Video: Privateer Bikes Does Timed Testing On Their 161 Prototype in Morzine

Dec 4, 2019
by PrivateerBikes  
Views: 6,328    Faves: 11    Comments: 0

Press Release: Privateer Bikes

Rider & Photography // Liam Saint & Sharpography

First seen at Eurobike 2019, we had been quietly working away for 18 months already. Privateer bikes was founded on the idea of creating a bike that fits the needs and demands of it’s namesake - Progressive race ready geometry combined with rider focused features, ensures the 161 can handle season’s worth of abuse. With our main testing focused around top 20 EWS rider Matt Stuttard, we sought out to test the 161 in other ways too. Wanting to test throughout the season with a variety of riders, tracks and terrain, at different paces and styles, we saw an opportunity to test the Prototype on Morzine’s most famous and roughest track.

Knowing Hunt Bike Wheels supported rider Liam Saint was out in Morzine, we challenged him to attack Pleney Black as hard as he would on his DH bike, on the 161. He took to Strava and aimed to be one of the fastest, if not the fastest! With names like Wyn masters, Sam Dale and Flo Payet on the leader board, we knew this would be a challenge… Being no stranger to the French mountains, we were confident Liam could challenge these times and show that the Privateer 161 can offer riders a bike that is ready to race tracks like Pleney Black, just as capably as a downhill bike.

Liam was given the bike for four days, before it had to be taken back to the UK for further testing. With only a few dry and dusty cutting laps on the new steed prepping for the task ahead, the heavens opened up and unloaded some classic Morzine rain storms for days two and four of the challenge. Frustrated, Liam knew this would impact the times, but in hindsight it was the perfect opportunity to see how times compared in the both the wet and dry - while also making for a more exciting challenge.

After a battle with storms, limited lifts and a few sections of the track closed, it made getting in the laps a lot slower, but a good test for the uphill pedals. Despite all this, Liam came away with one of the fastest times placing him top 3 on the Upper half of Pleney, next to some big names. It was a solid result for Liam, but also for the 161, he aimed to be as fast the top times, and to do this in the wet conditions only made it sweeter.

This is just the start for Privateer, we learn and improve from small tests like this and have kept pushing the 161 to be race-ready for riders.

We have been experimenting with colour schemes, finishes and logo composition, so what you see here most likely will not be the finished look for the Privateer 161. You can keep up to date via our website at


  • 35 2
 Sadly Strava is anything but accurate...
  • 14 3
 Depends on your GPS-device. Smartphone-GPS sucks big time
  • 5 6
 @BochyTheKid: why is that? What makes a Garmin better than my brand new phone?
  • 7 0
 @BochyTheKid: seems to me the less accurate the device the faster the times? its an iphone 5 for the win!
  • 5 4
 Have a look online at at all the articles discussing this exact question. On average a smartphone wins the test or lands equal with the performance of Garmin like device.
  • 5 10
flag jakketayylor (Dec 4, 2019 at 7:53) (Below Threshold)
 @TheBearDen: the gps are garmin’s are much more accurate an advanced than that of a smartphone. common knowledge
  • 6 3
 GPS itsself is anythng but accurate. Look up how accurate GPS for nor military applications is. You will be supprised
  • 8 2
 @jakketayylor: definitely not true. Garmin works of satellite, Smart Phones work of Satellite and tower triangulation as well.

Many time I have run both - Garmin Edge 520 and a smart phone, and Garmin sometimes misses that I have done small off-shot loops and other fine trail details. God forbid I ride though the city with skyscraper condos - Garmin will miss a whole lot.

In the end, comparing ride lengths, Garmin often comes up short while my phone is much closer to stated trail lengths.
  • 3 4
 @jakketayylor: pretty sure your wrong
  • 4 3
 @jakketayylor: can you show me an article of some sort backing this common knowledge claim?

