The Propain Hugene, which enters our 2022 trail bike group test with countless configuration options and very fair price, was designed to deliver a solid performance on any type of trail. Our test bike comes equipped with many alloy parts and brand-new RockShox’s suspension components. But how does Propain’s petrol-blue carbon rig perform on the trail?

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best trail bike of 2022 – 14 models in review

Propain Hugene | 150/140 mm (f/r) | 13.6 kg in size L | € 5,429 | Manufacturer’s website

With their comprehensive online configurator, Propain allow you to customize the spec and look of your new bike by choosing from a wide selection of components and a handful of colours and decals – and the Hugene is no exception. If that’s too much choice for you, the German manufacturer also offers three pre-configured builds at three different price levels. Our 13.6 kg test bike in size L combines 150 mm travel at the front and 140 mm at the rear and is the only bike in the entire test field to feature a brand-new RockShox suspension. In this configuration, the Hugene goes over the counter at € 5,429.

The spec of the Propain Hugene

The frame of the Propain Hugene features a tool mount on the top tube and small bolted down tube protector. The cables aren’t clamped at the ports, and on our test bike, the rubber inserts that secure the cables inside the ports were missing, causing the cables to rattle loudly against the frame and rub off the paint around the ports. On the swingarm, a generously sized seat stay and chainstay protector prevents chainslap and paint chips.

The cables aren’t clamped at the ports and our test bike was missing the rubber inserts that are supposed to secure the inside the ports, resulting in a loud rattling noise.
The stock DISSECTOR tires with the MaxxTerra rubber compound struggle to generate sufficient traction. We recommend choosing the Schwalbe Magic Mary/Big Betty tire combo from the online configurator.
The markings on the compression setting of the new RockShox Lyrik suspension tell you in which range it’s currently set.

Propain Hugene

€ 5,429


Fork RockShox Lyrik Ultimate Charger 3 150 mm
Rear Shock RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate RC2T 140 mm
Seatpost BikeYoke REVIVE 150 mm
Brakes Formula Cura 4 200/200 mm
Drivetrain SRAM X01/GX Eagle 1x12
Handlebar Sixpack Millenium Alu 780 mm
Tires MAXXIS DISSECTOR, 3C, MaxxTerra, EXO+/MAXXIS DISSECTOR, 3C, MaxxTerra, EXO+ 2.4/2.4

Technical Data

Size S M L XL
Weight 13.6 kg

Tuning Tip: secure the cables with electric tape | choose a long-travel dropper post and grippier tires from the online configurator

Hydraulic power
The arrow on the shaft of the new Super Deluxe shock gives away the hydraulic bottom-out bumper on the inside of the shock.
Short pleasure
With only 150 mm travel, the dropper post is far too short for a size L bike. Luckily, you can choose a longer travel post from the configurator.

For the suspension, Propain rely on a brand-new RockShox setup, pairing a 2023 Lyrik fork and matching 2023 Super Deluxe shock. The fork features RockShox’s new revised Charger 3 damper as well as their proprietary ButterCups rubber elastomers, which are attached to the end of both the Charger damper and air spring and designed to absorb high-frequency vibrations and small impacts even before the air spring starts working. The new 2023 Super Deluxe shock offers external low- and high-speed adjustments as well as rebound damping and a hydraulic bottom-out bumper, which allows the rear suspension to ramp up at the very end of the stroke, preventing it from blowing through its travel with big impacts.

Mountain sprint
Although the light front tends to lift off the trail, the Hugene is an eager climber.

German component brand SIXPACK supplies the 780 mm alloy cockpit. Formula Cura 4 brakes with 200 mm rotors front and rear do stopping duties, leaving the entire test team positively impressed with powerful and reliable deceleration. The drivetrain consists of a SRAM X01 rear derailleur with a matching shifter and cheaper SRAM GX cassette, which delivers the same excellent shifting performance as its high-end counterpart but is also slightly heavier. The 150 mm BikeYoke REVIVE is the shortest dropper in the entire test field and unsuitable for a bike in size L, heavily restricting freedom of movement on descents. We recommend picking the long-travel 185 mm BikeYoke REVIVE post from the online configurator, which costs exactly the same but offers more travel and can be inserted all the way into the frame, ensuring more freedom of movement and thus inspiring more confidence. The NEWMEN EVOLUTION SL A 30 wheelset is an excellent choice, but we’d swap the stock MAXXIS DISSECTOR tires with hard MaxxTerra rubber compound and thin EXO+ casing for the Schwalbe Magic Mary/Big Betty combo.

