The Propain Hugene is the first 29″ bike from the German direct-to-consumer brand. Right off the bat, Propain have succeeded in developing an extremely agile bike that scores with a brilliant spec at a fair price. But is that enough to make it a top trail bike?

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

Propain Hugene Highend | 150/130 mm (f/r) | 12.82 kg | € 5,540

Propain Hugene Highend – with a name like that you expect that only the best of components were good enough. Propain’s 130 mm travel carbon frame comes with a 150 mm FOX 36 Factory GRIP2 fork. You also get a SRAM XX1 drivetrain and super powerful Formula Cura 4 brakes. The package is rounded off with NEWMEN SL.A 30 Evolution wheels and Schwalbe Magic Mary/Hans Dampf tyres at the absolutely fair price of € 5,540. If you don’t like the spec, you can fully customise the build to your own preferences with Propain’s online configurator. The Hugene features Propain’s Pro10 rear linkage, but the 29er’s rocker links have been moved into the interior of the front triangle to make space for the wheels. Nevertheless, there’s still room for a water bottle – thumbs up! The shock measures 190 mm eye-to-eye with a stroke of only 45 mm. That means that setting up the suspension takes patience and precision, seeing as only two millimetres more SAG on the shock can make a big difference to how the bike handles.

  The rear linkage is as firm as a botoxed face – the only difference being that you can still laugh.

The Propain Hugene Highend in detail

Fork FOX 36 Factory GRIP2 150 mm
Schock FOX DPX2 Factory 130 mm
Brakes Formula Cura 4 203/180 mm
Drivetrain SRAM XX1 Eagle
Seatpost FOX Transfer Factory 150 mm
Stem Sixpack Leader 35 mm
Handlebar Sixpack Millenium Carbon 785 mm
Wheelset NEWMEN SL.A 30 Evolution
Tires Schwalbe Magic Mary/Hans Dampf
Weight 12,82 kg
Price 5.540 €

Difficult to reach
The climb switch on the shock is positioned far down, so you can’t reach it while riding.
Super powerful
The Formula Cura 4 is very digital (on/off) and takes some time to get used to.
The Benchmark
The FOX 36 Factory GRIP2 doesn’t have any weaknesses, performing flawlessly.
The matt paint job and the organic shape of the frame make for a very classy looking bike.

Geometry of the Propain Hugene

Size S M L XL
Seat tube 410 mm 440 mm 470 mm 500 mm
Top tube 573 mm 601 mm 628 mm 656 mm
Head tube 95 mm 105 mm 115 mm 125 mm
Head angle 67° 67° 67° 67°
Seat angle 74.5° 74.5° 74.5° 74.5°
Chainstay 445 mm 445 mm 445 mm 445 mm
BB Drop 28 mm 28 mm 28 mm 28 mm
Wheelbase 1150 mm 1179 mm 1208 mm 1236 mm
Reach 407 mm 432 mm 457 mm 482 mm
Stack 605 mm 615 mm 624 mm 633 mm
Helmet Specialized Ambush | Shirt ION Treaze_Amp | Short ION Treaze_Amp | Hipbag Bontrager Rapid Pack | Shoes Specialized 2FO Cliplite

The Propain Hugene Highend on the trail

Onboard the Propain Hugene, everything feels very familiar. The rider’s sitting position is balanced; not too stretched but not too upright either. However, the seat tube angle could be a bit steeper – but this can easily be compensated by sliding the saddle forwards. After a few meters, you will notice that the tuning of the rear linkage is on the firmer side of things; the Hugene isn’t particularly comfortable. But it feels lively, encouraging you to get on the pedals and sprint. On technical climbs, however, the bike rear end lacks traction, but everywhere else the long chainstays make it really easy and intuitive to steer. The load distribution between the wheels is very balanced and the Hugene rides precisely where you want it to go without much input. No matter if on fast, tight switchbacks or long open corners – the Hugene can do it all. The firm rear suspension provides lots of support in corners, making for increased agility, but at higher speeds the bike quickly becomes nervous, telling the rider early on when it’s time to slow down. When the terrain gets very steep, we would have preferred a slightly slacker head angle, and the extremely on/off Formula brakes take some time to get used to.

Tuning tip: choose a brake with better modulation – the configurator makes it possible.


The Propain Hugene convinced us with its sprightliness and direct handling. It is extremely easy to ride on flat, flowing trails, quickly letting you have a lot of fun. The taut rear end, however, comes at the cost of composure at higher speeds, and it isn’t very comfortable either, limiting the bike’s potential.


  • easy, intuitive handling
  • good value for money
  • great spec


  • nervous at speed
  • harsh rear end
  • knobs on the rear tyre tear off





Value for money

More info at:

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

All bikes in test: Canyon Spectral CF 9.0 LTD | Evil Offering X01 | Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29 | Ibis Ripmo | Pivot Mach 5.5 Pro XT | Propain Hugene Highend | Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt BC Edition | Santa Cruz Bronson CC X01+ | Scott Genius 900 Ultimate | Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper 29 | Transition Sentinel X01 | Trek Remedy 9.9 | YT Jeffsy 29 CF Pro Race

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