Production Privée's Steel-Framed Shan N°5 - Review

Nov 19, 2017 at 15:49
by Mike Levy  



There's certainly no shortage of carbon fiber super-bikes to choose from these days, but it's slim pickings when it comes to high-end full-suspension bikes made out of steel. For those riders who enjoy something a bit different, we have Production Privée's 140mm-travel Shan N°5. Intended to be a do-it-all, bash-around bike, the steel N°5 can be fitted with a fork that has anywhere between 140mm and 160mm of travel, and it also has room for a plus-sized rear tire.

''We wanted the Shan N°5 to be an excellent performer, to be fun, simple, reliable and with maintenance reduced to a strict minimum,'' so says the spiel on Production Privée's website, which is the same brief as their popular Shan hardtail but in a more forgiving package.

Shan N°5 Details

• Intended use: enduro / all-mountain / trail
• Rear wheel travel: 140mm
• Fork travel: 150mm
• Wheel size: 27.5''
• Frame material: 4130 steel
• 1X drivetrain only
• BB92 bottom bracket
• Single-pivot design
• 12 x 148mm Boost hub spacing
• Room for 27.5'' x 2.8'' rear tire
• Ant-rust coating
• Weight: 31lb 15oz
• MSRP: €2,915.83 - €4,165.83 (exc. VAT)
www.production-privee.com


Shan n 5 in the making our very first full suspension bike
This early Shan test mule has me wishing for an unpainted, clear coated color option. Who's with me?


If you want some steel in your life, a Shan N°5 frame and Fox Float DPS EVOL shock goes for € 1,499.17 to € 1,749.17 (exc. VAT), and complete bikes run between € 2,915.83 - € 4,165.83 (exc. VAT) depending on the build. The bike shown here sports a one-off build, however, and it weighs 31lb 15oz. At 8.37lb for a frame (sans shock), this is one machine that's probably not for those concerned with how much their bike weighs.


Design Details

Production Privée is best known for their steel hardtail, a bike that we were big fans of when we reviewed it back in 2012, so it's not a surprise to see their first full-suspension frame also using steel tubing. That being said, it wasn't a 'steel or nothing' sort of decision when Damien Nosella, one of the main minds behind the company's bikes, penned the new N°5.

They were open to using other materials, he said, but, in the end, steel was the go-to choice: ''We decided to go the 4130 CrMo route for the chassis. Since the advent of mechanical sports, CrMo chassis contraptions have been winning car and motorcycle races every weekend,'' Nosella said when the N°5 was first released. ''Steel is a magical material with impeccable strength and very high levels of elasticity and fatigue resistance. When used on a bike, incredibly high levels of tolerance and grip are obtained compared with an alloy or carbon chassis.''


Production Priv e Shan N 5 Photo by James Lissimore
Production Priv e Shan N 5 Photo by James Lissimore
The Shan's alloy dropouts and forward shock mount are both bolted onto the steel frame.


The small diameter steel tubing gives the N°5 a classic, clean look, even with the external cable routing and bolt-on guides. And speaking of bolting things on, the location of the Fox shock means that the only place you'll be bolting a bottle cage on is the underside of the downtube, and most of you know how I feel about that...

The forward shock mount is also bolted onto the frame rather than welded, and two ISCG tabs sit under the BB92 bottom bracket shell that let you attach some sort of taco-style protection if you make a habit out of smashing into things.


Production Priv e Shan N 5 Photo by James Lissimore
There's enough clearance for you to roll through wet cement without it clogging up or, in a more likely scenario, run a 2.8'' tire.


People who want to run a 170mm-stroke dropper post will appreciate the short-ish seattube, and those that like plus-sized meat will be stoked to see that the slim steel seatstay and chainstay tubes leave plenty of room for up to a 2.8'' wide tire. What you won't be able to run, though, is a front derailleur, with the N°5 being a dedicated 1X drivetrain bike. Front derailleurs are silly anyway.

The 'Bahama Yellow' paint job is pretty polarizing, I suspect, and it's actually a homage to Singer, the legendary Californian brand that ''re-imagines'' Porsche's 964-chassis 911 cars into $400,00 USD (and up from there) dream machines.

Nosella and crew at Production Privée are fans of classic cars and auto racing, which explains their adjustable sweep grips that are modeled after the notable Dunlop CR65 Formula One tire, and that theme can be spotted throughout their catalog. Those who prefer a more subdued look than Bahama Yellow can go with a black frame.
Production Priv e geometry


Production Priv e Shan N 5 Photo by James Lissimore
The Shan employs a single pivot design with an aluminum clevis to drive the shock and deliver 140mm of rear wheel travel.


Suspension Design

Production Privée talks a lot about simplicity and reliability, so it makes sense that they've gone with a relatively straightforward single-pivot layout rather than employ a bunch of links or something novel for the N°5's back end. The design delivers 140mm of rear wheel travel, and the custom tuned Fox Float DPS EVOL metric shock is said to provide a ''low ratio that guarantees the best possible performance: sensitivity at the beginning, perfect rebound performance, and great efficiency throughout its entire suspension travel.'' Hmm, heady claims for sure, but can an uncomplicated single-pivot system deliver on that marketing-speak?

The Fox shock is driven by an aluminum yoke that helps to isolate it from side loads, and Nosella says that while he could have gone with some sort of wildly varying leverage rate that would have sounded impressive on paper, he's designed a linear-progressive setup that he says is about creating a predictable and easy to understand suspension system.

In the name of less maintenance and more riding, the main pivot is sized the same as a Press Fit bottom bracket shell, with alloy cups and angular contact bearings that he said makes it reliable and easy to service.
Production Priv e Shan N 5 Photo by James Lissimore
I like big bearings and can not lie.

And why the middle-of-the-road 140mm of travel? ''This travel size was not chosen so as to meet the criteria of a specific category, but purely as a way of extracting the maximum amount of pleasure and performance out of the Shan N°5,'' he said of the hard to pin down number.


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Specifications
Specifications
Release Date 2017
Price $2915.83
Travel 140
Rear Shock Fox Float Factory series 210x55mm
Fork Fox Factory series 34, FIT4, 150mm
Cassette SRAM Eagle GX 12spd
Crankarms SRAM Eagle GX w/ 30t
Bottom Bracket SRAM
Rear Derailleur SRAM Eagle GX
Chain SRAM Eagle GX
Shifter Pods SRAM Eagle GX
Handlebar Production Privee LGB 780mm
Stem Production Privee R2R 50mm
Grips Production Privee CR35
Brakes SRAM Guide RS
Wheelset Stan's Flow MK3
Tires Maxxis HR2 EXO TR 2.4'' / Minion EXO TR 2.3''
Seat SDG Duster
Seatpost Bike Yoke Revive 160mm



Production Priv e Shan N 5 Photo by James Lissimore



2 Questions With Production Privée's Damien Nosella

Mike Levy: The Shan N°5's 140mm of travel isn't quite long enough to call it an enduro bike, and I'd argue that it's a bit too much for it to be a trail bike. How would you classify the N°5, and where has it been designed to excel?

Damien Nosella: We wanted the Shan Nº5 to be our perfect all-arounder / mountaineer. Either it’s for a lunch ride, a full enduro race weekend, a day in the mountain, or a day at the bike park. More than anything, the Nº5 is designed to give you fun and confidence for day-long rides and that in a simple package.

The non-orthodox travel number is a result of geometry and engineering requirements and not an answer to a "marketing” segment. Again, what we wanted to achieve is a fun but forgiving ride, strong and reliable. That’s why we choose a single pivot design, a low damping ratio, and steel over other materials in order to work on the “mechanical” grip notion with the means at hand for the size of our company. What I mean is that if our main target was to design a race bike, we would have done it differently. Is there a classification for a bike that takes you by the hand and carries you to the next turn and obstacle for hours and hours?
Damien Nosella


Levy: The Shan N°5 is a lot of fun, but there are many carbon and aluminum bikes on the market that are also fun. Why should a rider choose your steel bike over one made using carbon or aluminum? What does steel offer?

Nosella: Engineering-wise, steel offers remarkable properties in strength, tunable stiffness, fatigue, and resilience. Playing on section sizes, butted lengths, thicknesses, and heat treatment let us work on what we call the “mechanical” grip, a dynamic concept which car and bike racing companies laid on for their GP, MXGP bikes to give that right amount of flex to maximize traction, grip in corners, off-cambers, etc... I can’t speak for the top athletes of our sport, but I believe they will probably need an incisive chassis to hit their lines to the millimeter; at the opposite end, the average rider or the enduro rider needs a forgiving and confidence-giving bike to let him enjoy the ride or racing for hours.

That’s what steel can offer; the right amount of flex and dynamism. And last but not least is the superiority in terms of fatigue resistance that steel offers: a frame made out of steel will keep its dynamic and strength characteristics longer than any aluminum frame without the cost of a carbon frame (a well engineered one, and that’s another big topic).






