First Look: Privateer Bikes 161 – the ultimate enduro racer for cash strapped people?


A full season of high-level enduro racing is incredibly difficult on both the bike and the body, so what type of bike should the keen rider choose to get him through a season of competition without leaving his wallet? as mutilated as the tread on his rear tire? Privateer Bikes – the sister brand of the well-established Hunt Bike wheels – believes the 161 is the answer.

As the name suggests, it sports 161mm of travel at the rear mated to 170mm at the front, all rolling on 29 “wheels except for the smaller frame size. frame is made of aluminum, durability and ease of maintenance having been favored, weight saving, while the geometry is very progressive – seat angle of 80 ° you are tempted?

Despite being the company’s first bike, Privateer opted to have a full range of sizes, with four options from P1 to P4. These sizes are not really directly comparable to the usual size ranges, small to very large, each having a low standover height designed to allow riders to choose a silhouette that best matches their preferences.

The chainstay length also varies between each size to keep the rider’s weight in the right place at any end of the size spectrum. It also meant a lot more work had to be done, as changing the chainstay length affects the kinematics of the suspension, which in turn required more work to ensure a consistent response. It’s a lot more work, but Sam Meeghan, Product Manager at Privateer, said, “If we were to do our first frame, we might as well do it right and fix the problems.

The shorter P1 bike is the only one with 650b wheels – Privateer had considered a “mule” setup but didn’t believe there was any benefit – and a 454mm reach for a seat tube length of 400 mm / 16 “, which is still quite large. P2, P3 and P4 bikes with 29 inch wheels are 470 mm, 490 mm and 515 mm, which means that the range figures compare well to those of the Original Gs Mondraker long bikes, but not quite at the extremes of Pole and Geometron.


However, Privateer pushed the boat outwards in regards to the seat angle. While many bikes now hide well beyond the 76 ° mark, few brands have made it past the 70s – something the brand has done as a mental limit for consumers, albeit the final effective angle 80 ° was chosen simply because they thought it worked better.

The actual seat angle is slightly more relaxed, varying around 75.5 ° across all sizes due to a good degree of offset, but this should really help keep the rider in the right place for climbs and downhill. keep the effective top tube sensitive with the large reaching digits.


The head angle is 64 ° in all sizes, with short forks staggered on full versions, while a 30mm bottom bracket drop – 15mm on the 650b bike – means it s This is a fairly low bike and should translate into a load of stability when you’re tired and trying to get through the tough sections you need to.

Other details on the bike are designed to keep things nice and simple for maintenance, with large main pivot bearings and axles for the four-bar suspension system as well as predominantly external cable routing for the rear brake and derailleur. As with most modern bikes, it is designed only with a 1x drivetrain.


Interestingly, the bike uses standard tubes, but in order to achieve these pretty extreme lengths, Privateer was rather tricky with the way everything is glued around the bottom bracket shell – otherwise the original lengths would simply stretch. not.

The bike comes as a frame only for £ 1,399 with a RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate shock attached or the full build shown for £ 2,989. These are your only options – they want to keep it simple – but the kit is really well thought out.

The drivetrain is from Shimano, with a 12-speed SLX setup, except for an XT lever shifter, which means you get the multi-trigger shifting feature. It also means they didn’t spend too much money on bits that could break or wear out, saving money for the high-end shock and RockShox Lyrik Ultimate fork with its RC2 shock. , as well as a Hunt EnduroWide wheelset with Michelin Wild Enduro rubber.


OneUp provides the long-stroke dropper post – it can be adjusted down from 200mm of stroke – and the brakes are from Magura, with four-piston MT4 calipers at each end. They are not our favorites in terms of feel, but they are very potent.

The bike is available for pre-order now, with a stock of P1 and P2 bikes in black having landed along with the rest of the sizes and a raw color scheme expected to land in May – current issues notwithstanding. As this is a direct sale only, the bike also comes with a 60-day ride and return offer. To pre-order or view more details, visit their website below. We want to get a test bike ASAP, so stay tuned for that …

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Wiley C. Thompson

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