Xprezo Magic Carpet - Review

Jun 1, 2015
by Mike Kazimer  
Xprezo Magic Carpet Review

After 10 years in business, Xprezo continues to churn out unique, handmade frames from their headquarters in Bromont, Canada. The Magic Carpet is the small company's latest creation, a bike with 130mm of rear travel and 27.5” wheels that's meant to be more capable than your typical trail bike. It falls in line with the new breed of mountain bikes that are starting to pop up, bikes with shorter amounts of travel but possessing geometry figures intended to allow them to excel on the descents. All carbon everything may seem to be the prevailing sentiment these days, but the Magic Carpet is slightly unconventional, and instead uses an aluminum front triangle that's joined to a steel rear end. Available in sizes small, medium, and large, the frame alone retails for $2,499, and the complete bike as tested goes for $5,979 USD. Xprezo also offers nearly every color combination imaginable, an option that adds an additional $150 to the final price.




Xprezo Magic Carpet Details

• Intended use: trail / all-mountain / enduro
• Wheel size: 27.5"
• Rear wheel travel: 130mm
• Head angle: 67.5°
• Chainstay length: 432mm
• Aluminum front triangle, steel rear
• Fork: RockShox RCT3 140mm
• Shock: RockShox Monarch DebonAir RT
• Drivetrain: SRAM X01
• Brakes: SRAM Guide RS
• Weight: 28 lb (size L, w/o pedals)
• MSRP: $ 5,979 USD / Frame only: $2,499
www.xprezo.ca


Xprezo Magic Carpet


Frame Design

The Magic Carpet's blaze orange paint job makes it impossible to keep a low profile out on the trails, but come autumn this could prove to be useful – there's no way a trigger happy hunter is going to mistake you for a deer. Underneath that bright exterior is a hydroformed 6061 aluminum front triangle and a 4130 steel rear end that's equipped with a 12 x 142 thru axle. It'd be easy for Xprezo to create an aluminum rear triangle as well, but they believe that using steel creates a better ride, and modern tubing technology means that the weight penalty is minimal. Xprezo has a strong environmental commitment, and according to the company over 95% of their bikes are still in use, thanks to the repairing, reusing, and recycling that the use of aluminum and steel allows for.


Xprezo Magic Carpet review
The Magic Carpet uses a 6061 front triangle and a 4130 chromoly rear swingarm.
Xprezo Magic Carpet review
The shaping of the swingarm's tubing means that a seatstay pivot isn't necessary.

For better or worse, internal cable routing seems to be all the rage these days, and it's in place on the Magic Carpet – even the rear brake line travels through the down tube, although the lack of internal guides or larger exit ports could make housing swaps a bit of a challenge. Speaking of the rear brake, it's mounted in a unique position, diagonally spanning the gap between the seat- and chainstays.

The bike uses a BB92 bottom bracket, but curiously, especially given the bike's intended usage, there are no ISCG tabs to be found, and riders who wish to run a chain guide will need to get creative. There may be no ISCG tabs, but at least there's room for a full size water bottle, making it easier to ditch the pack for those shorter jaunts.


Xprezo Magic Carpet review
A link driven single pivot gets the credit for the Magic Carpet's supple-yet-supportive ride.

Suspension Design

The Magic Carpet relies on a link driven single pivot for its 130mm of travel that has the shock oriented almost vertically, just in front of the seat tube. An aluminum rocker link rotates off of the bike's seat tube, connecting the swingarm to the shock. While most frames with this type of suspension configuration use a pivot on the rear seatstay, the steel swingwarm is shaped in a way that allows for just enough flex that this isn't necessary. This suspension configuration is new for Xprezo, but it's one that dates at least back to 1996 – look at the Fat Chance Shock-a-Billy for an early attempt at the design. Xprezo's version has been configured to work with modern air shocks, and is extremely plush initially, but then has a large amount of ramp up as the shock goes deeper into its travel in order to make it difficult to bottom out, even on bigger hits.


Geometry

Xprezo Magic Carpet geometry


Xprezo Magic Carpet Spec Sheet
Specifications
Price $5279
Travel 130mm
Rear Shock RockShox Monarch RT DebonAir
Fork RockShox Pike RCT3 140mm
Cassette SRAM X01
Rear Derailleur SRAM X01
Chain SRAM X01
Shifter Pods SRAM X01
Handlebar Chromag Cutlass Carbon 730mm
Stem Truvativ AKA 60mm
Brakes SRAM Guide RS
Hubs Aivee Edition 1
Rim Stans Arch EX
Tires Maxxis Highroller II 2.3" front, Ardent 2.25" rear
Seat Chromag Moon TI
Seatpost RockShox Reverb Stealth






Setup

Certain suspension layouts require that RockShox's Monarch Debonair be inflated 50 or more pounds over a rider's body weight to achieve the correct sag, and the Magic Carpet falls into this category. The ease with which the bike will sink into the first portion of its travel can make it a little trickier to gauge how it will feel on the trail, but after a some experimentation, and by focusing on how the shock felt deeper into its stroke, I was able to get it configured to my liking.