Climbing

You don't need a degree in bikeology to know that the boys at Production Privée didn't put ascending at the top of their priority list; this just isn't that kind of machine. But while the steel banana performed as expected in the handling department on tricky climbs - that is, not awesomely - it's surprisingly efficient when you're on the gas. Hefty rubber only adds to the N°5's weight, which is an entirely different battle, but the bike scoots along nicely under power once you're past walking speed, and it does so without the need to reach down for the Fox shock's swindle switch. You might expect that from a 140mm-travel bike, but I'd argue that this particularly rowdy example could be excused for feeling a bit squishy and slow when the rider is on the gas. Even so, there's no justification needed here.

When it comes to scrabbling up a technical pitch, it's decidedly less rosy. Or maybe I should say that the Shan performs about how you'd expect a chunky steel bike with big meat and angles designed to excel in the opposite direction. Does the bike get a free pass, then? I'm not sure, to be honest. With patience and precision, you can get the Shan up all sorts of nastiness, but it's also not exactly going to be doing you any favors and helping you along in those moments.


Production Priv e Shan N 5 Photo by James Lissimore
The yellow bike is efficient, sure, but it makes no apologies for not being a KOM hunter. This just isn't that type of bike.


bigquotesThe Shan's heft and angles keep it from matching lighter weight, sharping handling competition, but I suspect that the guys at Production Privée are well aware of that and don't really give a damn. If your attitude towards climbing matches theirs, you'll get along just fine with the N°5. If you feel more invested in your ascents, however, this bike probably isn't suited to your needs.


It's probably not fair to compare this rig to other 140mm-travel bikes, such as the carbon fiber Devinci Troy, as the large majority of those are surely more trail oriented; instead, think of the Shan as a short-travel enduro bike and get on with your climb.

The key to success is to keep your weight low and forward to fight the bike's front-end length, have an attentive approach to steering, and be aware of where your pedals are at the ends of the regrettably long 175mm cranks to keep them from striking the ground. Do all that while having a no-f*cks-given attitude about climbing, and you'll get on just fine with the N°5.
Production Priv e Shan N 5 Photo by James Lissimore

The Shan's heft and angles keep it from matching lighter weight, sharping handling competition, but I suspect that the guys at Production Privée are well aware of that and don't really give a damn. If your attitude towards climbing matches theirs, you'll get along just fine with the N°5. If you feel more invested in your ascents, however, this bike probably isn't suited to your needs.



Descending

Every mountain bike is a rolling compromise; it's really a matter of what you want to give up in order to gain in other areas. But when it comes to the N°5, thoughts of what you gave up on the climb will be forgotten soon after you drop into the descent. That's especially true if said descent is full of corners; tight and slow or fast and wide open, this is a bike that doesn't care, and it's the N°5's defining quality. The last rig we had in that cornered as well as the Shan was Devinci's much longer-travel Spartan, and the fact that the yellow bike equals that beast - but with less travel - is really something.

But unlike the Spartan, the N°5 can perform in more than just fast, rough terrain, with it slicing and dicing all shapes of corners and at all speeds. You can come in too fast, chop your way through, and the Shan will spring out of the corner as if it's late for a first date. But the traction, holy mother of grip, does it deliver traction, and that lets it carry immense speed through the kind of fast, low-purchase corners that might usually upset a bike of this travel.

Predictability is the key, really, as there are relatively few oh-shit moments on the N°5 that would call for a dropped foot or even big steering corrections. Production Privée might have something special here with these numbers and this frame material.


Production Priv e Shan N 5 Photo by James Lissimore
Nailing a corner is pretty high on the list of things that feel good, and it's a common occurrence on the Shan.


Steel has a rep as a forgiving material, much more so than aluminum or carbon, but I'd also argue that it really comes down to how that material is used. Production Privée says that it's the best choice for the N°5 because it has ''the right amount of flex and dynamism,'' and while I'm not convinced that's the primary reason for the bike's traction and otherworldly cornering abilities, I'm also not going to rule it out. It's simple, single-pivot suspension design also delivers loads of grip through an immensely sensitive setup that responds to the ground regardless of where the shock is in its stroke. Yes, the N°5 could use a bit more end-stroke ramp-up (a volume spacer would do the job), but the eager travel is surely one of the causes of the near-never-ending ability of the rear-end to hold onto the ground.

I would usually associate less travel with more playfulness, but that's not that case with the Shan. Yes, it can out-corner pretty much everything on the market, but I suspect that its weight keeps it from being the hooligan that I thought it would be. That said, its predictability inspires a load of confidence that can get you in trouble, but it's also just enough bike to get you out of said trouble... most of the time.


Production Priv e Shan N 5 Photo by James Lissimore
If you're more into sessioning jumps and corners than racing the clock or all-day death marches, the Shan might be a good match for you.


Okay, time for some comparisons because that's what we do at this point, even though the N°5 is a hard bike to pin down. Most recently, it was Rocky Mountain's Instinct Carbon 90 BC Edition, a bike with 155mm of travel, similar intentions, but more all-around capability than the Shan. That Rocky weighs less, has more travel, climbs better and, to be straightforward, would be my choice over the Shan if I needed a forgiving bike for long rides. But it in no way can rival the Shan in the corners, that much is for sure, and there's a certain unexplainable allure to the steel frame tubes that's hard to explain.

Okay, what about Devinci's Troy? Same travel numbers front and back, and same intentions, but the Troy is also lighter and more all-around capable. Again, I'd choose the Troy before the Shan, but I'll admit to caring just as much about the climb as the descent that it leads you to.

bigquotesPredictability is the key, really, as there are relatively few oh-shit moments on the N°5 that would call for a dropped foot or even big steering corrections. Production Privée might have something special here with these numbers and this frame material.


Production Priv e Shan N 5 Photo by James Lissimore
While not quite as much of a hooligan as it looks like it would be, the Shan is still a fun bike to be a goon aboard.


I'm conflicted. A full-blown enduro bike with another 20mm of cush is going to be faster for most riders when things get scary hairy, and a lighter and faster rolling machine will cover more ground when some horsepower is required, both being facts that leave me asking why and where the N°5 makes the most sense. But maybe it doesn't matter if the bike is fun as hell to ride, and the yellow Shan is exactly that and then some - it's forgiving, changes direction obscenely well, and it puts a smile on your face even though there are more pragmatic ways to spend this kind of money. Maybe mountain biking doesn't need to be a well-thought-out, practical exercise?



Technical Details

• Tire Clearance: The slim, steel seatstay and chainstays provide enough clearance to ride the N°5 through wet cement without it clogging up, and also enough room to run a 2.8'' wide rear tire if you want to add even more weight and go even slower up the climbs. Stick to regular size meat to get the most out of the Shan, though.


Production Priv e Shan N 5 Photo by James Lissimore
Production Priv e Shan N 5 Photo by James Lissimore
With 160mm of stroke, the BikeYoke Revive dropper post is an interesting spec choice that performed well.


• BikeYoke Revive Dropper: RC had good things to say about the BikeYoke Revive dropper that he reviewed not too long ago, and that's mostly the case here as well. Rather than employ a closed design, the post mixes air and oil in a twin-tube setup, but if the bike is upside down, that air can go where it's not supposed to and the post will feel a bit squishy. This is inherent in the design, and it's why BikeYoke incorporated the 'Revive Valve' at the top of the post. The valve works as advertised, and the dropper was back to 100-percent in seconds.


• Stealth Shan: I want to bitch about the sole bottle location on the underside of the downtube, or the 175mm cranks that don't play nice with the bike's relatively low bottom bracket, but I suspect that many riders won't care too much about those points. One thing that I can't moan about, though, is the noise - this thing is quieter than a thirteen-year-old Mike Levy at a parent-teacher meeting.



Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesIt's difficult for me to not try and slot the N°5 into some sort of classification, but I think that avoiding that really is the key to understanding Production Privée's first full-suspension bike. Sure, it could be an enduro machine or a park bike, or even a burly trail bike, but more than anything it's an example of a small bike company doing something different. That in itself is going to appeal to some riders, and it also doesn't hurt that the bike is a hell of a lot of fun to ride. Mike Levy








About the Reviewer
Stats: Age: 37 • Height: 5'10” • Inseam: 33" • Weight: 165lb • Industry affiliations / sponsors: None • Instagram: killed_by_death
Mike Levy spent most of the 90s and early 2000s racing downhill bikes and building ill-considered jumps in the woods of British Columbia before realizing that bikes could also be pedaled for hours on end to get to some pretty cool places. These days he spends most of his time doing exactly that, preferring to ride test bikes way out in the local hills rather than any bike park. Over ten years as a professional mechanic before making the move to Pinkbike means that his enthusiasm for two wheels extends beyond simply riding on them, and his appreciation for all things technical is an attribute that meshes nicely with his role of Technical Editor at Pinkbike.