I work in a bike shop and have used a wide array of computers, GPS and and smart phones to track my rides. I personally can tell you they are all pretty terrible in their own way but to say the Garmin's are better and that it's common knowledge is a pretty bold claim.
  • 1 0
 @jakketayylor: Not peer reviewed or with much of a sample size- but this seems to dispute your assumption: and does so with a bit more evidence than the editorial you link to that isn't entirely relevant to MTB applications. But it is an interesting question. I have personally tried both and don't find a huge difference. You have to know with any of these technologies there is a window of error and when you get down to 1 or 2 seconds separating times on a trail it is just the luck of the draw as the margin of error is bigger than that anyways.
  • 2 0
 @TheBearDen: It's the way our GPS units calculate speed. It's known as the Dopper-Effect. There are just too many variables to be as precise as we're lead to believe the Strava leader boards are. Also, most people I know, myself included, stuff their phone in a bag or pocket. But most riders mount their Garmin device on their bars or stem, giving satellites a better line of sight. Don't even get me started on how inaccurate elevation is too!
  • 2 0
 @kubikeman: I’ve got a KOM on a track I haven’t even ridden. Sorry Aaron if you’re reading this.
  • 1 3
I totally agree. Twice I've bought a Garmin, hoping it would at least EQUAL the accuracy of my iphone, so I could stop risking my phone every ride.
Both times the Garmin tweaked out, so both times I returned 'em and put the phone back on my bars
  • 20 0
 will the privateer sponsor the privateers?
  • 5 0
 Wouldn't that turn them into non-privateers?
  • 4 0
 @highlinenthusiasm: Privateers still have sponsors...
  • 19 0
 Maybe chill out with the super serious tunes? We're all just grown men in dorky helmets riding bicycles.
  • 6 0
 @MikerJ Noted! And very true, but how else can we show how serious we are... Razz
  • 14 3
 Unfortunately, we believe someone has flagged our time, we are working at getting this resolved to show you where we stood on the leaderboard. As you can see in the video, Privateer Bikes was 3rd, so please bear with us whilst we sort this out. Thank you.
  • 4 0
 Just promise you didn’t cheat!
  • 2 0
 @jaame: We promise!
  • 7 0
 Are you seriously basing your results of strava? It’s totally useless for timing runs.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: it’s not totally useless, hence why so many people use it. It’s not that accurate but it’s better than nothing.
  • 12 1
 720p... in 2019? Am i spoiled?
  • 8 0
 true color needs work -or just leave it raw the raw one with öhlins bits in a vid from a few weeks ago was mean
  • 4 0
 ^ This. Need more raw finish aluminum bikes on the market.
  • 3 0
 Hey @optimumnotmaximum ,
Don’t worry, we’re offering both raw and a colour option.
If not raw, which colour/s would you prefer?
  • 4 0
 @PrivateerBikes: there are two (well, maybe three) possible colors for bikes: raw, black and non-black. And non-black is definitely debatable.
  • 2 0
 @PrivateerBikes: Matte dark purple would look sick with Black logos
  • 2 0
 @PrivateerBikes: Definitely a retro brown/orange/yellow combo like this:
  • 4 0
 @PrivateerBikes: Matt black. Polished black looks cheap. I bought a Prone One frame in polished black to build a commuter to put people off stealing it. Looks a right Halfords special.
  • 1 0
 @PrivateerBikes: color us a very personal thing but i agree with another comment that shiny black loocks cheap. I like understated colors like matte black, dirty green or dirty orange ( or the awesome combi of both). From a marketing perspective it could be right to add something for the shiny crowd, as you have understatement already covered by raw. Shiny often looks cheap but "melon" is very nice. Just my thoughts. Keep it up, nice frame.
  • 3 0
 @optimumnotmaximum @StevieJB @Hockerz @westcarlson @southoftheborder
Thanks for all the feedback! Definitely appreciated and really helps us to create bikes riders like yourselves want.

While we may start with more ‘simple’ schemes such as Matt black, we’d love to add more variety and colours as we grow.
Thanks again!
  • 1 0
 @PrivateerBikes: It´s (to me) very attractive to have one color, but in two (or more) nuances. Perhaps one green where you now have the white, and another green (lighter or darker nuance) where you now have the black.

Also, there are some unusual 2 color combos that could be great, like green and orange, green and yellow, etc.

Heres the RM Altitude, orange and brown, and I think it´s a beauty:

Most frames (and cars) in matte finish look far better!
  • 1 0
 @Hockerz: Extremely cool color combo! I´m sure it would look great on the 161.

