We’ve previously ridden and reviewed the Pole Stamina 180. Back then we chose a size L but the extreme reach felt too long for all-round riding. We went one size down for this group test and couldn’t wait to see how it would fare against the competition.

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best enduro bike 2020

Pole Stamina 180 LE | 180/180 mm | 15.74 kg | € 9,500

The bike we received for this group test belongs to the mastermind behind Pole himself: Leo Kokkonen’s personal race bike. Accordingly, the components didn’t quite match the standard spec. However, if you get in touch with Pole they’ll happily offer a lot of configuration options, such as the Öhlins coil shock on our test bike. The frame of our test bike was a pre-production version, albeit with the new rear end without the additional strut, SRAM’s slender universal derailleur hanger and the new STFU chain guide. All these changes are made possible by the rapid prototyping and production methods that Pole use for the Stamina. The frame halves are machined out of blocks of aluminium and then glued together. All it takes to change the design of the frame is to reprogram the milling machine with no need to manufacture expensive moulds. Weighing in at 15,72 kg, the Pole is the heaviest bike on test, but the build is race-ready and includes tire inserts. The previous model we reviewed with the standard spec weighed 14.28 kg (in L), which is not to be sniffed at.

Super quiet
The annoying chain slapping we encountered on earlier models is a thing of the past with the STFU chain guide.
Sharp edges
The rocker links on the Stamina 180 have very sharp edges – it would be nice to see these rounded off.
The frame is constructed in two halves which are machined out of aluminium blocks and glued together. This is a common production method in other industries, but it’s a unique approach in the bicycle industry.

Pole Stamina 180 LE

€ 9,500


Fork RockShox Lyrik Ultimate 180 mm
Rear Shock Öhlins TTX 22 M 180 mm
Seatpost Bike Yoke Revive 34,9 185 mm
Brakes Trickstuff Maxima 220/200 mm
Drivetrain SRAM X01 AXS 34 - 10/50
Stem TruVativ Descendant 40 mm
Handlebar TruVativ Descendant Carbon 780 mm
Wheelset Mavic Deemax DH 29

Technical Data

Size S, M, L, XL
Weight 15.74 kg

A worthwhile upgrade
The Öhlins coil shock unleashes the Stamina 180’s full potential. Compared to the RockShox Super Deluxe, it generates even more traction on the rear. Unfortunately, we haven’t had a chance to try the EXT Storia on the Stamina.
Super steep
The seat tube angle of the Stamina is super steep, which makes for a compact pedalling position on the size M. Riders taller than 183 cm will be better off with the size L frame.
The cable routing of the Pole is entirely external and cables are held in place with cable ties. This makes for much easier servicing but it doesn’t look as clean as internally routed cables and purpose-made clamps.

Geometry and size of the Pole

The geometry of the Pole Stamina 180 is extreme in several ways. The head and seat tube angles are the most striking. The bike is super slack up front and the seat tube angle is very steep. In combination with the long reach, this bike cuts an imposing figure. We deliberately chose size M for this group test, since many of the riders on Pole’s pro team also opted to size down.

Size S M L XL
Seat tube 400 mm 400 mm 420 mm 440 mm
Top tube 570 mm 600 mm 630 mm 660 mm
Head tube 110 mm 120 mm 120 mm 135 mm
Head angle 63.5° 63.5° 63.5° 63.5°
Seat angle 78.3° 78.3° 78.3° 78.3°
Chainstays 455 mm 455 mm 455 mm 455 mm
BB Drop 20 mm 20 mm 20 mm 20 mm
Wheelbase 1,276 mm 1,306 mm 1,336 mm 1,361 mm
Reach 450 mm 480 mm 510 mm 540 mm
Stack 636 mm 645 mm 645 mm 658 mm
Helmet Fox Dropframe | Protector Leatt 3DF Airfit | Shirt Mons Royale Temple Tech | Shorts iXS CARVE SHORTS | Knee pads Fox Launch Pro

The Pole Stamina 180 LE on the trail

Pole are one of the pioneers of radical geometry. The Finnish brand hasn’t only given new meaning to the balance between the front triangle and the chainstays, it has also contributed to the steepening of seat tube angles. At 78.3°, the Stamina 180 still has the steepest seat tube angle on test and in combination with the 480 mm reach (size M), the pedalling position on the bike is central but also upright. This position allows you to use the power of your glutes to get up steep climbs, making easy work of them. Despite being equipped with a coil shock, the suspension is very efficient and bobs only slightly as you pedal. We hardly ever felt the need to reach for the climb switch on the shock.

