Bike Check: Joe Nation's Pole Prototype EWS Race Bike

Oct 1, 2021 at 3:09
by James Smurthwaite  


The EWS in the Tweed Valley this weekend is going to present a totally new challenge for the world's fastest enduro racers. The nearest chairlift is about 150miles away so open, Alpine descents will make way for the flatter, tighter, twistier and slippier trails of Innerleithen and we're expecting to see quite a few set up changes for the season finale.

Joe Nation is not just going to be making some set up changes but is in fact totally swapping frames as he'll be racing on Pole's new 190mm travel prototype bike. We previously saw this bike being tested in Madeira in spring but this second version has undergone some changes including a reshaped front triangle and the inclusion of an integrated seat clamp.

If the frame looks familiar it's because it shares a lot of features with Pole's Voima eMTB, including an identical rear end and similar geometry. Joe first got his hands on the prototype yesterday and has already decided he'll be using it for racing this weekend. Here's a closer look at his ride for the weekend ahead.

Pole Prototype Details
Frame: Pole Protoype, 190mm travel
Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate, 155psi, 1 token
Fork: RockShox Zeb, 190mm travel, 52 psi, 2 tokens
Tires: Maxxis Assegai, 29x2.5", 22psi front, 26 psi rear w/ Huck Norris insert
Wheels: Zipp 3Zero moto front, Mavic Sam Hill Deemax rear
Drivetrain: SRAM Eagle w/ 11 speed deraileur, Crank Creek eeWings Cranks, 34t chainring
Brakes: Trickstuff Maxima, 220mm rotor front, 200mm rotor rear
Cockpit: Descendant handlebars 770mm wide, 35mm stem
Size: N/A (prototype)
More info: polebicycles.com

The new prototype shares the same Sensei four-bar suspension system as the recently released Voima eMTB. The Voima appears to have been a roaring success for Pole and is apparently its best-ever selling bike.

Pole got first dibs on the 190mm travel Zeb although it will apparently be more widely available in future. Joe's bars measure 770mm. He apparently considered cutting them down to 760mm for the tight Tweed Valley trails but decided to stick with a setup he was most comfortable with.

The support that linked the top tube and downtube on the first prototype of the frame has now been removed for a cleaner front triangle.

Joe runs Trickstuff Maxima brakes with a 220mm rotor front and a 200mm rear,

This integrated seat clamp is one of the changes Pole has made since we first saw this prototype in spring. It not only makes the frame cleaner but means Pole is less reliant on parts from the Far East to get frames out of the door.

Cane Creek's eeWings cranks drive a mechanical Eagle drivetrain.

The Sensei system has double row bearings in the main pivot and keyed axles.

An essential piece of kit for Scottish trails.

The biggest change for Joe will be an increase in BB height of 20mm over his regular Stamina 180. Pole believes this makes the bike easier to corner, which could be useful on Innerleithen's tight trails. Pole has also purposely left a lot of room here - one use of this space is the motor on the Voima but the Finnish brand is also hinting that it could be filled with a gearbox in future.



336 Comments

  • 530 87
 This is literally the ugliest bike I have ever seen. I know, I am just moaning and trolling on PB, but this one is for real. This bike certainly will be pricey and butique, and such things simply have to look good, may look original, but this one ... OMG.
  • 90 248
flag DoubleCrownAddict (Oct 1, 2021 at 5:35) (Below Threshold)
 It does look good, you're just not used to seeing it. The bike has clean lines overall, and will look even better without the rear derailleur.
  • 52 1
 It's certainly unique. I can't decide whether I love it or hate it. I wish the swingarm continued in a straight line from the top tube.
  • 13 0
 @tremeer023: Maybe the line carries on through the top line of the bike when it is sagged to ride height so the bike looks better when riding?
  • 32 9
 Don't love the gold color, but other than that it's not bad imo.
  • 4 0
 @tremeer023: I think it does at sag.
  • 28 6
 Yup still ugly af
  • 37 14
 Orange called, they want their 2002 Patriot back!
  • 26 53
flag PauRexs (Oct 1, 2021 at 6:27) (Below Threshold)
 You see... The world doesn't care what pinkbike commenters says... I said I like it and most sold bike... Now downvote me but the truth is out there... This bike is gorgeous.
  • 52 4
 I like Stamina. It's not easy to admit, but it's a right thing to do. Stamina is a beautiful bike, IMO. However, this one.. this one is just ridiculous. And the colour! Reminds me of a vibrator that tries way to hard to look classy
  • 31 2
 It's growing on me, only because it seems that the gold colour is being used to emphasize that zero F's are being given about the way it looks. It's trying something new, and smashing your face in it.
  • 23 9
 It’s hideous
  • 1 0
 @Patrick9-32: ah yes, of course.
  • 15 2
 I'm with the minority, it's certainly different and a bold design but I like it overall, love the machining surface. The things I dislike about it are the gold anodizing (not a fan of 'bling'), and the BB area, but i think it'll look much better with a pinion gearbox instead of the big blank triangle of metal.
  • 16 6
 I think it looks fine.
  • 20 7
 At this point, any Ellsworth looks better than this!
  • 11 5
 it looks like a disgruntled praying mantis. truly heinous
  • 13 4
 Kill it with fire
  • 6 2
 Pole is a Scandinavian company so to me it's expected. I've owned a few Volvos and Saabs in my day and many people thought those were ugly too, but then you'd get the few oddballs that thought they looked great. it's unconventional, quirky, and looks different even if it doesn't fit in with the "cool kids" group of bikes.
  • 13 5
 It's funny (and sometimes incomprehensible) what people call ugly. It looks damn fine to me. I'm just concerned with the stoutness of that rear end, which on the other hand, indicates that maybe I dont' have such thing as an "aesthetic" perception of a bike, but only a function-based one. But then again, it looks damn fine to me.
  • 10 5
 Maybe you've just gotten too much used to the standard "cookie-cut" bike design that became prevalent during the last decade, and have trouble processing anything that diverges from it?
  • 6 1
 I used to think the same when looking at pictures of the Pole Machine. Then I saw one in person and it was actually the coolest bike I've ever seen. I agree, this thing is repulsive in pictures, but I wonder if it's not magnificent in person.
  • 2 1
 I must admit though, I have no concept of what an "ugly" bike might be. So there you go.
  • 75 0
 I like the way its function first.

