You just can’t go wrong with this bike. The new Specialized Status is an incredibly attractive offer for anyone looking for a bike to have maximum fun on the trails and bike parks around the world. We were the only magazine in the world to get to review it and we’re convinced.
Usually, our reviews always have a fixed structure, we present the bike, discuss its new technological highlights and philosophise about the geometry. This is followed up by our ride review and conclusion. If you find that all a bit tedious, we’ve decided to trim it down this time and write the shortest review ever. We’ve simply taken the WhatsApp chat history from our editor-in-chief Christoph and chief of testing Felix shortly after Christoph took the new Specialized Status for the first ride. Check it out!
Admittedly, you now know that Specialized seem to have done everything right with the new Status, but you’ll probably have a few more questions that we haven’t answered. To answer them, you’ll find our regular review below.
The Specialized Status in a nutshell
The Specialized Status isn’t entirely new. We’ve seen the bike crop up in the past. At the time, the bike was meant to be a more affordable alternative to the Demo downhill bike. The new Status should appeal to riders looking for a lot of performance at a fair price. It was designed for trail and bike park use, relying on a mix of a 29er up front and a small 27.5″ wheel on the rear, it offers 160 mm travel and sensibly chosen but affordable componentry. The frame is made of aluminium with enough room in the front triangle for a water bottle and it features a flip-chip in the shock mount. The Status is available in just one complete build for € 2,999, merely giving you a choice of five sizes.
The Status is back! A bike for everyone looking for maximum fun without any of the frills!
The geometry of the 2021 Specialized Status 160 Base
Specialized have long since abandoned classic frame size conventions and, thanks to short seat tubes, allow their customers to choose a bike based on its length instead of its height. This is brilliant because you can either choose a shorter, more agile and playful bike or a longer, more composed handling bike. This concept has also been carried over to the Status. On the longest, S5 version, the seat tube is just 465 mm long, 440 mm on the S4 and only 420 mm on the S3. S2 and S1 both have a 400 mm seat tube. The head angle is very slack across the board, sitting at 63.7° in the steep or 63.2° in the slack setting. The 76° seat tube angle is average. The reach on the S4 is a whopping 487 mm, shrinking to 462 mm on the S3. The chainstays are kept super short at 426 mm, made possible by the 27.5″ rear wheel.
The geometry at a glance:
|Seat tube||400 mm||400 mm||420 mm||440 mm||465 mm|
|Top tube||756 mm||778 mm||808 mm||837 mm||867 mm|
|Head tube||95 mm||100 mm||110 mm||120 mm||130 mm|
|Chainstay||426 mm||426 mm||426 mm||426 mm||426 mm|
|BB Height||338 mm/347 mm||338 mm/347 mm||338 mm/347 mm||338 mm/347 mm||338 mm/347 mm|
|Wheelbase||1181 mm||1203 mm||1233 mm||1264 mm||1292 mm|
|Reach||417 mm||437 mm||462 mm||487 mm||512 mm|
|Stack||610 mm||614 mm||623 mm||632 mm||641 mm|
No bullshit, no bling-bling: the componentry of the new Status 160
There is only one complete build of the new Specialized Status 160 available. It’s called the Base model and has everything a trail or enduro rider could wish for. Solid FOX suspension, powerful SRAM CODE R brakes and a big range NX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain. Of course, Specialized make use of a lot of their in-house components such as the handlebar, stem, saddle and tires. These all perform well and give almost no room for criticism. Depending on where and how you ride, you might want to fit more durable tires. Sizes S3–S5 come fitted with a generous 170 mm X-Fusion Manic dropper post. The price of € 2,999 for this package is absolutely fair and even gives some direct to consumer brands a run for their money.
The spec at a glance:
Fork FOX 36 Rhythm 160 mm
Shock FOX DPX2 Performance 160 mm
Brakes SRAM Code R 200 mm
Drivetrain SRAM NX Eagle
Seatpost X-Fusion Manic, S1-S2: 150 mm S3-S5: 170 mm
Stem Specialized Alloy Trail 35 mm
Bars Specialized Alloy 800 mm
Wheelset Royal Traverse 29/27.5″
Tires Specialized Butcher GRID TRAIL 2.3″
Weight 15,60 kg
Price € 2,999
Like something between a wild bull and a rabbit on cocaine – The Status 160 on the trail
The Specialized Status is a bike that was designed for maximum fun on the descents and not to climb as lightly and efficiently as possible. You’ll easily be able to climb with this bike, but that isn’t its greatest strength. It is worth locking out the shock with the help of the climb switch to stop the rear end from bobbing as you pedal. We also recommend pushing the saddle forward to sit as centrally on the bike as possible. With that done, the Status 160 is guaranteed to get you to the top of every trailhead, but not in record time. If there is a lift nearby, it won’t hurt to use it – though we’d always make use of the lift anyway.
Party-Laps! The Status is guaranteed to be fun in the park!
It is the descents that we live for and which the Specialized Status 160 was made for. With a rider measuring 180 cm tall, the S4 Status feels like a big bike, and it is. The 487 mm reach is significant and if you like your bike more playful, you might prefer the S3 version. However, the Status is anything but cumbersome. The bike’s handling feels super lively and fun from the get-go. The rear end feels plush when you first swing your leg over it, but it doesn’t stick to the ground as much as the Enduro. Instead, it provides the rider with a lot of feedback and you always know what is happening on the trail beneath you, allowing you to pop off every obstacle you encounter.
No bullshit, no problem – the Status simply delivers!
Due to the short rear end and small rear wheel, the Status changes direction very quickly and with minimal input from the rider. You can weave from side to side like a hare being chased across a meadow. This high degree of agility is a lot of fun, but it requires an engaged riding style in steep and rough terrain. Because as easily as the Status responds to rider input, it also needs input to be kept on the ideal line. With this character, the bike always motivates you to play with the terrain, spontaneously to take the highline or cut into a berm at full tilt. If you’re a racer always looking to hit the fastest and most direct line, you won’t find a suitable bike here.
If the Specialized Status could speak, it’d be the kind of bike to call out “YOLO!!!”. It’s designed for maximum fun, with fast, direct and wild handling! If you like having everything under control and are chasing seconds, it’s not the bike for you. For everyone else, it’s an excellent companion that constantly motivates you to play with the trail and try out crazy new lines.
- super agile and fun to ride
- good spec at a fair price
- a real berm slayer
- climbing is only a means to an end
- tires aren't always up to the task
- paint chipped off the chainstay
More information can be found at statusmtb.bike
Words & Photos: Christoph Bayer