Video Interview: Leo Kokkonen, Pole Bicycles' Founder

Aug 29, 2018
by Mike Kazimer  

Pole's Machine is one of the most radical mountain bikes on the market, with super long and slack geometry, and a frame that's constructed from two pieces of CNC'd 7075 aluminum that are bolted and glued together. There still aren't that many in existence, but production is underway, and that number should increase in the coming months.

We sat down with Leo Kokkonen, the founder of Pole Bicycles, to find out how what inspired the creation of the Machine, how he got started in the bike industry, and what his thoughts are on the geometry of the future.


Pole Bicycles Machine at Sea Otter 2018.
The Pole Machine has 160mm of rear travel, 29" wheels, and a 63.9-degree head angle.



306 Comments

  • 153 22
 I'm glad to hear that Leo was honest with production issues! I ordered a Machine in May and the delivery was pushed all the way to sometime in August. I ended up cancelling my order.... not because of the delay in delivery but because I have been threatened by Pole company to block my Instagram comments on their account! I was very politely, trying to reach their customer services inquiring about the delays because they were not replying my emails. Their only reply was to CANCEL my posts and telling me that I should not post such comments because it is their marketing tool! If you use social media you have to accept both ways. Why not simply being transparent with your customers and treat them well? I was buying a 7000 euros bike not a 5 euros bike part!
Anyway, I wanted to share my experience with Pole and such companies should learn to treat clients instead of hiding behind beautiful bikes and interviews and showing off everywhere.
  • 8 2
 Mind to screenshot your comment on Instagram.
  • 5 5
 I would love to but as said above they have been deleted by Pole.
  • 47 53
flag WAKIdesigns (Aug 30, 2018 at 0:28) (Below Threshold)
 @forestek did you send them e-mails too? Tried to call them? Instagram is not the best way to communicate anything else than cheap admiration and deliberate hate.
  • 27 4
 @WAKIdesigns: yes I did but waiting 2 weeks for a reply although I mentioned why I needed to knowndelivery date pushed me to put on instagram.

I agree with you, I’m not used to post on social media and especially no hate message but I can’t stanf as a client to be ignored and I told them that a transparent reply would have been fine instead of deleting. I just think it’s not fare to use social media with a one direction opinion, you should be able to take on any request good or bad.

Anyway I don’t want to make this post a personal story, just sharing experience as I think it should be known.

By the way, you own a Unno? I bought a Unno Dash after that debacle and love it!
  • 13 9
 @forestek: that was just a check. I am on your side. It is good that you let people know, that also lets Pole get better at what they do. You did a good thing. I am happy for you with Unno Dash. I bet it’s a great bike. Must be an experience on its own to unpack it.
  • 6 1
 @forestek:
I had to wait quite a while, but I had reasonably good communication over email/phone. But it's clear, it is a small company without customer care center, so sometimes it took a little longer. It was definitely worth waiting for it.
  • 3 1
 @niib: I was also ready to wait as long as it takes as I think it’s a superb bike but not worth what they did.

Congratulations on your Machine and enjoy!
  • 13 5
 What a bunch of pole riders.
  • 36 31
 @forestek I'm sorry that we were too late for you. If I remember correctly the comments were something like that we should stop riding and go build his bike.

I deleted the posts because I felt they were offending and it does not belong to our main marketing channel. The comment was also offending our staff. We have a customer service who answers our feedback when they have time. In any case, this comment is very offending to people who were working their asses off. Our customer service serves with first in first out policy, and since our tickets increased by more than ten times, we could not keep up. Also, one of our customer servicers went to maternity leave, the holiday season kicked in, and we were searching for new people to cover. If you understand, it's not very easy to find a suitable customer service staff on a high-end mountain bike company on the fly. We have been open on our customer service about our delays (a blog posts on our website), and we have a Facebook group where people have been talking about the delays. Posting offending comments on our Instagram will get deleted, and the persons who send them will get blocked if it continues. Also, I see there have been comments removed on this forum as well because of similar reasons. Also, Instagram works under aliases, and it's impossible to know who is a real customer and who isn't. @forestek We returned your money fair and square. Thank you for making the purchase and saying that we have a beautiful bike. I appreciate it.

Besides, the comment was offending a company cannot stop marketing activities even we are late in production. Stopping marketing activities in such a situation would be incredibly irresponsible. I think accusing us of hiding is unfair as we made clear that we had problems with production before this incident happened. Also, we clearly stated this in a private conversation on Instagram.

-Leo
  • 8 3
 @forestek I had a similar experience. Total radio silence for weeks. Then they told me off because my numerous emails were contributing to their customer service staff being overwhelmed.

That being said eventually I got my Evolink and it's been great. Now to get answer on that head tube question.
  • 23 9
 @polebicycles: Leo, the k you for your reply.
1. My comments were not offending at all. I was polite and yes I think you could have informed better, your last official update on your website was in May or June.
2. I also work my ass off to afford that bike you are not the only one.
3. I had to cancel all my summer riding plans because of no bike and with having 7000 euros already in I was not going to rent another bike
4. Indeed you were fair to send the money back quickly
5. I think all buyers should k ow they will what their bikes for months and you should be more clear, unfair to only show cool stuff on social media
6. I wish you all the best and hope you will learn from this.
  • 10 2
 @alexsin: Oh, the head tube question. I got the question, but I forgot to answer it.

We don't share any cad documents on it, but if you suspect the rigidity of the head tube, you can compare the structure to your stem for example. The forces are not as high, but your stem is not bonded together. Comparing carbon fiber construction to a 7075 T6 construction is not valid. I can assure you that the head tube won't split.
  • 18 3
 @forestek: I actually remember this. I also felt that your comment was a low blow and I even said it to you. You are not exactly giving a fair picture here how it went.
  • 2 1
 I feel your pain even though I didn't have to wait or being pushed that long. Mine was postponed and postponed because of Sram and their production/order problems. For example, I ordered the new debonair air spring from a net retailer and the order got postponed from early June till late August until I canceled the order. And in wider perspective Pole as a company is insignificant compared to Specialized, Trek, Canyon and so on when comes to the latest gear. I knew it wasn't their fault, but as a guy with next to nothing patience, I felt angry. Eventually, when the boys came back from Whistler they kept their promise to turn every rock and now the bike is with me.

Seeing all the marketing material was super frustrating but they have bikes to sell but when it comes to certain things like running out of parts that were promised for them, it just doesn't do any good sitting around. They are only human after all.
  • 2 0
 @polebicycles: thanks for the response. Where the two halves come together is it just a smooth seam held together with the adhesive and bolts or are the two halves somehow keyed together mechanically and then secured by the glue and hardware. I’m not sure if I’m asking my question clearly.
Thanks again for engaging with so many questions!
  • 9 2
 @chyu: I actually have a screenshot about this conversation, but I don't know how to upload it. In that discussion @kungstalle and @kennyforeste tell Leo to "Go home from Transmadeira and assemble bikes instead". Exactly how Leo describes it later in the tread. Discussion is initiated by @kungstalle and @kennyforeste is cheering on the comment. Very polite indeed...
  • 5 1
 @alexsin: I'm sorry, but we do not share the details of the construction of the frame. I answered you a longer version with a private message.
  • 13 0
 @haaps-01: I ordered only the frame back in June 2nd and I did receive some updates within 24-48h hours. There was a period where my I had to follow up again via email as I didn't get a response for nearly 2 weeks. This is when I started join the @polebicycles facebook and instagram page. I pretty much went through all the threads and photos regarding the machine for knowledge and I also recall the posting of exactly what you quoted. When I read that comment, I was appalled by it. There was more to it but it's definitely no way "polite", so I don't agree how this person is playing the sympathy card.

I waited patiently like everyone else did and requested updates when I wanted to know more. I just received my frame - it was a long 3 months wait especially reading everyone's review on FB, but it was a good source to get information. All in all, there's really no point make rude comments and / or lashing out. It's not going to make the situation any better. People just need to align their expectations along with knowing that nothing is going to be 100%. Shit happens and shit will happen.

@polebicycles maybe it's time to update your website's blog posting. That was my initial source of updates (which stopped) until I got hungry for more.
  • 1 0
 @haaps-01: Imgur is a great photo hosting site. Just upload your screenshots and comment with the link to the album. No account required, I don’t think
  • 5 0
 Just got my Machine 2 days ago. Yes their were some delays some from there suppliers but it like any other company if your a smaller company like Pole you are way down on the supply chain tree. Never had any problems with getting responses from customer service event when they lost an employee on maternity leave Lassi stepped right in. Yes it gets frustrating but good things come to those who wait. It’s better to let people to contact pole themselves and make up their own mine about customer service than to post negative comments because of your frustration.
  • 9 1
 @forestek That's a bummer what you went through. It was a long wait for my Machine too, but I'm glad I waited - it's amazing.

It looks like Pole was a victim of its own success - they probably didn't expect to have nearly the reception they did, and got overwhelmed. Could they have done better on communication at times? Absolutely - but I feel they've learned from this and I've had great customer service after that one period of radio silence.

As for cancelling your posts on the instagram's account - that's just how the internet works. There's no higher code of conduct here. It's their account, they can do whatever they want. I'm sure we've all pulled stuff off of our facebook feeds, etc. Heck - I'm sure many of us have been censored by Pinkbike.

I'm not sure why you're bitter about Pole talking about their bikes and doing interviews. It's called marketing. Are they supposed to atone for a mistake in the past by not talking about their product in the future?

