The Pole MACHINE is one of the most revolutionary bikes on the market. It not only draws attention with its radical geometry but also with its unique design. It has helped create a new understanding of geometry, winning the 2019 Design & Innovation Award and showing how important the balance of a bike is.

For an overview of the test fleet head to: The best enduro bike you can buy

Pole Machine EN | 180/160 mm (f/r) | 14.84 kg | € 7,300

Before getting on the Pole MACHINE for the first time, you could spend an eternity marvelling at the details of the frame. The two halves of the front triangle are machined from solid blocks of aluminium and then joined using bolts and glue. The machining results in a unique surface texture and the raw aluminium finish shimmers different colours depending on the light – just beautiful! But besides the radical look, the geometry of the Pole has gone its own extreme way too. The reach of the bike in size L measures in at a whopping 510 mm, the chainstays are 455 mm long and the head angle is 63.9° slack. As a result, the wheelbase is 10.5 cm longer than, for example, the Canyon Strive. At the front, the MACHINE has a 180 mm travel fork, with a 160 mm of travel at the rear. The componentry on the € 7,300 bike is high-quality and cleverly specced: a SRAM XX1 Eagle drivetrain, CODE brakes, a RockShox Lyrik fork and a Super Deluxe shock come standard on this bike. If you want, the shock can be replaced with an EXT coil model. Unfortunately, at the time of testing, it wasn’t available.

The Pole MACHINE in detail

Fork RockShox Lyrik RC2 180 mm
Shock RockShox Super Deluxe 160 mm
Brakes SRAM Code RSC
Drivetrain SRAM X01 Eagle
Seatpost BikeYoke Revive 160 mm
Stem Truvativ Descendant 40 mm
Handlebar Truvativ Descendant 800 mm
Wheels MAVIC Deemax Pro
Tires MAXXIS Minion DHF/DHR II 2.3″
Weight 14.84 kg
Price € 7.300

Unique
If you’re into mechanical engineering, you will love the look of the Pole! The raw, machined frame, shimmers in different colours depending on the light.
Neatly collected
The cables are all collected on the left side of the bike. This gives the right side of the bike a very clean look. The cables are simply attached with a cable tie.
Under attack
The asymmetrically mounted shock gets permanently bombarded with dirt from the trail.
Super steep
Long climbs are very comfortable onboard the Pole MACHINE thanks to the steep seat tube angle. The upright riding position is a lot more demanding on the gluteal muscles, which are more powerful, but it feels very unfamiliar at first.

The geometry of the Pole MACHINE

Size S M L XL
Top tube 577 mm 607 mm 637 mm 662 mm
Head tube 115 mm 135 mm 135 mm 145 mm
Head angle 63.9° 63.9° 63.9° 63.9°
Seat angle 79° 79° 79° 79°
Chainstays 455 mm 455 mm 455 mm 455 mm
BB Drop 20 mm 20 mm 20 mm 20 mm
Wheelbase 1275 mm 1305 mm 1335 mm 1360 mm
Reach 450 mm 480 mm 510 mm 535 mm
Stack 640 mm 650 mm 660 mm 670 mm
Helmet Giro Switchblade | Goggle 100% Accuri | Jersey Leatt DBX 3.0 X-Ruby | Short iXS ASPER SHORTS | Knee pads Race Face Ambush

The Pole MACHINE on the trail

The Pole team has gone all out with the seat tube angle. It is an extremely steep 79°, resulting in a super central sitting position. When you’re climbing, you never have to drop your upper body to shift your weight more to the front, regardless of how steep the terrain is, allowing you to relax and keep pedalling. On level terrain, you will feel a bit more weight on your hands, but we didn’t find it uncomfortable. Dropping into the first descent, you will be really surprised by just how how balanced and ‘normal’ the bike feels despite its extreme geometry. Tucked in between the big wheels, you’re positioned very centrally and feel nigh-on indestructible.

Barking dogs don’t bite – the Pole rides very calmly despite its radical looks.

On fast sections, the Pole flies and in long, open corners you have tons of grip with both wheels. On steep terrain you’ll feel confident in most situations, but there are moments when the long wheelbase becomes a disadvantage. For example, when the rear wheel is still higher up on a step and your front wheel is already going down the next drop, it can feel a little unbalanced. Due to the extreme length of the bike, the rider’s shift in weight has less influence on the handling and so narrow sections require a lot more input. Popping off ledges and manuals also require a lot of strength because of the long chainstays. The suspension uses the available travel very efficiently, but without isolating the rider too much from the trail. You can quickly build up a lot of speed when pumping the MACHINE through rollers.

Tuning tip: Chainstay protection for a quieter ride | If in doubt, go for the smaller frame size

Conclusion

The Pole MACHINE is a radical bike and was made for those who mostly ride on very fast tracks. It rides calmly and instils the rider with confidence, but it requires a powerful rider when things get tighter. If the super-long concept is too extreme, you can often resort to a smaller frame size and still get a relatively long and stable bike.

Tops

  • Confidence inspiring
  • Very composed handling
  • Unique look and construction

Flops

  • Hard to manoeuvre in tight sections
  • Not playful

Uphill

Downhill

Stability

Agility

Value for money


For more info head to: polebicycles.com

For an overview of the test fleet head to: The best enduro bike you can buy

All bikes in test: Bold Unplugged | Canyon Strive CFR 9.0 Team | Commencal META AM 29 SIGNATURE ORANGE | Giant Reign Advanced 0 | Lapierre Spicy Team Ultimate | Nukeproof Mega 275c RS | Orbea Rallon M-LTD I9 | Pivot Firebird 29 Team XX1 | Santa Cruz Nomad CC | Scott Ransom 900 Tuned | Specialized S-Works Enduro 29 | Trek Slash 9.9 | YT Capra 29 CF PRO Race

Words & Photos: Christoph Bayer

About the author

Christoph Bayer

Christoph loves to be kept on his toes – both on the bike and in his role for ENDURO. He’s known as the guy in charge of the bi-monthly magazine and masquerades as both its editor and photographer. You’ll usually find him tearing up the mountains on his bike, soaking up the flow or tackling technical, narrow trails.