The new Propain Tyee 29 looks like it means business! The frame is neat and aesthetically pleasing, the geometry looks sorted and the paint job is drool-worthy. However, Propain’s new all-rounder has lots of expectations to live up to. Will this 160 mm travel 29er be a hit with fans of the young german brand? We rode it on the challenging trails of La Palma to find out!

Propain Tyee 29 | 170/160 mm travel (front/rear) | 29” | € 2,399 to € 7,724 (depending on frame material and spec choice)

The new Propain Tyee offers 160 mm of rear travel paired with a whopping 170 mm travel fork up front. It is available in both carbon and aluminium and, as will all Propain bikes, the spec is very customisable. A 27.5” version is also available, which shares the same amount of travel and gets its own frame geometry optimised for the smaller wheels. The carbon Tyee’s come in three paint jobs: Mars Red (pictured), Bad Mint and Raw. Fans of alloy get to choose between Raw, Mars Red and Petrol colourways.

Aesthetically, the new Tyee still retains some of its predecessor’s signature Propain looks, however, if you take a second look you notice some major differences. This is due to the fact that Propain have designed an entirely new frame for the 2020 Tyee to accommodate the bigger 29” wheels. The shock has also been moved inside the frame which will help protect it from debris kicked up by the back wheel and makes for a more pleasing look in our opinion. Despite the new shock position, Propain still found space for bottle cage mounts inside the main triangle – thumbs up! The frame itself is made using Propain’s Blend Carbon technology, where different layups of prepreg carbon fibre are used in different areas of the frame, which is claimed to help achieve desired amounts of stiffness, flex and impact resistance.

The new frame features a redesigned shock placement inside the front triangle like their already well known trail bike, the Propain Hugene.
There’s also space for a water bottle…
… and internal cable routing with full internal channels for easy maintenance.
Propain offer a number of decal options for the new Tyee. We’re a fan of the full-bling chrome!
The Acros linkage bearings are claimed to be fully sealed by Propain’s DirtShield technology
Propain use a carbon layup technology they call Blend Carbon, which they claim allows them to achieve desired amounts of stiffness, flex and impact resistance
Overall, the name Tyee 29 frame gives off a high-quality feeling and shows good attention to detail

Whilst the shock position has been altered compared to previous Tyee incarnations, Propain say they were so happy with the outgoing Tyee’s PRO10 suspension kinematics that they ensured to transfer them to this new frame, with only a few minor tweaks. Most notable is the high anti-squat, which sits at well over 100% (115-120%) at sag. This should give the Tyee a very stable platform for climbing and ensure that any pedal bob is kept to a minimum (click here to find out more about MTB suspension kinematics).

The geometry of the new Propain Tyee 29

A quick glance at the Tyee 29’s frame gives away its low slung top, slack head angle and lengthy reach. Propain claim to have found the sweet spot of geometries for all-round enduro bikes. The head angle sits at a slack 64.5° and the seat tube is relatively steep at 77.1° (effective). The Tyee gets a relatively lengthy 471 mm reach (size Large) and 445 chainstays (all sizes) bringing the overall wheelbase of a size Large Tyee to 1253 mm. The Tyee 29 is available in size Medium, Large and XL. Anyone looking for a smaller bike will have to go for the 27.5” version which is available in size Small, Medium and Large.

Size M L XL
Seat tube 440 mm 460 mm 480 mm
Top tube 595 mm 618 mm 640 mm
Head tube 105 mm 115 mm 125 mm
Head angle 64.5° 64.5° 64.5°
Seat angle 77.1° 77.1° 77.1°
Chainstay 445 mm 445 mm 445 mm
BB Drop 26 mm 26 mm 26 mm
Wheelbase 1228 mm 1253 mm 1275 mm
Reach 451 mm 471 mm 491 mm
Stack 630 mm 639 mm 648 mm
Propain have chosen a modern geometry and a steep seat angle for the new Tyee 29

Customisation on tap – the Propain spec configurator

The Tyee 29 benefits from Propain’s custom spec configurator which lets you take control of your bike’s components by choosing from a big range of options. You can pick your prefered suspension, drivetrain, wheels, cockpit and more from Propain’s partners. If you are unsure about where to start, Propain are also offering three baseline specs (Start, Performance and Highend) for you to choose from. Our test bike was based on the top-of-the-range Highend spec with some handpicked spec choices like the RockShox Ultimate suspension and full bling SRAM Code RSC stoppers to match the SRAM X01 AXS wireless drivetrain.