Regardless - you're on an Unno now - which must be a dream to ride!

For anyone looking to get a bike that is boutique, special, popular, a great bargain, etc: I would highly recommend the following:

1. Take projected delivery dates with a grain of salt! If the bike is awesome, expect to wait. This has happened with Pole, YT, Commencal, and probably almost every other brand at some point.

2. In the meantime, make sure you have a bike to ride. I am super fortunate that I held onto my original bike until the Pole arrived.
  • 5 1
 @polebicycles: as an owner of a restaurant business I can sympathize with this. As small business owner we give so many shits over small customer satisfaction that it affects our lives personally. We can’t possibly make everyone happy, but we try our best. At the very least, even if you aren’t satisfied, don’t give pole a shitty review. They built their niche around an edge concept, and without your support, all we would have is boring corporate bikes.
  • 6 14
flag erik2k10 (Aug 30, 2018 at 22:03) (Below Threshold)
 If you go to forestek’s Instagram account which is @kennyforeste it appears that he is an Iraq oil engineer. I’ll definitely side with the company who chose to build aluminum bikes due to their recycleability over this jerk who posts offending comments
  • 5 0
 @polebicycles: Great stuff all at Pole bikes. It’s companies like you that are pushing Mtb into new and exciting areas. From what I’ve seen you’ve gone from relative obscurity to being one of, if not the most watched bike brands out there. Things went crazy pretty quick for you and if some things couldn’t keep up then that’s no surprise. If you compare the love/hate stuff from customers with the big companies then you guys are killing it! Stiring things up is such a good thing in an industry that is hell bent on getting us to all conform on the latest trend of wheel size or axle size etc etc. Bikes geometry over the last few years has been the biggest advancement, not what super boost bullshit is the ‘in’ thing! I feel without brands like Pole the bike world would be much more boring. One of my riding buddies has an Evolink and he loves it, especially how well it climbs!! So yes keep up pushing what you believe and keeping things exciting!
  • 16 3
 I'm shocked by some of the chat here. Having a go at a justifiably dissatisfied customer for him making a tongue in cheek comment via that only comms channel that would get your attention. Blaming poor service on HR problems as if that makes it ok. "We have a customer service who answers our feedback when they have time" reads to me as "we have poor customer service". Suggesting that he shouldn't give bad review even if dissatisfied.

We all love bikes and want bike companies to succeed but that doesn't mean we should just give them a pass when they don't measure up.
  • 2 4
 @ShempHoward: hey I have a great name for a future model. They should make a DH frame and call it the "Smoker"
  • 1 2
 @Uzziduzzit: Yes indeed and a hard tail called the dancer.
  • 5 1
 @lochussie agreed. @polebicycles - I get being swamped in customer service, but the pole instagram person could have just sent the customer a DM saying "we're very sorry about the delay, we expect the bike to ship around x/x/2018, if that doesn't work with your plans we can offer a refund. Our customer service center is swamped, apologies for the late response." takes 1 minute. Then delete the rude post after having given the paying customer a real answer. OFC you may have done that, I would't know, but from this thread it sounds like you just deleted.

just sayin' not responding to an agitated customer who is trying to contact on mutiple channels is not a winning move.

bike looks dope.
  • 4 1
 My bike was delayed, and I did get a bit frustrated by their lack of communication at first but in fairness they really stepped up their game with open and honest updates on their production issues and progress. Now knowing the extent of the issues they were facing which were out of their hands I admire them for not giving up to be honest, the pressure the management team were under must have been ridiculous! Also regarding their customer service, there cant be many other brands where customers can ask questions directly to the bikes designer (via their facebook group) and have a high chance of receiving a reply. Not saying their customer service is perfect by any means but as a relatively young company I'm sure they will continue to up their game.
  • 2 0
 @SiHough: Yep hopefully it's a big learning/growth opportunity for them - I do wish @polebicycles success!

Keep it going - but don't drop the ball on Cs
  • 5 6
 @dontcoast: Me (Leo) is alone answering all the questions here and Instagram / Facebook. I'm also responsible for our design and most of the marketing activities.

We are sorry that we were late and we could not answer all the emails.

Your suggestion is how it would work in a perfect situation. We would have an "Instagram person" but as a company this size and our philosophy of authenticity, we do not have. I agree that we could be better at communication. My point of view is this: I'm in a middle of a TransMadeira race and I don't have any access to our customer service platform where to check if this alias is a real customer or not. I don't have any time on the matter, the best way of dealing with this is to moderate the feed and trust that our customer service can handle their job. What we did not know was that there was a flood of people who were asking when their bikes are delivered. For example, one customer sent us 200 emails alone.

No-one is left without a bike they have paid and we have refunded everyone who has wanted to cancel the order. Contacting on multiple platforms is just making things more complicated for us.

When people say that we have a bad customer service, they are wrong. We have great customer service but we don't have many people working there. We are not a software company that has server meltdowns and you need to answer many people at once. The delays that came to us as a surprise as well created a shit storm that we could not handle the situation we were in. All we could do is to concentrate all our people on building the bikes as soon as they landed. We decided to put all our efforts on our deliveries instead of answering emails.
  • 3 0
 @polebicycles: never said your customer service is bad - saying this one situation is avoidable and it would suck to have that tarnishing your reputation - and that moderating the feed could have been combined with a DM. Not judging you/the company, just laughing at the situation

And yeah, 200 emails from one customer is insane beyond what I've experience (I do alot of warranty/CS and man I'm sorry that sounds hectic)

You're a badass for taking so much on yourself - true entrepreneur - but maybe give someone a login when you go race Wink you said yourself you can't just stop marketing - arguably CS is part of that.

Anyhow, love the direct engagement on PB. Wishing you much success.
  • 5 1
 @dontcoast: I'm just trying to keep it as real as possible and as long as possible Smile I know that some point the company is too big and there will be more people who are just working for me.

Thank you for the great feedback.
  • 2 6
flag mhoshal (Aug 31, 2018 at 17:51) (Below Threshold)
 @forestek: just because you think they should have updated thier site doesn't mean they should have. What were they supposed to say if they were still delayed. Saying they are delayed then they are supposed to "update" just to say they are still delayed seems kinda stupid to me. You knew they were delayed. You just prove that the rich crowd that can afford these bikes are a bunch of ungreatful whiners seems your perents spoiled you to much as a kid and now you think everything and anything should be yours now and everything on life has to go your way or you throw a fit. Thats the same shit my 5 year old nephew pulls grow the f*ck up already!!!
  • 1 0
 good decision ........
  • 4 0
 @polebicycles: you should take note. Communication, ears first then brain then mouth, is an essential part of your business. Also post sales service. Take a page out of the history of BOS Suspension. There are a few that will not touch this company ever again because of poor communication.
Advice: if you cannot answer emails in a timely fashion, set up a good ooo message. Never leave a customer in the dark, ever ever ever.
Still like your bike and look forward to a test ride.
  • 4 3
 @Keit: Thanks! We started fixing the customer service issue right away when we found out about this but the whole issue was just too fast. This was roughly a one month period. Now we answer emails a lot faster. There might be few limboed tickets because people sent multiple emails and Facebook messages. We are using a multichannel customer support platform.
  • 1 2
 @polebicycles: Huh huh huhuh he said Pole.
  • 6 2
 @polebicycles - "When people say that we have a bad customer service, they are wrong. We have great customer service but we don't have many people working there". Sorry, you are very wrong. Customers rate your customer service, not you. If they say it is/was bad, then it was, simple as that. Also if you do not hire enough employees it is also your problem, not your customers. I understand that you are a tech-driven company and have a lot to learn in communication department, but this statement was simply rude.
  • 8 1
 I stuck my neck out and placed the first ever order for the Machine on Black Friday. It arrived maybe four weeks past their initial shipping estimate which I anticipated anyway. Customer Service kept me informed and was willing to work with me on specific build options and questions on sizing. There may have been times when I expected a quicker response but I realize they're a rapidly growing company and there are cultural differences at play. Being a high-strung American who expects instant gratification and immediate resolution to every problem does not mean the rest of the world operates the same. Pole has made posts informing their customers that at times all available hands are busy building bikes rather than monitoring emails. I met with Leo and Lauri of Pole in Whistler a couple weeks ago. I'm not a professional and I rarely even race on a recreational level but they took the time to drink some beers and ride with me the next morning. I had reached out to Leo on Facebook months earlier and he remembered particulars of our past conversation which I found impressive. He is the visionary behind the company and while he is now delegating more of the business responsibilities to other members of the team, he responds thoroughly to highly technical questions on the Pole Riders Forum and still wears every hat in the company. Before buying a Machine I was curious about his approach to geometry and design but even the best reviews do it little justice. There is something much greater going on here and it makes you question every bike review ever written. I've been mountain biking for 25 years and put in 450 hours on the trail annually: There is the Machine and a massive gap between every other bike I've owned.
  • 6 2
 @lkubica: I don't think you understand what I mean. We had a crisis roughly one month. If we get a ten times more emails that we normally do, we can not just hire more people to answer them immediately because those people would not even know what to answer. If we get people from the production side to answer, the bikes would not be built. I don't mean to be rude. I just explain what were the reasons behind those choices. Our people at customer service get very good ratings from solved tickets so I can say that our customer service is very good. We just had our first crisis and we will learn from it.