282 Comments

  • + 201
 140mm too much to be a trail bike? Not enough to be an Enduro bike? How about, it's a 'mountain bike'.
  • + 63
 "Light-Enduro" bro
  • + 49
 @NotNamed: I just threw up in my mouth a little at your new classification.
  • + 14
 Exactly. It's just such a habit to try and put a bike into a certain class, but it's not always that simple. The Shan is a nice change.
  • + 2
 @NotNamed: yeah, mini enduro, maybe?
some other had the balls to call their bike super enduro, after all XD
  • + 7
 howz it directly compare to starling swoop?!
  • + 32
 Hasn't 140mm always kind of been the amount of travel for a versatile bike? Cannondale Prophet, Orange Five, Santa Cruz Heckler (at some point), BTR Pinner, Kona Process 134 isn't far off either... I'm surprised to see 140mm being called an odd amount of travel. I thought it was pretty common. And then again the amount of travel is only one thing. How much sag are you going to run and what geometry does that give you?
  • + 14
 @fullbug: steel full-suss shootout!!!
  • + 28
 @Soupherb:
Cotic Rocket and Flair
Starling bikes
BTR Pinner
PP Shan n5
DMR Bolt Long
...
  • + 7
 @vinay: would be cool shootout
  • + 5
 Add the Trance to that list of 140mm travel bikes
  • + 3
 What are this "mountain bikes" you speak of?
  • + 3
 @vinay: Xprezo Adhoc
  • + 2
 Endurolite
  • + 3
 Tbh reading that review I'd put it as a good all mountain bike for those looking for fun rather than speed
  • + 1
 @vinay: this!!
  • + 0
 @mikelevy: how about you simply say 'here's the spec/geo, now ride it however and wherever you want to.' for every bike?
  • + 4
 @fullbug: Just thought we should add two Portus-Cycles frames to that fun-steel-fully list:
ICB2.0 (yeah, open source means he can build the Alutech bike too)
Der Flotte Karl
  • - 2
 @vinay: Just named the best looking bikes on the market. Wish they were available in 26
  • + 4
 @myfriendgoose: they are if you put 26 wheels in em, not give a f*ck about a few mm BB drop, lean back an let em rip
  • + 4
 @mikelevy: So basically it's a steel Banshee Spitfire that isn't as good uphill? ;-)
  • + 4
 @vinay: No need for a test, the Starling is the best by a long way!
  • + 2
 @myfriendgoose: The DMR Bolt is a 26" bike (though it can be modified for 27.5 wheels), the BTR Pinner can be built to be a dedicated 26" bike, some company called Bike Yoke (or something, PB reviewed their dropper seatpost the other day) makes a different yoke for the shock to make the Alutech ICB2.0 compatible with 26" wheels so I suppose it also suits the Portus ICB2.0. But Portus obviously does custom geometry too.

@phutphutend: I have no doubt the Starling is pretty amazing. Still waiting for Dirt magazine to finish that 29" group test. But it really depends on what you're after. I think Starling is light, efficient and stable. The ICB2.0 is designed (being a crowd designed bike) to be agile and fun at "average customer speed" and may not cut it on really testing enduro terrain. The DMR can't be beat for the price and the kind of simple fun you can have on it (without needing to go really fast or smooth). There is something to say for each of these bikes. So yeah, there is may be no need for a test to see which is best, but it is always good to give those bikes some exposure and show what they're for and how they relate. But as Cy Cotic already mentioned elsewhere, it is a bit limiting to focus on just one frame material.
  • + 2
 @vinay: See my post a little lower down about why steel bikes are good. Agreed the same behaviour could be achieved by a bike made of any material, but currently the flex/grip behaviour is only inherent in steel bikes.

The issue is the design specification. Big bike companies start off with; "Make bikes X% stiffer than 2017 bike". This gives them a good metric for marketing. This is incrrect for a dynamic vehicle that rides rough terrain and leans to go round corners!
  • + 1
 @NotNamed: "Linduro" I've just copyrighted it, just in case.
  • + 1
 @vinay: stantons offering shant be long me thinks
  • + 2
 Endurish???
  • + 2
 Razzduro
  • + 2
 @threehats: Minus being made by Banshee, which means it's probably decent quality. See more broken Banshees than anything else by a huuuuge margin. Rarely see them on the trails anymore here in BC.
  • + 1
 @vinay: Add Swarf to that list. Well, not yet but soon.
  • + 2
 whatever you think. I think its quite a looker.
  • + 1
 yep, I think 140mm is the sweet spot for a climb all day trail bike that can still be blasted down hill. Riders with skill can do a lot on these bikes.
  • + 1
 @SeanC1: BTR reckon their Pinner (with 140mm in the rear) is ready for proper downhill riding. And I actually believe them.
  • + 68
 Did I read that correctly? Simplicity, reliability, bb92?
  • + 37
 They meant it's really simple to fit a threaded conversion bracket for more reliability
  • + 35
 the fact we're talking about this, on a steel bike, is absurd. PP, fuck your bottom line!
  • + 18
 And no bottle mount in the triangle? Hello giardia
  • + 8
 Too bad they picked the one pressfit size that doesn't play nice with threaded conversion bb's and 30mm spindles. Blank Stare
  • + 26
 @Arnoodles: I will not defend BB92, I have it on my bike and hate it, but 30mm spindles are an answer to a problem that never existed. How many 24mm spindles have you broken/ twisted in your life?
  • + 4
 I read that and thought the same thing. Marketing bs
  • + 3
 with certain bike designs like my antidote it is a necessary evil. But here... I have no clue why they used this standard.
  • + 3
 Pressfit on an aluminum or carbon bike, no thanks. Steel, probably fine.
  • + 39
 I have to deal with all sort of BB types and can say that I've had more noise issues, by far, with threaded shells. Press-in BBs have been quieter and required less love, in my experience, and this includes bikes I've had for only a handful of weeks to bikes I've ridden for multiple years. I'm a bit indifferent about BB type for this reason - I wouldn't let it factor into my bike choice. The only reason I can see for threaded BBs to get an extra point is because they're easier to work on, that's for sure.
  • + 5
 The last Shan I owned had a PF BB - was the only part of the frame I wasn't happy with, BUT! I fitted a Token BB with aluminium cups - and replaced the cartridge bearings as normal. The alu cups meant that it didn't creak within the shell, as the majority of issues with PF BBs arise from having shitty plastic (shimano) BB cups. The Alu cups need never come out, and it never caused me an issue with regard to BB life, and was actually pretty simple to service/replace.

Sadly that bike got stolen and another Shan wasn't an option (sold out at the time). I would, however, have another one in a heartbeat, and wouldn't feel bad about the PF BB.
  • + 6
 @mikelevy: when I feel it's time to do a deep clean on my bike, I can very easily unscrew the bottom bracket, clean the heck out of it, and pop 'er back in. Pressfits need to be replaced every time they're removed, which seems like an unnecessary expense, especially if you spring for hyper-expensive ceramic bearings. In actual use there may not be a noticeable difference, but for somebody on a tight budget who works on their own bike, pressfit is the devil.
  • + 6
 @YouHadMeAtDrugs:
'single-use', much like the sram power links. If you're careful taking them out, you can easily re-fit them.
  • + 3
 The answer to all your problems you shouldn't have ever had:

wheelsmfg.com/bottom-brackets/bb86-92/bb86-92-bottom-brackets.html
  • + 17
 @mikelevy: Mike, if that's your experience with press fits BBs I can only assume that you are getting special treatment. Most PF bb bikes I've encountered creak like an old BMX racers knees, some of them before they've even left the shop. BB92 is less creaky than PF30, but it's still liked comparing chlamydia to gonorrhea.
  • + 5
 @YouHadMeAtDrugs: you have no place in this page, here, if we need a new bottom bracket, we just get another bike.
Or so the majority of articles of unbuyable bikes will have you believe!
  • + 6
 @YouHadMeAtDrugs: Agree. Everyone reading this knows 100% the non-threaded BB is for the manufactures convenience, not ours. I have seen the argument that they create a greater surface area for tube junctions (not exact verbiage). That does make sense....fine, just crate a threaded for whatever diameter larger they (the builders) need and call it a day. Standardize 92BB or 90BB threaded. But no threads is a joke and we all know it. Having to use a hammer to beat out a BB on multi thousand dollar bikes , even if hammer in conjunction with a bike specific tool, is simply inexcusable.
  • + 1
 @Fix-the-Spade: oh shit! That is the funniest comment I've seen for a long time!
  • + 0
 @Fix-the-Spade: agreed. I personally wore out around 6 sets of outboard bearings, all were XT/XTR only one of them failed within a year. And a few of them came on second hand cranksets. That is since 2006. I’m on 3rd set of BB92 bearings since 1,5 year. Wasted 1 Race Face and one Hope for 30mm. Hope bearings started creaking after 3 months so I sold their awkward crankset with 30mm spindle and bought Shimano SLX with Shimano bearins. Creaked right from the start, I was pissed off. Then I thought that if I survived 4 years on square taper I’ll get through this too. Then after like 2 months it stopped creaking... off course everyhing fitted with parktool press
  • + 3
 I'm also not a big fan of pressfit BB's, but I do think people tend to blame them for every little creak on their bike. I at least see a lot of people who instantly point at the PF BB when they hear a noise, even though it could come from anywhere on the bike. I have 2 bikes with PF BB and till now all creaks ended up coming from a different source than the BB.
  • + 2
 @cvoc: yeah I had a giant stp with threaded bb and it never creaked until I converted it to single speed. Then it creaked all the time. I became obsessed with finding and eliminating the creak. Had the bb, chain ring, bolts, chain out several times. It turned out to be the freewheel!
  • + 1
 @sam264: Absolutely! I always use a file to enlarge the lug on the chain a little bit and presto, you can easily open and reopen your chain with ease. Never had a problem with doing so in the last years.
  • + 2
 @Fix-the-Spade: learn how to grease your bb more!!!
  • + 1
 @mhoshal: It's not me building or selling these frigging things. All four of my bikes have got trheaded bbs and not a single creak between them, although one's got squeaky brakes.
  • + 0
 @Fix-the-Spade: as far as I remember most of mine seized and some were too creaky, at least one got ridiculous level of play. But it was like one per 2 years, while I went through 2 BB92s in one year. And everyone knows how much i ride...
  • + 1
 @Thustlewhumber: This is what I am running in my bike. So far, so good. About 700 miles so far; no noise at all and very smooth.
  • + 1
 @rollbretzel: How do you use a file to enlarge a lug?
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: How many 19mm and 22mm spindles have you seen broken on a BMX. Please, MTB is a complete joke in comparison to BMX. Putting BB92 on a steel frame is like putting a BB92 on a steel frame. At least it's steel, you can always cut it own and weld in a normal BB cup. I'm so fed up with the industry, that if I had the money I would quite certainly go ahead and do it Big Grin
  • + 1
 @bman33: Someone already created that. It's called T47 and it the same size as the PF30 if I recall, but is threaded.
  • + 1
 @thekaiser: I think I saw a small mention of that a few years ago. Wasn't it Chris King and maybe Wheels Manufacturing or similar partnering up for it? I need to Google it..ha!
  • + 41
 My patrol is 155mm travel but i still ride "trails" on it
  • + 65
 Whaoh man, you better purchase another bike
  • + 46
 Is that even legal?
  • + 37
 Don't believe you. Not possible.
  • + 63
 Probably don't even have a Tacoma.
  • + 1
 @acali: All my up-votes for the week!
  • + 1
 I bet he drinks Starbucks too. Silly over roasted burnt bean water drinker.
  • + 21
 "...and also enough room to run a 2.8'' wide rear tire if you want to add even more weight and go even slower up the climbs."