The geometry of the Propain Hugene

With four available sizes, S to XL, there should be a suitable Hugene for everyone between 158 cm and 202 cm tall. However, the detailed size chart on Propain’s webpage helps you find the right size based on whether you want a composed, balanced or playful bike. Unfortunately, at 450 mm, the seat tube is very long in proportion to the 476 mm reach, which, once again, restricts freedom of movement and choice of sizes.

size S M L XL
Seat tube 400 mm 425 mm 450 mm 480 mm
Top tube 578 mm 605 mm 632 mm 660 mm
Head tube 100 mm 110 mm 120 mm 130 mm
Head angle 65,1° 65,1° 65,1° 65,1°
Seat angle 76,1° 76,1° 76,1° 76,1°
Chainstays 445 mm 445 mm 445 mm 445 mm
BB Drop 30 mm 30 mm 30 mm 30 mm
Wheelbase 1.188 mm 1.217 mm 1.246 mm 1.275 mm
Reach 426 mm 451 mm 476 mm 501 mm
Stack 616 mm 625 mm 634 mm 644 mm
Helmet POC Kortal Race MIPS | Glasses POC Devour | Jersey DHaRCO Tech Tee | Pants DHaRCO Gravity Pants | Shoes Specialized 2FO Cliplite

The Propain Hugene on the trail

On level ground, the Propain Hugene positions you far back over the rear wheel, ensuring a stretched yet comfortable pedalling position. Going uphill, the rear suspension is pedal-neutral and firm, even with the climb switch in Open mode. While this ensures a very direct and lively ride feel, it forces you to actively shift your weight forward to keep the front wheel tracking on steep climbs.

The combination of a long seat tube and short dropper post restricts freedom of movement, robbing you of confidence downhill.

The agile handling and stiff rear suspension encourage you to play with the trail features.

When you turn its nose downhill, the Hugene strikes with lively handling and requires an active riding style but at the same time forgives the odd riding mistake, conveying huge amounts of confidence. Compared to the version that competed in last year’s mountain bike test, this year’s contestant features more alloy components, ensuring more compliance and feeling less harsh. The rear suspension offers tons of support and bags of pop, encouraging you to play with the trail features and making it easy to pop off small ledges or spontaneously switch to the high line. The lively rear suspension and playful handling of the Hugene harmonise extremely well together, making it an agile and fun bike to ride. However, the Propain somehow lacks grip, partly due to the stiff rear suspension and hard DISSECTOR front tire.

Combining a lively rear suspension and agile handling, the Propain Hugene turns every trail into a playground.

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 Propain Hugene can be individually customised with a wide selection of components in Propain’s online configurator. The spec of our test bike is excellent and would be perfect with a few upgrades, especially with regards to the tires and dropper post. The Hugene is a strong climber and also knows how to impress downhill, offering an excellent overall package at a very interesting price. The firm rear suspension and playful handling make it a great choice for riders who like to play with the trail.


  • comprehensive online configurator
  • excellent climbing performance
  • playful and agile downhill


  • stiff rear suspension costs traction
  • long seat tube with short dropper post

You can find out more about at

The test field

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best trail bike of 2022 – 14 models in review

All bikes in test: Atherton AM.150 (Click for review) | Bold Linkin 135 Ultimate (Click for review) | Canyon Spectral 125 CF 9 (Click for review) | Canyon Spectral CFR (Click for review) | FOCUS JAM 8.9 (Click for review) | Mondraker Raze RR SL (Click for review) | Propain Hugene (Click for review) | Rocky Mountain Instinct C70 (Click for review) | ROSE BONERO 3 (Click for review) | Santa Cruz Bronson CC X01 AXS (Click for review) | SCOR 4060 ST GX (Click for review) | Specialized Stumpjumper EVO S-Works (Click for review) | Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Elite Alloy (Click for review) | YT JEFFSY UNCAGED 6 (Click for review)

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Words: Simon Kohler Photos: Peter Walker, Mike Hunger

About the author

Simon Kohler

​​Simon loves speed. He has many years of racing experience as a longboard downhill skater, blasting down alpine passes on his board. In the meantime, he’s swapped four wheels for two, charging down trails and bike park lines aboard his mountain bike instead. He’s savoured some of Europe’s finest trails on various road trips through the Alps. Having lived in Austria for some time, he knows the local Austrian bike parks like the back of his hand. He’s a tech nerd through and through, using the skills and know-how from his engineering degree and his attention to detail to put the latest bikes and components through their paces for our reviews. As an early riser and self-declared muesli connoisseur, he lives his life powered by oats and the strength of his legs.