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Trail and Enduro Bikes

Production Privée Shan No5 – Review

A steel frame rolling on 27.5" wheels. How does this beauty perform?

For a first full suspension bike the design team at Production Privée have really pulled out the stops when it come to the look of the Shan No.5. From the fantastic colour to the clean cut lines this is a bike that’s attracted plenty of compliments.

Words and Images: Ieuan Williams

This full suspension bike from Production Privée takes a different approach to the bigger and more mainstream brands. The Shan No.5 is made from 4130 Cro-mo steel tubing, rolls on 27.5″ wheels, dishes out 138mm of rear travel and can run a 140-160mm fork.

The Shan No.5 also has a competitive price and with the option to run 2.8″ plus size tyres, sounds like a very versatile trail bike. For the variety of conditions we ride in over the course of a year here in the UK, having space for large volume tyres makes sense. With the likes of Cedric Gracia giving his support to the company then there must be something good about this brand.

Shape and fit

Looking straight into the sizing for the Shan No.5, the XL that was on offer in my eyes comes up a tad small, even with with a reach of 480mm. The figures on paper seem to come up small in real world situations but there is always the option of a XXL size for those well over six feet tall. The super-low standover height and short seat tower on the other hand are great features and allow a longer travel dropper post to be used. There’s a pleasing shape to this bike which has a good head angle (65.6°) and for a shorter travel bike made for a stable ride.

Suspension and chassis

With the Fox 34 Factory fork up front there was a definite feel of it being under damped and maybe wanting some more support up front. I did find the limit fairly quickly on a few occasions where a Fox 36 would have given more of an edge. At the rear the Fox DPS is one of our favourite dampers but there is a super progressive feel to the shock on this test bike.

The rear single pivot design offers 138 mm of travel is super clean and well finished. In terms of durability this bike will go up against the proven Orange Five, a machine that is tried and tested here in UK conditions. The Shan has large sealed bearings which look like they’ll give good reliability and carry a two year warranty.

Feeling

With the fork issues taken out of the equation the Production Privée Shan No.5 covers ground well with a great amount of grip on offer from the flex that the rear had to offer from the steel frame construction. This allows the rear wheel to track rough ground well. The Shan No.5 did feel like if was lacking something, maybe the addition of a 29” wheeled version could improve this bike even more and similar to the Starling Murmur that happened to be one of the best and fastest bikes we rode last year. It would be interesting to see if they would fit as plus sized tyres do.

The in-house bar that was fitted had a really comfy feel to the sweep and rise and even if the overall stack height was a little low I did feel it was a bar that I would like to ride some more. The 50mm stem on the other hand did make out that it was there to compensate the size issue.

Limitations

There a few issues with the Shan No.5 such as the fairly crude way of keeping the chain from making noise. Some refining here with a proper moulded rubber stay protector. The same finishing is needed where the cables cross the shock mounting area where they have no mountings to fasten to, either something built into the side of this mount or an indent for the lines to run under the mount would be great. 

Verdict

Steel is real! With the likes of Stanton and Starling pushing the boundaries with this material it’s great to see more companies embrace it. The Production Privée is easy to ride, looks great and with some minor refinements will make a brilliant bike at a very reasonable price too. Not perfect but it’s still one to keep an eye on for sure! I would love to get some more time to make the changes that I would like, to see if this bike can put a time in anywhere near its steel counterparts.

PRICE: €1899 (Frame + Shock)

www.production-privee.com

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