That high stay will mean less chain slap so a quiet bike
Less rear end material low down to take rock strikes
No issues with chainring clearance
BB area is clean so mud build up and cleaning should be easy
Space for 2+ bottles or bottle & spares
Space for an evolution in the future to a gearbox

etc etc.. pretty cool IMO

When bike companies are churning out small variations on double triangle frames.... stuff like this should be welcomed with open arms... PB commenters are so vehemently conservative with their views on how things should look... really odd in such a young and supposedly "extreme" sport.
  • 4 0
 clearly you've never seen the redalp
  • 1 0
 @Soucy: not even close.
  • 7 1
 I kind of like it. I think if it was black, it would be the bike Darth Vader would ride.
  • 2 1
 looks gold but looks Orange
  • 4 1
 can't decide if it looks like a praying mantis or one of those monsters from A Quiet Place
  • 6 0
 @Karve: Too much truth for PB. Preach on
  • 5 3
 The guy in the pic looks like he doesn’t want to be associated with that bike
  • 21 12
 First, I'll leave this here www.pinkbike.com/photo/21402039

Secondly, and I've said this before, this bike is so ugly because it goes against what we innately know from nature and experience.

Low slung bikes look good to the eye because they unconsciously communicate a low COG (which matters, watch that video of Chris Porter adding lead weights to the BB and how it decreased timed runs). Low communicates preparedness and the ability to react quickly- think of a tennis player or wrestler. Or a sports car. This bike very much does not follow that aesthetic.

Also, we like things that line up because we infer that if they are geometrically associated, they probably are also structurally associated. Think about the lateral forces on this bike, like when leaning over into a turn. The stress from the BB to the rear axle takes a very circuitous route- forward and up, then up some more over the dual links, then all the way back down to the rear axle. I'd love to see the FEA on this, but I bet it isn't pretty.

Finally, I bet the large diameter tubing and bulbous downtube/seattube junction (probably required to keep the bike from cracking, due to the aforementioned stress pathway) makes this a very stiff frame to ride. Everyone on this website needs to at least try the Starling Murmur or other "flexy" bike. For non-DH (and probably DH too) it is measurably faster. It feels strange and even uncomfortable for your first few rides, but it is unquestionably faster. I PR'ed this 10 min enduro DH section by 37 seconds when I switched off a stiff, light, carbon frame onto a titanium one that has flex as a feature: www.strava.com/segments/22060408

TL;DR: Its ugly because our brains think its not optimized, and our subconscious is probably right.
  • 7 0
 Idk I disagree. Yes it is different looking, but it is unique and stands out. I think it is cool and if it weren't so pricey and did not have so many quality issues with a poor warranty process I would consider this, or the ebike version.
  • 6 1
 C3P- Oh my god that is hideous
  • 11 2
 Dunno, still better than a knolly
  • 10 1
 @hamncheez: Cheers for the concern dude! It's not a crack - feel free to drop by the stand this weekend and have a little nosey at it for yourself.
  • 9 2
 @hamncheez: This may be the most neckbeard mtb thing I have ever read in my life.
  • 4 1
 You must be a young person, as there have been a near infinity of 'ugliest bike ever!', especially in the late 80's early 90's when full suspension bikes were truly horrific to behold......Compared to it's deformed Frankenstein ancestors, this Pole is a beauty contest winner......
  • 3 1
 @PauRexs: I don't care if the world cares about Pinkbike commenter either Wink The God of Internet is with me on this one. If we would only express our opinions if someone cares then we could already leave the room and turn on the lights Wink And get back to 1980s.
  • 2 0
 Turn off. Dear Outside, could you sponsor post edit function on mobile?
  • 2 1
 I thought my Rimoaf AF was a bit rough around the edges, but it looks downright elegant next to that. The machined alu frame & glue makes zero sense to me.
  • 4 1
 @tremeer023: I love it. All bikes should be gold anodized, and I like how industrial the machined surface is.
  • 6 1
 @TwoHumanPower: To defend myself, I did engineer said titanium bike 100% on my own, so I do have some bike design experience www.pinkbike.com/photo/20805692
  • 2 0
 @racerxgrl: In the 80s ugly was the desired aesthetic in an ironic way- the clothes, hair, music, cars....
  • 1 0
 was thinking exactly this: they've gone and done it again - they keep one-upping themselves...
  • 4 2
 @salespunk: kill it with its own swing arm.
  • 5 1
 @DoubleCrownAddict: The only way this looks better is without the frame
  • 1 1
 Ugly indeed, and that's not that simple, but the details bring lots of beauties. The beauties and the beast?
  • 4 1
 @rossluzz: Finland isn't part of Scandinavia..
  • 2 3
 @salespunk: not needed - it will disintegrate on its own like other Pole creations
  • 2 1
 @Karve: Hear me out. Water bottle mounts on the chainstays.
  • 3 0
 It looks POLE-rizing...
  • 2 1
 Reminds me of the old Santa Cruz Bullit
  • 5 1
 It's like an Orange gone wrong.
  • 3 0
 Turn your screen upside down suddenly it looks good.
  • 2 2
 You are all wrong. It looks good because purposefully went OTT. Look at those friggin massive torx pivots. The gold is just to ram the point home. Ugly would be something out of touch and awkward looking but this Pole knows exactly what it is.
  • 1 2
 @PauRexs: re read the article. The ebike was pole's most sold bike. This just sures suspension layout. If you're gonna spew shit at least read the article properly.
  • 1 0
 It's funny because the parts on this bike are great, and I get this is a race bike during covid and not a show bike. But it's also the first I know of one of these built up and in the wild and that golden yellowish frame color with random grey toned parts and that white hose is horrible looking... I mean if you took any nice looking frame, painted it this color and threw on miss matched looking parts for a new bike debut it's gonna flub. But starting with this frame...???

