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.
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?
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.)
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.
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.
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
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.
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).
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
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.
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.
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?
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?