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Trail and Enduro Bikes

First Look – Production Privee Shan No5

The amazing steel bike from Andorra

After a solid day of testing, we take a look at the first full suspension bike to come from Production Privée. Mid travel, mid sized wheels and a full steel frame construction. AN INCREDIBLY ENGAGING BIKE.

Words and Images: White and Jones

Steel has plenty of history in the world of mountainbiking. It’s the material that most of the early production bikes’ frames were constructed from, back in the days of a fully rigid ride. Evidently, the mainstream brands have now moved on from ferrous tubing. Suspension has been added too, and has rapidly evolved and so has geometry and sizing. The resulting developments are all rolled out in the carbon and aluminium trail and enduro bikes that most of us ride today. But is this the best approach?

It seems that in 2017, the renewed interest in steel has come mainly from frame building workshops (such as The Bicycle Academy), handbuilt bike shows or adventure riding. However, we were recently blown away by two machines from Starling, a frame builder based in Bristol. Both were full suspension trail bikes, the 27.5” wheel Swoop and the Murmur 29er, and instantly proved themselves on the hill. Then we heard that Production Privée had a steel trail bike in development…

‘I CANNOT WAIT to ride that bike!’ – Steve Jones, Dirt.

FRAME AND SUSPENSION:

Production Privée has a solid history with Cromo steel frames and for the Shan No5 they use Japanese 4130 tubing throughout. They feel that the ride quality, resulting grip and fatigue resistance that this material gives them on their hardtails translates well to the Shan No5. It’s a well executed design with neat touches and clean lines from the predominately round tubes.

‘It is more tolerant & forgiving, offering increased confidence and more cornering grip. If ever there was a bike to make you smile, this is it!’ – Production Privée

Rolling on 27.5″ wheels, this frame dishes out 138mm of rear travel and is designed to work with a 140-160mm travel fork. Boost hub spacing on the frame (148mm) and fork (110mm) helps give plenty of mud clearance as well as wheel strength benefits, and enables 27Plus tyres (2.8″-3.0″) to be used.

With a linkage driven single pivot ‘R.KTP’ suspension design, plenty of testing has gone into getting the right tune for the rear shock. PP worked closely with Fox on this and the end result feels spot on with the ride and grip qualities of the steel frame and the high volume tyres. A shock extender allows for more progression shock characteristics. Matched to a well set up fork, with good damping, and shod with quality rubber, this set up was impressive on the dry, fast and rough tracks of our first test day.

Attention to detail is high when it comes to the Porsche influenced paint finish; much love and emotion has gone into this frame – as well as engineering and development. Cable routing, graphics and presentation are up there with the best. The swingarm’s main angular contact bearings carry a two year warranty.

GEOMETRY AND SIZING:

The Shan No5 is on the money when it comes to dimensions. A good reach, length wheelbase and a sub 66° head angle are promising. Relatively short seat tubes are a good move and they have a XXL (Damien from PP is very tall and runs this size) for a comprehensive size range. Low standover heights give the Shan No5 that chuckable feel we all love when a mid travel trail bike is done right.

 

SPECIFICATION:

Our Shan No5 press bike as built by Production Privée but is currently sold only as a frame/shock. However, they have a small but dedicated number of UK dealers who can spec and custom build a bike for you. Here are the basics:

FRAME: Cromo steel TB 4130 Japan seamless HTMCS series

FORK: 140-160mm travel (540 to 560mm axle to crown)

REAR AXLE: BOOST Maxle 12x148mm.

REAR SHOCK: Fox Float DPS EVOL 2018 Performance Series (210 x55mm)

BOTTOM BRACKET: BOOST BB92 Press Fit standard

TRANSMISSION: Single chainring transmission.

CRANKSET: Compatible with Boost crankset 28t to 32t

SEAT POST: 30.9mm with Stealth routing

WHEEL SIZE:  27.5″ & 27.5+ (up to 2.8”)

WEIGHT: 3890g W/O shock

SIZES: S/M, M/L, L/XL & XXL

PRICE: Frame inc rear shock: €1899

production-privee.com

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