If the frame is gonna be yellow then just make everything else black. Though seeing a white brake hose I'm assuming it's a parts scarcity thing... (too bad yellow iodizing wasn't a scarcity thing TOO!)

The frame design is just odd. The swing arm just doesn't go with the rest of the bike. I HOPE that was just the lightest, strongest swing arm design possible and not that someone that that was a nice looking design...

At least seeing it built up as a bike is better then the frame only shots I've seen so far.
  • 2 0
 @pakleni: it’s even named like one too!
  • 1 2
 You know what else is ugly? Your mother.
  • 1 2
 Haha, just joking, I haven't seen your mum in ages.
  • 190 4
 winning the EwwwwWS for sure
  • 8 0
 Damn I wish I did come up with that one!
  • 24 6
 The saddest thing about the state of MTB consumer culture is that most of these comments are about how the bike looks, with very few actually giving a fuck about how it rides. If you really care about people judging you based on how your bike looks, you are in the wrong sport.
  • 16 3
 @TwoHumanPower: There is almost no chance this thing rides significantly better than the numerous other bikes in the market that look significantly better. Don't be sad my dude, the market is right on this one.
  • 1 1
 @TwoHumanPower: How can you tell this from the looks? Also, there is nothing like "the bikes rides". Bike don't ride, riders are.
  • 4 0
 @lkubica: So youd be comfortable going down double black tech trails at the same speed on a 2005 era enduro bike with the same geometry as modern XC bikes?

Of course bike matters. While a good bike may not make you faster, it can increase confidence through more stability, allowing you to ride better features.
  • 4 2
 @TwoHumanPower: Real example would be two bikes from the same category ridden by equally skilled riders. And the difference is marginal and most of it comes from tires and suspension anyway. Just look at EWS. So, the difference in ride characteristics is there for sure, it is probably less then 1% and talking about it under this article makes no sense since not even PB staff have ridden this bike.
Now, can you like one bike more then another - yes, for sure. They ride differently. Maybe some of them ride faster under a typical Joey. But still 99% is the rider (if we are talking about the same generation of bikes). So we are having fun here on PB, reading the reviews and bitching about bikes, but the reality is that maybe 99% of us never use their bikes to the full potential, no matter if there are worse or better bikes out there. So have fun, have favourite brands, suspension layout etc. but don't fool yourself into thinking that this is the most important thing - it is not for sure.
  • 1 0
 @TwoHumanPower: yup, looks are more important than function. Humans are quite vain, seems to get worse every generation.

The worst part is the aversion to change/difference can delay advancements and progression.
  • 98 1
 Doesn't look like a session.
  • 28 5
 Orange called...
  • 15 1
 @iian: K2 circa 1999/2000 called.
  • 8 2
 @iian: To laugh at this bike.
  • 77 0
 Ribbed for more pleasure?
  • 36 0
 I just wanna run my fingernail over the damn thing and do a little "zzzzzzp"
  • 2 2
 @mattoutandabout: asphinctersayswhat...?
  • 2 0
 These looks are a pretty sure way to kill any thoughts of pleasure, though
  • 2 0
 Made by a sensual dark lord, 66 plate is fate
  • 2 0
 it can be used as a file in an emergency, it's obviously just the next step in intigrated tool storage...
  • 82 8
 nicely photographed around the crack in the seattube Big Grin
  • 8 0
 saw that in the Vital thread. classic
  • 5 1
 What crack are you talking about?
  • 1 0
 @skivt27: I give up.... I googled but didn't find the thread. Got a link?
  • 4 0
 @hamncheez: cracking picture that lol
  • 1 0
 came here for this Smile
  • 3 0
 I want this to be true
  • 11 0
 @bkm303: the source image is actually from the PB gallery, but "somehow" didn't make the article itself
  • 1 0
 ...and that's not even a joke.
  • 4 13
flag rocketboy21 (Oct 1, 2021 at 10:39) (Below Threshold)
 it's not even a crack, it's called PPF it's to protect it from scratches, stop trying to pick this thing apart just cos it looks different!
  • 6 3
 @rocketboy21: the crack is behind the yoke. We appreciate your attempt to white knight for Leo, but it has no place here
  • 1 6
flag TwoHumanPower (Oct 1, 2021 at 11:21) (Below Threshold)
 Looks more like a scrach then a crack. A crack that big would cause geometry deformation, and cracking there doesn't make sense since the seat tube is never bending backwards that much.
  • 15 2
 @reo-driver, pretty sure that's a piece of muddy grass. We'll get some more photos to confirm.
  • 7 3
 Cheers for the concern folks - feel free to drop by the stand this weekend and have a little look for yourself
  • 29 1
 Hi all, we’ve been chatting to Pole today to get to the bottom of it and we believe this is just a piece of muddy grass. Plenty of people (pros and punters) were rolling/bouncing around on the bike in the pits yesterday and nobody noticed anything until today. We've also been sent this video and photo from Joe to confirm it: www.pinkbike.com/video/542633 & www.pinkbike.com/photo/21407546
  • 4 3
 ITS A COVER UP