The choice of a set of 730mm Chromag Cutlass bars on a bike that's meant to be able to do everything from trail riding to enduro racing is a bit odd - maybe the trees are extra tight in Bromont? Whatever the case may be, a set of wider bars would be a much better fit for how the Magic Carpet begs to be ridden, and after giving the narrow bars a try, I swapped them out for something more appropriate.


Climbing

With a reach of 468mm for a size large, the front center of the Magic Carpet is on the longer side of the spectrum, but its steep seat tube angle keeps this length from being hindrance on the climbs. If anything, it's a benefit, providing an extra helping of stability as well as plenty of room to move around in order to stay balanced and centered on those tricky bits of trail. There's plenty of grip at the rear of the bike thanks to the ground hugging nature of the rear suspension, and even though the Maxxis Ardent isn't the best tire to complement the High Roller II up front, there was enough traction available to clamber up nearly everything that got in its way, providing the trails weren't too wet.

While technical ascents didn't pose much trouble for the Magic Carpet, there's also no sense of urgency in the way that it climbs. Standing up and powering down on the pedals will get things moving, but it's a subdued climber, one that feels more at home rolling at a steady pace rather than prancing uphill. It's not that the bike feels overly heavy – the weight is fairly reasonable – it's just that it doesn't leap forward off the starting line, and there's a noticeable amount of suspension movement with the shock in the fully open position.

In order to wake the bike up a bit, I found myself reaching down for the blue lever on the Monarch to increase the amount of low speed compression damping, but unfortunately that proved to be a tricky task. The lever is positioned at the junction of the seat tube and the bottom bracket, a long reach while seated, and one that requires careful pedal stroke timing to accomplish on the fly. What about orienting the shock differently, flipping it so the rebound knob and compression switch are more readily available? I tried, but the air can contacts the aluminum link arms, eliminating that as a possible solution. I ended up switching the compression lever to the firmest position for more drawn out climbs, and then running it in the middle setting for almost all other situations.


Xprezo Magic Carpet review

bigquotesOn the descents the bike lived up to its name, making it feel as if the trails were coated with a thick layer of vintage shag carpeting.

Descending

When it came time to descend the bike lived up to its name, making it feel as if the trails were coated with a thick layer of vintage shag carpeting. The traits that made the Magic Carpet a little less peppy on the climbs work in its favor on rougher trails, filtering out the small bumps in a way that results in an extremely smooth ride. Smoother equals faster, and with less vibrations to deal with there's no reason not to crack it wide open and hang on for the ride. There's plenty of stability on tap, due to the low bottom bracket and long front center, which makes it even easier to let off the brakes for those high speed straightaways. At 67.6°, the head angle isn't wildly slack by today's standards, but remember that this is a 130mm bike, not a full blown enduro race machine. All the same, the geometry is relaxed enough that I didn't have any second thoughts about rolling into steep rock rolls or chutes.

Compared to the Transition Scout, another shorter travel rig that's built for getting a little wild on the trails, the Magic Carpet isn't quite as quick in the corners, preferring to carve rather than slash and skid, but it's no slouch either, and even at slower speeds remained quite manageable. When it comes to taking on sections of trail that bristle with roots and rocks, the Magic Carpet remains very composed, exhibiting excellent bump absorption, with a supportive feel that keeps the rear end from blowing through its travel. Of course, you can't charge headlong into a rock garden and expect to be able to plow right through without a care, but there seemed to be a little extra room for error aboard the Magic Carpet.

Even though I finished most rides with the rear shock's rubber o-ring indicating that I'd used all of the travel, there were never any harsh bottom outs due to the very high level of ramp up in the rear suspension. That same progressiveness came in handy when working through a set of jumps, providing a firm platform to push against for the little extra boost needed to make it to the backside. The ground hugging nature of the Magic Carpet's rear suspension means it has a little less 'pop' available for hitting jumps, but it's easy enough to loft the bike skyward, and once airborne there wasn't any trouble getting everything lined up for a smooth touchdown.


Xprezo Magic Carpet Review
There are a couple odd component choices, but for the most part the Magic Carpet's parts spec is on point.