@mikelevy, telling it like it is.
  • + 3
 Pfft, who cares about the climbs. www.bikeradar.com/mtb/gear/article/are-275-wheels-and-tyres-better-than-29ers-47047 Bikeradar did a pretty decent test, and found that in every situation tested...plus tires were faster than 29ers. Obviously it wasn't an exhaustive scientific study, but it's some real world data.
  • + 4
 @mnorris122: From experience of 'my mate who is pretty quick and runs plus tyres' they are definitely quicker and the traction is unbelievable, however nothing is slower than puncturing as soon as the trail gets even remotely rocky, which is what seems to be happening to him...
  • + 2
 @JoeRSB: "He was probably running the wrong pressure" - people who ride plus tires because tire pressures solve all the problems with plus tires and once you figure that out, you become a beast on the uphills, downhills and beat everyone's strava times.
  • + 1
 @onetrykid: A lot of pretty beefy plus tires on the market now, with a lot more to come.
  • + 19
 Like it, PP make some lovely bikes.

I'm into the 'Made in XXX' stuff like Starling bikes etc but would love to see a far eastern 4130 cromo single pivot with a fixed dropout and simple shock mount so just a tubed frame - Modern geometry and sensible tube profiles would mean it isn't stupidly heavy (the starling isn't after all) and it could be crazy cheap realistically if sales numbers were there.

I mean from a manufacturing standpoint if we can get decent steel frames for £300 from the far east we should be able to get a full sus frame below £700 inc shock, would be cool to see and would certainly go against the standard £1500+ for a frame now.
  • + 3
 I'm with you on seeing more good steel FS frames.

Stanton are due to release theirs altho given the price of their HTs their FS is going to be well over a grand (£).
  • + 3
 Why want this from factories of workers who likely don’t even care what they’re making? The point is simple quality/ function made by people who actually care about MTBs. Won’t be long till we will need brands like PP to get a bike that doesn’t involve a mother board and charging systems....
  • + 4
 @ov3r1d3: As I said, I do support the concept of making something in your home country - PP dont do that though, this frame is made in taiwain / china so though the PP owners / staff may care about MTB's the frames are made by the very people in your example - people that probably dont care so your example is actually of PP themselves.....

I am suggesting that it would be good to see an ultra-simple, steel, single pivot frame with modern geometry at an awesome price-point, something people could ride the wheels off on a comparable budget - it wouldnt be the lightest / fastest up-hill but with the right kinematics and geo could be very good at the other stuff, which is what most people care about - Again the starling for example.

People that 'dont care about MTB' would never go into business making such a frame, especially with the goal to supply it at a low price-point - Surely that is caring more about MTB than anything? - Making a sustainable, low-price performance item from a material that lasts.

@fartymarty - The Stanton will be huge money im sure, its got a lot of fancy machined bits and a complicated suspension system .
  • + 2
 I@Racer951: I get that about mfg, I don’t care what country it’s made in but would love to see a shift towards bikes not being made in random countries who’s attraction is borderline slave labor. And bikes made by people who aren’t guided by FOMO or corporate business models as their agendas. Believe it or not it was this way for decades and besides too many companies being afraid to give us 160 pedal bikes for years it worked really well...haha
  • + 1
 I think the 'sales numbers' bit is the issue, these sorts of things can only be scaled so far because the drawbacks outweigh the benefits as far as the 'numbers game' goes.

I'm about to step into this arena - buying myself a Stanton soon. At £700 for a bare hardtail frame it's not exactly a bargain. But you can't make everything about budget, particularly with artisan products like these.

As for this - I think I'd probably give up my left bollock for one. LOVE it.
  • + 5
 @Racer951: I quite like what Chromag do re frames. You can have the bling Dekerf / Truelove made in Canada or the Taiwanese - same geo / similar (same) tubes but different prices.
  • + 2
 @fartymarty: YES^ Have been running a '17 Wideangle for the last month and it's been mind boggling fun
  • + 1
 @gkeele: but they're lovely (I've had four).

The welds are flawless, the paint is good quality, they're all Reynolds tubing (631/853 front and 525 rear end) with nice details like the yoke.
  • + 1
 but that price for the alu frame is not because it's alu. As far as I know, raw steel is a bit cheaper, but after that, alu is cheaper to transport, manipulate (softer), and generaly speaking cheaper to build a bike of (not for a guy in a shed, since requires heat treatment, but for a factory).
I think of the the main reasons to move from steel in the 90s was cutting production costs.
  • + 1
 @ismasan: Agreed mass production of aluminium frames is probably cheaper. Easier to machine and manipulate etc. If you already have the facilities to do the proper post weld heat treatments it is probably cheaper to produce. And is a tube of Al6061, Al7005 or whatever they use to make frames out of really cheaper than Reynolds or Columbus tubing?

