We’ve liked the idea of the Privateer 161 enduro bike since our first glimpse of it in the Dolomites last summer – an EWS-ready mountain bike that wouldn’t break the bank. Now the big affordable alloy trail bike that we detailed back at Eurobike is officially ready for sale, with some framesets in stock now, more coming soon, and pre-orders open for complete bikes to deliver later this summer…

Privateer 161, an affordable EWS-ready alloy enduro bike

So the Privateer 161 is finally here. What do we need to remember? Laying the foundation for the brand’s affordable performance ethos, the 161 is a 161mm travel alumin(i)um four-bar enduro mountain bike with a frameset price of $1535 / £1490 / 1700€ (to be paired with 170mm forks). EWS race-ready, without the need for a big team sponsorship.

Privateer 161 enduro bike, updated affordable EWS-ready alloy 29er enduro trail mountain bike MTB
c. Privateer

That’s the idea. Many of would love to ride bikes as capable as the pros, but just don’t have a limitless budget to do so. By carefully selecting existing alloy tubing from Asian suppliers, the Privateer design team worked with modern long & slack geometry and a proven suspension design, to create a solid & reasonably lightweight enduro bike built in Taiwan, and delivered direct to you for a reasonable price.

Developed with the UK’s Top-20 rider in the Enduro World Series, Matt Stuttard and EWS-proven designer Alastair Beckett with an eye on delivering EWS-level performance,  the progressive 161 promises performance on a budget.

What’s new since we last saw the 161?

Privateer 161 enduro bike, updated affordable EWS-ready alloy 29er enduro trail mountain bike MTB

The biggest update since we last caught up with the Privateer 161 in September is a completely redesigned seat tube. As they rode prototypes more and more and new, longer dropper posts kept… well, dropping, Privateer realized they could do better in the way of post insertion. So back to the drawing board, the 161 dropped the curved & shaped seat tube in favor of a segmented design that didn’t impact the suspension layout, to add 50mm more insertion on the Small (P1) & 80mm extra on the M-XL (P2-P4). (Max post insertion is now: P1 – 230mm, P2 – 250mm, P3 – 280mm, P4 – 300mm.)

Privateer 161 enduro bike, updated affordable EWS-ready alloy 29er enduro trail mountain bike MTB

That relatively small change also necessitated a new bottom bracket shell and lower shock mount redesign. But the new solution is arguable a cleaner setup, and the extra-long dropper posts will be a welcome update on super technical tracks.

Privateer 161 enduro bike, updated affordable EWS-ready alloy 29er enduro trail mountain bike MTB geometry

Another big change is new geometry. The geo hasn’t really actually changed; it’s been dialed in for a while. But now we get the official details on the fourth & smallest size P1, the only version of the 161 to get 27.5″ wheels.

Privateer 161 enduro bike, updated affordable EWS-ready alloy 29er enduro trail mountain bike MTB

We’ve talked with Privateer about their scaling down the small size to smaller wheels, and their perspective has been that to get the same handling character they wanted necessitated a shift to 27.5″ wheels for now. They don’t rule out small 29ers in the future, and even toyed with the idea of making the P1 a mullet bike. But going 27.5 allowed them to match the head & seat angles they were aiming for, while offering a bigger step down in frame reach (& front center) to make the bike accessible to much smaller riders, too.

161 – Tech details

Privateer 161 enduro bike, updated affordable EWS-ready alloy 29er enduro trail mountain bike MTB

Other than that, most of the details of the heat treated 6066-T6 alloy frame remain the same. Locking internal cable routing with guide clamps on the side of the headtube for a quiet & rub free setup. Threaded 73mm BB with ISCG 05 tabs, internal tapered headset (ZS44/ZS56), 31.6mm seatpost with stealth routing, direct 180mm post mount rear disc, Boost spacing, bottle cage bosses (for a single small side-load bottle), and ample room for up to 2.6″ muddy tires.

Privateer 161 enduro bike, updated affordable EWS-ready alloy 29er enduro trail mountain bike MTB

A trunnion mount shock on the one-piece machined rocker link for stiffness, low-friction & bearing life, plus three bearings in the offset main pivot  and sealed standard size pivot bearings throughout for durability & ease-of-maintenance. All that totals up to a claimed weight of around 3kg/6.6lb 3.5kg/7.7lb without shock for a large (pre-production P3).

Privateer 161 enduro bike, updated affordable EWS-ready alloy 29er enduro trail mountain bike MTB

Suspension kinematics were developed around the RockShox SuperDeluxe Ultimate shock that frames ship with, but other large volume air or coil shocks can be used, too. Privateer talk a lot about this bike being adaptable, and like this shock for its tunability of the bike’s feel & performance across a broad range of track conditions.

Privateer 161 – Pricing & availability

Privateer 161 enduro bike, updated affordable EWS-ready alloy 29er enduro trail mountain bike MTB
2020 Privateer 161 matte black frameset

The Privateer 161 is available as a frameset now for $1535 / £1490 / 1700€, including a sealed headset and the SuperDeluxe Ultimate shock. Frames are offered in raw or matte black finishes. The small 27.5 P1 in black is the only frame available today, with pre-orders for the raw P1, P2, and both colors in P4 expected in just over two weeks in mid-May. The ‘large’ P3 looks like it will have to wait until early September.

Privateer 161 enduro bike, updated affordable EWS-ready alloy 29er enduro trail mountain bike MTB
2020 Privateer 161 complete

A single, race-ready yet affordable complete bike build of the 161 is also available for pre-order now. But’ you’ll have to wait until late July, or even late September to get your hands on one of these, depending on size & color needs.

