Starting at roughly $3,050 for the base-spec Aluminum framed bike, you can opt for the carbon model to save 1kg of frame weight and leave your wallet $700 lighter. The Scottish gem that is the Tweed Valley provided the ultimate test grounds once I had figured out the setup of the size large, mixed wheel model featuring a variation on their Performance level build kit, including the monstrous 190mm Rock Shox ZEB out front and retailing for roughly $5,300. It didn’t take long for this bike to win us over. On a 180 mm travel bike, climbing capabilities are more of an option than an obligation. This means that you can’t just switch between 29″ and 27.5″ on the rear triangle: you have to choose one or the other when placing your order and stick with it. For those seeking a bike spec’d with the latest and greatest, the full bells-and-whistles CF model will run you roughly $8,450 (€7254) and comes with full Fox Factory suspension; carbon Crankbrothers Synthesis wheels; and an X01 AXS drivetrain. PROPAIN SPINDRIFT CF MIXED REVIEW Words by Robert Johnston Photos by Adam Lievesley With Propain releasing their updated Hugene and Tyee models over the past couple years, next up was the big hitting, happy climbing “super enduro” machine that is the Spindrift. The ZEB on the front goes exactly where you point it, with an incredible level of stiffness given its extensive length – the new crop of 38mm stanchion forks were made for this style of bike, and form the perfect aggressive package without weights that remove all the fun from the way back up the hill. The high stack, mid-height BB and relatively short rear end combined with the high-riding Zeb all contributed to this, and certainly made for an exaggerated mullet feeling. Propain have continued to evolve their PRO10 system and for the Spindrift they designed a healthy amount of anti-squat for the time spent spinning the legs, with a coil-friendly level of progression for dealing with the heaviest of hits whilst retaining sensitivity earlier in the travel. This success story is exemplary for PROPAIN - we do our own thing and build bikes the way we and our friends like them! Stem SIXPACK Vertic 35 Even this base spec model is remarkably shred-ready, featuring a Rock Shox ZEB R fork mated to a Select R coil shock; full SRAM GX drivetrain with G2 brakes; with good quality Propain and Sixpack finishing components. There were two things we noticed on the Spindrift during our test. Colours and DecalsCarbonThe new primary frame colours of the carbon version of the Spindrift is "Moongrey Dark (gloss)" and "Lime (gloss)".The colour "Carbon Raw (gloss)" is already known from the Tyee. Thankfully, bicycle engineering is going from good to good-er, and Propain have designed the Spindrift with very sensible proportions and suspension kinematics to focus on providing a well-rounded ride both up and down the hill. When on the pedals, it still offers good support through the gear range; but pumping efforts don’t produce the speed reward of shorter travel machines, and tight sections of trail force hard efforts of muscling around the slack head angle and huge fork. Now for the bit that you really want to know about – riding the Propain Spindrift CF downhill. Rear shock FOX DHX2 Factory 180 mm The reason for this is the online configurator which not only allows you to choose the components of the bike but also to customise the paintwork and decals. At a height of 180 cm, the size L bike fitted like a glove. The 29er is a good choice for those who are looking for the best all-rounder for long rides. If you don’t mind the extra weight, it’s guaranteed to offer the better downhill performance, as is the case with the TYEE – and that’s what a 180 mm travel bike is all about, right? With a visible varnish it gets the unique look and the special processing of the Blend Carbon becomes visible. MOTO CONTACT US This way the Spindrift perfectly combinates a wide range of riding characteristics and is an absolute fun machine! If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Read the new issue of ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine now. Rear tire: Schwalbe Big Betty, Addix-Soft, Super Trail, 27.5″ x 2.4″, DRIVETRAIN A 29er wheel with the 180mm fork (with an even lengthier 190mm option offered) produces a very high front end and results in huge 608-660mm stack heights through the size ranges, so it’s important to consider this before slapping on your favorite high rise bars. Tires Schwalbe Magic Mary, Fork RockShox ZEB Ultimate 190 mm The chainstay protector should also be softer and dampen the chain better. If you’re fortunate to make regular trips to a bike park, but still require a day-to-day pedal friendly machine that doesn’t remove all of the fun from a less intense ride, then the Spindrift will likely serve you very well as a single bike option. Drivetrain SRAM GX Eagle The Spindrift is a joy on the climbs, thanks to the balanced riding position and the efficient suspension, it feels surprisingly light-footed. Among other things, the reason for this is the excessive logistical complexity it would add to their already considerable warehouse management. This is also the case with the new Spindrift. Luckily, that’s exactly what Christoph did. Discover all models and prices on www.propain-bikes.com. The new Spindrift is a real jack of all trades. Front tire: Schwalbe Magic Mary, Addix-Soft, Super Trail, 29″ x 2.4″ To see what the Propain Spindrift is capable of, we spent two days in the Serfaus Fiss Ladis bike park and put the bike through the wringer on shaped jump lines, downhill tracks and a selection of natural trails. This stiffness inspires aggressive cornering efforts, where the Spindrifts compact rear comes into its own and carves a tight arc through turns with ease. This has been revised for the Spindrift, giving it significantly more anti-squat than its predecessor to allow it to climb more efficiently. We’ve been here before with the lighter weight Cube Fritzz, but this coil sprung Propain really reminds us of park bikes such as the Specialized SX Trail. Cassette: SRAM XG 12-75; 10-52T Some of the bikes at the test camp were quiet, but there is no guarantee. The three pre-configured builds at a glance: Fork RockShox ZEB R 180 mm The brand new Propain Spindrift CF is a top-class bike for everyone who wants to have maximum fun in the bike park or shuttling in Finale while still being able to pedal uphill if the occasion calls for it. Drivetrain SRAM X01 Eagle AXS However, for flat home trails, we recommend buying yourself a lively trail bike as you’ll find in this group test. Dual-compound integrated frame protection should keep the Spindrift’s huge tubing from sustaining any serious damage in normal use and does an effective job of deadening chain-slap noises in all but the roughest terrain.
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