Back to the original question, the DMR Bolt (Long) probably fits the bill. Though I've heard the frame works better with the X Fusion Vector shock so that adds to the price. If we forget about frame material for a second, the Focus Vice may be what you're after. Olly Wilkins likes it too Smile .
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: yeah I have a Rootdown, and even though it is Taiwan produced, it had an attractive price point, so that's why I chose it. To be fair, if I was sure that it was what I wanted, I may have opted to pay the upcharge for a Surface or a Primer and gotten the BC made bike, and I may choose to do that in the future. Since I went from a Carbon XC bike to the Rootdown, I wasn't sure I'd enjoy the geometry or the 160mm fork, but after just one or two rides I was hooked. It's biggest downside is weight, it is hefty as built, but I skimped on the build kit a bit to save money, maybe next season I'll try to lighten it up some.
  • + 1
 Yes. Chromag should just use the design of Matter's Two Stroke. It uses a headset for the main pivot. Crowdfunded to weed out the unserious? Or single-pivot sucks even with new shock tech--I don't know squat of it.
  • + 1
 PP is made in Taiwan, and as far as I know they only have one welder... and he loves bikes. On paper I would never buy this bike, but in the flesh, my gosh, it's beautiful.
  • + 1
 @jaame: if they made a 29 version I would be keen
  • + 0
 @fartymarty: they probably will next year I would think. They have sold all these. My mate is literally trying to buy one now, in Taiwan, but he can't, even though he is mates with the owners.
  • + 17
 Suspension only works in the vertical plane. Lean the bike over in a corner and a component of the bump forces act sideways on the bike. At 45 deg lean, half the forces. Build a bike that's super stiff laterally for pedalling and its crap at gripping when the bike is leant over. Build a bike that's compliant laterally and it will conform to the bumps and give loads of grip. Steel frames uses thinner tubes which are more flexible. It is this flexinbility that gives the grip. I find it really strange that a whole industry of bike engineers, and magazine reviewers can't understand this simple behaviour. There still comments about making stiff bikes and using the suspension. It doesn't work unless you only ride in straight lines. Weight is also a hangover from road racing and XC. On wheels it matters, on frames it's pretty negligible.
  • + 3
 Yeah man!
  • + 4
 Ducati learned that first hand when they built a super stiff chassis for their MotoGP bike a few years back. It was awesome in a straight line, but at the lean angles experienced in GP racing, it was considerably slower through the turns, and unruly. They had spent so much time and money trying to use FEA to engineer out chassis flex, when what they needed to do was engineer more precise chassis flex. Honda and Yamaha had done exactly that and had bikes that were more compliant and faster.
  • + 5
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: exactly, steel is heavier but that's the only negative, people have been brainwashed into paying thousands of dollars for a carbon frame because it's supposed to be the best thing ever haha, but no one is going to pay $4000 for a steel frame, that is why the carbon scam works
  • + 1
 And boy does the Shan No. 5 grip, I’ve yet to find the limit on mine and I’ve a scary feeling that it’s going to hurt when I do.
  • + 20
 At that price it's a steel......
  • + 4
 Carbon down carbon down, i’m sure there are lots of bikes out there that would alloy you to (cough) iron out the trail like this one
  • + 15
 HOLY FRIG, BOYS! EXTERNAL CABLE ROUTING! PRAISE SPACE JESUS'S LEFT KNEECAP I WANNA HUG THESE PEOPLE!
  • + 8
 which makes the press fit BB all the more asinine...
  • + 1
 Except the routing means you still have to remove the brakes caplier from the hose to install/remove it from the bike. The annoying thing is having spent ages staring at my frame I can’t think of a better way to route the cables around the suspension pivots. Still how often do you need to change the rear brakes, knowing my luck mine will probably brake now, pun not intended
  • + 12
 how the hell is 32 pounds heavy? that's like 80% of all the bikes in the area and i live in a mountain town in BC obsessed with mtn biking. sure i know a few guys with lighter bikes, but the vast majority would fall in right around this weight. 32 pounds is normal.
  • + 7
 For me, it's not that 32lb is heavy but rather than there are lighter bikes for less money. Weight isn't the most important thing, or even the 5th most important thing, but if I'll certainly reach for a lighter bike that performs similarly over a heavier one.
  • + 1
 My nomad 3 with fox 36 is 14.4kg with proper tyres.
  • + 3
 @jaame: my sb6 is about 32 pounds. Maybe a bit less if it's had it's morning shit.
  • + 3
 @topherdagopher: exactly. But they will insist on having those big breakfasts!
  • + 1
 My DJ bike is 31lbs, what the hell are you guy complaining about? Big Grin
  • + 3
 @jaame: coffee and a roll up will sort it out
  • + 1
 I don’t notice the extra few pounds when riding my Shan No. 5 only lifting it on and off the bike rack and I can live with that.
  • + 15
 Where do we get that chainstay protector?
  • + 1
 Its there own brand chainstay protector
  • + 12
 Ride it back to back vs a Cotic and report back. Thank you
  • + 6
 I'd have put the Banshee Spitfire/Rune in here as Alu rivals too...
  • + 3
 @slimboyjim: Agreed^ just hit 600miles on the Spitfire and it's still impressing the heck out of me
  • + 18
 I'll have to get one of the Cotic bikes in. The look interesting.
  • + 27
 @mikelevy: Any time Mike. Would love to get you on a droplink bike.
  • + 2
 @cy-cotic: Wicked Cy, send him a Rocket. That should be right up against this Shan. Surprising to see PB is invested with the #26aintdead saying (which originally was about the previous generation Cotic BFe26) yet they forget to actually ride these bikes (and come up with a report that goes beyond "hey it is steel and you can actually ride it properly").
  • + 2
 @cy-cotic: send him one Cy! And while your at, send me one (to keep)!

Also The new soul looks mint!
  • + 4
 @vinay: Agreed. Although I reckon the Rocket is a match for any of the current Enduro bikes so would hope for some good comparisons with anything fast and fun, not just other steel bikes. I use steel because I think it's better than other materials, particularly for front ends, so a wider comparison would be interesting for everyone.
  • + 2
 @speed10: Ha! Nice try. Cheers for the love on the new Soul. I'm really happy with it.
  • + 2
 @cy-cotic: also send me the new bfe to test please... also forget that you’ve sent it me too please.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: pretty bold statement from the reviwer at ride.o, eh?:
"The Cotic Rocket is the best trail bike I’ve ever ridden. In fact, it’s so good, I just bought one! With actual money!"
  • + 1
 @ismasan: @mikelevy: If you can't find it, there is a typo in the url. Check ride.io. But it may be a cultural thing somehow between the North American and European scene. It seems like steel just isn't that popular in the NA market. Back in the days i was already surprised to see all those aluminium dirt jump bikes there whereas British, German and Eastern European brands were about steel too. I rarely see a good review of a steel bike (hardtail or fully) over here (or it must be from Dirt mag Brit Ed who's currently with Robotbike.co). Same goes with proper single pivot full suspension bikes like Orange or the Focus Vice. It is fine I guess. This is why the internet is bigger than just Pinkbike Smile .
  • + 1
 @vinay: I know for me, the difference between an alu hardtail and a steel one is like the difference between sleeping on a hard floor and sleeping in a bed with a decent matress. I'd never choose to sleep on a hard floor. I'm also of the belief that weight balance and distribution is more important than overall weight within reason. For instance a lighter frame with heavier wheel/tyre combo feels like a pig, but a heavier frame with the same weight wheel/tyre is much more balanced and manageable to me. I haven't ridden enough fs to really know how different alu frames perform, but I am interested to see how a steel fs compares. I have read the cotic rocket review on ride.io before and it has to be one of the most enthusiast and honest bike reviews I have read.
  • + 1
 @Braindrain: ride.io has done a review on the DMR Bolt Long too. It seems like basically everyone who has ridden that bike with the X-Fusion Vector HLR shock (like ride.io did) has been raving and everyone who's had the one with the X-Fusion O2 shock has been disappointed. Dirt was incredibly excited about the Starling bikes so yeah, I guess all these bikes are really really good.

To be honest it has been so long ago that I've ridden an aluminium hardtail (2005 or 2006 or so) that I can't compare how harsh it would be. And I rarely sit down anyway. What I do think is that I find it easier to explore the limits of my grip on a steel hardtail. You get feedback so you know how much further you can push it. Whereas with an aluminium hardtail it keeps tracking and then suddenly goes so that makes it a bit more scary to find that edge. But I'm no real bike tester, I can't comment whether there are exceptions. I do know that most current aluminium frames are made from 7000, 6000 or occasionally 5000 series aluminium. A friend of mine used to ride a aluminium frame by Miyata made from 2000 series aluminium. This may not be as strong, but it is more fatigue resistant so they could allow for more flex (due to smaller diameter tubing) than with the stronger alloys. In aircraft, the tensile/fatigue loaded skin panels typically are made from Al2025T3 (upper fuselage, lower wing) and the bits loaded by compression (lower fuselage, upper wing) made from Al7075T6. So yeah, if they'd allow a 7000 series aluminium frame to flex (due to small diameter tubing) that much it may be strong enough but it will eventually fail due to fatigue. 2000 series could work (though you'll need lugged joints as you can't weld it) and it could give comfort comparable to steel and titanium, but it seems like the industry forgot about it.

So yeah, I got an steel Voodoo Erzulie back in 2006 but unfortunately wrecked it in a crash and replaced it with a DMR Switchback in 2008. I'm still riding that one but I'm working out the details with BTR on a new BTR Ranger hardtail. Basically the large 26" frame but with a 400mm seat tube and a lower top tube. I love low top tubes and I'm going to love that frame Smile .
  • + 1
 @vinay: I have a carbon superbike. Despite that making me VERY happy (and potentially hated on sites like PB) I still hanker after a BTR...

If only I was as rich as all the commenters will assume... ;-)

I hope you enjoy it!
  • + 1
 @slimboyjim: Depending on where and how you ride, one bike makes more sense than something else. Because I ride mostly standing I rarely feel like I need some suspension in the rear. It is more that, because of the short and steep frame it feels hard and unstable on the hands. So the BTR Ranger makes more sense for how I ride. Those who do more epic rides need to sit down on a lightweight full suspension bike, I get that and it doesn't bother me at all. I also find myself looking at those but when I'm honest with myself, the BTR just makes more sense. Considering how long I've been riding the DMR (even though I thought it was a compromise even back then, I wanted low so I got a short frame as a consequence) I expect to ride this BTR for a very long time. I've been saving up, dubbing for years. Considered full sus, even Pinion or Rohloff gearboxes recently. But now that I've found a frame that is no compromise for me, I'd better make sure I'm going to get it exactly like I want it. So the lower top tube (which required a Reynolds 853 instead of 631 seat tube to keep it strong enough) was a costly mod. And now that I was at it, I wanted matte emerald (RAL6001-M) powdercoat instead of the standard coat. So yeah, it is a lot of money but then I have something exactly the way I want it. If I can ride ten years on a compromised frame, my ideal bike is well worth the money Smile .
  • + 2
 @vinay: Agreed - if it is affordable and makes you happy it's well worth it! I hope it's as awesome as I think it will be!
  • + 2
 @vinay: "What I do think is that I find it easier to explore the limits of my grip on a steel hardtail. You get feedback so you know how much further you can push it."

Totally, steel is feel!