/sarcasm
  • 4 2
 @Mntneer: Do you feel stupid now?
  • 11 0
 @TwoHumanPower: I felt stupid before so nothing changed
  • 3 2
 @TwoHumanPower: a black scratch on a aluminium frame which normaly is silver? Wtf
  • 3 2
 @jamessmurthwaite: and whats that black at second 4? This is so fast but you still can see anything black there. So nothing proving by going that fast over the bike.
  • 54 1
 This method of manufacturing (CNC) should allow for parts to be shaped in almost any way imaginable. Which means Pole CHOSE to make the swing arm look like that. The mind boggles.
  • 5 1
 I mean it's also a sensible shape for a member under compression, putting the most second moment of area in the middle of the beam where the buckling forces are the highest. Granted they could have spent a few grams making it prettier though.
  • 1 1
 Exactly my thought.
  • 4 2
 don't those single beam stays / swing arms tend to wallow like mad from side forces? typically you'd see trusses or additional members forming a triangle or a variation of a rectangle.
  • 27 0
 20mm HIGHER bb height to corner better. errrr
  • 5 2
 Higher less grip in corner but more manubreability... I guess it must be run with loads of sag and plush suspension
  • 5 2
 Low bb and long wheelbase maybe makes it more difficult to change direction? But my preferred solution would be to not have a ridiculous wheelbase, who wants their bike to ride like a 60's Cadillac?
  • 13 0
 So for a race where most the stages are tight and twisty, hes on a 190mm, super long, super high bike? How does any of this make sense?
  • 2 0
 Yup, do the same on SMX with foot-pegs. Lower makes it more stable/harder to flick.
  • 1 0
 durp. nevermind.
  • 5 1
 @hamncheez: This. I do not understand running a long 190mm bike on the tracks at this EWS. In the wet too.
  • 4 0
 @gramboh: If long suspension travel does not cause any compromises in other areas, why not then? More buffer for situations if things go sideways.
  • 1 1
 @jukka4130: but it does. It slows down smoother, low speed, tight corners. It slows down flat, pedal sections. It slows down smoother, pumpy sections as well.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: I disagree here. None of that is necessarily true given that the kinematics are well thought out, something that could be assumed with a new suspension design as in this case. Yes, extra travel can mean that extra input or body language is required from the rider when ti comes to pumping, and maneuvering the bike. When it comes to pedal efficiency, it can be that there's not much of a difference compared to 160mm bikes for example. On the flip side, the added travel can give quite a bit more buffer for bad situations and can be generally faster in the rough and fast stuff.

190mm is sure on the upper end of things, but Paul Aston went further with his custom G1.
nsmb.com/articles/paul-astons-210mm-do-everything-nicolai-g1

The Vorsprung videos are also a very good take on the subject.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsbMU-JTCJI
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Inrf0MD8vHI
  • 2 0
 @jukka4130: I think the EWS results are the best take on the subject.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: Very much agreed.
  • 21 2
 The front and rear look like they where designed by totally different people, at different times in history..on different corners of the globe.. The front looks like it was painfully sculpted organic perfection...The rear was made out of wood, in an afternoon.
  • 4 2
 Best of both worlds
  • 2 0
 No corners on this globe But get what you are saying
  • 19 1
 The machining is pretty neat. Not for all eyes but interesting to say the least.
  • 15 2
 A sideways mounted piggyback shock between your knees, that can't be comfortable...
  • 14 0
 That's Polerizing
  • 14 0
 C3PO wants his bike back
  • 22 11
 The overall shape is...challenging, but up close this bike's quality far surpasses what most other brands are doing.
  • 7 3
 Its like the opposite of nice from far but far from nice.
  • 12 1
 Far surpasses in what ways?
  • 14 1
 Tell that to all the people with broken Poles
  • 1 1
 @SimbaandHiggins: Apparently that's down to viagra
  • 11 0
 HOW DOES HE SIT DOWN WITH SEATSTAYS THAT BIG?

It's definitely weird, let's see if it works!
  • 12 2
 With the huge possibilities of machining a frame, they come up with....this?
  • 10 1
 Some designs should be ruled out purely on visual appeal. This is definitely one of them.
  • 12 2
 Looks like an orange.
  • 6 0
 *Gold
  • 10 2
 I think that looks amazing! I have so many questions.. is that headtube made for head-angle / reach adjs?
  • 7 0
 I'm with you. I can see why some might not like it, but I think this thing looks fresh and interesting and I bet it rides like a beast. The only things I'm not huge on are the colour and the big head tube. But if the head tube does what you're asking about (I suspect that is the case), then it's totally justified.
  • 12 3
 It’s the Outside+ of bikes…
  • 5 0
 I rode an original evo link for the past 5 seasons. Say what you want about Leo, but they are still waiting for some manufactures to catch up to them when it comes to geometry. I'll miss that bike. This however looks like someone turned Goldust of WWF fame into a bicycle.
  • 6 1
 Can we get past the look of that thing and get looking at that suspension ? I am trying to get my head around it but all I can visualise is basically a full forward axle path, like this thing seems to be the opposite of a HP bike and makes me wonder how that can work.
  • 7 0
 Joe Nations Pole bike check: 212 comments
Vaea’s Rocky: 25 comments
Joe Breedens NS: 29 comments