Component Check

• Arch EX Rims / Aivee hubs: The Arch EX wheelset is a little undergunned for what the Magic Carpet is capable of, and I would have preferred something with a wider internal width and a little more stiffness. The bearings in the rear Aivee hub didn't last very long either, developing play and rolling roughly before the test period was up.

• ODI Cross Trainer lock-on grips: The Ruffian and Rogue grips are the two models that typically hog the limelight in ODI's extensive product line, but the Cross Trainers are a worthy choice as well. The ribbed pattern gives them a layer of cushioning that makes them comfortable with or without gloves while remaining relatively thin.

• Maxxis Highroller II / Ardent tire combination: A big, aggressively lugged tire up front combined with a little lower profile tread pattern in the back can equal a good time on the trails, but the lack of tall cornering knobs makes the Ardent less than predictable. Something along the lines of Schwalbe's Rock Razor or a Specialized Slaughter would be better choices, since those two tires offer much better cornering support and the same reduced rolling resistance, but since it's rather uncommon to spec two different brands of tires, another Highroller II in the back would be an improvement as well.

• Chromag Moon Ti: Seats aren't often mentioned in reviews unless they're horribly uncomfortable, but the Moon Ti deserves high praise. This is one of the most comfortable seats I've been on in quite some time, with an excellent blend of a low profile shape and just enough padding for epic rides. Highly recommended.


Xprezo Magic Carpet review


Pinkbike's Take:

bigquotesThe Magic Carpet isn't without its quirks, which include the odd rear shock orientation, the lack of ISCG tabs, and the narrow handlebar, but its excellent geometry and the combination of frame materials give it a ride quality unlike anything else out there. This is a bike for the rider who's looking for something slightly out of the ordinary, a trail bike with a little extra character that doesn't flinch when the going gets rough. The price of admission is rather high, but handmade bikes, especially ones crafted in North America, have never been known for being inexpensive. - Mike Kazimer





About the Reviewer
Stats: Age: 32 • Height: 5'11” • Inseam: 33" • Weight: 155lb • Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Twenty years deep into a mountain biking addiction that began as a way to escape the suburban sprawl of Connecticut, Mike Kazimer is most at home deep the woods, carving his way down steep, technical trails. The decade he spent as a bike mechanic helped create a solid technical background to draw from when reviewing products, and his current location in the Pacific Northwest allows for easy access to the wettest, muddiest conditions imaginable.



153 Comments

  • + 86
 Loving all this coverage on smaller bike companies such as this one!
  • + 52
 Part of me thinks it's bullshit that a bike named magic carpet would be a "groundhugger". But on the other hand, a carpet is supposed to be on the floor, right?
I was gonna make a point an then I forgot what it was about, so yeah... My thoughts on the name magic carpet
  • + 6
 Lol, I propped you up one for no real reason other than it was worthwhile
  • + 7
 I have no idea what your Kiwi ramblings are saying... but that was the case for most people in NZ when I visited. Generally it seemed to be "ride faster ya pooftah". Nice folks all around, demon riders.
  • - 1
 why would you want to be a ground hugger?
  • + 10
 Thanks for that review. I saw the magic carpet on xprezo's website a few months back and it was the only bike that made me consider maybe selling my AM rig for.. so I was VERY curious about how it rode. Smaller rigs make a lot of sense around here, where the current breed of enduros are a little too big for most trails yet XC bikes are not very friendly to more agressive riders.

3 things that turn my raging boner into a semi though:

1- I understand that a 160mm will not climb like a rocket but I expected a 130mm to do significantly better than anything else short of pure XC bikes.
2- Currently riding a mid range spec 145mm with a float 36 160mm and flows. It's sitting at 29.5lbs with pedals so I kind of have a hard time figuring out how a 130mm top spec bike only manages to shave a pound off. I'm not going to make the switch if my current bike is more capable at a similar weight.
3- Only 1 spec? I find that spec to be fairly priced but a mid spec version would have been nice. Maybe next year with the sram gx stuff...
  • + 13
 Geom is more important than weight. Everything is relative - I bet it smashes your 160 uphill
  • + 2
 I hope it does. It's supposed to be a more agressive short travel bike though so the geo is not too far off what I'm riding right now. Less travel most likely translates in less energy lost though.