We don't have communications department and probably we won't have it anytime soon because having a communications department sound so corporate... yuck. It's still me, Leo. The same guy from the video above Wink
  • 5 0
 @polebicycles: I suggest this experience is a lesson learnt. Try to remain objective as a company and don’t make things too personal. Marketing is an essential part of business growth but you can also see it can irk people when all the attention appears to be on riding/having fun in Whistler. You need to present yourself as doing everything possible for your customer so if that means not riding, or at least not posting it, then so be it.

You have a wonderful product which is truly innovative so I wish you all the success in the future.
  • 2 1
 @dubod22: Totally, a lesson learned about how to handle a crisis in a company. At the same year, our Taiwan factory went out of business; we found a new factory in Taiwan, we built a new factory in Finland and launched a production method that no-one had done before.

We had a couple of balls in the air at the same time. But although I do a lot of things in our company, I'm not responsible for daily operations so if people say that I should go back and build their bikes, it's not going to happen. I would mess things up as we also have the other part that needs my attention. We grow in significant steps and funding is one of the critical elements of it. By funding, I don't only mean sales. We need cash for growth and as you all understand CNC machines are not cheap.

Next year we will launch new products again, and we have decided that we do not launch them before we have prepared for it. Last year it was hard to convince our bank that if this thing flies or not. After the presale campaign, convincing was not that hard anymore, and we went from subcontracting the machining to our private factory plan.
  • 35 1
 When can I order the Bert Kreischer signature edition?
  • 14 1
 It's already called The Machine. What else do you want?
  • 7 1
 I thought his name was brent crystals?
  • 17 1
 Burnt Chrysler?
  • 1 1
 @parallaxid: That's the one! I swear I've heard both though
  • 6 2
 when I was 22, I got involved with the Russian mafia... here's how it happened..
  • 5 2
 His name is Burnt Chrysler and he is known to be the most "overweight, racist comic in showbiz". He is also the leader of the Four-Stroke Gang.
  • 6 1
 @bubbleheadmtb: and he refuses to pay those children what he owes!! PAY THOSE CHILDREN BRET KRYSTALS!
  • 6 1
 Bert it so fat
  • 1 8
flag dtax (Aug 29, 2018 at 14:04) (Below Threshold)
 when I can order the C"n"C Music Factory Edition? .... gonna make you sweat!
  • 7 0
 Bert is fat. Love, Tommy Buns
  • 27 3
 So cool to see someone putting their neck on the line and challenging all of the "standards" including seat angles. Once you've tried the dipped saddle on a long climb you'll be sold, but totally agree, bikes look cooler with the nose up, I change mine for uplift days or pedal days.
  • 13 3
 Then you should try an SQ Lab Saddle. They dont need this wrong ajustment for better uphill.
  • 2 0
 @Zany2410: I have a Pole Evolink and a SQLab saddle. I don’t have to run a crazy angle to feel right climbing though I’m definitely canting it more than on other bikes.
I’m actually switching from a 611 to a 610 saddle.
  • 4 0
 @Zany2410: true story! Switched to sqlab on my bike and will never go back
  • 2 0
 now is the dipped saddle specific to man parts comfort? or is it just more comfortable in general?
  • 10 0
 @loam33: I'd say in general, but I haven't tried having anything but man parts, so hard to provide a non biased answer
  • 1 1
 I tried pointing my road bike saddle slightly downwards by 1˚. I find I'm always sliding forwards now.

Need to measure my sit bones and consider a SQLab saddle next.
  • 4 1
 I tried the dip-down saddle on my Nicolai G16. It is better for going up steep stuff, but on anything else like flat and especially shallow downhills where you might still be seated, it puts far too much weight and stress on your shoulders and quickly becomes tiring on your whole upper body
  • 3 3
 If just someone would make a seat post that tilts the nose down when you drop the seat ...
  • 2 0
 @IllestT: Mine is titled slightly forward and I end up with side shoulders and wrists after every ride. May try flattening a little and see if that helps. I do like it titled forward for up tho
  • 2 0
 It's not about discomfort, my fabric scoop flat is super comfy. a slightly (-2*) dipped nose becomes level on steep climbs, and I rarely sit when on the trail, so on seated long climbs it feels right and you feel neutral. on a road bike I run a level saddle, but it's not often I'm climbing for 30 minutes seated on that bike. @Zany2410:
  • 3 7
flag WAKIdesigns (Aug 30, 2018 at 3:31) (Below Threshold)
 Seat location in relation to rear tyre patch has to do with grip on climbs. If you climb fireroad which 99.9% of 120mm + bikes do it does not matter what so ever. It does matter for slippery steep climbs and there stupid steep with long chainstay has its drawbacks. Again, in 99% of cases it doesn’t matter and steep SA is beneficial since it allows you to utilize your glutes more but let’s don’t forget where it came from.
  • 1 0
 @Zany2410: true spoken. After SQlab, choice of saddle is sorted out for ever
  • 6 5
 @WAKIdesigns: "...stupid steep with long chainstay has its drawbacks." Excuse me? You really haven't ever tried a long bike yet?
  • 2 1
 I haven't tried one yet... so there's no drawbacks at all? Everything is a compromise. @polebicycles:
  • 6 1
 @thegoodflow: The saddle being at more front have not any drawbacks on climbing or descending as @WAKIdesigns is referring to. Longer chainstays gives more stability on ups and downs. You might need to adjust the manual if you go back to a short bike as you might get used to use bigger manoeuvers.

We have a lot of different bikes in the world which are made for different riding. For example we just published a dirt jump bike that has extremely short (maybe the shortest) chainstays because we want it to be as agile as possible. I corner faster on a Machine. The reason that Machine is faster is that these bikes are designed for different riding.
  • 6 0
 @polebicycles: don't mind waki. He's mostly just here for the trolling. We mostly ignore him. Though his art is awesome.
  • 4 0
 @ratedgg13: we don’t ignore him, we feed him, until he is big and fat!!
  • 12 0
 @sewer-rat: Dear Pinkbike and Pole, please send Wacek to Finland for a week for a guest review of Evolink or Machine. Video of fitting process, hucking to flat, and nightclubbing. Sincerely, commenter.
  • 10 0
 @ceecee: Haha! He's welcome at any time. We can buy his flights. Pinkbike is welcome to document. We can also meet somewhere else.
  • 1 0
 @gonecoastal: I bought one, definitely a quality saddle, but still not as comfortable as my go to Chromag Lynx imo. Plus it was like $200+ !
  • 2 0
 @Beez177: @Beez177: I actually found the Lynx DT on one of my old bikes too soft in the nose. The Moon DT is good. Same length as my road saddle, just wider nose. Wish I had been able to pick up a Moon Ti before they were discontinued. I grabbed a Mood DT instead.
  • 1 0
 @Zany2410: I got one but I may have the wrong size as I get a sharp pain after a few miles everytime. Also I found it awkward to know how you're supposed to sit on it. The notice says you should be on the upper rear part, pretty much cancelling the purpose of the whole shape, but you keep sliding forward.
Their new one (610) designed for e-bikes seems better as it has a much obvious "plateau" whee you're supposed to sit.
  • 1 0
 @Will-narayan: Yeah maybe wrong size or wrong adjustment. I suggest that you go to a proper bikeshop (ergonomic) and get your saddle / bodyposition checked. Nothing is worse then having an expensive bike but still having problems with comfort. Do yourself a favor mate Wink
  • 14 12
 @polebicycles: I presented a concept that makes plenty of sense to me, given to me by someone who knows way more about designing bikes than you ever will have, but I will not say who because You got enough animosities between each other that you yourself started. Unfortunately for you I have been riding bikes with chainstay length anywhere from 395 to 456 and I am a capable enough rider both in twrms of skill and strength to know that bikes can solve only small bit of puzzle. Climbing a mountain bike on a fireroad (that vast majority of your bikes will be doing) is solely about strength and endurance and when it comes to bikes: tyre weight. Your bike is sooo fast down the hill that only a lunatic (or a fkng Joey) would use anything thinner than DD SG casings, if Enduro racing is involved, preferably a tyre insert) We can now stop about climbing efficiency. You can leave the rest of the shit chat to your clients. Not to me nor anyone who has any idea about riding bikes up a hill. What I can tell you though is that when you climb tight singletracks on rocks and roots, your long wheelbase is detrimental, both in terms of high tight you can turn at near zero speed, how you can hop and rock a bike in tricky places and finally when it comes to climbing onto big rocks where your BB will be hanged on rocks. Anything can be climbed on a fireroad. Anything. And you are unable to prove any of your claims of superiority of your geometry. It is hard enough to prove whether 29er is faster than 27.5. Enjoy your niche hanged up in the grey zone. I appreciate the existence of your company as a realized vision that we and other companies can refer to. Sick Bicycles are selling long bikes but they are not selling the we make best performing bikes bullsht that you propell in the worst style typical for Trek, Giant and a couple of semi big German and Italian companies doing generic chinese bikes catering to Garda crowd. For a small company You could maybe strive for being better than this. You brought big marketing bollocks to the small bike business realm.

I am genuinely disgusted with myself for involving in yet another discussion about it and I really promise to never do it again. It is entirely pointless.
  • 7 0
 @WAKIdesigns: troll fed, fat and unleashed!! Our work is done
(Reaches for popcorn like MJ)
  • 1 0
 @alexsin:
I know. It was a joke
  • 2 1
 @WAKIdesigns:

mic drop

"....leaves stage...."

Pinkbike Gold
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns: All you ride is switchbacks? How fun.

I'm honestly unsure if my G16 MOJO Edition handles switchbacks, both up and down any worse than my OG Surface 29, Norco Range or SC V10C.