The aesthetic seems to be working.
  • 5 1
 How many pole bikes actually get sold?, it must be a good few to even consider it a viable business even at a very hi price tag. Thay probably ride really well. There was a chap on one at cannock a few months ago and I thought the reach and fork angle just looked uncomfortable, terrible for tight woods or switchbacks up or down hill. Probably great in the alps if your crusing at 30mph most of the day.
  • 13 0
 I had a Pole Machine: heading it downhill it had no speedlimit, but sluggish and far from playful elsewhere. The frame bolts came loose and it began to delaminate...End of Pole story!
  • 3 1
 Pole sells a lot of Taivals, which are very popular hardtails. They also saw a lot of preorders for the ebike, which is a steal considering how much some specialized cost. They aren't as popular, but they definitely sell quite a few to keep the demand high. The original reason they had the big delays in the first place 2 years back before Covid is because they got swarmed with orders with no real CS pipeline setup.
  • 1 0
 @TwoHumanPower: The Tavial is just a run of the mill Taiwan hardtail, no-one should be buying it for the money they charge.
  • 2 0
 @xxinsert-name-herexx: Does the country of origin make it a lesser bike then?
  • 3 0
 @xxinsert-name-herexx:

Its one of the longest hardtails out there that feels way better on steeper stuff, steel, fits 2 water bottles, and is competitively priced at $800ish for the frame set. What other hardtails are there that are similar but cheaper?
  • 1 0
 @jukka4130: It makes it less worth it's price, yes.Why do you think "made in XYZ" is such a big selling point?
  • 1 0
 @xxinsert-name-herexx: Do not make mistake here, I do consider the place of manufacturing a considerable selling point. The comment about Taival made it sound that it's the only chromoly HT frame manufactured in Taiwan in that particular price category.
  • 6 0
 The Stamina is probably my favorite looking bike ever, but this definitely up there. I'm a total sucker for coarse visible tool paths in 5 axis machined parts though.
  • 3 0
 I think it looks cool to not run a finishing pass on a CNC. But it will make it a nightmare to clean and will likely decrease the strength at least a little bit.
  • 7 1
 Everyone’s so hung up on how ugly this thing is they aren’t even concerned that he’s running an 11 speed derailleur with a 12 speed cassette... what’s up w that?
  • 14 7
 Thats like seeing the ugliest most cracked out meth head prostitute on the street and wondering about her shoes.
  • 1 0
 Cable pull ratios are the same for 11 and 12speed SRAM and is very close with Shimano too. I am running a 12s Shimano mech with a 11s Sram shifter with no problem at all and also does on my GF bike.
  • 1 0
 @Tmackstab: well, if she’s wearing one louboutin and one vintage air Jordan I’m gonna wonder. Not gonna pay her for a ride but I’m going to wonder.
  • 2 0
 @Balgaroth: I think the bigger issue is how is the cage on the 11-speed clearing a 50 or 52 tooth cassette cog? The biggest I could clear was a 46t XT on mine.
  • 1 0
 @seraph: I am running a 11-46 anyway so I can't tell about a 50t cog but I would say it should work as long as the chain is short enough and the b-screw setup properly to have the line on the cage aligned properly.
  • 1 0
 This excites me. The current sram clutches are awful. My chain is all over the place with my current x01 eagle, and a new derailleur seems to fix that for 2-3 weeks.
)
If I can run an older, 11 speed rear mech with the adjustable type 2 clutch (this looks to be type 2) with my 10-50 cassette, then I'll probably die of happiness. No more chainslap!
  • 1 0
 @Darwin66: careful tho because shifting performance becomes really poor once you start tightening the mew Shim mechs. Also a clean and greasing of the one way bearing composing the clutch is highly recommended. And I mean clean and greasing of the inside of the bearing, not just on the outside like the muppets do in the YT videos you can find about the topic. Mechs are shit wether they are Sram or Shim, just different kind.
  • 1 0
 @Balgaroth: I cant seem to get into the sram clutches. They're sealed as far as I can see.

I've got an xt groupset on order, but that won't be here for another few months. In my experience cranking the clutch doesnt have too much of an effect, and it keeps everything silent. Although the shifting isn't quite di2 road level.
  • 5 1
 Really like how Pole keeps pushing for better design (even if mistakes are made) and not just following the trendy PB cookie cutter copy paste marketing first mantra steering most of this industry. Actually like it, makes sense and improves upon their previous designs.
  • 4 0
 I really like it!

I'm also sick of seeing the same ole simple lines with seat tube gusset and bent downtube.

I admire the work that went into this which is obvious but the tool lines so that might be part of the reason I love it Smile

Every bike out there is basically looking the same except these outliers with cool risky design elements.

If it works then its awesome. If its a dog then it'll disappear slowly without notice.