The review seems to leave mike unimpressed with the climbing ability of the bike. Is it so because he compared it with other 130mm xc bikes or with an enduro sled? It's hard to get a good idea.
  • + 2
 Hard to know, you'd hope it was compared to other similar bikes. If its compared to a dh bike then its real damn bad!
  • + 2
 Looking at their website, the base $5259 model comes with Sram GX drivetrain.
  • + 3
 Not enough differentiation to make the switch, in my eyes. If you were going from 35lbs old 26" AM bike with dated components, I'd say yes. I'm not sure a 28lbs XC/TR bike with wonky suspension kinematics and some strange (and cool) design features could be my only bike. If I was making that switch (and spending that money) I'd go to a carbon trail bike. I like Xprezo's company philosophy, but every review of their bikes comments on how they climb like crap.
  • + 0
 A bronson or other ultra-modern 150mm trail bike would out-climb this I'm guessing, and at the minimum keep up on the descents. So what is it for? Sure, it goes down faster than other 130mm bikes, but why not get a 150mm then? My enduro 29er has 155 and it climbs better than nearly any other bike I've ridden with more than 4 inches of travel.
  • + 4
 @jfett yeah you're actually right if we look at the website. PB says 5.2k for the x01 build though.

@pheller Everyone I've come across riding a super D (which is the adhoc now?) had nothing but good things to say about it and I came across 3 people riding the adhoc this year and they all said it was the best bike they ever rode. This is a good part of why I was curious about the magic carpet so it's probably not as bad as it sounds but it's hard to have a good idea with the often "hazy" reviews of PB. IIRC, the transition scout review was very similar so I guess no matter how short the travel is, agressive bikes can't really be great climbers.

As for carbon, I couldn't care less.
  • + 3
 @jfett - Don't forget, the prices on Xprezo's web site are in Canadian dollars. The X01 build is $5979 USD.
  • + 1
 @PLC07 just call them to try a demo, simple as that. Razz It's not like you were far from Bromont... I did, and was really impressed! Soooo smooth, it really feel like you have more than 130mm of travel! Don't make up your mind only with a review (like you said, adhoc is a great climber), try it and you'll know for sure if you should sell your bike or not! Wink
  • + 2
 Yeah, they did a demo a few days ago and unfortunately I was away on vacation (or fortunately).

I'm not ready to change my bike just yet so I don't really mind but the day I want to change, I'll give them a ring for sure.
  • + 1
 Guys, did they go bust?

I wanted to have a look at their website to drool over that bike but it's redirecting me to some marketing company and their instagram feed hasn't been updated in 40+weeks.

