Last time Kavenz released a bike, it was teased with a series of 25 YouTube videos over two years and arrived onto the scene on a wave of hype. That hype seems to have been justified as when we reviewed the VHP 16 we nicknamed it the 'The Traction Master'
and it's also the bike of choice for out 'Things That Are Made in Europe' correspondent The European Bike Project
This latest iteration of the bike may not have benefitted from the same marketing push but it's safe to say we are still excited for the German brand's next project. The new version of the bike builds on those solid foundations but with even more smashability.
VHP 18 DetailsFrame Material:
180mmHead Tube Angle:
63.5°Seat Tube Angle:
440-520mm reach (in 20mm increments)Price:
€2,645 (no shock)More info: kavenz.com
As the name suggests, the bike now has 180mm of rear wheel travel and Kavenz recommend pairing that with anywhere from 180mm to 200mm up front. This allows you to create a versatile build that Kavenz says can be used for everything from super enduro to freeride and downhill.
It's not strictly correct to call this a new bike and most of the platform is identical to the VHP 16 but with a different shock mount and a new shock. On the VHP 16, the shock is trunnion mount 205x65mm but on the VHP18, it's a 225x75mm trunnion mount. In fact, if you have a VHP16 from batches 0-5 and a reach of more than 500mm you can make the conversion to your current bike (all reach sizes of future batches will also be compatible with a VHP18 conversion).
The conversion to a longer shock and greater travel will also result in some other changes it's worth knowing about too. Firstly, the longer travel version of the bike only allows for a 27.5" rear wheel so it can only be run as a mullet or a full 27.5" bike. There are also some geometry changes too including a 0.5° slackening of the head tube and seat tube angles and an increase of 15-21mm in the wheelbase over the VHP16 (based on 480mm reach).
The kinematics of the bike have also changed, but very slightly. The new suspension charts are below:
Kavenz will continue to build their bikes in Germany, which they say results in shorter wait periods for orders to be completed. They claim a customized frame will be delivered 3 months from ordering and if they have a stock frame in their warehouse, delivery times can be even shorter. - raw frames start at two weeks, powdercoated at 4 weeks and a black anodized frame could be yours within 8 weeks. The VHP18 is priced at €2,645 (no shock), + €600 for Fast Fenix EVO shock & +€600 for an EXT Arma shock.