But again, I ride and appreciate the different, odd, unique, and not so much the boutique... ie, yeti, yeti yeti Wink

well done
  • 6 1
 Maybe I’m just a shit rider but how does increasing the BB height make it easier to corner? Isn’t the opposite generally true.
  • 5 2
 imagine your BB height from ground being a lever. looking at bike from head on, you tilt the bike when cornering, which is like pulling a lever.

taller BB = longer lever = easier to tilt

lower BB= smaller lever = takes more effort to tilt
  • 1 0
 @dovbvsh66: Higher center of gravity generally isn't a positive, but if Pole wants to let me demo this thing, I'm happy to be proved wrong.
  • 3 0
 @dovbvsh66: That's taking cg out of the equation. Sure it's technically a longer lever, but now your cg is higher, which is also not beneficial.
  • 9 2
 It's hideous, it's like a broomstick and a shovel had a child
  • 2 0
 LMAO
  • 3 0
 Some proper Sisu Smile
Rocky Mountain did something with a similar layout years ago: www.pinkbike.com/news/article2829.html
My limited experience of taking one for a quick ride was that, for the time, it was pretty awesome. Sadly the one I tried out was snapped in half by its owner a few weeks later.
Would I buy one of these? Probably not - but I don't ride stuff that warrants that sort of bike. Am I glad Pole is trying this stuff out? Damn right I am.
  • 6 0
 Looks like a protocol droid.
  • 3 0
 Introducing the Goldfinger edition just in time for the release of Bond 25.

Honestly, I can’t get Austin’s Powers Goldmember out of my head when I look at it “I like gooold.”
  • 7 0
 I think it's gorgeous
  • 5 0
 It is definitely growing on me. Ths more i look at it, the more I'd like to ride it. The integrated seatclamp looks trick!
  • 4 0
 All bikes should have an integrated seat clamp.
  • 2 0
 Actually - After looking at it a few times, I don't hate it... It's just the odd look of a high single pivot, but would LOVE PB to do a suspension analysis on this one. Including cats with laser eyes. Really wondering how hard this bike would be to keep clean. All those ridges must help mud sick like mad...
  • 2 0
 Funny, I thought I was going to hate it because Pole's designs have typically been very polarizing but this is growing on me. The piggyback shock turned and right at knee level is a bit concerning but I'd like to see how this rides. Initial ride impressions soon Pinkbike?
  • 4 2
 I know Pole is pushing the envelope and all, but my god that bike is not attractive to me. Its not even like average, its like holy shit its parents must have been related ugly. its like the fiat multipla, the pontiac aztek, and the buick rendezvous had a threesome and the offspring was then dropped on its head. I do like the closeups because CNC'd aluminum is dead sexy, and I sincerely hope it rides well so as to compensate for its looks.
  • 2 0
 Not gonna lie had to google them. Except for Multipla
  • 1 0
 It's starting to look more like a preying mantis male after the female bit his head off. The triangle/front shape in general looks nice, the head tube looks like a swollen knee, and the pivot arms to the swing arm are the worst element. I feel like they need a sign in the design dept that reads "just because you can, doesn't mean you should"
  • 6 1
 I do hope it's fast, cause it ain't pretty.
  • 2 0
 "The support that linked the top tube and downtube on the first prototype of the frame has now been removed for a cleaner front triangle."

I foresee potential issues with this decision...
  • 13 0
 Don't worry, it's the xc prototype.
  • 6 0
 @littleskull99: Downcountry. At 190 it's got a liiiittle bit more travel than an XC bike.
  • 3 0
 @PTyliszczak: slight whoosh. I was referencing the broken "xc proto" rear triangle that broke on huck to flat in the previous field tests.
  • 2 0
 @littleskull99: slight whoosh. That's the whole reason I made my first comment.
  • 1 3
 @pisgahgnar: why the second seemingly whoosh comment then?
  • 3 0
 @littleskull99: A second joke that didn't hit right. I'm no comedian apparently
  • 1 0
 190 Zeb is on general release no? I bought one from a shop because it was all they had in stock.
  • 5 0
 Can't break a chainstay if there aren't any chainstays!
  • 2 0
 @bananowy: I’m guessing anyone that looks at that and thinks it’s a crack has never seen an actual crack and also flunked physics
  • 7 2
 Aesthetically, this is a rolling crime against humanity.
  • 1 2
 100%.... F-ing hideous
  • 4 0
 Rare footage of Leo Kokkonen in his natural habitat youtu.be/k-COG4YTn6M
  • 4 0
 Rank as the day is long. Imagine how good Joe would be on a bike that went round corners?
  • 5 1
 The lack of finishing passes in the mill isn’t as cool as these cnc frame designers think.
  • 4 2
 They missed the memo on stress risers.
  • 2 0
 PB comment section: “zOmG LoOk At ThAt BeAuTiFuL cNc WeRkzZZ mAeNz”

Those of us who work with advanced manufacturing:
tenor.com/bjMVf.gif
  • 3 1
 Unpopular opinion This is the most beautiful bike i've ever seen. It looks like a spaceship. That swing arm is a beautiful piece of metal. I'll never be able to afford one, but I want one.
  • 4 0
 ...the most stressed way to use a four bar linkage... they had to double the strength of the pivots.
  • 6 2
 I think Pole have nailed it. If the whinging moaners in the PB comments section hate it then it can't be half bad!
  • 1 0
 Con: it looks so bad you'd lose all your friends and family since they'd be so appalled that you spent a fortune on such an ugly creation.
Pro: You'd ride quicker, so less people could see you on such a monstrosity and you'd be trying extra hard to prove to your friends and family, who you used to know, that it was actually a good decision to buy the thing.
  • 4 0
 " SRAM Eagle w/ 11 speed deraileur " - the what now?
  • 2 0
 Yeah- this is what I want to know as well. Why?? Googled it to see if this was a ‘thing’ but found nothing.

