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Trail and Enduro Bikes

Propain Tyee CF – Bike Test

Visually stunning profile, classic enduro geometry and a lightweight build

With a visually stunning profile, classic enduro geometry and a lightweight build the Tyee CF ticks many of the boxes that a lot of riders are seeking.

Photos: Callum Philpott          Rider: Ieuan Williams       Words: Steven Jones

On top of that Propain say this the carbon version of the bike is actually stronger, lighter and stiffer than their aluminium version shaving a massive 800g off the frame in the process. Available in three sizes with an impressive range of component builds we’re looking at 65.5 degree head angle, 3mm bottom bracket drop, 443mm reach and a 1206 wheelbase for this the size large. Close comparison to the large YT Capra (65/6.3mm/445mm/1197mm) reveals it to be close in numbers to its German competitor although considerably smaller than a large Mondraker Dune, Kona Process, Orbea Rallon and GT Sanction. Our size large bike is recommended for riders 5’ 10” to 6’ 4”.

Suspension/Chassis

The bike boasts 160mm rear travel and is designed for a maximum fork length of 170mm. The 200×57 Rockshox Monarch Plus RC3 Debonair is paired with a Diamond from DVO taking care of matters. The swingarm houses a 148x12mm rear axle.

All of the Propain range feature their own Pro10 suspension system, essentially this is based on a four pivot point system, behind the seatube in this instance, which together with the floating shock is said to be a perfect balance between pedalling and small bump sensitivity.

The Tyee is beautifully constructed visually with good lines and detail including internal cable routing, mudguards to keep the shock and fork running sweetly and a nice amount of noise and frame protection thrown in. The top tube arcs low down for good standover and body movement.

Componentry

You can build the Tyee as you want but I’m guessing our bike is a top of the range CF Race but without the DT carbon rims. We have the very best in the business here with Sram Guide Ultimates rather than Magura and…. well in short we love everything about the build of this bike, from the suspension to the Sixpack bar and stem combination, the Reverb Stealth and Tune hubs mixed with Stans rims. It’s all there and they are components proven in reliability and performance.

Feeling

Super light with a good attacking geometry the Tyee leads out well and at the first point of contact the Diamond holds its shape and delivers good damping, which together with a reasonably low ride height transfers to good cornering characteristics. Straighten up and faced with a section of root the Tyee has the pop and is so light it can simply avoid sections in an instant. Damping both front and rear deliver good performance and easy to understand ride characteristic. More than anything the sub-thirty pound weight meant the bike was a true all-round bike, possibly more of a 160mm trail bike than an enduro beast which means it’s a bike that’ll please many riders.

Limitations

Our three test riders were all around the six foot mark or slightly under and the large Tyee was simply too small. This became especially apparent near the bottom of descents where weight transfer led to fatigue due to the cramped space and wheelbase. At the heart of the bike the flex/stiffness balance of the Tyee chassis was a touch on the weak side of the scale whilst the noise a touch on the higher side of what we’d like. In fact the frame actually felt a bit wooden as well and comparative tests proved this to be the case. On tougher rock and root tracks there certainly wasn’t a great feel of cohesion to the Tyee when things got a bit hectic. Transferring to its contemporaries such as the Giant Reign, Orange Alpine or even indeed a Canyon Strive or YT Capra simply highlighted the bikes weakness when in hard and heavy conditions. There are more robust 160mm bikes.

Verdict

The last line pretty much sums up where the Tyee is at for us. From our perspective when we look at 160mm bikes we think of Capra and Strive pretty much every time as they are hard to beat, tough cookies, which it’s true are slightly different in attitude but capable enduro race bikes nonetheless. We wonder whether Propain have gone a bit thin on the Tyee or in fact have they simply gone all out to make a good all-round long travel bike? In this respect they’ve done a grand job, for a long travel trail bike it’s up there, being the right weight with a great component specification.

As a 160mm enduro bike however it’ll not be tough enough for many riders, and many will point out there are also bikes out there with a better size range such as the Kona Process, GT Sanction, aluminium YT Capra’s and Canyon Strive but bear in mind Propain also do an aluminium version of this bike which also comes in XL sizing.

Propain Tyee CF from £2563

www.propain-bikes.com

Thinking of buying an enduro bike? Check out our buyer’s guide HERE.

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