Hope you enjoy the BTR, sounds like you've earned it.
  • + 2
 There is no price that can be paid for your health and happiness. I can buy other budget crap but for biking related I always get the top dollar version that's on sale in the clearance section that's within my price range. I got a guitar habit too you know.
  • + 1
 Thanks y'all. I have no doubt I'm going to love absolutely every bit of it Smile !
  • + 1
 @vinay: Chromag, Surly, Canfield, Guerilla Gravity, Kona and numerous bespoke builders might take issue. Though steel does seem to be undermarketed in NA, as does aluminum. You'd think that if Trek made a $1700 Deore-equipped 4130 hardtail with the geo of a Transition Throttle, it would sell. But no. As much as I like it for a hardtail, where frame also acts as suspension, I don't see how it's the best material for full-squish, unless it's frequently being dashed on rocks. Also I wouldn't ride a hardtail with cleated shoes and without taped forefeet--probably fine for a younger rider. Distinctions, distinctions--two cents.
  • + 2
 @ceecee: Here Cy Cotic explains why he chose to use steel for his full suspension bikes:

www.cotic.co.uk/geek/page/SteelFullSuspension

I'm surprised to see aluminium to be undermarketed in NA too. In Europe at least brands like Orange, Nicolai and Liteville are getting enough respect even though their frames are (almost) exclusively aluminium. What about titanium. Are Merlin and Litespeed still well respected? We have a local brand called 11ants over here that does titanium frames with Pinion or Rohloff gearing. They also have a full suspension frame of which Nicolai makes the aluminium rear end. They're doing well, I've heard. I wasn't too excited about the geometry of their frames (though they do custom geometry) and more importantly I decided Rohloff and Pinion aren't for me. I realized I don't pedal enough to warrant an expensive drivetrain Wink .

I have never looked too much into what Trek does, but Specialized doesn't shy from using steel. I've got their steel P1 dirtjumper (with offset 24" rear wheel, 26" in the front in true Specialized fashion). Things may have changed in the mean time, haven't looked into it. But really, what is it that makes carbon so popular when we know that it is too easy to mess things up and not see it from the outside?
  • + 1
 @vinay: Litespeed/Lynskey is still in business, judging from website. They've three carbon road frames as well. Spesh Ps have been aluminum for a while. Someone should test a Stylus or a Blue Pig to destruction in the same way Santa Cruz did the Nomads a while back--real data. Carbon is lightest, most tunable, and most manipulable for design--i.e. tube styling. I reckon QC is pretty good now that financial groups are so heavily involved, and wouldn't be surprised to see X-raying devices there. An '06 Tarmac rides way better than an '06 Indy Fab. Pick a frame material, wheel size and brand, and be a d!ck about it. If it fits poorly or suspension sucks, doesn't matter what it's made of, except to peers.
  • + 10
 Why, why, why for the love of foot, not a threaded BB? Seriously, enough of this #$@^!
  • + 2
 why, why, why ?! The bike industry should listen to us a bit more but nooo... profit above all... and f@ck the people
  • + 0
 Meh, sick of all the hate. When I built my bb92 bike I used the Wheels MFG thread in bb92 shell. I put it in with a little medium thread locker and it's been silent all season. My road/commuter/CX bike uses bb92 as well and I replace the bearings once a season after around 5000mi. Neither creak or are troublesome. True, 68 or 73mm BSA is slightly easier to service, but it wouldn't be the determining factor in a bike buying decision for me.
I used to have an aluminum frame with bb86, and that had a couple early failures, but it was never noisy.
The only thing I think is stupid is that EVO system with all the damn adaptors, and PF30 in an aluminum frame tends to be noisy, but once again install them with a dab of medium thread locker and they'll usually stay quite.
  • + 3
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps:

So a $100-150 BB adapter is the solution to a problem that shouldn't exist?
  • + 2
 @UtahBikeMike: it's not an adaptor, it's a bottom bracket. The same way a cartridge bearing square taper isn't an adaptor. I wish there had been internet warriors back in the day of the transition from loose ball cup and cone bottom brackets to those new fangled cartridge bearing bottom brackets... I still know guys that will tell you a loose ball square taper is the best system. The Wheels MFG BB uses angular contact bearings, which is a better design than standard sealed ball bearings, (you know, since your crank isn't just loaded in one plane, but instead quite dynamically) and they're separately replaceable, so I'll never need to remove the carrier. Plus it ensures proper cup alignment. Also, I only paid $45 for it, so I didn't really feel like it was a that much of a burden.
  • + 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps:

Sweet. You got a good deal on one.

Square taper bottom brackets work well if the crank arms stay tight, they're just heavy.

I haven't had to replace any of my threadded bottom brackets for any reason on the last 3 bikes I've bought.

You just can't brag that you've created a super reliable bike that's easy to maintain and then throw one of the worst bottom bracket setups on it that requires an aftermerket bottom bracket adapter to "fix". That's not ok to me.
  • + 2
 @ulissesportela: As you can tell from my username I'm very very biased, but I can also tell you than the PP guys are not driving Ferraris or Porsches on the weekend but the same 10yrs old (but extremely cool) VW Passat. Anyway, they've been designing and building bikes for the last 7 years, they are brutally honest when it comes to their passion, they just care about what they do and how they do it.
  • + 6
 I guess I don't really understand the purpose of this bike. There's plenty of 140/150 bikes out there that climb like a rat up a drain pipe and descend like they're possessed. I don't think great cornering is a fair trade-off for a bike that actively rebels against climbing.
  • - 2
 The big reason is you won't have to wonder when it's gonna crack, since it isn't made of plastic! That pivot will rarely need any attention, so just service the shock, and that's it, It's not much heavier than Sam hills aluminum mega?
  • + 4
 because steel and fun paint jobs i guess... wouldn't be on my list either.
  • + 0
 @markar: This comment is so spot on... the winds of change are upon us. Industry needs to wake up.
  • + 2
 Yeah it's one of the more bizarre reviews I've read, not a bad review at all but they didn't seem to fully understand it as well. I ride a spartan, the other great-cornering bike mentioned in the article. It's definitely something I wouldn't give up now that I have it, but the no.5 doesn't destroy the chunk and clearly doesn't climb well, would be a hard sell when comparing to transition scout et al. Kinda blows cause the bike looks amazing.
  • + 6
 It's a play bike. You play on it. You know for fun. plus where they are from they have chairlifts.
  • + 8
 For sure, there are better all-rounders out there. To me, the Shan is sort of like a big, yellow middle finger to the neatly arranged bike classifications, which is surely something that will appeal to some riders. The Shan wouldn't be my only bike, either, but it's fun as hell.
  • + 3
 @gemma8788: Your Spartan and this Shan have to be the best, easiest cornering mid-travel bikes on the market right now. So much fun.
  • + 9
 @gemma8788: It's a bike for a different kind of riding to what most North Americans do, a cultural thing. Not everyone ( especially in the uk) goes on a 3 hour climb then hits an hour long decent. We often just session a few turns, play on a jump and just generally dick about in the woods. This bike would be perfect for that.
  • + 3
 @BedsideCabinet: I hear that for sure, I grew up riding the way you describe and still do a good bit of that on the west coast. That's the kind of riding that got me hooked on biking. I wasn't knocking the Shan; as mentioned, I value cornering to the point where exceptional cornering by itself is almost enough to sell me on it, but if you ever want to knock out some loops and/or hit stuff on the gnarlier side, it falls in the weird abyss between those two, esp. as bikes exist that can do those things and are also fun to dick about on in the woods.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: Considering the amount of agonizing deliberation I subjected myself to before dropping the cash, that is very good to hear ; )
  • + 4
 @filmdrew: Carbon frames are great for pros, they don't need them to last for a couple years! It needs to last only for a race season max, if it cracks they have spares, for regular people a $4000 frame is a lot of money, if it cracks getting a new frame is a hassle, a new frame doesn't show up the next day with a mechanic ready to build it up right away! Hahaha
  • + 3
 Having some flex in the frame is great, glad that more guys seem to incorporate that in their frames. Hope the stiffer is better ages are coming to an end.

It's just weird that with carbon mtb frames this is almost never a topic? Carbon would be the perfect material to fine tune flex. With road bikes this is a big thing, bring it to the mountain as well! Takes more know-how though to determine where it helps and where it hurts (and how to build it into the frame) and a more differentiated marketing approach. Might be asking too much...
  • + 3
 love the fact that it isn't super long, I've ridden a couple of modern (progressive) geometry bikes lately Pole etc and they feel fast as f.ck but boy they are boring to ride down most terrain. Its like taking a bulldozer to a hill climb yea it gets there no fuss but the is very little excitement
  • + 1
 just like they didn't tell you 29ers reduce pump, a long wheel base has the same effect. Just flattens out the transitions and smaller undulations. For me, less pump is less fun, even if overall it makes you faster and less tired.
  • + 2
 I don't see the point of using steel for full suspension. The damping qualities that make it better than alloy for a hard tail are null and void here. So it's what, just heavier than an alloy full sus? Then you've got that stupid yoke to ensure your shock gets lots of extra side loading (see Specialized). So the one pivot in the design will last forever, you'll just have to rebuild your air spring every 4 months, sounds great! No thanks.
  • + 1
 I'll just say that from my experience, using steel for "a bike" has some nice advantages over aluminum for "a bike"-- suspension or not. So with my aluminum hardtail, after 3 years it got slow and noodly. With my aluminum full-suspension after 3-4 years it got slow and noodly... a lot less stiffness than when new. Steel tends to keep it's character for as long as you need it to. Just my 5 cents! Thanks for reading, A.
  • + 1
 I agree with you SLH. For a full suspension steel doesn't make sense other than to apply a middle finger to the industry. For hardtails, steel makes 100% sense. I love my steel hardtail and my carbon full squish. Anyone choosing to own an aluminum hardtail over steel wouldn't understand.
  • + 1
 Why not use a aluminum front triangle and a steel swingarm? Fisher used to do it with hardtails back in the day...this seems like an easier application.
  • + 1
 Check the geek section on the Cotic website. When frame strength is the driving parameter, steel is a better choice.
  • + 1
 @vinay: I wasn't aware of that many reputable modern 140mm trailbikes having issues with durability (aluminum or carbon). Yes, there are exceptions but not too many JRA frame issue these days on 140mm trailbikes.
  • + 1
 @JDFF: You obviously haven't seen the discard bin in a warranty dept of any of the mass production brands...
  • + 1
 That “stupid yoke” makes a massive difference to the suspension curve, having modeled mine it’s one of the more linear single pivot frames out there, sure you can tune the shock around the frame but in my opinion the shock should be tuned to meet the rider’s needs not compensate for the suspension curve of the frame, but what do I know.
  • + 5
 so basically its not a great bike and costs lots?