Can it shift into the 50t cog? I know there are supply chain issues, but…
  • 3 0
 @basic-ti-hardtail: Shouldn't have a problem. On a previous bike I had a the older SRAM NX 11-42t 11speed. I added the Wolftooth GC49 kit which essentially adds a 49t cog to the cassette. With a small adjustment to the B screw, the 11 speed derailleur had no issue handling the new 49t cog... still a fair bit of room on the B screw. I suspect it was the same here. But can you adjust an 11 speed derailleur to use all twelve gears? Does he just not plan to use the 10t maybe? Or maybe you're right... maybe depending on the course and depending on chainring size, maybe he doesn't need the 50t?
  • 5 0
 As long as he is using a 12 speed shifter he will have all 12 speeds. 11 and 12 speed SRAM and 10-12 speed Shimano are all cross compatible. I run a 11 speed SRAM shifter on a 12 speed Shimano derailleur, with a 10-50 cassette and it works great.
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: exactly, cable pull ratios are the same on 11/12s systems and nearly the same on 11/12Sram and 11/12Shimano so it's all cross compatible. For once something that doesn't screw the end user.
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: That's good to know. I run a 9 speed ZTTO cassete with 11s shimano RD and 9 speed SRAM shifter. I'd say sram has better shifters and shimano better RD (for the price at least) and I was thinking about going 11 speed with the Sram shifter because I prefer the ergonomics.
  • 2 0
 @Notmeatall: I didn't know that was a cross compatible setup, good to know. That is exactly the reason I run the SRAM shifter, much prefer the ergonomics over the Shimano stuff. I actually also have an XT shifter, just would rather run the SRAM.
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: I've heard and seen some people running 12s shimano and sram stuff together. I can't confirm or deny because I dont have those, but if I had them laying around, I sure would test.
  • 4 0
 First thoughts for me Stunning , clean and very nice
  • 1 0
 @chakaping: Well played sir Wink Marmite steed but maybe youre right
  • 3 1
 I think the last time I saw something that required this much work, yet looked this terrible would probably be Caitlyn Jenner.
  • 2 0
 Beauty is controversial in meaning...
Only those that can design with beauty, will have their creations loved over time.

Eg: Jaguar E Type
  • 1 0
 Ever heard of Polish scientist? NOPE. Ever heard of Polish bike designer? Not until now, clearly he makes things as ugly as can be. This bike reeks for it’s ugliness akin to polish sausage.
  • 5 2
 This bike better work well because it's surely not pretty #blingpole
  • 1 0
 I hope there is a drain hole at the bottom of that BB area..... otherwise run a straw alongside the cable and use it as a reservoir
  • 2 0
 I'd like to mount that swing arm as a pull up bar! Direct challenge or Orange for swing arm conspicuousness.
  • 1 1
 I appreciate the creativity. If I were an eccentric wealthy wacko I’d do something like this too. It’s so ugly but not ugly enough to love for me. Good job pole! It better be the best bike ever made. Ever.
  • 1 0
 Is that a dent, on the non drive side, at the top of the rear not triangle ( the pole that keeps the rear wheel behind you) ?
  • 3 0
 Sexual looking bike! Would love one!
  • 2 0
 Definitely a marmite (or vegimite) bike, but unlike marmite, i friggin love this Pole.
  • 1 2
 This is a good example of how e-biked affect the design of analog parts. As the industry navigates continued supply chain issues, brands will prioritize dual purpose designs. This generally means the heavier e-bike variants of a technology will make up a greater share of what's available on the market.
  • 1 1
 This bike was not designed it was assembled out of Mechano parts. Check the Pole website this is a case of repeated offending, who actually spends their own money on these things???
  • 2 1
 Orange and pole must be in competition for the ugliest bikes. Oops I forgot about khs. These are the kinds of bikes you only ride at night
  • 1 0
 Well pedals keep getting longer and cranks keep getting shorter, I guess the new Grim Donut needs pedals that are longer than it's cranks.
  • 2 0
 something about this bike wants me to melt it down and sell to the local pawn shop
  • 2 0
 Could you develop how a higher BB makes it better at cornering It doesn't make sense to me.
  • 3 0
 Wouldnt touch it with a 10 foot p. . . Bye.
  • 2 0
 Any body else catch the smirk from the dude in the back of the main photo? He thinks the same as most of pb it seems
  • 1 1
 So guy's the brief was to design a bike that is hideous it could only be described as unique as a positive. Make the first Orangefs look like modern day bike smut. And here is your winning.......... thing.
  • 4 1
 Nope
  • 4 2
 the ugliest bike in the world
  • 1 1
 Maybe,,, But definitely the ugliest MTB I've seen in quite some time.
  • 1 0
 +bb height, I bet it’s a manuals very nicely. Hopefully see lot’s of one wheel action thru the stages.
  • 4 2
 Work of art! Would love to test ride one. Smile
  • 6 4
 Seems like a lot of people confuse unusual with ugly
  • 5 2
 @jostaudt Nah... No confusion. It's ugly. Ugly frame design, ugly color/finish. It's just gross man. But hey. To each their own. Different stokes for different folks.
  • 4 1
 Looks cool!
  • 4 2
 This bike looks disgusting
  • 1 0
 I always was super curious about all of this in theory fast bikes, do they even get to the podiums, besides some local race?
  • 2 0
 'Holy CNC MACHINE Batman!!!'
  • 2 1
 Odd looking but I like something about it and the up close shots of the machining… beautiful
  • 3 2
 You like stress risers? LoL
  • 1 0
 No one is going to say that it looks like the Grim Donut? I must have missed it in the first few posts.
  • 2 0
 Mr. T wants his bike back
  • 2 0
 Is he the first one to put that Pole between his legs?
  • 2 0
 That gold chain is just a bit too much
  • 2 1
 Looks good....very fresh.....I'd like to ride one. The alloy finish is cool.
  • 1 0
 it's a dual high pivot! i think the axle path moves forward, but i could be wrong. i think i love it!
  • 2 0
 High pivot thats not a copy of other brands..
  • 2 0
 Amazing in the flesh but need to line the valves up!!!
  • 1 0
 So.....who's going to be first with the 200mm enduro bike. Not bodged up DH's we've seen but a genuine enduro.
  • 1 0
 It this was a film character.? Sloth from Goonies? Not a looker but got your back?
  • 1 0
 11 speed drivetrain ... looks like I am not the only one who's sick of 12 speed drivetrains
  • 4 2
 Speaking of ugly....?
  • 2 1
 Really sweet piece of engineering. I can't even see the motor.
  • 1 0
 Well if this doesn't get a polemic response....
  • 3 2
 Looking forward to the emtb version.
  • 3 0
 It's here already. Pole Voima
  • 2 1
 r/ATBGE (awful taste but great execution)
  • 1 0
 It's cool for pole dancing.
  • 1 1
 Its just the lack of chainstay for me! I cant help but think it would be a sick looking frame by just adding the chainstay!
  • 1 0
 At least the cranks won't break.
  • 3 2
 This thing is the dream! I love the look and the gold is so nice
  • 5 4
 Best looking bike in years
  • 2 1
 the Fiat Multpla of mountain bike. Ugly as fuck
  • 1 0
 Can't break chainstays if they don't exist.
  • 1 0
 Not much cuppa but its interesting and the finish is pretty cool
  • 3 2
 Fugly.

