EUROBIKE 2019 News

Privateer 161 Race-Enduro unveiled – Progressive geometry, aluminium frame and a hot price tag

UK-based bike manufacturer Privateer is new in the game and has just launched its very first bike. The Privateer 161 Race-Enduro features a progressive geometry and was designed specifically for enduro racers. The new kid in town looks incredibly robust and comes at a very attractive price.

Privateer 161 Prototype | 170/160 mm (v/h) | 29” | around € 1,450 for the frameset

Behind Privateer Bikes stands British bike specialists HUNT, which produces high-quality carbon and aluminium wheels at interesting prices. And that’s exactly the philosophy the Brits are following with their new brand Privateer, creating a high-tech and yet inexpensive 29″ aluminium platform with a progressive geometry. Alastair Beckett, one of team behind the exciting Forbidden brand, was heavily involved in the development of the frame.

Not just for racers! Also hobby riders will enjoy the perks of the frame features. High quality sealed bearings and durable pivot points are the way to go.

The Privateer 161 in detail

“Simplicity” is the motto of the new Privateer 161. The rear brake-line, for instance, is externally routed and will avoid time consuming bleeding sessions every time you have to install or take off the brake. To prevent irritating clatter-noises, both the brake and shifter cables are clamped to the head tube. On the production bike, however, the clamps will be moved further down to prevent the cables from getting in the way of the race plate: Privateer hopes that racers will appreciate such attention to detail.

Whilst a bottle cage is a must for enduro racers, the frame of the Privateer only takes a “small” 500 ml bottle (M frame)

Since bearing longevity is an absolute priority for Privateer engineers, both the chainstay and the rocker-arm are manufactured from one solid piece, to allow for an easy and more precise positioning of the bearing seat. This, in turn, prevents the sensitive areas to be exposed to transverse loads. This meant to increase both the responsiveness and the longevity of the bearings. Since the Privateer only relies on two different types of double-sealed bearings you can easily store a few spares in your tool box.

As the name suggests, the Horst Link suspension-link generates 161 mm of travel, managed by a RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate rear-shock. At the front you can use either a 160 mm or 170 mm fork. But why would anyone use a “short” fork on a bike with this much potential?

The Privateer also has plenty of tire clearance. Whilst racers can run either 2.4″ or 2.5″ tires to have some reserves on muddy trails, rowdy weekend warriors can run tiresup to 2.6″ rubber.

The geometry of the new Privateer 161

With the 161, Privateer is mainly addressing weekend warriors, park rats and mean shredders. Accordingly, the geometry is very progressive. The Brits combine a long reach with a slack 64° head angle. In addition, the chainstay length varies according to the frame size, which allows Privateer to provide a balance handling across sizes. When climbing, an efficient geometry is often more important than a light overall system weight. The extremely steep 80° seat angle should allow for a very centered and thus efficient riding position even on very steep hills.

Size M L XL
Seat tube 420 mm 450 mm 480 mm
Top tube 582 mm 603 mm 630 mm
Head tube 110 mm 120 mm 130 mm
Head angle 64° 64° 64°
Seat angle 80° 80° 80°
Chainstay 440 mm 446 mm 452 mm
BB Drop 30 mm 30 mm 30 mm
Wheelbase 1.250 mm 1.279 mm 1.316 mm
Reach 470 mm 490 mm 515 mm
Stack 634 mm 643 mm 652 mm

Prices and availability

Privateer will be taking preorders for their new 161 from October 2019. The first frames will be shipped in spring 2020, just in time for the upcoming racing season. The frameset with RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate will cost around 1450 €. Complete bike options will be available at a later stage.

Our first conclusions

On paper, the geometry of the Privateer 161 looks very promising. Thanks to the variable chainstay length, even the very long frame of the largest frame size will feel nicely balanced. We have already ordered a frameset for a thorough test and are really looking forward to finding out whether the Privateer 161 is as rowdy as it’s meant to be.

More infos: privateerbikes.com

Words & Photos: Felix Stix

About the author

Felix Stix

My technical background has made me the informal workshop manager of the Enduro Mag. Here I prepare the equipment and check the bikes before they’re handed over to our test crew. My nerdy articles and countless explanations are usually the result of me completely dismantling and reassembling a product…
When I ride my enduro bike I love shredding on the toughest downhill trails where I push myself and the material to the limit - and beyond. And when I have to get back up to the top of the hill I like sitting comfortably on a chair lift or in the back of a truck. However when it comes to my daily commute to the ENDURO headquarters I don’t mind pedalling a few kilometres.