Oh and it'll climb any single track trail my wimpy legs and lungs will allow it to
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: "Anything can be climbed on a fireroad. Anything." eh no. I have a few bikes that had auto wheelie. So no.
  • 1 0
 @polebicycles: if waki can get a flight can I demo your dj frame if I troll enough?
  • 1 0
 @loganflores: if they truly finance that foul mouth bs troll, pole cycles will not see a penny of mine.
  • 2 1
 @Keit: Hey Knight Keit, come back to may lair when you are higher level. It takes much more to slay a troll. Especially when you just admitted you have no clue about distributing your body weight over the bike on a climb. Takes me 405 stays and 71 seat angle to start flipping the front wheel up on a really steep climb. Anything above 415 and 72 seat angle, you can throw anything at me, I'll climb it. Heh it seems some need long geos to keep sitting on their arse while spinning some super low gear.

Ehhh.... Joeymetry... I like that term.
  • 2 1
 @WAKIdesigns: deal. You take this big hit.... www.pinkbike.com/photo/2499579
And climb any fireroad with an incline above 14%, without the front wheel leaving the ground. How much you willing to wager? Put your money where you mouth is!
  • 3 2
 @Keit: I am not sure what you are trying to prove, but you did ruined fun for me. My forehead and the palm of my hand hurt. I congratulate you.
  • 1 2
 @Keit: dude, you just made me up vote waki. You know you've lost an argument when people are up voting waki against you...
  • 1 1
 @ratedgg13: he did say:you can throw anything at me, I'll climb it. And assumed I could not. I climbed everything in the Afan Valley, Wales with this and everything in the Portes Soleil just for the down. But most of that was doing manuals. PS its a longer story but I challenged waki a number of times to a race and if he should loose the price was silence. PPS I am but human and if incorrect I wish to live and learn. I have no problem admitting I am wrong. Yet there are a number of bikes out there that did not ride as advertised. I pedalled 3 Generations of Big Hits uphill as I could not afford uplifts.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Don't know or care. Best climbing & descending bikes I've ever ridden which is all that matters to... well, "me"Smile [key phrase there is "ever ridden" since you never have:]
  • 2 1
 @WAKIdesigns: "I am genuinely disgusted with myself for involving in yet another discussion about it and I really promise to never do it again. It is entirely pointless."
One question: have you any professional or academic history in bike design. If so demonstrate!
  • 2 1
 @sewer-rat: www.instagram.com/p/BnSRqsrF0B8/?taken-by=joshhamwright

@Keit I am social media pen pal with certain people with way more professional experience than Leo and we all laugh at organic aluminium and Joeymetry. There is also no Academia for bicycle design - Professor Whatthaf*ckinov. The edge is mine. I am however deeply disappointed with you for not picking up on me for "did ruined". Anyhoo you are a damn bore. I am off.
  • 1 0
 @Keit: There is no right or wrong of bicycle design. What work for some (www.redbull.com/gb-en/tall-bikes-will-save-the-world) will definitely not work for others. The best bit is we can argue till the cows come home and still no one will be right.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: yes there is, one example: news.stanford.edu/news/2014/july/build-bike-class-071714.html
You are, as always, full of a European wide saying.
  • 1 0
 @fartymarty: You have a point. But on the other hand there is much wrong and things that just didn't work and thus incorrect. While not entirely binary there are quite a few bike designs that constitute as wrong.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: and to frame it with your masterpiece:
Oct 19, 2017 at 3:41
WAKIdesigns says:
I like you, we are very similar, however just like me you fall short with your assumptions as soon as you elaborate them further. Data shortage. I just wanted to prove to you that you cannot hurt me more than I can hurt myself. Race me? Uneducated? Trumpian? Coward? Honestly? Do people actually get intimidated when you speak to them this way or you just haven't tried it in real life? You talk like a 16 year old looking for a fight. Do you know how many "discussions" like that I have had? What the hell do you think you're doing here? Trying to outsmart a fool in his own game? You can try to get on your high horse all you want. Many many tried, I am just typing sht online, I don't give a flying f*ck what people like you think of me, I am just entertaining myself. Maybe because I got more friends than enemies by putting a stick into an anthill... journos, engineers from bike companies, sales reps, mechanics and racers on WCup race. and I will care about you?

You took a wrong turn man.

Oh and no hard feelings... honestly, you're just another pissed off dude. I can understand that. Make this a better day for yourself and ignore me.
  • 1 0
 @Keit: Wrong for some is right for others. I'm definitely a "shades of grey" kinda guy. I would only say something is "wrong" if it has caused / or causes injury to people. If it didn't work as well as it could then it just wasn't designed that well.

I guess what the Tall Bikes videos taught me was to go out and ride what ever you have and have fun. Some of their creations were crazy but they had fun trying to ride them.
  • 1 0
 @fartymarty: generally your point is quite valid. But let me give some examples to consider. Balfas were great to ride but flawed. The swing arm plates creaked and would fail. Hence an extra set came with each frame. Orange Patriots main pivot bearings at 28mm of old all failed until they upped it to 32mm. All Nicolai single pivots didn't work as intended/desired. Hence he stopped with this design. Some designs are part of an evolution and perhaps each step finds a happy rider. But we can say that some ideas are generally poorer than others. That is my point.
  • 3 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I don't have a beef with any other designer out there. I just pointed out issues on carbon process waste management issues and canceled as an example our project. You called this move "fluff marketing" but it's not. I put my money where my mouth is and we have our own CNC factory in Finland now. Actually, I share thoughts with many industry guys all the time. I listened to one of your assumed "Penpals" podcast the other day and it was exciting to see how much time he uses on Pole. Basically, he's trying to convince people that innovation regarding mountain bikes has found its peak exactly where he happens to be right know (between the short and longer bikes). This obviously isn't so, and I understand it hurts. On the other hand Pole with CNC approach and own factory can run faster product development cycles with a batch size of 1 than anyone else in the world. Probably, not even the biggest companies have this capability. You don't need to a psychic to see that more and faster iterations and testing are going to be a dominant approach. I will keep innovating and Waki's "Penpal's" keep explaining their status quo.

The good thing about our production method is that our customers are buying always the latest innovations. I could design tomorrow any geometry I like and go for a test ride in two weeks. We also can join other materials to the frame if we see that suitable. For example, we could produce a hybrid frame with carbon seat post or a downtube for example if we would see that suitable. Also, we can hire a designer to shape the frame for a special edition and even that would not require huge investments. We have doubled our sales again this year and we are looking into a new building because we have again run out of space. Our production in Finland and Taiwan is growing fast and we have a very high returning customer rate. It looks like people are resonating with our story and if we look at the newly released bikes from bigger companies, they are following our numbers from three years behind.

Our invitation still holds Wink
  • 1 0
 @cosaleo: this is a pm from Waki to me in response to me confronting his pro doping comments which quite a few rebuked; think twice about this invitation:
Oct 19, 2017 at 3:41
WAKIdesigns says:
I like you, we are very similar, however just like me you fall short with your assumptions as soon as you elaborate them further. Data shortage. I just wanted to prove to you that you cannot hurt me more than I can hurt myself. Race me? Uneducated? Trumpian? Coward? Honestly? Do people actually get intimidated when you speak to them this way or you just haven't tried it in real life? You talk like a 16 year old looking for a fight. Do you know how many "discussions" like that I have had? What the hell do you think you're doing here? Trying to outsmart a fool in his own game? You can try to get on your high horse all you want. Many many tried, I am just typing sht online, I don't give a flying f*ck what people like you think of me, I am just entertaining myself. Maybe because I got more friends than enemies by putting a stick into an anthill... journos, engineers from bike companies, sales reps, mechanics and racers on WCup race. and I will care about you?

You took a wrong turn man.

Oh and no hard feelings... honestly, you're just another pissed off dude. I can understand that. Make this a better day for yourself and ignore me.
  • 1 1
 @Keit: you need help... I wrote this because I did not want to post sht on the official. Apparently wankers like you don't get it. Considering that just after that, followed by falmmable conversation, I wrote that I would love to kick you in your face and called you a piece of sht, I really had nothing to hide. I apologize for that I lost it. But I wholeheartedly call you a piece of an idiot. Having this brain I seriously doubt you can ride and I would never ever spent a minute, even if you came to ride to Gothenburg riding with you. Any time spent with you would be a lost time, and I am sure I am not the only one who could say that about you.

f*ck off you twat. You anonyumous coward piece of a moron.
Lots of hard feelings.

Wacek Kipszak aka WAKi. Gothenburg 2018
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I think you fail to realise that we have been racing all this time already. The pen is truly mightier than the "wheel". Not only have you failed to complete this race graciously but you failed too rise to the challenge of changing your ways. I leave you with another British proverb. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. You cannot judge a bike by paper and numbers, nor a tire by a picture. And you should never threaten a man whose hand you have not shaken.

“Assumption is the mother of all f*ckups...”

― Travis Dane
  • 1 1
 @Keit: oh wait you missed a simple point, we do not have the judge, nor point of reference. So keep masturbating your own value as whoever you think you are. And keep bringing value to an online exchange of more or less intelligent slurs. Listen, you won. You are right. I was wrong about everything. Hey, do a printscreen I may edit that.
  • 1 1
 and... no hard feelings, I can't have them. Hard feelings are for sad pricks, so yeah, I'd ride with you if there was an occasion, I'd love to be on your backwheel.
  • 27 10
 i really wish there was a condensed transcript of this. Have zero interest and time to watch a long video when I could read in 90 seconds. But alas, the millenials of today hate reading...