You read right, fugly... a portmanteau of f***ing and ugly.
  • 2 0
 It looks hideously cool.
  • 1 0
 The bastard child of an Orange & a Trimble!
  • 1 2
 Honestly.... No matter how good a bike it may or may not be. I just don't think I'd ever be cool with responding to someone with the statement "yeah, I ride a Pole"
  • 1 0
 Shoot this into my veins.
  • 2 0
 is that invisiframed?
  • 2 0
 Impossible to tell....
  • 1 0
 This bike looks like it should have been on the set of Gold Member.
  • 1 0
 Looks like (a) S… ah no, nevermind…
  • 1 1
 To justify its shape, this bike has to win each and every EWS race from now to the end of times.
  • 2 1
 Probably even uglier than an Orange - didnt know that was possible
  • 2 1
 now i know who hired finnpower bike designer
  • 1 1
 looks aside how is it that we seem to have gone back 15-20 years in term of DH bb heights!!!!
  • 2 0
 Is Joe a rapper?
  • 1 0
 I'm just here for the comments before work.
  • 1 0
 Not bad for an e bike hahahahahahaah
  • 2 1
 No, no, no, no, no, no, no and noooooo!
  • 2 1
 I agree possibly the ugliest bike ever made, at least in the modern era
  • 1 0
 Maybe it rides better than it looks
  • 1 0
 If they don't name this the mantis!!
  • 1 1
 Damn, killer! Gold suits this bike, down to the build...I can almost hear it *bling*ing through the computer screen.
  • 1 0
 It sure is fugly tho I’m sure it rides like a dream
  • 1 0
 So they made an Iron Horse FS Works with modern geometry.
  • 1 0
 C3PO got mashed into a bike frame
  • 1 0
 Is single pivot rear suspension even relevant any more?
  • 1 0
 Someone is trying to beat REDALP
  • 1 0
 If you turn your computer upside down it looks really nice.
  • 1 0
 @pinkbike Why would I want to see Joe Nation’s Pole
  • 1 0
 Damn that's one ugly bike.
  • 1 1
 Bravo Pole, you've managed the impossible; Orange bikes now look positively modern and aesthetically pleasing.
  • 1 0
 A simple chainstay would do wonders for this bike...
  • 1 0
 If they don’t find you handsome, they better find you handy.
  • 1 0
 Really dig the 50s sci fi inspired look!
  • 1 0
 That thing looks like C3PO from Star Wars.
  • 1 0
 Do people seriously but these?
  • 3 2
 WHY?
  • 3 2
 Looks like a Fugly
  • 2 1
 Reminds me of a Locust.
  • 2 2
 like a donkey f**ing a hippopotamus, its party time.
  • 3 3
 No photos of the crack in the frame?
  • 1 0
 Crank creek eewings eh?
  • 2 2
 Someone finally managed to polish a turd.
  • 1 1
 It must weigh a metric tonne with all that aluminium.
  • 2 1
 Fugly!
  • 2 1
 KILL IT WITH FIRE!!!
  • 2 1
 It’s f*cking horrible
  • 2 3
 Cracking bike, very snappy. Seriously buy one if you want the worst experience you will ever have cycling.
  • 1 0
 :barf: emoji
  • 1 0
 Look past the gold.
  • 1 4
 I’m gonna call out the obvious. It does not have any chain stays.. thats going make it hard to corner… especially with a +20mm bb height…

Nice CNC work though…
  • 3 1
 I ride an Orange Alpine 160. That doesn’t have chainstays to speak of either. The BB is also a bit higher. The thing rides great. I love it.
  • 5 7
 That's a four bar linkage, not a six bar
  • 2 0
 Functionally speaking, it’s neither of the two
  • 3 0
 @BenTheSwabian: this is the most german comment I have read
  • 1 4
 Must be too heavy and looks bad. Rear suspensio n kinematic must be worst than single pivot
  • 3 0
 And the rationale behind this is?
  • 1 4
 Hmm... direct offspring of a stinky e-bike, I don't like it. Burn it
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