Shame i really wanted one of these.. Frown
  • + 1
 Check out the starlings, good bit lighter than these and preform amazingly!
  • + 2
 ATTENTION STEEL BIKE BUILDERS AND PINK BIKE. I think a steel full suspension bike test / shootout is in order, how about Cotic, BTR, PP, Starling etc get some bikes to Pinkbike and they take it from there. Yeah I know, not the easiest thing to do but you know us peeps want it, well, I do.
  • + 2
 I really do believe in 4130 steel mountain bikes. I love the design values of the Shan (simple & durable). I love my own Terraplane Pocket Rocket (California). I'm looking forward to seeing more Reynolds or Superthem tubing being used in the future.
  • + 4
 No more Supertherm, True Temper no longer make bike tubes.
  • + 1
 Would love to hear a comment how it fares against the other "heavy, independent but so much fun bike" out there, the Orange Five.

The Five seems to be setup quite similarly (correct if wrong) but is said to be poppy and lively?
  • + 2
 Having gone from an older Orange Five to a PP, I know which I prefer but I can’t give a fair comparison as I went from older 36 forks to RFX 34 and a host of other changes which give the PP and unfair advantage. I’ve demoed a few of the new Oranges but they weren’t 100% set up for me, I would have liked to adjust the tokens/spacers in the forks/shock a lot more to try and get the bike better matched to my riding. So a slightly unfair comparison but from my experience the PP is quicker and grips better.
  • + 1
 @Rob-H: thanks!
  • + 2
 Glad to see that it fits 2.8 rubber and is designed for longer seatposts. I love steel in a hardtail, but I'm not sure it'd be my first choice for a dual suspension. Props to them for stepping out in a new direction though.
  • + 3
 Makes me think of those Ti full suspension bikes. The flex inherent in that material is great for hardtails but somewhat questionable in a FS. (Eg., how do you prevent side loading of the shock?)

On the other hand, using frame flex to find grip in corners is a big thing in the motorcycle racing world.
  • + 4
 @WaterBear: i've got one of those Ti full suss bikes and it is the most amazing bike I've ever ridden. Like any other material, its where you reinforce it and add gussets, etc to make it stiffer where you want/needs to.
  • + 2
 That's the most UK bike I've seen in a while. Love the chainstay protector. Agreed on the raw steel look, I've always dug frames like Kona's Honzo Ti/ST, maybe Kona should look at a Hei Hei ST or something like that.
  • + 1
 It's Andorran.
  • + 1
 Is it really that heavy? My alloy 160mm Enduro also weighs about ~31,5-32Lbs and iam really happy with it. I ride a coil shock, chunky tires and a 2x11 drivetrain... so nothing to wrong here with the weight i think.

also i cannot understand a comparison with a rocky or devinci... the frames/bikes cost double of the shan... sure these bikes have to be better in some points!
  • + 2
 What a shame!
Press fit BB on a steel bike...
There is no excuse to use a tap accurately on a material that threads nicely. Considering how long it took to make that frame. It’s not much of a step or cost to do so...
  • + 2
 I have the PP Shan GT and can say that i've had no issues at all with the BB. Its been absolutely solid. I run an XT press fit, and its been going strong for a year with no maintenance without a single creak or squeak. every time i see someone have an issue with press fit BB its generally a carbon frame.
  • + 1
 Dat price! It's only 4130. 140mm travel is more than most people need, no doubt I'll see 1 on the local trails sometime soon piloted by some dude in full kit with a full face helmet.
  • + 1
 Like the look, especially Damien’s gimp shoes.

If I were entering the realm of steel full sussers, it would have to be a CURTIS! End of.

But that above looks reeet tastyified
  • + 0
 No remarks on fit/sizing? Sigh. The M/L has the reach of a Large Altitude, but the toptube of a Medium...if Mike rides a Large Rocky with a 50mm stem, does he require a setback post on Shan M/L? If he tested a L/XL Shan, did he use a 31mm stem? "Riding" section would be more meaningful with this info. Photos do not show Mike? Mike is on the mic, not on the bike. I'm not convinced this bike was actually tested by reviewer. Get this bike if 75% of your riding is going around sharp corners! It's yellow! Steel is magical!
  • + 1
 Tell me about it, when I bought mine a couple of months back it really was a case of read what was on PP’s website, measure a loads of bikes for comparison and hope I got it right, i’m still not sure I got it 100% right but it’s too late now
  • + 1
 @Rob-H: 100% is a lot to ask for...I'm aware that it's a thankless topic, but tester should specify at least stem and bar dimensions, preferably with a comparison to a better-known geo. Shan's short stack height means some of 48cm reach (size Large) will be reduced by headset spacers and/or bar rise/backsweep, but by Transition's reckoning, this reach merits a short-offset fork. I like what some Brit on here said a while back regarding the moto rule on stem length: stem offset should be greater than fork offset. Best of luck fitting your trés-cool frame. Feel free to post results, as it would help to complete above review.
  • + 2
 So you can build up a 31 pound enduro bike with an eight pound frame.
And thats considerd heavy?
Yes a raw version would be sweet!
  • + 0
 Yeah my steel hard tail has a 6.5lb frame and ended up on the high end of 32lb. My kit is a bit lower end, but I still don't think I have two or three pounds that I can easily drop without getting rid of my dropper post and going to carbon bars and super high-end wheels. The MRP Ribbon is fairly light for a 160mm fork, and the tires aren't super duty casings. I'm using an XT8000 1x group, my guess is that my Line 30 Comp wheels are what I'll upgrade first, but I don't see those as my biggest anchor.
  • + 0
 I really want to like the Shan, but Production Privée try too hard to be "edgy" for me
I'm confused by the forced motorsport connections with The Stig and Gulf, and now Singer (or whoever)
And then of course "Slap me hard" ....?

Why can't it just be a bike? Without the BS
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: look at the marketing claims! Going to lose your s#/t on this page as well? I bet not because this doesnt challenge your carbon lobbying motivation?
  • + 2
 What about that single pivot bike that had another threaded bottom bracket as the pivot bearings? I’d like to see that again!
  • + 0
 This is nice enough. For a lighter, stronger and more beautiful steel susser, that’s got a rising rate linkage and is all hand built in UK, go BTR. The Pinner is a state of the art single pivot, slack and long and still climbs great. Reynolds 853 buttedmainly and clear coat as standard. It was an absolute weapon at Windhill BP when I had a happy day on one earlier this year.
  • + 5
 " state of the art single pivot" that's an oxymoron
  • + 5
 SLAP ME HARD
  • + 1
 I love it, Just service the shock, Not a million creaking pivots! Or a plastic frame that cracks! Wow that's what I'm talking about! A bit heavier than Hill's aluminum mega.
  • + 1
 A steel bike "not as capable" as a carbon bike for the same price or even more expensive than a carbon bike? Not worth it to me.
  • + 2
 It probably won't crack, like ever, that makes it way more capable haha, insanely expensive plastic frames are history, they are junk, just my opinion obviously
  • + 1
 @markar:

