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2021 Propain Hugene 29er all-mountain bike gets longer, slacker and bigger on travel

2021 propain hugene safari colorway
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Propain have overhauled the Hugene all-mountain bike for 2021, adding reach, travel and slackening off the head angle considerably. The 2021 Propain Hugene is carbon only, running 29″ wheels on a 140mm travel frame with the option to run either a 140mm or 150mm fork. Pricing starts at €3,399. Let’s take a closer look.

2021 Propain Hugene

2021 propain hugene safari colorway

MY21 sees a significant refresh of the Propain Hugene 29er all-mountain bike. Taking customer feedback on board, Propain have made tangible changes to the geometry, suspension kinematic and travel. The latter is bumped up from 130mm to 140mm, delivered by Propain’s PRO10 suspension platform. That puts the rear shock in front of the seat tube, as opposed to behind it as we see on the Rage downhill bike.

propain hugene cf 2021 frame
The 2021 Propain Hugene CF is 300g lighter than its previous iteration

Purely from an aesthetics point of view, the new Hugene simply looks better than its former self. That has a lot to do with flat top tube now feeding seamlessly into the seat tube, with the bridge connection now absent. This small change gives the bike a little more elegance.

2021 propain hugene cf blend carbon prepreg layup pro10 suspension link

The Hugene’s Blend Carbon frame is lighter, too, thanks in part to the upper link of the suspension system now being composed of carbon. As with all carbon Propain frames, the new Hugene is composed of pre-impregnated carbon layers, each tailored to the needs of specific areas of the frame. Stiffness, flexibility, impact resistance, weight, strength, direction of tension and fibre types are each carefully considered for different parts of the frame.

PRO10 Kinematic

2021 propain hugene anti squat graph

With 110% anti-squat, it’s clear that pedaling efficiency was a top priority in the design of the 2021 Propain Hugene. “It climbs like a hardtail, but also offers you a steady downhill performance. The kinematics have been further optimized to give more support in the mid-travel and to increase the sensitivity at the same time” – Fritjof Hilgenfeldt of Propain Bikes.

2021 propain hugene leverage ratio rear axle path diagrams

The PRO10 suspension leverage ratio starts at 3, dropping to around 2.35 at the end of the stroke. The axle path travels almost exclusively forward throughout the rear wheel travel, only moving rearwards by 1mm at the very beginning of the stroke. At full travel, the horizontal end point of the rear axle effectively shortens the wheelbase by around 11mm.


new propain hugene pencil sketch

The 2021 Propain Hugene is able to run either a 140mm or 150mm fork. Here, we compare and contrast the 140mm travel versions of MY21 and MY20.

The new Hugene is an all round bigger bike. The slacker head angle combined with longer reach figures make the 2021 medium frame 38mm longer in the wheelbase compared to the previous iteration. We now have a 65.5° head angle paired with a shorter 42mm offset fork.

2021 propain hugene cf frame geometry

The seat tube angle is 1.5° steeper, now at a refreshing 76.5° (effective). The BB is lower too, dropping 34mm from the dropouts. Reach stretches from 430mm in S to 505mm in XL. Chainstays are 445mm, consistent across the four frame size options.

2021 propain hugene 140mm travel geometry chart

150mm Fork Geometry

2021 propain hugene riding shots rocky trail two male mountain bikers

As you might imagine, running a longer travel fork makes the 2021 Hugene slacker in both the head tube and seat tube. The former drops to 65.1° while the latter sits back at 76.1°. Reach figures remain unchanged but the stack rises by around 4mm.

2021 propain hugene 150mm travel fork geometry

From a numbers point of view, Propain have certainly done a good job with the geometry. The 2021 Propain Hugene is a bang up to date bike of the all-mountain category. But, let’s take a moment to appreciate the small frame details that make this bike a worthy contender amongst today’s AM bikes.

2021 Hugene Carbon Frame

2021 propain hugene internal cable routing fully guided

The Hugene’s carbon frame gets fully internal cable routing; normally a major PITA but Propain have added ducts within the front and rear triangles to assist riders and mechanics with cable swaps. Another mechanic-friendly feature is the 73mm threaded BSA bottom bracket.

2021 propain hugene space for two water bottles inside front triangle

Credit is also due to Propain for the frame’s accommodation of not one but two bottle cage/accessory mounts inside the front triangle. It sounds minor but some manufacturers still aren’t leaving sufficient room to carry water in the front triangle. This will certainly help riders go packless.

propain hugene cf 2021 frame details sram udh removable iscg mounts
Molded rubber drive-side chainstay and downtube protectors keep the bike running quiet, adding protection from rock strikes

The frame also gets a removable ISCG mount, so you can pop it off to reduce frame weight if you don’t intend to run a chain guide or bash guard. These are more often integrated into the frame. The 2021 Propain Hugene runs a standard SRAM UDH hanger; find out why that’s a big deal here.

2021 propain hugene dirt shield bearings dual seal
The CF gets Propain’s Dirt Shield double seal frame bearings

Pricing & Availability

2021 propain hugene cf frame decals head badge customizable
Hugene frame decals and Propain head badge are customizable

The 2021 Propain Hugene CF is available in Safari (matte), Petrol Dark (gloss) and Carbon Raw (gloss) colorways. Get it as a complete bike only, choosing from three spec lists; “high-end”, “Performance” and “Start”, priced at €7,164, €4,549 and €3,399, respectively.

2021 propain hugene complete bikes spec list pricing

Medium frames are due to be shipped in May. You’ll have to wait until July for the S, L and XL frame sizes.


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