Downsizing recommended: at 180 cm tall on average, our test riders found the size M Stamina to be a better fit on the descents.

Going downhill, frame size M turned out to be better suited for a rider height of 180 cm than the size L we rode before. Even so, it’s nowhere near feeling compact, though the handling is more direct than with the bigger size. The Öhlins shock on the rear makes sucking noises as it works but there is nothing to fault in terms of its performance, feeling very plush and offering tons of traction. The bike doesn’t wallow in its travel and provides good mid-stroke support. Combined with the 445 mm chainstays, the bike feels supremely composed at high-speed and doesn’t tax the rider no matter how rough the trail. However, with it’s ultra slack 63.5° head angle, the Stamina will make you work that much harder on flat and tight terrain to keep the front wheel sufficiently weighted, or it will flop from side to side and be difficult to control. This is a universal problem we have encountered on bikes with such slack head angles and not at all unique to the Pole.

There is no doubting the fact that Leo Kokkonen has had a big impact on the development of modern bikes – now, all they have to do is get this bike ready for production!

How does the Pole Stamina 180 compare to the competition?

On rough terrain, the Stamina 180 is on par with the Rocky Mountain Slayer, Specialized Enduro, RAAW Madonna and Nukeproof Mega 290C, where the bikes play in a league of their own and are all extremely fast. However, the Madonna, the Mega 290C and the Enduro feel more balanced on flat terrain and are more versatile because of it. As on the Rocky Mountain Slayer, it was the handling of the front end of the Pole that we found most bothersome.

Tuning tip: downsizing: we preferred the handling of the smaller size | we can happily recommend upgrading to the Öhlins coil shock!

Riding Characteristics



  1. sluggish
  2. efficient


  1. cumbersome
  2. playful


  1. nervous
  2. confident


  1. demanding
  2. balanced


  1. harsh
  2. plush

Fun Factor

  1. planted
  2. poppy

Value for money

  1. terrible
  2. very good

Intended Use










The Pole Stamina 180 is a full-speed enduro rig capable of taming even the scariest tracks. The suspension and the geometry are made for speed and the bike will help you go faster than you ever thought possible. Size M is a much better choice for all-round riding but it still lacks agility in tighter terrain. Some of the frame details could be improved and we’re excited as ever to see the production version of this bike.


  • super capable at speed
  • rear end generates tons of traction
  • climbs well despite its weight


  • cumbersome in tight, flat sections
  • creaking shock mount (revised for production)
  • not production-ready

Update |January 22nd: Pole just told us that the final bike is now in production. Our test bike already was a very final version and only the correct decals were missing.

You can find out more about the Pole Stamina 180 LE at polebicycles.com

The test field

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best enduro bike 2020

All bikes in test: Canyon Strive CFR 9.0 LTD | CUBE Stereo 170 SL 29 | Giant Reign Advanced 29 0 | Ibis Mojo HD5 | Norco Sight C1 29 | Nukeproof Mega 275C RS | Nukeproof Mega 290C Pro | Orbea Rallon M-LTD | Pole Stamina 180 LE | RAAW Madonna V2 FOX Factory Built | Rocky Mountain Slayer Carbon 90 29 | Santa Cruz Megatower CC X01 Reserve | SCOTT Ransom 900 Tuned | Specialized S-Works Enduro 2020 | Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert | Trek Slash 9.9 X01 AXS | Yeti SB150 T2 | YT CAPRA 29 CF Pro Race

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Words: Photos: Christoph Bayer / Finlay Anderson / Markus Frühmann