I could se myself riding that with manchester v-jeans.
  • 5 0
 I am very excited about this bike. I wish it had two shock mounting holes to make it mulletable. Other than that it looks sweet!

Coil shock option or rolling chassis in the works?
  • 1 0
Thanks! Appreciate the kind words and feedback.

The frame works great with coil, but adds another logistical hurdle to stock different coils, however we are looking into it. Possibly rolling chassis too down the line.
  • 5 1
 cool project and interesting to see the finished product come to market.

can't help but think the branding would have been better as the "Hunt bikes Privateer 161" ?
  • 3 1
 Neat product, cool video, great huck to compression bonk... please output a video understanding a very large part of your viewing audience watching on mobile devices... hence the titling needs to be larger, more readable/consumable.. ( font face/size optimized for medium ... this isn’t print, legibility, rendering fidelity, tracking/kerning, face, size all matter) minor quibble but disrupted my enjoyment having to pause, rewind , squint, change orientation. Play again. That being said, the am going to website to check bike out!!! Hold on giant reign 29, Jeffrey 29 race pro (ya your a great deal - chill out) and Norco brothers (optic/sight) there’s a new cat in town !!
  • 7 0
 Hi @spudreau,

I'm sorry your viewing experience was disrupted by the points you put across. We want to make sure our content is enjoyable for all viewers. This is something we have taken on board and will make sure we provide a more efficient viewing experience for next time. I hope your visit to the website provided you with a more in-depth insight to Privateer Bikes.

Thank you.
  • 5 9
flag rrolly (Dec 4, 2019 at 6:44) (Below Threshold)
 @PrivateerBikes: Know your market. This reply sounds like it is coming from a corporate lawyer or a bot. The majority of Pinkbikers would appreciate a more conversational approach. You may want to on board that.
  • 2 1
 @PrivateerBikes: Hey, thanks for the reply. Much appreciated and it's great your receptive to inputs from your users. ( can you tell I am in product design ? lol ) Anyway, love what your doing. Keep at it. Everything is a prototype !
  • 2 0
 @rrolly: Sorry! We got a little too serious there. We’ll be friendlier next time Smile
  • 1 0
 @PrivateerBikes: Not sure why spudreau had to keeping changing orientation and made such a drawn-out comment when he could've just asked for larger copy! You guys have been plenty friendly and your replies seem totally appropriate, rrolly doesn't understand that corporate lawyers don't respond to comment sections or the importance of concise rhetoric. Funny to read all the armchair criticisms here.
  • 5 0
 @rrolly: yeah, i hate it when companies act all respectful and professional Smile
  • 1 1
 @grntnckl: the corporate lawyer comment was tongue in cheek. sorry? (I'm Canadian)
  • 8 2
 Ridiculous to promote a bike through strava performance
  • 1 0
 Interesting and impressive!
I really have the 161 as my next bike depending on two things: when it will be available (said soon on their instagram answer), and which size.

I´m only 183,5 cm, but it seams in size 3, the top tube 603 mm and reach 490 mm is short for a bike with this length. But I am quite ignorant regarding this subject, and would appreciate enlightenment. It seems to me that bikes in general are too short in reach, and when I saw a review of Pole Evolink, in this picture it seems like this is one of few bikes that actually put the rider in the center of the bike:

The rider above seems to be in the bike instead on top of the bike (as the reviewer puts it himself). Can anyone confirm the riding experience of being on a big bike like that?

Because, if this is the case, I guess I should go for size xl on the 161.....or am I wrong?

And how do you guys from Privateer bikes see it?

I guess that was more than two questions. Thanx in advance for enlightenment.
  • 1 0
 I'd highly suggest buying a bike by ETT. That'll allow you to fine tune the cockpit (saddle fore/aft and stem length). I bought a bike by reach numbers, and while it's pretty close to my most comfortable ETT, it's about 10-15mm too short. I recently rode a buddies bike that was closer to my ideal ETT despite the reach being the same. As a result, I felt comfortable on his 35mm stem and slid-forward saddle, where as my personal bike runs an 50mm stem and offset post.
  • 2 0
 Hey @endurip ,
Thanks for the questions and really appreciate your interest.