Want to ride one of these. I find Leo annoying and I don’t buy everything hes selling but he build a bike company not me.

Fast people will rip on it. Slow people with no skill will tell themselves they love it while secretly hating it.
  • 9 2
 "Fast people will rip on it. Slow people with no skill will tell themselves they love it while secretly hating it." This is a big truth my friend! Less aggressive bikes suit average riders (like me) better but in most cases we don't buy just a bike but the expectation of what the bike could do if ridden appropriately! And to be fair some will further evolve as riders and others will remain in their comfort zone and most probably secretly hate the bike..
  • 14 2
 www.forbes.com/sites/neilhowe/2017/01/16/millennials-a-generation-of-page-turners/#4b5c3a219786

Millennials actually read more but it just feels good to blame millennials for all your problems.
  • 1 3
 @Zachmozach: Read "A BOOK" in the past year? I read the entire Wheel Of Time Series in 9 months. For the second time.....a few years back.

My 4th grader is reading at a 7th-grade level currently.
  • 14 0
 @wibblywobbly Let's ride someday so you can meet me. I have opinions, and probably that annoys if we do not share the same views. Hit me a private message, and I'll try to organize a demo for you in the future.

"Fast people will rip on it. Slow people with no skill will tell themselves they love it while secretly hating it." We have quite a lot of customers who find the long geometry easy. And they are beginners. For a beginner the bike teaches the right riding stance and moving from a big bike to a small bike is not very easy. It's the same feeling when you hop from a DH bike to a BMX.

I think @trails801 "Loam Ranger" is one of the people who doesn't refer to himself as a pinner.

The only problem is people who have been riding their bikes for ten years hanging on the rear wheel, and they keep trying the same thing on a long bike. This "hanging" riding stance is not efficient even for traditional bikes.
  • 20 3
 Here's an idea @mikekazimer @pinkbike when you do video like this, post a transcript...nobody likes to (or they can't cuz work) watch videos of interviews.
  • 10 1
 Or understand easily english. I do better the English when it are write but when it speaking. Don't you.
  • 11 7
 @diego-b, are you volunteering to transcribe it?
  • 14 0
 @mikekazimer: There's an app for that...https://www.imore.com/best-apps-transcribing-voice-text
BTW saw these bikes in Whistler and was itching to try one
  • 15 1
 You could fit 3 full size water bottles in that front triangle! What will we complain about now???
  • 2 1
 Waterbottle standards. Boost ++ 130mm water bottle standard for life!
  • 5 0
 Four!
  • 6 1
 Can only fit 3 water bottles. I'd say that's a fail. Bikes should have a minimum of 7 bottle mounts before I would even consider them rideable
  • 10 0
 I haven't had a chance to ride a Machine, but I picked up the Evolink 140 earlier this summer (V1.3, part of the first production release) and have had a chance to put a couple hundred miles of singletrack on it. I'm by no means a "pinner", but I've been riding for 25+ years. My previous ride was a '12 SB-66. Great bike in its own right, but certainly outdated.
My interest in the evolink was the steep seat tube and the slack head tube. The idea of putting the wheel way out in front as a way to prevent OTB scenarios just made sense to me.
My first ride was a bit meh. I'm not sure if it was the slack head tube (wheel flop prone) or the larger wheels (stepping from 25 years of 26" wheels!), but the whole ride felt weird. That was until I started climbing. seriously, it really does climb like some sort of magic. even on the loose stuff, traction just seems to be always there. And then I got done with my ride- 12 PRs on a trail I ride pretty regularly. I live in the northeast of US, where the trails are rolling hills of roots and rocks. The bike is actually quite nimble around tight switchbacks, although you need to give come at them pretty aggressively for it to work.
Yes, the ride is a bit hard to manual. But I handed it to a friend who can manual well and he popped the front end up on the first try. So definitely doable.
Yeah its heavy, which I notice when I pick the bike up. But on the trail, I've sort of forgotten it. Current build weighs in around 32lbs with trail tires (Ardent/Ikon) and carbon wheels/cranks.
Is it going to miraculously make you a better rider? No. But I find myself more comfortable on the scary stuff and my fear of OTBing has definitely gone away, enabling me to progress where other rides wouldn't.
Yes, its not the Machine, but the philosophy is there and I can say this is my favorite bike so far.
  • 1 0
 Thank you for your review Blartonius, that's a great honest review from a fellow rider. Strong interest in this bike and those like it.
  • 17 4
 Looks fantastic.
  • 13 38
flag cunning-linguist (Aug 29, 2018 at 11:33) (Below Threshold)
 Apart from the seat angle! Surely you’d sort that out before taking photos of the sodding thing! Even XC climbing set ups aren’t that stupid. Looks careless, like they bolted it on and went, oh sod it.
  • 24 6
 @cunning-linguist: If you don't like it don't look at it. Some of us actually ride our bikes and our preferences may not matches yours. When you own your bike company you can have media pictures of your saddle nose up your ass if that's what your prefer.
  • 4 2
 @cunning-linguist: haha, you should try it, once you run it nose down you wont go back. Most certainly intentional for the pic
  • 5 2
 @cunning-linguist: They bolted it up in that position on purpose. The steep seat angle coupled with the long front end and that saddle angle make for a super efficient climbing position.
  • 2 4
 @SintraFreeride: Now we need a dropper post that rolls the saddle angle back when you lower the post for descending!
  • 9 0
 I think Specialized makes one that does exactly that.
  • 7 0
 @number44: Specialized makes one already its called the WU. Haven't tried one, so no comment.
  • 2 0
 @cunning-linguist: f*ck no.. Mine his dipped like this and it changes the climbing game!
  • 2 0
 @fatalityBMX: love it like that.. I'll never go back
  • 5 0
 @Beez177: Well dip me in Slick Honey! What'll they think of next, an electronic shock?
  • 1 0
 @number44:
This would be brilliant. Where the saddle was rolled forward only in the highest position. I have had this same thought out riding so many times
  • 3 7
flag WAKIdesigns (Aug 30, 2018 at 3:37) (Below Threshold)
 @SintraFreeride: super efficient, huh, I bet Leo has a post doc in that. It puts you in a comfortable position and let’s leave it there. Roadies have the most efficient climbing positions and their seat angles are around 72-73.
  • 3 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Have you tried it? As for road bikes don't get me started, their geometry is a joke! Limited by the UCI there has been no evolution! Road bikes climb well because they are light end of story!
  • 9 1
 @WAKIdesigns: " Roadies have the most efficient climbing positions and their seat angles are around 72-73" Based on what research?

Logic says that you have more power when your pelvis is extended so that you can use your glutes. Roadies are fighting aerodynamics. If you look at road bikes that are not controlled by UCI, they have a lot steeper seat tube angles for better muscle usage and also they allow better aerodynamics.
  • 8 0
 @polebicycles: way to call out this idiot, talks out his ass more than anyone on the web! Bike looks savage btw!
  • 1 2
 @WAKIdesigns: roadies are a very conservative bunch and rely on century old myths and not on scientific facts. They only recently realized that tire volume wasn't a detriment to rolling resistance.

I know it I have been a roadie for years ( or rather I was a repressed mtber living in a roadie world).
  • 2 0
 @opignonlibre: easy. Tire volume doesn't impact rolling resistance MUCH, but it does impact it. Going from a 1" tire to a 3" tire would be an impact on rolling resistance. Furthermore, many are now using this line of thinking to support the idea that a "wide" knobby tire can roll just as fast as a slick or an XC tire, which is simply not true. Rolling resistance is impacted by width (marginally so), but more so by tread design, compound and tire pressure.

The body geometry debate surrounding seat tube angles is still happening, but Leo is right, it is interesting how the geometry of bikes changes drastically outside of those regulated by UCI. The question of course is why we don't see more consumer road bikes with steeper STAs. You'd think only race bikes would adhere to UCI rules, but gravel bikes for example still mimic those more traditional angles.
  • 3 2
 @polebicycles:

Ever seen a record on extended climbs on a steep seated aero TT machine?

Me neither...


Back to the classroom

Enjoy your success but please keep to your talents and knock off the BS
  • 2 0
 @wildedge586: When the UCI stops limiting road geometry then and only then will see what the best road bike geometry will be.
  • 3 0
 @PHeller: Roadies are a conservative bunch so it would be hard to sell a non UCI geometry road bike even if it was better. The customer would be but so and so still rides with a 73º HA so that MUST be better...
  • 2 0
 @polebicycles: Agree. About UCI: they started to constrain geometries after the tuck position used by Obree and Moser, see www.cyclingweekly.com/news/latest-news/hour-record-the-tangled-history-of-an-iconic-feat-166791
  • 9 2
 A wait from May to August is hardly a long time. They have clearly been overwhelmed by orders, and are trying to adapt. If you don't want to wait for a smaller company to get their frames made, then there are plenty of mass produced companies for you to spend your money on. Posting your annoyance on their instagram account, then bleating further on here is bang out of order. This is a video interview about their bike and what it's like to run a company, Instagram is their place, and i assume Pole owners,' to post snaps, not places for you to vent your annoyance even more, especially as, whether you are meaning to or not, it can come across to others that you are trying to influence others not to buy a Pole. You work, too, huh? Care to tell us what line of work you are in, the company name? give people the opportunity to try and destroy them on instagram and other social media? I think not. Instead of being a keyboard warrior, if you look at Pole Bicycles' Website, then click on 'Contact us' there is a phone number. You could have rang it. Just a thought.
  • 7 0
 When anyone tried to do something progressive and different some will always be scornful and dismissive. However i think it would be wise to consider that Leo has brought a new bike company into existence, developed a concept with a "traditionally" manufactured bike (Evo Link) and now has expanded on that development with a bike using new (to the bike industry) construction techniques. I really don't get the hate?