What's going on?
  • + 1
 Last september they said on their FB page that they were shutting down due to lack of sales/financing and the general state of the industry making it very hard for smaller manufacturers.
  • + 2
 @PLC07: Oh bugger.
I finally felt ready to get a full suspension bike and now they shut down their business.
I'm seriously bummed now Frown
  • + 9
 Thank you. Finally a bike that goes to prove that carbon isn't best!! Alumium and steel, a combination that gives an awesome ride quality. Could be the future of modern mountain biking!!
  • + 1
 With better suspension design, I'd agree.
  • + 3
 I've been on an Xprezo Adhoc for the past year and a bit. Love it more everytime I ride it. The smashes on the descents.
  • + 7
 Neg prop away, but for nearly $6K, the choice is easy... Carbon.
  • + 1
 why? is doesn't ride any better and is not as environmentally friendly. The choice is easy for me.
  • + 1
 ^^^ You're out to lunch it you think carbon doesn't have a better ride quality than aluminum. Carbon is, by far, more compliant yet stronger. In my experience, it's like night and day. As for the evironment, neither is good but carbon does not have a short fatigue life like aluminum does so it theoretically has an indefinite life span. Aluminum can only be safely ridden for a handful of years before it should be retired. The list of advantages goes on and on, that's why the industry is headed down the carbon trail. I've never met a person that rode carbon and then went back to aluminum. Just my $0.02.
  • + 0
 My god, you actually believe your own bullshit don't you!! Where on earth have you got all that total crap from? Let me guess......"the industry"
  • + 3
 Like any material, its how its used. Some carbon bikes are shit, some aluminum bikes are too. But one is for sure, and that steel is the real deal.
  • + 2
 ^^^ Yeah, there is something special about steel. It's ride quality is timeless.
  • - 11
flag codypup (Jun 1, 2015 at 15:30) (Below Threshold)
 Do you say that because the frame material is somehow more meaningful than the geometry of the frame, the suspension components, the wheel build and the reviewers bias? Remember, young Republican, not every factoid is a fact.
  • + 14
 -1 for mentioning political affiliation on a bicycle website.
  • + 0
 Sorry Heller. Got carried away by the usurping of the Internet by the Narrow Bars Forever cadre, at least temporarily displacing the legions called 26 Ain't Dead.
  • + 4
 aoneal Now you have! I went from a Santa Cruz TRc to a Xprezo Wuuu 650b!
  • + 2
 @aoneal I had both a carbon DH and trail bike. I have switched them both for aluminum bikes this year. Too much stress worrying about damaging your carbon all the time.
  • + 0
 @timo82 Haha, I stand corrected!
I've changed my position: Who cares what the frame is made of as long as it's ripping down the trail.
  • + 0
 Absolutely aoneal. 100% agree
  • + 1
 @Matt76 I doubt it is the future. The companies can't put as hefty of a price tag on it. Would be cool though.
  • + 0
 The creaking and crackling of carbon freaks me out. Not sure I'm sold on it.
  • + 6
 I don't understand all the professional bike reveiwer raving about superwide bars. It's like they only ride wide open trails. For true all mountain riders, like those who ride the occasional non-bike trail, narrower bars get you through a lot of tight spots and gives you a lot more line choice on the designated trails. Do a few dozen pushups a day and your upper bod strength will more than make up for less leverage. 15 years ago people managed to ride steep gnar like lower skull on 580mm bars and 80mm forks. Has the industry turned mountain bikers into fricken T-Rex's all of the sudden? Big legs and teeny arms that need a meter stick's worth of leverage to get round a corner?
  • + 9
 Im the same - most of the time the comments are stupid. 730mm on a 130mm bike is not super narrow. I used to comment all the time but now Im over it and dont comment normally. I run 710s on my 120mm trail bike and Im 6'4", should I be lynched? I run 750mm on both my DH bikes. Unrideable! I dont know too many people riding 800s any more. Most are in the 740-790 range for gravity bikes and 710-760 for trail. The reviewer obviously have their bias and good luck to them but I ignore it entirely. Subsequently it also erodes the merit in other things they say for me as well.
  • + 13
 It's a pinkbike staple to hate on anything not 760+. I'm happy with my chromag os 731mm bars on the trailbike but I'm 5'6 and he's 5'11 so can't blame him really. To be honest, manufacturers should save themselves the headache and put 780 bars on everything and then you cut them down to the desired width just so everybody would be happy.
  • - 19
flag Callum-H (Jun 1, 2015 at 1:20) (Below Threshold)
 It is more stable, and proper technique lets you ride through tight trails with wide bars, instead of copping out and getting thinner bars, just learn to ride better. I am willing to bet that your bars are a lot wider than 580mm, so practice what you preach buddy.
  • + 1
 @Callum-H My current AM bar is wider than 580. It's 600. I rode lower skull this spring, in the wet, on a 26'er with 2.5 tires. Why? cause I practice what I preach, do you?
  • + 2
 Callum, that is a very ill considered comment. Learnt to ride better yourself, get some narrow bars.bi gate cutting bars down, I'd rather get the right width
  • - 43
flag Callum-H (Jun 1, 2015 at 1:40) (Below Threshold)
 I call bullshit on that, and my local trails are know for their tight trees, I ride an 2014 Enduro 26 with 750mm bars. I am stronger than most kids in my year 10 cohort, not a mountain biker with big legs and teeny arms. (those are XC riders) You are a weak ass middle aged man, probably balding, who spends most of their time behind a computer screen hating on the world because it is moving forward, like the industry while you are left behind, stuck in the past and resisting change. "15 years ago" this is not 2000, things have changed for the better. Buddy.
  • - 26
flag Callum-H (Jun 1, 2015 at 1:44) (Below Threshold)
 russthedog, what does bars.bi gate cutting bars down mean? And I have the right width for me and can ride very well. #1 on the U17 leaderboard for National Series Enduro at the moment, three rounds in.
  • + 18
 Things must be different in australia callum. But coming from the shore, you'd be the definition of BS. From your photos it looks like your definition of tight would be doubletrack anywhere else. And what you label as "DH Racing", that would be cyclocross up here in Canada.
  • - 19
flag Callum-H (Jun 1, 2015 at 3:29) (Below Threshold)
 Those are the only photos I have uploaded, and they are not my Local trails anyway, those are a ten minute drive versus a 5 minute ride away for the local. As for the DH racing photos, they are labeled that because They are a part of a DH track, and the one with bunting was the end of a DH track I raced on at a recent Enduro race. My definition of tight is a set of trees so tight you cannot get your bars between the tree by simply riding through.
  • - 13
flag Callum-H (Jun 1, 2015 at 3:35) (Below Threshold)
 I will be the first to admit that those photos are lame, but to say they must represent all of what we have is wrong, we also have steep, and loose, and rocky, and tacky, and tight and nasty.
  • + 9
 Hi Callum. I meant "bars. I hate". Spelt wrong using my phone sorry. As for the rest of what you said hahaha, I won't even dignify you with a response. Pretty funny.
  • + 10
 Callum you are full of shit, your not #1 in the U17 for nats, your not even in the top 10.
mtb.subaru.com.au/national-series/rankings
  • + 4
 ha owned!! Callum stop digging man!
  • - 8
flag Callum-H (Jun 1, 2015 at 5:10) (Below Threshold)
 Mate he has the wrong series, I am trying to find the real site. Liam Jeffries hasn't raced in my series.
  • + 2
 Norrow bars sucks...
  • - 10
flag Callum-H (Jun 1, 2015 at 5:14) (Below Threshold)
 My series went to Mt Buller, Toowoomba, then Fox Creek, Next up is Perth something, then Stromlo.
instagram.com/callumh_racing follow that link to my IG, you will see that I am not bullshitting, it is current and real.
www.mtba.asn.au/news/2286-mountain-bike-australia-announces-inaugural-enduro-national-series2 this IS the series that I am competing in.
  • + 13
 Easy now, let's not turn this into a pissing contest. Next thing you know we'll be telling stories about what we used to ride with cantilever brakes back in the day. Bar width is a matter of personal preference, but 730mm is narrow by modern standards, which is why it's mentioned in the review. Sure, I could go ride a gnarly trail with bars as tiny as a bike messenger's, but would I want to? Absolutely not. If you haven't ridden wider bars, try it for a few rides and see what you think. That's the best way to realize that it's not just a fad.
  • + 2
 I used to use 800s for dh and have dropped 50mm. So I tried it?

