All the riders who travel the world to fight for positions in Enduro World Series events do not have their own mechanic, or are not paid, or even do not have their trip covered. Quite a few of these athletes are pocketing every penny they can to afford their chance on the toughest tracks EWS promoters can find, and they need bikes they can depend on.
The folks at Privateer Bikes aim to create an affordable whip designed specifically for the rigors of a full racing season. The bike has been tested for the past 18 months by Matt Stuttard, the top 20 EWS riders, to ensure its value. I recently met the Privateer team at Eurobike, and they were eager to show off the latest frame prototype, aptly named “161” after its rear travel measurement.
As shown, the rear of the frame crushes around 161mm of Horst linkage travel and can accommodate either a 160mm or 170mm fork. The pivots use sealed, lined cartridge bearings, all intended to survive a long and fun racing season. The bike’s rear triangle has room for 29 × 2.6 inch tires on all sizes except the smaller “Size 1” which will ride on 27.5 inch rubber. Privateer decided to use a numbering system to demarcate the frame measurements, instead of the traditional small to extra large nomenclature, as many riders select frames based on their personal geometric preferences rather than the size of our days.
In addition to a solid clearance, a ready-made alloy tube specification and an easy-to-maintain BSA BB, the geometry of the 161 is 100% enduro-fixed. The frames will all have a head tube angle of 64 ° as well as an effective climbing seat tube angle of 80 °. Size 2 frames receive an extended reach of 470mm and froggy chainstays of 440mm. Brand Ambassadors mentioned that the seat tube angle was a bit odd at first, but now that they’ve spent some time on the bike, it looks like the perfect climb position.
Based on the experience of the brand’s lead designer, the 161 should be a fierce weapon. “We worked closely with Alistair Beckett of Redburn Design (formerly Nukeproof Bikes / part of Forbidden Bike Co.) to bring our ideas to life. “
Privateer will be releasing the 161 as a frame and shock combo only to begin with, but they are looking to introduce full versions in late 2020. Prices for framesets, with a RockShox SuperDeluxe Ultimate shock, are set at between £ 1,200 and £ 1,300 (around $ 1,500). Frame pre-orders will launch this fall or early winter, and they expect the merchandise to arrive in the spring of 2020.
The Privateer team is already looking to the future, with a 130-140mm trail bike in the works for riders looking for a daily rider.