The market has plenty of harmonious designs from the usually suspects, someone providing a real choice should be applauded.

Its abit disappointing that production of the Machine was delayed, but its a new to market product and if you adopt early, then i think its realistic to expect teething issues. If Pole can combine what looks like a great product with awesome customer experiences then i think they'll get a huge following and differentiate themselves from the big brands.

Best of luck.
  • 7 1
 I rode that bike for a number of days in Whistler and it's pretty incredible. Video review is on its way but you can see a vid of me riding one down Top Of The World here: youtu.be/mKEst-FlLNs
  • 5 0
 I bought a Pole Evolink 150 in february. Great bike. You must ride for a couple of hours, without bias. Their geometry is already where the others, slowly, seem to point to. And my experience with their customer service has been very good.
  • 5 0
 Hi! Just some input. Haven't read everything. I used to own a giant reign advanced 1 2016 that I raced Enduro with. At the same time I hade a Pole evolink 110, that's 110 mm of travel in the rear. I race in the national Enduro series in Sweden and came in at top 10 last year. So I'm not a horrible rider. With that said, I ended up selling the reign because I was faster on the Pole. Now I have ordered the Machine and I can't wait until it arrives. It's been delayed two times now and that's shit. But The support has been good, maybe not superb but good, and I understand that. But its going to be worth it, because I know this bike is going to rip the f*#k out of everything!! Go check out the Pole bicycle riders group on Facebook! ????
  • 5 0
 As a new Pole owner I feel like I have something to offer in the conversation. I rode the Pole Machine and Evolink 140 bikes for an entire afternoon at Mulberry gap GA on the first stop of the Pole US Demo Tour back in May. That was the single best demo experience I've ever had! Dan & Liz were amazing hosts and made every effort to set up the bikes to everyone's liking. We rode 22 miles and climbed/descended 2700 ft over the course of the afternoon. Those bikes out climbed, out descended and simply "out-funned" any bike I'd ever ridden, period! I had been shopping for a new bike and demo'ing bikes for a couple years and ridden some great bikes like the Santa Cruz Bronson, 5010 and Nomad, Orbea Rallon 29, YT Capra 27.5, etc. and the Pole bikes were flat out the best so... I ordered the Evolink 140 29 EN build. I had challenges with my order having experienced delays in communications and delivery BUT each time I reached out for an answer I did receive an answer and yes it took a bit longer than I would have liked. That being said I knew that any other bike was going to be a lesser bike to me so I stayed the course and waited it out. I now have the bike and really think the Pole bikes aren't just different but actually a revolutionary approach to both geometry and construction.
As for Leo riding, posting and promoting the brand I think it's hard to fault that. The company has to serve a lot of functions and for me Leo doesn't need to be assembling bikes. He is very active online and I see him communicating with people about all kinds of technical issues even going as far as posting a video to help people understand the bikes functions. I see a brand that has created a product so superior that they weren't ready for the response they got... good for them and kudos on working to be your best! My advice is if you're waiting on a Pole bike, try to be patient. If you've never ridden one, go do it and if you're lucky enough to own one go have a blastSmile
  • 1 0
 Thanks @manco , that's good feedback.
  • 9 3
 Very Nice, novel and looks to be a blast. Might have to try a more obtainable Evolink, non machined bike! Props to them for staying with an Alloy frame!
  • 11 7
 Ironically, Leo said in a finnish Facebook group yesterday that they are planning a carbon frame after all Smile

Really intrigued to see the explanation behind it, and how it is suddenly not against their values, as previously when he launched Machine, he said reason why they went with that and not with carbon was that it is not eco-friendly, is destroying our planet, is against their values etc.

I would be surprised if they are able to produce carbon frames in Finland, and by doing that, sign it off with that eco-marketing bullshit.
  • 5 3
 @seccitaj: That "ocean landfill" story came out in the moment when this bike was already 95% finished and ready for the production. It was just pure and simple guerrilla marketing. Nothing more.

Some "never heard" boutique brand maybe can afford themselves the to cnc their bikes, but as soon as they start to sell more than 11 bikes/month they will have start to make plastic ones. In Taiwan most probably.
  • 4 1
 @pakleni: Apparently the post I was referring was old, it was just somehow at the top of the timeline. So my bad, i stand corrected – they are not actively designing / planning carbon frame Razz
  • 2 1
 Alloy is not the shining light that it’s made out to be. Carbon fibre is pretty filthy, but so too is the extraction and creation process behind aluminium.
  • 3 0
 @dubod22: By actually giving a sh** and talking about it, Pole is engaging a discussion that we wouldn't be having otherwise. We can complain all we want on the environmental cost of mining bauxite and the energy needed to turn it into Aluminium but at least we're talking about it. No one said their solution is perfect, but at least they're trying to be better.
  • 11 0
 @seccitaj: "Ironically, Leo said in a finnish Facebook group yesterday that they are planning a carbon frame after all Smile "

No, I didn't.Take a look at the date on the Facebook post. It's dated 2015 and someone just started commenting on it again.
  • 11 4
 Nice to see more mainstream manufacturers jumping on the longer slacker program thanks to Pole and Geometron.
  • 1 5
flag xeren (Aug 29, 2018 at 13:32) (Below Threshold)
 i highly doubt pole is influencing them. it's more likely bigger brands like kona, transition, etc, influencing the more conservative manufacturers
  • 4 0
 @xeren: but who influenced Kona and Transition?
  • 4 1
 @xeren: Transition consulted Chris Porter (geometron)
  • 1 0
 @Loamhuck: only thing i've ever heard is that transition started looking into different fork offsets after hearing porter was doing so. is there more to it than that?
  • 9 1
 Not sure I'm man enough to ride a pole.
  • 1 0
 Don't sell yourself short. Throw a leg over that Pole and give it a go.
  • 1 0
 Hell throw three legs over the Pole. Tripod it up.
  • 5 1
 I get sick of people whining about things they know nothing about! I haven't seen or heard a single criticism from someone who's actually ridden the Pole bikes, (other than customer service issues and Leo's addressing that head-on unlike most companies). Seems strange that the only detractors are "guessing" at everything... how they ride, how the geo works, how the build process works & it's affect on the environment (as if any of you have ever questioned the eco-conscious motives of any other bike company).
Regarding the Evolink 140 29;
Pinkbike review 4.5 Stars
BikeRadar: 4.5 Stars
Enduro-mtb: Strengths: Super-smooth, Incredibly balanced handling, First-rate rear end - Weaknesses: Needs muscle to manual
Regarding the Machine;
BikeRadar: "The long geometry may not be for everyone, but if it suits you, the Machine is frankly superb. Both uphill and down it makes riding fast easy. But they say when it comes to riding bikes, it does not get easier, you just go faster!"
Enduro-mtb: "The Pole Machine is a real superbike. Similar to a supercar, the faster you ride, the better it gets. It offers an unprecedented degree of stability and control. It takes the horror out of the scariest trails without feeling sedate or undefined on flat sections. Oh, and there’s the look and the manufacturing process: this bike is a one-of-kind masterpiece!"

Any detractors who've actually ridden the bikes...
  • 3 0
 I’ve pushed the button on the Evo Link 158, Pole have been really helpful, there was a delay but they were upfront and open about it so that’s cool. I think you need to realise just how small the company is, and they’ve been caught out by the demand and contact I think and are playing catch up!

The Facebook group is really good, lots of contact from Leo and the Pole team so that’s worth a look.
  • 3 0
 To be honest, the first time I heard "Pole Machine" I thought of Mr. Garrison's IT... Bahaha!

Jokes aside, I'm pretty sure every ME with a CNC background has dreamed of machining a full bike frame from billet. To see one in the flesh, so well executed, is inspiring and also refreshing for the bike industry.
  • 6 1
 I like this guy already, if I hit jackpot I'll probably buy of those machines Smile
  • 4 2
 Amazing bike and I really wish them all the luck but I can’t help but think the first wave of buyers are kind of like guinea pigs. As the technology and bikes are very new and not massively tested.