I guess what I'm saying, mike is:
"that's like your opinion, man"

I'm not espousing tiny messengers bars either.
  • + 2
 I still run 700mm bars. I'm 5'7 any wider is uncomfortable (for me). I'd be cutting those 730s down.
  • + 2
 Dunno Mike, I ride 740mm on my AM and XC bikes, would not want any wider in Australia as it gets very dangerous very quickly with some of the tight scrubby forests we have, at least where I ride. Starts to get to the point where you're scrubbing speed quickly or picking crap lines around stuff to avoid smashing hands into trees. Or you can chance it and see if you can fit flying along at a decent clip... sometimes ends up messy. So I think the point is wider is better within reason, but not all of us would consider 730mm bars "narrow", especialy on a trail bike.....
  • + 1
 I have gone from 711 mm (28") bars to 762 mm bars on my AM bike and 780 mm bars on my trailbike (with matching stems) and I have to admit they ride better for everything except uphill. We have many singletracks with closed spaced trees and even if I do feel that my bars are sometimes a bit wide, I won't go back to my former setup. That's a matter of personal preference but the added manoeuvrability and stability a wide h/bar gives is a game changer, IMO.
  • + 4
 How often is the width of the bar a problem on the trail, I think I can count on two hands the amount of times I've clipped a tree cause the bars was to wide(or rather the trail to narrow), clipping a tree cause I suck at mtb, now thats another story.
  • + 4
 I think Pinkbike is hard on speccing narrow bars because they cannot be extended. If the bike comes with wide bars they can always be cut to size, but if they come too narrow you have to buy new bars to go wider. Makes perfect sense. If I am dropping several grand on a brand new bike, give me a few extra centimeters of bar... I think that some companies ship with narrow bars to keep costs and weight down.
  • + 2
 Pick a bar width and be a dick about it!
  • - 2
 Pick a dick and stick in your bars
  • + 2
 I've always liked wider bars. I've gone from sub 600mm to 800mm within a 15 year span. I do ride very tight trails, i wont go back to narrower bars
  • + 4
 Good flame war, but I think physiologically this whole thing has to do with body habitus first, and comfort/preference second. Best advice I've heard is get in the push up position where you feel strongest and most stable and then measure the distance between the outside of your hands. There's your bar width. Too wide too much pectoralis and too little triceps, too narrow too much triceps and not enough pec.
  • + 1
 I currently have 700mm on my Spark 29er and 740mm ENVE Sweep on my Scale 29er HT. I originally had 680s on my Spark but they felt too narrow so I installed my HT's OEM 700mm bars and it felt better.