Privateer 161 enduro bike, updated affordable EWS-ready alloy 29er enduro trail mountain bike MTB

Complete spec will include a 170mm RockShox Lyrik Ultimate RC2 fork to match the shock, Shimano SLX 1×12 w/ XT shifter, Magura MT5 brakes, OneUp dropper, RaceFace Altas/Aeffect cockpit, Fabric Scoop Elite saddle, FunGuy Grips, Hunt Enduro Wide alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin Wild Enduro Magi X front / Gum X rear tires. Complete bikes retail for $3075 / £2990 / 3400€, with a refundable deposit of about 300€. No complete builds of the small P1 are officially listed, but Privateer says to reach out for individual enquiries.

Anything else in the pipeline from Privateer you ask?

Privateer 161 enduro bike, updated affordable EWS-ready alloy 29er enduro trail mountain bike MTB

With the positive response Privateer has gotten on the new 161, it’s no big surprise to hear that more affordable alloy full suspension mountain bikes are in the works. We’ve yet to see even any teaser images, but the bike rumor was that the 141 was only around a half a year behind the enduro bike. That suggests that Privateer could already have production samples by now, maybe even with frames available next fall?

PrivateerBikes.com

14 COMMENTS

  1. That is a lot of bike for the money, especially the full build. A lot of riders don’t need 161mm, so very interested to see their upcoming 141.

  2. Sorry to be the bad guy here, had hopes for this company, but, where is the affordable part exactly? Commençal is at the top of world cup level racing, over 25 years experience, a trusted warranty and a headquarters in Andorra; full bikes available from 1995€. FULL BIKES.

    Santa Cruz: over hyped but also over detailed, tested, lifetime warranty: 1995€ full suspension frame, retail price, 1600€ you can get it easily, so already 100€ cheaper. The overpriced brand, santa cruz, you can get an alu frame, with actual color paint and etc… etc… cheaper than this direct sales with fixed prices.

    So where exactly is the affordability here? Let me know, thanks you so much!!! Send it!!!

    • The cheapest Meta AM29 is 2500 Euro (on sale from 2700), comes with a rebound adjust only shock, NX drivetrain except the cranks and wheels built on throw away Formula hubs. It’s a very good value bike but you aren’t going racing for a season on it without buying new wheels halfway through at least.
      .
      This thing has the best shock and Fork Rockshox currently do and the other parts should all be good for a season of racing at least. I’m sure opinions on what should be specced differ but nothing on there will ‘need’ upgrading mid season. It’s a spec list seen on £4000-5000 bikes priced at £3000, that strikes me as pretty good. As for Santa Cruz, the cheapest Mega Tower frame is priced £200 higher than this entire bike

      • 2300€ commencal meta AM 29 2019, available to purchase RIGHT NOW, with a Lyric fork, with a dropper post, AND ALL THE OTHER PARTS OF A BIKE!!!

        • What model Meta AM 29? The essential? The ride? or the team? Just because it comes with a Lyrik and a super deluxe doesnt mean its the same model of eirther, there are more than 4 different models of each with different dampers and adjustment ranges. The cheap meta’s have cheap drive trains and wheels, this has a well thought out SLX/XT build, RF cockpit with proper tires. The Cheap meta’s come with Vee rubber garbage. This one is more inline spec wise as the 2019 Sram team edition meta which on sale in Canada right now is $4199 cad, regular $4999 Cad. This out of the gate for an on par build is $4386 cad. That’s pretty damn affordable. The only reason the Meta is cheaper is because its one clearance. This one also has two years up in Geo. The Sram team also comes with ride alpha components, which are great but in house = cheaper to put on the bike and Privateer doesn’t have that. The closest 2020 Meta that I can see in canadian dollars spec wise is the Am29 Team whch is $5599. That’s a cool $1200 in my pocket for road trips to ride it.

          And don’t get me wrong, I love commencal. I just bought a Meta 29 frame and its my third one meta in 5 years But my frame cost about the same as this with no shock. This frame is a better value than the commencal.

          I also understand your point on commencal being established, but every company needs to start out somewhere do they not? After Sunn folded and commencal came out of the ashes it took time for them to build.

      • max commencal has being buying hubs from formula since 1995 boy, 25 years of reliability proven history. I´m not much in the comments here anymore, but sometimes, this is such a joke. A frame from a company that could disappear tomorrow like boosted boards or the message fork, and you call that affordable?? 1700€, love the frame, but the whole affordable tag was a clickbait since the very beginning. 1600€ an aluminium bronson frame if you look well, with santa cruz warranty, not this garage startup.

        • Hi @velofreak,
          Thank you for bringing up a concern that I’m sure other riders also have. A new brand of course comes with risk, however we are part of the The Rider Firm family, sister brand of HUNT bike wheels.

          So although Privateer is new, HUNT has been around for about 5 years (still not Commencal’s 25 granted) but we have an established and experienced team ready to serve riders into the future.

          I hope this helps to provide some clarity and if you’d like to get in touch we’d value the feedback.

          Kind Regards,
          Sam

    • “Affordable” has become a new buzz word for sites like BR… It is the new “gravel,” since thats been beaten into the ground for a few years now.

  3. Time has overcome that, initially neat idea, with generic designed frames from Bird, Banshee,Commencal, Airdrop and many more, for pretty much the same money, a company’s first build from of the shelf tubing does not seem as attractive anymore. With a market flooded by great value bikes and insane actual street prices, customer service, availability, customizing builds and choosing colors has become more and more important.

COMMENT HERE: (For best results, log in through Wordpress or your social media account. Anonymous/fake email comments may be unapproved or deleted. ALL first-time commenter's posts are held for moderation. Check our Comment Policy for full details.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.