Really hope it works out and I would to try / afford one
  • 6 0
 I love my machine... it was worth the waiting time... Smile
  • 2 0
 what an amazing company and my evolink 140 29 is hard to beat. check out their facebook groupe for support! - im just selling my V10 because im not faster on it!! - i guess it is because it feel much to small, after receiving my evolink Pole. still figuering out a good suspension tune for me (im 235lbs) but everything else is so easy with this bike. no hassel, pure Pleasure
  • 2 0
 Hello, I am the proud owner of one pole evolink158 and all I can say it's that the bike it's really good, it climbs better than every thing I ever tried, and on the downwills it's stable and super fast. Tested and you Will be suprised how good the slacker and longer really rides. It may take some years but I think the industry Will follow this concept.
  • 6 1
 When do we get the review??
  • 11 2
 They are shipping bikes to paying customers - ie the people who had faith in them. Reviews bikes for media outlets will probably follow that.
  • 14 1
 @nouseforaname, exactly. We have one on the way, but it's still going to take some time before we get a long term review finished.
  • 10 3
 @mikekazimer: Amazing how much people expect out of small companies.
  • 4 2
 Yea! Everyone is talking about this bike. So lets put a rider on it and get some feedback.
  • 8 0
 @trails801: I had four days of riding on it in Whistler and I'm putting a vid together for my channel soon (The Loam Ranger is the channel name).
  • 1 1
 @nouseforaname: @mikekazimer: With great power comes great responsibility!
  • 3 0
 A guy here in CT has the first one built. He's been setting some KOM's both up and down. He loves it. Of course he's fast af regardless of bike...
  • 1 0
 Somebody posted up a pic of theirs on PB the other day, maybe the All Mountain thread?
  • 5 1
 Can't wait for the review! Also would love to hear more from Mr. Kokkonen about the extremes of geometry.
  • 4 0
 @polebicycles when will the downhill bike be available for purchase???? Why did it get taken off the world cup circuit?
  • 2 1
 They just told there were "some issues" with Isak's prototype before going radio silent on the thing. So no one knows what's up..
  • 4 0
 Man that bike looked so good!!!
  • 13 1
 Hello! At the moment our main focus is to deliver all Machine orders to our customers. For the same reason, media does not have test bikes yet. The reason why you have not seen the DH bike in the Downhill circuit is that one of the prototype DH frames failed during the Isaks practice in Leogang. We did not have time to develop a new version because our production was already late and our customers were waiting for their prepaid frames. We decided to postpone the development and Isak continued with another bike from the market. The failure of the DH frame taught us a lot about the structure and we implemented the update to the Machine right away. We are continuing the DH project at the moment and next year the product will be ready.
  • 2 0
 @polebicycles: Thank you so much for the information...! Really great to hear insight on a personal level like that. Gonna try to purchase the DH rig within 2 years of its release hopefully... Time to start saving!
  • 2 1
 I love everything about this bike. But like many people I have a ton of unanswered questions. I would love to see a destructive testing video similar to the one Santa Cruz did a few years ago. That video cemented many peoples' ideas about carbon strength. To see how the Machine holds up to various tests compared to a tradition tube-welded Evolink or a carbon bike would be incredibly telling. Showing just how tough and resilient this bike is would quell any comments about self-taught engineering especially where the head tube seam is.
  • 8 0
 Refer to my another answer.

On a self-taught engineer: I have a lot of help. One of the biggest is the CAD simulation software. Also, I have a lot of engineers working around me if there is something I need to know.

If you just follow our Instagram and Facebook, you see me personally testing the bikes. I would not be here if I would take huge risks. We have investors and a board and we have a real company construction so that we are trying to minimize risks.

I hope I answered your questions.
  • 1 0
 I got a chance to swing a leg over these and the Evolink 140 at sea otter. While I did not get a long ride, I was very impressed, especially in the Evolink 140. I was told by the reps there that I should contact them to set up a demo day with my riding group. When I emailed customer service with a question about demoing I recived a canned response that it may take a bit to get back to me. No biggie, small company. Three days later, nothing, I sent a reminder. One month later I sent another reminder, nothing. It is almost two months since I asked the question and not even a sorry no demos in the US. Not even a brush off email. I was really hoping to get some more seat time and possibly buy one this Year. Maybe in a couple of years they will have a bigger presence in the US and I can look at one on the next go around.
  • 1 0
 Not surprised (bummed though) but no response to this either.
  • 3 1
 It looks awesome but kind of not awesome at the same time. I can't make up my mind on the looks but I suppose it's how it rides that matters.
  • 4 2
 Extrapolating from the reach and stem length of my current frame and going by Leo's sizing recommendations, my Large Pole would need a -15mm stem.
  • 2 1
 Have you owned a longer bike, switched back to shorter (what you have now) and are totally confident in your current sizing? If not, i would consider trying. Many people are positively surprised when upsizing...
  • 3 2
 @hirvi: I can see how owning one might change my response, but I own a Large 5010.2, 445mm reach, 50mm stem no spacers, 800mm/35mm rise bar. Flat saddle is level and well forward on its rails due to slack actual seattube of this frame. At 183cm tall, I'm at the upper limit for the size, but bike jumps and corners easily. Will get a Medium Jekyll 27.5 next. It has 3mm more reach but 30mm more wheelbase, 420mm stays and 165mm travel. Rode a Firebird 27.5 for a few hours at 1200mm wheelbase. Even size Medium was a bit of a slug, though I can see how it would be fun in bike park. Barelli can hardly make a Meta 29 look fun, so these ultralong bikes might as well be on another planet. Why not ride a DH bike with a three-position shock and a wide range cassette? At least Pole ESTA and STA are comparable, but these bikes cannot be fun. Show/link me a video. --Dennis Enarson is 188cm and rides 1m wheelbase, so I can't be completely crazy.
  • 1 0
 @ceecee: I am 180cm tall. My Pole Evolink 176 is 1340mm long with a 520mm reach and a 20mm stem, 460mm chainstays. I run a 20x770mm bar. I love it! It climbs anything so long as I have a low enough gear i.e. loads of traction sans wheelying. Going DH it is on another level whether fast or slow or tight. And on flat it works fine. Sure it isn't the manual king but I can still throw it around just fine.
By comparison when I get on my 445mm reach work bike with 50mm stem and 1280mm wheelbase and 445mm chainstays it feels super squirrely at speed. It also feels like I am about to go over the bars ever time I hit a big hole going DH.
Try a longer bike before buying a new bike you might just be surprised. Plus you can always go longer reach and reduce your stem length so it doesn't feel as long.
  • 1 1
 Is your work bike a long geometron? Still not small numbers by today's standards! @SintraFreeride:
  • 1 0
 @Enduroist: No my work bike is a Scott Gambler which has adjustable geometry. I slacken the bike out -2º and put the chainstays in the longest setting to get more stability. It isn't ideal as the head angle is too slack at around 61-62º which makes weighing the front hard on less steep terrain even with the long 50mm stem. I did lower the front end a bit to compensate but it still isn't perfect. If the reach was longer then I would have stuck with the stock head angle. I work at Chatel bikepark so my work bike is used only on DH trails.
I use my Evolink everywhere. My previous personal bike had the following geo:
HA 63º
WB 1225mm
Reach: 450mm
Chainstays: 426mm
It worked reasonably well. The short chainstays made it easier to manual but provided less grip on the rear tire and made the back end jump around on rough terrain. The reach required a rearward riding position to prevent going over the bars and add stability. The seat angle was too slack and made climbing hard work.
So even though I technically went up 3 sizes in frames from an Specialized L to a Pole L I feel that the Evolink is the right fit. It works better for the type of riding I do and has no real downsides in my opinion. If I were to nitpick then perhaps I'd like to have adjustable chainstays as I'd like to try ~440mm.
  • 1 0
 Some job! That place is unreal, I rode it in July. the figures you first mentioned sounded identical to my nicolai, I guess the reach plays a big part in stability and weighting. I agree, i'd like to shorten the chainstays to 440 on the geometron, she's a mission to manual. And I think it'd be more fun@SintraFreeride:
  • 1 0
 @Enduroist: Out of curiosity I would like to test out a geometron because it has shorter chainstays than my bike. They are 445mm.
  • 2 0
 @ceecee I would reserve judgment until you ride one of these new super steep STA bikes. That forward shift turns all of your customary numbers upside down. In practice those huge reach numbers on the Pole don't actually fit as big as they sound.
  • 4 1
 I'd definitely give this thing a try. Is there a way to try this somewhere in France?
  • 5 0
 Fast suspension has one of our EVOLINK's
  • 2 0
 @polebicycles: thanks, I'll check
  • 4 1
 Thing is of such stature it makes 29 wheels look like 26’s. Lol
Can’t wait to read a long term review!
  • 9 5
 Looks like he gave up when it was time to sculpt the top of the seat tube
  • 4 0
 Not really. It took quite a long time to figure this method out. The bonded tube is the most efficient way of implementing a good seat tube on a machined frame.
  • 4 0
 First bike to ever make 29" wheels look small...
  • 4 1
 I googled " Pole Machine" and the young lady riding it looked more than happy with her new toy.
  • 1 1
 @polebicycles You create beautiful and well engineered mountain bikes. But as a good French, I have to say you there is a but...... A missing feature. Why sticking to conventional transmission?
Your bikes deserve an effigear gearbox.
And the loop will be looped ????
  • 4 1
 someone please reposition that front maxle!! my OCD is killing me!
  • 3 27
flag cunning-linguist (Aug 29, 2018 at 11:33) (Below Threshold)
 Seat angle?
  • 4 1
 @cunning-linguist: I think it is 79, I have the 158 evo and it is 79. Looks strange but man does it climb well for a big bike.
  • 19 5
 @cunning-linguist: are you going to bore everybody by just writing 'seat angle' on every positive comment?