Sizing can be a tricky one, some of it is science but often it comes down to preference. Matt Stuttard is about your height and is riding a P3 with 50mm stem as he prefers a longer stem.

490mm is fairly progressive, although you’re right it’s not the longest. For our bikes it’s best to take the top tube length with a pinch of salt as the steep seat tube makes this appear short.

We’d probably still suggest the P3 for you, but if you’re not happy on it we offer a 60 day ride and return as we understand buying online can be hard, so we could swap you to a P4.

Hope this helps, but please feel free to contact us anytime.
  • 1 0
 @PrivateerBikes: Thank you guys!
I think I prefer a short 35 mm stem, but perhaps P3 will be perfect for me. At least its far more roomy than my YT Jeffsy which feels cramped. When I descend, I´we notised that I spend most of the time over the back wheel - resulting I loose traction on the front wheel. I guess its also a matter of technique (or lack of it;-).

I´m interested in the full build - when can we see it in the black matte version?
  • 1 0
 @PrivateerBikes: hey guys, the bike looks fantastic!
Question: across the different sizes, how far/deep does a dropper post fit the seat tube (insertion length)?
  • 2 0
Hey, thanks for the question, insertion depths are as follows
P1- 230mm
P2 - 250mm
P3 - 280mm
P4 - 300mm

All the specs can be found on our website at
Thanks! Smile
  • 1 0
 @PrivateerBikes: ah I guess I was looking more at the bike than on the specs on y’alls website haha... thank you!
  • 4 1
 Love the bike and concept. They now just need 27.5 version for shredding in the woods
  • 3 0
 Dam Sale...I wonder who that is.
  • 2 0
 Can’t wait to be able to ride like this when my 161 arrives in March Smile j/k but I’m super excited about this bike.
  • 1 0
Thanks for the support, it really does mean a lot to us.
Can’t wait for you to get out riding on it! ????
  • 2 0
 did someone say strava boner?
  • 3 1
 So many strava boners out there. I think the shits so corny. If you wanna see if you’re fast then go race racers
  • 1 0
 What if season 3 of the privateer is sponsored by Privater bikes Pls bring it back pb
  • 1 0
 Get a freelap on the case and get a comparison with other bikes.....I am interested in the frame....
  • 1 0
 Actually got free laps timed as well and baring in mind the conditions which ended up being unfortunately sloppy! the 161 was 9 seconds faster than my pulse on a full run
  • 1 0
 @tthesaint: By ek that is some time difference.....i'm after a new frame and this is on the list. She's fast!!!
  • 2 0
 Hell yeah, Proline parsons still out front
  • 1 0
 Ha ha, they could not beat local SA ripper Duran Duran. He is also a privateer, BTW :-)
  • 2 1
 Love the look of this bike - I hope it doesn’t weigh too much.
  • 1 0
 Well done. You sure have my attention now.
  • 1 0
 come test it on the French riviera's rocks!!!
  • 2 2
 I thought Privateers were self funded? I guess it's just used for Marketing stunts now!
  • 2 1
 you lost me at strava......
  • 1 0
 PRE ORDERED! Super excited
  • 1 0
 Looks like a Norco Range's FSR pivot placement
  • 1 0
 Love the Hans Zimmerish music in the background.
  • 1 1
 thats a great downhill track!
  • 1 2
 I thought it would be a video of The Privateer testing out 161 bikes. slightly disappointed...
  • 1 3

I just saw a bike bouncing a lot at 0:13 sec in the video.

Look like you should work with your shock damping before trying to go faster...
  • 2 0
 Yeah, setting up suspension for that one step down will do the trick, new KOM here I come.
  • 1 0
  • 1 1
 No times on DH bike vs the trail bike?
Strava for timing too? Wow
  • 1 0
 We did time use free lap gear as well and the 161 bested the dh bike by 9 seconds in the full run, baring in mind very sloppy conditions.
Hope this legitimises it some what for you ????
  • 1 2
 Dropouts looks like the ones used in the old Canyon's .Torque
  • 1 3
 Looks like a trek? :p

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