Propain Tyee 29 Start

Fork RockShox Yari RC 170 mm
Rear shock RockShox Deluxe Select R 160 mm
Brakes SRAM Guide R 200 mm rotors
Drivetrain SRAM GX Eagle
Seatpost Propain Seatpost
Stem SIXPACK VERTIC 50
Bars SIXPACK Millenium 805
Wheels Propain ZTR Flow S1
Tires Schwalbe Magic Mary Addix Soft
Weight 14 kg (carbon) | 15 kg (alloy)
Price € 2,999 (carbon) | € 2,399 (alloy)

Propain Tyee 29 Performance

Fork RockShox Lyrik Ultimate RC2 170 mm
Rear shock RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate RCT 160 mm
Brakes SRAM Code RSC 200 mm rotors
Drivetrain SRAM X01 Eagle
Seatpost Bikeyoke Revive
Stem SIXPACK VERTIC 50
Bars SIXPACK Millenium 805
Wheels Propain ZTR Flow S1
Tires Schwalbe Magic Mary Addix Soft
Weight 14 kg (carbon) | 15 kg (alloy)
Price € 4,264 (carbon) | € 3,664 (alloy)

Propain Tyee 29 Highend

Fork FOX 36 Factory Grip2 170 mm
Rear shock FOX Float X2 Factory 160 mm
Brakes Magzra MT7 203 mm rotors
Drivetrain SRAM X01 Eagle
Seatpost FOX Transfer Factory
Stem SIXPACK Millenium 45
Bars SIXPACK Millenium Carbon 805
Wheels Reynolds Black Label Carbon
Tires Schwalbe Magic Mary Addix Soft
Weight 13.8 kg (carbon) | 14.8 kg (alloy)
Price € 7,114 (carbon) | € 6,514 (alloy)

Propain’s spec configurator is great for those who want to customise their ride

Lively, fast and responsive – the Propain Tyee on the trail

From the first pedal stroke, we noticed how comfortable the Tyee 29’s seated pedalling position is. The steep seat angle comes into its own here and puts you in a central position for climbing. The next thing we noticed was the near-complete lack of pedal bob. No matter how hard we pushed the pedals, the Propain’s rear end stayed stable under power and projected us forward with surprising acceleration. This forward-going feeling is equally as noticeable on the trail as it is on a fire road climb. No matter whether pumping or sprinting through sections of singletrack, the Tyee 29 responds with a spurt of speed! The combination of the Tyee’s geometry and pedal-friendly kinematics made it a joy on the ascents! It was easy to forget we were sitting on a bike with 170/160 mm travel, and we were excited to see if the Tyee 29 would be equally convincing on the descents!

The Tyee 29 impressed us on the ascents with its eager climbing performance

Point the Tyee 29 downhill and you’re in for a lively ride! However, the high anti-squat numbers which give the Propain such climbing prowess start to act like a double-edged sword when the trails get rough. The high anti-squat around the sag point reduces the Tyee’s initial sensitivity, meaning the rider gets a lot of feedback from the trail and less small bump suppleness. While the initial sensitivity can’t compete with the top tier of enduro race bikes, the Tyee was able to convince us with great midstroke support and lots of reserves. It handled drops and big impacts with ease and felt defined and efficient deep into its travel, never wallowing or giving up its travel unnecessarily.

The Tyee 29 gives loads of support through corners and compressions allowing you to effectively pump the trail for free speed

While it may not be the plushest bike out there we still had an absolute blast riding the Tyee 29!

The Tyee 29 is a very fun ride. Its suspension design lends itself to a playful riding style and gives the Tyee an eagerness to pop off every rock, root and kicker on the trail. It carries speed well through corners and feels stable through compressions, accelerating quickly and pumping through undulations in the trail with ease. The bike stays agile and playful despite its 29” wheels and relatively lengthy geometry – we had no issues flicking it into corners and letting it slide around tight switchbacks.

Overall, the Tyee 29’s felt more like a competent all-rounder than an all-out enduro race machine. While it is definitely capable of getting down gnarly descents, its rear end can’t compete with the plushest bikes in its travel range. However, what it lacks in plushness it makes up for in mid-stroke support and liveliness.

Our conclusion to the 2020 Propain Tyee 29

The Propain Tyee 29 is a blast to ride! We love its enthusiastic climbing ability and were always kept entertained on the descents by its playful and fun-loving ride character. While it is not the most supple and forgiving bike out there, the Tyee 29’s efficient suspension and fun handling could make it a great choice for a rider looking for an all-rounder with long-travel reserves.

Tops

  • Custom spec configuration
  • Playful handling
  • Great climbing performance

Flops

  • The high anti-squat leads to some pedal-kickback in the rough

For more info check out propain-bikes.com

Words & Photos: Finlay Anderson