The YT Wicked Pro, a bike of 26” vintage and still going strong, lined up at the start of the year as one of the top enduro style bikes on the market, competing with the likes of the Specialized Enduro, Lapierre Spicy and Yeti SB66 to name just a few. Its top class component spec, a performance blasting nearly everything else out of the water and the mind–blowing price placed it into an altogether different dimension…
From Dirt Issue 139 – September 2013
Words by Steve Jones. Photo by Steve Jones.
Many think of the switch to 27.5” (650B) wheels on longer travel bikes as a simple process, yet it’s far from the case. Few have factored in the different needs of the increased wheel size – forks being one, geometry another. Add to this the interpretation of what a bike is being used for – weighted more towards long day trail or uplift enduro – and the bike brands have a big task on their hands.
Then there’s componentry. The Rotwild in this issue is a good example of a great bike let down by poor dampers. The Orange Five an evolution of a trail bike now being asked to do enduro duties. Both have the bigger wheels.
What about the Wicked? Now available in three specs, the 650 version at €2399 is the right money for a bicycle (many being overpriced). The numbers (1180mm wheelbase, 355mm bottom bracket and 430mm chainstay) makes the bike is slightly smaller upfront than the 26” Wicked Pro (1190mm, 355mm, 430mm respectively). The Rotwild (1194mm, 345mm, 445mm) feels better – yes we’re dealing with tolerances here, but they are fresh big wheel numbers and they matter.
Still, as a 650 enduro bike it’s still a cracker. And it still holds its place well. That place is the middle ground, neither too trail heavy or with stuffy uplift van intentions. The damping is good when pushed hard, the lock–out has enough force to enable good climbing. I’d like to see a single chainring on the front, but it’s no biggy, the components all round are up to task – most notably an awesome bar, RockShox Reverb Stealth seatpost and solid tyre combo.
Relative to the Wicked Pro, I’m not a hundred percent sure (we’ll investigate further) but relative to everything currently 650Bx160mm? Well its up there alright… especially at 31lb with pedals and a shade over 2k!