so....
  • 1 0
 Such a kewl looking bike and a nice multi-link suspension to take it up a notch from most single-pivot steel/ti bikes. That high bottom bracket is a no go. Once you've ridden low you won't go back.
  • 4 1
 I wonder if that potato from the Cotic review is gonna show up to tell us how this is just a single pivot.
  • 1 1
 Could that sticky pivot be a sticky cable? I mean, you can see it sliding in and out of the seat stay, and the sound isn't unlike rapidly sliding housing into a tube-in-tube routing setup or even just through a port. Plus the rear loop of housing is going to grow, changing the entry angle of the housing, potentially adding friction when sliding back. Just imagine the friction when those ports get gunked up with some UK mud... gonna burn through that housing right quick. I suppose the gunk might stop it moving, instead of chewing it up, but then you've got it bending into your legs on both sides (the brake hose seemed to bend, not slide, in the vid), seems like lose-lose.
  • 1 0
 I would like to own one. but come on.
Harsh ride, poor performance, carbon hitting! poor tire clearance. what on earth are they playing at? I want a premium product. ill be taking my cash elsewhere
  • 1 0
 Interesting looking frame with some pros and cons apparently, but "Interchangeable dropouts allow 12x142 mm or 12x148 mm hubs to fit." kind of caught my attention here in the age of superbull$hit.
  • 1 0
 Looks like the UK bike manufacturing market is going the way of the 80's Italian supercar, expensive and shit and only a few yuppie banker twats will be able to afford them.......
  • 3 0
 The front triangle tubes look realllllly long
  • 1 0
 ...doesn't it?!
But I think that might just be side effect of the straihgt and slender tubes. Because if you just look at the wheelbase, it doesn't look overly long IMO.
  • 2 0
 That's one good-looking machine. Super indepth, high-quality review, as always. Thanks Seb!
  • 3 0
 and 1 more thing, the water bottle mount under the bottom tube......
  • 4 1
 Fk that chain line rubbing the carbon rear.. great design..lol
  • 1 1
 I worry about "the egg"; I fear cracks may develop along the top weld between the lower pivot shell and the seat tube (in the titanium variant, at least)
  • 1 0
 Hey @hamncheez Where exactly is your concern? The egg and upper pivot are both machined from a solid Ti block. Or have I misread you?
  • 2 0
 @leeroySilk: You're right, I thought the pivot housing was a tube welded on the machined parts. Looking closer its all one machined piece.
  • 2 2
 too slack and long for it to be fun and snappy to ride..if you like a bike to be fun and snappy. Geo goes beyond that of a DH bike
  • 2 0
 Slap an old Santa Cruz rear end on there and you got something.
  • 2 0
 Well,the Deore drivetrain works really well!
  • 2 0
 UK frame, lack of rear tire clearance, fail.
  • 1 0
 where do i put my baba?!?!?!?! kidding...
  • 6 9
 I have the Stanton Switsh9erTi FS( 18") for ~8 months and the only true statement is that the chain clearance is tight. I had to move the chain line by 1mm . The bike is smooth balanced and with a proper suspension setup has unlimited traction. I am 6'2" ~210lb (95kg) ride aggressively and this is the best bike I have ever had granted I have put ~2000miles on it . This bike makes me way better ride than I am . As "philoniousmonk" said , there is high chance that the bike has been assembled by some newbie at Stanton .
The components also make a big difference the EXT shock + EXT fork with that frame is a killer combination and it is something that has to be experienced . The bike rides very smooth and has phenomenal lateral stiffness . It;s universality will allow you to match other riders on trail bikes, XC bikes, enduro bikes . The rear has good clearance for 2.5" tire . I have run 2.5 Aggressor , 2.4" Nobby Nick, 2.4 Maxxis Aspen.

Seb has put a deceint effort and done a nice review from his point of view but the statement in the review that a 2.5" rear tire may not clear or rub is speculative and not correct..... test it and then state facts. Again not enough clearance in UK may be enough clearance in California, where rainy and muddy are remote very rare . Obviously it is not the right choice to send a low range equipped high end frame when all companies woudl have sent the top of the line equipped bikes.
If Seb was in the US, San Jose bay area I woudl gladly borrowed my bike to test and I bet the review woudl be different.
  • 2 1
 I want to like Stanton though they be greedy as a mutherfucker
  • 1 1
 Dangerops prangent sex? will it hurt baby top of his head? just looking at this frame fills my head with gibberish.
  • 1 0
 Nice looks...
  • 5 5
 SOLD TO THE DUMB CUNT IN GOLD
  • 1 0
 I presume he’s talking to Starling or Stanton owners.
There’s so much better out there.
  • 3 3
 Carbon back end looks awful. A steel one would have looked so much better.







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