We get it, you don't like the seat angle, very constructive.
  • 3 4
 @justanotherusername: I think he's referring to the saddle pointed down at the front axle... which looks pretty dorky, let's be honest.
  • 4 12
flag cunning-linguist (Aug 29, 2018 at 12:41) (Below Threshold)
 @scottzg: yep!
  • 3 19
flag cunning-linguist (Aug 29, 2018 at 12:42) (Below Threshold)
 @justanotherusername: sand in your vagina?
  • 4 3
 If you don't like it don't look at it. Some of us actually ride our bikes and our preferences may not matches yours. When you own your bike company you can have media pictures of your maxle up your ass if that's what your prefer.
  • 2 1
 @cunning-linguist: pot, kettle, mr angry.
  • 4 1
 any flicks around of the two halves before put together?
  • 1 0
 Actually in the article about Pole canceling their carbon project (back when there was no word out yet on the CNC machined bike) you could see a picture of the inside of the frame. I was confused because I thought it was a mold but there were ribs and bolt holes inside. So these would be in the way, no clue how they would solve that. But apparently it wasn't a mold. It was the inside of a half frame.
  • 7 5
 If he makes one out of bamboo i'm sold!
  • 2 1
 You can attend a "make your own bamboo bike" workshop and build your own Smile . For most of us with limited equipment, it may probably be the more accessible material to make a bike out of. Except for paper and cardboard of course. But I still need to see someone make a proper mountainbike out of that. Or well, be the first. Try to get some help and advice from Izhar Gafni and you may actually succeed.
  • 6 3
 wood you really be?
  • 4 2
 Be great to see a future model with a Pivot gearbox.
  • 2 1
 *pinion
*effigear
  • 1 0
 ...and remember, every time you ride your bike, your company is suffering, shame on you.
  • 1 0
 and you happily waited for an Unno, that is handmade in carbon, but wouldn't wait for a Pole? WTF.
  • 2 1
 I waited 5 days for the Unno
  • 1 0
 Can you explain the name "pole"? Does it mean something in Finnish? Or some sort of abbreviation?
  • 1 1
 Pole... It's like a Troll that's gone Heavy Metal~!
  • 2 0
 Can't wait for the carbon version to come out.
  • 1 3
 Pretty funky looking bike.
I'm not entirely sure it will age well (aesthetically).
When I first looked at it, I thought it looked great. The more that I look at it however, it seems dated. Time will tell. (just an opinion)
  • 8 8
 I still don't see the advantage to a fully CNC'd frame. The evolink makes more sense.
  • 22 2
 Aside from the ability to manipulate wall thickness anywhere in the bike to obtain a certain compliance, strength etc. As well as the lack of welding/heat treating for consistent properties of the aluminum throughout the entire bike you mean?
  • 3 1
 @Tmackstab: also a more consistent "flex" in the frame instead of having harder "ridges" at the welds throughout. That probably explains the pop out of the corners.
  • 11 13
 @Tmackstab: Yes, but we are talking about a bicycle here. The pros of this manufacturing method are so superficial when we consider the application at hand. This isn't an airplane we are making, we don't need this level of precision, or have such worries for consistent properties, its a bike your going to trash and replace in 4 years when the next standard / advantage comes out. So why dump so much into a frame for so little advantage???

Besides, when was the last time you had an issue with a quality manufactured welded frame. I am certain any of us would have just as much fun on an Evolink, if you think not, then poles marketing has certainly done its job. End of the day, they found a niche to make something different and capitalize. Everyone knows this thing is what dreams are made of, but in practicality this is hilariously overkill.

#dentistbike
  • 7 3
 @Tmackstab: Traditional alloy bikes use butted tubes to change wall thickness.
  • 6 3
 @SnowshoeRider4Life: Shit you will never notice with a 2.6" tire and 160mm travel.
  • 6 2
 @BoneDog: you said you didn't see the advantage of a cnc to which I listed the advantages.
@parallaxid: yes this true but butted tubes are thicker at the ends. Machining a frame allows the manufacturer to add or remove material from anywhere in the frame to change ride quality and weight. It essentially gives the builder the same freedoms that a carbon frame gives.
  • 5 4
 Welds are stress risers that this bike doesn't have.
  • 14 2
 CNC allows you to fabricate the bike in 2 pieces and glue/bolt the frame pieces together. This is essential for 7075 aluminum, as it cannot be welded. 7075 aluminum offers many advantages over traditional 6061 and 7005 aluminum alloys, with strength and stiffness on par with steel, better weight and longer fatigue life. Seems like a novel, aesthetically interesting and all around kick-ass application when you are trying to find an alternative to carbon.
  • 10 14
flag mountain-life (Aug 29, 2018 at 12:37) (Below Threshold)
 @BoneDog: We need guys like Leo to innovate because big companies can't do it. Yeti and Santa Cruz make bikes for dentists, this guy is a real rider and he as some good ideas that are going to benefit everyone who rides.
  • 5 4
 @mountain-life: People still make bikes out of steel you know, there just as fun... Is it really innovation or is it marketing finding a new way to sell you something you never needed. Remember when bikes where $5000 for top level rigs in 2005.. guess what, same amount of material, and less effort to product now, but with a price tag tripled of what is was.

The bike industry is now more profitable then ever for the big brands. We let it happen, and we gave in so unsuspectingly. Check any other sports or industry, bang for your buck, bikes are up there!!! holy smokes.
  • 4 1
 Seems like the value it adds is minimal while the complication and waste is huge. Sure, they recycle the stuff that is taken off in machining, but recycling isn't energy neutral. I think for an XC bike the potential for weight savings are a big deal, but for an aggressive bike I feel like regular old welding works just fine. I was having to really man-handle my Process 111 on some stupid tight switchbacks yesterday, which is pretty long for a normal bike, so can't imagine this. Seeing the bike is impressive, though. Show standout at Sea Otter. Still appreciate novel approaches to things, just not something I'd invest in.
  • 7 2
 @BoneDog: Dude come on this is a niche boutique brand bike built in a way that no other manufacturer will bother with. No need to be angry at this. You call it a Dentist bike which is totally true. Dentists went to years and years of school and worked hard to get where they're at, why can't they buy expensive stuff?
  • 2 5
 @BoneDog: maybe, maybe not. but f*ck a 2.6. not necessary.
  • 2 1
 @mountain-life: have you even seen santa cruz's price points? shit most of them are better than everyone elses.
  • 2 1
 @BoneDog: I have broken every frame I have had in 3 years or less except the ones I sold off early. And it's not just the frame you need to replace; you always end up with new parts due to standards and all that. I most certainly would try this had I not my steel beauty with my own geometry. But each to their own.
  • 2 1
 @SnowshoeRider4Life: EWS average tires size is 2.4~2.5
  • 8 1
 @Tmackstab: @BoneDog I'd go on to add that it is far from a "Dentist Bike". The Trail build kit includes Sram GX Eagle, Code brakes, RS Lyrik fork, DT Swiss wheels and comes in at ~$5,475 complete. That seems to be fairly reasonable compared to a lot of mid-tier builds on the market right now.
  • 8 1
 @KJP1230: Absolutely, I'd take this over carbon any day. Thanks for bringing some facts to the party!
  • 5 0
 There is also the theoretical possibility of manufacturing the frames in multiple places so that frames don’t have to ship as far. Send the CNC code of the latest design to your production facility and manufacture locally.
  • 2 0
 @BoneDog: dude, since 2005 top end everything has doubled in price. Even god-damned sneakers.
  • 1 0
 @alexsin: open source frames! Yeehaw!!
  • 6 0
 @BoneDog:

holy sht bonedogsnharmony, you’re no fun. A niche brand building a gorgeous cnc frame with wokeAF geo. I think it’s awesome. 10/10 would buy if I were a dentist who lived at the top of mount 7. Nice to see some overkill every now and then.
  • 3 0
 @WasatchEnduro: right?! Like what's the point of becoming a Dentist if there's nothing like this bike to spend your money on?
  • 2 1
 @BoneDog: that will be because ews racers only ride what their sponsor makes
  • 4 0
 @BoneDog: Bikes are stupid expensive, and it is a shame...but don't blame Pole. As you mentioned its the big brands making plastic bikes who are the greedy bastards.

In 2005 you could get a fancy 4x4 4 door diesel rig for $35k. In 2018 the new version of that pickup is well over $60k. If the masses play the consumerism games, the corporations get really fat pockets.

Don't like it? Don't buy it!
  • 5 3
 Sweet bike
  • 3 4
 meant to up vote Smile
  • 3 2
 Love The Macine Story... Classic shirtless fat man comedy!
  • 3 2
 $3500EU for a frame!! Trump tariff are fierce!
  • 2 0
 Maybe Trump tariffs are fierce. If they are applied to this bike it will be even more expensive. I'm in the EU and I would have to pay the same (3000 euros ex tax) for this.
  • 1 0
 Questions marks not supposed to be there..
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer where can i get those trailforks socks?!
  • 2 2
 So the Pole is not from Poland. Right. Should have called it the Fin.
  • 7 0
 It's the Finnish 2nd person imperative for the verb to pedal.
  • 4 0
 @Hockerz Pole has two syllables. Po-le. It is Finnish dialect and it means to pedal as @ZappBrannigan said.
  • 4 4
 What the heck is going on with that seatpost?
It looks terrible
  • 1 1
 Becase #seatpostsmatter ...... jokers
  • 1 0
 Build a Titanium one!
  • 1 0
 PRDesaster!
  • 5 5
 No ocean fill?
  • 10 3
 Nah, when it breaks you can make calipers, stems, cranks and loads of other stuff from your next bike from cutting it up. Super economical!
  • 2 0
 Anyone else listen to the downtime podcast with Cesar Rojo? They spend a bit of time talking about rim/rear end rigidity and how it affects tire deformation and cornering.

My armchair engineering senses make me think this is one reason why Pole is experiencing different cornering feel from the different manufacturing methods?
  • 4 5
 Anyone else terrified by the ‘self taught engineer’ comment?
  • 6 0
 Not really.
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