CENTURION recently presented the Trailbanger in its all-new-for-2016 incarnation. After several weeks of riding it, our test rider Pirmin can disclose whether the revised model has the skills to place itself firmly at the forefront of the enduro stage.

Das CENTURION Trailbanger wurde für die Saison 2016 komplett überarbeitet.
The CENTURION Trailbanger has been completely revised for 2016.

My main objective for the season is to spend as much time physically riding as possible. Racing, weekends away with friends or just short rides after work, I want to make sure I have a good time. This is why I’m super stoked to be able to ride the CENTURION Trailbanger. The geometry stats all look great at first glance, more than quick enough to win the odd Strava battle or two against friends. But I also need the bike to be tough enough to get through a four-week riding trip in the Alps too.

Getestet wurde das Trailbanger mittlerweile nicht nur auf Pirmins Hometrails rund um Garmisch-Partenkirchen, sondern auch in den Dolomiten.
The bike won’t just be tested on Pirmin’s hometrails around Garmisch-Partenkirchen, but also in the Dolomites.


As this is still a pre-series bike, the spec of our test bike doesn’t quite match the series build, but the difference in components on our Trailbanger is only minimal. At 178cm tall, I went for the medium-size frame, and swapped the cockpit for a shorter and higher version. Now I’ve got an Answer AME 50mm stem and the Answer ProTAPER Carbon SL Series bars, shortened to 760mm.

Der Lenker wurde gegen ein Modell mit 25 mm Rise getauscht.
The bars have been swapped for ones with a 25 mm rise.

For the drivetrain CENTURION settled on the 1×1 components from SRAM, and added their own chainguide to keep the chain securely in place.

Die Zughalter an der Unterseite der Kettenstrebe werden beim Serienbike nicht mehr vorhanden sein und der Schaltzug wird wie bei unserem Testbike innen verlegt.
The cable clamps on the lower side of the chainstay won’t be there on the series bike and the gear cable will be internally routed like it is on our test bike.

CENTURION’s own design, the chainguide, can be used with 26 – 32 tooth chainrings. I mainly use a 32-tooth model, but if I’m going on a long ride with tough climbs then I’ll switch for a 30.

The chainguide stems from CENTURION, and it is already optimized to improve the chainline from the new BOOST standard.
The chainguide stems from CENTURION, and it is already optimized to improve the chainline from the new BOOST standard.

When it comes to braking, CENTURION went for the tried and testing, going for Avid Guide RS with 200/180mm disc brakes. The ZTR Flow EX rims together with the Maxxis Highroller II tyres are a devilishly good combination. And the conversion to tubeless is easily done with a track pump. Despite taking some hard hits, the rims are still intact and smooth – respect!

Die ZTR-Felgen zusammen mit den Maxxis-Reifen sind für nahezu jede Situation die richtigen Partner.
The ZTR rims and Maxxis tyres are the ideal partner for virtually any situation.

The Suspension

The FOX 36 forks for 2016 feature the brand new FIT 4 cartridge and the tool-less quick-release axle. On long climbs you can activate platform damping, although I rarely use this as I discovered the Open setting gets me up nicely up the climbs. At their newest, the forks were incredibly sensitive and the breakaway torque was barely felt. Unfortunately the performance has deteriorated, which is a sign that they’re clamoring for their first service. During the service I’ll fine-tune the set-up and experiment with spacers to reduce the size of the air chamber.

Die FOX 36 FIT 4 hat nach dem ersten Service hoffentlich wieder ein genauso gutes Ansprechverhalten wie am ersten Tag!
After their first service I’m hoping the FOX 36 FIT 4 will be as good as new once again!

The rear shock is as responsive as it was on the very first day, and offers a plush 165mm of travel. Unlike the forks, I regularly reach for the shock’s platform damping on unforgiving climbs. This is also where I’d like to play around with spacers to hopefully improve the performance even more and suit it better to my riding style.

Nicht nur optisch ein Hingucker sondern auch souverän auf dem Trail: der neue FOX FLOAT DPS.
Not just super cool visually, but also damn good on the trails: the new FOX FLOAT DPS.


The CENTURION has the ability and prowess to climb effectively and willingly. In the ‘firm’ setting the FOX rear shock manages to bypass any twitchiness and noticeably reduces SAG. On tight corners the slack 65.5° head angle can lead to a loss of traction – but this was a very rare occurrence. On the whole the Trailbanger is a super comfortable ride with a position that boasts more stability than aero aggression.

Bei der Pfadfinder-Schnitzeljagd in Sölden schlug sich das Trailbanger tapfer im Renneinsatz.
At the PFADfinder-Schnitzeljagd race in Sölden the Trailbanger did a mighty job.


With its relatively long and low geometry, the Trailbanger is made for caning it along the trails. Calm and collected even at high speeds, this whippet is brilliantly agile and it’s only on super tight corners that you’ll need to exert your superiority over the bike. Whether you’re riding in steep mountains or on a swooping flow trail, the handling is precise and composed.

Bis auf ein defektes Schaltauge traten noch keine Probleme auf.
Other than the broken derailleur hanger, there were no other problems.

The fork and rear shock are insistent in their reliability, giving travel as soon as it’s needed on uneven trails. The bike never felt out of control, and the rear kept tight on burms and when accelerating out of the saddle. The feedback was always appreciated, further improving the agile handling and supporting the plush end progression. Even when the big hits came in quick succession the suspension did a commendable job.

Auch verblocktes und steiles Terrain ist mit dem neuen CENTURION kein Problem.
The new CENTURION excels whatever the terrain.


I’d been looking for a modern enduro bike that wouldn’t constrict where I could ride and the CENTURION Trailbanger has more than fulfilled my expectations. It climbs well, descends like a pro and I love the little details like the integrated chainguide. In short, it’s a winning concept that now needs to prove that it can survive the coming weeks and months. I’ll keep you posted.

For more information visit: centurion.de

Words: Pirmin Fischer Photos: Christoph Bayer

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