Steel cracks, I broke a 531 frame once and on a recent weekend away the 2nd days riding was halted when the only person on a steel bike cracked their frame. Back 20 years ago we all rode steel - I struggle to see the love. Is it the novelty of thin tubes now everyone's use to seeing fat aluminium and Carbon?
  • + 2
 @StevieJB: steel rarely cracks and it's cheap to fix, not $500, I've been riding steel and aluminum for 30+ years, zero cracked frames, my friends carbon frame's are crack a lackin for no reason
  • + 1
 @markar: With you on Carbon, I love a carbon road bike and a carbon XC bike for dirt paths fine but I don't do that sort of riding. I'd not want to have one if I rode anywhere rocky though, crack central. I kind of feel Aluminium has become so normal the marketing guys are pushing anything different - I like Aluminium it's a good material just seems as someone else mentioned a bit under marketed at the minute. Alloy FS makes total sense to me, alloy Hardtail can I agree be harsh on certain surfaces however in those situations I'd probably have picked up my FS. I've got a On One 456ti, and lovely as it is the ride isn't that much smoother than my Ragley Mmmbop which is made from massive Aluminium tubes.
  • + 1
 Reminds me of the Gary Fisher Cake except it has a yoke. Nothing wrong with SP but that's an expensive steel SP frame..........
  • + 1
 I feel like that Damien guy went to the halloween store and was like "i want to look like a hipster" this is the costume they gave him...
  • + 1
 Between the looks and the geometry numbers that looks awesome. Too bad so many of these Brit/Euro bikes basically never make it to North America.
  • + 2
 Finally a bike for the people who can only afford 1 bike but wanna do it l all. With there was A 160 travel version
  • + 2
 You can even build it up as a 29er although are mo complete build 29ers! ????????
  • + 2
 No, according to PP it's not cleared for 29ers. No idea why. This and the pressfit bb put me off of this otherwise interesting frame.
  • + 0
 @rynee: Ignore the pressfit. its not a problem. My Shan GT hasnt had a single problem. the 29" is a real problem though. if this could take 29" then it would be a proper weapon.
  • + 1
 @riktherider: 2.3 tire cleared seat post by 1/4" at full compression on 29er wheel. Not the stock fork on test bike but it cleared by a mile.
  • + 2
 @riktherider: i have mixed feelings about pressfit. i have one on my 16 honzo al, haven't had any issues yet. but i don't like the idea to use brute force when it's time to change the bearings. all my other bikes have threaded bbs, which i prefer.

regarding the bike, i was very interested in the cotic rocket max (140mm 29er, reynolds front triangle, 4130 seatstays, aluminum chainstays). the geometry was not exactly to my liking - high stack (the large has a 120mm headtube and external lower cups), short reach and long chainstays (the large has slightly shorter reach than chainstays, while my large honzo has 4.5cm longer reach than chainstays). but other features were intriguing: threaded bb, internal and external dropper cable routing, bottle cage mount, relatively attractive pricing, uk product. i even ordered one in spring when they had the free cc db inline upgrade, only to find out that they were out of stock. i went with a transition smuggler instead. it has very similar geometry to the honzo, zero stack headset, but shorter travel than the cotic. but coming from a hardtail, i don't really mind the shorter travel.

sorry for the lengthy elaboration...
  • + 1
 @rynee: I see your point with "Brute Force" to replace bearings, however how do you change them in the pivots? all bearings in motor industry are all press fit, very few are threaded in. As long as they are installed correctly, and are decent quality it shouldn't be a problem.

I also have a steel framed bike i use for commuting which uses threaded BB, and is easy when i need to change. same manufacturer BB and i have gone though 2 in 2 years, so the threaded is better. But when you think about full suss frames, it is good practice to replace the bearings every year (dependent on use and condition) so you will still be hitting bearings out of the frame an back in again? why is the BB any different?
  • + 1
 @riktherider: hi, good Points well made! i have changed the bearings on a full susser once, and it was...exciting Smile but you're right, it worked well and was not a big deal in the end.

the same is true for Headsets, although i always have a gutwrenching Feeling when i press in Headset Cups and they get a bit out of line during the process. luckily the Frame manufacturers build that area strong enough for inept Hobby mechanics like myself Big Grin

however if i can avoid this, i prefer a different solution. also because i believe that the pressing process increases material fatigue - on both the Frame and the bearings.

i hear you regarding the commuter - mine is eating bottom brackets for breakfast as well. i believe the mix of chainoil, dirt, dust, grime, and lower maintainance compared to my mtbs is a killer Combo...
  • + 1
 that bike looks good! I like the lines and skinny tubes! needs a gearbox for me though. a little heavy but not too bad as well. 150mm would be better too.
  • + 2
 I just came for the 'steel is real!' comments...
  • + 6
 While there is nothing wrong with the way aluminum rides, its real downfall was the fact that nothing cool rhymes with it.
  • + 1
 @woofer2609: maybe the alu value?
  • + 2
 @woofer2609:
aluminum is for hoonin fun
aluminum: a monsoon of fun
alu is value
al is my pal

I guarantee that all of these will catch on.
Tbh, when it's hidden behind inches of travel I just don't buy that there's a meaningful 'ride quality' difference. Even for rigid/road frames, it's more about the geo, construction, tube butting, etc than the material itself. A lot of moder Al road bikes ride beautifully.
  • + 1
 @bkm303: *not a guarantee
  • + 2
 @Patrick9-32: but they're so catchy!!!
  • + 4
 @bkm303: only works in America I'm afraid. We have aluminium in the Uk...
  • + 0
 Lovely looking bike, would love to see one in the flesh. Why claim rear end can take a 2.8 tyre and not the front, how many people run a fatter tyre on the rear?
  • + 2
 Surely the front depends on fork choice?
  • + 0
 Id say at that price point the weight is pretty average. You could spend a couple hundred more and get a Fuel EX with the same weight.
  • + 2
 Why is the shock mount bolted on vs welded on?
  • + 1
 About to read the review, but had to say this first: Ye Gods what a beautiful piece of art/tech/love!
  • + 1
 It seems like the heavier my bike is, the better it corners. Maybe the weight of the Shan is the reason it corners so well.
  • + 2
 Yes we agree to. Smile
  • + 1
 How is 140mm a non orthodox travel number? pretty sure that's tried and true trail bike travel...???
  • + 2
 The raw one is beautiful .
  • + 2
 Is "sharping" really a word?
  • + 2
 ridiculously too long for reach!!!
  • - 1
 Why making chromo full suspension frames when aluminum is generally lighter and stiffer?
What size is 31 pounds, the medium?
So it is like 33 pounds for the large and 35 for xl.

It still sounds a little optimistic...
  • + 5
 Two pounds for an extra 2 inches of steel tube is probably a fairly serious over estimate there bud.
  • - 1
 @Patrick9-32: You are not only adding a couple of inches of frame tubing, but also stem, cables, seat post, cranks, handlebars, fork steering tube etc. are generally bigger.

For a steel bike, they need to use different wall thickness tubing for different sizes.
Otherwise the small is a rock and the xl is a noodle.
  • + 1
 A steel frame may be heavier but is an ultra stiff frame a good thing?

Carbon manufacturers actively engineer flexibility into frames to allow some compliance - I think a bit of movement is welcome in the swingarm, so long as it isn't a noodle when pedalling.
  • + 1
 Why didn´t they go for more stack height? Seems to be a low rider. Even with a 35mm riser bar.
  • + 1
 I once owned a FS HUFFY from KMart, thought it was the best bike ever!
  • + 1
 Hi Pinkbike, how’s that Spartan review coming.????
  • + 1
 this thing is looks so clean
  • + 1
 I need some ???? rust coating
  • + 0
 Would like the weight confirmed, it's lighter on paper than my carbon strive.
  • + 1
 ooooh if i had some money
  • + 1
 Finally a steel full-suspension, that doesn't look ugly as f**k!
  • + 1
 That Fox fork has some amount of clearance!
  • + 1
 greatest thing ever "the BB"
  • + 0
 I keep telling myself justifiable reasons why I SHANt buy this beautiful frame! FECK IT, take my money
  • + 1
 id like to see a raw 29er. Wagon wheels are the way of the future!!
  • + 1
 Looks sick apart from the "trendy" no proper bootle cage mount...
  • + 2
 Steel is real!
  • + 1
 I really like It, this will be my next bike.
  • - 1
 Looks like a nice new bike that will be nice for people to buy. We Try this out soon to see how we like it. But otherwise, this is a cool looking bike.
  • + 1
 Reminds me of my (Still loving the turns) Xprezo Super-D! Steel FTW!
  • + 1
 finally some good looking bike again
  • + 1
 I’d rather pay for a custom Walt Works.
  • + 1
 Waltworks rule
  • + 1
 Wish I picked this up when it was only half that price on release ????
  • + 0
 If you don't ride 26" you're a f*cking geek.
  • + 1
 thats a beauty!
  • + 1
 i want that slapsock!
  • + 1
 It looks pure shan
  • + 0
 Anti rust coating, a.k.a paint
  • + 1
 4130 chromoly rad
  • + 0
 Well slap me hard and call me Betty...
  • + 1
 Interesting tyre choice.
  • + 1
 The stock tires are Maxxis. These Vee Tire Co. tires just happen to be on during the shoot.
  • + 1
 Makes me wanna Mambo!
  • + 1
 Raw finish for the win
  • + 1
 #Trailduro
  • + 1
 steel be a bike.
  • - 2
 8.37 lb isn't bad at all. my canfield riot (alloy frame) weighs 8 lb (sans shock).
  • + 8
 8.37lb is pretty dang heavy, to be honest. I'm not that concerned with weight, especially when it comes to a bike like the Shan, but there are other frames out there made for a similar type of riding that weight 2lb less. Again, weight isn't even close to being the most important thing, but it wouldn't be a bad thing if the bike was 2lb lighter, would it?
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: It is already lighter than a DMR Bolt Long so I guess this is a competitive weight for general riding.
  • + 2
 @mikelevy: can you please give a call to the very nice guys at Kingdom and review the Hex LS please...or just come to the UK and we can sort it out for you!? Now that is a very capable and gorgeous bike!
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