After riding the Spark for a long time and hopping back on the 740mm HT, it just felt too weird and too wide (60mm stem). The Spark feels like a really dialed setup and I wanted to mimic that feel on the HT so I finally decided to cut down the ENVE Sweep to 720mm and it does feel a lot better. Totally glad I did it.
  • + 2
 Wow this was like safari and Callum was the prize lol. I'm waiting for metre wide bars myself, with a chin guard coz I've got t-Rex arms.
  • + 5
 Ugg internal cable routing. It wouldnt be a dealbreaker for me but Id much rather see a few external mounts on the top of the downtube. And for a rear brake wtf. For the average rider to build up this frame or switch brakes, hed have to disconnect, install, reconnect, and bleed the hydraulic line. No thanks, Ill take 3 little tabs please.
  • + 29
 Just mention that in your order and you'll have them! Wink
  • + 9
 BOOM! That's customer service IN YO FACE!! Love it.
  • + 2
 Dudes! What is the deal with internal cable routing? Pain in the ass, and really only for guys that will never touch a wrench. I have never looked down at my cable routing while riding and said "I wish that was more cosmetic", I'm more like, "Dumbass, you better concentrate on the trail at this speed or you are going to break something in your body!"
  • + 1
 "just mention that in your order and you'll have them!"

best customer service ever, in the face of negativity...out comes FACTS! BOOM!
  • + 4
 I think it speaks volumes that Evil chose to build a 29er instead of following the bike industries suit and making a 27.5. Makes me wonder about what they were able to achieve under the 29er frame design. What ever the case, they look like they shred and I can't wait to try one.
  • + 3
 29er short travel speed machine. 5" an under on an aggro 29er makes for sooooo much fun, stupidly fast, you roll up on 26 and 27.5 bikes like they've got their brakes on in places, for a small tradeoff on v steep terrain
  • + 1
 My longer travel enduro 29 is, I must say, an amazing climber/sprinter. When I got it I wanted to keep my HT, or wondered if I should have waited for that canfield bros or process 111, but the enduro is so snappy and poppy that I don't think I want less travel.
  • + 5
 I ride a Xprezo and my next ride will be a Xprezo!!!
I'm a skier and the steel rear end gives me a feeling so close to skiing...its carves!!!|
Forget about the numbers just try one!
  • + 4
 I'm guessing the steel rear end is so flex factors into small bump compliance, curious if the lateral flex comes into play especially climbing. Might explain some of the sluggishness?
  • + 3
 Yeah, from what i've heard it's as stiff as a wet noodle
  • + 7
 Lol swapping out the 'narrow' 730mm bars for wide bars?!
  • + 4
 On that note, the latest chromag cutlass bars are now 750mm.
  • + 8
 Great now im worreid im going to get shot by a deer hunter
  • + 9
 I think I recall a PB review where they didn't moan about the bar width.... maybe I am mistaken though Wink
  • + 8
 It was probably a Go Energy bar...
  • + 2
 This looks like a great all-around bike. I am on an Xprezo Ad-hoc and I can tell you as a former carbon bike guy, don't drink the cool-aid. Aluminum and steel provide a very unique and amazing feel. Supple AND snappy where it needs to be. Ride one, then give an opinion.
  • + 2
 I just can't seem to get onboard with upside-down shocks. I know it doesn't affect performance at all, but it just looks wrong to me. Aesthetically it's always bothered me for some reason. At the very least flip the decals so they're not upside down.
  • + 1
 I this case I think its to make it clear the linkage; easier to flip the shock than redesign the link.
  • + 3
 I know why it's done. I just think it looks tacky.
  • + 5
 Never mind the narrow bars and the shock placement. This bike is #philbenapproved vimeo.com/120508377
  • + 1
 I can say firsthand that this bike is a game-changer, up and down. Smooth, responsive, stable, FAST. Through rough terrain, the suspension design and steel rearend combine to create a very controlled sense of self-propulsion. It feels like the bike knows the trail and what I want to do with it. If you're riding hard in Appalachia, check it out.
  • + 1
 Seeing two different prices being shown here, $5,979 and $7,219? At $7,219, that component spec is great but it's not worth that price tag. Of course it's gonna be more expensive because it's a hand made frame and all, but I feel like at that price point it ought to be more exceptional than the review makes it out to be.

Weight penalty from Arches to Flows is pretty minimal, could use that spec'd on it too.....
  • + 3
 Good catch - $5979 is the correct price in USD (the prices were originally supplied in CAD).
  • + 1
 I love steel on a hard trail, it's nice 'n flexy, takes out some of the pain and is way more fun and cost effective than alloy, but on a full-sus bike, I'm really not convinced.
  • + 1
 very nice clean frame i like it. having said that there are lots of nice clean frames on the market with lower price tags.i cannot see the reason to own that one apart form boutique brand fad.
  • + 8
 Hand made in Canada with years of support from the people who actually built your frame. That is worth a small premium.
  • + 1
 I ride a Xprezo Adhoc and I love this bike! Xprezo build bikes with aggressive geometry that are really fun to ride downhill. The combination of steel and aluminium gives a nice feeling. Give it a try!
  • + 1
 Whoever designs suspension at Xprezo is missing something in their life: The one very important friend who tells you when you have gone wrong.

That said, bikes are fun, I'm gonna go ride.
  • - 1
 linkage driven single pivots are the best designs. there is a reason why MX bikes have been using them forever.
  • + 1
 Smashed my dixon's chainstay and got a replacement within 5 days. I've seen countless people in a similar situation whine that they've lost their bike for over 2 months and their frame company's customer service is still ignoring them. Supporting a local business and keeping good jobs home is also nice.
  • + 2
 I'm getting the feeling that Pinkbike owns the right to review 650B trail bikes.
  • + 24
 We review a wide range of bikes - in the last two months there's been a freeride bike, a slopestyle bike, a 29+ hardtail, and yes, a few 27.5" trail bikes reviewed. Now that the lifts are spinning, look for some downhill bikes to be added into the mix, along with some longer travel all-mountain rigs.
  • + 3
 steel is reel boi. More companies should do steel rear ends.
  • + 1
 Why should they?
  • + 2
 better ride quality. That is why hardtails like chromag stylus, on-one 45650b are made of steel, to take a bit of an edge off chatter. Also like it said in the article with the way companies are able to form metal, it is a very little weight increase compared to aluminum.
  • + 3
 fashion
  • + 6
 @ibishreddin

I used to think steel hardtails were 'comfortable' until I got a carbon fibre hardtail

incredibly firm under power, but strangely smooth when it get rough, and very light at 1.3kg for a medium frame

a strange paradox for a rider who grew up on steel and aluminium
  • + 3
 Survivability, how many brands over the years have suffered the dreaded split chainstay? Of course if they can't make them reliable in Alu or Carbon I doubt they'd manage it in steel either, chasing that headline weight and all.
  • + 6
 @Fix-the-Spade Steel is much easier to work with than aluminium, much harder and tougher, and has an ultimate tensile strength that can be over 3 times that of 6061. Because it is so much stronger, the tubes are very thin so the weight is kept low. All in all, a well made 4130 steel rear end will be more reliable than an aluminium one, especially since steel has a much longer lifespan.
  • + 1
 My 4130 darkcycles is 12 years old and still shredding..
  • + 2
 Yeah... but Dirt Magazine in 4130 just cracked...



Got to know a bit about Dirt to get that one Wink
  • + 2
 Xprezo uses Columbus tubing in the rear. Its very strong, light (because its so small), and offers a great ride quality.
  • + 3
 Such a cool looking bike!
  • + 3
 Sure is...neverb seen an Xprezo in Aussieland though...
  • + 1
 Shame really! :/
  • + 1
 You can call them and order one! They'll ship it wherever you want. xprezo.ca
  • + 1
 yeah they sell direct. that's how I bought mine
  • + 2
 looks remarkably like a 2004 Gary Fisher Sugar 4+
  • + 2
 What a beatiful good looking bike
  • + 2
 Balfa BB7?
  • + 1
 Amen to steel rear ends. Not quite as sure about no pivots, but wtf do I know?
  • + 1
 One of the original founders of Balfa owns Xprezo
  • + 1
 does it fly like in the Aladin walt disney movie ?
  • + 2
 Yes it does !
  • + 1
 That rear shock's bushing and seals must be getting tortured.
  • + 1
 I shouldn't think so... I'm assuming your thinking the way the seat stays flex to allow the rear end to move. The aluminium link will be the thing taking the brunt of the force, passing that resistance into the link bearings. The shock is isolated from that force and should last as long as any other shock... IMO
  • + 1
 I'm talking about bushing bind.
  • + 1
 Can you explain? I'm interested in what your thougths are but I'm not seeing it (and I'm not trolling either, genuine question).
  • + 1
 Maxxis ikon in the rear!!! Predictable and good cornering grip!
  • + 1
 I love the look of this bike!!
  • + 0
 Tellement beau !
  • + 2
 Imagine en brun deux tons comment il serait incroyable.
  • + 2
 Big Pimpin
  • + 1
 I got first row tickets to see #leclient ride it everyday : this thing is scary stealthy silent
  • + 1
 Habille toi , m'a te filmer, toi pis ton morceau de tape blanc sur ton top tube
  • - 1
 what's the deal with photos of bikes with no pedals???
  • + 3
 it comes without pedals. If they showed it with pedals, there would be some dingbat in a bike store saying " What do you mean it doesnt come with pedals!!!???!?!"

Did your bike come with pedals? If yes, it was probably an entry level model.
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